Maran to Sell Majority Stake in SpiceJet 10 Salary Hike after 3

first_imgPromoter of low cost airline SpiceJet and owner of Sun TV Network, Kalanithi Maran is set to sell his 53.48 percent stake in the loss incurring carrier and is reportedly discussing the matter with former Spicejet director and co-founder A Singh and a few other private equity traders.”Currently we are in our silent period and hence would not be able to comment,” SpiceJet told The Hindustan Times.The carrier has been incurring losses for a while now and is regularly seen introducing new offers to recover the loss. In the first ten days of July, SpiceJet announced 10 lakh tickets for ₹999, valid for travel in various domestic routes between 6 January and 24 October 2015.The airline posted a loss of ₹1,003.24 crore in the previous financial year.”SpiceJet requires around $250 million as on March 2014 to bring books in order,” explained Kapil Kaul, south Asia chief executive of aviation consultancy Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa).”It may require further fund infusion for growth and expansion. Restructuring efforts are not showing results largely due to very complex competitive dynamics and lack of funds to execute it. I expect a significant downsizing post a possible fund infusion,” Kaul added.Meanwhile, SpiceJet has also hiked the salaries of pilots and crew members by 10 percent after three years that came into effect last month, reported The Economic Times.”SpiceJet in the last few years had gone below the market index in terms of salaries to pilots. This will bring it on par with its peers,” said an employee to ET.The low fare airline controlled by billionaire Maran operates more than 330 daily flights to 48 destinations, which includes 41 Indian cities and 7 international destinations.Maran bought majority stake in SpiceJet from its promoter Bhupendra Kansagra and Wilbur Ross in 2010.On Friday at 10 am, stock price of SpiceJet Limited was seen 1.84 percent lower at ₹13.37 per share.last_img read more

Top Sri Lankan officials deliberately withheld intelligence on attacks Minister

first_imgExplosion at St. Anthony’s Church at KochchikadeTwitter [Representational Image]Senior officials deliberately withheld intelligence about possible attacks on Sri Lanka, where a rash of suicide bombings on Easter Sunday killed at least 359 people, the leader of parliament said on Wednesday.”Some top intelligence officials hid the intelligence information purposefully. Information was there, but the top brass security officials did not take appropriate actions,” Lakshman Kiriella, who is also minister of public enterprise, told parliament.He said information on possible suicide attacks on churches, hotels and politicians were received from Indian intelligence on April 4 and a Security Council meeting was chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena on April 7, but the information was not shared more widely.”Somebody is controlling these top intelligence officials,” the minister said. “The Security Council is doing politics. We need to investigate into this.”Separately, Sarath Fonseka, former army chief and minister of regional development, told parliament he believed the attacks “must have been planned for at least 7-8 years”.last_img read more

At her funeral Rachel Held Evans is memorialized with quotes from her

first_img Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,(RNS) — After her unexpected death at age 37 at the beginning of May, Rachel Held Evans’ loved ones gathered Saturday (June 1) to remember her in a funeral service.The service was held at First Centenary United Methodist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn. Many of the writer’s friends followed along from a livestream of the service hosted on her website.During the service, twitter was filled with remembrances and outpourings of love for Held Evans under the hashtags #becauseofRHE and #rememberingRHE.Held Evans’ casket, topped with a bouquet of yellow flowers, was carried up the aisle of the church at the beginning of the service, followed by her husband, Daniel Evans, and their two young children.RELATED: ‘Who will be our Rachel now?’ Progressives reflect on movement without Held Evans“She made me better than I was before I met her,” Daniel Evans wrote in a blog post on Thursday. “She left the world better than how she found it. For that I will always be grateful.”The service was ecumenical but drew from the Episcopal Church’s funeral liturgy, Held Evans’ adopted church.The Rev. Brian Ward delivers the eulogy at the funeral of Rachel Held Evans on June, 1, 2019, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Video screenshotThe funeral eulogy was delivered by Rev. Brian Ward, Held Evans’ youth pastor in high school, who knew her when she was “a goofy and brilliant teenager.”Ward said that being her youth pastor was not easy because Held Evans was constantly asking questions and challenging him.“She had zero tolerance for inauthenticity,” Ward said.He praised Held Evans for her talent and her ability to explain faith so beautifully. He said instead of preaching here, he would rather be able to read her words and have her “tell us why in the world this happened.”“She, like Jesus, was a revolutionary,” Ward said of Held Evans. He urged people to truly listen to what Held Evans had to say and to carry out her work of loving the marginalized and welcoming the stranger.Amanda Held Opelt, Held Evans’ younger sister, spoke about what she was like as a sister. She said that Held Evans “made everyone feel like they belonged,” and wanted to be part of the Christian family even though it had sometimes hurt her.Opelt sang a song that she had written about Held Evans before her death but never shared with her.RELATED: Rachel Held Evans, Christian writer of honesty and humor, dies at age 37Many of Held Evans’ friends from the progressive Christian world were in attendance, including Sarah Bessey, Austin Channing Brown, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Jeff Chu, Rev. Wil Gafney and Matthew Vines.Chu led the prayers of the people, where he invoked the phrase that Held Evans had above the desk where she wrote, “tell the truth.” He urged the audience to tell the truth about God’s love in the world and strive to be women and men of valor.Bessey, who tearfully read the resurrection story from the gospel of John, and Bolz-Weber both displayed the tattoos they got in advance of the service. Those tattoos read, “eshet chayil,” or “woman of valor,” in Hebrew, a phrase from the Bible that Held Evans popularized.The Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, a Lutheran priest, gives the benediction at the end of the funeral for her friend Rachel Held Evans. Video screenshot“I assumed we would have a future where Rachel had raised her babies and kept writing books and grew old with Dan,” Bolz-Weber said in her sermon.Though theologically she knows that death knows no sting, “it stings now,” Bolz-Weber said.Bolz-Weber said that there was a part of her “that only Rachel seemed to see.”She reminded the crowd that the last tweet before she died was about having to miss the HBO show “Game of Thrones” and said that she was thinking of her during the finale when character Tyrion Lannister said  “there’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story.”“This is not the end of the story,” Bolz-Weber said.She said that the love Held Evans had for the world continues to go on and that the promise of resurrection is greater than the grief of the tomb.Before Held Evans’ casket was carried out of the church and the service ended with the hymn “It Is Well with My Soul,” Bolz-Weber read a benediction that included a quote from Held Evans herself:“Jesus invites us into a story bigger than ourselves and our imaginations… may we never lose our love for telling the story.”The coffin is taken out following the funeral of Rachel Held Evans at First Centenary United Methodist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., on June 1, 2019. Video screenshot Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Tagsfuneral homepage featured Nadia Bolz-Weber Rachel Held Evans death Top Story,You may also like Share This! Carina Julig,Load Comments,During Ramadan, growing Muslim philanthropy enters the spotlight Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Photos of the Week Carina Julig By: Carina Julig Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Catholicism News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email By: Carina Julig News • Photos of the Week Share This! As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 By: Carina Julig Share This!last_img read more

NASA researchers replace silica with polymers to create more flexible aerogels

first_img In the research, led by Mary Ann B. Meador, who described the teams’ efforts at a recent national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the group first tried coating the silica with various polymers to see if they could reduce the brittleness, but such efforts proved very slow and the results exhibited low melting temperatures, which reduced their usefulness. For those reasons, they wondered if it might not be possible to simply replace the silica with some type of polymer altogether, because the only purpose of the silica in the first place was to allow for a structure to exist. The problem of course, is that with most such polymers, when subjected to supercritical drying, they tend to shrink, just like jellies back in the thirties. Thus, the team had to find another approach.That approach involved cross linking certain polymers with a bridging compound resulting in a new polymer that was stiff enough to hold its shape when subjected to supercritical drying, yet would remain flexible overall; an approach that worked so well that the team was able to create several different types of polymer aerogels that exhibit extraordinary properties.Some of the new examples proved to be exceedingly strong; enough so to support a car when constructed as a thick slab and placed under a tire, the team reports. Others could be made into thin sheets with superb thermal resistance due to their being up to 95% air, which opens the door to a myriad of possibilities ranging from sleeping bag linings to new kinds of refrigerator insulation.More importantly perhaps, at least to the research team, this being NASA after all, are the possibilities the new aerogels allow for future space missions, from space suit insulators to decelerator vehicle components that could one day help craft make it safely through the oftentimes harsh atmospheres found on other planets. (Phys.org)—Back in the early thirties, the story goes, a couple of unknown chemists set about betting one another as to whether they could remove the water from a jelly that had been gelled with pectin, without causing the jelly to shrink. The resultant efforts produced what are known today as aerogels, sometimes referred to as liquid smoke because of their very low densities. Chemists have produced them by mixing silica based materials with water, then removing the water via supercritical drying. Unfortunately, the material produced is very brittle and thus easily broken which limits its use. Because of this researchers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center looked to polymers (types of plastics) to see if a new type of aerogel could be created that would be less brittle. Explore further Credit: NASA’s Glenn Research Center © 2012 Phys.org Polyimide AerogelsPolymer Aerogels Provide Insulation For Earth And Spacecenter_img More information: Citation: NASA researchers replace silica with polymers to create more flexible aerogels (2012, September 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-nasa-silica-polymers-flexible-aerogels.html Polymer-reinforced aerogel found resilient for space missions This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

