Raiders’ Incognito, Hurst fined for hits vs. Bears

first_imgALAMEDA –The Raiders’ Week 5 win over the Chicago Bears came at a cost for left guard Richie Incognito and defensive tackle Maurice Hurst.Incognito was given two separate fines totaling $21,054, while Hurst was hit with a single fine of $21,056, a league source confirmed Saturday.Both Incognito fouls — each of which caried fines of $10,527 — came in the first half of a 24-21 win over the Bears at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.On the first, Incognito drew an unnecessary roughness …last_img read more

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Patients in Vegetative State May Be Aware

first_imgRemember the arguments put forth for why Terry Schiavo should be allowed to die?  They revolved around the awareness of those said to be in a persistent vegetative state.  Now, researchers reported in Science1 that a patient diagnosed in a vegetative state was aware of what was going on:We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to demonstrate preserved conscious awareness in a patient fulfilling the criteria for a diagnosis of vegetative state.  When asked to imagine playing tennis or moving around her home, the patient activated predicted cortical areas in a manner indistinguishable from that of healthy volunteers.The researchers called the condition of vegetative state “one of the least understood and most ethically troublesome conditions in modern medicine.”  The ran tests with functional MRI on a 23-year-old woman who had suffered severe injury in a car accident.  Unresponsive but with preserved sleep-wake cycles, she was diagnosed as in a vegetative state by international criteria. These results confirm that, despite fulfilling the clinical criteria for a diagnosis of vegetative state, this patient retained the ability to understand spoken commands and to respond to them through her brain activity, rather than through speech or movement.  Moreover, her decision to cooperate with the authors by imagining particular tasks when asked to do so represents a clear act of intention, which confirmed beyond any doubt that she was consciously aware of herself and her surroundings..  Of course, negative findings in such patients cannot be used as evidence for lack of awareness, because false negative findings in functional neuroimaging studies are common, even in healthy volunteers.  However, in the case described here, the presence of reproducible and robust task-dependent responses to command without the need for any practice or training suggests a method by which some noncommunicative patients, including those diagnosed as vegetative, minimally conscious, or locked in, may be able to use their residual cognitive capabilities to communicate their thoughts to those around them by modulating their own neural activity.Another case was reported by the BBC News.  A victim of an acute viral infection was diagnosed in a vegetative state.  She could not move her facial muscles to indicate reactions, but was aware of what was being said around her, and felt scared.  “I felt trapped inside my body,” she later reported.  The only clue to her hopeful parents came from a brain scan that showed she was processing information presented to her.Update 09/13/2006: Nature (443, 14 September 2006) published a news item (pp 132-133) and editorial (pp 121-122) on this finding, but claimed the patient in this case “seems to have been much less severely injured than the permanently vegetative Terri Schiavo, whose case inflamed the moral debate over whether those who show no signs of recovery should be allowed to die.”  Surprisingly, even though the news item admits that there is a continuum of states, that some on the continuum may be progressing toward eventual recovery, and that the binary diagnosis of “vegetative state” can no longer be taken for granted, the editorial claims, “This case has little bearing on ethical questions over whether or not the most severe cases should be denied treatment and allowed to die,” because in the most severe cases the chances of finding any sign of awareness is negligible.  Yet the parents and friends of Terry Schiavo constantly argued that she was aware enough to follow objects and display emotions.  Since she was killed in March 2005, we will never know if she could have passed a similar fMRI scan test.1Owen et al., “Detecting Awareness in the Vegetative State,” Science, 8 September 2006: Vol. 313. no. 5792, p. 1402, DOI: 10.1126/science.1130197.Recall the anger and outrage against the people who protested the death of Terry Schiavo.  Remember the claims that they were the ones being unreasonable and insensitive, and that the compassionate thing to do was to let Terry die, because she was not really living.  Now picture the possibility of her hearing all these things said about her but trapped inside, unable to communicate.  Imagine the fear and helplessness and pain of knowing you were being intentionally allowed to starve and dehydrate to death.  How many other times has a similar decision been made to a patient assumed to be “vegetative” and unaware?  Remember, these scientists said that negative responses in the brain scans are not definitive in diagnosing the awareness of a person.    What kind of nonsense applies a word like vegetative to a human being, anyway?  What are they insinuating, that this patient is nothing more than a carrot or rutabaga?  Notice how these researchers called the diagnosis of “vegetative state” as one of the “least understood and ethically troublesome conditions in modern medicine.”  Haven’t we learned that dehumanizing an individual is often the first step toward rationalizing the unthinkable?(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Darwin vs. the Fossils

first_imgWhat could be more iconic to evolution than dinosaurs and the horse series?  Museums often display skeletons of these animals as proof of evolution.  The real story told in scientific papers is often very different.  Two recent studies present major, serious challenges to Darwin’s theory.Horse series:  The old straight-line chart of horse evolution from a small dog-like animal to the modern thoroughbred is out.  Othniel Charles Marsh and Thomas Henry Huxley in the 1870s were possessed of a vision of straight-line evolution known as orthogenesis.  The iconic series presented in museums and textbooks has long been known to be erroneous.  Most evolutionists today realize that Darwin’s theory does not call for a single progressive line of descent, but rather a branching tree or bush.  Still, if Darwin’s theory is true, gradualism should prevail, with numerous intermediate forms progressing from ancestors to descendents.  Darwin himself taught that “Natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations; she can never take a great and sudden leap.”  Then came a paper in PNAS this week.1    A team of 22 international researchers led by Ludovic Orlando of the University of Lyon in France did one of the first-ever comprehensive comparisons of ancient DNA (aDNA) from fossil equids (including horses, donkeys and zebras).  These specimens came from 4 continents.  The results were so shocking, they call for an almost complete overhaul of the horse series.  For one thing, they concluded that many specimens relegated to separate species are actually variations on the same species.  For another, they found that for evolution to be true there had to be sudden bursts of diversification – Cambrian-like explosions within the horse family – contrary to Darwin’s prohibition of great and sudden leaps.  Here’s how they began:The rich fossil record of the family Equidae (Mammalia: Perissodactyla) over the past 55 MY has made it an icon for the patterns and processes of macroevolution.  Despite this, many aspects of equid phylogenetic relationships and taxonomy remain unresolved.  Recent genetic analyses of extinct equids have revealed unexpected evolutionary patterns and a need for major revisions at the generic, subgeneric, and species levels.  To investigate this issue we examine 35 ancient equid specimens from four geographic regions (South America, Europe, Southwest Asia, and South Africa), of which 22 delivered 87?688 bp of reproducible aDNA mitochondrial sequence.  Phylogenetic analyses support a major revision of the recent evolutionary history of equids and reveal two new species, a South American hippidion and a descendant of a basal lineage potentially related to Middle Pleistocene equids.  Sequences from specimens assigned to the giant extinct Cape zebra, Equus capensis, formed a separate clade within the modern plain zebra species, a phenotypicically [sic] plastic group that also included the extinct quagga.  In addition, we revise the currently recognized extinction times for two hemione-related equid groups.  However, it is apparent that the current dataset cannot solve all of the taxonomic and phylogenetic questions relevant to the evolution of Equus.  In light of these findings, we propose a rapid DNA barcoding approach to evaluate the taxonomic status of the many Late Pleistocene fossil Equidae species that have been described from purely morphological analyses.What they are saying is that the horse series had been built on morphological analyses – comparing the outward features of skeletons.  The molecular data they studied (ancient DNA) doesn’t match up.  They spoke of “explosive diversification” twice in the introduction, and then “rapid radiation” once for horses and another time for elephants and bears.  The only time they mentioned “gradual” was to debunk it: “The original linear model of gradual modification of fox-sized animals (Hyracothere horses) to the modern forms has been replaced by a more complex tree, showing periods of explosive diversification and branch extinctions over 55 MY” [million years].  Similarly, the only instance of the word “transition” connotes another bang: “The end of the Early Miocene (15?20 MYA) marks a particularly important transition, separating an initial phase of small leafy browsers from a second phase of more diverse animals, exhibiting tremendous body-size plasticity and modifications in tooth morphology.  This explosive diversification has been accompanied by several stages of geographic extension from North America to the rest of the New and Old Worlds.”  What this means is that these animals appeared in the fossil record suddenly without the gradual transitions Darwin expected, then appeared quickly all over the world.    They tried nonetheless to put the data into an evolutionary tree.  What resulted was confusion, disjunction, and irresolution.  Sample quote: “The lack of resolution is complicated by the short divergence time among caballines and New World horses (circa 0.5 MY; nodes A and B/B1/B2; Table S4) and the lack of a close outgroup, as has been noted with mammoths (30, 31).  When the rhino was used as an outgroup, the data were RY coded to reduce possible mutation saturation artifacts resulting from this the deep divergence (55 MYA), but this removed support for most nodes.”  Not only that, their best fit was at odds with previous theories.  This quote gives the feel of their frustration:According to our molecular dating estimates, the different equid lineages (hippidiforms, NWSL, caballines, and noncaballines) originated 3.7?4.3 MYA (95% confidence range: 2.8?6.2 MYA; Table S4).  This directly contrasts with classical palaeontological models of hippidiform origins as descendants of the Pliohippines (divergence time with the Equus lineage ~10 MYA) (19) or as a lineage diverging from a (Dinohippus, Astrohippus, and Equus) clade ~7?8 MYA (32), and considerably reduces the time gap between the supposed divergence of the hippidiform lineages and their first appearance in the fossil record 2.5 MYA (20).They had to leave resolution of these and other problems to future research.  Here’s one of their main take-home lessons: paleontologists have been too quick to split specimens into different groups.  The DNA data are showing that equids that appear morphologically different are really just variations of the same kinds.  Their final paragraph showed that their bombshell discovery could have impacts on many other evolutionary trees – including those of human ancestors:This pattern of taxonomic oversplitting does not appear to be restricted to equids but is widespread amongst other Quaternary megafauna [e.g., Late Pleistocene bison (49); Holarctic cave lions (50); New World brown bears (51), and ratite moas (52, 53)].  Together, these findings suggest that the morphological plasticity of large terrestrial vertebrates across space and time has generally been underestimated, opening the way to detailed studies of the environmental, ecological, and epigenetic factors involved.  Interestingly, in this regard the human lineage shows a rich fossil record over the last 6 MY, spreading over seven possible genera and 22 species (54).  The exact number of taxonomic groups that should be recognized is still debated, even within our own genus (55), and in this context it is pertinent to consider the degree of taxonomic oversplitting, from species to generic levels, that aDNA has revealed amongst Late Pleistocene equids and other megafauna.  A further important implication of this finding is that the number of megafaunal extinctions and loss of taxonomic diversity from the Pleistocene to modern day may not have been nearly as large as previously thought, at least at the species or subspecies level.  Conversely, at the molecular level, aDNA studies on a wide range of large mammal taxa (49, 50, 56, 57) have revealed that the loss of genetic diversity over this time period has been much larger than previously recognized with major implications for the conservation biology of surviving populations (58).non-sequitur to link this story to current climate debates.  At best, it is a distraction from the point of the article.Dinosaurs:  Maybe Darwin’s gradualism can be rescued with dinosaur fossils.  Not so; PhysOrg reported, “Fossils shake dinosaur family tree.”  A well-preserved fossil found in New Mexico, named Tawa after a Hopi sun god, is generating a similar song and dance we just saw for the horse series: “…an interesting fact about dinosaur evolution: once they appeared, they very rapidly diversified into the three main dinosaur lineages that persisted for more than 170 million years.”    The operative word is appeared.  This leaves important questions begging: appeared how and from what?  Darwin’s theory of common descent wants answers.  The new fossil is roughly similar to Herrerasaurus, considered by some to be the putative ancestor of the dinosaurs.  But Herrerasaurus is shown by its resemblance to Tawa to be a theropod.  In short, a fully-formed theropod “appeared” followed by an explosive appearance of all three main dinosaur types, which changed little for 170 million years in the evolutionary timeline.  Here’s how Sterling Nesbitt (U of Texas at Austin) explained it: “Tawa pulls Herrerasaurus into the theropod lineage, so that means all three lineages are present in South America pretty much as soon as dinosaurs evolved.”  This has to include the lumbering sauropods with their bird-hips and the carnivorous monster theropods with their lizard-hips; and what about the marine reptiles and pterosaurs?  They, too, “appeared” as from nowhere.    Another complication about Tawa is what it suggests about the source location of the missing ancestor, and how the descendents migrated.  At the New Mexico site, “Tawa skeletons were found beside two other theropod dinosaurs from around the same period,” the article continued.  “Nesbitt noted that each of the three is more closely related to a known dinosaur from South America than they are to each other.  This suggests these three species each descended from a separate lineage in South America, rather than all evolving from a local ancestor, and then later dispersed to North America and other parts of the supercontinent Pangaea.  It also suggests there were multiple dispersals out of South America.”  Positing three ancestral lines solves little; it multiplies the missing-ancestor problem threefold.    More on Tawa was reported by Nature News.  Jeanna Bryner at Live Science put a positive spin on the story, claiming, “Geographic Origin of Dinosaurs Pinned Down.”  She even put imaginary feathers (06/13/2007) on the critter: “Like Velociraptor, the dinosaur was likely covered with feather-like structures and sported claws and serrated teeth for snagging prey.”  If the ancestor if this creature crawled like a crocodile or amphibian, that’s a pretty dramatic overhaul in the body shop.  And what happened to the lumbering sauropods, if this is close to the ancestor of all dinosaurs?  It already looks like an advanced theropod.  Bryner did not explain how these dramatic changes in morphology occurred by an evolutionary process.  She only suggested that climate was a factor: “They think the answer is climate.  For some reason, only the carnivorous dinosaurs found temperatures in North America to be hospitable, the researchers suggest.”  (Note that her venue is Live Science, not Live Speculation.)    This month in the Creation Research Society Quarterly, the multiple-PhD creationist Dr. Jerry Bergman examined the issue of dinosaur evolution.2  He showed that the ancestry of dinosaurs is a hodgepodge of speculation without evidence.  He demonstrated this for the whole dinosaur clade, then specifically for the ceratopsids (like Triceratops) and the tyrannosaurids (like T. rex).  The picture, he said, is one of abrupt appearance, stasis, and extinction.  “Over 30 million dinosaur bones and parts, some in excellent states of preservation, have been identified, and although much speculation exists, not a single documented plausible direct ancestor has yet been located,” he said.  “All known dinosaurs appear fully formed in the fossil record.”  The news appears to confirm that picture.    Science Daily’s write-up contained this illustration of how evolutionary speculation operates: “Based on an analysis of the relationships among Tawa and other early dinosaurs, the researchers hypothesize that dinosaurs originated in a part of Pangea that is now South America, diverging into theropods (like Tyrannosaurus rex), sauropodomorphs (like Apatosaurus) and ornithischians (like Triceratops); and then dispersed more than 220 million years ago across parts of Pangea that later became separate continents.”  No basis for the analysis was given – other than a prior belief in evolution.  The artist reconstruction of Tawa looks nothing like an Apatosaurus or Triceratops.  The article did not mention any physical evidence of an ancestor or a location for it.  It did not mention any plausible way for a putative ancestor to “originate” or “diverge” into three very different body types.  Yet, somehow, this fossil “provides fantastic insight into the evolution of the skeleton of the first carnivorous dinosaurs” the article claimed.  As for causes for these changes, the study attributed all the evolution to climate and the missing ancestor’s ability to move around.  No evolutionary or genetic theory was defended, and no fossils were presented to support the “hypothesizing”  Dittos for the short write-up in National Geographic, which partly funded the research.  It claims the new fossil “boosts the theory” that dinosaurs “arose” then “diversified into three lineages and migrated out to the rest of the world, scientists say.”  If anyone in any other field, or a dad telling his children a bedtime story, invoked such evidence-free speculation, would it be called science?  The BBC News even allowed a scientist to state, without confrontation, that this fossil “filled a gap in the fossil record”.As icons for Darwinian evolution, it appears that horses and dinosaurs are not pulling their weight.  To show this is not an isolated problem, two other articles this week proclaim the same anti-gradualistic theme of abrupt appearance.  A press release from Howard Hughes Medical Institute Dec. 10 talked about experiments on stickleback fish.  “Biologists have been debating since Darwin’s time about whether evolution can proceed in a single large step or if numerous, individually minor changes are necessary.” the press release said.  “The new study, reported in the December 10, 2009, issue of Science Express and led by HHMI investigator David Kingsley of Stanford University, provides evidence that evolution can leap rather than shuffle.”  Even so, the article is primarily about gene loss and alterations in the regulation of existing genes – not the increases in genetic information that molecules-to-man evolution would require.  The best they could characterize the study was, “we are getting the first tantalizing glimpses of how new variants arise.”  Call back when you can see clearly.    Finally, Ken Smith reported for Nature News that “New species evolve in bursts.”  PhysOrg waxed even more dramatic, saying “Evolution may take giant leaps.”  What’s this about?  Mark Pagel compared four models of speciation, using “more than 100 species groups from the animal and plant kingdoms, including bumblebees, turtles, foxes and roses.”  His analysis refutes the “Red Queen” hypothesis of gradual, steady evolution, instead suggesting that “New species might arise as a result of single rare events, rather than through the gradual accumulation of many small changes over time, according to a study of thousands of species and their evolutionary family trees.”  Though a staunch evolutionist himself, Pagel realized how anti-Darwinian his feather-ruffling conclusion is: “It really goes against the grain because most of us have this Darwinian view of speciation,” he said.  “What we’re saying is that to think about natural selection as the cause of speciation is perhaps wrong.”    Maybe the new motto of the evolutionists should be, “One small step for a model; one giant leap for evolution.”  Or is that a leap of faith?1.  Orlando et al, “Revising the recent evolutionary history of equids using ancient DNA,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published December 9, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0903672106.2.  Available to the public in PDF at CRS.  Bergman, Jerry, “The Evolution of Dinosaurs: Much Conjecture, Little Evidence,” Creation Research Society Quarterly (Vol. 46, No. 2), Fall 2009.Single rare events – could that include something like six days of creation?  After all, the Darwinians are asking us to believe in miracles, anyway (sudden “giant leaps”, and animals that “arise” out of nowhere).  While Darwin is mumbling pathetically, with tears in his beard, let’s think about what the fossil evidence is telling us.(Visited 53 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Dark Energy: Can a Theoretical Entity Be Measured?

first_imgThe redshift of galaxies has been measured for some 90 years, but the existence of “dark energy” was postulated only recently – in the late 1990s.  It was needed to explain unexpected dimness of the most distant galaxies, as measured by Type Ia supernovae.  Some cosmologists claim they are measuring dark energy – others say it is an unnecessary quantity that may not even exist.    PhysOrg triumphantly announced that dark energy has been measured with more precision than ever before by astronomers using the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.  This measurement “Sheds New Light on Universe’s Expansion,” the article states.  Yet it becomes clear reading the article that what they were measuring were X-ray emissions from galaxy clusters, then combining the measurements with theoretical models of dark energy.    It should be apparent that only light can be measured, not darkness (the absence of light).  For instance, a record-breaking gamma ray burst was announced by Space.com: “A violent cosmic explosion has unleashed the brightest blast of X-rays ever detected from distant space, a signal so bright it temporary blinded the NASA space telescope assigned to spot it.”    Speaking of the Type Ia supernovae used to measure cosmic expansion, Science Daily said that the origin of these key cosmic explosions is still a mystery.  A spokeswoman for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said, “The question of what causes a Type Ia supernova is one of the great unsolved mysteries in astronomy.”  Scientists have models for them – such as the accretion of matter onto a white dwarf from a binary companion, or the collision of two white dwarfs – but no model explains all the observations.  This would seem to cast doubt on whether there is a single mechanism – and how, if not, astronomers can have confidence in their distance measurements (cf. 03/28/2010, bullet 5).    Science magazine hosted a written debate this week on the question, “Is dark energy really a mystery?”  Eugenio Bianchi and Carlo Rovelli in France answered “No.”  Dark energy is nothing more than lambda, the cosmological constant Einstein erroneously tossed out of his original field equations.  Since lambda is an integral part of his theory, and the current Cold Dark Matter (CDM) model employs it, there is no mystery.  Dark matter is not a substance, they said.  It is part of the explanatory apparatus.    Taking the affirmative, Rocky Kolb of Chicago acknowledged that the CDM model is the leader, with no observations against it, but said its success comes at a price: “In the model, only about 5% of the total mass�energy of the Universe is observed and understood, and 95% of the Universe is dark.”  Kolb is not impressed by attempts at alleging that a “new constant of nature” (the cosmological constant) “explains” dark energy.  To him, it fits the description of a mystery in the “non-theological” sense of the word: “Something not understood or beyond understanding.”  Moreover, if lambda is the measure of dark energy, it is “absurdly large” for a constant – on the order of 1028 per square centimeter.  Such a constant “cannot at present be related to any other known or expected length scale in nature, and “Attempts to explain this new length scale fail by many, many orders of magnitude.”  His objections then became philosophical and historical:We must demand more of cosmology than just piling on components or constants to a model to reproduce observations.  Otherwise, we would still happily be adding epicycles to the Ptolemaic model of planetary motion.  Cosmological models, along with their constants and components, must be grounded in laws of nature that we understand.  The magnitude of the cosmological constant cannot currently be explained by any physics we know.  Until it is, it is a mystery.See also the 09/28/2009, 06/30/2008 and 05/11/2006 entries, or search for “dark energy” in the search bar.1.  Bianchi, Rovelli, and Kolb, “Cosmology forum: Is dark energy really a mystery?”, Nature 466, pp 321�322, 15 July 2010, doi:10.1038/466321a.What kind of science ascribes 95% of reality to mysterious, unknown stuff (MUST) that must exist to keep a theory going? (see 02/28/2008).  If a religion did that, it would be laughed out of the observatory.  Kolb recalled a personal communication he had with maverick astronomer Tommy Gold: “for every complicated physical phenomenon there is a simple, wrong explanation.”  Scientists only fool themselves by giving names like “cosmological constant” to things they do not understand.  It’s a trick the Murphy’s Law books use for entertainment: (e.g., Skinner’s Constant: that quantity which, when added to, subtracted from, multiplied or divided by the answer you got, gives you the answer you should have gotten).  Make one up and explain the universe.  How about Darwin’s Constant: the tendency to speak beyond experience, defined in units of hubris per square paragraph.  Have some fun and send in your entry to the Feedback line.Dawkins’ Constant: The tendency for evolutionists to think they could have designed a better universe, planet, and life than God did. 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Embryonic Stem Cells Left in iPS Dust

first_img Have embryonic stem cells made any headway toward cures?  It’s sometimes hard to tell in news reports.  Science Daily ran a story from Monash University about research on how stem cells in the embryo differentiate into muscle tissue, for the purpose of helping the elderly who suffer from age-related muscle wasting conditions, but did not indicate whether human embryos were involved in the research.  It appears they studied chicken embryos to watch what happens as the stem cells develop into muscle, not for the purpose of injecting embryonic stem cells for treatment.     A paper in Nature about embryonic stem cell research appears limited to understanding transcription in normal animals,3 without any mention of potential applications for human health.  Similarly, an article on Science Daily discussed how scientists at the University of Pennsylvania are trying to understand how embryonic stem cells differentiate in living organisms.  While the press release stated that “Investigators want to make embryonic stem cells for liver or pancreatic beta cells for therapies and research,” there was no indication that the team has come anywhere close to that goal.  “By better understanding how a cell is normally programmed we will eventually be able to properly reprogram other cells,” one of them said.  Once again, embryonic stem cell therapy looks like a pipe dream.     Is there a “state of the stem cell” address?  An overview of stem cell research was provided by Erika Check Hayden in Nature,4 who said, “The field of induced pluripotent stem cells has grown up fast.  Now it is entering the difficult stage.”  She focused on the promise of iPS cells which are changing the face of biology.  “Like human embryonic stem cells, iPS cells could potentially be used as therapies, disease models or in drug screening,” she wrote.  “And iPS cells have clear advantages: they can be made from adult cells, avoiding the contentious need for a human embryo, and they can be derived from people with diseases to create models or even therapies based on a person’s genetic make-up.”     From there, Hayden described some of the “growing pains” of iPS stem cell research, but never mentioned any case in which embryonic stem cells are clearly superior to the ethics-friendly iPS cells.  The ease of reprogramming adult cells into pluripotent stem cells has led to a gold rush of research into promising therapies.  In spite of the fact that (as often happens in biology), “things are not as simple as we thought,” it was noteworthy that the thrust of Hayden’s article was about the strong momentum in the iPS research community.  The silent subtext is that embryonic research has apparently lost a lot of steam.  A few years ago, scientists were clamoring for access to human embryos for stem cell research.  Now, the discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) from human skin and other adult tissues has sidetracked interest in embryonic stem cells.  The momentum is clearly going with iPS.  Is there any longer a need for embryonic stem cell research? 1.  Chen, Lu, Cheng, Peng, and Wang, “Isolation and Characterization of Porcine Amniotic Fluid-Derived Multipotent Stem Cells,” PLoS One 6(5): e19964. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019964. 2.  Panopoulos, Ruiz et al, “Rapid and Highly Efficient Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells,” PLoS One 6(5): e19743. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019743. 3.  Pastor, Pape, Huang et al, “Genome-wide mapping of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in embryonic stem cells,” Nature, published online 08 May 2011, doi:10.1038/nature10102. 4.  Erika Check Hayden, Stem cells: The growing pains of pluripotency,” Nature published online 18 May 2011; Nature 473, 272-274 (2011); doi:10.1038/473272a. It has been very encouraging for people who value ethics to see adult stem cell research take off, leaving embryonic stem cell research in its rear-view mirror.  But what if it had turned out the other way?  What if embryonic stem cells were actively producing cures?  Experimenting on human embryos would still be unethical.  A basic principle of ethics is that ends do not justify the means (see commentary from the 09/03/2010 entry).  The past decade of stem-cell research has shown that some scientists’ greed for fame and money outruns their interest in ethics.  It takes a concerned public to keep science in check, because scientists are only human, prone to the same moral lapses as the rest of us.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0center_img Skirting controversy:  “Stem cell research courts both controversy and support in the community- depending on your viewpoint,” began an article on Medical Xpress.  “Now, for the first time, scientists at Monash University’s Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories (MISCL) have shown that they can make human stem cells from healthy adult kidneys without working on human embryos, circumventing ethical concerns around this research.”  A side-by-side comparison showed the kidney cells were just as good as embryonic stem cells in producing various tissues. Chemotherapy-resistant bone marrow:  Another article on Medical Xpress reported work at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center that stem cells from bone marrow can be genetically modified to resist damage from chemotherapy, helping cancer patients endure the treatment without harmful effects.     Previously, chemotherapy treatments for gliablastoma, a brain cancer, have taken a harsh toll on patients’ bone marrow.  “Our initial results are encouraging because our first patient is still alive and without evidence of disease progression almost two years after diagnosis,” a doctor said. Parkinson’s disease:  Researchers from South Korea and Harvard have identified a “protein-based” human iPS cell” that appears promising for reversing nerve cell loss in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.  Their experiments “reversed disease when transplanted into the brain of rats modeling Parkinson disease.”  Though the article mentioned embryonic stem cells as one of the two sources of stem cells, it did not produce any evidence that embryonic stem cells are effective – only the iPS cells. Vision forum:  Eye diseases such as “age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy and other retinal diseases” affect millions worldwide, an article on Medical Xpress said.  Can iPS stem cells from human skin treat these devastating conditions?  Apparently so; “Scientists from Schepens Eye Research Institute are the first to regenerate large areas of damaged retinas and improve visual function using iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells) derived from skin,” they said.  A paragraph in the article shows that many vision researchers would prefer to avoid ethical controversies with embryonic stem cells: While Tucker, Young and other scientists were beginning to tap the potential of embryonic and adult stem cells early in the decade, the discovery that skin cells could be transformed into “pluripotent” cells, nearly identical to embryonic cells, stirred excitement in the vision research community.  Since 2006 when researchers in Japan first used a set of four “transcription factors” to signal skin cells to become iPSCs, vision scientists have been exploring ways to use this new technology.  Like embryonic stem cells, iPSCs have the ability to become any other cell in the body, but are not fraught with the ethical, emotional and political issues associated with the use of tissue from human embryos. So far the tests are being done on mice.  “The two scientists say their next step will be to take this technology into large animal models of retinal degenerative disease and eventually toward human clinical trials.” Amniotic fluid health potion:  In a paper on PLoS One,1 Chinese researchers announced success deriving multipotent stem cells from amniotic fluid of pigs.  They were able to get these stem cells to differentiate into nerve, fat, and heart tissues without producing teratomas (tumors).  They said, “These optimal features of pAF-MSCs provide an excellent alternative stem cell resource for potential cell therapy in regenerative medicine and transgenic animals.”.  Even in China these researchers were aware of the controversy.  They said, “human amniotic fluid may be a new source of pluripotent stem cells without any ethical concerns associated with human embryonic stem cells (hES cells) research.” Umbilical vein health potion:  Another paper in PLoS One by the Salk Institute showed success at getting induced pluripotent stem cells from human umbilical vein endothelial cells.2  Their process was “rapid and highly efficient,” they reported, and produced stem cells that were “indistinguishable from human embryonic stem (ES) cells with regards to morphology, pluripotent marker expression, and their ability to generate all embryonic germ layers in vitro and in vivo.” Progeria find-and-replace:  An exciting discovery at Salk Institute shows the potential of adult stem cells to do “find and replace” operations on diseased genes, such as those with progeria, a degenerative disease that causes premature aging.  PhysOrg explained the process: The gene-targeting approach developed by Suzuki and his colleagues relies on the use of so-called helper-dependent adenoviral vector to deliver large mutation-free DNA molecules into cells.  Once there, these replacement pieces initiate a process known as homologous recombination, which works a bit like the “find-and-replace” command in a word processor.  If a piece of DNA is long enough, it will find and line up with the same sequence in the genome and swap places.     “The process was remarkably efficient and we couldn’t detect any undesired off-target effects such genomic instability or epigenetic abnormalities,” says Liu.  “What’s more, it allowed us to show that we can correct multiple mutations spanning large genomic regions.” The team used adult mesenchymal stem cells and iPS cells from progeria patients to test the genetic editing procedure.  The article said that these cells have been shown to differentiate into a wide variety of tissues, including “adipocytes, osteoblasts, chondrocytes, cardiomyocytes, adipocytes, and, as described lately, beta-pancreatic islets cells.” Regeneration takes a village of cells:  Don’t expect to grow a new arm with stem cells.  In an article on Science Daily, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that, at least for zebrafish, multiple cell types are needed to regrow a lost fin. Crop yields:  Plants have stem cells, too – and not just in their stems.  Researchers at Texas Agrilife Research are studying stem cells in Arabidopsis to learn how to make plants produce more fruit, seeds and leaves, according to PhysOrg.last_img read more

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Gender Dysphoria Is Not Biological

first_imgA new analysis of gender dysphoria finds causation in brain networks, not genetics or brain biology.In a day when growing numbers of people are questioning the gender of the body they were born in, and demanding laws to protect their chosen gender identity, it is vital to look at the science behind gender dysphoria. Can a person really be born in the wrong body? Is gender simply a matter of choice? Some transgender folks claim they are a man (or woman) born in the body of a woman (or man). If that were true, there should be some biological evidence: genetic, or detectable brain morphology.**Note: we are not discussing rare intersex individuals who actually have biological defects in their chromosomes or were born with ambiguous genitalia. “Transexual” individuals suffer emotional confusion about their gender with no biological basis.Credit: Chip Box, posted on World Magazine.One theory about transgenderism claims it is caused by brain structure: a boy developing a girl-type brain, or vice versa. That theory has been shot down by a study from the Society for Neuroscience, reported by Science Daily:A new theory of gender dysphoria argues the symptoms of the condition are due to changes in network activity, rather than incorrect brain sex, according to work recently published in eNeuro. (Visited 392 times, 2 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterest Gender dysphoria is a state of extreme distress caused by the feeling that a person’s true gender does not match the gender assigned at birth. The leading theory of the mechanism behind gender dysphoria attributes the condition to people possessing brains regions with the size and shape of the opposite sex, instead of their biological sex. However, recent brain imaging studies don’t support that theory.Stephen Gliske, publishing his theory in eNeuro, believes brain size and shape does not cause gender dysphoria. It’s in the brain networking, which is pliable:He proposes gender dysphoria is caused by altered activity in three networks — the distress, social behavior, and body-ownership networks — affecting distress and one’s sense of their own gender. Previous studies support the premise that activity changes in these networks are associated with anatomical changes and feelings of gender dysphoria.The new theory may disturb those looking to excuse and maintain their dysphoria. But it offers good news for people suffering from unnecessary distress who believe falsely that their brain makes them confused about their gender. “If supported by further research,” the press release says with a bit of hedging, “this theory could offer ways to treat the distress of gender dysphoria patients without relying on invasive and irreversible gender reassignment surgery.”In the paper, Gliske presents his “updated theory of gender dysphoria” with hope that it “may lead to therapies which directly address the underlying biology rather than just the subjective symptoms.” Gliske doesn’t state the following implications, but it seems the least invasive way to correct gender dysphoria is to help individuals to love and accept the gender that matches their biological reality. A healthy society should correct dysphoria with phoria, the ability for both eyes to focus together. Gender dysphoria puts the body and mind out of sync. Does a healthy culture wish to keep people cross-eyed? Like giving drug addicts free needles and drugs, acceptance only prolongs the harm. The loving thing is to help turn dysphoria into eudaimonia, a harmonious integration of mind and body.Standing up for TruthIn their Dec 6 radio broadcast Washington Watch, Family Research Council discussed a recently-discovered document that revealed a strategy by LGBT activists to push the culture toward full acceptance of their lifestyle. Host Sarah Perry interviewed Doug Mainwaring, whose article on LifeSiteNews unveiled a document that shows how they intentionally bypass legislation and the news media to surreptitiously nudge people through NGOs. The rapid success LGBT activists are achieving through these stealth methods makes it seem as if their views are on the “right side of history,” making their critics afraid to speak out.The title alone is alarming: “Only Adults? Good Practices in Legal Gender Recognition for Youth.” Although the slick 64-page document deals with specific practices and tactics that have proved successful for expanding transgender policies and power in a general way, it primarily focuses on how to hand power to children to declare whatever gender they choose while squashing parental authority and concern.Over the years, progressives who seek to fundamentally change society have diligently developed strategies that win. They don’t promote ideas that win on their own merit; in fact, they have had amazing success promoting ideas that most people would normally reject. As this newly published document demonstrates, LGBT activists rely on stealth, behind-the-scenes efforts that do an end run around public discourse and legislative processes, resulting in new laws, new regulations, and the untenable demands of the “woke” culture that are increasingly overtaking government at every level.In some cases, LGBT activists have turned to violence (WND, WND) using intimidation to make those with traditional views afraid to speak their minds. So thoroughly has the LGBT lobby brainwashed the culture about the normality of these “dysphoria” (anxiety) conditions, many normal people are afraid to state what used to be patently obvious: each of the letters in the LGBT acronym represent abnormal states of mind and behavior. That doesn’t imply that the dysphoric should be persecuted any more than drug addicts or sex addicts should be, but the proper solution cannot be to deny the truth. Academic institutions are succumbing to the pressure, not wanting to be perceived as falling behind (Phys.org).Even some Christians are compromising the clear teaching of Scripture, afraid to be judged as “homophobes” – a label often a precursor to loss of a job, funding, or even the ability to voice an opinion. A few retain the boldness to avoid being dragged along with the culture; see Erik Rush on WND, and notice how scary it sounds these days to state the obvious. Mike Brown on WND deals with strategies for pastors and businesses when faced by threats to compromise with the culture’s growing intolerance of traditional morality and biological facts.The biological family is the foundation of a healthy society.An important recent book by Nancy Pearcey, Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality, analyzes the morass of sexual and political problems that sprang from “social contract” theory – the ideas of Rousseau and other Enlightenment philosophers who, by declaring independence from God as Creator, renounced the biological bases of sex, gender and marriage that people had lived by for millennia. Pearcey explains why a neo-Gnostic “two-story” philosophy that separated the body below from the self above has opened a Pandora’s box of personal and political disasters that are currently destroying marriage itself, and sending masses of people into confusion and distress in opposition to their created biological nature. The consequences of rejection of God’s order as taught in Genesis, Pearcey shows, include loss of freedom for all families. For instance, if biologically unrelated men or women can be granted parenting rights in a same-sex union, then government becomes the arbiter of who gets those rights, and who can be deprived of parenting rights. This puts all children at risk, and gives more power to civil government. In Genesis, those rights are God-given, based in our biological nature and the plan of God for marriage and family. The exceptions where biological parents are unable to fulfill their roles do not undermine the rule. Government can help in those situations, but marriage and parenting rights preceded government. They are human rights, part of the “unalienable rights” from our Creator.Well-written, honest and sensitive, without being judgmental, Pearcey’s eye-opening and well-documented book explores divorce, the hook-up culture, the collapse of marriage, homosexuality, transgenderism and gender dysphoria. Readers may become distressed at reading about these catastrophic consequences of rejecting God’s Word that are happening now with increasing intensity. But it’s the only way to understand what is going on, how society got to this messy condition, and what the solution must be. Marriage makes perfect sense biologically and morally when seen as a covenant, not a social contract, that involves not just the self but the community of relatives and children that result from a heterosexual union, creating relationships for the good of society. Throughout the book, Pearcey gives a positive message that God created sex and gender for our good. She shows why our greatest happiness will come from being what we were created to be.Everything created by God is good (I Timothy 4:4). Photo by DFC from AiG Creation Museum.last_img read more