No more monsoon woes

first_imgRaindrops are lovely to look at, but stepping out when it’s pouring may not be the best idea for your hair. Rainwater may spoil your locks and make them look rough and greasy. But fret not!Beauty experts Ishika Taneja and Blossom Kochchar suggest use of good serums and conditioners to keep your hair nourished and hydrated during monsoon. Always use a hair protective styling mousse before styling your hair, says Taneja.‘It will protect your mane from excess heat from the dryers, straighteners and curling tong. One can also use an anti-humidity fine spray as it helps fix and keep your hairstyle in place for long hours. Use shine spray in the end as it provides additional sheen to your hair,’ she added. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Kochchar says homemade hair care remedies can be handy too. Sharing some, she said:-Add two tablespoons of curd (or more depending on your hair length) to gram flour (besan). Add little olive oil. Apply it to your hair and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash it later.-You can also use mixture of water and vinegar as an after-shampoo serum to help calm your hair down.-Prepare a mixture of one banana and one tablespoon honey. Put in your hair for 15 minutes and then wash it off. It helps make hair soft and smooth.last_img read more

This website offers smooth break up services

first_imgWant to turn over a new leaf on New Year? No need now to spend sleepless nights fretting over how to tell your significant other that you are moving on — thanks to a new app that claims to do the thing in the way you like.Named ‘Breakup Shop’, the site, whose slogan is “Let us help you end it”, uses email, snail mail, text or Snapchat, at prices from 6 pounds sterling to 30 pounds for customised naughty or nice options, The Sun reported.“It’s hard to break-up with someone. Let us do it for you. We’ll send a phone call to your future ex to share the bad news,” The Breakup Shop says. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Warring couples can use the website to do the dirty work of splitting up for them — by sending a text telling your partner that you are dumping them. Users are given the option of buying emails or a written letter and phone call services from the site. Once paid for, the break-up is sent or spoken directly to your future ex.Customers can select a break-up to suit their price range or personal preference.A break-up text or email costs around 6.50 pounds, while a text-bouquet combo will cost you 32 pounds. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe site also sells The Notebook on DVD, boxes of cookies and Netflix giftcards to people who have recently been axed from a relationship.The site provides the option of sending standard pre-written or custom made letters to your to-be ex.Nice options include a gift pack with chocolate chip cookies and a copy of The Notebook on Blu-way while one naughty option sends a “mean photo attachment” of you with your new replacement.Yet another feature of the website is the break-up phone call service, offered at 20 pounds if you are in “no rush” or 26 pounds for a call “within 24 hours”.last_img read more

This Might Be the Least Expensive Smart Lock Yet

first_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 2 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » February 25, 2015 A new smart lock called Sesame, is hitting the market today and it promises to be both easier to install and less expensive than its competition.Starting at just $89, Sesame undercuts its biggest competitor, August, by $160. For an extra $50 you can also get a Wi-Fi access point that allows you to unlock or lock the door from anywhere in the world. The company is touting it as the first “instant” smart lock. What makes a lock instant? Unlike other options on the market, the electronic mechanism on the lock is attached to the back of your existing setup using tape. 3M’s ultra-strong Command tape to be exact. If the installation goes down anything like what we see in the company’s installation video, you’ll be up and running with the device in seconds. Sesame self-adjusts to work on most modern locks in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.Related: New Office Tech You’re Going to Crave This YearIt unlocks by when you tap on the lock from its free app. You can also set it up to unlock when you knock on your phone in your pocket, or when you perform a “special knock” on your front door with your phone nearby. You can give your friends, neighbors or dog walker access to your home when you want to, and the app tracks who attempts to unlock your door, whether they’re successful or not, so you can keep a watchful eye on your home no matter where you are.Here’s a closer look at how it works:Related: OMG Yes: A Smart Mattress Cover That Can Brew Your Morning CoffeeEspecially for entrepreneurs who are just starting up, the Sesame might be a smart consideration to give your home or office an added level of security and convenience.The lock can operate for roughly a year and a half on its included lithium batteries before you’ll have to replace them. When they start to run low you’ll get a notification on your phone letting you know. That way you know that when you knock, Sesame will always answer.Sesame launches on Kickstarter today and plans to ship its first locks later this year.Related: A ‘Smart’ Belt Automatically Adjusts to Keep Your Pants Uplast_img read more