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SA’s R80bn methane project

first_imgNT Energy UK, its empowerment partner Bataung Oil and the state-owned Central Energy Fund are to begin exploration for coalbed methane reserves as part of a project to develop sustainable sources of alternative energy for the country.Engineering News reported last week that GascoSA, which is exploring for the gas in three South African provinces, could be in commercial methane production in 18 months, spending US$169-million (about R1.1-billion) by the end of that period.GascoSA is 60% owned by NT Energy Africa, which comprises NT Energy UK and local empwerment company Bataung Group, and the state-owned Central Energy Fund (CEF).According to its website, CEF is involved in the search for appropriate energy solutions to meet the future energy needs including oil, gas, electrical power, solar energy, low-smoke fuels, biomass, wind and renewable energy sources.It also manages the operation and development of the oil and gas assets and operations of the South African government.According to BuaNews, the project, which is endorsed by the Department of Minerals and Energy as part of its mandage to secure energy for the coutry, represents a potential investment of U$10-billion over the next seven to 10 years in infrastructure and a pipeline rollout.Bataung Group chairman Billy Modise said that for the country to meet its development and job creation targets as outlined by the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgi-SA), developing a sustainable source of alternative energy had become non-negotiable.“The development of sustainable sources of alternative energy has become a strategic priority for South Africa, especially as current demand continues to outstrip capacity,” Bataung Group MD Kinesh Pather told BuaNews. “Coal bed methane and the conversion of gas to liquid fuels provide a real, clean and long-term alternative to the current energy crisis.”NT Energy official Chris Mumby told Mining Weekly Online last week that the company had spoken informally with state-owned electricity utility Eskom about methane uptake, while it was also open to partnering with independent power producers.According to Engineering News, studies to reveal gas content would be completed by the middle of 2008, and viability studies by the fourth quarter of the year. If viable reserves are found, production drilling would take a further year.last_img read more

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Airlink eyes flights to Bhisho

first_img15 May 2009The Eastern Cape government has held talks with domestic airline Airlink about the possibility of introducing flights between Cape Town, Bhisho and Mthatha.“There is a huge opportunity for us here, and any Airlink aircraft can land here,” Airlink chief operations officer Johan van Jaarsveld said in Bhisho this week, adding that the newly refurbished Bhisho Airport infrastructure met the airline’s requirements.“We will send an operations team to do an audit of operational facilities,” he said.The company has also asked the provincial transport department to upgrade its infrastructure at the Mthatha Airport in order to allow for an evening flight between Johannesburg and Mthatha.According to a statement released by the provincial government this week, the parties agreed that while waiting for the physical upgrade at Mthatha Airport to start by July 2009, the runway lights needed urgent attention.Blue SkywayThe initiative forms part of the department’s Blue Skyway Aviation Strategy, which seeks to attract investment to the Bhisho and Mthatha Airports.The department intends to have a second airline between Mthatha and Johannesburg, including an evening flight, while a future link to Durban from Mthatha is envisaged as soon as the correct type of service is developed.The provincial government also aims to link Port Elizabeth to Mthatha via Bhisho to allow faster movement between these three areas and to reduce the number of government vehicles on these routes.Wild Coast accessThis aim is also to boost tourism in the region by improving access to the Wild Coast, a popular tourist destination.The airport will also contribute to local business development, with people coming directly to Mthatha instead of having to fly to East London and then drive for three hours.“Our doors are wide open for any investor that wants to come forward and add value to this project,” said provincial transport minister Gloria Barry.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Mandela Day now a global event

first_imgNelson Mandela waving at the crowd at a 46664 concert, held every year to raise awareness about HIV/Aids. (Image: 46664 Arctic) The UN has declared 18 July Nelson Mandela International Day in recognition of the former South African president’s commitment to human rights, conflict resolution and reconciliation.Starting in 2010, the day will be observed each year on 18 July – Mandela’s birthday – and people across the world will be urged to dedicate 67 minutes of their time to uplift society in some way.UN General Assembly paid tribute to Mandela in its 64th session in New York on 10 November, adopting a draft resolution put forward by South African ambassador to the UN, Baso Sangqu. The resolution seeks to make the international community aware of Mandela’s humanitarian work.It also recognises Mandela’s “leading role in and support for Africa’s struggle for liberation and unity, and his outstanding contribution to the creation of a non-racial, non-sexist democratic South Africa”.The UN invited all member states, its organisations and other international organisations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organisations and individuals, “to observe Nelson Mandela International Day in an appropriate manner”.Mandela Day in SAThe idea of Mandela Day was first introduced by South African president Jacob Zuma in 2009. It became a nationwide campaign to get the public involved in charitable activities, also for 67 minutes on 18 July – the day Mandela turned 91.The number of minutes was significant because it represented the 67 years since the former president first started fighting for human rights and the abolition of apartheid.Although Mandela Day began as a South African initiative, the international community was involved with a launch at a glittering music concert in New York, where musicians such as Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Wycleaf Jean and French first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy performed.At this launch, via video streaming, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and US president Barack Obama endorsed the idea to make it a worldwide event.“Mandela is a living embodiment of the highest values of the United Nations,” Ban said. “His commitment to a democratic, multi-racial South Africa; his steadfast pursuit of justice; his willingness to reconcile with those who persecuted him most – these are just some of the hallmarks of a remarkable man.”Back home, South Africans came out in numbers to support Mandela Day. Some started street clean-up campaigns, while others helped out at orphanages and old-age homes.Jeffsville – an informal settlement outside one of the country’s capital cities, Pretoria – marked the day by hosting a reconciliation event. Both South Africans and foreigners living there committed to forgive the xenophobic attacks of 2008 waged against foreign residents, which left scores dead and thousands homeless.“On 18 July 2009 millions of people across the globe came together to give 67 minutes or more of their time in community service, their actions inspired by the life’s work of Nelson Mandela,” said Sangqu in a statement.“In turn, the actions of these millions of people – men, women and youth across the globe and from all sectors of society, including heads of state, governments, NGOs and civil society – have inspired us to introduce this draft resolution to the General Assembly,” he added.The Non-Aligned Movement, an international body of states not formally aligned with any major power bloc, has been one of the strongest supporters of the campaign. During its summit in Egypt in July, the organisation passed a special declaration to lobby the UN to give Mandela Day international status.Support for resolutionCanada commended the adoption of the resolution. The country’s Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said the day would help disseminate ideals that Mandela stands for. “This day will remind us of the importance of fighting injustice, upholding freedom and democracy and promoting a culture of peace throughout the world.“Nelson Mandela truly exemplifies commitment to a people, moral fortitude and service to humanity. He has also shown us how it is possible to be both a leading statesman and an exceptional human being. His work on conflict resolution and the protection of children’s rights only adds to his legacy,” Cannon added.Madiba, as Mandela is affectionately known, is also the recipient of a Companion of the Order of Canada and is an honorary Canadian citizen. “[He] is an inspiration to us all,” Cannon said.The Nelson Mandela Foundation has also welcomed the resolution. “The Nelson Mandela Foundation and its sister charities are pleased with the declaration of July 18, Nelson Mandela’s birthday, as ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’ – an international day of activism,” it said in a statement.The foundation was set up after Mandela’s retirement in 1999 and works to create a legacy of his life and work.More about MadibaMandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected president in 1994 after working tirelessly to unite black and white South Africans when the country was living through violent and troubled times.He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, with then South African president FW de Klerk, for his efforts in finding a peaceful resolution to the country’s deep-rooted conflicts.Before his presidency Mandela was heavily involved in anti-apartheid activities led by the then-banned African National Congress and was convicted on charges of sabotage. He served 27 years in prison, many of which were spent with other sentenced freedom fighters on the desolate Robben Island, 12km off the coast of Cape Town.As a champion of reconciliation, Mandela was also instrumental in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was set up by South Africa’s Government of National Unity to help deal with the atrocities of apartheid.Although he has officially retired, he continues to voice his opinion on topical humanitarian issues and campaigns globally for peace, children and the fight against HIV/Aids.last_img read more

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Khama: lift sanctions on Zimbabwe

first_imgPresidents Ian Khama and Jacob Zumareport back on their bilateral discussions. A guard of honour welcomes the twoheads of state to Freedom Park. Khama and Zuma lay a wreath at Isivivanein Freedom Park, Pretoria.(Images: The Presidency)MEDIA CONTACTS • Saul Kgomotso MolobiChief Director for Public Diplomacy+27 82 940 1647 RELATED ARTICLES • Science university for Botswana • Boundless Southern Africa • New Zimbabwe deal in sight • SA, Angola strengthen ties• SADC free trade area launchedJanine ErasmusSouth African President Jacob Zuma recently received the president of Botswana, Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama (Ian a Sêrêtsê), on Khama’s first official state visit to his country’s southern neighbour.Khama and his entourage of seven ministers, senior government officials and representatives from the business sector, were in South Africa on 5 and 6 October at Zuma’s invitation. The intention was to strengthen relations between the two countries.Discussions between the two heads of state centred on the Zimbabwean political situation and the sanctions currently imposed on that country, but also turned to ways in which to create opportunities for economic and industrial development for their own nations, leading to job creation and better lives for citizens.Topics included the challenges faced by both countries in terms of health and communicable diseases, as well as continuing commitment to the Southern African Customs Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).The two leaders also discussed the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation between their nations. This scheme covers a wide range of agreements on issues of mutual interest, including tourism, trade, agriculture, science and technology, health, sport, and arts and culture.Another special area of concern was that of natural heritage, which is a significant tourist drawcard for the whole region.South Africa and Botswana have worked together on the foundation of two vast trans-frontier parks – the Kgalagadi Park between South Africa, Botswana and Namibia; and the Greater Mapungubwe Park between Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.Fruitful discussionsAfter the first day of talks Zuma stated that the proceedings had gone well.“This morning we had fruitful discussions covering a wide range of areas in our bilateral cooperation,” he said. “We are satisfied with the good relations that so happily exist between our sister countries.”The two leaders then visited Freedom Park in Pretoria to host a wreath-laying ceremony during which they honoured the thousands who gave their lives during South Africa’s liberation struggle. The ceremony took place at Isivivane – the resting place of those who fought and died for freedom.Zuma took the opportunity to thank Khama and the Botswana nation for giving sanctuary to many South African refugees who were hunted by authorities during those turbulent times.Khama also visited former president Nelson Mandela during his stay in South Africa.Before departing, Khama invited his South African counterpart to visit Botswana. Zuma accepted, and the dates will be finalised through normal diplomatic channels.Contentious situationSouthern African countries have been at odds with the European Union (EU) and the US over the contentious subject of Zimbabwean sanctions, with Zuma arguing that the situation is doing more harm than good, and is in fact hindering Zimbabwe’s economic recovery. The EU and US are disputing this claim, and remain adamant that they will not lift sanctions.During his state visit Khama added his voice to the Zimbabwe debate, saying that he too was sceptical at first, believing that the imposition of sanctions was necessary. When political unrest in Zimbabwe was at its peak about two years ago, Khama was outspoken in his criticism of President Robert Mugabe, asking SADC to close the country’s borders and isolate the ageing head of state.“The sanctions are now starting to be a hindrance and we have to call on those imposing them to reconsider their position because the situation is better in Zimbabwe,” he said, referring to the establishment of the Government of National Unity in February 2009.This is the power-sharing arrangement between Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai heading his branch of the Movement for Democratic Change or MDC-T, and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara of the MDC-M.“As easily as they can be imposed,” said Khama at a media briefing in Pretoria, “sanctions can be removed, and I believe this should be done as a demonstration of goodwill with Zimbabwe”.Khama added that the embattled Southern African country has shown some progress in the economic and political sectors, and the lifting of sanctions would help that upward movement. Relations between his country and Zimbabwe, which took a turn for the worse after Khama’s condemnation of Mugabe, have recently begun to improve.“We also have concerns, but let’s remove the sanctions to demonstrate good faith and see where we go from there.”last_img read more

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Nollybooks: Literacy with love

first_imgMEDIA CONTACTS • +27 11 656 6349 +27 71 236 2118 (Image: info@mmepublishing.co.za) “Chris Rock, the American comedian, jokes that if you want to hide something from a black person, put it in a book. Let’s prove him wrong and let’s get reading, sistas!” That call to action comes from Sis’ Nolly, the face of Nollybooks, a new South African romance imprint aiming to make readers out of young black women. Nollybooks takes the British Mills & Boon model of chick-lit romance written to a formula and adapts it for the urban South African context, with recognisable – if aspirational – characters, settings, language and culture. But it further adapts the model for a less literate society with the “bookazines” format, with a letter from the editor – Sis’ Nolly – in the front and word games, quizzes, a glossary, book club talking points and celebrity news included at the back.The series, launched in October 2010, is an imprint of MME Media and the brainchild of Nigeria-born Moky Makura, a writer, TV presenter and producer, PR pioneer and, now, publisher.Makura, who has an Honours degree in politics, economics and law from Buckingham University in the UK, is on a mission to get “aliterate” young South Africans – particularly girls and young women aged 16 to 24 – back to books.“For many young people in this country, the last books they read were probably at school,” she told City Press a few months before the Nollybooks launch last year. “It is likely the books were not books they would have chosen to read, so it may also have been a negative experience – so they stop when they leave school.”Makura points to the fact that more than 3-million South Africans are illiterate, 8-million functionally illiterate, and many millions more aliterate – they can read books, but don’t. It’s this last, vast market that Nollybooks targets.“We’ve identified a big gap in the market and the time it takes before young people can afford to buy at Exclusive Books,” Makura said. “It’s pricey and intimidating.”Creating an entirely new market of readers out of ordinary, aliterate South Africans has been done before – to huge success. The country’s first tabloid newspaper Daily Sun revolutionised the local publishing industry by tapping into the market of working-class readers, people who had never bothered with newspapers before. Launched in 2002, Daily Sun is by far South Africa’s largest paper, with daily sales of some 500 000 – three times that of its nearest rivals – and a readership of over 3-million people.Like Daily Sun, Nollybooks seeks to attract readers with a low price – R50 a book, between half and a third of the cost of a conventional novel – and content that speaks to their lives.“I named this company Nollybooks because we must write our own stories and make them accessible,” Makura told City Press. “The best way to get people to enjoy books is to give them content they enjoy.”The name of the imprint reflects her inspiration from the success of local storytelling in her the film industry of Nigeria, her home country. “I believe we Africans want to see ourselves reflected in the content that we consume,” she said. “Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry, was created by Nigerians telling their own stories to themselves. It’s an incredibly successful, self-sustaining industry. It shows that despite questionable production values, people want to see themselves.”The bookazine format is also an attempt to fit with the readers’ lives, being smaller than most books and so easier to fit in a handbag and read on a bus or taxi to and from work. The glossary of more difficult words included with each book will be useful to members of an aspirational generation, young second-language English speakers keen to improve their language. And dictionaries are rarely found in homes, let alone on public transport.Nollybooks have so far published 11 titles, including The Perfect Holiday Romance, The Spy Who Loved Him, A Man Worth Knowing and More than Friends. Most were written by first-time authors. The Nollybooks team see nurturing new writing talent as part of their goal to spread literacy in South Africa, so they encourage new writers, offer writing tips on the website and recently held a writing workshop at the National Book Week in Johannesburg.The plots of the books are fun, upbeat and very local. In The Spy Who Loved Him, journalist Thuli Mabena takes on a job as domestic worker for wealthy businessman Luasi Nkosi, all the while spying on him and reporting back to her readers on how the rich and famous treat their employees.In Looking for Mr Right, Cassandra is fed up with making wedding gowns for other women while she stays single. Online dating seems a good idea – “until she realises that what glitters in cyberspace isn’t gold in the flesh”. Neo in More Than Just Friends is excitedly awaiting her childhood friend Nceba’s return to South Africa, expecting the awkward-looking boy she grew up with. She is “stunned to see a devastatingly handsome man, and the two immediately rekindle their friendship …”Like the hugely successful international franchise Mills & Boon, all Nollybooks are put together according to a formula that dictates plots, character and writing style.“Formulaic writing works,” Makura told The Times. “It captures readers. It gives them a guarantee. They know what to expect. It’s like watching a soap opera. There is a little bit of the same in each book, and this is like what Enid Blyton does for young readers, too – helping to creating reading habits.”But unlike Mills & Boon, and despite many lines given to the protagonist’s attractions – “How did he keep his body so trim and rugged with all the time he spent in court; settlement after settlement?” – there is no sex.“We are sensitive to the reality of South Africa, to Aids and to young girls,” Makura said.“The sex happens after the story finishes.”last_img read more

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Direct access to top cops’ numbers

first_imgRay Maota Police officers have been urged to retaintheir physique. National Commissioner of Police Bheki Celeand other top officials have given out theirmobile phone numbers as part of thepolice’s community safety initiative.(Images: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Zweli MnisiChief Director: Communications/Spokesperson Ministry of Police+27 12 393 4341 / +27 21 467 7007South Africa’s National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele has made it easier for South Africans to report crime by giving out his personal mobile phone number and encouraging other top officials to do the same.Cele announced his number at a recent community meeting in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, and called on his colleagues present to follow his example.This was aimed at improving the public’s communication with police and promoting community safety.Zweli Mnisi, media liaison officer for the Ministry of Police, said: “We are in the process of printing out a national directory so all citizens will have access to the numbers of generals and other officials.”There have been talks of introducing a new nation-wide emergency number for crime reporting, but this idea has been put on hold to investigate alternative solutions.According to the Electronic Communications Act, 112 will be the new number to dial in case of a public emergency – and calls to it will be free from fixed lines and mobile phones. Operators will be able to direct the complaint to the local authorities where the call was made.The new number was proposed due to reported difficulties in reaching the police call centre on 10 111, which is the existing emergency line.In Soshanguve there have been complaints that calls to 10 111 are not being answered and there’s no follow up once a crime is reported to that number.Although there are problems with the 10 111 call centre, Mnisi said the number “is still effective in some cases”.“But there’s a combination of various issues. We’re constantly working on efficiency by training officers and making sure they’re equipped to deal with the calls – but sometimes there’s no passion and commitment from the police officers.”Mnisi added that the high incidence of prank calls to 10 111 also caused difficulties.John Moodey, Democratic Alliance leader in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and deputy spokesperson on community safety, said a new nation-wide emergency number was a good idea.He added that “direct communication with police officers has also proven to be useful”.Moodey pointed out that there were, however, some drawbacks of using the 112 detail. “The number will work if you have a problem at your home or place of work in the area, but what happens when you’re travelling between two districts or are just not in your area?”Crime-reporting process forBy dialling 10 111, South Africans are put through to a 24-hour crime-reporting call centre.An operator takes down all the details from the caller and a reference number is given to the person as proof of having called. All conversations are recorded for accountability.A vehicle from the nearest police station is then dispatched to the scene. The Flying Squad is called in to respond to high-priority cases that need to be reached quickly.Calls to the centre are free from a fixed line, but are charged at regular mobile phone rates when the latter is used.“An internal review of the performance of 10 111 has been done. Part of the issue is that call centre agents don’t know how to appropriately classify the cases being reported, so we are refining our recruitment,” Mnisi said.No-nonsense approachGeneral Bheki Cele was appointed police commissioner in July 2009, replacing Jackie Selebi.He soon became known for his no-nonsense approach to crime and declaring war on criminals.He was previously the MEC for Transport, Safety and Security in KwaZulu-Natal.Since his appointment, Cele has emphasised the need for police officers to be fit and in shape to fight crime effectively. He’s also vowed to fight corruption within the ranks of the police.“If you are wearing a size 32 uniform today, it must stay that way for the next seven years – don’t come back in two years time and ask for a size 34,” he said.last_img read more

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Obama praises SA’s Aids leadership

first_img1 July 2013 US President Barack Obama has praised South Africa for leading the way in tackling HIV/Aids and in so doing paving the way for a brighter future for the country’s people. Obama, who is on a three-nation tour of Africa, visited the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre in Cape Town on Sunday during a jam-packed visit which included a meeting with President Jacob Zuma on Saturday in Pretoria. “South Africa obviously has faced a heavy burden from HIV as well as other diseases – tuberculosis, most recently. But the great news is that South Africa is now leading the way in caring for its citizens, in paving the way for a brighter future for the South African people and their families.” Obama said that because of the work being done on the ground, and with the backing of a partnership between the United States and South Africa – a model which has been duplicated across the continent – there was the possibility of achieving an Aids-free generation. While South Africa had done terrific work, Obama said he was proud that the United States had been a major partner on this issue through the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar). “We’ve seen more than $3.7-billion in supporting South Africa’s efforts to combat HIV and Aids. “Together, we’re investing in building South Africa’s capacity to manage a national response to HIV and Aids. The South African government is showing leadership up and down the line.” Obama said the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre was a wonderful example of the transition from receiving US government support through Pepfar to independent funding that continues to secure the health of Africa’s next generation. Obama met with counsellors and outreach workers from the centre and said it was because of their work that there had been a reduction in the stigma around testing on HIV/Aids and greater education around prevention. He said he had seen treatment that allowed people to manage HIV and live long and productive lives. Tutu thanked Obama for the contribution that Pepfar had made in the struggle against TB, HIV/Aids and malaria, not just in South Africa but in other parts of Africa. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Senegalese humanitarian appointed Fifa’s first female secretary-general

first_imgFifa’s new secretary-general is an African, and just as extraordinary, a woman. Senegal’s Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura’s appointment is being greeted with optimism in the football world with Fifa’s president Gianni Infantino believing she is the best person to help him rebuild the organisation.Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura’s two decades with the United Nations gives her the experience to help Fifa remake itself as a better run more transparent organization. (Image: Fifa) •Fifa World Cup Legacy Trust has changed lives•When football became Africa’s game• Promising future for South African football• African footballers call on their juju men• R3m boost for South African football schoolSulaiman PhilipA United Nations humanitarian coordinator will replace the disgraced Jerome Valcke as secretary-general of Fifa. It is hoped that Senegal’s Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura, a woman with 21 years of experience at the UN, will help the football governing body restore its integrity and improve the perception of it being an ethically challenged organisation.In announcing her appointment – she will join the organisation in June – Fifa president Gianni Infantino said Samoura’s appointment showed his administration’s resolve to change Fifa. “She has a proven ability to build and lead teams, and improve the way organisations perform. Importantly for Fifa, she also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organisation.”For her part, Samoura believes in Infantino’s mission to bring “football back to Fifa and Fifa back to football”. Her appointment is a step into another strategic, high-impact rebuilding position for the senior logistics officer of the UN’s World Food Programme. “Fifa is taking a fresh approach to its work – and I am eager to play a role in making that approach as effective and lasting as possible.”Samoura’s appointment is a breath of fresh air for an organisation that has always appointed leaders from within the world of football. She is, according to Infantino, the spur that will help Fifa restore and rebuild. “No one exemplifies what we need more than Fatma does, and we are thrilled that she has joined our team. Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time.”While she may have no experience negotiating television or sponsorship deals, she has spent her UN career brokering pacts and negotiating agreements worth hundreds of millions of dollars.It is this experience that made her the ideal replacement for the flawed Valcke, says Infantino. “She has a proven ability to build and lead teams, and improve the way organisations perform. Importantly for Fifa, she also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organisation.”Samoura earned a master’s degree in English and Spanish – just two of at least four languages she speaks – from the University of Lyon and a post-master’s degree from the Institut d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées – Strasbourg-France in international relations and international trade.The Fifa president praised her experience and vision, which was gained working on some of the most challenging issues facing the globe. Samoura has served as country representative or director for six African countries – Djibouti, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Madagascar and Nigeria – with responsibility for budgeting, human resources, and procurement.She oversees 2 000 staff in a multicultural organisation, and monitors and evaluates the security, political and socioeconomic situation in Nigeria for the World Food Programme.Infantino wants to split administration duties at Fifa into two to cover football-specific aspects and the administration and business part. He sees Samoura as the perfect and most competent person as he rebuilds Fifa from within. “Her expertise will complement the long-standing and deep knowledge of world football within the Fifa leadership team and administration.”The BBC’s sports editor, Dan Roan, called Samoura’s appointment important for two reasons. First, he wrote, it shows Infantino’s desire to reach out to Africa’s footballing administrators who remember Sepp Blatter as the man who brought the World Cup to Africa.With her experience and being from outside Fifa, Roan went on, she fills sponsors and fans demands for someone independent from the football politics that has tainted the organisation. “With new reforms limiting the powers of the Fifa president, Ms Samoura arguably becomes the most important figure in world football. Effectively the chief executive of the governing body, she will be in charge of the day-to-day running of the organisation as it attempts to recover from the corruption crisis that has threatened its very existence.”One of the most important reforms is the elevation of more women to senior positions in what had previously been a boys’ club. The new Fifa Council must include at least one woman from each of Fifa’s six confederations. Besides Samoura, six more women will be joining decision-making bodies at Fifa, up from just a single female voice in the former executive council.last_img read more

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South Africa to build 43 hospitals

first_img19 February 2014 The South African government plans to build at least 43 hospitals and 213 clinics in the next five years for the country’s proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) system, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said at a media briefing at Parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday. The Department of Health also plans to refurbish and re-equip 870 clinics in the 11 NHI pilot districts, Motsoaledi said. The building of 43 brand-new hospitals would facilitate a seamless referral system upwards, he said. The minister said that, since 1994, access to health services had been a priority for the government: “Many areas, especially black rural areas, did not even have primary healthcare facilities in the form of clinics. Hence, a lot of clinics were constructed in the rural areas under a special programme foreseen at the national level but implemented at provincial level. “Today, more than 40% of all clinics existing in South Africa were built after Tata Nelson Mandela became our first democratically elected president,” Motsoaledi said. According to Stats SA, the number of people who go directly to clinics had increased from 44.5% in 2004 to 55.6% in 2012. Motsoaledi said this was an indication of increased access to primary healthcare facilities.Human resources for health According to the World Health Organisation, adequate numbers of medical staff are among the six building blocks of a healthcare system. Motsoaledi said that by January 2014, 44 000 community-service health professionals had been placed in rural and underserved areas since the introduction of community service in 1998. “This has greatly increased access to health care. We have asked our medical schools to try and over stretch themselves and we are happy that they have obliged,” he said. “In 2012, 220 additional medical students, who would ordinarily not be admitted to medical schools, were enrolled. This figure increased to 425 across our medical schools.” There are currently 2 074 South African students from rural areas and disadvantaged backgrounds studying medicine in Cuba. The department has increased the number of students studying in Cuba to 1 000 a year, compared to 60 at the programme’s start. Motsoaledi said support from the Public Health Enhancement Fund should produce 1 000 PhDs in 10 years time. Most of the recently registered PhDs are in the field of HIV and Aids and TB research. SAinfo reporter and SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Relationship Consultant

first_imgJob DetailsJob Title: Relationship ConsultantDepartment: Stakeholder Relations: Government, Civil Society, BusinessReporting To: Strategic Relationship ManagerDate of Circulation: 14 October 2015Job purposeTo manage and influence relationships with key stakeholders as identified and prioritised in the strategic plan to promote Brand SA’s branding and communications objectives in partnership with these stakeholders, to external audiences. To play a key programmatic role in the definition and delivery of projects through obtaining the brief from internal or external stakeholders, developing internal briefs where required, needs and expectations of the stakeholders and ensuring they are effectively addressed in the roll-out plan facilitated by Brand SA and through efficiently leveraging stakeholder resources. The Relationship Consultant is one of the main Brand SA custodians of the relationship with identified stakeholders and a key output is to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of these collaborations.Minimum Requirements:Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science/ Economics/ Marketing/ Business Management/ Project Management.Preferred: Postgraduate degree in Political Science / Economics / Marketing / Business Management (e.g. MBA)/ Project Management.Comprehensive understanding of the social, business, political and legislative environment (domestic and international) within which Brand SA operates.Thorough knowledge of the workings of the political, business and macro-economic environment (domestic and internationally).Understanding the socio economic environment (domestic and internationally).Working knowledge of systems and processes and how they contribute to organisational performance.Advanced knowledge of how to determine value from a customer perspective.Ability to segment clients as well as contribute to a stakeholder strategy development process.5+ years combined project management experience in marketing, communications, public relations, stakeholder relations, at a mid-management level.5 years’ experience using systems such as excel and or Microsoft projects to deliver high level Gannt and planning charts.Key Performance Areas:Development of programme specific projects and initiativesWith reference to Brand SA business plan and signed MoU’s with priority stakeholders, unpack, research, workshop and develop implementation plans to activate the delivery of a project / initiative / campaign in line with the integrated marketing and communications programme and stakeholder expectations.Maintain and manage relationships with the right decision-makers and influencers and canvass all input from geographic and stakeholder plans and target group information.Sell the project / initiative / campaign plan for buy-in and approval (sign-off) with relevant stakeholder priority base (levels, locations, platforms, decision-makers, beneficiaries)Sell the project / campaign / initiative to the relevant stakeholder bases and decision-makers / beneficiaries to ensure buy-in in terms of the content, tone, roll-out mechanism(s), budget, audience target(s), collaborative ownership, time lines and output.Feedback stakeholder inputs, research, scanning of the environment, and other relevant information (budgets, changing priorities) back to Marketing and Communications for refinement and amendment in the activation plans to ensure sign-off.Compliance, monitoring and reportingMonitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the stakeholder-implemented initiatives (including risks) and reflect this in the quarterly reporting in accordance with the contracted performance measurement and business plan scorecard of the organisation.To scan the wider public policy environment to identify and leverage opportunities for future work where supportive of the strategic aims of Brand SA, develop leads to establish relationships with public policy makers and influencers and identify opportunities for joint future work where appropriate. (E.g. new international relations strategy, diplomacy rules for sectors and geographic regions).Ensure adherence to the project corporate identity, copy right, correct representation, referencing, necessary Brand SA support to affect the objectives of the stakeholder roll-out plans. Ensure collateral is available at all Brand SA stakeholder activations.Monitor resource spend and financial expenditure in accordance with the approved project plans. Develop an ROI for increased stakeholder value. Complete a variance report on a monthly basis and identify reconciliations where appropriate.General administrationEnsure all portfolio of evidence is correct, appropriate and uploaded onto insite or an identified sharepoint portal. Maintain all project documentation for retrieval.Develop error-free submissions for presentation by the GM to EXCO.Process all necessary payments, S&Ts, travel and other disbursements.Ensure leave management is monitored and managed within the business unit.Required Skills, Competencies and AttributesExcellent business acumen, i.e. strategic ability to position and sell Brand SA’s mandate and initiatives in response to emerging political, business and environmental trends.Excellent presentation skills, i.e. the ability to use the right presentation techniques and emphasise the right content to influence and persuade target audiences.And excellent verbal and oratorical skills to ensure delivery of Brand SA content to high level audiences.Above average interpersonal and communication skills to engage credibly with people at different levels and with different needs (public relations).Marketing skills, i.e. the ability to identify and capture a target market or audience’s needs and sell a message branded with the identified need.Excellent negotiation and ‘deal-making’ skills.Excellent fundraising and negotiating partnerships that will bring added value in financial and resource terms.Advanced MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, sharepoint and MS CRM or any other CRM system)Competent in project management, i.e. ability to get things done through co-ordinating different role players in working together without formally being in charge of them.Excellent proposal and account / portfolio writing and planning ability.Self-management, i.e. well-developed skills to structure own work, work alone and in a team and take initiative to get what is needed resourcefully and within proper governance rules and structures.Results oriented (output driven)Thorough and excellent follow-through abilityWillingness to work extended hours and travel substantively (within and across borders where necessary).Perform under pressure.Above average level of perceptiveness and discernment, i.e. know how to read situations correctly, political savvy, and respond accordingly to instill confidence and direction.Networking ability, i.e. building and maintaining long term relationships for business and collaborative opportunities.Service oriented, i.e. desire to serve and customer oriented.Persuasive, i.e. ability to convince others from different functions and levels of an idea or concept to obtain support.last_img read more

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Consumer help: travel and tourism

first_imgFor advice and complaints about travel agents, tourist operators and establishments – including searches for registered guides and graded accommodation, find out more here.You can contact the South African Tourism or any provincial tourism authority if you need advice on travel or leisure. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterHere’s where to go for advice and complaints about travel agents, tourist operators and establishments – including searches for registered guides and graded accommodation.Tourism AuthoritiesVisit South African Tourism for information about South Africa. Or contact a particular provincial tourism authority:Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency: www.visiteasterncape.co.zaFree State Tourism: freestatetourism.orgGauteng Tourism Authority: www.gauteng.netKwaZulu-Natal Tourism: www.zulu.org.zaLimpopo Tourism Agency: www.limpopotourism.info/parks/Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency: www.mtpa.co.zaNorthern Cape Tourism Authority: www.experiencenortherncape.com/visitor/North West Parks and Tourism Board: www.tourismnorthwest.co.zaCape Town and the Western Cape Tourism: goto.capetown/homeTourism Grading Council of South AfricaResponsible for grading accommodation establishments. The council also handles complaints against member establishments, which include guesthouses, hotels, lodges, bed and breakfast and self-catering establishments. Searchable directory of members on the website – all graded for quality.Website: www.tourismgrading.co.zaFederated Hospitality Association of South AfricaRecognised by government as the official representative of the hospitality industry in South Africa. Will handle complaints against its members, which include operators and establishments across the tourism spectrum.Website: fedhasa.co.zaSouthern Africa Tourism Services AssociationHandle complaints against its members, which include operators, transport providers as well as establishments across the tourism spectrum. Searchable directory of members on its website.Website: www.satsa.co.zaAssociation of SA Travel AgentsFor complaints about travel agents and tour operators. The association holds its members to a code of conduct. Find affiliated travel agents on its website.Website: asata.co.zaWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