By Doug Hornig Senior Editor Flow Although it

first_imgBy Doug Hornig, Senior Editor“Flow.”Although it can be annoyingly difficult to define with any precision and virtually impossible to measure objectively, everyone intuitively knows what it is, and most people have experienced some form of it at one time or another. It’s that state of effortless concentration that leads to superior performance, either mental or physical. Everything superfluous to the task at hand is shut out of the mind. At the highest level, Michael Jordan sees a basketball hoop that’s four feet wide and cannot be missed; Einstein is able to conjure the complete structure of the universe inside his head.Attempts to find the flow are not new. For most of human existence, it has had crucial survival value. The hunter who could envision what the prey would do next was a successful hunter. And when the tables were turned, the ability to avoid, outwit, or win a battle with larger predators meant living for another day and keeping the evolutionary line intact.Finding the flow through repetition is not easy. It takes time, energy, and commitment. Researchers at Florida State University say that it normally requires 10,000 hours of practice to become expert at anything. In our early hunter-gatherer days, that kind of rigorous training was mandatory. Today, for the most part, it’s optional. Some are willing to put in the time, depending on the goal. Others are not.So, for probably as long as humans have been thinking beings, they’ve not only trained themselves to naturally be in the flow, they’ve also been on the lookout for shortcuts.Traditionally, this quest has included the ingestion of stimulants. We can’t be sure of exactly what prehistoric people did, although if they stumbled upon something that gave them higher clarity of mind, they undoubtedly used it. (At least one theorist has postulated that the modern brain is the result of human interaction with psychoactive mushrooms native to Africa.)Historically, we know that marijuana has been consumed for at least three thousand years and coca leaf chewed for the past two millennia or so, but caffeinated stimulants are of course the most widespread today. The history of coffee extends back to at least the twelfth century, and tea was discovered in 2737 B.C., at least according to legend. More recently, Coca Cola hit the street in the late 19th century and it has endured, even though the original formula was altered to replace the cocaine with caffeine in 1903.The ferocity with which people crave stimulants is obvious every time one enters a convenience store and is confronted with a mind-boggling variety of products from which to choose… not to mention that those hoping to grab a piece of the flow can also dial up an array of prescription drugs like Adderall, or go to the black market in search of cocaine powder, rocks of crack, or crystal methamphetamine.All cater to the same desire, and anyone who bothers to think it through has to realize that the War on Drugs can never be won. It’s a war on human nature.But what if there were another way to access the flow – one that didn’t involve swallowing, smoking, or injecting anything… one that had no dangerous (or even merely unpleasant) side effects. What if you could hone a skill in a fraction of the time it would normally take? What if, for example, whenever I sat down to write the Technology Investor, the words just spilled out onto the screen, the way they sometimes (but not often) do?What if the mind-state attained by world-class athletes and brilliant physicists – the flow – were available to everyone, at minimal cost and without breaking any law? Would people go for it?We’re about to find out. The hottest new topic in brain research these days involves a technique called “transcranial direct current stimulation,” or tDCS for short.The setup couldn’t be simpler: Clamp a set of electrodes to the head, pass a miniscule direct electric current (2 milliamperes or less) through the brain for 20-30 minutes, and presto, instant immersion in the flow state. The whole thing can be run off of a common nine-volt battery.So far, much of the lab work on tDCS has been done by or for the military, which has an obvious interest in reducing the time it takes for soldiers to acquire certain skillsets. Researchers have found that they can more than double the rate at which subjects learn a wide range of tasks, such as object recognition, math skills, and marksmanship. Thus, unsurprisingly, one DARPA program has been using the technique to cut the time it takes to train snipers in half.What’s it like to quite literally put on a “thinking cap?” A handful of journalists have submitted themselves to the electrodes and written up their experiences. What stands out are a couple of things. First, time compression. The twenty minutes goes by without the awareness of that amount of time passing. More important, there is a suppression of the crosstalk with which our brains are normally occupied. The subject is able to focus totally on the task at hand.Journalist Sally Adee submitted to the procedure as part of a course in advanced marksmanship, at which she was admittedly terrible. But then they turned on the current and, as she wrote in Better Living Through Electrochemistry:The 20 minutes I spent hitting targets while electricity coursed through my brain were far from transcendent. I only remember feeling like I had just had an excellent cup of coffee, but without the caffeine jitters. I felt clear-headed and like myself, just sharper. Calmer. Without fear and without doubt. From there on, I just spent the time waiting for a problem to appear so that I could solve it. ….Relieved of the minefield of self-doubt that constitutes my basic personality, I was a hell of a shot.The flow state lasted beyond the session, “gradually diminishing over a period of about three days,” and causing her to confess that “the thing I wanted most acutely for the weeks following my experience was to go back and strap on those electrodes.”How does tDCS work? No one’s really sure, and any technical discussion is beyond the scope of this article. But if you’re interested in exploring the science, Zap Your Brain into the Zone is a good starting point.Why isn’t everyone running out and buying one of these things? Probably only because they’re too new, few have even heard of them yet, and they’re hard to find. There’s also cost. Typically, they run between $500-600, and at the moment suppliers are generally selling only to research institutions. Professional supervision is highly recommended, and private parties at least need a doctor’s prescription.All that could be about to change, as entrepreneurs see a mass market that awaits only ease of ordering and a better price point. Already, some tech geeks have published plans on the Internet for a DIY model – an unacceptably risky way to go in our opinion, and one we do not endorse. For one thing, long-term effects are as yet unknown. For another, if you screw up and accidentally send more current through your brain than it can handle, you could fry some important circuits. Additionally, care must be taken not to detach electrodes before the current is switched off, or else temporary blindness is one possible result. (You can’t jump up to answer the phone in the middle of a session.)Still, home units are on the way. A small startup company is planning to offer tDCS kits soon for about $99. One of the big medical supply houses cannot be far behind.Does this mean that one day Kindles will come with electrodes attached, so that users can read in a heightened state of neuronal awareness? Might we be riding the subway with tDCS caps on our heads and nine-volt batteries in our pockets, so that we can practice our Mandarin during rush hour? Well, could be. But how this all plays out depends on a number of interacting factors.First of all, of course, it must be determined that tDCS is actually safe, which means that the FDA is likely to become involved pretty soon. That means at least some government regulation, and perhaps a lot. A number of predictable objections will be raised, too. Some people will probably claim that this is unwarranted tinkering with the human psyche. Some will warn that tDCS will only serve to further divide society between the haves and have nots. Some will maintain that students taking tests with thinking caps will have an unfair advantage over those who don’t have them – which may well be true. And so on. (For a more in-depth discussion of ethical considerations, see The Neuroethics of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Current Biology.)Look for government to be divided on private citizens’ access to this technology. There will be those who want to lump tDCS units in with illegal stimulants and simply ban them; there will be those who prefer to let the market decide; and there will surely be those who see the devices as very important for national productivity and want to subsidize them, in very much the way they now subsidize education. We’re already at the point where schools strive for computer access for every pupil. Why not universal access to tDCS, too?Whatever the case, if these early, positive results for tDCS are confirmed, we’re on the verge of a truly extraordinary advance in the field of cognitive enhancement. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch where it all goes from here. And personally, I can’t wait to find some flow for myself. Bits & BytesAmazonian Robots (TIME)This past Monday, Amazon announced that it was acquiring Kiva Systems for $775 million. Kiva makes robotic systems designed for warehouses, so for one of the country’s biggest warehousers, the deal must have been a no-brainer. This article on the subject has a link to a pretty cool video showing the Kiva robots at work. Also of interest is this question: does the acquisition give Amazon power over other companies that currently use Kiva systems? Staples is one, for example. Will Amazon now have the right to deny tech support to Staples, if it so wishes? Hmmm…Tweets Turn Six (Twitter)Twitter celebrated its sixth birthday yesterday, and it celebrated by releasing a few stats. The service, which many deemed silly at its launch, now sees close to 500,000 accounts created every day. And Twitter users now send more than 140 million Tweets a day, which adds up to a billion Tweets every eight days.Never Be Out of Touch (The Kansas City Star)Somewhere, there must exist a repository called “Things We Don’t Need But Are Invented Anyway.” Wherever it is, we suggest that a new patent application by Nokia immediately be dropped into it. The company, it seems, has filed a patent for a tattoo that would send “a perceivable impulse” to your skin whenever someone tries to contact you on the phone. ‘Nuff said.The Universal Translator (Technology Review)Star Trek‘s universal translator is on the way. Microsoft has unveiled new software that translates a speaker’s words into another language and then makes it audible in the speaker’s own voice. Before long, a must-have travel accessory will be a portable unit that incorporates this software, allowing the traveler at last to carry on conversations with people whose language he or she doesn’t speak.Jungle Trippin’ (Los Angeles Times)Finally, there’s news about that watery thing with the same name as the giant online retailer. If you’ve always yearned to take an Amazon River trip but without the heat and mosquitoes, now you can. Google has taken Street View down the river, or at least a small part of it. Explore from the comfort of your favorite chair.last_img read more

In This Issue   Currencies have a day in the s

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Currencies have a day in the sun. *  It’s a mixed bag for the currencies today. *  Chuck bashes the so-called debt reduction. *  Singapore loses its step for step with renminbi  .             And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! A Bonus Pfennig! Good Day!  And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! Guess what occurred to me this morning when my alarm went off? OK, I know, you’ll never guess, so I’ll just tell you. It occurred to me at that time, that in past years I did not write on New Year’s Eve morning, choosing to sleep in so I could partake in New Year’s Eve celebrations. Yes, in past years, yesterday’s letter was the last one of the year. So, for your loyalty in reading the Pfennig, I present you with the BONUS Edition of the Pfennig! Yes, the poor blokes like me, that work on New Year’s Eve day. HAHAHAHAHAHA! I had a boss years ago, that would have said, “Quit your complaining, you’re lucky to have a job!” A real charmer he wasn’t! But in the old days, when I ran the operations of a bond division, I HAD to be at work on the last day of the year, so I guess that just carries over.. And no, I’m not going to carry on about this silly stuff throughout the letter! But, there’s really not much going on to talk about, so maybe I’ll just make this a question and answer Pfennig. No, wait Chuck, you need to have people asking questions for that to happen! Doh! Alrighty then, let’s get you back to your regularly scheduled programming. The currencies enjoyed a day in the sun yesterday with just about all registering gains of some measure against the dollar. The Big Winner on the day was the euro. (more on that in a minute) and the Big loser was Gold. As I turn on the screens this morning I can see that one day in the sun is all that was allowed for the currencies, as they have given back some of those gains. That’s a broad statement, because when you drill down you see that the Aussie dollar (A$), kiwi, British pound sterling, Singapore dollar (S$) and a couple of others are booking gains VS the dollar this morning.  It will be a range trading day for the currencies, folks, as there just aren’t enough “players” in the game today. Yesterday, I sat at my desk watching the euro go higher and higher, first flirting with 1.38, then going through 1.38 and continuing to push the currency gain envelope. I stood up so that everyone could hear me, and said, “Ah, look at the euro back to 1.38, you can kick it, but you can’t keep it down”.  Remember, that at the beginning of November, the euro was trading over 1.38 and looking as if it was on a one-way trip to currency nirvana, but Mario Draghi had different ideas, and announced a rate cut when your Pfennig scribe didn’t think it to be possible, or even reasonable that you cut rates when they’re already so low you could step over them without a hitch in your giddyup.  And before you could say, “That darn Draghi” the euro dropped 3-cents, and now looked as though it would continue to lose ground VS the dollar. But here we are 2 months later, and the euro is back to 1.38! And once again it appears to be ready to move higher. Remember, a few weeks ago, I gave you my thoughts on why I believed the euro would reach 1.50 in 2014.  The boys and girls over at Barclays, don’t agree with me on that. They believe that 2014 will be the year of the U.S. dollar.   They truly believe that even though the Fed has stated that mid-2015 is their target date to hike rates here in the U.S., that rate hike expectations will be enough to help the dollar to move higher in 2014.  They figure that when the Fed follows through on their tapering month after month, that the markets will begin to put pressure on the Fed to hike rates, and even IF there is no rate hike from the Fed, the expectations should be enough to attract investors to the dollar. Well, you know me, and you know that I won’t go along with that scenario. Yes,  IF that were the case, you could certainly see dollar strength, but that’s a BIG IF! And instead of saying “when the Fed Follows through.”  They should say, “IF the Fed follows through.”  Then their recommendation  wouldn’t have any foundation to speak of.   And of course that’s just my opinion, and I could be wrong! So, let me state once again where I stand on this stuff, right here, right now on the last day of 2013.  The Fed has announced that a tapering of $10 Billion to their now $85 Billion in bond purchases every month. It is my contention that while the Fed may carry through with one, two or maybe even three more cuts in their bond purchases each month, that they will eventually realize what they should have known from the beginning, that the U.S. economy has become addicted to stimulus, and it cannot stand on its own two legs for long. When the Fed Heads finally come to the realization of what I’m telling them now, and have told them for months on end, they will stop the reductions, and if things are as bad as I think they will be, then the Fed Heads will have to step back to the bond purchase table. And that won’t be pretty for the economy, the dollar, or the Fed. So, getting back to the euro. The single unit has seen some profit taking overnight, and slipped back below 1.38, so it’s right back to where it was yesterday morning. UGH! But like I said, range trading is the call to order today, and maybe the rest of the week, after we come back from the New Year’s Day holiday, for many of the top traders won’t be back until next Monday, Jan. 6. Well, a quick look around the world, and I see that Singapore announced that their economy stepped up the pace in 2013, finishing the year with a 3.7% growth rate.  The Singapore Gov’t had placed a target of 3.5% to 4% for economic growth this year, so looky there! The 3.7% came right smack dab in the middle of the target range. Funny how that happened, eh? Oh, I’m not saying that Singapore cooks their books. I’m actually saying” Funny how that happened!” The Singapore dollar (S$) finally saw some love overnight, from this report, after spending the last 3 trading days on the red side of the ledger. The S$ is one of my fave currencies because of the way the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) uses currency strength to fight inflation instead of arbitrarily hiking and cutting interest rates. But the S$ has lost about 3.4% to the dollar this year, which is strange in the fact that the Chinese renminbi / yuan has gained about 3% this year. These two currencies have been “linked” together currency trading-wise since the Chinese dropped the peg to the dollar in July of 2005. So, while I expect the renminbi / yuan to continue to gain VS the dollar, as the Chinese continue their march toward convertibility, and a wide distribution of their currency, I would think the S$ would begin to “catch up” and not ketchup. “catch up”! HA!  Speaking of China. I came across some data yesterday that you don’t see every day. In fact, this was the first time, ever, that the Chinese printed their Gov’t Debt totals. So, here’s the skinny on the Chinese Debt announcement.. China’s National Audit Office (NAO) announced this afternoon that China’s total government debt (including both central and local governments) amounted to RMB20.7trn as of this June, equivalent to 40% of China’s GDP. However, including contingent liabilities, China’s total government debt would exceed RMB30trn, or equivalent to 50-55% of China’s GDP. Two things to think about with this first time announcement. China’s debt is not a problem. On the Pfennig blog site: www.dailypfennig.com I have a chart of the total Gov’t obligations as a percentage of GDP at the top, and the Gov’t debt is there as a component,  so you can refer back to that now. But for the tried and true text readers only of the Pfennig, you’ll have to take my word on this, that China’s Debt would be so far to the left as you look at the chart that they wouldn’t even register. And second. remember,,, China holds a Treasure Chest of reserves, that’s greater than $2 Trillion worth. enough said! At this time I think it would be apropos to mention that according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, you know the one I made fun of a couple weeks ago, said that they estimated that the debt reduction that they had achieved was $23 Billion over the next decade.. OK. Let’s put this in perspective. The CBO estimates that our national debt will increase by $6.34 Trillion over the next decade. So, the $23 Billion in reduction, which was ballyhooed by the Gov’t and media, is are you ready for this? Drum roll please! .. The $23 Billion  will reduce our estimated growth in debt by 0.00363, or 1/3 of 1%… So, why the parades and confetti for this deal? As I said in my Sunday Pfennig last week, it doesn’t amount to a small hill of beans!  I shake my head in disgust over how the media drank the Kool-Aid and tried to pass it around to us!  I have to thank my friend Dennis Miller for sending along this ditty to me in a report that a CPA does called “by the numbers”. Well, as I said above, Gold couldn’t find a bid yesterday, and lost ground once again, falling below $1,200 overnight, but has gained the figure back in early morning trading. 2013 wasn’t a good year for Gold, as it suffered through its worse year in the past 30 years. I saw a quote by a trader at Saxo Bank, who correctly predicted, last year,  that Gold would finish 2013 at $1,200..  Well, he is now saying that Gold prices may have already bottomed out.   So, maybe he got lucky with the onetime forecast for Gold. Let’s hope his forecast for the price of Gold is as good as Gold! Yesterday I told you that we would see some Existing Home Sales data from the data cupboard, and thought that the markets would fail to notice the data, which is exactly what happened, as Existing Home Sales, for the fifth consecutive month, missed expectations. Year to year Home sales dropped 4%, its worst drop since 2011. Of course the spin doctors took this data and spun it to tell you a different story. “Although the final months of 2013 are finishing on a soft note, the year as a whole will end with the best sales total in seven years”. said, the chief economist for the NAR. Apparently, the chief economist is having a problem seeing a new trend! For What It’s Worth. I found this story on Google+, and it’s by Koos Jansen, who had a website called: In Gold We Trust. This guy is very well respected folks, and does a lot of work for the folks at GATA.  the title says it all. “China Accumulates Gold For The World Dream”. At the 2013 World Gold Markets Trend Conference, China’s director of the Chinese Gold Market Research Center, Zu He Liang, spoke about what he sees for Gold in 2014.  Let’s listen in to what Mr. Zu had to say. “Due to the fact that entire world is paying close attention to the price of gold shows that we are all pursuing a “World Dream”. The “World Dream” is nothing but a pursuit for world peace, the healthy and stable development of the world’s economy, and a world which is fair to every country and its citizens. The pursuit for gold reflects mankind’s pursuit for the “World Dream”. Gold represents mankind’s yearning and aspirations for stability, and healthy economic development; it is a wonderful wish.” Chuck again. OK. Two things. 1. I love Google+!  And 2. What a  great speech, and one in which I’m sure if you read between the lines says, we won’t achieve this without a Gold standard for money.  For I’m sure he could point to the 100 years in which there was a Gold standard, and the world economy was quite stable, there was no inflation, and every country that participated in it benefitted from the Gold standard. To recap. The currencies had a day in the sun yesterday, but it’s a mixed bag of performances this morning. The euro traded over 1.38 yesterday, but profit taking has it back below that figure this morning. Chuck carries on and on about working on New Year’s Eve, what a Doug Whiner! HA! We talk about the so-called debt reduction in the budget deal, and how Singapore has lost its step for step move with renminbi in 2013, and in Chuck’s eye has some catching up to do! Currencies today 12/31/13. American Style: A$ .8935, kiwi .8220, C$ .9405, euro 1.3775, sterling 1.6540, Swiss $1.1225, . European Style: rand 10.5360, krone 6.0760, SEK 6.4145, forint 215.60, zloty 3.0145, koruna 19.89, RUB 32.85, yen 105.00, sing 1.2635, HKD 7.7540, INR 61.79, China 6.0969, pesos 13.08, BRL 2.3605, Dollar Index 80.06, Oil $98.86, 10-year 2.99%, Silver $19.44, Platinum $1,357.50, Palladium $711.90, and Gold. $1,201.50 That’s it for today. and this year! I guess we need to sing now. Ahem. as I clear my voice. Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And days o’ lang syne! Chorus: For auld lang syne, my dear For auld lang syne, We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet For auld lang syne! OK. for those wondering just what the heck that song is all about. According to Scotland.org, “Auld Lang Syne is one of Scotland’s gifts to the world, recalling the love and kindness of days gone by, but in the communion of taking our neighbors’ hands, it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future.” OK, why didn’t they just say that! HA!  Well, the Winter Olympics are coming up in February, I think those winter sports guys are pretty crazy. Hockey, I get. jumping off a ski ramp that’s 100’s of feet in the air, I don’t get. and so on. But I’ll be watching it! Those athletes amaze me! So. whatever you do tonight, be careful! Don’t drink and drive. And make sure you find your honey and give them a big hug and kiss at midnight!  See you next year! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