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Consumer help: estate and rental agents

first_imgGuidelines for renting, buying or selling property through an estate agent, how to protect your interests when doing so, and what you can do if things go wrong.We profile the organisations that can help you in real estate. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterEstate Agency Affairs BoardA body established by the government to protect your interests when you buy and sell property through an estate agent. All agents have to register with the board, and must comply with the board’s code of conduct. Agents are issued with an annual fidelity fund certificate, which they should display. You can check with the board whether the agent is registered or not.You can also complain against an estate agent whom you suspect has violated either the law or the code of conduct governing the industry.You are entitled to claim repayment from the board’s fidelity fund if an estate agent has stolen or mismanaged your money. Their website includes a wealth of related information and resources, such as guides for property buyers and guidelines for estate agents.Website: www.eaab.org.zaWhistleblower hotline: 0800 223 225The website’s disciplinaries section provides information on how to lodge complaints.Rental Housing TribunalsIf you have a problem with your landlord, you should approach the Rental Housing Tribunal in your province.Rental Housing Tribunals are independent bodies appointed by the Provincial Housing Minister to ensure stability in rental housing market and resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. These include problems with unfair practices such as the refunding of deposits, privacy, overcrowding, exploitative rentals, maintenance and repairs and illegal lockout or disconnection of services.Offices comprise three to five member who have expertise in housing management, housing development, and consumer matters relating to rental housing.The tribunals have the authority to arrange mediations or to subpoena parties to a hearing. Rulings by the tribunal are deemed to be judgments of a magistrate’s court.Rental Housing Tribunals operate on a provincial basis, generally falling under the Human Settlements department. See the Department of Human Settlements’ website.Or contact:Eastern CapeFree StateGautengKwaZulu NatalLimpopoMpumalangaNorthern CapeNorth WestWestern CapeOriginally published 24 April 2002Reviewed 12 July 2012Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Elegant Hair 22 Inches – Ladies 3/4 Wig – Curly – Medium Brown #6 – High Quality Heat Resistant Synthetic Fibre – Clip In Hair Piece Extension – 250g – Looks and feels like real hair by : Very good product

first_img Posted on December 29, 2018Author Nathalie DuboisCategories WigsTags Elegant Hair This product was really good quality, the hait isnt real hair but looks it. If you have this colour thou your hair colour has to be super white bleach blonde or else it wont match. I really enjoy wearing it and all my friends compliment me. Because of it’s fiber i know these half pieces only last as long as you look after them. Can’t see anything wrong with this yet, i love it. Lovely for very occasional use- it gets matted and therefore ruined pretty quick if you use it too much- but its curly- so that’s life. Colour slightly darker than appears in picture but still great. Great value and excellent service. Amazing looks so silky and gorgeous. I originally ordered the wrong colour but the company helped me with colour match and sent it very quickly. Beautiful wig, highly recommended x. I can’t quite say i love it, because i can see how it would get tangled, but actually it’s pretty great. I have a pixie cut, and it does hold into my hair. The color is ashy dark brown, so it’s not warm- keep that in mind. If you want a warmer color, go with a chocolate or auburn. Looks like the image, fits my head well. Been wearing hair pieces for a while and it’s so thick and soft looks brill really good quality best iv seen and fab for the price x. It’s a great wig, just a pity i have a massive head. If you are a size 7 and 3/4 in a hat then this won’t fit. Was gutted as it looked lovely. Quick delivery and quality the only reason it’s not 5 stars is that the hair colour is lighter than shade shown but luckily matched my own hair colour. Perfect match for my daughters hair colour. It could of completed with some levels in it as i felt abit like crystal guidelines as its so curly at the base and it stuck out. I’m a hairdresser so i’ve lower it now. I would go for the wavy a single up coming time.This is a excellent looking half wig ,but it takes time to put on as you have to try to corm the front of your personal hair in to it. I fill you have to use a head band so it do not present.SummaryReviewer Nathalie DuboisReview Date2018-12-29 01:10:16Reviewed Item 22 Inches – Ladies 3/4 Wig – Curly – Medium Brown #6 – High Quality Heat Resistant Synthetic Fibre – Clip In Hair Piece Extension – 250g – Looks and feels like real hair by Elegant HairRating 5.0 / 5  stars, based on  25  reviews Hair is lovely and full, you don’t have to worry about any tracks showing. For the price i wasnt expecting much but super happy with it, had so many compliments and everyone is really shocked when they find out its not real, will be buying more. Fantastic wig but it’s definitely not a blonde 613 it’s darker i managed to get it blend in thou. Good buyer, hair matched perfectly, but curly wigs a bit messy and with knots. Colour is a bit offGreat quality and valueBeautiful! Because of it’s fiber I know these half 22 Inches – Ladies 3/4 Wig – Curly – Medium Brown #6 – High Quality Heat Resistant Synthetic Fibre – Clip In Hair Piece Extension – 250g – Looks and feels like real hair by Elegant HairGorgeous, long and gently layered with a curly 3/4 hair piece which adds instant length and volume and fits in naturally with your own hair.High Quality Heat Resistant Fibre – Feels silky and soft just like real hairAdjustable size to fit heads approximately 20″ to 23″. This is over 90% of heads. You can adjust the hook inside the get the optimum fit. No need for pins or tape.Reusable – Washable – Easy to care for wash and care for by using a little mild shampoo and condition using fabric conditioner in cold water. Will keep style even after washing, styles are baked in.You can tie up with a hair clip to make a ponytail or scrunchie for special occasions.last_img read more

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South Africa partially lifts ban on U.S. pork

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Obama administration announced that South Africa will open its market to U.S. pork, a move praised by the National Pork Producers Council, which has been working for a number of years with the governments in the United States and in Pretoria to lift a de facto ban on U.S. pork.NPPC has not yet seen the fine print of the agreement but understands that some restrictions may remain.“While dropping the ban on U.S. pork is great progress,” said Dr. Ron Prestage, NPPC President and  a veterinarian and pork producer from Camden, S.C., “there is no scientific reason to restrict any of our pork, so we’ll continue to work with both governments to get complete access to the South African market.”South Africa’s de facto ban on U.S. pork ostensibly was to prevent the spread of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) to South African livestock even though the risk of disease transmission from U.S. pork products was negligible. There is no documented scientific case of PRRS being transmitted to domestic livestock through imported pork. Prestage noted that New Zealand, a PRRS-free nation, imported pork for 10 years from PRRS-positive countries without getting the disease.last_img read more

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — October 17th, 2016

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Weather conditions were ideal for harvesting, planting, and some fieldwork opportunities, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 6.3 days available for fieldwork for the week ending October 16. Corn and soybean harvest is progressing rapidly with the warm dry weather. Some areas weren’t able to do fall tillage and seeding because conditions were extremely dry. Frost towards the end of the week affected some crops. Corn has been slow to dry down and still showing signs of disease and ear rot in some areas. Average grain moisture for corn harvested was 18 percent, and soybean moisture was at 12 percent. The final cutting of hay is wrapping up. Winter wheat planting leapt ahead in areas where soil moisture levels were ideal.Click here to read the full reportlast_img read more

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Growing debate on alternative protein sources

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Whether it is called fake meat or clean meat, products containing alternative sources of protein have been appearing in supermarkets and restaurants around the country, and are competing with traditionally raised animal agriculture products. Attendees at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th Annual Convention engaged with experts on what alternative sources of protein are, who backs them and how to get the message out about the products they produce.Plant-based “meats” (Impossible Foods, Inc. and Beyond Meat) and cell-based meats (Memphis Meats and Mosa Meat) are two types of products that have been receiving national attention over the past few years according to Eric Mittenthal, vice president of public affairs for the North American Meat Institute. Though very different in how they are produced, both groups are targeting the marketing demographic dominated by animal agriculture.“Their audience is not the traditional vegan or vegetarian looking for new products,” Mittenthal said. “They want to compete in the meat case for meat eaters.”Plant-based “meats” use a recipe of plant ingredients to imitate the properties of animal meat, while cell-based meats use cells taken from animals that are then grown in a lab. Though plant-based “meats” are now on store shelves, cell-based meats are still unavailable. Mittenthal said that the first commercially available cell-based meat could be ready as soon as 2019 but is still too expensive to be viable as a replacement for animal agriculture products.The companies that are producing these products are not the only ones promoting them. Hannah Thompson-Weeman, vice president of communications for the Animal Agriculture Alliance, noted that many of the groups pushing for the widespread adoption of these products, such as the Good Food Institute and The Humane Society of The United States, have hostile views on animal agriculture.“These are well-funded groups opposed to animal agriculture,” said Thompson-Weeman. “From their perspective, there is no way we can raise animals for consumption that is ethical and responsible. Their end goal is ending meat consumption.”The panelists agreed that the best way to combat the negative attacks by these groups is to:Avoid disparaging consumer choices;Correct misinformation, but not engage in back-and-forth debates;Focus on interested consumers vs. extremists; andDevote energy to sharing positive information about animal agriculture and meat.“Customers want choice and they need you to respect that they are entitled to choose,” said Leah McGrath, dietitian for BuildUp Dietitians. “Getting caught in the middle of these ideological battles is not helpful; it just creates negativity and suspicion. Take the high road and tell your story about what makes your products great.”last_img read more

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Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – November 16, 2011

first_img SharePrint Related”Souvenirs” A Geocaching.com Lost & Found VideoNovember 2, 2010In “Community”Geocaching.com Refer a Friend Challenge – 2012June 27, 2012In “Community”Become Trackable on Geocaching.com – Tattoos to Travel BugsSeptember 13, 2011In “Community” Geocaching.com APIThree little letters: an A, a P and an I are helping to expand your geocaching adventure. An API (application programming interface) is kind of like the genetic code that runs Geocaching.com. Select partners are using our new public API to bring Geocaching.com to you on new platforms and allow you to use Geocaching.com in creative ways.Do you want to geocache using your BlackBerry? Check out: CacheSense. Interested in validating solutions for geocaching puzzles? Certitude is for you. The desktop application GSAK even offers an all-in-one geocaching management tool.Check out http://www.geocaching.com/live/ for the latest on the growing list of Geocaching.com API partners.We currently have over 100 independent developers testing applications and services using the API. These services and more will be made available to you in the coming year.New Geocaching.com FeatureThere were a lot of exciting updates in last week’s Geocaching.com release, but perhaps none was more anticipated than the change to Mystery and Multi-Cache pages. Puzzle lovers will be pleased to see that they can now change the initial coordinates on a Mystery or Multi-Cache page to the coordinates for the next stage or final location of the cache.To use this feature, click on the pencil icon next to the coordinates, paste the new coordinates into the field and click ‘submit.’ Don’t worry about spoiling the cache for others. The new coordinates will only be visible to you.When you download the GPX file from the cache page, your new coordinates will be included. Pocket Queries will add this functionality in an upcoming release. For more information, click here.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

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Geocaching Word Search

first_imgThere are 33 geocaching related words in this word search. Share your finds in the comments section. Courtesy of beagle39z Check back on Monday, November 26th for the answers. Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedGeocaching Word Search AnswersNovember 26, 2012In “Community”Geocaching Connections: Associations and ClubsDecember 23, 2013In “Maker Madness”14 Km Geocaching Hike Starting after 10pm – That’s PortugalJuly 15, 2014In “Local stories”last_img read more

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Geocaching in Harmony with Nature (Part 2)

first_imgLeave the car at home. If possible, bike or walk to the geocache location. This is not only great for your health and good for the environment, the slower pace might even make you notice things along the way you would have never seen speeding by in your car. We hope these tips will help you sharpen your nature senses and become a skilled environmentally friendly geocacher. Do you have another tip for environmentally friendly geocaching? Let us know in the comments below!Find out how you can be a complete nature loving geocacher with our 6 Tips for Hiding an Environmentally Friendly Geocache! Only hug wooden bears! (Picture by miatabug)Keep geocache owners informed. Let the geocache owner know if their geocache is damaged and could potentially be dangerous to animals or vegetation. Stay on track. Stick to designated trails and don’t cut across switchbacks when navigating to the geocache. Doing so might disturb flora and fauna along the way. In Geocaching in Harmony with Nature (Part 1), we gave you tips and tricks on how to hide an environmentally friendly geocache. A wise geocacher once said: “If you hide a geocache, someone will come and find it.” So this time we want to take a look at how to be a Nature Lover when hunting for a geocache.We asked the geocaching community, Geocaching HQ-ers and Volunteer Reviewers for their tip-top tips on being kind to nature when searching for a geocache. Then we combined all the great answers into this list:Take a deep breath and enjoy the outdoors.Come prepared. When planning for a geocaching trip, make sure to read the geocache description carefully. This way you’ll know the regulations and concerns for the area before you visit. Be informed about the seasonal changes in your area. Do not visit caves in which bears or bats hibernate during autumn and winter and do not disturb breeding habitats. Before searching for a night cache in the woods, check in with park rangers or land management to make sure that this is safe for you and for the natural area. Bring garbage bags. Geocacher Cindi Lee G. says: “We cache in and trash out every time we go geocaching or hiking.” We think that’s grand! Next time you go geocaching, include a few garbage bags with your geocaching gear. This way you can pick up litter on the way to  and from the geocache. And here is something we think is genius: there are some geocaches with an extra compartment for trash bags geocachers can use to Cache In Trash Out (CITO) on their way back out. Respect wildlife and plants. Observe wild animals from afar. Never feed or try to touch them. Be conscious where you are stepping so you don’t destroy fragile plants and mushrooms.  Pro-Tip from Geocacher Sarah H.: “Please clean your footwear and gear when hiking in various places. Footwear caked in mud and plant material is a good way to spread invasive species.” It is OK to DNF.  You have searched in all the obvious places. You took a good look at the geocache description and the hint, but you still couldn’t find it. Log your DNF (Did Not Find) online to let the geocache owner know that you did not find the geocache. Don’t keep on searching, turning over every stone, and potentially ravaging the area. Keep in mind: A DNF is not admission to failure, it is just honest communication. 6 Tips for Finding a Geocache in an Environmentally Friendly Way Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedGeocaching in Harmony with Nature (Part 1)October 26, 2013In “Cache In Trash Out”Six tips for finding a geocache in an environmentally friendly wayMarch 4, 2019In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”Quiz Results: The Nature LoverOctober 31, 2013In “7 Souvenirs of August”last_img read more

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Earthcache I – a simple geology tour of Wasp Head (GCHFT2) – Geocache of the Week

first_imgCalypso62 at a split joint. Photo by Calypso62.A foot massage? Photo by STORMCATCHERS.Fossilized Bryozoan colony. Photo by Calypso62.Geocachers sitting in a split joint. Photo by The Arkaroo.Patterns and seeds at the first EarthCache.Kanga-muggles at GZ? Photo by cRimehUNter.Sunset at Wasp Head. Photo by STORMCATCHERS.The Geocaching Road Trip ’15 is in full swing, and it’s time to earn your “High-Five for the Earth” souvenir. What EarthCache or CITO event are you going to find/attend?Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, just fill out this form. Thanks! SharePrint RelatedGroundspeak Weekly Newsletter – January 12, 2011January 12, 2011In “News”Geocaching Bucket List: Greatest Hits EditionMarch 6, 2016In “Community”Happy Birthday EarthCaching – EarthCaches Turn 8 TodayJanuary 10, 2012In “Cache In Trash Out” Share with your Friends:Morecenter_img Geocache Name:                                                      Difficulty/Terrain Rating:Earthcache I – a simple geology tour of Wasp Head                                         1/1.5Why this is the Geocache of the Week:A Wasp Head bento box. Photo by JordsAUThis is the world’s first EarthCache. Placed by geoaware on January 10, 2004, GCHFT2 is located on an isolated stretch of coastline in Murramarang National Park, in southeast Australia. Visiting geocachers are met with striking views of rugged waters, an abundance of geological history, and the occasional kangaroo.If an EarthCache is “a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth” (www.earthcache.org), then this EarthCache at Wasp Head is some sort of mega-EarthCache. The cache instructions take the geocacher on a geological tour through time past fossilized worm burrows (pictured below), giant boulders dropped by icebergs floating on an ancient sea, and rock channels left by the erosion of once-molten rock.What geocachers have to say:“What a great place. We really wanted to see fossils and this place delivered. I loved the rock formations and if geoaware hadn’t told us we would be oblivious to the dike. Thanks geoaware for a great EC.” –igotahunch“Great tour of the headland. First attempt at geocaching and a great way to start. Thanks.” –Busterandjo“I was out at the coast back on Oct 2 so I did the homework for this cache. It’s a beautiful spot and it was a fantastic day out. Found everything except the bryozoan fossils but that could have been my poorly entered waypoint coords. (I forgot to preload these before heading off and there’s no reception at gz). I’m always amazed to see fossils in place rather than in a museum. It makes me wonder about such life flourishing such an unimaginably long time ago and what the site would have looked like back at that time. Rather damp I suspect. I’ve attached a pic of a shell I spotted. TftEc.” –StrangeTrousersWhat the EarthCache owner, geoaware, has to say:(Excerpted from 2014 article on the Geocaching Blog)“Ten years ago I was a lucky guy in the right place at the right time. The Geological Society of America (GSA) had just employed me to work on education and outreach programs, a GSA member mentioned the new game of geocaching to my boss, and I was on holiday here with my kids looking at the rocks in Australia.So that day we wandered around a rock platform that I had been on a thousand times before but now with a new purpose. How could I bring others here geocaching so they left learning something new about our amazing planet? Fossils, evidence for glaciers, weathering – so much in such a short walk. This was the perfect place. And so EarthCache I GCHFT2 was born—and so was the concept of an EarthCache: a place where the Earth was the treasure. A place where you would learn about the geology of the planet while you geocached. If you have not experienced an EarthCache, its time you tried. It’s a different experience – but who would ever not enjoy learning when it’s fun!”Photos:last_img read more

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In 8 Years, Online Video Consumption Will be Measured in Exabytes

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Features#NYT#Statistics#Trends#Video Services#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… One exabyte is a billion gigabytes. It’s one quintillion bytes. And yes, “quintillion” is a number so large, it almost seems made-up. But that’s how much online video will be consumed by 2017, according to new reports from U.K.-based research firm Coda. Actually, to be precise, they’re claiming that mobile broadband users accessing the net via laptops and netbooks will consume 1.8 exabytes of video. Per month. Mobile Broadband Video ForecastIn the company’s latest report (sample) “Mobile Broadband Traffic Across Regions 2009-2017,” they’ve determined that this increase will account for nearly three quarters of all global traffic via mobile broadband portables. The top region for video consumption will be Asia Pacific which will account for over half (53%) of the traffic. That will be followed by Europe (26%) and then North America (14%). The reason why Asia Pacific comes in so high is because, in many countries, mobile broadband is often the sole option for internet connectivity. Another forecast states that two-thirds of the global traffic will be via LTE (Long Term Evolution), a 4G wireless technology, where Asia Pacific will consume just under half (45%) of LTE traffic. In Europe, 80% of traffic will be LTE-based and in North America, 75%. It Will Get Worse Before it Gets BetterAccording to Steve Smith, founder of Coda Research Consultancy, “the sheer amount of traffic people will consume worldwide will put pressure on operator revenues and network capacity, necessitating radical efficiency drives.” He also notes that, in the short term, end user frustration with bandwidth and speed will increase. To illustrate this point, he mentions that today as many as three-quarters of Europeans are dissatisfied with the speeds they currently receive. That’s an interesting comment, especially considering all the grumbling we hear about AT&T in the U.S. and their general failure to deliver on the promise of high-speed internet for iPhone users. (In many urban areas, they can’t even consistently deliver a signal!) Although this report didn’t focus specifically on smartphones, it’s somewhat comforting to know that overseas users are experiencing the same struggles as we do here in the U.S. However, once mobile broadband operators complete their build-outs and upgrades to this high-speed data network of the future, the resulting impact it will have on the internet as a whole will be mind-blowing. One could even argue that bandwidth speeds have accounted for many of the major revolutions the internet has seen over time – since the invention of the hypertext protocol and the web browser, that is. The Next Revolution for the Net: Extremely Fast, Lots of Bandwidth In the early days, slow dial-up speeds left us with simplistic, HTML-coded web pages where the most action to be had was an animated GIF. As bandwidth and speeds increased, pages became more robust, too. This change led to sites like Amazon and eBay, both of which launched in 1995, allowing people to shop from home using their PCs. By 2001, the usefulness of the net encouraged enough people to come online to make sites like the crowd-sourced Wikipedia possible. By 2003, the still-increasing speeds meant users could now download music from the newly launched iTunes store, customize (and overload!) their online profiles on MySpace, and play in online virtual worlds like Second Life. The following year, online photo-sharing prepared to go mainstream thanks to the launch of Flickr. Facebook, too, launched this year and eventually became the largest photo-sharing site in the world only three years later when they announced how they hosted over 10 billion photos on their site.Also in 2005, the abundance of high-speed data connections made video-sharing site YouTube a hit among a new generation of user-generated content producers. By 2007, broadcasters banded together to launch Hulu, a video-streaming site for commercial content in an effort to compete with pirated peer-to-peer downloads as well as iTunes, which by now was serving up TV shows and full-length movies. In Europe, the BBC iPlayer was doing much of the same. In 2008, the launch of the 3G iPhone brought the high-speed internet to the handheld and revolutionized the mobile phone industry. This year, the handset’s hardware was upgraded to record video, too.As you can see, many of these changes were either directly or indirectly impacted by the increasing speeds and bandwidth provided by both mobile operators and ISPs. But currently, it’s the mobile broadband networks which are having more of an impact on the latest trends. Even with all their struggles (cough AT&T cough), without the bandwidth provided, phones like the iPhone wouldn’t even be possible and the smartphone revolution wouldn’t be underway as it is now. So what will the world look like by 2017? It’s almost hard to imagine. But the promise of 4G could deliver things like live streaming HDTV, real-time updates from a variety of services, video chat, abundant use of MiFi, mobile cloud computing, streaming via iTunes instead of downloading (we like that!), and much more. In other words, the high-speed net that you use at home could go with you everywhere via your netbook, tablet, smartphone, or some other device in between. What will that mean for the world of online applications and cloud computing? Only that the next big shift for the internet as a whole is underway and we’re privileged to be watching it happen now.Image credit: Toshiba netbook via Slashgear; iPhone 4G concept via Kaputik sarah perezcenter_img Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2009

first_imgrichard macmanus 2009 has seen a lot of Semantic Web and structured data activity. Much of it has been driven by Linked Data, a W3C project which gained momentum this year. According to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, Linked Data is a sea change akin to the invention of the WWW itself. We’ve gone from a Web of documents to a Web of data.The 10 products we’ve picked out for this end-of-year review are ones that have done interesting things with data. Connecting to other data, building new applications with data, sharing data, and more. These 10 products may not be the type of Semantic Web apps that the W3C envisaged in the 90s, but that no longer seems to matter. What’s important is that the Web is becoming more meaningful – more semantic. See also our 2008 list.Google Search Options and Rich Snippets A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts ReadWriteWeb’s Best Products of 2009:Top 10 Mobile Web ProductsTop 10 Consumer Web AppsTop 10 Semantic Web ProductsTop 10 International Web ProductsTop 10 RSS & Syndication TechnologiesTop 10 Enterprise ProductsTop 10 Internet of Things ProductsTop 10 Real-Time TechnologiesTop 10 Startup ProductsTop 10 Web Platforms AptureApture is a Javascript plug-in for publishers that adds contextual information to links, via pop-ups which display when users hover over or click on them.In our February review, we came away impressed by Apture due to the amount of multimedia that can be packed into such a little pop-up. Also the end-user experience is sophisticated – readers on washingtonpost.com and other sites that use Apture can see rich, relevant, contextual content from the likes of Wikipedia, YouTube and Flickr without leaving the host site. Those are our picks for the top Semantic Web (or structured data) products of 2009. Let us know in the comments if you disagree with our choices, or think we missed something important.ReadWriteWeb’s Best Products of 2009:Top 10 Mobile Web ProductsTop 10 Consumer Web AppsTop 10 Semantic Web ProductsTop 10 International Web ProductsTop 10 RSS & Syndication TechnologiesTop 10 Enterprise ProductsTop 10 Internet of Things ProductsTop 10 Real-Time TechnologiesTop 10 Startup ProductsTop 10 Web Platforms ZemantaZemanta is a real-time semantic analysis tool that plugs into your blogging software. As we explained in April, Zemanta offers bloggers relevant links, photos and other assets to include in their blog posts. Zemanta’s API is also being used by startups. Over 2009, the company has continued to iterate and impress. For example in October Zemanta released a new engine and API.Zemanta is open source and standards-based. It works well with the rest of the tech community and has some interesting tools for supporting non-profit organizations.Note: We compared Zemanta to Apture in an August analysis post.Open Calais 4.0 In January Thomson Reuters released their most significant update yet to the Calais web service and open API: Calais 4.0. Calais is a toolkit of products that enables publishers to incorporate semantic functionality within their properties – enabling them to categorize content as people, places, companies, facts, events, and more.Calais 4.0 went beyond metatagging and enabled publishers to integrate their content with Linked Data assets from Wikipedia, GeoNames, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), Shopping.com and others. Calais 4.0 also let publishers share semantic metadata about their content with “content consumers” such as search engines, news aggregators, related stories recommendation services and moreBBC’s Semantic Music Project The BBC has long been a major experimental force in the Web ecosystem, backed with large dollops of British taxpayer funding and an equally large measure of British geek talent. The BBC Music Beta project caught our eye earlier this year. It’s an ongoing effort by the BBC to build semantically linked and annotated web pages about artists who are played on BBC radio stations. Within these pages, collections of data are enhanced and interconnected with semantic metadata, letting music fans explore connections between artists that they may have not known existed.The backend of this BBC project comes from the Linked Data world – specifically MusicBrainz, an open content music “metadatabase” that lists information for over 400,000 artists. Tags:#2009 in Review#NYT#Semantic Web#web#Year in Review Glue Once just a browser add-on that allowed users to surf smarter across several verticals, AdaptiveBlue’s Glue is now a site-centric product that acts as both a hub and a spoke of the social web.As we wrote in October, Glue’s technology is based on a user’s browsing across common sites such as Amazon, Wikipedia and YouTube. Those visits and any interactions (comments, “likes,” etc.) feed back to Glue to automatically create a taste profile and a web of affinity with other users. The idea is to recommend items or content across categories including music, books and movies.FreebaseFreebase is an open, semantically marked up database of information. It looks similar to Wikipedia, but Freebase is all about structured data and what you can do with it. Freebase has been one of the more hyped companies in the Semantic Web, leading to some skepticism that the product is too much like Wikipedia and offers nothing much new. Our verdict at the end of 2008 was that Freebase was still lots of work to do, in terms of usability and useful data.However over 2009 Freebase has continued to build out its ambitious vision. It recently announced the publication of its 10 millionth topic, up from 4 million a year ago. While it’s obviously still working on its user experience for the consumer audience, Freebase continues to get the respect of Semantic Web and Linked Data aficionados.DBpediaDBpedia is not a commercial product, but it’s one of the largest sources of Linked Data on the Web – so we think it deserves to be recognized in our top 10. Essentially, DBpedia extracts structured information from Wikipedia and makes that data available on the Web.At the present time, DBpedia has more than 2.9 million “things” – including at least 282,000 persons, 339,000 places, 88,000 music albums, 44,000 films, 15,000 video games, 119,000 organizations, 130,000 species and 4400 diseases. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market In May, Google announced two significant additions to its search product: Search Options and Rich Snippets. The two features notably extended Google’s core search product and the ‘rich snippets’ part in particular was based around structured content.Rich snippets extract and show useful information from web pages. Google is using structured data open standards such as microformats and RDFa to power the rich snippets feature. It is inviting publishers to mark up their HTML (webmasters can find more details here).FeedlyFeedly describes itself as “magazine-like startpage.” When it launched in August 2008, we labeled it just “an alternative interface for Google Reader.” However with the launch of Feedly Mini, a mini bar that hovers at the bottom of the screen as you surf through blogs on the web, the service has become a much more inclusive blog reading companion.Feedly Mini integrates Twitter, FriendFeed, Google Search, Mozilla’s Ubiquity, and more. A number of our writers love this tool – Sarah Perez went so far as to call it “a must-have tool” for anyone who uses services like Twitter and FriendFeed. Data.gov The trend towards opening up government data has been a significant one during 2009. The inventor of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee, is currently helping the British government to do this – using Linked Data. It’s a subject he’s very passionate about, as we discovered when we interviewed him in June.The Obama administration has had a mixed record so far in terms of opening up government data, however the launch of Data.gov in May was a positive step in 2009. It was announced by the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the United States, Vivek Kundra, and it aims to “increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.” Although we found Data.gov to be too limited an offering, it’s a start. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

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Italy Plans to Hold YouTube Accountable for its Users’ Uploads (Updated)

first_img“When this Directive was debated at length in Brussels, it was clearly decided that user-generated video content should not be regulated in the same way as traditional TV content. If it was then people would find it far more difficult to use video sites to share their videos. So we hope that Italy does not go down a different path and start to regulate videos that people upload to the internet in the same way as they regulate TV.”A “Mere Conduit”As Nate Anderson notes, the EU passed an electronic commerce directive in 2000 that clearly states that whenever a service only provides a transmission service, “the service provider is not liable for the information transmitted.” The EU considers these services “mere conduits,” as long as the “do not initiate the transmission, do not select the receiver of the transmission and do not select or modify the information contained in the transmission.” The EU directive, however, leaves it up to the EU’s member states to require service providers to prevent infringement. How Will Google React?Should Italy’s deputy minister of communications Paolo Romani decide to forge ahead with these new regulations, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and any other company that offers services similar to YouTube would face substantial legal risks if they continued to operate in Italy. Google, of course, is already embroiled in a legal conflict with Italy. We asked Google for a statement about the current situation in Italy and will update this post once we hear more. Tags:#news#web Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Update: We just heard back from Google. Here is the company’s official statement, courtesy of Marco Pancini, Google’s senior policy counsel for Italy: The Italian government is moving ahead with its plans to hold YouTube accountable for its users’ copyright infringements. According to new regulations that have recently been proposed by the Italian government, YouTube would have to get a TV license to operate in Italy. Should Italy move ahead with this regulation, YouTube would have to follow the same rules and regulations as traditional broadcast channels. These new rules would eliminate the “safe harbor” rules that currently shield services like YouTube.According to Nicola D’Angelo, a commissioner in Italy’s Communications Authority, these new rules would make Italy “the only Western country in which it is necessary to have prior government permission to operate this kind of service. This aspect reveals a democratic risk, regardless of who happens to be in power.”center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting frederic lardinois 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Foursquare Launches Location Layers – This is Big

first_imgThe Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … marshall kirkpatrick Tags:#Location#mobile#news#web Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementcenter_img Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Looking at life through rose-colored glasses? How about walking through your town and seeing it as the Huffington Post or the Independent Film Channel sees it? IFC announced a new campaign this morning with leading location-based social network Foursquare that will allow you to do just that. The Huffington Post launched a Foursquare layer today as well.IFC polled its member base for short descriptions of their favorite places in the towns they lived in or visited, then picked the place-descriptions that best suited the IFC’s brand (“Always on, slightly off”) to upload into a Foursquare database. Foursquare users can now opt-into getting those tips pushed to them whenever they check in near one of the annotated locations. It’s a chance to effectively say, “I want to see this town as IFC fans see it.” For marketers, this has got to be incredibly appealing, and for urban explorers it could be one of the best examples yet of effective Augmented Reality.Location as PlatformIn January, Canadian newspaper chain Metro did a deal with Foursquare that tied content like restaurant reviews to specific locations as “tips.” When we saw that, we said that the era of location as platform had arrived. Then, in April the Wall St. Journal began experimenting with location-based news, adding interesting news tidbits to locations around New York City on Foursquare. That was getting interesting – not just lightweight content like restaurant reviews but things like a note that a terrorism suspect was once arrested in a particular location!Please Push Me Now the next logical step is to enable users to opt-in to having a publisher’s content pushed to them. That’s what IFC and on a smaller scale, the Huffington Post, have done today. Click to follow these publishers, check in near one of the locations they have annotated and your phone will get special tips pushed to it just like you get when near a place where one of your individual friends has left a tip.A Psychedelic JourneyIFC’s crowdsourcing its data set is very cool. It’s not hard to imagine any number of organizations mobilizing their constituents to mark-up the physical world like this. Other organizations already have data geo-located. The Huffington Post Foursquare page is very sparse right now, but imagine if stories were parsed for geolocation (Superfeedr now does that automatically, for example) and populated locations by XML. You might check in downtown and get pushed a note from Huffington Post coverage of a protest or other news event a few blocks away. Not into HuffPo? How about a HotAir layer? Why silo yourself? Let’s get a Memeorandum layer in Foursquare!See also: Why We Check In: The Reasons People Use Location Based Social NetworksThere may be some technical matters to work out before dynamic content can be fed into Foursquare, but I’m sure the company is working on those. (In response to this article Huffington Post Social Media Editor Rob Fishman tweets that many of the ideas discussed here “are already underway.”)I’m ready to follow the local historical society, an environmental justice organization or two, perhaps an art-graffiti-watchers association – the possibilities are nearly endless. Imagine allowing background location tracking and notification for some layers. “To see the world through the lenses of my favorite organizations” would be a nice addition to the reasons why people say they use check-in apps.Can Facebook implement this kind of feature once location is rolled into its service? It’s a little hard to imagine; this feels like a feature that would best come from a service with location at its core.In a perfect world, these location-based social networks would act like browsers, able to see and post interoperable location-based data from and to any platform. Don’t hold your breathe on that, though. The potential impact of marking-up the world is large enough that single vendors are most likely to try to dominate it all on their own first.This is a really exciting idea.last_img read more

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41% of IT Pros Surveyed Admit to Abusing Admin Privileges

first_img3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now klint finley Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Related Posts Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…center_img Of the over 400 IT professionals who responded to Cyber-Ark Software’s fourth annual “Trust, Security and Passwords” survey, 41% admitted to abusing administrative passwords to access sensitive or confidential information, such as HR records and customer databases. This is an increase of 8% since last year’s survey.Considering the somewhat small sample size, and the fact Cyber-Ark sells vaulting technology specifically designed to solve this type of problem, the results of this survey should be viewed with some skepticism. But it highlights significant challenges in internal data security and the migration towards the cloud.As we reported Monday, 87% of respondents in a recent cloud computing survey are concerned with security in the cloud, but many enterprises’ own internal security processes are far from perfect.According to the Cyber-Ark survey, 70% of organizations have controls to monitor privileged access, but 61% say of respondents say they can circumvent these controls. The other 30% of organizations have no protection against admin abuses at all.Meanwhile, 35% of respondents believe that sensitive data had been leaked to competitors by ex-employees. Only 10% of data leaks were believed to have been the result of malicious external hackers.As pointed out in a report by the Cloud Security Alliance, storing data in the cloud increases the total number of individuals with potential access to sensitive data, and thereby increases the risk of data theft by a malicious insider. But many of the same practices used to protect against internal data theft can be applied in the cloud as well.Security software company Trend Micro has some suggestions for dealing with this issue as well: Enforce strict supply chain management and conduct acomprehensive supplier assessment.Specify human resource requirements as part of legal contracts.Require transparency into overall information security andmanagement practices, as well as compliance reporting.Determine security breach notification processes.Another possible solution is to encrypt all data stored in the cloud (Trend Micro has promised a cloud encryption solution). In our new free report The Future of the Cloud: Cloud Platform APIs are the Business of Cloud Computing, Mike Kirkwood writes that data tracking will be as important as data protection in the cloud.And of course, read these 12 Questions To Ask a Provider About Cloud Security.Thanks to Mirko Zorz of Help Net Security for bringing this survey to our attention. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Tags:#Analysis#enterprise#saas last_img read more

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BBC iPlayer Coming to Android & iPad…and Soon, the World

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The BBC has clarified its plans for the release of its Android and iPad-compatible versions of its popular iPlayer application – the British TV and radio service that delivers streaming content to the desktop and mobile devices – in light of a flurry of recent speculation. According to a post on the BBC.co.uk’s Internet blog, the media company plans to have its new Android and iPad applications in their respective app stores by the end of this week.There were a few caveats to the use of these new apps, however. And oddly enough, there was no mention of an iPhone application.Major Improvements for iPad Users The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts sarah perez Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#mobile#news#Product Reviews#Video Services#web According to the blog post, which set out to “make official” the BBC’s plans in this area, the new native app for iPad is a major improvement over the original iPad experience –  essentially just a website designed for the iPad. The new app takes better advantage of the touchscreen user interface, says the BBC, which is a popular feature on the “iPad-ified” website.Both the iPad app and Android app will offer live TV streams and radio, the latter which was never before available to mobile devices.Mobile users can also access the full BBC catalog of “catch-up” programs (TV you may have missed), seven days’ worth of TV and radio on demand and the “series stacking” feature that’s also available on the Web, this last item being a feature that allows viewers to watch older programs from selected series up until the series has ended.On Android: Froyo-Only, Flash RequiredOn Android, the iPlayer app will not be available for all devices, only on those running the Android 2.2 (“Froyo”) version of the mobile operating system and Adobe Flash 10.1. This is because the player’s Flash streams require “a powerful mobile phone processor and a Wi-Fi connection,” says the BBC.But as some may remember, an unofficial iPlayer app called myPlayer had arrived in the Android Market (before being booted out), but it did not require Flash. The speculation is that BBC had to implement the streaming service in Flash because of content provider pressure, not technical requirements. Content providers are concerned about pirating – that same fear is why the Netflix application for Android has not yet launched either. As stated by Netflix on its blog back in November:“The hurdle has been the lack of a generic and complete platform security and content protection mechanism available for Android. The same security issues that have led to piracy concerns on the Android platform have made it difficult for us to secure a common Digital Rights Management (DRM) system on these devices.”But rumor has it, Netflix isn’t going with a Flash requirement, but has been working with chipset maker Qualcomm on implementing specific technology like SecureMSM to get the Netflix app approved.Where’s the iPhone App? And What About the Global Audience?What’s odd about this iPlayer news is that the mobile applications will arrive for Android and iPad, but not the iPhone. For iPhone users, there is still the Apple-friendly HTML5 website. Of course, a native app would have its advantages. So, what’s the status of the iPhone application, everyone wants to know? Here, the BBC clarifies nothing.For those outside the U.K. pining for access to British TV, there is some good news. Although not addressed via this blog post, BBC.com’s managing director Luke Bradley-Jones told the audience at the Digital TV Summit that the company will launch  a “global” iPlayer this year whose content would be available via subscription.Hopefully, the BBC will consider a native iPhone application for that time, too.last_img read more

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Sony PS3 Hacker Geohot Starts a Blog, Raises Cash for Legal Defense

first_img5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Related Posts center_img George Hotz, the hacker better known as “Geohot,” started a blog over the weekend – aptly titled “Geohot Got Sued” – an effort in part to raise cash for his legal battle with Sony.“This is war,” he says in the first post, arguing that Sony has declared war on hackers. Indeed, Hotz has been in the middle of a heated fight with Sony over the his release of a jailbreak for the Playstation 3. Sony claims that this violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as well as the Computer Fraud Abuse Act, and that the jailbreak released by Hotz would enable users to play pirated video games on their consoles.Geohot’s blog is part fundraiser, part rant, part defense, and to that end, Hotz writes three facts, claiming he’s never pirated a PS3 game in his life, nor encouraged others to do so, he’s never played PlayStation online, and has never hacked anything he didn’t own.That last argument is an important part of Hotz’s legal defense, as he contends that the Playstation should be viewed no differently than a mobile phone, which under DMCA regulations, is legal to jailbreak. However, the DMCA regulations do not mention gaming consoles specifically, which has left room for Sony’s legal efforts against the jailbreaking. Those efforts have included a restraining order against Hotz, forcing him to take down all mention of the jailbreak from the Web. Hotz notes that battling Sony has been costly. “Sony has five lawyers, I have two.” He started a fundraising effort via the blog over the weekend, which has been so successful that he’s already closed the “first round of donations.” “Things are looking up money wise,” Hotz writes, saying he expects to be able to hire more lawyers. Clearly Geohot is not going down without a fight. audrey watters Tags:#gaming#NYT#web last_img read more

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Beyond Water Resistance

first_imgASTM D 882 for polymeric materials, or3500 N/m (20lb/in) minimum (machine & cross direction) 1. Two types of WRBs: Type I WRBs have what is described as a “base” level of water resistance. Type II WRBs have what is described as an “enhanced” level of water resistance. This difference is reflected only in the water resistance requirements. Seems as though Type I WRBs might get you by in dry climates (20 inches or less of rainfall annually), and Type II is the ticket for all other climates.2. Tensile strength or breaking force: There are three different ASTM test methods from which to choose, but all are proxies for the strength of the material.3. Vapor permeability: All WRBs must be a minimum of 5 perms; 5 perms is considered to be vapor semi-permeable (Joe Lstiburek classifies materials in the range of 1 to 10 perms as a Class III vapor retarder, based in part on the Canadian General Standards Board approach to vapor retarders). This is good because WRBs should keep out water but also allow drying.4. Pliability: Given the temperature for the pliability test, WRBs must be pliable even when they are “cold” (32ËšF).5. Aged testing: The tests for tensile strength and water resistance must be conducted for materials “as received” and “aged.” Aged testing involves cycles of wetting and drying as well as ultraviolet light (UV) exposure.Will these tests and their thresholds help us select high-performance WRBs? A quick check of a number of products (Typar, Tyvek, PinkWrap, Raindrop, and Jumbo-Tex) shows that they all would pass these performance tests (although none of these products currently reports the required aged testing results). The only thing I could find that would not pass the new draft standard performance tests is standard roofing felt (often mistakenly called “building paper” and just as often mistakenly used on walls as a WRB—see this Fortifiber resource).1So when all is said and done, we are probably back to the “empirical” approach:1. Start with a WRB that meets the new proposed standard performance tests2. Install the WRB per manufacturer’s instructions on a mock-up wall, and then let the assembly bake in the sun for several weeks.3. Water-test the mock-up, then install your cladding.4. Water-test the mock-up again.5. If it passes, make sure your crews install the WRB system with the same degree of care and attention to detail as they showed in the wall mock-up.…………………1 We probably need a whole other blog on building papers, straightening out—or at least attempting to—all the properties and terminology for asphalt-impregnated sheet goods. Stay tuned. Water ResistanceTest (choose 1)(1) asmanufactured & (2) aged per Section A1.2 of this standardD 779 or10 min minimum60 min minimum Pliability Testas receivedsee Section A.1.3 of this standardThe materialshall not crack when bent over a 1.6mm (1/16-inch) diameter mandrel ata temperature of 0 C (32 F) Dry tensilestrength or dry breaking force (choose 1)(1) asmanufactured & (2) aged per Section A1.2 of this standardASTM D 828 for Paper and Felt materials, or3500 N/m (20lb/in) minimum (machine & cross direction) ASTM D 5034 (Grab Method)178 N (40 lbf)minimum (machine direction)156 N (35lbf) minimum (cross direction) Type IType IIcenter_img Housewraps and Building Paper: Beyond Water ResistanceTensile strength, vapor permeability, and pliability are important, too.In a recent blog post, I covered water-resistive barrier (WRB) tests to separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of water resistance. But a good WRB has other properties as well. It needs to be tough and not tear as you stretch it taut and fasten it. It needs to allow drying if water does get into an assembly. And it needs to be flexible, able to bend around inside and outside corners without breaking or weakening.The new ASTM “Standard Specification for Vapor Permeable Flexible Sheet Water-Resistive Barriers Intended for Mechanical Attachment” has been drafted to address tensile strength, vapor permeability, and pliability as well.The table presented here illustrates a proposal by some industry representatives to provide a simplified guide to WRB requirements. It is very similar to the ICC-ES AC 38 – “Acceptance Criteria for Water-Resistive Barriers.” There are several things to note from this table.Table 1: Requirements for Water Resistive Barriers AATCC 127 except that the specimens shall be held at ahydrostatic head of 55 cm (21.6 in).not applicableNo leakage is permitted to the underside of anyspecimen in 300 min. Test RequirementSpecimen TypeTest MethodMinimumPerformance Requirements Water Vapor Transmission Testas receivedASTM E96/E 96M Dessicant Method290 ng/(Pa•s•m2)(5 perms) minimum Water Resistance Ponding Test (Section A.1.1), orNo water shall transmit through the membrance in 120min.not applicablelast_img read more

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How to Install Tile Over Concrete

first_imgLay the tile directly on the concreteYes, writes Doug McEvers, Ditra will insulate the concrete slab from the tile and lower the potential for thermal storage. “There is nothing wrong with tile laid directly on concrete providing all precautions are taken regarding moisture proofing,” he says. “Tile and grout work loose if the underlayment flexes. I can’t think of a more durable surface than a concrete slab for holding tile — try removing it sometime. Tile, if installed properly and as long as what’s underneath is solid, will last a long, long time.” RELATED ARTICLES No, you need an uncoupling membraneWilliam Geary isn’t buying it. “I will disagree with those who say you don’t need an uncoupling membrane when tiling over concrete,” he writes. “This is just wrong and if you plan to use passive solar (especially with sunlight on the slab) you need to use an uncoupling membrane.”The problem is that a concrete slabs routinely develops cracks, and when it does the membrane will prevent the problems from telegraphing into the tile. “It will also reduce the stress of uneven thermal expansion on a passive solar floor,” Geary writes. “You will need to pay attention to expansion joints in the tile as well.”Geary has installed heating mats under Ditra and finds no problem with getting his tile floor warm. If Campbell doesn’t want to use Schluter’s products, there are alternatives, such as those made by the Noble Company.“There is good green building advice here,” he adds, “but if you want good tile advice head over to John Bridge.” Our expert’s opinionGBA technical director Peter Yost had this to add:Back in the 1980s, when I worked full-time as a remodeler, I laid a lot of ceramic tile. And I never used a “slip sheet” or “anti-fracture membrane” or “reflective cracking” protection when I laid ceramic floor tile over any substrate.And now I shudder to think of how many of my floor installations have telegraphed cracking because movement or curing in the substrate was not decoupled from the ceramic tile.To match a durable installation to the durable floor finish (ceramic floor tile), you need to decouple the tile from the substrate, even concrete. It’s a bond break, just as with any cementitious system. A great resource/quick read on this is an online Tile Letter “Getting Serious with Crack Isolation Membranes.” There are now lots of different products and approaches, but you need one.And in terms of the Schluter Ditra system and its impact on thermal mass connection between the tile installation and the concrete substrate: I agree, completely negligible. Slab FoundationsCost-Effective Passive Solar Design Insulate the perimeter of all concrete slabs Tile can contribute thermal mass to a passive solar house, and to Christa Campbell it would make a more appealing finish floor than concrete.Although tile can be placed directly over a concrete slab, products such as Schluter’s Ditra are designed to separate, or “uncouple,” the tile from any potential movement in the substrate and protect the tile and grout from cracking.The question for Campbell is whether using Ditra offsets some of the thermal mass gains in a passive-solar design.“I’m wondering if you can lay tile over a concrete subfloor without compromising the thermal mass capacity of the concrete,” she writes in a Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor. “Would an uncoupling system, using something like Ditra, have a negative impact? Should we be looking at using sand instead?”Campbell’s question is the topic for this week’s Q&A Spotlight.center_img GREEN PRODUCT GUIDE TileInsulation should be installed beneath the slab, McEvers adds, while the choice of tile also is important: dark tiles will absorb more heat than light-colored tile.James Morgan agrees with McEvers. Citing Schluter’s own description of Ditra as an uncoupling membrane that permits differential movement between a lightweight substrate (such as a wood subfloor) and tile, Morgan says it’s “entirely unnecessary” between tile and a heavy material such as concrete.That said, he adds, the effect of the membrane on the thermal properties of the concrete would be “barely measurable.” Choose a middle groundGBA advisor Michael Chandler believes the best strategy is somewhere in the middle between these two positions.First, he writes, the slab should be isolated from the footings so it can shrink independently as it cures. And the slab also should have control joints that help make any cracks in the concrete more predictable. “This impacts tile because, once you can accurately predict where the slab is likely to crack you can place the uncoupling membrane in those locations only,” Chandler says. “(This has the side benefit of saving on the cost of the membrane). We just run a strip of Ditra, Noble or Rolled Gold or whatever membrane is your preference approximately three tiles wide in the areas over the expansion joints.”“James is entirely correct,” he continues. “The tile will be fine so long as the concrete doesn’t crack and William is correct that concrete will inevitably crack and the membrane has very little impact on heat transfer as it has negligible R-value.”Geary seconds Chandler’s recommendations, and provides a link to Noble’s instructions for applying its membrane over control joints in a concrete slab.“Michael raises a very important point about leaving an expansion gap around the perimeter of the tile floor,” Geray adds. “If you are placing baseboard over the tile, leave a 1/2-inch gap around the entire perimeter. Because tilers will inevitably fill some of this gap with thinset, you can place 1/2-inch foam weatherstrip around the room or tack in a strip of 1/2 inch plywood around the room and pull it out after the tile is grouted.” CONSTRUCTION DETAILS last_img read more

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The First National Green Code — or Communism?

first_imgWouldn’t green building fall under the category of the public’s general welfare? Isn’t the creation of yet another code the opposite of the original effort to consolidate the codes? On the other hand, I support the effort as the most expedient way for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and ASHRAE to push the more progressive 2030 Carbon Neutral Goal ahead of the slower IRC/IBC code cycle. Now if we could just get local AHJs to adopt and enforce it… Do we really need a new code?Is it really appropriate to set “green construction” out as yet another “code,” when we already have the IECC (energy code) and IRC/IBC (building code)? The ICC body was assembled in 2000 to simplify and consolidate the three existing regional building codes. The scope was originally “life safety,” but already in the 2003 version, the purpose was enlarged to also include the public health and general welfare, through various attributes, including energy conservation. RELATED STORIES Are Energy Codes Working?New Air Sealing Requirements in the International Residential CodeAn Overview of the 2012 Energy CodeAre We Really Better Off With Building Codes? Communism, plain and simpleWhat caught my attention were the comments that some readers posted concerning this seeming imposition of building green: “This is communism, plain and simple. Our Freedom is history.” At least this gentleman enjoyed his freedom of speech.For the sake of discussion, let’s consider the impact of communism on the built environment. Communist Russia produced very poorly crafted buildings, which were almost immediately in disrepair and certainly not energy-efficient. Also, for the sake of discussion, let’s not forget that this code must still be voted in by the local AHJs, who are hired by the free citizens of the municipality or state. So the IGCC is definitely not communism.Based on this gentleman’s last name, he appears to be of German origin. Had his forefathers not emigrated, he could be living in one of the growing number of communities throughout Germany which have mandated very aggressive energy-efficiency standards. Indeed, many of the new requirements in the IGCC have long been enforced codes in much of Europe. For example, there is a requirement for the dew point to fall outside the building envelope, for a given climate and wall construction. Material toxicity is much further evolved and drives innovation in insulation, paints, mastics, and fabrics. After a few false starts, the International Code Council (the code writing body for the U.S.) finally prevailed with the new International Green Construction Code, to be available in Spring 2012. Already there is media spin about the wonderful leadership shown by the U.S. in setting the example by providing such a code. Hoorah for the U.S.! I think…It often baffles Europeans how it is possible to have a code which is not enforceable as a law until the governing code bodies, either statewide or by individual jurisdiction, vote that code into law. Of course this is after they made modifications in the codes to suit them. And… the local AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) is still lord of his or her own domain.center_img The U.S. has some catching up to doIn fact, our communist-averse commentator might notice that many of the greenest of “green” programs have not come from the U.S., but from overseas (for example, Passivhaus and the Carbon Trust). He might be surprised that the USGBC LEED’s highest ranking of Platinum would only score “very good” (second highest) on the BREEAM system used in the U.K., and that Life Cycle Analysis databases and software are much further developed in Europe and the old British Empire than in the U.S.And, for the sake of our previous discussion, all of these initiatives have been the result of individuals — people who have pushed their own building codes to a higher level of performance standard. Besides, his forefathers and other immigrants came to America because this was the land of opportunity, a land which was once known as being ahead of the curve, a land of people who embraced changed, who took risks. What has happened to this spirit?I mention all this not to degrade in any way the hard work of the AIA, ASHRAE and the ICC. In fact, I commiserate with the political realities they faced when trying to push forth this initiative that is truly a benefit to the public welfare. But this as a reminder that the U.S. has some catching up to do in this particular domain, and I urge us all to encourage our local AHJs to adopt this new Green Code.I count on the experience gained in building science since the 1970s and seasoned energy efficient builders to lead the way. For when 100% of the U.S. is actively engaged in trying to meet this green goal in both new construction and remodel, then we will have the grounds on which to stand to be proud of our leadership. Vera Novak writes the Eco Build Trends blog and is currently earning her PhD in Construction from Virginia Tech.last_img read more

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Wind Farms Have Little Impact on Property Values

first_imgA detailed study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds wind turbines have little if any impact on the value of nearby houses.Researchers collected information on 50,000 home sales in 27 counties in nine states. The houses were within 10 miles of 67 different wind farms. Nearly 1,200 of the sales were for homes within a mile of a wind turbine. The study covers sales well before the announcement of a wind farm to well after construction.Wind farms ranged in size from a single turbine to 150 turbines, with turbine size averaging under 400 feet in total height (base to tip of blade). The average turbine capacity was 1.6 megawatts.“Across all model specifications, we find no statistical evidence that home prices near wind turbines were affected in either the post-construction or post-announcement/pre-construction periods,” the study concludes. “Therefore, if affects do exist, either the average sales impacts are relatively small (within the margin of error in the models) and/or sporadic (impacting only a small subset of homes).”Even for houses located within a mile of a turbine, the study found it “highly unlikely” that the effect on the sales price was larger than +/- 4.9%.“Regardless of these potential maximum effects, the core results of our analysis consistently show no sizable statistically significant impact of wind turbines on nearby property values,” the study says.last_img read more

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Should I Insulate My Cold Water Pipes?

first_imgErik North, the owner of Free Energy Maine, is an energy auditor and home performance specialist in Westbrook, Maine. He is also the author of the Energy Auditing Blog. Cold water pipes absorb heatIf the basement space is insulated, cold water pipes may absorb heat. The basement air temperature would be in the high 50s while the cold water pipes would be 10-12 degrees colder.If the pipes were left uninsulated, this would be a continual, low-level draw of heat from the building. Normally this might be too small to bother, but the cost of insulating pipes is so minimal it becomes worth discussing. Protect pipes from freezing and limit condensationThere are a few good reasons. If the basement or crawl space has uninsulated walls (and really, you should insulate your basement walls), insulated cold water pipes would be less prone to freezing in cold climates.If the basement is conditioned space, an insulated cold water pipe won’t absorb heat. If it is in a 1000% humidity climate like Georgia, cold pipes can be prone to condensation issues. A fully taped and insulated cold water pipe won’t condense moisture on its surface. Insulating the hot waters pipes in your house is something of a no-brainer. Why let the heat escape willy-nilly? Pipe insulation is inexpensive, and the project is one that any homeowner could finish on a Saturday afternoon.Whether to insulate the cold water pipes is less clear-cut. The project is still pretty inexpensive and easy — but does it have a point? Insulation retains heat, and these are cold water pipes. So why do it? Cold water pipes are a condensing surface for moisture in the airLastly, condensation concerns can be alleviated with pipe insulation. (Or rather, the possibility of condensation would be gone — you’re free to remain concerned.)Basements and crawl spaces are embedded in damp soil, surrounding the permeable concrete with moisture. The spaces under houses often have elevated humidity levels and cold water pipes are a natural condensing surface. Stick any paper or valuables or valuable paper (perhaps your original run of Claremont X-Men issues) under a pipe elbow, and you’re in for a nasty surprise down the road.The key for preventing condensation is to be sure that the pipe is insulated and that the insulation is sealed along the seams. Moisture-laden air must be kept from contacting the pipe surface. The pipe insulation should be a vapor-impermeable foam with all the seams and edges taped tight.Insulating hot water pipes in a cold climate is a no-brainer. But there is a lot to be said for insulating cold water pipes as well. Many houses in Maine and similar heating climates have uninsulated copper and PEX pipes running through the basement ceiling joists. With winter temperatures routinely dipping below 0°F, it’s no surprise that cold water pipes can freeze.Insulation is simply a material with above average resistance to thermal energy movement. The water comes out of the ground below 50°F into a winter environment that could be below 0°F. Wrapping those cold water pipes would keep what heat energy the water possessed in place, protecting against freezing. RELATED ARTICLES Q&A: Pipe insulationKnauf Fiberglass Pipe InsulationGBA Encyclopedia: Efficient Plumbing Supply LayoutsHow to Insulate a Basement WallBuilding an Unvented Crawl Space BLOGS BY ERIC NORTH Why I Hate, Hate, Hate SkylightsBan the CanThe Street-Side Energy AuditSpray Foam in Cold ClimatesProblems with Crawl SpacesHow to Avoid Mold Should cold water pipes be insulated in cold climates?My father grew up in houses where pipe freezing was a common occurrence. Since he slept in the basement bedroom of his childhood home, it’s not a surprise. That was one cold basement.From USGS groundwater temperature data, we know that groundwater temperatures in Maine are generally below 50°F.last_img read more

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What’s the Best Basement Flooring System?

first_imgThe problem isn’t moisture migrating through the concreteQuoting literature from the manufacturer’s website, Dieterle says that Delta FL is designed to stop water vapor from seeping up through the concrete.But it’s not that kind of moisture that Holladay and Dorsett are concerned with. Assuming the Delta membrane will prevent the migration of moisture upward through the slab, that still leaves the problem of condensation (or more properly, Holladay says, “adsorption”).“I’m concerned about the relative humidity of the entrained air in the rug underlayment or bottom of rug, which can easily hit levels high enough to support mold growth if you don’t allow the temperature of the underlayment to track the room temperature,” Dorsett says. “I’m sure Delta FL stops the moisture going from slab to rug, but it doesn’t have any means of stopping the moisture from going from the room air to the cold underlayment.”Mold loves relative humidity levels of 65% and greater and temperatures of 60°F and above, he says, and that’s exactly what you’ll get when you put carpet with an R-value of 1 or 2 over Delta FL in much of the northeast U.S.With room air at 72°F and 60% relative humidity, common in summer in the eastern U.S., the dew point would be about 57°F, Dorsett writes. With subsoil temperatures under 55°F, the relative humidity of the air on the underside of the rug could easily be greater than 75%, “and rife with mold growth due to the cooler temperature under the rug.”Headroom is an issue, but with as little as 1/2 inch of poly-faced EPS foam insulation plus plywood would sharply reduce the chance of mold growth. CONSTRUCTION DETAILS RELATED MULTIMEDIA GBA Webinar: Got Mold? Energy Efficiency and Moisture Management No, the two approaches are not the sameYou’re wrong about that, writes Dana Dorsett. The Delta FL systems bears little resemblance to rigid foam insulation and plywood.“Foam and subfloor have a substantial and knowable R-value, whereas Delta FL has no rated R-value,” Dorsett says. “While the material itself isn’t mold-food, almost anything put put on top of it will be — especially the rugs.”The R-value of the Delta FL membrane could be less than R-1, he adds, and while that would be enough to protect bare feet from the cold concrete, it would still create mold conditions on the bottom of the rugs during the summer when the dew points of the room rise.“To use rugs in a basement without sufficient R-value below it to keep the bottom of the rug well above the dew point of the peak summertime outdoor air dew points is to invite a mold disaster,” he says. “The R-value required to get there varies with location, since the outdoor dew points and subsoil temperatures are all local. But any place cold enough to warrant a wood stove in the basement [as Dieterle plans to do] would have subsoil cold enough to need at least R-3 under the rug to be safe anywhere in the ‘A’ zones of the U.S. (climate zones 4A though 7A).“And heating with resistive mats without at least R-5 (R-10+ would be better) would have a disproportionately high operating cost, too,” he adds. Two potential water problems, not just oneThere are two types of potential water problems in a basement, GBA Senior Editor Martin Holladay says. One is the possibility of water leaking in from the outside; the second is that a cool concrete slab can become a condensing surface for moisture, particularly in the summer. The first is apparently not a problem here.“In general,” Holladay adds, “you don’t ever want to install carpeting on a concrete slab unless you are sure that there is a layer of horizontal rigid foam under the slab. (The foam insulation keeps the slab near the interior air temperature, greatly reducing the chance of condensation.) Without the foam insulation layer, you can get moisture build-up and mold under the carpet.”Most older houses don’t have a layer of foam beneath the slab. Assuming that’s the case here, Dieterle could add a layer of foam on top of the concrete, followed by one or two layers of 3/4-inch tongue-and-groove plywood and then the finished flooring.Holladay’s suggestion of foam and plywood seems “almost identical” to the Delta FL system, Dieterle replies, so he’ll just stick with that. And even if the best possible flooring in this situation might be concrete, or tile over concrete, his wife “is not going to budge from wall-wall carpet.” RELATED ARTICLES center_img Building Plans for Energy Efficient Basement Remodeling How to Insulate a Basement WallFixing a Wet BasementGreen Basics: Slab FoundationsGreen Basement Renovation Q&A: Minimalist On Top of Slab Insulation Options Carpet in Basements: The Issues, Solutions, and Alternatives Finishing a Basement FloorThe Stay-Dry, No-Mold Finished Basement With a basement remodel underway, Jeff Dieterle weighs his options for a trouble-free floor. “We want to do the kitchen and bathroom in tile or stone and the rest of the area in wall-to-wall carpet,” he writes in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor.So far, he’s found two products that would seem to work: Ditra-Heat under the tile or stone sections of flooring, and a product called Delta FL in tandem with tongue-and-groove plywood under carpeted sections.Dieterle has never had a bulk water problem in the basement in the 17 years he’s lived in the house. Even so, he’s not sure that the Delta membrane/plywood combination is a good idea.“Not fond of the T&G plywood in the basement as everything else will be mold-proof,” he writes. “Are there other options beside inorganic individual tiles? Or is the Delta FL system reliable?”That question is the start of this Q&A Spotlight. Our expert’s opinionGBA Technical Director Peter Yost added this:Great points all around; I will just add some food for thought.Bulk water leaks: Most insurance companies will tell you their two single largest claims related to moisture are for ice dams and ruptured clothes washer hoses. If your basement does not leak, that’s great, but make sure that you have control of your clothes washer as a major source of interior water leaks. I recommend that any clothes washer, no matter what floor it is located on, should be controlled by a single-throw combo valve, conveniently located to treat water pressure to your clothes washer like a light switch: on when doing the laundry, otherwise off.Moisture evaporating (unseen) from your basement slab: There are two tests — one qualitative and one quantitative — for determining whether moisture is coming up through any concrete slab.Insulation under the floor: I could not agree more that elevating the basement floor temperature is essential in terms of managing mold, but also dust mites. Be careful when you go looking for EPS. There are many different types, as you can see in this Table of EPS Types and properties. There are other options for rigid insulation but availability and price for materials such as Foamglas and rigid mineral wool are issues.I would lobby hard for rugs rather than carpets in the basement; they are designed for relatively easy cleaning if — or more likely, when — your basement floor gets wet, or even just damp.last_img read more

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Smart Meters Not a Health Threat, Study Finds

first_imgSmart meters, those wireless devices that tell the power company how much electricity you’re using, have come under fire for everything from inaccuracy to invading privacy. But in Arizona, a public health study has concluded the devices are unlikely to pose a health risk.According to an article posted at the web site AZCentral, the state’s Department of Health Services reviewed scientific literature and worked with another state agency on a testing program to make sure meters were operating at their correct radio frequencies.Researchers tried to create a “worst-case scenario” of radio wave exposure that a homeowner with an installed smart meter might experience.“None of the measured radio frequencies power density [is] at levels of public health concern,” the report says. “With the available information, exposure to meters [is] not likely to harm the health of the public.”Electric utilities have been installing smart meters all over the country, but they’re controversial. Some ratepayers don’t want them installed on their houses; others have claimed a variety of health issues are caused by the radio waves the meters emit, and say the meters are a threat to privacy.The Arizona Corporation Commission has asked for the study after thousands of ratepayers complained about them. Public health researchers found that some studies have suggested that radio waves have the potential to affect human physiology, the report said, but studies “cannot conclude that the cellular changes necessarily lead to disease.”One utility, Arizona Public Service Company, has proposed a $75 opt-out fee for those who don’t want the meters, plus another $30 a month. Regulators have yet to make a decision.For more information on this topic, see the GBA report by Martin Holladay: EMFs and Human Health.last_img read more

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How to Clean an Air Conditioner Condensate Drain

first_imgAn air conditioner does two jobs: It cools down the air and it dehumidifies the air. If you live in a dry climate, you don’t want the AC to dehumidify much because it uses extra energy and makes you spend more on lip balm and hand lotion. If you live in a humid climate, you really want it to do that second job as well as it can to keep your indoor air dry and comfortable. But where does all that condensate go?In most homes, it goes outdoors through a pipe, like the one above. Sometimes there’s a condensate pump that pumps it out, but most often it drains by gravity alone. Occasionally that condensate line gets clogged. This happened at my condo just as the air conditioning season started cranking up. (We live in Atlanta, Georgia, a mixed-humid climate.) Gunk in the pipe built up to the point where it was barely draining. We could run the AC for a little while and then we’d have to turn it off again as the pipe filled up.Cleaning out the gunkOver the Memorial Day weekend, I tackled the problem. One of the best ways to do so is with good old air pressure. If you can close off all escape routes except the one in the direction of the clog, you can shoot positive pressure into the pipe near where the indoor unit is located. That should blow the clog out the other end. In our case, that wasn’t an option because our condensate line is connected to our upstairs neighbor’s air conditioner, too. It’s not the best option anyway because it can blow your condensate line apart if you have any weak connections.So I got out my little wet-dry shop vac and set it up to suck the gunk out at the end of the pipe. The photo below shows the setup. With the airtight connection, I got the bucket full of crud you see at left. (The black plastic object with the grid pattern is part of the shop vac.)If you really want to see how bad it was, watch the short video below and you can see my wife pouring it out.Yes, all that gunk was in our condensate line. One problem with condensate lines is that algae can grow in them. In our case, there’s also a lot of sediment in that bucket, possibly from a corroded evaporator coil. We replaced our AC in 2009 and the condensate line hasn’t been cleaned since then, so some of that crud could have been from our old unit. In fact, I’m guessing this is the first time this condensate line has been cleaned in the 45 years it’s been there. A few condensate line productsIf you haven’t thought about your condensate line lately (or ever), this would be a good time to do so. You can have your HVAC company make sure it’s clean, or you can get the tools and do it yourself. To keep it clear, you can use an algaecide that’s safe for air conditioners. An HVAC company can recommend one. (Don’t use bleach! It can cause a host of problems.) In hot-humid climates like Florida especially, clogged condensate lines are a frequent problem.When I posted this article in the Energy Vanguard Blog, some of the commenters mentioned products that make condensate line maintenance easier. (There was also a strange discussion about Legionnaire’s Disease.) Here are three. Rectorseal Mighty Pump. This is a manual pump you can use to put positive or negative pressure on the drain line. No electricity needed. It comes with the connectors you need to hook up to standard condensate lines.Rectorseal Waterless Trap. This add-on can serve a couple of different purposes with condensate lines. If the trap is in unconditioned space in a climate zone where water in the trap can freeze, this waterless trap might be the answer. Regan Murphy, who posted the link, wrote that it’s also helpful for condensate lines plumbed to the sewer line by keeping sewer gases out of the house without having to worry about keeping water in the trap.All-Access condensate clean-out device. This may be the coolest of the three products. You cut out a section of the condensate line and install this little device. Then you can use it to clean out the drain line with positive or negative pressure. You can add algaecides there. You can also use it to flush the line with water. It’s a really clever little device. Watch the videos (especially the first one) on their page to see all it can do.A little preventive maintenance now could save you thousands of dollars in water damage repairs and the loss of your air conditioner. And you know the most likely time for these to problems to occur is when it’s really, really hot outside. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. RELATED ARTICLESAir Conditioner BasicsGBA Encyclopedia: Air ConditioningThe Magic of ColdWindow-Mounted Air Conditioners Save EnergyAll About DehumidifiersUsing Ceiling Fans To Keep Cool Without ACcenter_img I was hoping to avoid a trip to the hardware store, so I used red duct tape to try to make an airtight connection between the shop vac hose and the condensate line. It didn’t work. I took the shop vac hose with me to the store and bought some fittings in the plumbing department. I hooked it all up (photo at left) and got a nice, airtight connection this time. With the taped connection, I got maybe half a cup of water out of the pipe.last_img read more