Some of the worlds smartest investors are cutting

first_imgSome of the world’s smartest investors are cutting back on U.S. stocks…On Monday, Bloomberg Business reported that hedge fund managers cut their holdings in U.S. stocks by $200 billion last quarter. These funds now hold $1.5 trillion in U.S. stocks, down from $1.7 trillion at the end of June.The list of fund managers who trimmed their U.S. stock holdings reads like a “who’s who” of the investing world. It includes David Einhorn, John Burbank, David Tepper, and Stan Druckenmiller.Druckenmiller is one of the world’s most successful hedge fund managers. He generated an incredible 30% average annual return from 1986 to 2010. Today, he runs Duquesne Capital.At a conference earlier this month, Druckenmiller said he’s investing with caution right now.I’m working under the assumption that we may have started a primary bear market in July…I can see myself getting really bearish. I can’t see myself getting really bullish.Duquesne Capital cut its holdings of U.S. stocks by 41% last quarter, according to recent company filings.•  David Tepper cut his fund’s position in U.S. stocks by 30% last quarter…Tepper is the founder of Appaloosa Management, a $24 billion hedge fund that’s averaged 30% annual returns since 1993. That’s almost triple the S&P 500’s 11% return over the same period. Tepper has outperformed the market by nailing several “big picture” calls over his career.Tepper had been bullish on U.S. stocks since the global financial crisis. But he recently changed his stance. In September, Tepper told CNBC, “I can’t really call myself a bull.”According to Bloomberg, Appaloosa trimmed its holdings in U.S. stocks by 30% last quarter. The fund now holds $2.86 billion in U.S. stocks, its smallest stake since 2011…when the fund was 25% smaller.•  Tepper sees “all kinds of problems” in the market…Like us, Tepper believes U.S. stocks are too expensive. According to the popular CAPE valuation ratio, U.S. stocks are now 58% more expensive than their historic average.Tepper is also concerned about weak earnings growth. Earnings growth for companies in the S&P 500 has slowed six quarters in a row…As of last Friday, 90% of the companies in the S&P 500 had reported third-quarter results. Based on that data, research firm FactSet reports that S&P 500 companies’ earnings are set to drop 1.8% from last year.The S&P 500 is headed for its second straight quarter of falling earnings…which hasn’t happened since 2009. It means the U.S. stock market is on the verge of an “earnings recession.”Meanwhile, quarterly sales for S&P 500 companies are on track to fall for the third straight quarter. FactSet reports that third-quarter sales for companies in the S&P 500 have fallen 4% from last year. Recommended Links Can you legally remove yourself from U.S. tax code?70-year-old multimillionaire says “YES!” Click here to learn how to get the full story. – The Best Place to Hide Your MoneyIt’s tax-free. Pays up to 37 times more than bank accounts. And you DON’T NEED TO REPORT IT TO THE IRS. No wonder government doesn’t want you to know about this secret account. Click here to discover more… — •  The U.S. stock market is long overdue for a major pullback…The current bull market in U.S. stocks started in March 2009. It’s run for 80 months and counting. That’s 30 months longer than the average bull market since World War II.Bull markets don’t die of old age, but they all die eventually…The rally in U.S. stocks has already lost most of its momentum this year. The S&P climbed 204% from March 2009 through December 2014. But U.S. stocks have gone nowhere since. The S&P 500 is flat on the year.It takes a 20% decline to officially end a bull market. By that definition, this one isn’t technically over yet…though it took a big hit when the S&P 500 fell 11% in just six days in late August. Since then, U.S. stocks have recovered most of their losses, but have not made new highs.E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, thinks the bull market died during the mini-crash in August. E.B. shared that bold call with his readers in September.Last month’s major stock market decline is the start of a very tough time for stocks and the economy…The market has recovered in the past two weeks. But we think it’s only temporary. In other words, we’re in the middle of a “dead cat bounce.” It’s looking a lot like 2007.•  Meanwhile, demand for gold coins is skyrocketing…Sales of U.S. American Eagle gold coins hit a five-year high last quarter.The U.S. Mint produces various sizes of American Eagle coins. They’re the most popular gold coin in the United States.The chart below shows quarterly sales of American Eagles since 2009. The U.S. Mint sold over 12 tons of American Eagles last quarter. That’s the most it’s sold since the second quarter of 2010. It’s also 251% more than the U.S. Mint sold during the same quarter last year.The price of gold has declined 10% this year. The huge spike in American Eagle sales last quarter suggests investors are taking advantage of low prices to load up on physical gold.Casey readers know we think this is a smart approach. Gold is the ultimate form of financial wealth insurance. It’s preserved wealth through every kind of financial catastrophe imaginable. It will do the same thing when the next catastrophe hits…The U.S. stock market looks ripe for a major downturn. Valuations are stretched. Earnings and sales are dropping. And some of the smartest investors on the planet are scaling out of U.S. stocks.A stock market collapse in the coming months is a real possibility. If you don’t already hold a significant amount of gold, consider buying physical gold while it’s still cheap.Chart of the DayHere’s another reason to carefully assess your stock holdings…Today’s chart shows the level of margin debt for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Margin debt is the value of stocks bought with borrowed money.As you can see, margin debt growth accelerated and peaked right before the last two major stock market crashes…Margin debt growth accelerated in the late 1990s. It peaked in March 2000, the same month the S&P 500 topped out. U.S. stocks went on to lose 37% during the dot-com bubble burst.Margin debt growth accelerated again in the mid-2000s. It peaked in July 2007, just three months before the S&P 500 topped out before the global financial crisis. Stocks went on to decline 57%.Margin debt also had a small run-up in 2011 before turning over that May. The S&P 500 peaked right around the same time. Then it declined 19.4%…stopping just short of the 20% threshold necessary to qualify as a bear market.In April, the level of margin debt for the NYSE hit an all-time high of $507 billion. In September, it fell for the third month in a row. The level of margin debt is now 11% below its April record high.At this point, it’s impossible to know for sure if the decline in margin debt is signaling an imminent downturn in stocks. However, we can tell you that the U.S. and global financial markets are far more fragile today than they were in 2011.Regards,Justin SpittlerDelray Beach, FloridaNovember 19, 2015We want to hear from you.If you have a question or comment, please send it to feedback@caseyresearch.com. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful.last_img read more