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Heading Off Ice Dams

first_imgThe best solution won’t be cheapThe problem can be solved, writes GBA senior editor Martin Holladay, “but the solution won’t necessarily be cheap.”If there is enough room in the attic, especially at the eaves, for an adequate amount of insulation, and if a skilled crew of workers can be found, then Rabe’s proposed solution will be successful.“In many homes, however, this approach won’t work because space at the eaves is limited and because skilled workers are hard to find,” Holladay adds. “Instead, consider installing a new layer or layers of thick rigid foam above the roof sheathing. This approach (a) is expensive, (b) requires you to insulate the gable walls in your attic, and (c) requires you to re-work your exterior trim details at the rakes and eaves — but it will solve your ice dam problems.”Holladay suggests that Rabe consider using nailbase, a type of roof sheathing that consists of rigid foam insulation glued to a layer of OSB. Nailbase is available in several thicknesses, including a 9-inch-thick panel from ABT that’s rated at R-33.If he installs rigid foam on the exterior of the roof sheathing, he should not ventilate the underside of the sheathing. This approach requires the sealing of any soffit or ridge vents.“Some builders prefer to include a ventilation channel above the rigid foam,” he adds. “In fact, some nailbase panels include this type of ventilation channel. But you wouldn’t want to have any ventilation under the original sheathing… You only want to ventilate your roof sheathing when the roof sheathing is on the exterior side of the insulation. Once you bring the roof sheathing into your home’s thermal envelope, you want to keep everything warm and cozy (to limit your energy bills).” The spray foam optionRabe has contacted an insulation contractor who recommends that both problem roof areas be insulated with spray foam, creating an unvented “hot” roof.“The plan, he said, was to remove the sheathing and spay foam the ‘attic floor’ between each joist in order to seal and insulate the attic floor with no more spray foam than the height of each joist,” Rabe writes. “All intake and exhaust vents would be closed off. As for the cathedral, they would also remove the sheathing and spray foam the entire cavity from eave to ridge. No venting. I have no interest in making my attic space into a livable region. I’m all for the cheapest approach to eliminate ice damming.”He’s concerned, however, that enough heat will bleed through the insulation beneath the low-slope roof to get the sheathing warm enough to melt snow.“Apologies for the learning process, but is there some advantage to not having ventilation in this scenario?” he adds. “The insulation guy said that spray foam below the sheathing vs. directly on the attic floor are identical.”Not really, Holladay replies. “Installing spray foam insulation on an attic floor does not create a conditioned attic. This type of attic is outside of the home’s thermal envelope, and it should be vented. There is no reason for the spray foam contractor to seal the soffit vents and the ridge vent if the contractor is installing spray foam on the attic floor. In most cases, the best insulation to install on an attic floor is cellulose, not spray foam, although spray foam is often useful for air sealing.”A second insulation contractor recommends spraying the attic floor beneath the low-slope roof with foam, blocking the soffit vents but providing ventilation to the attic with Maximum Ventilation intakes. For the cathedral ceiling, the contractor would spray the roof cavity from above, leaving a small air space beneath the new roof sheathing for ventilation. Soffit vents would remain open.Rabe already uses VMax Model 301 units from the company as exhaust vents for the attic. “I am considering installing ridge vents,” he says, “but the insulation specialist claims that these Maximum Ventilation units (exhaust and intake) are far superior solutions, and even the intakes would serve to draw in air allowing them to fully spray foam the corners tight, maximizing the R-value there.”Keep minimum recommended R-values in mind, Holladay adds that 5 inches of open-cell foam yields an R-18 thermal barrier, while that much closed-cell foam produces R-32. But in either case, that’s less than the minimum code requirement of R-49 required in the U.S. for even milder climate zones than Ontario. RELATED ARTICLES Rabe has solicited suggestions on how to resolve the problem from several roofing companies. They seem to run the gamut: opening all soffit vents and adding fluffy insulation between rafters; removing shingles and installing metal roofing; adding a new roof deck on top of the existing deck and building in an air gap between the two; removing all existing attic insulation before air-sealing the attic floor and blowing in new insulation; and, finally, removing the existing low-slope and cathedral roofs and replacing them with a new roof of a steeper pitch.Rabe is leaning toward a plan that would begin with removing the existing board sheathing and the existing attic insulation. Then, he would air-seal all the “visibly obvious problem areas,” open all soffits and add baffles between rafters, and then blow in new cellulose to a depth of 18 inches to 20 inches. The roof could then be decked with OSB and re-shingled. He estimates this approach would cost about $25,000 Canadian ($20,000 U.S.).“I’m hoping for a guaranteed solution,” he writes.Is this it? That’s the question for this Q&A Spotlight. With the onset of another winter just a few months away, Jake Rabe is looking for suggestions on how to prevent the recurrence of ice dams on his older Ontario home.“Each winter I have to deal with ice damming along two sides of the roof — nowhere else,” he writes in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor. “The areas in question are a low-slope roof (3/12 pitch, east and west side of the ridge) and a cathedral style roof (8/12 pitch)… My goal is to stop the ice damming.”Rabe believes that the house was built between the 1920s and the 1950s. Access to the cramped attic beneath the east and west low-slope roofs is through a tiny hatch on the upper floor of the house. Rabe estimates that there is only about 36 inches from the ridge to the attic floor, with the space now filled with a mix of old and new cellulose insulation roughly 12 inches thick. He has no idea whether the insulation is evenly distributed across the attic floor.Soffit vents have been installed, although he suspects they have been obstructed by wood or cellulose. There are two exhaust vents at the top of the roof. The roof has board sheathing rather than OSB or plywood. How to Install Rigid Foam On Top of Roof SheathingIce Dam BasicsPrevent Ice Dams With Air Sealing and InsulationAir Leakage Through Spray Polyurethane FoamSpray Foam Jobs With Lingering Odor ProblemsSpray Foam in Cold ClimatesSpray Foam Insulation Is Not a Magic BulletSpray Foam Insulation Is Not a Cure -AllGetting Spray Foam RightAir Leaks in Homes Insulated With Spray FoamWhen Spray Foam Goes Badcenter_img When to vent the atticThere is still some lingering confusion on whether it’s important to vent an attic when the attic floor has been insulated and air-sealed with spray foam.If the attic is too small to stand up in, and the attic floor is insulated with an adequate amount of spray foam, the attic would not have to be vented, Holladay says. “As long as the spray foam work is not performed in the rain, the assembly will be fine. The spray foam stops humid air from the interior from exfiltrating through the ceiling, so interior moisture won’t be entering from below. The roofing keeps out the rain.”Vents above the insulation would be a good idea if there is a practical way to install them, Holladay says, but vents that penetrate the roofing are not his personal favorites because they can leak.Why does the need for ventilation hinge on how big the attic is? asks Alan.“Low-slope roof assemblies insulated with spray polyurethane foam are often unvented,” Holladay replies. “The fact that there are a few inches of air above the cured spray foam doesn’t necessarily make these roof assemblies risky. That said, venting the air space provides an opportunity for excess moisture to dissipate, obviously, so if Jake can include a soffit vent or a wall vent, he should do so.” Consult an expertFinding a qualified contractor is, of course, key. Rabe has been calling roofing contractors, but they don’t seem to think that air-sealing is very important. So where should he look?What you want, Holladay says, is a home performance or weatherization contractor. A RESNET-certified or BPI-certified rater would be a good place to look for a recommendation, and Steve Knapp suggests that the Canadian Residential Energy Services website is a place to start. The Building Performance Institute Canada also would be a place to check.“Keep in mind that spray foam contractors want to sell spray foam,” Knapp says. “Earlier, Martin suggested bringing in a CRESNET rater to check out your home and recommend a strategy. Personally, I think that is the way to go. Otherwise, you may end up wasting funds and possibly making your situation worse, not better.”The advice Rabe has been getting from spray-foam contractors isn’t sitting well with Alan B.“That insulation specialist is making me do multiple face-palms,” he writes. “He sounds like one of those stereotypical ‘foam solves everything, R-value myth’ types. For a standard attic the advice is simple: air seal (blower door directed is best) then put R-50 of cellulose on the attic floor. Make sure soffit and ridge venting is adequate. Measure the amount [of venting] you have in square inches and the size of the roof, and post here to get numbers.“For a cathedral ceiling (meaning no conventional attic, low slope or high slope), adequate rigid foam on top of the sheathing is recommended, and fill the rafters with open-cell foam, drywall, air-seal and paint,” Alan adds. “The needed foam thickness on top of the sheathing depends on rafter thickness and climate zone, so your location in Ontario would be helpful… This should solve the problems at better cost then some of the crazy and wrong solutions you have been given.” Aesthetic concerns with exterior foamOne potential drawback of using rigid foam above the roof sheathing is what the new insulation would do to the appearance of the house.“My worry about this approach is how it will look,” Rabe writes. “I would only be applying it to the low-pitch roof and the cathedral roof — nowhere else. I’m concerned the existing, relatively new, gutters will have a, worst case, 10-inch-gap between the shingles and the top of the gutter.”[Illustration: Building Science Corporation]If exterior foam is the option Rabe chooses, Holladay replies, it would typically be applied to the entire roof, not parts of it. He refers Rabe to an an illustration from Building Science Corporation showing how a rebuilt soffit and fascia can disguise the thick exterior foam.“If you are uncertain of the aesthetics of this insulation project, it’s time to hire an architect to help you,” Holladay says.The potentially “astronomical” cost of placing rigid foam on top of the sheathing has Rabe circling back to a variation of an idea he broached earlier. Working from above, he would remove the existing sheathing and insulation, and air-seal the attic floor. The floor could then be insulated, either with closed-cell foam alone, or with a layer of closed-cell foam and then a layer of cellulose.“Your plan sounds sensible,” Holladay tells him. “The success of your plan will depend, of course, on the skill of your spray foam installer.” Our expert’s opinionHere’s what GBA technical director Peter Yost had to say:It’s interesting that this home only has problems on certain roofs or roof locations. A blower-door-assisted infrared scan of the roofs would be really helpful in better understanding the thermal bypasses (due to combined air leakage and conductive heat loss) at all the eaves.All ice dams are the combined result of conductive and convective heat loss at the eaves, at nearby penetrations, or at leaky ducts. In this case it looks like missing air sealing and insulation at the eave (or the top of the exterior wall) is the primary culprit.It’s not really possible to vent or ventilate your way out of ice dams; the only real solution is making the air and thermal barrier continuous at the intersection of the eave and the top of the wall. You can rake the eaves when it snows, or switch to a less-susceptible roofing, but those aren’t really solutions. For this project (especially with the low-slope shed dormer), attacking the eaves from the outside, along the lines of this project by Paul Eldrenkamp of Byggmeister, is the way to go.An insulation retrofit beefed up insulation at the eaves.Paul has done moisture monitoring on ice-dam retrofits like this one — where the total space or depth of the roof assembly really does not allow venting — to show that even if the roof sheathing gets quite wet during the heating season, it will dry well over the rest of the year.Venting introduces drying potential forgiveness, of course, but you simply can’t move enough air past an assembly wetted by an ice dam to good effect. It is more important to eliminate uncontrolled air movement (leakage) than it is to increase managed air movement (venting or ventilating) to manage ice dams.Incidentally, Eldrenkamp sent me this photo as part of his work with the Building America team (NorthernSTAR) and their work on ice dams, called Project Overcoat. Go here for more examples of what leading contractors have done to solve ice dams.last_img read more

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Bigger Houses Mean Smaller Yards

first_imgRegional differences are manyOlder urban areas — including San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit — typically have very tight lots because many of their single-family houses were built in the late 19th and early 20 centuries when smaller lots were the norm. Cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix are much newer but also have tight lots because much of the housing stock was built after 1996.But there are some urban areas where larger lots are common. In four Connecticut metro areas, for example, houses take up less than 10% of their lots on average, even when looking only at houses built after 2014. New England generally showed the smallest lot use in the country, with Providence, Rhode Island; Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts; and Albany, New York, all with new houses covering less than 10% of total lot area.“So, if your ideal home comes with visions of backyard barbeques, a place for the dog to run, and maybe even a pool and hot tub to host people on those warm summer nights, know that where you live will greatly impact how easy that will be to come by,” the Trulia report said. “On top of that, be wary of brand new construction which will likely not offer all the outdoor bells and whistles you may be dreaming of. Instead, keep an eye out for homes built during the post-war years up until the ’80s, or, better yet, in the early to mid-1800s.”Separately, the National Association of Home Builders said in an Eye on Housing report that nearly 60% of all new homes started in 2016 were built within a community or a homeowners’ association.That number has been climbing steadily since 2009, when about 48% of new homes were built in communities, as opposed to single building lots not located within any particular homeowner association jurisdiction.Percentages ranged from a low of 29.5% in New England to 82.3% in the intermountain region stretching from Montana southward to New Mexico and Arizona. A combination of bigger houses and shrinking building lots means that today’s single-family houses take up a greater percentage of their lots, leaving less room for the kids to play in their own backyards, but also reducing the amount of lawn maintenance homeowners need to perform.An analysis by Trulia, an online real estate marketing company, found that on average, houses built since 2015 take up 25% of the lots on which they are built, compared to 13.9% in 1975. That’s due to building lots that are about one-third smaller than they used to be, and house footprints that have grown by more than 15%.When plotted over time, the numbers show a steady decline in the amount of outdoor room that American families have for backyard gardens and, these days, pickup soccer games. In the 1800s, lot sizes were an average of 48,352 square feet — just over an acre — with the average house footprint at 1,668 square feet. A century later, Trulia reports, lot size had fallen to 7,200 square feet with the footprint dropping to 1,390 square feet. After that, footprints began to grow, reaching an average of 1,715 square feet by the 1970s and 2,077 square feet by the 2010s. Lot sizes dropped from 10,545 square feet in the 1970s to 9,148 square feet in the 2010s.“This dramatic fall in lot sizes, paired up with a more modest decrease in the size of houses’ footprints resulted in a steady increase in lot usage from less than 4% to more than 21.5%,” Trulia said. Many factors have contributed to the changing relationship between house size and lot size: the post-World War II economic boom, the rise of the automobile and growth of the suburbs, and the development of the interstate highway system, which allowed people to live much farther away from their jobs than they had in the past. Self-Driving Cars Will Mean More Sprawl Understanding Home Energy Performance Will Become a Key to Real Estate Success Why Real Estate Developers Are Ignoring the Middle Class RELATED ARTICLES last_img read more

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Ads Aren’t Reshaping Twitter, Twitter Is Reshaping Ads

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Lost in the recent noise about Twitter’s developer relations and product designs is that Twitter is quickly (and relatively quietly) becoming a successful advertising business. And it’s doing this in its own way: Not by running banner ads or video pre-rolls, but through its own interactive, networked ad products.Twitter Ads March AheadMost Twitter users don’t – and shouldn’t – visit Twitter’s Advertising blog. But it’s actually pretty interesting. The cadence and variety of announcements, including new targeting features and measurement tools, suggest Twitter’s advertising team is “shipping” regularly across many disciplines.And something’s working: Twitter’s ad boss Adam Bain recently took the top spot on Adweek’s list of the 50 top industry power players. “Twitter is where the new ad wars are being waged,” Adweek gushed, noting that “promoted Trend ads now command $120,000 a day – and advertisers have to wait in line.” (Adweek cited Bloomberg’s earlier report that Twitter projected $1 billion in revenue in 2014, but nothing more recent.)Bigger picture, Twitter is building an advertising product that’s vastly different than what other media companies offer.Twitter ads are designed to be human – content, in a brand’s “voice,” but not robotic – and meld with the content around them. They’re designed to provoke feedback – via favorites, retweets, hashtagged tweets, and replies – in the same medium they’re created and presented in. They’re simple, so they can be created on-the-fly as events unfold. And advertisers can increasingly target them to people who might actually be interested in their pitch.“The canvas is the conversation itself,” Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said on the Charlie Rose show last week, contrasting Twitter’s content-based ads to previous, “megaphone”-like ad experiences. “What we’re trying to tell marketers is, you might not even go into a campaign knowing what you want to say in advance.”That’s not to say they’re perfect – Twitter and its advertisers are just as new to this as we are, so it’s still a learning experience. Some of the ads I’ve seen seem awkward and forced, or just lame, but I’ve also actually followed a few “promoted” accounts I didn’t know about, too. Either way, even I’ve found Twitter ads less detracting and more compelling than the typical banner ads on most media sites. And that’s the idea.“Our business is only going to work if we’re putting content in front of our users that they want to see and that they engage with. And that’s the simple equation,” Costolo told CNBC this week. “If we do that, the users will be happy, our business will work, and our advertisers win.”But it would be a mistake to assume that ads are solely driving Twitter or its product decisions.Users First, Business NextI’ve written, now a few times, about Twitter’s utmost desire to remain independent, and how that will require – sooner than later – a robust advertising business. (“Big money soon, or Twitter becomes Windows Live Chat Bird or Google+ for Glasses, and we all lose.”)But to my understanding, that’s actually not the driving force behind big-picture Twitter’s decisions. The nuanced feedback I’ve received repeatedly is: Yes, obviously, the ad business matters. But actually, what’s really important is user growth.Twitter “only” has 140 million users. (More than that now, probably, but that’s the last “official” figure.) Yes, that’s more than 10 million users, but it’s not 1 billion. So, as a result, product decisions are made with the user in mind first and foremost – and especially with the future user in mind. What’s going to make Twitter better for its next 800 million users than it was for its first 200 million? How can Twitter be simpler, more engaging, and more attractive?That won’t please everyone, especially – as we’re seeing – Twitter’s geeky early adopters. But it’s crucial to Twitter’s future – especially as an independent company. And it makes much more sense than the idea of tweaking the UI just to grease existing advertisers.The result, if everything works, could be a Twitter with many hundreds of millions of users, and a billion-dollar-plus ad business. Not bad for a company whose business model was a punchline for so long.Twitter CEO Dick Costolo photo (cc) Kevin Moloney/Fortune Brainstorm Tech via Flickr. Tags:#twitter#web Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationcenter_img A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit dan frommer Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…last_img read more

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How RapidShare Plans To Avoid MegaUpload’s Fate

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… john paul titlow Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#copyright#filesharing#megaupload#piracy#rapidshare Related Posts center_img It’s not everyday an Internet company watches its traffic numbers plummet – and rejoices. But that is precisely the scenario that cloud storage service RapidShare finds itself in as it seeks to draw a clear distinction between its business model and that of the now-defunct Megaupload. Since the raid that saw Megaupload shut down and its founder arrested last last year, RadidShare and similar services have been taking measures to reduce piracy on their networks, in many cases limiting their functionality and potentially sacrificing the overall user experience. If it means avoiding the fate of Megaupload, even drastic changes are worth it to these companies.On November 27, RapidShare will start putting a tight cap on outbound downloads for its free users. Paid members will still have 30 gigabytes in outbound downloads per day, but everybody else will be capped at one gigabyte. This will apply to public downloads, whereas direct Dropbox-style sharing between users won’t be affected. The change is expected to further deter pirates from using RapidShare to distribute copyright material on a large scale.An Ongoing, Newly Urgent BattleThe download caps are just the latest in a list of anti-piracy moves the company has made, as Chief Legal Officer Daniel Raimer outlined in a presentation at the Future of Music Summit in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. Those earlier efforts include a three-strike policy for repeat infringers and Web-crawling technology that helps RapidShare find links to illegal content so it can take corrective measures with those accounts. “That’s really helpful to delete a lot of accounts in a short amount of time and to get rid of a lot of piracy that happens on a large scale,” Raimer told ReadWrite in an interview after his talk. “It’s kind of hard to identify guys who do piracy on a very low level, like some Norwegian kid who has a music blog with very low traffic. Sooner or later that guy is going to be detected.”Earlier this year, RapidShare published a document titled “Responsible Practices For Cloud Storage Services” (see below), which outlines an anti-piracy framework for cyberlockers like to use in dealing with DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown requests to remove allegedly pirated content and policing activity on their services.RapidShare Handicaps Itself To Save Its Own LifeIn the case of RapidShare, the association with piracy is difficult to shake. For years, links to RapidShare pages containing movies and albums have littered the Web. According to Google Trends, the second most closely related search term to “RapidShare” is “Megaupload.” Included on the list of top-ten related search terms are “rapidshare movies” and “rapidshare crack.” It’s this close association with piracy that RapidShare is hoping to change with its download caps, three-strike policy and Web-crawling technology. The company has already seen a substantial drop-off in traffic as a result of the company’s existing anti-piracy measures, Raimer said. Their goal is to make using RapidShare as unpalatable as possible for copyright infringers, and the initial response to its anti-infringement measures suggest that the strategy is working. The pirates are not happy. RapidShare isn’t the only company taking these kinds of precautions. In the aftermath of the Megaupload shutdown, FileSonic and FileServe stopped allowing users to download files uploaded by other users, and MediaFire went on a PR offensive in an attempt to draw a line between itself and Megaupload. This is an odd and risky position for a business to be in, deliberately handicapping its own product in a bid to shoo away some users while hoping to cling to enough members to avoid a detrimental drop in revenue.  RapidShare is trying to strike a very delicate balance. How effectively it’s able to do that depends, in part, on how much of the content on RapidShare infringes on copyrights, and how much does not. That’s a difficult thing to measure, but no doubt the company’s crawlers and other anti-piracy technology is starting to illuminate. Come November 27, the picture will start to get even clearer. SF #5383794 v2 Responsible Practices 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

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Cisco VoIP Phone Flaw Could Plant Bugs In Your Cubicle

first_imgRelated Posts A new study has discovered a very exploitable flaw in Cisco’s popular Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones, which could put millions of users in the enterprise and government at risk of remote eavesdropping.Cisco VoIP phones sit on some 50 million businesses and government office desks across the country and around the world. Take a peek in the Oval Office or on Air Force One, you’ll find them there, too. VoIP phones use the Internet – instead of a standard phone network – to transmit voice calls, text messages and faxes instead of a standard phone network. Internet phone service is much cheaper than traditional phone service, while the phones are as easy to use as any office phone system. But according to Ang Cui, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, and Dr. Sal Stolfo, they’re also a big potential security threat. And it’s not just Cisco phones – all VoIP phones are potentially susceptible to this flaw.Hardware Flaw Déjà VuIf the names Cui and Stolfo sound familiar, it’s probably because they aren’t new to the flaw-finding game. They made a similar discovery last year with HP printers that could be controlled remotely to collect information and attack other networks, due to a flaw very similar to the one they found in the phones. This time around, the duo was looking at a bug that shows up in 14 models of Cisco VoIP phones. The vulnerabilities lie in the phone’s firmware, specifically in the kernel system calls. Kernels are the core of the operating system and help manage a computer’s resources (CPU, memory, apps). Receiving a system call means an application running on the device wants to access hardware on the device, but needs approval from the kernel first. The bug allows hackers to easily bypass the kernel to access a VoIP device’s hardware.  These phones aren’t just phones, Cui explained to NBC News, they are “general-purpose computers jammed into a plastic case to make you think it’s a phone.” Inside that plastic case is a system on a chip (SoC), RAM, flash memory and a network card. Add a microphone and an off-hook switch that activates the microphone when the handset is picked up, and you’ve got yourself a VoIP phone.Let Your Fingers Do The HackingCui and another researcher on the project, Michael Costello, demonstrated the hack at the the Chaos Communications Conference in December. The hack requires a plug-in device to insert malicious code (lovingly referred to as “ThingP3WN3r” at the conference demo), but it needs only one phone or device to access the whole network. The fact that this is a physical attack mitigates the danger of this vulnerability. But the amount of time needed to perform this physical attack is just seconds, so even an un-monitored lobby phone could serve as a potential vector for attack. A quick chat with the receptionist outside an office, or a visitors booth with a VoIP phone will do nicely. Once loaded onto the phone, the malware rewrites the onboard software so that the phone is virtually taken off the hook.Usually, when you pick up the phone to make a call, an LED indicator light comes on or an icon pops up on the screen. The rewritten code disables those indicators and turns on the handset’s microphone so that any conversation nearby can be heard and transcribed back to a central server. Which, at this point, is being controlled by the hacker. Not Exploited Yet?In an email to ReadWrite, Cui wrote that he couldn’t say whether the vulnerability has been exploited yet, “I will say that if a competent hacker looked at the code running in these phones, the vulnerability is not difficult to find and is straightforward to exploit.” Cui also claimed that currently no one can tell if a vulnerable phone has been compromised, because there’s no way to look into the phone to see if the software has been tampered with. The researchers told Cisco about the vulnerability last Fall in a report. It was acknowledged and within two weeks Cisco had provided a patch to fix the bug. Two weeks later, Cui and Stolfo downloaded the patch and sent a second report to Cisco that it didn’t work. There is currently a security alert listed on the company’s website with a more detailed account of the flaw. Cisco says it is working on rewriting the firmware and hopes to have a permanent fix ready by January 21. (Cisco did not respond to a request for comment.)Cui and Stolfo have developed their own fix, called Software Symbiotes, which they plan to demo at the RSA Conference in San Francisco in February. The defensive technology will live alongside executable code or arbitrary software to ensure that it works properly. Symbiotes, according to Cui, will be able to tell whether a system has been compromised, and either stop the malware or turn off the host device altogether. Until then, users of Cisco and other VoIP devices should be sure their devices are properly patched, or else watch what they say around the office.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… christina ortiz Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzeslast_img read more

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Xbox One: Microsoft’s Big Bid To Pwn The Living Room

first_imgIt’s not every day one of the big three gaming powerhouses announces a new console. In fact, we’ve been waiting a solid eight years. In an event on its Redmond, Washington home turf today, Microsoft announced the Xbox One, its next generation Xbox gaming console — and more.In fact, the Xbox One is pretty much an audacious land grab by Microsoft, an attempt to stake out your living room as its undisputed turf. Here’s how.The new console packs 8GB of RAM, a base 500GB hard drive, USB 3.0, wi-fi direct, and built-in Blu-Ray. The One runs on a custom eight-core AMD chip and will come bundled with Kinect, the motion-based controller system that Microsoft introduced with the Xbox 360.Contrary to rumors, the Xbox One will not require an Internet connection at all times. Though it may crimp your ability to play used games and apparently won’t play Xbox 360 games at all.On stage in Redmond, Head of Xbox Don Mattrick touted the Xbox team’s ability to stay agile with trends — not always the company’s strong suit — by feeding the voracious appetite of avid gamers. “Nearly 8 years after our launch, the Xbox 360 remains a vibrant platform,” Mattrick said. “We made an early bet on Xbox live. Gamers were hungry to adopt emerging technologies… we doubled down on Xbox Live. Today it’s time for technology to step behind the curtain.” But it is in the living room that the Xbox One stakes its major claim to fame. A new generation of Xbox Live will be the revamped, beating heart of the console, weaving together interactive TV, real-time major broadcast events like sports and awards shows and connected gaming, naturally.The new Xbox Live interface enables quick-switching between Xbox Live’s homescreen, movies and live TV — and in the demo, quick meant quick. “”You can switch to your game like it’s a TV channel flip” according to Xbox Live head Marc Whitten. The quick-switching is thanks to “snap mode,” a multitasking feature that allows apps to remain running in the background so that they can pop back up instantly.By hosting its own event on its own terms, Microsoft is jumping the gun on E3 — the biggest North American gaming conference, and traditional grounds for big, flashy hardware announcements. Of course, Microsoft is also beating Sony to the punch, considering that the rival’s PlayStation 4 reveal is just around the corner too. All photos by Taylor Hatmaker for ReadWrite Tags:#consoles#gaming#Microsoft#Xbox 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Related Posts 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… taylor hatmaker 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnoutlast_img read more

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When Smartphones Are The Wrong Tool For The Wrong Job

first_imgdan rowinski What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Normally I am all for using smartphones to make you better at your job or businesses more efficient. But sometimes things just cross the line.The Chicago Sun-Times, a newspaper with a long and rich history, just fired its entire staff of photo journalists. It their place? The Sun-Times is going to teach every reporter the basics of iPhone photography. “In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be working with all editorial employees to train and outfit you as much as possible to produce the content we need,” said Sun-Times managing editor Craig Newman in a memo to the staff, according to media critic Robert Feder in a Facebook post.This comes under the category of, “just because you can do something and it will be cheaper and easier, doesn’t mean you bloody well should.”I take a lot of photos for articles with my array of smartphones. That doesn’t mean all of them are any damn good. Sometimes it can be damn hard to take a professional photograph of something with a smartphone for publication. You become a lot more aware of lighting conditions, distance, hand movement and stabilization. These are things that a good photo journalist with a decent camera just knows how to take care of to produce much better quality work than me and my point-and-shoot smartphone hack jobs.In comparison to large newspapers, ReadWrite’s staff is small and we can only do so many things. Yet, we have a person on a photo desk (that serves other SAY Media-owned properties, as well) and we have been trying to be more proactive with original pictures and visual elements in our story. The Web is more and more a visual place, and quality photos are what make publications stand out from the dreck of social media and amateur blogs. Add in the fact that the Chicago Sun-Times actually prints a paper newspaper, and the matter becomes complicated. You ever seen a pixelated, blurry iPhone picture blown up and printed on newspaper parchment? No? There is a reason for that.If newspapers are going to turn reporters into “backpack journalists” (where everything they need from camera, to notebooks to computer,smartphone and tablets is in  backpack), then they need to equip reporters better for photos than just a smartphone. The industry has made tremendous strides with smartphone camera technology (with Samsung, Nokia and HTC’s recent flagship smartphones all boasting terrific digital point-and-shoot apps).For the most part though, they just aren’t going to be good enough for the professional-grade photography a major American newspaper is supposed to have. It would be better if the if the Sun-Times reporters issued high-quality digital cameras like the Samsung Galaxy Camera. They would be much better equipped to enter the fray than just with their smartphone. We can extend the bad decision of the Sun-Times to a variety of industries. Just because mobile might be cheaper, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to be better. The right tool for the right job makes everybody’s lives easier and more efficient. Sometimes, perhaps most of the time, that tool is not going to be a smartphone. Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Related Posts Tags:#photography#smartphones center_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

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Facebook Delays Privacy Policy Updates

first_imgRelated Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos readwritecenter_img Tags:#Facebook#FTC#now#privacy A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Changes to Facebook’s data use policy announced a week ago will not be rolled out until next week, according to the LA Times. The proposed changes include adding profile photos to Facebook’s facial recognition database, and clarifying the use of personal information for advertising purposes. According to the Times, the Federal Trade Commission has been asked by six consumer watchdog groups to block Facebook’s proposed changes. The policy updates were in response to a privacy lawsuit filed in 2011 that the company settled for $20 million last month. last_img read more

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Hitachi rolls out Vantara to amp up its social innovation track record

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Data Centers#featured#Hitachi#IIoT#Industrial IoT#Internet of Things#IoT#Lumada#top Related Posts AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Trevor Curwincenter_img Follow the Puck Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Here at their inaugural NEXT event in Las Vegas today, Hitachi debuted their new Hitachi Vantara subsidiary, an effort that’s meant to pull together a broad portfolio of innovation, development and experience from across the company aimed at delivering “data-driven solutions for commercial and industrial enterprises.”See also: Hitachi sets up IoT R&D camp in CaliforniaThe new company brings together the operations of Hitachi Data Systems, Hitachi Insight Group, and Pentaho into a single integrated business, looking to leverage Hitachi’s social innovation capability in both operational technologies (OT) and information technologies (IT). Hitachi’s Insight Group, its IoT-focused efforts to break down silos across the company in this emerging tech landscape, is itself only 16 months old.Over a century in the making“Hitachi Vantara marks a monumental change for Hitachi as we continue to advance our unified corporate vision of Social Innovation,” said Hitachi, Ltd. President and CEO Toshiaki Higashihara. “Hitachi has been helping customers harness the power of their data to support meaningful business action for years. Now as the world is being transformed by digital tools and processes, we are unifying our strongest digital solutions companies together as a new Hitachi company that delivers exponential business impact for our customers and the betterment of society. The formation of Hitachi Vantara underscores Hitachi’s commitment to  collaborative creation with customers and partners, and being a true innovation partner for the era of IoT.”The firm has been a leader in OT for industries as diverse as finance, government, manufacturing, energy, and transportation for over 100 years, providing solutions that have positively impacted cities, industrial operations, and businesses at large. They’ve also lead in IT for over 50 years—bringing IT applications, analytics, content, cloud, and infrastructure solutions to market that have transformed the way enterprises do business.“First reaction is ‘wow’ and the second reaction is usually ‘didn’t know you guys did that.’” said Brian Householder, President and COO of Vantara. Combining Hitachi’s “broad expertise in OT with its proven IT product innovations and solutions,” the new subsidiary should “give customers a powerful, collaborative partner in data – unavailable in any one company until today.”Hitting the emerging IoT marketThe new company is targeting the emerging IoT market opportunity, in which there is no clear winner yet. They’ll continue to provide infrastructure and analytics technologies, especially focused on their existing data center offerings.It will also be driving the development of strategic software and services solutions, including Hitachi Smart Data Center software and services as well as Lumada, Hitachi’s IoT platform — now available as a standalone, commercial software offering.In the same announcement, they rolled out Lumada’s 2.0 release. It’s been fully updated with enhanced artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and advanced analytics capabilities. It also has an elegant, portable architecture that enables it to run both on-premises or in the cloud, and supports industrial IoT deployments both at the edge and in the core. last_img read more

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Predictive Analytics: How to Turbocharge Your Digital Marketing Strategy

first_imgAs a savvy marketer in the digital age, you always need to stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in the world of technology, business intelligence, and analytics. You need to find better ways to refine your target audience with the help of your digital marketing campaigns.  Predictive analysis tells you how to turbo charge your digital marketing strategy. In fact, predictive analysis will make this marketing strategy possible.Want to learn how you can turbocharge your marketing campaigns? We will explore the use of predictive analytics in digital marketing. You’ll know what predictive analytics are and what you can do with it. Best of all, you’ll learn why you need to use this data and what lies in the future beyond 2019.What is Predictive Analytics for Marketing?Predictive Analytics is a branch of Analytics that requires “the use of big data and statistical algorithms along with machine learning techniques in order to identify the future likelihood of outcomes based on the available historical data,” according to SAS.If you refer to the explanation by Salesforce: “Predictive marketing relies on data science to come up with accurate predictions for making marketing decisions and to plan marketing strategies that are most likely to succeed in the future.”Simply put, it involves any analytical activity that leverages the existing customer data for making intelligent assumptions about the future activity of potential customers.Significance of Predictive Analytics for BusinessesBy now you have probably realized that predictive analysis in digital marketing can potentially help you make a really good use of the existing historical data you may already have sitting around somewhere. Want to know how many marketers are already using it for growing their business?91% of professional marketers are either already fully committed to or are in the process of implementing predictive marketing for better results, according to a research study conducted by Salesforce.Here’s why businesses are using predictive analysis to achieve better results with marketing than ever before. Follow the Puck Measure Digital Marketing ROIs Using Predictive Analytics Unqualified leads usually end up costing companies a lot of their time and money. With the help of predictive analytics, you can devise an algorithm that qualifies leads by prioritizing those who are known prospects based on their likelihood of taking action. You can derive insights from it to help your sales team focus on and nurture only the most profitable segment of customers. Optimized Lead Generation and Sales Efforts Utilize sophisticated predictive analytics tools that are specifically built for digital marketers and also offer intuitive modeling functionalities.Predictive analytics can help digital marketers overcome several challenges. For example, in social media influencer marketing where locating quality influencers or micro-influencers for their business niche is quite intimidating, predictive tools help uncover the associations of complex social media and help fetch the right information. You may also decide to use nano-influencers to promote your brand.Moreover, incorporating predictive analytics software in social media channels can provide varied insights of how users behave online and what are their preferences. This can help marketers forecast user behaviour for their future marketing endeavours. If you have been interacting with business online, you already know that personalization matters more than ever. Predictive analytics is the missing link for most businesses.It can help with instant automated audience segmentation for delivering highly personalized messaging, which means you can better target specific segments, groups or individuals when you’re trying to cross-sell, up-sell, or recommend other products. As you can guess, possibilities are virtually endless. Perhaps you already know how valuable data visualization can be when it comes to inspiring and guiding your business decisions based on customer behavior data.But what sources of data can you trust for making business decisions about improving your existing range of products/services, or launching new products/services – predictive analytics or just a handful of personal opinions? Of course, the former!Various Predictive Models and Their ApplicationsIn this section, we will take a look at five of the most commonly used predictive modeling techniques. They can be classified under three broad categories:Intelligent RecommendationsPropensity ModelsSegmentation ModelsCategory #1: Intelligent RecommendationsTechnique #1: Recommendations FilteringIf you want to create an opportunity for increasing revenue at the point of sale, try this model. It’s similar to asking yourself, as a business owner, a crucial question: “What all upsell or cross-sell opportunities exist for this customer?” Amazon operates its business on this model by showing their customers a list of “recommended products” on each product page.Category #2: Propensity ModelsTechnique #2: Share-of-Wallet EstimationThis model refers to how much budget the customer can allocate towards buying your solution. Needless to say, the higher the share-of-wallet, the lesser will be the likelihood of successful upsells or cross-sells.Technique #3: Likelihood of ChurnFor companies that sell memberships or subscriptions, the churn rate can be a major problem. But if you can accurately predict the likelihood of a lead converting to a new customer, similarly you can accurately predict the likelihood of them canceling their subscription, for example.Category #3: Segmentation ModelsTechnique #4: Behavioral ClusteringWhen you combine behavioral data with demographic data, for example, it can help your digital marketing team to derive valuable insights to improve conversions and also accurately forecast the results of their marketing campaigns.Technique #5: Product-Based ClusteringJust like behavioral clusters, product-based clusters can help you identify customers who are likely to buy items from the same product category. It’s a nice idea to use this model not only to improve your sales figures but also to predict the lifetime value of customer accounts.Implementation of Predictive Analytics in Digital MarketingWant to reap the benefits of predictive analytics for marketing? Here’s how you too can do it. Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Bringing Better Products or Services to the Market By defining personas accurately, marketers can achieve significantly higher conversion rates by reaching the right customers through the right marketing channels.The Future of Predictive Analytics in Digital MarketingWe are already seeing an upsurge in the availability of AI (artificial intelligence) powered marketing tools such as content curators, chatbots, and dynamic pricing models, among others.In 2019 and beyond, we will see a rapid evolution of predictive analytics for use in digital marketing. Some of the following future prospects in this regard seem very appealing. Natural Language Processing (NLP)Once capabilities like accurate detection of emotion and intent are within the reach of digital technology, marketers will be able to better use them for customer targeting and sales. In-memory Analytics and Big DataAs parallel processing of huge volumes of real-time data becomes more efficient than ever, marketers will be able to discover data, find statistical correlations and implement propensity modeling like never before. Machine Learning and Behavioral ScienceDigital marketers have already started using machine learning algorithms in order to understand user behavior better. Through various engagement techniques like gamification, they will be able to refine segmentation and apply attribution modeling to significantly improve real-time outcomes from their digital marketing campaigns. IoT (Internet of things)Every device around us will emit data and soon, digital marketers will be able to capture the customer behavior data in real-time. Email marketingEmail marketing tools will rely on predictive analytics to send emails at specific times of the day customized for each subscriber, in order to get higher open rates. Inside Sales and Lead Management SystemsWith predictive analytics, it will become easier to mark the leads that are more likely to convert into buyers. Customer SupportIf you want only a small percentage of users to reach out to your support department with their queries or issues, predictive analytics can come to the rescue.Final Thoughts On Predictive Analytics in Digital Marketing With the tech landscape evolving rapidly, companies that truly have the drive to succeed will let their digital marketing teams use the latest tools for making more informed decisions. This is how predictive analytics will give rise to a new paradigm – “Digital Marketing 2.0.” Having said this, access to clean, quality data is going to be imperative for gaining timely and accurate business intelligence. Identify and Quantify Top Information Channels Personalized Messaging Make S.M.A.R.T goals – that are “specific”, highly “measurable”, very much within your reach or “achievable”, close to reality or “realistic”, and also “time-bound”. Predictive analytics models can track and capture user data, assign weights to each touch point across the sales funnel, and eventually calculate ROIs. Some have predicted that even Reddit could be the next big thing in marketing. Harmanjit Kaur This step ensures that the results you are getting become more accurate and better with time. Accuracy will help you scale. There are three other ways tech can help you scale. Combine Predictive Analytics with Digital Marketing Improve Customer Engagement Have you asked yourself the following questions?What are my top data sources?How can I best integrate multiple data channels to power up my analytics engine?How’s the workload of data clean-up going to be?What kind of data formats am I going to use?How much historical data do I already have ready to go? Define Clear Goals Needless to say, customer intelligence is the prime focus in the marketing game. The better you understand your customers, for example, where they visit their time, what do they want and when they want it the easier it becomes to reach them across various marketing channels.For instance, the predictive analysis also assist in determining the rate of engagement that people show on social media channels which could further help marketers to plan a time-saving social media strategy. Don’t just save time — remember to keep your data safe, as well. AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… Create Accurate Customer Personas Using Behavior Data Understand how users interact and engage with your digital assets (like web pages) or ads on various devices with respect to time-of-day, CTAs, and content format. Tags:#predictive analytics#predictive analytics for marketing#Predictive Analytics in Digital Marketing Currently, I am a Senior Client Reputation Engineer at Ambiente Technologies. Working closely with the big box agencies, I learned digital marketing tactics for a plethora of business niches. With over 4+ years of experience in Digital Marketing, I specialize in content development, content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization. Keep in mind, you are just beginning to experiment with basic predictive analytics models in order to understand the challenges better, and to judge whether or not the results they deliver are reliable enough. Related Posts Always Start Small Accurate Prediction of Customer Behavior Re-calibrate and Scale Up The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img read more