Disabled people have spoken of their horror shock

first_imgDisabled people have spoken of their horror, shock and anger at learning of the vote to leave the European Union in last week’s referendum.Although many disabled people voted for Brexit, the vast majority of leading disabled activists were strongly in favour of remaining in the European Union.One disabled campaigner, who asked not to be named, said: “I think the majority of disability rights campaigners are in or recovering from shock.“There was a very strong campaign showing the benefits of EU membership to disability rights, but now that we have left the EU we know very little about what will happen next.“It feels like the carpet has been pulled out from underneath us and we’re not sure whether the bare boards we’re now looking at are stable.”In a blog for Disability Now, John Evans, one of the founders of the UK independent living movement, said the day of the referendum would “go down as the blackest day in the modern history for disabled people in the UK and for our human rights”.He said he was “dismayed, horrified and heartbroken about the consequences facing us and it is hard knowing which way to turn”.Miro Griffiths (pictured), a former project officer for the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) and now a lecturer, researcher and teacher, said the vote meant that the connection between disabled people in the UK, their European supporters, policies “that reflect the aspirations of the independent living movement”, and “decision makers that would collaborate with us” had been “severely damaged – possibly beyond repair”.He said: “Disabled people in the UK will become further marginalised as the state begins to dismantle social justice frameworks and destroy the support systems that – currently – do not meet the needs of those who require them.“The most startling factor to consider is that the majority of those who voted unwittingly accepted this.”But Rick Burgess, of Manchester Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “I think it’s important not to let the fear and panic the media and politicians are spreading distract us from the fight that is the same today as it was before: to reclaim and reinforce our human rights.“That struggle is probably going to be harder now, so we have to both increase our resolve and to make sure we look after one another.“Our advantage is we have been fighting for many years already, we are seasoned and experienced survivors, we are ahead of many non-disabled people who are only now just waking up to the threat from the far right.”The disabled crossbench peer Lord Low told fellow members of the House of Lords that there was a strong case for a second referendum, as called for in a petition on parliament’s website that by last night (Wednesday) had secured more than four million signatures.He said he believed the “leave” campaign had won the vote on what was “an essentially fraudulent prospectus”.He said: “They said that we could continue to trade with the EU on very similar terms without having to accept freedom of movement.“They said that there would be no adverse economic consequences, but we are already beginning to see them.“They made completely unrealistic promises as to what could be done with the resources saved from our EU contribution, and, most glaringly of all, with breath-taking cynicism and within hours of victory they were maintaining that they never said that Brexit would enable them to reduce the level of immigration.”The referendum result drew immediate support for disabled people in the UK from the two main Europe-wide disabled people’s organisations, the European Disability Forum (EDF) and ENIL.ENIL said it felt “sadness, disbelief and dejection” at the vote, emotions which it said were shared with the UK independent living and disability rights movements.It said: “We are deeply concerned about the prospect of disabled people in Britain being worse off and hit by further cuts.“Although discrimination and inequality affect many disabled people throughout Europe, there are numerous EU initiatives that have had a positive impact on our lives and have created a stronger legal basis to protect our rights.”It said it would “not leave our British disabled brothers and sisters behind and will do everything in our power to support them in their fight for independent living”.It added: “ENIL respects the democratic right of the British people to decide on their EU membership.“However, we are adamant that a strong human rights agenda throughout Europe is better achieved together.“ENIL will continue and intensify its collaboration with disabled people in the UK.”EDF said it accepted the result of the referendum with “regret”, and also promised to continue to work with disabled people’s organisations in the UK.Yannis Vardakastanis, EDF’s president, said: “EDF will continue to promote unity and solidarity within the disability movement all across Europe and will work very decisively on our common values against Euroscepticism, xenophobia, racism and all kinds of discrimination.“From this, we won’t exclude any people with disabilities or their organisations because of political choices.“We will collaborate with all organisations of persons with disabilities in Europe, including the UK, to ensure that Europe does not lose sight of the importance of human rights of all of its people: women, men, children, older people, persons with disabilities and people on the move across Europe and on our borders.”last_img read more

4 Novel Trademark Developments We Saw in 2017

first_imgTrademarks 4 Novel Trademark Developments We Saw in 2017 December 26, 2017 Apply Now » The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Jaia Thomas Image credit: Michael Zagaris | Getty Images –shares Next Article Attorney and Entrepreneur 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Current events quickly morph into trademarking sprees seeking to capitalize on what’s in the news. Guest Writer Add to Queue 3 min read To date, 594,107 trademark applications were filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) this year, which is a 12 percent increase from last year. Here are some of the most interesting trademark trends of 2017:Make America…In 2015 the non-profit organization, Donald J. Trump for President, registered the phrase “Make America Great Again” as a federal trademark with the USPTO. This year hundreds of people decided to take Trump’s trademark and add their own twist to it.Related: President Trump Does This Every Morning — and There’s a Scientific Reason You Should, TooCurrently, there are over 150 active or pending trademarks with the phrase “Make America.” Some trademark applications that were submitted this year include: “Make America Date Again,” “Make America Thin Again,” “Make America Fresh Again” and “Make America Smart Again.” Take a knee.For the better part of 2017, debate and controversy surrounding the NFL national anthem boycott dominated the news. Several key phrases were born out of this movement, including the phrase “Take A Knee.” Over the past couple of months, two individuals filed trademark applications to register the phrase “Take a Knee.” And recently, an individual in New York filed an application to register the phrase “Take a Knee America.”Overall, there has been a surge in the number of trademark applications protecting slogans and phrases birthed out of protest movements (e.g. applications were also filed for such phrases “Women’s March” and “Proud to Protest”).Related: Transgender Rights? Citizens United? Should Brands Get Political?The Slants.For years the Asian-American rock band, The Slants, fought for the right to trademark their band name. The USPTO had adamantly opposed registering the name citing the Lanham Act, which prohibits the registration of any trademark that could “disparage or bring into contempt or dispute any persons living or dead.”This summer, the United States Supreme Court overruled the USPTO’s finding and allowed the group to move forward with registration. Since the ruling, there has been an uptick in the number of trademark applications that include or describe a racial trait or characteristic. Some recent trademark applications include: “Proud to be Latino” and “Harmless Black Man.”Social media icons.While many social media platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter, began trademarking their company names years ago, this year was the year they finally began to receive registration certificates for their icons.Related: What Is a Logo? Just the Beating Heart of Your Brand, That’s All.Instagram currently owns trademarks for their name as well for all their filters, such as Sierra and Hudson, and for their such abbreviations such as “Insta.” But, this year their camera icon was formally registered as trademark and so was Facebook’s thumbs-up like button. Facebook currently has 121 active or pending trademarks whereas Instagram currently has 75 active or pending trademarks. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

Marijuana Goes Mainstream 63 Percent of American Voters Say It Should Be

first_imgMarijuana Editor in Chief of Green Entrepreneur June 7, 2018 Next Article –shares More American voters support marijuana legalization than ever before, according to a new poll released by Quinnipiac University. When asked if “the use of marijuana should be made legal in the U.S.,” American voters said 63 – 33 percent that it should. This is the highest level of support for legalized marijuana ever recorded in a Quinnipiac national poll.”From a stigmatized, dangerous drug bought in the shadows, to an accepted treatment for various ills, to a widely accepted recreational outlet, marijuana has made it to the mainstream,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.Related: Polls Find Voters In Pennsylvania, New Jersey Support Legal MarijuanaSome other findings from the poll: Medical Marijuana For the WinNinety-four percent of voters are in favor of allowing patients to use medical marijuana if their doctors prescribe it. This is also the highest level of support in any national poll by the independent Quinnipiac University. Marijuana Is Not a Gateway DrugAmerican voters told pollsters 61 – 31 percent that they believe marijuana does not lead to other addictive drugs. Marijuana Shouldn’t Be Federally OpposedSeventy percent said they are against the enforcement of federal laws against marijuana in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana. In fact, voters support 74 – 20 percent a bill protecting states with legal medical or recreational marijuana from federal prosecution. Related: 5 Routes the Cannabis Industry Could Take to Get Around Federal Banking Restrictions Men Use Marijuana MoreAccording to the poll, 43 percent of American voters say they have used recreational marijuana, including 54 percent of men. Only 33 percent of women say they use marijuana.Related: A New High: Nearly Half of All American Adults Have Tried Marijuana Marijuana Shouldn’t Be Schedule 1Voters support 76 – 18 percent reducing the classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, which is the same classification as heroin.Related: What Is Schedule I and Why Is Marijuana on the List, Anyway? 2 min read Image credit: serdjophoto | Getty Images According to a new poll, marijuana’s acceptance is at an all-time high.center_img Get 1 Year of Green Entrepreneur for $19.99 Subscribe Now Jonathan Small Add to Queue Marijuana Goes Mainstream: 63 Percent of American Voters Say It Should Be Legal Green Entrepreneur provides how-to guides, ideas and expert insights for entrepreneurs looking to start and grow a cannabis business. Entrepreneur Stafflast_img read more