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Paying Off Holiday Credit Card Bills

first_imgBy Sharon Hahn DarlinBy Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative ExtensionIt’s three weeks since Christmas and credit card bills with holiday expenses (gifts, travel, etc.) are starting to arrive.  When there isn’t enough cash available to pay them in full but more than the required minimum payments, questions like this arise:  Should service members pay more than the minimum on credit cards with the smallest balance or on those carrying the highest interest rates?  The answer is “it depends.”Some experts believe it is cost-efficient to pay off debts with the highest interest rates, while others believe it is emotionally satisfying and motivating to pay off those with the smallest balance. Regardless of which decision is made, start clients off by making a list of all of their creditors and debts (e.g., Sears credit card). Next write down the corresponding balance, APR (interest rate), and minimum monthly payment for each debt.Next, it’s time for Power Pay. Developed by Utah State University Cooperative Extension, PowerPay assumes that users are paying at least the required minimum payment to each of their creditors and can continue to pay the same total monthly amount until all of existing debt balances are down to zero. The program also assumes that no new debts will be added during the duration of the debt repayment plan. If they are, they will not be included in the debt repayment calculation.To use PowerPay, log in with a user name and password and enter the following information: Names of creditorsOutstanding balance for each debtAnnual percentage rate (APR) on each debtMonthly payment for each debtOnce this information is entered, PowerPay users can print out a calendar that shows how much to pay each creditor monthly. When a debt gets paid off, its previous monthly payment is added to the payment sent to a remaining creditor. The analysis shows when each debt will end and the time and interest saved by following the PowerPay program.Generally, users save the most debt repayment time and interest with PowerPay by adding extra payment amounts to debts with the highest APRs. This might include credit cards with high penalty interest rates and high-interest rate department store credit cards which often have interest rates in the 21% to 28% range.For further assistance with debt repayment, military families can contact a non-profit credit counseling agency. Most credit counseling is done by telephone and secure Web sites so driving distance to an agency need not be a problem. Counseling agencies can assist clients with budgeting and enroll them in a debt management plan (DMP) where one monthly payment is made to the agency and proportionately distributed among a client’s creditors. With some DMPs, creditors may be willing to accept lower payments and/or reduce interest rates and fees charged. Find a local credit counseling agency.This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on January 12, 2015.last_img read more

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That’s a wrap! A look at the Early Intervention team’s impact in 2015

first_imgIn 2015 MFLN Family Development integrated an Early Intervention team to support and enhance the skills of professionals working with young children in military families with disabilities and developmental delays.   The response this new team received has been overwhelmingly positive. Take a look at the impact they had in 2015 and stay tuned for more about upcoming 2016 professional development opportunities from the EI team!last_img

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Getting Used to Being Messy

first_imgSince the Military Families Learning Network Virtual Conference: Learning Through Change, I have spent time thinking and reading about a concept that stuck with me after that conference: the messy middle. It’s kind of funny, really, because when I was a kid I was often called “Messy Jessie” because of the state of catastrophe that I left behind in every room I entered. While those days are (mostly) behind me as far as my housekeeping skills go, the more I read about the internal and relational “messy middle,” the more I realize that I will always be a bit of a Messy Jessie. Now that I am aware of this concept, I feel as though each day presents an opportunity to work through one messy middle or another – certainly the way Brené Brown describes in her book “Rising Strong” – in an internal struggle to own my story, and when I fall into old patterns of thinking and acting and fail to do the work necessary to step into my “badassery” (Brené’s word). But this concept applies to much more than an internal struggle. It seems like much of life is lived in one messy middle or another, with moments of courage and closure.The messy middle in our professional livesEven in our professional lives, many of us operate in a series of “messy middles” – dealing with competing interests, uncertainty, changes, stepping into leadership roles in our organizations while assuming helper roles with our clients and community partners. With so many opportunities for us to make up stories about ourselves and others, we can become stuck if we never become aware of the stories we tell ourselves or if we never engage in the work necessary to move beyond those stories. This can keep us from being effective collaborators and making the kind of impact we hope for in our role.The messy middle in our communityEntire communities are also susceptible to becoming stuck in their stories. One community I worked with was filled with people that fiercely guarded their story. Unfortunately their story was that they were not worth much, and they wanted to stay that way, thank you very much. These  residents were proud to have been born and raised in this city. Yet when development projects threatened this identity, they would immediately resort to their story and insert the word “trash” into the middle of this city’s name. As an outsider, I couldn’t believe that these proud residents would refer to their city as a trash city. These development projects were the trigger events that sent them into a messy middle and they fell back into the story of their city being trash. This pattern repeated itself time and again, and it kept this community from communicating and innovating about how to move forward together.The messy middle in our networks, groups, and associationsThe messy middle is also present in our networks, community groups, and associations. In the book “The Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision Making,” the authors call this the Groan Zone – the messy part located smack dab in the middle of the Diamond of Participatory Decision-Making model. The Groan Zone is the messy middle of group dynamics – and it is where things can fall apart quickly and can result in complete abandonment of the work. The authors created this model “to validate and legitimize the hidden aspects of everyday life in groups. Expressing difference is natural and beneficial; getting confused is to be expected; feeling frustrated is par for the course. Building shared understanding is a struggle, not a platitude” (P.20, author’s’ emphasis). In other words, everyday life in groups can be characterized as a big, whopping, better-get-out-your-cleaning-supplies-because-this-is-going-to-be-messy middle. Becoming stuck in our stories is what keeps us from making it through to the other side of a messy middle. It keeps us from growth, connection, and meaningful collaborations and relationships. So what can we do to step off the hamster wheel and begin to move through the messy middle?Here are a few of many possible things we can begin to work on right now:Find a way to muster the collective courage to communicate more with each other. While we’re on this topic, it would be a good idea to also think about how we prefer to communicate versus the preferences of those we are trying to communicate with and use that reflection to adjust our style to become better communicators overall.Learn to be in relationship with yourself, your team members, your neighbors, and your communities. Get to know yourself better. Get to know the people you work with or collaborate with. Get to know your neighbors. Don’t stop once you’ve had one or two conversations, or once you’ve made one or two personal breakthroughs. Get to know your community on more than just the superficial level – decide what that means to you and go do it. This is a lifelong process. When a mistake has been made, start by acknowledging that something went wrong, then have a conversation about it, allow yourself and all those involved to learn from it, and “move forward arm in arm.”.  Commit completely and let everyone collectively figure out where they are at. Commit to yourself, commit to your team/collaborators, commit to the process.Learn to be OK with differences – social learning happens when we discuss our differences, not our similarities. Be patient with yourself, others, and the process.Photo credit:All photos downloaded from pixabay.com under CC0 Creative Commonslast_img read more

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Celebrating the Military Child this April!

first_imgBy: Sarah PittmanWhen military members have husbands/wives and/or children, it can mean that the spouse and children serve as well. April has been designated as the Month of the Military Child since 1986! Military children may have one or both parents in the military which means dealing with with the parent’s long working hours, grueling and dangerous work or deployment for extended periods of time.  The least we can do is celebrate their dedication to our country one month of the year!Statistics:Current number of active service members: 1,282,900 members (Enwikipeidaorg)There are 1.2 million military children of active duty parents worldwideMilitary families move 3 times more often than civilian families on averageSince 2001, more than 2 million children have had 1 parent deployed at least once33% show signs of psychological behaviors including anxiousness, worrying more than normal and crying more often than civilian children (Month of the Military Child – SheerID)Friday, April 21st is “Purple Up! For Military Kids,” where people are encouraged to wear purple in honor of the military child. Purple symbolizes every branch of the military including Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, Marines, and Navy.Do you work with military children? How do you connect with the children? What suggestions do you have for working with military children? References:Military Active-Duty Personnel, Civilians by State. Governingcom. 2018. Accessed April 2, 2018.MOMC Toolkit | Military Child Education Coalition. Militarychildorg. 2018. Accessed April 2, 2018.Month of the Military Child – SheerID. SheerID. 2018. Accessed April 2, 2018.United States Armed Forces. Wikipedia. 2018. Accessed April 2, 2018.Month of the Military Child. Accessed April 2, 2018.This blog was posted by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website on Facebook, on Twitter, and LinkedIn.last_img read more

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Warp Your Reality With Dutch Angles

first_imgUsed since the early days of cinema, Dutch angles are a great artistic tool for filmmakers.You’ve seen them before, those slanted or tilted perspectives in film. They signify to the audience that the world of the characters is warped and unnatural. Many filmmakers have used this technique, primarily known as the Dutch angle. (Though it’s also been referred to as the oblique or German angle.)No matter what you call it, its value to filmmakers is the same, as it’s an asset to be used wisely in visual storytelling. With this said, let’s take a look at the history of Dutch angles in film and get a better understanding of where and how this technique came into being.To begin, lets take a look at the varying degrees used for Dutch angles. This video from Fandor Keyframe gives us a quick rundown from a long history of films and their use of the cinematic technique.When Did the Warped World Start?The Dutch angle began with the 1920 film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and then again with Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera in 1929. Both films use the oblique angle to convey at warped sense of reality. From this point on, the Dutch angle has been used extensively in film. Countless filmmakers have used the technique with great effect over the years.Dutch angles can’t be used everywhere, but for some genres of film like thrillers, mystery, and horror, these angles can really play exceptionally well. For one example of this lets look at this scene from Mission Impossible, where the main character Ethan Hunt realizes his world isn’t what it appears to be.Video from MovieclipsTerry Gilliam is a huge fan of the Dutch angle and he has used it extensively throughout his film career. But possibly his best use of Dutch angles came in his 1995 film 12 Monkeys, where the technique was used to convey to the audience that Bruce Willis’s world is skewed.Video from MovieclipsAnother great use of the Dutch angle with in Spike Lee’s film Do The Right Thing. In this film, Lee uses the Dutch angle to heighten the tension of the confrontation between Sal and Radio Raheem. When the clip starts, we see that framing is level and traditional, but then as Radio Raheem enters the restaurant with Buggin’ Out, we see the perspective change. This signals to the audience that a confrontation that has been building will finally go down.Video from MovieclipsOne last example of the Dutch angle comes from Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. After a long and arduous journey, Frodo is hanging from the ledge of Mount Doom as Sam reaches out his hand. Peter uses the Dutch angle here to represent the One Ring’s hold on Frodo, as we see the Ring floating on the surface of the lava, calling out to Frodo to let go and face his demise.Video from MovieclipsNow We’ve Gone Too Far!While Dutch angles are a great asset for visual storytelling, they can be overused. Unfortunately we’ve seen this overuse a few times in the last decade or so. But we don’t think anyone has quite used the Dutch angle as much as Kenneth Branagh did for 2011’s Thor.There were so many Dutch angles in Thor that LeftJet was able to make a two and a half minute video consisting of nothing but the Dutch angles from the film. So as we leave you, enjoy this Yakety Sax-driven montage.Remember to Always Use Dutch Angles Responsibly.What are some of your favorite Dutch angle scenes? Do you use Dutch angles in your work? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.last_img read more

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Cutting Commercials: Editing 15, 30, and 60-Second Spots

first_imgLearn how to decide the right length you need for a commercial spot, and find out how to work with loops and short tracks to recut the same spot three times.Top image via Geico/Martin AgencyThe best length for a commercial or ad is an often debated topic. For a typical ad, most national broadcasting stations allow either a 15-second, 30-second, or 60-second slot. Choosing the right length is going to be difficult, as every product and company differs. Some companies go ahead and produce all three commercial lengths, using each ad in different markets. They may use a 60-second spot for national television, 30-seconds for local television, and a 15-second spot for web ads.Shorter commercials have been increasing in popularity. Advertisers can spend less on 15-second time slot versus a 30-second slot. This allows them to run the ad more often and for longer periods of time. According the the New York Times, that’s why the 15-second spot was first created in the late 1980s.Image via ShutterstockBy the mid-2000s, 15-second spots accounted for over 36% of all commercial time sold by the major broadcast networks. It’s not just a cheaper time slot too, as it’s also cheaper to make a shorter commercial. With the increasing presence of internet ads, advertisers are finding that the brand performance of a 15-second spot is equal to a 30-second spot. It’s also more shareable, as 15-second social videos are shared 37% more than 30-second or 60-second ads.With the increasing popularity of 15-second ads, why do you still need to cut 30-second and 60-second spots? Well, larger companies may prefer the storytelling aspect of a longer ad. Also, the decision for the final run time may not even be decided until well after editing has commenced. This is a struggle for many video editors, and it’s the reason why PremiumBeat offers so many different lengths for each of our tracks. Let’s look at some tips and tricks for editing commercials of different lengths.The Best Type of Ads for 15, 30, and 60-Second SpotsYou know how the hardest part of editing is trimming everything down into a great video? Well, now after you finish the video — you will have to do it TWO MORE TIMES. It can be enough to drive you crazy. The shorter the final length, the tougher the edit. Ease your pain by knowing what the company is looking for in their commercial.60-SecondsIs the point of the commercial spot to tell a story? Then you will most likely need to use a full 60-seconds. This allows the most time to tell a brand story and leave viewers with a longer message. The downside is that this may be too long for most viewers. In fact, it’s been noted that an audience begins to lose attention around the 45-second mark. 60-second videos are also great at introducing a whole new ad campaign to viewers, which can result in shorter versions of the same ad, as well as different spots in the future.When Geico and the Martin Agency launched a new ad campaign deemed the “unskippable” promos, they first introduced a 60-second version to show the concept to audiences. This version carries the gag from the 13-second mark when the dog first starts eating food up until the end.30-SecondsCommercial spots that focus on humorous campaigns benefit the most from 30-second spots. Viewers also have 75-80% the recall of a 30-second spot compared to a 60-second spot. With the right joke or amount of humor, the 30-second spot can also be more memorable than a 15-second ad. However, some believe that the 30-second ad is dying.To further the example of recutting the same ad three times, here is the 30-second version of the same Geico ad. Note that the dog starts eating at the 10-second mark, shaving off three seconds from the previous ad. The ad ends before the dog gets on the table to eat the other plates.15-SecondsIf the company is looking for the biggest return on a limited budget, a 15-second spot may be the best answer. These ads also tend to be more focused on sharing product information and using easy-to-explain messages. They can also be aired more frequently — and as mentioned previously, they are more likely to go viral on social media. The downside is that not all brand stories can be told in 15-seconds, and it can be difficult to convey larger messages. That said, shorter ads have a better chance of being repurposed for use on television, online, mobile, and in-store displays.In the 15-second version of the Geico ad, the dog starts eating at the 12-second mark, and only eats from the father’s plate. It’s 1/4 of the length of the original 60-second ad, yet the joke still works in every version.*Pro Tip: Keep in mind that broadcasters and stations have varying definitions of length. For example, some broadcasters request that a 30-second commercial is actually 30-seconds on the dot – not one frame more or less. Other stations may require that the ad be 29.5-seconds. Be sure to verify what is needed. How to Trim a 60-Second Spot into a 30-Second SpotListen to ‘Won’t You Reconsider’ by The Commandeers (Prepare to start dancing.)If you are working with a talented and experienced director, you will hopefully find that every shot was perfectly timed to a stopwatch. Commercials rely on an actor’s performance set to a specific time per shot. If you don’t have this luxury, the edit is probably going to be a tough one. Without a perfectly timed shoot, you will find yourself fighting the script in post.If the 60-second spot was already scripted and timed out, but the 30-second wasn’t — you will need to trim wherever you can. Hopefully you can start by getting rid of a second or two from each clip. Delete any unnecessary establishing shots. Was there a four-second shot of a house and then a two-second shot of the front door? Well, now it’s just a two-second shot of the house. You can easily establish a space quickly and move on, the viewers will be able to keep up.Another trick is to start with your audio. If you are editing an existing song, get it down to 30-second and make sure to keep a quality sounding song throughout the piece. Another option is to use a shorter version of the song — like the ones provided by PremiumBeat. Throw in a 30-second version of the same track, and then trim clips to the music.How to Trim a 30-Second Spot into a 15-Second SpotListen to ‘Contemplation’ by OblioGoing from 60-seconds to 30-seconds is hard enough, but trimming down to 15-seconds can be brutal. You will struggle with making sure you keep all the right clips, and you have to accept that you may need to delete some of the best footage to make the edit work.If the original ad had a voice-over narration, be prepared to heavily edit the audio — or ditch it entirely. Like the previous note, throw in the shorter version of the same track, and then trim clips to the music.After you finalize your edit, be prepared to compress the 15-second file for a multitude of different formats. Not only do stations want uncompressed high-resolution files (if not still tapes or disks at some places), you will also need to compress for web streaming on sites like YouTube as well as social media. Be sure to check each social media sites guidelines for optimum media. You can also use our guidelines for Instagram uploads, Facebook uploads, as well as YouTube and Vimeo.PremiumBeat Loops and ShortsShorts and Loops are provided with every PremiumBeat license. For those that don’t know, PremiumBeat now includes a full music track, short versions, and a series of loops for every royalty-free song you license — Standard and Premium Licenses included.In fact, you can even preview every version right from the website. All the loops and short versions are available for listening. Aside from clicking the play button to listen to the entire track, you can click on the 15, 30, or 60 second versions under the short section. If you are looking for a track that works for other time lengths, you can scroll over to the loop set to listen to all the available loops.Listen to ‘Softly’ by Alexis MessierMaybe you need a 20-second version. You can trim the 30-second song, or you may be able to add a loop and the end or beginning of a 15-second version. Loops average around 6 – 16 seconds. A downside is that only full-length watermarked tracks are available to download for demos. PremiumBeat cannot offer loops and shorts without purchasing a license. This is to prevent copyright infringement and unlicensed use of the tracks. Once you license a track, you will be led to the download page where you can choose the versions you need for your project. Now it’s time to start editing.Hope you found this guide helpful. Best of luck editing all those commercials!last_img read more

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Production Tips for Mixing Digital Camcorder and DSLR Footage

first_imgHow to Soften Your Sharp 4K DSLR Video FootageInvisibility: The Secret to Editing and Shooting an InterviewPost-Production Tips: How to Save Corrupted Footage5 Faster Editing Tips for Premiere Pro + Free FootageFree Practical Lighting Techniques for a Cinematic LookCover image by wellphoto. For more videography and editing tips, check out these additional resources. Learn to fuse the best of both filmmaking worlds with these tips for mixing camcorder and DSLR (or mirrorless) camera footage.While mixing camcorder and DSLR or mirrorless camera footage is rarely ideal, in the world of professional filmmaking and videography, it does happen more often than you’d think. The most common example comes from recording longform events, like weddings or stage performances, with a wide camcorder that can record uninterrupted for long periods of time — combined with shooting stylized close-ups and side shots with a faster-lensed prosumer digital camera.What results is a frustrating combination of image quality and competing codecs and recording formats. However, mixing the two is possible. It may mean some sacrifices, but if you plan accordingly, you can still get the best combined footage possible. Let’s look at some tips and tricks on how to do it.Pick the Right CamerasImage by MaeManee.In an ideal world, you’d get the chance to at least pick the best camcorders and digital cameras to combine. (However in the real world, you may just be working with what you have available — or what footage was sent to you as an editor.) If you can, try to pick a camcorder that can record as close as possible to 1080p Full HD with the largest available sensor for your budget. For your digital camera, you can chase large-sensor 4K recording as much as you’d like, but you may also need to be aware of recording time and storage for long shoots.Match Recording SettingsImage by SKphotographer.Once you have both your camcorder and digital camera(s) ready to go, try your best to match the recording settings. If you’re looking to use your digital cameras’ cinematic looks as much as possible, you’ll want to record at 24fps. Camcorders typically default to 30fps or higher, so you can go ahead and change that to match. From there, if you can match the shutter speed you’ll be in better position to start mixing in the edit.Outside Audio RecordingImage by Maksim Fesenko.Neither camcorders nor digital cameras have the best reputations for recording quality audio. I’d recommend using an outside option like a Zoom H1, Zoom H4, or a TASCAM DR-40. If you’re shooting an event that has a board operator working with microphones, try to find a direct link to the board.Find a Middle Ground in the EditImage by Gorodenkoff.After you’ve recorded your footage with both your camcorder and digital camera, you can begin the process of matching the footage in your edit. If the goal is to create a seamless match so both formats look identical, you have your work cut out for you — but it is doable. You’ll just need to find a happy middle ground.For the DSLR or mirrorless digital footage, the name of the game is retrograding. You’ll want to keep your shallow depth of field, but you’ll be looking to soften your contrasts and even adding grain and distortion at times.For your camcorder, you want to push your footage as far as you can to add sharpness, contrast, and definition. You can even add blur to objects in the background to simulate a shallower depth of field.Export at Lower ResolutionImage by iamwayclick.At the end of the day, your final export may have to reflect the lower of the two resolutions. If your video is destined for online streaming or social media, this won’t be a big deal and may even reduce file sizes and upload times. If you shot 4K with your digital camera but 720p with your camcorder, you’re probably going to want to export at 720p for best results.Get CreativeImage by Gorodenkoff.However, working with quality footage on a smaller sequence timeline isn’t the end of the world. If you view it with a creative mindset, you’ve actually opened a whole world of possibilities for how to work with your larger-sensor footage to match. You can also consider not exactly matching each format and instead embracing their differences and contrasting their strengths.Here are some creative editing techniques and tricks to consider as inspiration.How to Clean up Noisy Video and Audio in 30 SecondsUnderstanding the Opacity Blend Modes in Adobe Premiere ProWhat Are Contrast Ratios and How Do You Use Them?last_img read more

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How to Speed Up or Reverse a Clip in Premiere Pro

first_imgHow to Reverse a Clip in Premiere ProSelect the clip in your timeline.Open Clip > Speed/Duration and select the Reverse Speed checkbox. Hit OK.The clip will show a -100% label on it, denoting both the speed and direction of the clip.Let’s walk through it. I’ll select the second clip from above and and open up Clip > Speed/Duration. Now, I’ll simply press the Reverse Speed button. In the next section, we’ll discuss some of the other options you see in the the Clip Speed panel.Once reversed, my clip will show a -100 percent label on it, denoting both the speed and direction of the clip. How to Speed Up a Clip in Premiere ProSelect the clips you want to speed up.Open the Clip > Speed/Duration panel, or right click and select Speed / Duration.In the speed field, type in an increased speed. This will automatically adjust the duration of the clip, but you can unlink these controls and adjust the duration manually. When you’re done, hit OK.For this particular scene, I’ll select both clips, at the same time, and open Clip > Speed/Duration. Next, I’ll give both clips a slight bump in speed, adjusting the percentage to 105 percent. To automatically close those gaps, I’ll activate Ripple Edit.When adjusting the speed of a video clip, you have a number of creative options because you can specify a specific percentage or duration. These two attributes are linked together by default, but can be disconnected, if need be. This is especially helpful if I want to use multiple clips — all at the same high speed — but at different, very specific durations.I can apply Speed/Duration changes to multiple clips, at the same time, and even switch between three different Time Interpolation modes. Frame Sampling will repeat or delete frames as needed to fill in a sequence, Frame Blending will smooth out the motion between repeated frames, and Optical Flow will create new frames. These options are important if you’re slowing footage down, as it can start to stutter.The Ripple Edit function will automatically close gaps after the effect is applied. And, once again, the new speed percentage will be reflected on the clip labels and tooltips on the timeline. Rate Stretch ToolYou can also use the Rate Stretch Tool to change the speed and duration of clips in Premiere Pro, allowing users to manually speed up clips via a trim in the timeline. This tool is hidden away underneath the Ripple and Rolling edit tools. Use shortcut key R to activate. Learn how to speed up video and how to reverse a clip in Premiere Pro to open up a new world of creative possibilities for your footage.Once you learn how to speed up and reverse your footage in Premiere Pro, you can use these techniques for creative transitions and visual effects. I use these essential skills often in my own projects, like in this tutorial on creative ways to use whip pan transitions. In one example, I show how to create a fake knife throw and catch, with the blade landing only inches from the talent’s face. To make the illusion work, I combined two shots — one of my talent “throwing” the knife, the other of her “catching” the knife. Each shot uses a whip pan, which serves to mask the edit point and make it look like one continuous shot.For timing and safety purposes, I shot the second (catch) shot in reverse. In Adobe Premiere Pro, I simply reversed the second clip and voilà, my talent could now catch a knife at high speed. To really punch up the intensity of the effect, I increased the speed of both clips.While the whip pan took all of the glory and credit for making this visual effect work, the Speed up and Reverse time-effects were the unsung heroes. Let’s take a closer look at how you can speed up and reverse a clip in Premiere Pro.Where to Find the Clip Speed/Duration ControlsIn this example, I have the two clips from my knife-throwing scene. As explained earlier, I want to reverse the second shot, then slightly speed up both.The Clip Speed/Duration panel is where all the magic happens. This hidden tool isn’t found under the Window menu, where all of the other control panels live. You have to look under the Clip menu to find this gem. A simple control+click on a clip will also do the job. Learn more tricks and techniques to use in Premiere Pro…The 3 Easiest Ways to Cut Clips in Adobe Premiere Pro CCHow To Easily Fix Media Pending Error (After Render) in Adobe Premiere ProRoundup: 5 Awesome Editing Effects in Adobe Premiere ProHow to Properly Pancake Timelines in Adobe Premiere Pro6 New Features in Premiere Pro’s Essential Graphics PanelCover image via Kawin Ounprasertsuklast_img read more

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Over 15 Maoists killed in Bastar

first_imgThe Chhattisgarh police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Wednesday claimed that they had gunned down more than 15 Maoists in the insurgency-hit Bastar region of the State.However, the security forces could not recover the bodies.According to the Inspector General of Police of Bastar (range), Vivekanand Sinha, the CRPF along with the Special Task Forces and the District Reserve Guard of the Chhattisgarh police had launched a massive three-day-long anti-Maoist operation on the border of Sukma and Bijapur district of Bastar on May 13.“There was heavy firing on the evening of May 14 and at 11 pm. The input we are getting from our own and independent sources is that more than 15 Maoists may have been killed. But no body has been recovered. The operation is over now and the forces have returned to their base camps,” Mr. Sinha told The Hindu.Two injuredThe IG said one jawan died during the operation. Two others suffered injuries and were undergoing treatment at a hospital. The three-day long operation is being seen as a retaliation by the security forces after the Maoists killed 25 CRPF men in Sukma district on April 24.last_img read more

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Yogi Adityanath offers prayers at Ayodhya ‘Ram temple’

first_imgUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday offered prayers at the makeshift Ram temple here on his first visit to the town after taking charge.The visit assumes significance as it comes a day after criminal conspiracy charges were framed against top BJP leaders in the Babri mosque demolition case.Mr. Adityanath, who arrived here this morning, spent around 30 minutes at the makeshift temple. He later offered payers on the banks of the Saryu River.Mr. Adityanath began his visit by offering prayers at the Hanumangarhi Temple in Ayodhya.He was accompanied by Dharam Das, against whom conspiracy charges were framed on Tuesday along with the other BJP leaders.A special CBI court in Lucknow had on Tuesday framed charges against BJP veterans L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Union minister Uma Bharti and nine others in the 1992 Babri mosque demolition case.last_img read more

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Nitish calls for pan-India liquor ban

first_imgBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday pitched for a ban on liquor across India, seeking to know why other States could not take the decision if Bihar and Gujarat could do so.“When Gujarat could implement a liquor ban, Bihar could show that it could also be banned in the State, why can’t it be banned in the entire country?” Mr. Kumar asked while addressing Janata Dal-United activists here. He sought to know from the Congress party and Left parties why they were not supporting the ban, adding that all religions disapprove of liquor consumption.last_img read more

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Counting on March 3 in Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya

first_imgThe wait for change, or more of the same, in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura will come to an end on Saturday. The verdict of around 56 lakh voters across these three northeastern States was sealed on February 18 and 27.With 180 Assembly seats and five parliamentary seats in total, the elections in these small States have often been mere formalities. 60-member Assemblies But last month’s elections, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, have raised the stakes for the three major players — the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress — as well as a smattering of regional parties. The three States have 60-member Assemblies. A party or coalition needs at least 31 seats for forming a government.Having bagged Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur in a region that was considered its “final frontier,” the BJP has been on an aggressive expansion mode. The hurdle in Tripura is a deeply entrenched Left Front, headed by the CPI(M), which has been ruling the State for 25 years.The BJP’s ambition in Meghalaya and Nagaland is a tad less, given the demographic and religious composition there. It has tied up with regional parties against the common enemy: the Congress. However, the pact has been confirmed only in Nagaland.last_img read more

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Parcel bomb explodes, two injured

first_imgTwo people were injured after a low-intensity parcel bomb exploded at a courier service’s office in Ahmednagar on Tuesday night.According to the police, the package, which was going from Ahmednagar to Pune, was apparently addressed to Sanjay Nahar, founder of Sarhad, an NGO that works with displaced Kashmiri students.According to the police, the crude bomb hidden in a parcel exploded at the office of Maruti Courier Service in the city’s Maliwada area at 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday. Sandip Bhujbal (38) and Sanjay Kshirsagar (27), who were sorting parcels, were injured when they tried to open the package, thinking it to be unusually heavy.The package contained a thick book and a short note. “The note was written by someone claiming to be a girl student from a Pune college who benefited from Mr. Nahar’s help, stating that [the parcel] was a gift to him,” said Vinoy Kumar Choubey, Inspector General of Police, Nashik Range.The explosive device was kept inside a cavity in the book, and had a circuit that would trigger the blast the moment the parcel was tampered with, said sources. Mr. Bhujbal has been discharged, but Mr. Kshirsagar, who has serious injuries on his chest and nearly lost the use of two fingers, is still in the ICU, said police sources.“The parcel was delivered to the courier office around 3 p.m. Based on the description given by the woman who received it, we have prepared a sketch of the person who delivered it,” Ranjan Kumar Sharma, Superintendent of Police, Ahmednagar, said. The police think the suspect gave a fake address. “We are trying to determine ifi t was addressed to Mr. Nahar because of his work or due to personal enmity,” Mr. Sharma said.Mr. Nahar, who has met investigating authorities, said the culprits may have intended to deter him from working with Kashmiri youth. “I cannot fathom who could have addressed the parcel to me and for what reason. We have received threats in the past, but they have not stopped us from carrying on our work.”last_img read more

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Vyapam scam: Medical college chief under lens

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested J.N. Chouksey, chairman of Bhopal-based LN Medical College, in connection with a Vyapam scam related case.The case pertains to alleged irregularities in the 2012 pre-medical entrance test conducted in Madhya Pradesh by Vyapam (Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board). Mr. Chouksey was named in CBI’s supplementary chargesheet filed in November 2017.last_img

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Unnao rape case: CBI makes second arrest

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday made a second arrest in the Unnao rape case as it took into custody the woman who allegedly took the victim to BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar on the day of crime.The victim’s mother has alleged in the complaint given to the U.P. Police, which is now part of the CBI FIR, that the woman lured her daughter to the MLA after which he raped her.She has also alleged that while the MLA was raping her daughter, the arrested woman stood outside the room as a guard.The agency arrested Sengar, the prime accused in the case, last night after 16 hours of questioning at its office in Lucknow.The CBI has taken over the investigation in the three cases related to the alleged rape of the 17-year-old girl by the BJP MLA.last_img read more

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AAP seeks special status for Punjab

first_imgThe Aam Aadmi Party has asked the Centre to grant special status to Punjab and include it in the list of Special Category States (SCS), besides demanding a revision in the terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission. All-party meet soughtThe party has also written to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to convene an all-party meeting on these issues so that a collective case can be presented on behalf of the people of Punjab.“Punjab has a much stronger case than even States like Andhra Pradesh, which are seeking special status and inclusion in the list of SCS. While special status will help meet the political aspirations of the people through legislative means, its inclusion in SCS will help the State come out of its economic and financial mess,” said AAP leader and MLA Kanwar Sandhu on Thursday. He had recently written two separate letters to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley raising the demands. Mr. Sandhu said if terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission were not revised, Punjab would be even harder hit in terms of devolution of funds from the Centre than States like Karnataka and Kerala, which are making a similar demand.last_img read more

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Olive Ridley mass nesting: Devi river’s loss is Rushikulya’s gain

first_imgThe late recurrence of mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles at the Rushikulya rookery coast in Odisha may be due to inter-rookery migration of these endangered marine reptiles.While the turtles appeared for two spells of mass nesting at the Rushikulya rookery coast this year, they gave the Devi river mouth, another nesting site to the north of Rushikulya, a miss.Divisional forest officer (DFO) Ashis Behera said the turtles may have found the Devi river mouth unsuitable for nesting. He added that turtles that had reached the river mouth for mating and nesting may have preferred to migrate to the Rushikulya rookery coast to lay eggs.Suitable locationAccording to reptile experts, female Olive Ridleys have the capacity to store fertilised eggs inside their body for a long period ranging up to two years. They do not lay eggs after mating if they do not find suitable location for the purpose.“It can be suspected that the female Olive Ridleys that had come to mate and nest near the Devi river mouth stored their fertilised eggs within their body and searched for conducive beach for their nesting, which they found near the Rushikulya rookery”, said the DFO. It may be the reason behind the late recurrence of mass nesting at this place, he said.In February this year, the Rushikulya rookery witnessed the highest-ever number of turtles nesting —4,45,091. Even as the mass hatching of eggs was on, the Olive Ridleys appeared again for nesting.According to forest officials, around 36,000 mother turtles had laid eggs till Sunday morning during the second phase of mass nesting that started on the morning of April 14.This year, natural forces had made the Rushikulya rookery coast more conducive for mass nesting. A sandbar near Podampeta village was completely eroded and its sand got deposited on the coast. Due to this, a stretch of the beach widened up with an increase in height, too. This could have saved Olive Ridley nests from the vagaries of erosion caused by tidal waves. Added to it, the strict restrictions enforced by the forest department drastically reduced human and predator intervention. This may have attracted the mother turtles from the Devi river mouth region to nest here.However, nothing can be said for sure as there is no mechanism available to track the Olive Ridleys.This leaves it open for serious scientific study on the life and migration of Olive Ridleys by wildlife experts.last_img read more

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Uma Bharti ‘skips’ meal with Dalits

first_imgUnion Minister Uma Bharti skipped an event organised for having a meal with Dalits near here in Madhya Pradesh, saying she was not Lord Rama who would purify people by having food with them. Later, she apologised, claiming that she was not aware that she was supposed to have food with them. At the event held at Dadri village near here two days ago, the senior BJP leader had said she does not take part in such community meals as she doesn’t consider herself Lord Rama, who would purify people by having food with them. “I don’t go to the houses of Dalits to have meals, though I support this trait (breaking bread with the people of Scheduled Caste category),” said the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister while addressing a function in the village. She said that instead, she invites Dalits to her home to have food. ‘Come to my home’“Come to Delhi…my nephew’s wife would prepare food for you, I will serve meal to you, my nephew will collect your plate after you finish eating and wash them,” she said.last_img read more

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Kolkata’s 200-year-old archives to the rescue of NRC-hit residents

first_img “Today I came looking for documents of Talsingh Barman and Jogendra Rai. Some of the people are so poor that they cannot travel to Kolkata. I am trying to help them out,” he said.Subodh Chandra Das, the Assistant Director of the State Archives, who is issuing certified copies under Section 76 of the Indian Evidence Act, said the archives has records from the mid-18th century. Being the custodian of the documents, the archives has the power to issue these certificates, he explained.The electoral rolls from 1952 were maintained by the Home Department and since all the records of the Home Department, including the files of pre-independent India came to the State Archives by default, these electoral rolls ended up with them. “It is difficult to find these complete voter lists elsewhere,” Mr. Das said, adding that he had issued more than 500 certificates in the past few months.Border districtMost of those who are coming looking for the names of their family members are from places like Toofanganj, Dinhata in the State’s Cooch Behar District bordering lower Assam.Also Read  His office is cramped with files containing heaps of yellow pages of electoral rolls, preserved year-wise and Assembly-segment wise.Mintu Das is not the only visitor on Thursday. Soon Nazrul Islam from Kokrajhar, Mia Saiuddin, Motiar Rahman and Nil Mahmood Sheikh from Dhubri, joined him. In another few hours they filled in their forms and were searching names of their ancestors in the voter lists.“My wife Amirul Bibi’s name is not in the NRC. Her father hailed from Toofanganj in CoochBehar. I went to CoochBehar but could not find any documents and was directed here,” Nil Mohammad Sheikh said, while looking through the name of Kafuruddin Munsi, his father-in-law, in the voter list.Several tripsSome like Nazrul Islam, a gram panchayat member from Kokrajhar, have made several trips to the State Archives and collected more than 20 certificates.Also Read Mintu Das, a Guwahati-based businessman, could not find the names of three members of his family on July 30 when the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was released in Assam. In the past two days, Mr. Das had tried all places where he could find documents that could confirm his father Santosh Das lived in Kolkata during the 1960s.On Thursday afternoon, he landed at the four-storied building at 43 Shakespeare Sarani and kept looking through hundreds of pages of the voter list of Dum Dum Assembly segment in the northern fringes of Kolkata.For the past several months, the office of the Directorate of State Archives, whose roots can be traced to the General Record office of 1820 in British India, has been entertaining scores of visitors from Assam who are looking for the names of the earlier generations in the electoral rolls from 1952 to 1971.Arduous task“There are 50 to 60-year-old documents. Ploughing through them is not easy,” Mr. Das said, anxiously lifting his head from the electoral rolls of the Dum Dum Assembly segment dating to 1971.“I need to look at the adjoining Panihati Assembly segment,” he said.On every working day, several people arrive at the Certified Section of the State Archives with names and other identity documents hoping to find the names of their ancestors in the electoral rolls.“Earlier we hardly got any visitors. The few who came were looking for old municipal gazettes and those caught in landowner-tenant legal disputes asked us for certified copies from the old voter list,” archivist Anup Kumar Sarkar said, issuing forms to those who have come from Assam.Also Read Numbing numbers: on draft NRC NRC fallout: Gorkhas of Assam feel left out Over 40 lakh left out of draft NRC in Assam The office is charging ₹20 as ‘searching fee’ and ₹5 for additional certified copy. Some retired old-timers like Manabendra Kole have offered their services to those looking for documentary evidence of their forefathers in return for just a smile and a thank you.last_img read more

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Good response to rally revives Tripura Congress hopes

first_imgAfter facing a rout in the February assembly elections in Tripura, the Congress on Thursday displayed an impressive show of strength by organising a protest rally against alleged scam in Rafale fighter plane deal. Encouraged over the turn out, party’s state leaders announced the tour schedule of AICC President Rahul Gandhi ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.“Rahul Gandhiji is coming in December. He would address a bigger rally than this”, PCC Chief Birajit Sinha said after the rally was intercepted at Circuit House area.Hundreds of Congress workers and supporters joined the rally which began from Congress Bhavan. It had a replica of Rafale plane fitted on a mini truck on the frontPolice and paramilitary troops prevented the rally at Circuit House in Kunjaban locality where party leaders addressed the gathering. They also slammed the ‘anti people policies and programmes’ of the Centre as well as BJP-IPFT coalition government in the State.All India Youth Congress President Keshav Chandra Yadav and Vice President B. V, Shrinivas besides PCC President Birajit Sinha and other senior leaders participated. They claimed that a Congress-led coalition government would be formed at the Centre after 2019 Lok Sabha pollslast_img read more

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Case files missing: HC grants bail to Adivasi man

first_imgThe Chhattisgarh High Court has expressed shock at the plight of an Adivasi man, who was forced to languish in jail for two and half years as the case files went missing. Taking note of the “exceptional circumstances”, the High Court granted bail to 62-year-old Raju, who was arrested on September 19, 2016.In his plea, Raju claimed that he was not the ‘Raju’ against whom a permanent warrant of arrest is in force since 2007. His counsel contended that he was arrested in a case of mistaken identity as the ‘Raju’ against whom a case was registered is the son of Vuddy Mourya whereas his father name is Pugdu.“We are also shocked to see that even though the present appellant (Raju) was arrested way back on September 19, 2016, since then only records are being traced,” the High Court remarked.However, after the High Court took cognisance of his bail plea, the files resurfaced.Murder caseIt revealed that a criminal case was registered against one Raju, son of Vuddy Mourya, along with several others who are alleged to be members of a naxalite organisation. They allegedly went to the house of one Asha Devi on March 9, 2007, and killed her.A trial was conducted against those who were arrested. Subsequently, the trial court acquitted 16 accused in the case. Meanwhile, one of the accused, Raju, remained absconding.During the hearing before the High Court, the State counsel argued that he was arrested about 11 years after the crime took place and as far as the identity part was concerned, it was a matter of consideration during trial.The High Court, while granting bail to Raju, ordered him to appear before the trial court as and when directed. It further directed that all the case document be sent to the NIA Court at Jagdalpur so that the trial against him may be conducted and completed at the earliest.last_img read more

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Top SA Resort On Block As Indian Owner Accused Of $1bn Fraud

first_imgLittle on earth is more relaxing and rejuvenating than the South African bush. I was privileged to get another dose over the weekend at the 12 000 hectare Mabula Lodge, an easy couple hours drive from Johannesburg.Here’s how imaging an alert zebra in the bush can help to quell your rising fear of flying.I’ve been to Mabula a few times over the years and never seen it in better shape. Reason, locals say, is the injection of capital by Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya who bought the game reserve for a reported R100m.Read it at Biz News Related Itemslast_img read more

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Extradition Case of Indian Tycoon Vijay Mallya in UK Court

first_imgIndian entrepreneur Vijay Mallya, once a leading figure among India’s business elite, has resumed his long-running fight against extradition to India on money laundering allegations.Mallya’s lawyer, Clare Montgomery, said in Westminster Magistrates Court Wednesday that the charges presented by the Indian government against Mallya are not justified.Read it at ABC News Related Itemslast_img

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Nirav Modi’s Diamonds, New York, London Homes Worth Rs. 637 Crore Seized

first_imgFugitive jeweler Nirav Modi’s wealth and properties worth Rs. 637 crore in India and abroad have been seized, the Enforcement Directorate said today. High-priced jewellery, luxe apartments and bank accounts stowing hundreds of crores have been taken over by investigators, in India and four other countries including UK and New York.Read it at NDTV Related Itemslast_img

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Separatist Group Reportedly Used NRIs to Fund Targeted Murders in Punjab

first_imgA Khalistan separatist group used Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to pay for targeted killings of eight religio-political leaders in the Indian state of Punjab, the Hindustan Times reported its sources. The NRIs were reportedly used to pay Rs. 40 lakh to two alleged killers Hardeep Singh alias Shera and Ramandeep Singh alias Canadian for two years.NRIs ask other overseas Indians traveling to the home country to carry money and other things for relatives or friends in India. According to an officer quoted by the publication, those who planned the killings of the Hindu, Christian and Dera Sacha Sauda members apparently used other NRIs to send money for the killers instead of using channels like Western Union.“The handlers backed by Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) used to share the address (of payer) with the duo through a messaging app named ‘Signal’,” said another senior officer privy to the investigation, according to HT. One of the alleged killers, Shera, received Rs 1 lakh from a person outside a bus stand in Jalandhar. However, it is not known if the NRIs who brought the money knew what it would be used for. The investigators are trying to get in touch with the NRIs.The two killers were reportedly paid in installments ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 lakh. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is investigating the matter with the Punjab Police.The first murder was of Chand Kaur, the wife of former head of Namdhari sect Jagjit Singh, on April 3, 2016, and the last one was on Oct. 17, 2017 of Ludhiana-based RSS leader Ravinder Gosain. One pastor, four Hindu leaders, one Namdhari Sikh and two Dera Sacha Sauda followers were killed.The two hired guns did not know each other or details until after the eighth killing. They discussed robbing a bank and shared some details that later came handy in nabbing them.A UK national Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi who was arrested in November 2017 told the investigators about Ramandeep, who could provide only some details about Shera. The police used those details to nab Shera in November 2017. Shera’s family thought he was living in Italy with his uncle. Related ItemsPunjabTerrorismlast_img read more

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No hitch in seat-sharing: Uddhav

first_imgStating that the Shiv Sena’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was strong as ever, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said that the seat-sharing arrangements for the Assembly elections had already been decided.“We have satisfactorily sorted out the seat-sharing arrangements. The media need not worry about it at this moment. They will come to know at the right time,” he said, adding that all parties in the BJP-Sena ‘Mahayuti’ would be satisfactorily accommodated in the arrangement.Mr. Thackeray further said that the Sena’s demand for the post of the Deputy Speaker in the Lok Sabha ought not to be misconstrued as ‘disgruntlement’ on its part.“The Sena does not believe in doing anything by sly means…Expressing a wish or demanding something by rights [Deputy Speaker’s post] does not mean that we are upset with the BJP. We have made this alliance [with the BJP] on the principles of Hindutva, not for the sake of merely securing two or four union cabinet berths,” Mr. Thackeray remarked.Rebuking the opposition, the Sena chief drily remarked that he had no wish to participate in “the disappointment of those hoping for a rift” within the ‘Mahayuti’.Quashing suggestions of any disaffection with the BJP, he said, “Now that everything between the two parties is going fine, we will ensure that this alliance remains firm.” Mr. Thackeray emphasized his point by stating that he was satisfied with the Sena being only one berth in the cabinet.Sena MP Arvind Sawant is the lone MP to be given the Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise Ministry portfolio.When asked whether he would be touring drought-hit areas in the State, Mr. Thackeray said that the term ‘drought tour’ was a misnomer.“Let us hope that this drought is on its last legs… Our [BJP-Sena] government’s aim has not been to provide empty succor to the afflicted but to ensure that the farmers and locals are well-provided in terms of fodder and food. I think the government has done its best to ameliorate the plight of the drought-afflicted,” he said.Mr. Thackeray announced that he, along with Aditya Thackeray, planned to visit and review the situation in afflicted areas in western Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha this Sunday.Earlier in the day, the Sena president received a rousing welcome by local Shiv Sainiks as he landed in Kolhapur.Mr. Thackeray, his wife Rashmi and son, Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray prayed at the Mahalaxmi Temple in Kolhapur with the party’s newly-elected MPs to celebrate the BJP-Sena’s victory in the Lok Sabha elections. 16 of the 18 newly-elected Sena MPs were present on the occasion. Also present was senior BJP leader and State Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil.“It was the late Balasaheb’s [Bal Thackeray] dream that the MP from Kolhapur should be from the Shiv Sena. Today, the people of Kolhapur have helped realize that dream by electing Sena MPs from both the Lok Sabha constituencies in the district and I am grateful to them,” Mr. Thackeray said.last_img read more

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Elephant suspected to have died of herpes virus infection in Nandankanan zoo

first_imgA 10-year-old male elephant is suspected to have died of herpes virus infection in Odisha’s Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP), a leading zoo of the country, early on Sunday.According to the NZP, the pachyderm suddenly became ill on Friday afternoon with symptoms such as reduced appetite, nasal discharge and swollen glands on both sides of its face. Treatment was started immediately by zoo veterinarians based on the advice of the Centre for Wildlife Health at Orissa University of Agriculture Technology and expert veterinarians of Assam. The elephant was rescued from nearby Chandaka Forest in July 2010.“The death is suspected due to herpes virus infection. The cause of death can only be ascertained after post-mortem. After the death of this elephant, Nandankanan is left with six female elephants. The authority is now taking steps to prevent spreading of this virus and to provide advance preventive treatment to remaining vulnerable elephants,” said Jayanta Kumar Das, NZP Deputy Director.“Herpes virus infection is generally observed in the wild. It spreads when elephants come in physical contact with each other. In the past, an elephant had died due to herpes virus attack in the zoo. If infected by the virus, the platelet count of elephants will drop considerably. It will lead to internal bleeding with little outward manifestation. The face and abdomen will start swelling. The animal will lose interest in taking food,” he said.“Once attacked by the virus, the treatment will have little impact. We had been administering the elephant only anti-viral doses after observing the symptoms. It is difficult to detect virus attack beforehand. Only when the elephant reduces food intake, suspicion arises. By that time, the organs of the elephant would have been affected by 70 to 80%,” elaborated Mr. Das.“Now, we are trying to get the blood samples of the rest of the elephants tested. If the platelet count is found to be low, we will immediately start administering anti-viral doses. We are also keeping the other six elephants separately,” he said.last_img read more

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Elderly artist, gardener found dead in Goa

first_imgA 65-year-old Goa-based artist, Shireen Mody, and her gardener were found dead on Sunday, the police said.According to the police, Mody was allegedly murdered by the gardener, who later succumbed to his injuries caused by a fall while he was trying to run away from the scene of crime.Mody, formerly from Mumbai, was running an art studio in Arpora village in North Goa district, where the incident took place on Sunday afternoon.“She was assaulted by her gardener Prafulla who hails from Assam. After hitting her with a heavy weapon in the storeroom of her house, he tried to run away but was injured after a fall,” said Navlesh Dessai, Inspector in-charge of the Anjuna police station. He later succumbed to his injuries, he added. While Mody was pronounced dead at the Goa Medical College near here, Prafulla was taken to a local district hospital where he was also declared dead. Both the bodies have been sent for post-mortem.Mr. Dessai said that according to the statements of the immediate neighbours, there were constant bickering and arguments between Mody and her gardener.Mr. Dessai said that CCTV footage recorded at the residence of the deceased artist shows the gardener running away from the scene of crime. A case of murder has been registered at the Anjuna police station.last_img read more

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Another security official held in Tripura journalists’ murder probe

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday arrested a security official in connection with its probe into the murder of two journalists in separate incidents in 2017. Swarupananda Biswas, Assistant Commandant in the 2nd battalion of paramilitary Tripura State Rifles (TSR), is the second senior officer arrested after former battalion Commandant Tapan Debbarma, for their alleged involvement in the killing of journalist Sudip Datta Bhowmik.Sudip Datta Bhowmik, a reporter with Bengali daily Syandan, was shot dead inside the office of Commandant Tapan Debbarman at R.K. Nagar, near Agartala, when the former went to a paramilitary campus to on a professional assignment. The other journalist Santanu Bhowmik, who was working for a local television channel was lynched to death while covering a road blockade agitation at Mandwai, 25 kms east of Agartala.After it assumed office in March 2018, the BJP-led coalition government in the State handed both the investigations to the CBI. Journalists’ organisations had been continuously holding street protests to press for probe by the central agency.The police and the CBI had made several arrests in connection with the murders but almost all the accused were released on bail. The CBI recently intensified its investigation after Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb spoke to Home Minister Amit Shah.last_img read more

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Durant helps Warriors pull away over Nuggets

first_imgThe Nuggets, trailing by 13 after the first quarter, scored 15 straight points to start the second behind their bench players and moved in front for the first time in the game on Barton’s fastbreak 3-pointer 38-36 midway through the period. But Golden State came back to lead 60-55 at the half, scoring nine of the last 13 points in the final two minutes of the quarter capped by Thompson’s 3-pointer off a feed from Curry an instant before the halftime buzzer sounded.Golden State, showcasing its transition game and ball movement throughout the game, finished with 37 assists, including a game-high 11 by Curry.TIP-INSWarriors: G Shaun Livingston was inactive for the game as part of a designated rest day. … F Damian Jones, the Warriors’ first-round pick, is on assignment with the team’s G League squad in Santa Cruz and could be there for a awhile. “He’s going to spend a lot of time down there because there’s no point in him coming up here and sitting on the bench,” Coach Steve Kerr said prior to the game. “He needs to play. I could see bringing him up once in a while and giving him some playing time if we had an injury or something but for the most part he needs to play.”Nuggets: F Juancho Hernangomez remains sidelined because of a bout of mononucleosis. He has missed the past eight games. … Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was in attendance to see a pair of his former Spartan stars — Nuggets guard Gary Harris,who started 67 of his 68 career games under Izzo, and Warriors forward Draymond Green, a native of Saginaw, Mich. who helped the Spartans to two Final Four appearances.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Towns leads Timberwolves past floundering Mavericks Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf PLAY LIST 01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Will Barton had 21 points off the bench to lead the Nuggets. None of Denver’s starters reached double figures in scoring.Up by five at halftime, the Warriors forced a decisive turn in the game with a 24-4 run to start the third, taking an 84-59 lead when Curry hit a fall-away 3-pointer from the baseline after poking the ball away from Mason Plumlee for a steal.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Warriors finished with 43 points in the third — the most points allowed by the Nuggets in a period this season — and took a 103-76 lead into the fourth quarter. Durant had 13 of his points in the period and Curry added 12 in the same span, helping Golden State lead by as many as 29 points and outscore Denver by 22 points in the quarter.Both teams began to substitute freely early in the fourth quarter and the Warriors coasted to the victory. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion MOST READcenter_img CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Will Barton #5 of the Denver Nuggets has his shot blocked by Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors at the Pepsi Center on November 4, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. AFPDENVER — Kevin Durant scored 25 points, Stephen Curry had 22 and the Golden State Warriors rode a big third quarter to a 127-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday (Sunday Manila time).Klay Thompson and Draymond Green added 15 points apiece for the Warriors. They have won six of their last seven, including all three during their just concluded trip.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View commentslast_img read more

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Tiger Woods receiving professional help to manage meds

first_imgWhat ‘missteps’? “I want to thank everyone for the amazing outpouring of support and understanding especially the fans and players on tour.”Woods was charged with driving under the influence after police in Jupiter, Florida, found him asleep at the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz about 2 a.m. May 29. Breath tests showed no presence of alcohol, but Woods told officers he had a reaction to several prescription drugs, including Vicodin and Xanax. His arraignment has been delayed until Aug. 9.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWoods could qualify for a diversion program in which the DUI charge is downgraded to reckless driving, which results in probation, fine and other conditions such as taking a DUI course. WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Imports TNT X-factor Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In this Monday, May 29, 2017 still image taken from video provided by the Jupiter Police Department Tiger Woods steps off line during a field sobriety test after he was found sound asleep behind the wheel of his car partially on the road in Jupiter, Fla. (Jupiter Police Department via AP)JUPITER, Fla. — Tiger Woods is receiving help to manage his medications.“I’m currently receiving professional help to manage my medications and the ways that I deal with back pain and a sleep disorder,” Woods said in a statement provided to The Associated Press on Monday night.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

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Kings’ Randolph arrested on pot charge at LA housing project

first_imgOfficers also arrested Stanley Walton, 43, on suspicion of carrying a gun as an ex-convict, Preciado said. She didn’t know if Walton has an attorney.Police recovered two guns, impounded two vehicles and seized narcotics, Preciado said.Randolph, a 16-year league veteran, spent eight seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies before signing with the Sacramento Kings in July. The Kings issued a statement Thursday saying the team was aware of the situation and would have no further comment at this time.The two-time NBA All-Star played for Michigan State University before being drafted in 2001 by the Portland Trail Blazers. Randolph also played for the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers View comments Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo “The charges are false and misleading,” Randolph’s agent and attorney Raymond Brothers told The Associated Press on Thursday. “We’re looking at all options to resolve this matter.”Police on patrol observed a crowd drinking, smoking pot, blasting music and blocking streets at the Nickerson Gardens project in Watts, Preciado said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsOfficers called for backup when the crowd grew and people began throwing bottles and rocks.Five police cars and one sheriff’s vehicle ended up with smashed windows and slashed tires. No officers were hurt. Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Calisaan tows San Sebastian to rout of St. Benilde FILE – In this April 27, 2017, file photo Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph warms up before an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in Memphis, Tenn. Police say Randolph was arrested on a marijuana charge after several police cars were vandalized when a large gathering became unruly at a Los Angeles housing project on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. Randolph was taken into custody on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to sell. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill,File)Veteran NBA forward Zach Randolph was arrested on a marijuana charge after several police cars were vandalized when a large gathering became unruly at a Los Angeles housing project, authorities said Thursday.Randolph, 36, was taken into custody late Wednesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana with intent to sell, according to Los Angeles Police Department Officer Liliana Preciado.ADVERTISEMENT NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaulcenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo LATEST STORIES MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Gameslast_img read more

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PH boxers make rousing 2017 SEA Games debuts

first_imgCelebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side “This is just the beginning, we got long ways to go, hopefully we can sustain it in the late rounds,” said Alliance of Boxing Associations of the Philippines executive director Ed Picson.The wins ushered Bautista and Marcial to the semifinals which assured the country at least bronze medal. But the reigning champions are here for the top honours.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe 24-year-old Fernandez, reigning 56kg champion, needed just over two minutes in the first round to stop Myanmar’s Maung Nge via knockout.Fernandez took down the shorter Nge with powerful head and body combinations that dismantled the Burmese fighter. But it was his right uppercut that caused Nge to lose footing and reach for the ropes. He was give standing count and when referee asked him if he can still go on, he shook his head.Eumir Felix Marcial capped the brilliant day for the Philippines with an easy decision win over hard-punching Nguyen Manh Cuong in the 75kg.“They really prepared well, all the fighters are ready and trained hard,” said Marcial in Filipino. He came here fresh from winning gold in Mongolia recently.The lefty got into heavy exchange with Cuong who bore the brunt of Marcial’s quick combinations.“I wasn’t using much of my jabbing hand, I don’t want to re-injure it,” said Marcial, whose left hand got injured and jeopardized his Olympic qualifying quest last year.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments Mario Fernandez of the Philippines stops Maung Nge of Myanmar in the first round of their bantamweight preliminaries in the boxing competition of the 29th Southeast Asian Games at the MITEC Hall 8 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOKUALA LUMPUR — Philippine boxing delivered the expected punch Sunday as all three of its fighters qualified to the next round in the Southeast Asian Games at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Center.Defending champions Ian Clark Bautista, Mario Fernandez and Eumir Felix Marcial overwhelmed their foes en route to the second round all in flashy, slam-bang fashion.ADVERTISEMENT Archer Tagle settles for silver in recurve event Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremonycenter_img Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READ LATEST STORIES NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Bautista opened up the action with a masterful decision over hometown bet Abdul Salam Kasim in the 52kg division.The Binalbagan, Negros Occidental native peppered Kasim with a barrage of hits in the first round and appeared bent on finishing off the Malaysia early.“He was too eager to knock him out which I advised him not to because it’s dangerous,” said PH coach Elias Recaido.Good thing for Bautista, he coasted along in the third, throwing solid punches on the fly to keep Kasim at bay en route to win.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesterslast_img read more

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UFC: Rival Cormier responds to Jones’ failed drug test

first_imgMOST READ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Daniel Cormier lands a solid right to the face of Jon Jones during their fight at UFC 182 in January.  AP FILE PHOTOUFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ return to glory was shortlived, as he reportedly tested positive for an anabolic steroid and would most likely receive yet another suspension.READ: UFC champ Jon Jones flagged for another failed doping testADVERTISEMENT Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesterscenter_img Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo SEA Games: PH volleybelles in semis, eye crucial win vs Vietnam The news comes less than a month after he reclaimed the title from fierce adversary Daniel Cormier via a brutal knockout. The former champion recently spoke to MMAFighting about Jones’ most recent debacle.“It’s hard to find words to describe how I’m feeling right now,” he told the news outlet. “I’m disappointed to hear the news. It’s very emotional.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) made the news public on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) but urged the public to “let due process occur before drawing any conclusions about Mr. Jones.”Despite their differences, Cormier elected to let the investigation proceed before making his assumptions. “We as athletes are entitled to due process, and I will refrain from saying much more until I know exactly what happened,” he said.Still, the 38-year-old former Olympian can’t help but dwell on the disappointing results of their match last July.“In my mind, on July 29, I competed and I lost. I thought Jon Jones was the better man that day,” he said. “I don’t know what to think anymore. I can’t believe we are going through all of this again. We will see what happens next.”He also expressed gratitude to the fans who stuck with him during his tough times. “Thank you to all my fans who have supported me during this dark time. I love you all very much.”  Khristian Ibarrola /raADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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Orella falters in rhythmic gymnastics

first_imgLATEST STORIES Syquia wins PH’s 23rd gold, rules equestrian show jump NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ She also ended up in eighth in hoop with her 9.30 score, with Koi again topping the category.Orella stayed in eighth place in ball with her 11.10 points, while this time, Malaysia’s Izzah Amzan claimed the mint.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingShe finished her performance with an eighth place finish in ribbon, nabbing a score of 11.05, with Malaysian Amy Kwan Dict winning the gold. Gymnast Arielle Orella missed out on a podium finish in the apparatus finals of rhythmic gymnastics in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games Monday at MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre Hall 3 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.The 20-year-old Orella wound up in seventh place in clubs with her 11.10 points, where Malaysian Koi Sie Yan won the gold medal.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’last_img read more

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Federer calls medical timeout ‘precaution’; del Potro next

first_imgLATEST STORIES San Miguel to play Bridgeman vs Rain or Shine, still awaiting arrival of Terrence Watson “It was more precaution. It’s all good. No problems there,” said Federer, who did not face a break point. “I’m not worried about it.”The state of the 36-year-old Federer’s physical condition has been a talking point throughout the tournament, because he tweaked his back during a match in August, interrupting his preparation for Flushing Meadows. Federer said he was worried about his movement in his first-round match against 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe, then had timing issues in his second-rounder against 35-year-old Russian Mikhail Youzhny — and both of those contests went five sets.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingOn the bright side, the 19-time major champion also spent some time drawing a crowd by hitting in Central Park and has put together two straight-set wins in a row against opponents in their 30s.“I went from Tiafoe, then to the oldies, so that was good,” Federer joked. “Yeah, back to the ’80s.” That has had an effect on his two-handed backhand, to be sure, but the righty swing that produces massive forehands and serves is still intact — as Federer himself noted at his news conference and on Twitter.That was clear as del Potro shook off the effects of a fever and erased two set points while coming back from a big deficit to eliminated No. 6 Dominic Thiem 1-6, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-4.When a reporter relayed to del Potro that Federer had spoken glowingly about him, del Potro responded: “Well, of course, I admire him, too. Everybody loves him.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Roger Federer, of Switzerland, returns a shot against Philipp Kohlschreiber, of Germany, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)NEW YORK — The only bit of trouble for Roger Federer in his fourth-round match at the U.S. Open was when he felt the tightening of a muscle at the back of the top of his left leg.Federer asked for a medical timeout after the second set against No. 33 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, briefly let the court in Arthur Ashe Stadium to get a quick massage from a trainer, and soon was right back at it, finishing off his 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 victory Monday night.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’center_img Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side In the quarterfinals, he’ll face someone who turns 29 this month and whose presence does not conjure good memories for Federer at the U.S. Open: Juan Martin del Potro.Federer is a combined 44-0 against the first four men he’s played, and he is 16-5 against del Potro. But one of those defeats came in five sets in the 2009 final at Flushing Meadows, when del Potro won his only Grand Slam title and ended Federer’s streak of five consecutive championships in New York.“Probably feels like one of those matches I would like to play over again. Feel like I would probably win it somehow,” Federer said.“I just had all these chances in multiple moments. The only time when he was really better, in my opinion, was the fifth set,” he added. “Obviously that was good enough to beat me that day. It was a good match. A lot of back and forth. Crowd was really into it. Started in the day, finished in the night.”Del Potro has gone through plenty of health problems since then, including three operations on his left wrist that forced him to miss two years’ worth of Grand Slam tournaments until Wimbledon in 2016.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo View commentslast_img read more

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Unbeaten Ateneo streaks to 5th win, La Salle dumps San Beda

first_imgLacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo FILE PHOTO – The Ateneo Blue Eagles’ Mark Espejo and Manuel Sumanguid celebrate for bagging the championship after beating the NU Bulldogs for the UAAP 79th season Men’s Volleyball at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City Yesterday. (PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN)Ateneo continued its dominance in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference turning back University of the Philippines in straight sets, 25-18, 25-18, 25-18, Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Blue Eagles improved to a league-best 5-0 while the Fighting Maroons languish at the seventh spot with a paltry 1-3 card.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his sidecenter_img Gian Glorioso put up a game-high 13 points to pace the Blue Eagles while Marck Espejo added 12.Ateneo practically put up a wall in front of the Maroons tallying up 14 scoring blocks and allowing just 23 UP spikes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingIn the other game, De La Salle tripped San Beda in four sets, 25-16, 23-25, 25-16, 32-30.The Green Spikers are now at 3-2 while the Red Spikers are at 1-3. MOST READ Earl Gonzales had 16 points to lead La Salle while Jomaru Amagan and Mark Enciso combined for 21 points. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Macaraya says Fernandez has no right to call Calisaan a dirty player View commentslast_img read more

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India’s gold medallists

first_imgIndia has won 38 golds, 27 silvers and 35 bronzes in the Commonwealth Games 2010. In the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, India had scored 22 golds, 17 silvers and 11 bronzes. The 2010 medallists are given under: Shooting 14 golds1. Abhinav Bindra & Gagan Narang (Men’s 10m air rifle – pairs) 2. Anisa Sayyed & Rahi Sarnobat (Women’s 25m pistol – pairs)3. Anisa Sayyed (Women’s 25m pistol – singles)4. Omkar Singh (Men’s 50m pistol – singles)5. Gagan Narang (Men’s 10m air rifle – singles)6. Vijay Kumar & Gurpreet Singh (Men’s 25m rapid fire pistol – pairs)7. Omkar Singh & Gurpreet Singh (Men’s 10m air pistol – pairs)8. Omkar Singh (Men’s 10m air pistol – singles)9. Gagan Narang & Imran Hassan Khan (Men’s 50m air rifle 3 position – pairs)10. Vijay Kumar (Men’s 25m rapid fire pistol – singles)11. Vijay Kumar & Harpreet Singh (Men’s 25m centre fire pistol – pairs)12. Gagan Narang (Men’s 50m rifle 3 positions – singles)  Wrestling 10 golds1. Ravinder Singh (Men’s Greco-Roman 60 kg)2. Anil Kumar (Men’s Greco-Roman 96 kg)3. Sanjay Kumar (Men’s Greco-Roman 74 kg)4. Rajender Kumar (Men’s Greco-Roman 55 kg)5. Geeta Singh Phogat (Women’s freestyle 55 kg)6. Alka Tomar (Women’s freestyle 59 kg)7. Anita Tomar (Women’s freestyle 67 kg)8. Narsingh Pancham Yadav (Men’s freestyle 74 kg)9. Yogeshwar Dutt (Men’s freestyle 60 kg)10. Sushil Kumar (Men’s freestyle 66 kg) Boxing 3 golds1. Suranjoy Singh (Men’s flyweight 52 kg)2. Manoj Kumar (Men’s light welterweight 64 kg)3. Paramjeet Samota (Men’s light super heavyweight +91 kg) Archery 3 golds1. Rahul Banerjee (Men’s recurve – singles)2. Deepika Kumari (Women’s recurve – singles)3. Deepika Kumari, Dola Banerjee & Bombayala Devi Laishram (Women’s recurve team) Weightlifting 2 golds1. Yumnam Renubala Chanu (Women’s 58kg)2. Katulu Ravi Kumar (Men’s 69kg) Athletics 2 golds1. Manjeet Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Akkunji and Mandeep Kaur (Women’s 4x400m relay)2. Krishna Poonia (Women’s discus throw) Badminton 2 golds1. Jwala Gutta & Ashwini Ponappa (Women’s doubles)advertisement2. Saina Nehwal (Women’s singles) Table Tennis 1 gold1. Subhajit Saha & Achanta Sharath Kamal (Men’s doubles) Tennis 1 gold1. Somdev Devvarmanlast_img read more

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England’s Collingwood retires from Test cricket

first_imgPaul Collingwood had a feeling England would wrap up another thumping Ashes victory over Australia on Thursday, so he thought it was the right time to tell his teammates he was retiring from Test cricket.His timing was almost perfect. England got within three wickets of an innings defeat of Australia on the penultimate day of the fifth Test in Sydney, and will have to return Friday to wrap it up for a 3-1 series win.It will be England’s first Test series victory in Australia since 1987. With all day to get three tail-enders out, the 34-year-old Collingwood doesn’t mind his Test career extending to another day.”In many ways it’s a sad moment but I honestly think it’s the right time,” he said. “This is what I have been playing cricket for – it’s to be in a position against Australia in Australia like this, and it’s going to be the perfect moment to bow out of Test cricket.”Collingwood has scored 4,259 runs in 68 Test matches at an average of 40 since his debut against Sri Lanka in 2003, but has struggled in the current Ashes series and scored only 83 runs. He said it was time for him to move aside for a younger player in the Test arena, although he’ll remain captain of England’s Twenty20 team and will continue to play one-day internationals.”I am happy with the contributions I’ve made to the England team in the Test format and there are a lot of youngsters coming through,” he said. “This team will progress without me and get better and better, so I am looking forward to tomorrow as my final farewell.”advertisementCollingwood has been involved in four Ashes campaigns, and won three of them – he received a civic honor for playing one Test in the 2005 Ashes series when England won the Ashes for the first time since 1987. His most successful Ashes series as an individual was in Australia four years ago, when he scored a career high 206 at Adelaide but England was swept 5-0.England won back the Ashes in 2009 and ensured it retained the old urn by winning the fourth Test at Melbourne last week.”To be involved with a great England team like it is at the moment with some special players and special characters, it’s a very proud place to be,” he said.Wicketkeeper Matt Prior praised Collingwood’s contribution to the team, saying it was as much his behind-the-scenes influence with the team as his solid batting and fielding that has been integral in lifting the self belief and harmony in the England squad.Collingwood, who guided England to the Twenty20 World Cup title last year, said the way the England squad had developed a culture of winning in recent seasons had been the highlight of his time in international cricket.A lack of runs had hastened his decision to quit the longest form of the game.”Obviously my form hasn’t helped. I am very realistic and at the same time there are some great young players coming through, but if I wanted to progress and if I wanted to stay in the England team I was going to have to work very hard on technical things and whether I’ve got the time and the ability to stay up with this team I am not too sure.”England Cricket Board managing director Hugh Morris said Collingwood had been an outstanding contributor for England.”His performances have been admired and recognized by his teammates and England supporters over many years and his tireless commitment in the Test match arena will be something he will always be remembered for,” Morris said.Collingwood was out for 13 in England’s first innings in Sydney and could yet bat again at the SCG, with the last Ashes Test due to finish Friday.Collingwood has scored 10 centuries and also taken 17 wickets in Test cricket, including the vital wicket of Mike Hussey in this match. He has played 189 limited-overs internationals.last_img read more