This Company Sold 180000 Worth of Actual BS on Black Friday

first_img Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. This Company Sold $180,000 Worth of Actual B.S. on Black Friday 2 min read It’s safe to say that Cards Against Humanity, the wildly successful card game company, isn’t willing to play into the carnival of consumerism that is Black Friday.Last year, the company offered a “once-in-a-lifetime” price hike that resulted, ironically, in a slight sales increase. But this year, in an even fiercer act of rebellion, Cards Against Humanity removed the game from its online shop entirely, offering, instead, a $6 box of bullsh*t — “literal feces, from an actual bull,” the company’s website read on Nov. 28, according to the CBC.Even though the limited edition black boxes were explicitly labeled ‘Bullsh*t,’ shoppers were seemingly enthralled by the vulgar stunt: all 30,000 packages sold out in 30 minutes.That’s a total of $180,000 spent on animal poop — though the company noted it netted $6,000 after shipping costs, all of which it donated to Heifer International, a non-profit that distributes farm animals to impoverished communities.Related: VIDEO: Watch This Fearless Frenchman Laugh in the Face of Death on a Rocket-Powered Bicycle at 207 Miles Per HourAs some shoppers doubted that the company would actually post feces in the mail, many opened their packages this week with a mix of delight and disgust.  “I don’t think they would fit a card in here,” says this courageous unboxer, who breaks the dried piece of excrement in half to make sure nothing is hidden within. “Honestly, it’s just poop! I don’t know what I was expecting.”The company culled the excrement from a cattle ranch in Texas that sells pasteurized bull feces for shipments, reports Time.“We all really hate Black Friday, it’s just kind of a horrible day,” Cards Against Humanity co-creator Max Temkin said. “It comes after this day where you’re supposed to be thankful for what you have, and then it’s just this whole huge media spectacle of people fighting each other to save $50 on a TV.”Related: The Most Outrageous Thing Grant Cardone Did to Get Attention Next Article Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Publicity Stunts Geoff Weiss Former Staff Writer Add to Queue December 16, 2014 –shares Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Tens of Millions of Data Workers Face Inefficiencies as Data Complexity Grows

first_img Alan JacobsonAlteryxAlteryx-commissioned IDCData Science and AnalyticsMarketing TechnologyNews Previous ArticleNativeX Opens Brazil Office to Spearhead the Growth of Its Latam BusinessNext ArticleIo-Tahoe Integrates with OneTrust and Joins Data Discovery Partner Program Global Study Commissioned by Alteryx Exposes Need for Data Literacy, Streamlined Processes as Businesses Turn to Data for Digital Transformation Alteryx, Inc., revolutionizing business through data science and analytics, today revealed that approximately 54 million data workers around the world face common challenges associated with the complexity, diversity and scale of their organizations’ data. In an increasingly data-driven world, the term “data worker” spans beyond the 54 million identified in this study, but the findings are indicative of the challenges specific to those engaging in significant data work in their day-to-day jobs. The Alteryx-commissioned IDC Infobrief, The State of Data Science and Analytics, uncovered inefficiencies, ineffectiveness and wasted time as many organizations turn to data as the lifeblood of their digital transformation.Eighty percent of organizations now leverage data across multiple organizational processes, but despite increases in innovation, data workers still waste 44 percent of their time each week because they are unsuccessful in their activities. Data workers spend more than 40 percent of their time searching for and preparing data instead of gleaning insights and, on average, use four to seven different tools to perform data activities, adding to the complexity of the data and analytics process. Among other key findings:On average, data workers leverage more than six data sources, 40 million rows of data and seven different outputs along their analytic journey.The top frustrations cited by data workers in the survey are indicative of root causes that are responsible for inefficiencies and ineffectiveness. For example, more than 30 percent of data workers say they spend too much time in data preparation, a task that can often be automated.Eighty-eight percent of data workers, approximately 47 million people worldwide, use spreadsheets in their data activities. Spreadsheet functions are often used as a proxy for data preparation, analytics and data application development tools but are error-prone and expose the organization to compliance and trust issues.Marketing Technology News: How Digital Can Save Brick-And-Mortar Retail with Customer Experience Objectives“Data is at the core of digital transformation, but until organization leaders address these inefficiencies to improve effectiveness, their digital transformation initiatives can only get so far,” said Stewart Bond, director of data integration and integrity software research at IDC. “Consolidating platforms and looking for tools that address the needs of any data worker, whether a trained data scientist or an analyst in the line of business, can help reduce the friction that many organizations experience on their path to becoming data-driven.”The survey found that data workers are unsuccessful for a variety of reasons, including lack of collaboration, knowledge gaps and resistance to change. Participants reported the lack of creative and analytic thinking, analytic and statistical skills, and data preparation skills as the highest-ranked skills gaps responsible for productivity issues, indicative of the pervasive talent gap that exists between data scientists and data workers in the line of business. To overcome these issues and more, many organizations are hiring Chief Data and/or Analytics Officers to streamline analytic processes, build a culture of analytics and encourage data literacy across the enterprise as part of their broader digital transformation strategy.Marketing Technology News: revital U International Unveils New Sales App with VERB’s Interactive Video Features“Collecting data alone won’t digitally transform a business and the answer is not as easy as hiring a leader, a few data scientists or over-investing in disparate technologies. The key is to empower all users, many of whom are currently stuck in spreadsheets, to analyze data effectively to drive real, business-changing results,” said Alan Jacobson, chief data and analytics officer (CDAO) of Alteryx. “As the data landscape becomes more complex, this survey exposes the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the sheer volume of workers needing to conduct analysis on a daily basis and the untapped potential for them to drive meaningful business impact.”The State of Data Science and Analytics is based on a comprehensive survey of more than 800 individuals performing data functions across geographies, industries, company sizes and departments.Marketing Technology News: Spectrum Equity Announces Sale of Ethoca to Mastercard Tens of Millions of Data Workers Face Inefficiencies as Data Complexity Grows Worldwide PRNewswireMay 24, 2019, 1:08 pmMay 24, 2019 last_img read more

Special Collection tracks development of new diagnostic tests for tuberculosis

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 25 2019The Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (link is external) (CIDG), which has its editorial base at LSTM, helps prepare systematic reviews related to the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis. Ahead of World TB Day, this week welcomes the publication of a Special Collection on the Cochrane Library (link is external) that tracks the development of exciting new diagnostic tests for tuberculosis and provides a narrative over the last 10 years of how systematic reviews, many of them Cochrane Reviews, have helped informed investment in diagnostics in low- and middle-income countries. The CIDG has also published a Cochrane Review – on linezolid, a drug that has been allocated an increasingly prominent role in the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis, underlining the difficulties facing patients with drug-resistant disease; in that potential benefits in cure rates must be balanced against the downside of considerable side effects.Special Collection on diagnosing tuberculosisNew ways of testing whether people have tuberculosis have revolutionised detection and treatment. In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the use of a diagnostic test called Xpert®, and since then this test has been evaluated in different populations and settings, and new products have come on to the market. This Special Collection provides a description of the key reviews and global guidelines associated with each developed by the WHO. The collection covers tests for early detection of the disease, tests for drug resistance, tests in people with HIV, tests in children, and tests for latent tuberculosis infection.Karen Steingart, honorary researcher at the LSTM, said, “Accessible diagnostics are critical for ensuring that people are started on appropriate treatment. Based on the evidence, WHO-recommended rapid tests should be replacing microscopy as the initial diagnostic test for tuberculosis.”Steingart K, Gilpin C, Kohli M, Garner P. Cochrane Special Collections. Diagnosing tuberculosis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 3. DOI: SC000034. (link is external)LinezolidTuberculosis drug resistance is a worldwide problem, and linezolid is a drug that may help people with multi-drug resistant disease. The problem is that we still lack high quality information on this form of the disease. All of the drugs have side-effects, which makes it difficult for patients to take them and means that the drugs are more likely to be harmful. Clinicians and patients need fair and independent summaries of the balance between the benefits and harms of these drugs.Related StoriesNew approach to identify faster, more effective TB drug treatment regimensResearchers win $6.2 million grant to study HIV/TB co-infection in childrenUnited Nations sounds alarm bell on drug-resistant infectionsBhagteshwar Singh and his colleagues summarised the evidence from published studies in this recent Cochrane Review. Whilst there are already several reviews in existence, this Cochrane Review was conducted independently to try and summarise the potential advantages in terms of cure, and the associated side effects.The review authors’ data were limited, with 104 participants recruited in two trials. One trial reported a higher rate of cure and lower risk of treatment failure when linezolid was added to conventional treatment, though the review authors had very low certainty in the reported benefit. The other suggested that linezolid causes faster clearance of tuberculosis bacteria from sputum. Harmful effects were common, with about one-fifth of people across 11 other studies having to discontinue linezolid. Reporting of safety and tolerability by studies was poor, preventing a meaningful summary of these important outcomes.The review helps illustrate the difficulties facing patients with drug-resistant disease, and the limited research in evaluating these new drugs, especially in lower income countries.Dr Singh noted, “This is now one of WHO’s core drugs to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis, but we need to be aware of the limited data available, especially on its toxicity. This review helps to highlight the gaps in our knowledge, equip clinicians for informed discussions with patients, and provide policy-makers with an overview for difficult decisions”.Singh B, Cocker D, Ryan H, Sloan DJ. Linezolid for drug‐resistant pulmonary tuberculosis. (link is external)Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD012836. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD012836.pub2. Source:https://cidg.cochrane.org/last_img read more