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World Cup catches betting flu, 13 arrested

first_imgDelhi Polices crime branch sleuths with the seized laptops, cell phones, recording devices and note books after busting a betting racket.With due apologies to Australian cricket captain Ricky ‘Punter’ Ponting, he is not the only punter playing in this World Cup. Seriously, there have always been punters in cricket and they never retire.Ever since the game evolved from the humble village of Humbledon in England, people have been wagering their money – from outcome of matches to something as strange as the colour of Bishan Singh Bedi’s turban. Bedi apparently used to change his turbans for each session of a Test match and the Aussies used to love betting on the colour he would choose for a particular session.That was when cricket was played by gentlemen in crisp flannels. Today, betting is a highrolling syndicate in the Western world and a similar big money spinning nefarious activity in our parts.The World Cup give this “vice” a frenzied lease of life, spawning crores of rupees on the sly. Since the law of the land does not agree to such activities, the police obviously swoop down on such rackets operating from decrepit houses in dark alleys with an assortment of modern high-tech communication gadgets. These fly by night operators thrive on the human instinct to make money and more money.Of late, the police have been hot on the heels of betting rackets across the country. In Delhi, they have busted three betting syndicates over the past three weeks.advertisementOn Sunday, inspector Arvind Kumar’s team arrested five punters – Kuldeep Jain (32), Suresh Chand Jain(42), Ajay Jain (34), Manoj Jain (39) and Avdhesh Sharma (44) – from a house on rent in East of Kailash, south-east Delhi. These five were not taking bets directly, but 32 bookies across the city were doing their job. They were offering Rs 1.60 for every rupee invested.The police said the punters use a computer software, Back and LayPro, to place the bets. The software can be downloaded from the internet or bought from Gaffar Market, the police added.A rented room often attracts the police. Hence, many syndicates have moved to cars and vans. “Cars are the safest place to run a betting racket. All you need is a laptop with WiFi, mobile phone, television and a notebook.The police have so far arrested 13 bookies in the Capital. Nine of them CUP CATCHES are property dealers. They confessed that were trying to cash in on the World Cup fever to make a quick buck.Down south, the betting mafia has made Karnataka its new hub for the World Cup. The police have busted rackets in five different locations across the state over the past 15 days – arresting more than 25 people in Bangalore, Bellary, and Belgaum.”We had clear information that the betting mafia has moved to Karnataka from Mumbai. They have formed a ring in the state. All the five gangs that we nabbed are interconnected,” a senior police officer said.What has appalled the police is the presence of armed guards from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar outside the houses of the betting gangs. “This is new to Bangalore. Armed guards are common in Mumbai. The Bangalore underworld does not rely on guards from other states,” the officer added.In Andhra Pradesh, the Vijayawada police on Sunday arrested five persons for betting on the India-England cricket match in Bangalore and seized Rs 2.10 lakh in cash, 12 mobile phones and a laptop.Here again, real estate dealers from Hyderabad were involved in the betting racket. Subba Raju, a punter and property dealer, said cricket betting has two categories: match betting and fancy betting.”Match betting is simple. In this, one can bet, for instance, on 40:42 when two favourite teams are playing. The bookie gets Rs 40,000 extra for every one lakh he bets on the first team if it wins the match. If the second team wins, he would lose Rs 42,000 for every one lakh straightaway.As the match progresses, the bookies can raise their stake, but the basic figure remains the same,” Raju explained.last_img read more

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Cricketer Anjum Chopra debuts in TV reality show

first_imgCricketer Anjum ChopraCricketer Anjum Chopra, 33, goes from one sport to another.From playing and then analysing cricket, she is now one of the 13 female participants on Khatron ke Khiladi 4, and will be paired opposite celebrity trainer Sandeep Sachdeva. But after having played for the Indian Women’s Cricket Team,Cricketer Anjum ChopraCricketer Anjum Chopra, 33, goes from one sport to another.From playing and then analysing cricket, she is now one of the 13 female participants on Khatron ke Khiladi 4, and will be paired opposite celebrity trainer Sandeep Sachdeva. But after having played for the Indian Women’s Cricket Team in six World Cups, however, the ultimate goal remains to win the women’s World Cup for her country, “I know the joy of winning a semi-final and the pain of losing a final.”The show is just a platform to raise awareness about the game.last_img read more

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Krittika Biswas case: Congressman writes to Hillary Clinton

first_imgEven as the US state department reiterated that Indian diplomat Debashish Biswas’s daughter Krittika, who recently sued New York City for illegally detaining her, did not enjoy diplomatic immunity, voices are being raised in the United States over the controversy involving the teenaged Indian schoolgirl.Leading Congressman Gary Ackerman has written a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Krittika issue. The letter comes ahead of Clinton’s visit to India on July 19.Ackerman’s letter might be the impetus needed to get Clinton sort out the issue before she reaches India. Krittika’s lawyer Ravi Batra had also earlier written to Clinton seeking her intervention. He had said that he was under pressure to withdraw the case.In his letter to Clinton, Ackerman writes: “I hope that somebody can take the time to remedy…. this injustice that has befallen this young girl and her fine diplomat family.”On the other side, US state department spokesman Mark Toner on Tuesday reiterated that Krittika had been allowed to contact her parents during the night she was detained and was released the next day.”As I’ve said before, as a family member of a consular officer at the Indian consulate in New York, she did not enjoy immunity from arrest from criminal or civil jurisdiction under international law. Certainly though, we value our partnership with India and we attach great importance to the presence of all Indian diplomatic and consular representatives in the United States. And we sympathise with Ms Biswas and her family,” Toner said in his latest clarification.advertisement”I think she was allowed to call her family and her father, who was the consul general, I believe. She was allowed to contact them,” he added.Krittika, whose father was the vice counsel at the Indian consulate in Manhattan, had been jailed by the New York Police Department for “cyber bullying”, a crime she had not committed, on February 8. She later sued the New York City authorities for $1.5 million.The teen had claimed that she had been ill-treated in prison after being arrested on charge of sending obscene emails to her teachers at Queens High School. She had alleged that she was not allowed to use the bathroom for a long-time when she was in custody.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more

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Selectors faced with Sehwag dilemma ahead of team selection

first_imgDashing opener Virender Sehwag’s availability will be the bone of contention when the national selectors meet in Chennai on Saturday to select the Test squad for the cricket tour of England.While Sachin Tendulkar (rested from the ongoing tour of the West Indies), Zaheer Khan and Gautam Gambhir (recovering from injuries) will be back to bolster the squad, there hasn’t yet been any concrete information about the status of Sehwag’s injured shoulder that underwent a surgery in May.A source close to Sehwag said that the opener may just struggle to get fit in time for the first Test as “he is yet to get back the desired strength in his shoulders.”The first Test starts from July 21 at the Lord’s. India are scheduled to play four Tests and five ODIs during the tour of England.”We have no information as of now on the status of Sehwag’s injury. We will only get to know once we are in Chennai. We have heard that Gautam and Zaheer are fit,” said a selector.There is speculation that selectors may just take a gamble by including Sehwag in the team and wait for him to get fit by the time the second Test starts in Nottingham from July 29.Asked about the poor show by Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund in the three innings so far, the selector retorted, “These two (Vijay and Mukund) are the best available replacements for Viru and Gauti. We don’t have too many options in opening. Only Parthiv can be another option.”advertisementParthiv is a certainty as a second wicketkeeper.If Sehwag fails to make it then Vijay, by sheer experience of having a longer stint in the team, may get another international lifeline.While the other places in the batting order are almost sealed after Raina’s back-to-back 50s, the extra middle-order batsman’s slot may be a three-way battle between Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and senior-pro Yuvraj Singh.While Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma have sealed their places after impressive show in the West Indies, the young Abhimanyu Mithun may have to battle it out with S Sreesanth for the fourth pacer’s slot.- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

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Chito Victolero to Alex Compton: ‘Referees decide what’s a foul, not coaches’

first_imgTS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening MOST READ Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion It’s not just the basketball that’s entertaining—what with all the pure athleticism and physical play between two teams—but also the verbal exchanges between head coaches Alex Compton and Chito Victolero.Alaska won Game 4 90-76 to tie the series at 2-2 in a heated game that prompted Compton to call out some of Hotshots for allegedly throwing punches at his players.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief“Jio [Jalalon] punched us, somebody punched Mike in the testicles, somebody punched Chris in the testicles, at what point is that going to be called? I don’t know,” said Compton during his post-game press conference Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Victolero, who accused Compton of calling the referees’ attention after Game 2, hit back saying the Alaska coach doesn’t have the right to make calls during the game. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “Both players are only being physical, there’s nothing wrong with that,” said Victolero. “Still coaches cannot decide on what’s a foul. The referees are doing their jobs so I think they did a good job today. If we keep on complaining against the referees then there won’t be an end to this series.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue MANILA, Philippines—The finals series between Magnolia and Alaska in the PBA Governors’ Cup has officially provided action from all fronts.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img “He’s just saying it, he’s not a referee, he’s a coach,” said Victolero in Filipino. “I think it’s beyond our control and the referees will decide what’s a foul, what’s a flagrant foul, and what’s not a flagrant foul.”There was no question that Game 4 was one physical matchup with Magnolia import Romeo Travis needing a couple of stitches near his right eye to close a wound he suffered when he drove to the basket in the third quarter.What made the fourth game of the series truly remarkable was the heated exchanges between Alaska guard Chris Banchero and Magnolia floor general Mark Barroca.The two went at it for much of the second half but it was Barroca who landed the decisive blow when replays showed he hit Banchero in the groin with less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter.Victolero said there’s nothing wrong with being physical especially in a championship atmosphere like the one they’re in, but what he can’t accept is the constant complaining on the referees.ADVERTISEMENT Looking to snag best available talent, PBA coaches size up aspirants at Draft Combine SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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Game 2 ‘wake up call’ helps Petron get back on track for PSL crown

first_imgMOST READ View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—It could’ve been a perfect sweep for Petron in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference if not for its four-set loss to F2 Logistics in Game 2.The Blaze Spikers held a 13-0 record up until that loss, but that defeat jolted the team to fix their ways and show what the defending champions are made of.ADVERTISEMENT GALLERY: Magnolia back on top with PBA Governors’ Cup crown Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausscenter_img SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Petron had two days to figure it out, and it showed its might against the Cargo Movers in the Game 3 for the 25-22, 26-24, 25-23 sweet.“That was a wakeup call for us. We never thought of the sweep or that we didn’t lose a match because that’s not a good mindset,” said Reyes in Filipino Thursday at Filoil Flying V Center. “It was a learning experience for us that we shouldn’t think of the conference sweep.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefReyes was also instrumental in Petron’s third set stand when she scored on back-to-back hits to give the Blaze Spikers a 19-16 buffer.The Blaze Spikers’ title win also moved them ahead of the Cargo Movers in the championship table with Petron owning four, the most in the league, while F2 has three. Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ Reyes said Game 3 itself was enough to show that the rivalry between the two teams is as strong as ever.The two teams did face each other four straight times in the finals and had two titles between them prior to meeting in the 2018 All-Filipino Conference championship round.“The rivalry is still there,” said Reyes who had nine points in Game 3. “You all saw how they fought. They didn’t want to lose and both teams came to fight.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

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Kemba Walker enters 3rd All-Star game with uncertain future

first_imgKemba Walker. APCHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kemba Walker is preparing for his third NBA All-Star game — and his first as a starter — this weekend on his home court in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he once shouted “This is my city!” after a game-winning shot.The big question is how many more he’ll play in as a member of the Hornets.ADVERTISEMENT The Hornets and owner Michael Jordan have something to think about, too.They have to decide whether to give the largest contract in franchise history — he can make $220 million over five years if he makes All-NBA; or $189 million over five years if he doesn’t — to a 6-foot-1 point guard if it means limiting other free agents the franchise can sign to make it a championship contender.“I sense Kemba is the kind of guy who just wants to trust in an organization — that we’re always trying to do the right thing,” said Mitch Kupchak, in his first season as the Hornets general manager. “I do know he likes Charlotte. I know he’s a loyal person. So I think those things bode well for us. But we’re a long way off.”The Hornets did not attempt to trade Walker last week, a sign they are confident he will re-sign.But ultimately, Kupchak said, the decision on whether Walker returns “is a question for Kemba, because really what he thinks is much more important than what I think.”ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting DeMarcus Cousins hits winning free throws to lift Warriors past Heat Before the season, Walker said he didn’t want to play anywhere other than Charlotte, downplaying the notion he’d go looking for a so-called “super team.”“I don’t want to do that,” Walker said in September. “I want to create something special here in Charlotte, something that we have never had here before. I want to create some consistency. And I want to be a part of that.”Walker hasn’t changed his stance in the five months since, even as the Hornets continue to muddle around a .500 mark, just above the playoff cutline.BOSTON BICKERINGMaybe the Celtics could use a pep talk from the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.Marcus Morris questioned the Celtics’ toughness after they surrendered leads of 28 points to the Clippers and 18 points to the Lakers on their home court, dropping them to fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings.“We are going to lose games, but if we don’t have no attitude and we don’t have no toughness it’s going to be a long season,” Morris told reporters, including NBA Sports.Morris went on to say it’s not been fun playing for the Celtics because they aren’t acting like a team.“I watch all of these other teams around the league and guys on the bench are up jumping on the court and looking like they are enjoying their teammates’ success, and they are playing together and playing to win,” Morris said. “When I look at us, I see a bunch of individuals.”Making matters worse, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving sprained his right knee Saturday night and is listed as day-to-day. It’s not the same knee that caused Irving to miss the last 15 regular-season games and all of the playoffs last season. MOST READ PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss The eight-year NBA veteran is set to become one of several All-Star free agents in July and will surely be an attractive option for more than a few teams.On the surface, it seems like Walker re-signing a long-term deal is a no-brainer — he has repeatedly stated his desire to continue playing for the Hornets, and the organization wants him back.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesBut there are other factors at play.For the highly competitive Walker, he hasn’t much of a supporting cast and he’s only been to the playoffs twice in his previous seven seasons, losing both times to the Miami Heat in the first round. So the chance of going to an established winning team before too much of his career slips away could be luring. US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertecenter_img Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations LATEST STORIES THAT’S CONVENIENTAs it works out, Stephen Curry and his younger brother Seth can share a cross-country flight back to Charlotte on Thursday for the NBA All-Star weekend. The Curry brothers face each other on Wednesday night when Seth’s Trail Blazers host older brother Stephen’s Warriors in Portland, Oregon.The Currys will be competing against each other in the 3-point shootout, which brings some added zest to a competition that includes Walker and defending champion Devin Booker and former champion Dirk Nowitzki.“I know he’ll want to beat me,” Stephen Curry said.Betonline.ag lists Stephen Curry as the heavy 11-4 favorite, followed by Booker, Buddy Hield and Seth Curry, who’ll compete in his first 3-point contest.ALL-STAR EVENTSThis is the first time the All-Star game will be held in Charlotte since 1991, when Michael Jordan was a playing in the game, not hosting it as an NBA owner.As usual, the game figures to attract plenty of celebrities.North Carolina native J. Cole headlines the halftime show Sunday, while Meek Mill will do pre-game introductions.Boxer Floyd Mayweather will host a celebrity go-kart challenge on Friday. Former NBA All-Star MVP Allen Iverson, who lives in Charlotte, is hosting a party, as are rappers Rick Ross, Doug E. Fresh and Deniro Farrar. There will also be a DJ performance by rapper Snoop Dogg. ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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Jiu-jitsu champ Meggie Ochoa battles Philippines’ sex abuse scourge

first_imgLATEST STORIES Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ Manchester United drops to Wolves for 3rd defeat in 4 games Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Jiu-jitsu champ battles Philippines’ sex abuse scourge PLAY LIST 01:42Jiu-jitsu champ battles Philippines’ sex abuse scourge01:43Jiu-jitsu champ battles Philippines’ sex abuse scourge00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausscenter_img Trauma therapy Critics have long seen possible pitfalls of teaching self-defense to those who have been abused, including the risk of re-traumatizing victims by exposing them to close bodily contact.But similar initiatives around the world in recent years have won plaudits, including one by American Olympic judo athlete Kayla Harrison, herself a victim of abuse by her coach.Taekwondo black belt Lina Khalifeh, a Jordanian, has taught self-defense to thousands of women. Her work prompted a 2015 invite to the White House from then-US president Barack Obama.Ochoa says jiu-jitsu can help abuse survivors because it is a discipline where technique trumps size, noting her “five feet small” frame is effective even against much larger opponents.Also, the grappling aspect of the sport helps the act of touching another person feel normal again.“For somebody that has gone through that kind of trauma specifically, it makes you more comfortable with the right kind of contact… Contact that is not abusive,” she said.One of the most devastating and long-term impacts of sexual abuse is the destruction of victims’ self-worth, which can be a barrier for them taking on risks or challenges.She has seen it first-hand with her students, especially one girl who has thrown herself into training and then competition.Ochoa said.”When she competed, the heart is there. She wouldn’t give up. But what struck me is even after she would lose, she would say ‘It feels so good to fight.’” Meggie Ochoa believes lessons in sports and life often intertwine. INQUIRER PHOTO/DENISON DALUPANGAbandoned and sexually abused as a young girl, Angelica, like thousands of minors in the Philippines — a global blackspot for child abuse — struggled to cope with the horrors of her past, but a new campaign run by a sporting champion is giving her and other survivors fresh hope.Filipina martial arts star Meggie Ochoa is teaching self-defense to victims of sexual abuse in a bid to give them tools to better recover from such trauma, but also to better protect themselves in the future.ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Children’s charities have branded the Philippines a key hub for both the live-streaming of child sex abuse and for sex tourism, estimating that 60,000-100,000 children are involved in prostitution rings.READ: Meggie Ochoa’s biggest fight vs child sexual violenceFEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“Some of the kids that I’ve gotten to know… they saw themselves as worthless because of what they experienced. For me that’s so heartbreaking,” the jiu-jitsu world champion told AFP of her decision to launch advocacy campaign Fight to Protect.In just two years, she has taught hundreds of sex abuse survivors. She offers two courses — one for those who wish to learn the sport, and another focused purely on self-defense. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte View comments “Jiu-jitsu taught me to be disciplined, confident and to face my fears,” Angelica, now aged 15, told AFP.“I can face the problems I encountered before and I am now comfortable interacting with people,” she added.Poverty in a nation where tens of millions get by on less than $2 per day, as well as increased internet access and fluency in English, make the Philippines vulnerable to both online and real-world sexual predators.Parents abuse childrenAdvocacy and legal aid group International Justice Mission (IJM) says Philippine children are at risk of being forced into live streamed sex abuse, where pedophiles pay to direct so-called “shows” online.ADVERTISEMENT “Easy access to the web and money transfer services make the country a global hotspot for this problem,” said IJM, noting that it is often parents or family members that organize or even commit the abuse.Children’s charity Terre des Hommes drew attention to the problem using a computer-generated girl nicknamed “Sweetie” that hung out in chatrooms and was approached by about 20,000 people — mostly men — in a matter of weeks.READ: INQUIRER SPORTS Top 7 Stories of the Year: Meggie Ochoa and her ‘Fight to Protect’“It’s just horrible, not just sexual exploitation but also sexual abuse which is happening in the homes of many Filipino children. I was just so bothered,” Ochoa explained.“There’s so much that can be done. The sport actually gave me a voice,” the 28-year-old added.Competing in a relatively new sport for her basketball-mad country, Ochoa made history as the first Filipino to win a gold medal at the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation World Championships in Sweden last year.She is also a three-time world champion in another federation and a bronze medalist at the 2018 Asian Games.A figure of national sporting pride, Ochoa realized she could use her success to help others after reading about Karla Jacinto, a young Mexican girl who estimated she was raped 43,200 times.She was horrified to find there were likely many victims in the Philippines too.“Somehow part of me felt guilt,” Ochoa explained, adding: “I’m doing jiu-jitsu. I am pursuing my dream and yet this is happening.” Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games messlast_img read more

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Martin Nguyen still the ONE featherweight champ

first_imgMartin Nguyen is still the featherweight champ. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Martin Nguyen ended the night with his title wrested on his shoulder once again as he knocked Mongolia’s Narantungalag Jadambaa in their featherweight championship bout in the main event of the ONE: Roots of Honor Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.Nguyen first connected with a stiff leg kick that forced Jadambaa to limp up and that was when the champion decided to send a flying knee straight to the jaw of the Mongolian challenger, ending the fight 1:07 into the second round.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Back on top: Joshua Pacio regains ONE strawweight belt after KO of Yosuke Saruta Nguyen (12-3) also bounced back from his loss to Kevin Belingon in July of 2018 while Jadambaa (14-6) lost failed to get his winning streak to three fights after he beat Kazuki Tokudome and Edward Kelly in 2018. Both fighters were methodical in their approach at the start of the fight with neither one getting a clear advantage over the other. Nguyen then became the aggressor in the second round eventually sending Jadambaa to the cage wherein the champion finally connected the decisive blows. ADVERTISEMENT Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated 🎯 RIGHT ON TARGETMartin Nguyen clinches a scintillating flying knee knockout victory to retain the ONE Featherweight World Title! @MartinNguyenMMA #WeAreONE #RootsOfHonor #Manila #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/EF2ShIBQmm— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 12, 2019FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics It was another successful defense of the featherweight title for Nguyen, who once held two belts in two weight divisions but was forced to relinquish the lightweight strap last year. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more

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Tiger Woods makes Masters his 15th and most improbable major

first_imgView comments LATEST STORIES Schauffele failed to birdie the par-5 15th and scrambled for pars the rest of the way for a 68. Dustin Johnson made three straight birdies late in the round, but he got going too late and had to settle for a 68 and a return to No. 1 in the world.Woods goes to No. 6, his first time inside the top 10 since the 2014 PGA Championship.Koepka, one of four players from the final two groups who hit into the water on No. 12, rallied with an eagle on the 13th, narrowly missed another eagle on the 15th and was the last player with a chance. His birdie putt on the 18th from just outside 10 feet missed, and he had to settle for a 70.“You want to play against the best to ever play,” Koepka said. “You want to go toe-to-toe with them. I can leave saying I gave it my all. He’s just good, man.”Woods finished at 13-under 275 and became, at 43, the oldest Masters champion since Nicklaus won his sixth green jacket at 46 in 1986. That has stood as Augusta’s defining moment for years.This one is sure to at least rival it.“This is definitely, probably one of the greatest comebacks I think anybody’s ever seen,” Koepka said.Koepka and Molinari had both faced Tigermania in the majors and held their own, Molinari at Carnoustie to win the British Open, Koepka last summer at Bellerive to win the PGA Championship. Molinari went 49 straight holes without a bogey, a streak that ended on the seventh hole. It was the double bogeys that cost him, and the Italian was gracious as ever in defeat.“I think I made a few new fans today with those double bogeys,” he said.Rain fell briefly, but it stayed away long enough for Woods to be presented his green jacket on the practice green, just like old times. He looked like a new man, making new memories.“Now I’m able to play golf again, and do it at an elite level again, which is something I’m just very blessed to be able to have that opportunity again,” Woods said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Tiger Woods reacts as he wins the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 14, 2019, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods blazing to victory in his Sunday red at the Masters, a scene once so familiar, was never more stunning.It was only two years ago at Augusta National that Woods needed a nerve block just to hobble upstairs to the Champions Dinner, unsure he would ever play another round of golf. He had a fourth back surgery with hopes of simply playing with his two children, not chasing Jack Nicklaus in history.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss And now it’s all pieced back together — his life, his back, even golf.A fallen hero, a crippled star, Woods is a Masters champion again.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsHe won his fifth green jacket, his 15th major, but never with this much raw emotion. The most ferocious fist pump was when he walked off the 18th green, scooped up 10-year-old son Charlie, and embraced his mother and his 11-year-old daughter Sam.“For them to see what it’s like to have their dad win a major championship, I hope that’s something they will never forget,” Woods said. Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid MOST READ Now the comeback is truly complete. And the race is on.“A big ‘well done’ from me to Tiger,” Nicklaus tweeted. “I am so happy for him and for the game of golf. This is just fantastic!!!”Woods now is three short of the gold standard — 18 majors — set by Nicklaus.“I think 18 is a whole lot closer than people think,” Brooks Koepka said.Joe LaCava, the caddie who stayed with Woods even when he didn’t play for the better part of two years, said they have talked about the record.“We’re on 14 and I said, ‘Let’s get to 15.’ You can’t be on 14 and thinking about 18,” LaCava said. “But now we can start talking about 16. So we’re getting closer.”It was the first time Woods won a major when trailing going into the final round. Francesco Molinari, the 54-hole leader, was still up two shots heading into the heart of Amen Corner.And that’s when all hell broke loose.Molinari’s tee shot on the par-3 12th never had a chance, hitting the bank and tumbling into Rae’s Creek for double bogey. Until then, Molinari had never trailed in a round that began early in threesomes to finish ahead of storms.And then it seemed as though practically everyone had a chance, until Woods delivered the key shots at the big moment, just like the old days. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Painters go 2-0 up Who can ever forget this day?“It’s hard to really feel bad about how I played because I just witnessed history,” said Xander Schauffele, one of three players who finished second. “It was really cool coming down the stretch, all the historic holes, Tiger making the roars. I feel like I got full Masters experience.”The comeback goes beyond the two-shot deficit he erased before a delirious audience that watched memories turn into reality.It had been 14 years since he last won the Masters — no one had ever gone that long between green jackets. He had gone nearly 11 years since his last major, the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines on a shattered left leg.This was bigger.ADVERTISEMENT Woods never missed a shot that mattered over the final seven holes, taking the lead with a 5-iron to the fat of the green on the par-5 15th for a two-putt birdie, delivering the knockout with an 8-iron that rode down the ridge by the cup and settled 2 feet away for birdie on the par-3 16th.He tapped in for bogey and a 2-under 70, and the celebration was on.“WOOOOOOO!!!” Woods screamed as he headed for the scoring room with chants of “Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!” He had never hugged more people, everyone in his camp who stood by him through a public divorce, an embarrassing mug shot from his DUI arrest when he took a bad mix of painkillers and the four back surgeries, the most recent to fuse his lower spine“I had serious doubts after what transpired a couple of years ago,” Woods said. “I could barely walk. I couldn’t sit. Couldn’t lay down. I really couldn’t do much of anything. … To have the opportunity to come back like this, it’s probably one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had for sure because of it.”President Donald Trump, who has played with Woods at his Florida course, had two tweets of congratulations. Fenway Park posted the news on the scoreboard.A comeback for the ages?It rates among the best because Woods has meant so much to so many in a sport he ruled for so long. Whether he can dominate it again is still to be determined. Woods needed some help to win this Masters. Six players had a share of the lead at some point on the back nine, and there was a five-way tie at the top when the final group was still on the 15th fairway.“You couldn’t have had more drama than we all had out there. And now I know why I’m balding,” Woods said. “This stuff is hard.”It didn’t look that way when he was younger, healthier and the most popular sporting figure in the world.Woods lost his impeccable image to a sex scandal, one of the swiftest and most shocking downfalls in sports. He lost his health to back problems. He went two years without even playing a major. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more

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Klay Thompson adds meditation to his mental preparation

first_img‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP LATEST STORIES Thompson heads into Game 1 at Toronto on Thursday night averaging 19.1 points these playoffs, having scored 22.6 points per game in the five contests without Durant.Mental preparation off the court is a major reason Thompson no longer lets things fester or bring him down, such as a tough loss or bad outing. He has said that earlier in his career it was hard to let go after games.Now, he instead shrugs off a poor shooting performance with the simple notion of, “That’s the way the basketball gods can be.” Then, it’s back to work.Left off the All-NBA team? “Oh, I didn’t?” he replied when told he hadn’t made the cut.Thompson did allow himself a little eye roll in disbelief, before adding: “It is what it is. I can’t control it. Do I think there’s that many guards better than me in the league? No, but that’s the reason why we’re still playing. So, I don’t even want to get into it, honestly.”ADVERTISEMENT Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson hugs forward Jonas Jerebko at the end of Game 4 of the NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers Monday, May 20, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Warriors won 119-117 in overtime. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)OAKLAND, California— Klay Thompson craved a little calm.The Golden State guard needed something more to balance out his basketball routine, so he added meditation to help him get centered before games and better deal with the pressures of NBA life. Flip on some classical music or nature sounds and he’s ready to relax his mind.ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too What’s it like to play Rafael Nadal at French Open? ‘Rough’ It takes consistent practice, just like that pretty jumper.“I try to go 30 minutes,” said Thompson, who is joined for some sessions by bulldog bestie, Rocco. “It’s hard. It’s very hard. An hour would be nice, but you’ve got to work up to that.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsThompson is in a good place right now, going to a fifth straight NBA Finals and chasing a three-peat with the Golden State Warriors.Two-time reigning Finals MVP Kevin Durant sat out injured for the entire Western Conference finals, leaving Thompson and Splash Brother Stephen Curry to take on an even greater load on both ends. The more media shy, under-the-radar of Golden State’s sensational backcourt — Curry is a two-time MVP — a slumping Thompson once held his hand up near his face and uttered “I missed you” when he finally got on a roll again at Portland on Dec. 29.He credits meditation in part for how far he has come in handling everything as he wraps up his eighth NBA season.Thompson added meditation and visualization into his routine the last couple of years. This is the typically stoic guard who plunged into the Pacific Ocean in Southern California before Game 4 of the first round against the Clippers following a performance that wasn’t up to his “standards.” He went out and scored 32 after that with six 3-pointers, hitting his first seven shots.“The mind’s so powerful. Just try to train the mind to deal with adversity in situations that are unpleasant but make you better in the long run, that’s what I try to do,” Thompson said when asked how he got involved meditation. “Just a lot of reading on the internet and learning from coach (Steve) Kerr. Learned from Tony Robbins, too. It was cool talking to him last year. He had a great outlook on things. Just from veteran players. David West taught me a lot about that side of the game, the mental part.”Teammate Shaun Livingston can picture Thompson in a moment of complete serenity and peace — “100 percent, nothing would surprise me.”Dr. Michael Gervais, a high-performance psychologist who has worked closely with the Seattle Seahawks, NBA players, USA Volleyball and other Olympic athletes, applauds Thompson taking up meditation on his own.“So often we hold up world-leading athletes on a pedestal for their physical abilities, missing the deeper and extraordinary commitment they make toward pursuing their potential,” Gervais said. “There are only three things we can train as humans: our craft, our bodies, and our mind. World-class athletes don’t leave any of those up to chance — why should the rest of us?”When he had a couple of days off after the Warriors wrapped up the Western Conference finals, Thompson noted, “I wish it was sunny” before adding, “A little overcast, but it’s all good.”Sure is.Thompson found out in April he will have his college jersey retired by Washington State, too. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue “Klay is always someone who everybody sort of marvels at his life, the simplicity of his life. He just needs a basketball and his dog, and that’s it. And we all laugh about it,” Kerr said. “But Klay is a lot deeper than people realize, so it doesn’t surprise me that he’s meditating and he’s found ways to calm himself before games and keep himself going during the season.”The 29-year-old Thompson takes time the night before a game to think ahead. It doesn’t matter if he’s in the driveway or hanging out in his backyard with beloved Rocco — “just random,” he said.Sometimes he envisions each shot from a given spot on the floor that could present itself over the course of a game.“Andre Iguodala told me that Tiger Woods visualizes every single shot he shoots on 18 holes on the golf course, so if he can do that, that’s incredible,” Thompson said. “That’s so many golf swings. I try to do the same approach to basketball. I just try to visualize, get in my spots, what my opponent is going to do. Yeah, so when you come to the game, you’ve kind of seen it before.”He might go with some Mozart or Beethoven.“Try to put on classical Pandora or some nature sounds. Can’t listen to rap or hip-hop when I do it because then I just get distracted. Something pleasant in the background, it’s nice,” Thompson explained. “It’s a challenge. It’s much harder than working out. Especially for me, I’ve got like my mind racing. So it’s a good practice for me.”Kerr considers Thompson one of the most down-to-earth NBA superstars.“He’s a dream to coach. He’s zero maintenance,” Kerr said. “But he’ll surprise you with his depth. You may not think there’s a whole lot there, but there’s plenty there, he just sort of doesn’t let you in on it very often.”Thompson knows it’s not a perfect science to get his shot back on track after a poor outing. The meditation provides a focus.“I still will have bad days once in a while, but that’s just being human,” Thompson said. “It’s something I’ve incorporated in my routine for at least the past season, especially when I was going through that shooting slump. That really helped me. It’s just nice to manifest things. Kind of like speak into existence, just kind of think it into existence.”center_img Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss View comments DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

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‘I can make history again’: Novak eyeing second ‘Djoko Slam’

first_img“I know it’s two weeks potentially long, and I just need to be in my lockdown mentally, and just do things that have worked for me in the past.”Twelve months ago, Djokovic dropped out of the world’s top 20 after a shock quarter-final loss to Marco Cecchinato at Roland Garros and even pondered skipping Wimbledon, but he has instead reclaimed his place at the top of the game.He won his second Wimbledon last July and followed it up with back-to-back triumphs at the 2018 US Open and the Australian Open earlier this year.“It’s quite (a) different situation for me now than it was 12 months ago, obviously. Very different,” the 32-year-old added.A single break in the opening game of the match proved enough for Djokovic to take the first set, and the Serb raced through the second in under half an hour.ADVERTISEMENT The Serbian is one of only three men, along with Don Budge and Rod Laver, to have won four straight Slam tournaments, after his first, and so far only, French Open title in 2016.Now he can follow in Australian great Laver’s footsteps by achieving the feat twice with victory in the final in Paris on June 9.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“I put myself in a situation where I can actually make history of tennis again and obviously I have very high ambitions for this tournament,” said Djokovic.“It’s not a secret. But at the same time, it’s not the first time that I’m facing these kinds of circumstances. It’s not the first Grand Slam in my career. I have played so many. PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war The 22-year-old Hurkacz, who has claimed three wins over top-10 players this season, had no answer as Djokovic sealed a second-round spot after another dominant set on his first match point.“I’m focused, I’m determined, and sharp from the blocks. That’s what happened,” he said.“Even though I never played him (before), never faced him in (an) official match, I still felt he can be a great threat if I allow him to play his tennis.”Next up for Djokovic is Swiss world number 104 Henri Laaksonen for a place in the last 32.“I don’t know too much about him, to be honest. I never played against him, and I did watch him play maybe once or twice.“I’m going to have to do my homework and see what happens.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Serbia’s Novak Djokovic flashes a thumbs up as he celebrates winning his first round match of the French Open tennis tournament in three sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Monday, May 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)World number one Novak Djokovic said that he “can make history again” as he looks to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously for the second time, after easing into round two at the French Open on Monday.Djokovic laid down an early marker at Roland Garros, powering past promising Polish youngster Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in his opening match.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Klay Thompson adds meditation to his mental preparation DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:44Djokovic wins Laureus Sportsman of Year Award00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, toocenter_img Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

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Lateral collateral ligament

first_imgThe lateral collateral ligament connects the end of the femur (thigh) to the top of the fibula (the thin bone that runs next to the shin bone). The lateral collateral ligament provides stability against varus stress. Varus stress is described as a pressure applied to the leg that tries to bend the lower leg sideways at the knee, toward the other leg. Activities such as skiing, football and soccer can all lead to this injury.Review Date:6/13/2010Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.last_img read more

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