YouTube driving global consumption of music

first_imgIf you are listening to music, chances are you’re on YouTube. Music piracy on increase worldwide: industry group A music consumer report by the industry’s global body IFPI published on Tuesday found that 86 percent of us listen to music through on-demand streaming.And nearly half that time, 47 percent is spent on YouTube.Video as a whole accounted for 52 percent of the time we spent streaming music, posing challenges to such subscription services as Spotify and SoundCloud.But while Spotify’s estimated annual revenue per user was $20 (17.5 euros), YouTube’s was less than a dollar.The London-based IFPI issued a broader overview in April that found digital sales for the first time making up the majority of global revenues thanks to streaming.The report published on Tuesday looked into where and when we listen to music.It found that three in four people globally use smartphones, with the rate among 16 to 24 year olds reaching 94 percent.The highest levels were recorded in India, where 96 percent of consumers used smartphones for music, including 99 percent of young adults.But music does not end when we put away our phones, with 86 percent globally also listening to radio.Copyright infringement was still a big issue, with unlicensed music accounting for 38 percent of what was consumed around the world.”This report also shows the challenges the music community continues to face -– both in the form of the evolving threat of digital copyright infringement as well as in the failure to achieve fair compensation from some user-upload services,” said IFPI chief Frances Moore.The report noted that “96% of consumers in China and 96% in India listen to licensed music”.It did not, however, say how many of those consumers also listened to music that infringed copyrights.Overall, the average consumer spent 2.5 hours a day listening to music, with the largest share of it consumed while driving, the industry report said. Explore further A YouTube;s corporate headquarters in San Bruno, California on April 03, 2018. Gunshots erupted at YouTube’s offices in California Tuesday, sparking a panicked escape by employees and a massive police response, before the shooter—a woman—apparently committed suicide.Police said three people had been hospitalized with gunshot injuries following the shooting in the city of San Bruno, and that a female suspect was found dead at the scene. “We have one subject who is deceased inside the building with a self-inflicted wound,” San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini told reporters. “At this time, we believe it to be the shooter.”center_img Citation: YouTube driving global consumption of music (2018, October 9) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-youtube-global-consumption-music.html © 2018 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Biomedical engineers develop wearable respiration monitor with childrens toy

first_imgThe paired sensors — one placed between the ninth and 10th ribs and the other on the abdomen — track the rate and volume of the wearer’s respiration by measuring the local strain on the application areas. Credit: Josh Kim / UCI The inexpensively produced sensors were created by UCI biomedical engineers using the popular children’s toy Shrinky Dinks, thin sheets of plastic that are painted or drawn on and then shrunk with heat.Placed in two positions—one between the ninth and 10th ribs and another on the abdomen—the Band-Aid-like devices track the rate and volume of the wearer’s respiration by measuring the local strain on the application areas. The information gleaned could, in the case of asthma, help warn of an oncoming attack.”The current standard of care in respiration monitoring is a pulmonary function test that’s often difficult to perform and limited in terms of the snapshot it provides of a patient’s respiratory health—meaning problems can sometimes be missed,” said Michael Chu, UCI graduate student researcher in biomedical engineering and lead author of a paper on the innovation published today in npj Digital Medicine. “Our new stretch sensors allow users to walk around and go about their lives while vital information on the health of their lungs is being collected.”The devices are made by applying a very thin layer of metal to a sheet of the plastic toy and then heat-shrinking it to cause corrugation. The film is then transferred to a soft, stretchy material—similar to small bandage—that can be adhered to a patient. Signals from embedded sensors can be transmitted via Bluetooth to be displayed on a smartphone app.Michelle Khine, UCI professor of biomedical engineering, in whose lab the devices were developed, said she was inspired to pursue the innovation after the birth of her son nine months ago. Complications required the newborn to be confined to the neonatal intensive care unit hooked up to an array of machines supplying oxygen and monitoring his breathing.”Despite having his whole tiny body covered in sensors, all the hospital staff could get was respiration rate information. If you looked at the vitals monitor, you’d see this waveform, so it looked like they were getting [respiration volume] information, but they weren’t,” Khine said. “I felt so helpless with my child just lying in this box. I wasn’t allowed to carry him for eight days, so it was heartbreaking—but also frustrating to see all of these wires hooked up to him but not giving all the information we wanted.”She said those days in the hospital following the birth of her son were strongly motivating to her as a biomedical engineer: “I sent some pictures of him all wired up to my students, and I said, ‘We have to be able to do better than this. This is 2018. It’s insane.'”Khine’s lab is well-known for employing Shrinky Dinks as a platform for medical applications. About a decade ago, she innovated the use of the toy to produce microfluidic devices.”It’s amazing that this toy for kids has enabled us to create these robust sensors that may one day benefit children and others around the world,” she said.So far, members of the Khine lab have tested the new technology on healthy subjects, but there are plans for a pilot trial with a small number of asthma sufferers in the coming months. Explore further Provided by University of California, Irvine The Shrinky Dink solution This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Michael Chu et al, Respiration rate and volume measurements using wearable strain sensors, npj Digital Medicine (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41746-019-0083-3 Citation: Biomedical engineers develop wearable respiration monitor with children’s toy (2019, February 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-biomedical-wearable-respiration-children-toy.html Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a wearable, disposable respiration monitor that provides high-fidelity readings on a continuous basis. It’s designed to help children with asthma and cystic fibrosis and others with chronic pulmonary conditions.last_img read more

No Signs of Aliens in the Closest 1300 Stars Hunt Funded by

first_img 11 Fascinating Facts About Our Milky Way Galaxy While the truth might be out there, technological aliens don’t seem to be — at least not yet. New results from the most comprehensive Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program ever undertaken — which surveyed 1,327 nearby stars for signals from intelligent beings — have turned up empty. “There’s certainly nothing out there glaringly obvious,” Danny Price, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of a paper about the results, which were published in The Astrophysical Journal, told Live Science. “There’s no amazingly advanced civilizations trying to contact us with incredibly powerful transmitters.” While the team didn’t find anything this time around, Price said that there could be many explanations for the lack of alien signals. Perhaps the search was conducted at the wrong frequencies, or those signals were hidden by radio interference from Earth. Any such undertaking is limited by the methods and discoveries that humans happen to have made in the course of our own history. [9 Strange, Scientific Excuses for Why Humans Haven’t Found Aliens Yet]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65745-extraterrestrial-intelligence-has-not-phoned-home.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  “In a lot of ways, SETI is a bit of a mirror back on ourselves and our own technology and our understanding of physics,” Price said. The search was conducted as part of the Breakthrough Listen initiative, a 10-year, $100-million endeavor funded by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner that aims to scan the skies for technosignatures: transmissions or other evidence created by technological creatures on other worlds. The initiative, which kicked off in 2015, relies on two of the world’s most powerful telescopes — the 328-foot-diameter (100 meters) Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and the 210-foot-diameter (64 m) Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia — to try to eavesdrop on alien communications. In their latest data release, researchers analyzed 1 petabyte (or 1 million gigabytes) of data in both radio and optical wavelengths, looking at more than a thousand stars within 160 light-years of Earth. Several thousand interesting signals appeared during the search, though all turned out to originate from mundane sources, like human-made satellites. The entire gargantuan information catalog will be publicly available on Breakthrough’s Open Data Archive, making it the largest publication of SETI data in the history of the field. Jason Wright, an astrophysicist at Pennsylvania State University who was not involved in the work, told Live Science he was impressed with the researchers’ commitment to public release of their data. “Anyone who thinks the team might have missed something can go over their results and see for themselves,” he said.  Wright has previously calculated that all SETI searches conducted to date amount to combing through the equivalent of a little more than a hot tub’s worth of water in all of our planet’s oceans. The latest addition increases that by 50% in radio wavelengths, he said, or roughly another bathtub’s worth. Price was optimistic that in the future his team will be able to put more stringent limits on the prevalence of life in the universe. The researchers intend to use the upcoming MeerKAT telescope in South Africa, an observatory that will consist of 64 separate 44-foot-diameter (13.5 m) arrays, to search more than a million stars in our galactic neighborhood for extraterrestrial transmissions. While any signal that appeared would have to be carefully scrutinized to ensure it was genuine, Price said such a finding would be truly revolutionary. “I think it would be one of the most important discoveries humankind would ever make,” he said. 10 Interesting Places in the Solar System We’d Like to Visit Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoNucificTop Dr. Reveals The 1 Nutrient Your Gut Must HaveNucificUndoLivestlyThe List Of Dog Breeds To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndo 15 Amazing Images of Starslast_img read more