Grant Helps Fund Oklahoma Hospital’s Quick Response Unit

first_imgAda – Valley View Regional Hospital’s emergency medical services (EMS) department recently received $99,155 in grant funding from the Oklahoma Emergency Response Services Stabilization and Improvement Revolving Fund (OERSSIRF). “We are very excited and extremely fortunate to have been awarded this funding,” said Eugene Dicksion, director of EMS, Valley View Regional Hospital. “We are striving to make Valley View EMS a model system in Oklahoma’s pre-hospital care and this grant has definitely helped us move in that direction.” Valley View’s request was fully funded. The EMS department used the grant money to purchase a 2012 2500 Chevy Suburban quick response unit fully loaded with a command box, training mannequins and several other necessities for the department. The Oklahoma legislature created the OERSSIRF in 2008 to help fund rural emergency medical services in the state. The fund is tied to the Oklahoma Trauma Care Fund, which collects the first $26 million in tobacco tax proceeds. Any funds collected past that point are directed into the OERSSIRF, up to $2.5 million. In 2012, approximately $1.4 million was awarded through OERSSIRF. Twenty-three applications were submitted and 17 of those were funded. Applications are scored on factors including distance to a trauma center, population density, number of EMTs in the project area and size of the request.last_img read more

The other footie aces are on a mission to help after Marcus Rashford got Govt to U-turn on free school meals

first_imgWITH their Rolex watches, sports cars and colossal wages, footballers are often criticised for being clueless about the real world.But many grew up knowing the harsh realities all too well — and are now giving back.Watford skipper Troy Deeney pictured with puils at specialist Garston Manor School in WatfordCredit: Troy Deeney FoundationMarcus Rashford succeeded in getting ministers to U-turn and provide free school meals for vulnerable children over the summerCredit: AFP or licensorsLike Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford, 22, who was raised on a council estate by a single mum, and whose recent campaign got the Government to cough up for free school meals for vulnerable children over the summer.Two other Three Lions doing their bit are Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, 29, who helped set up footballers’ fundraising campaign Players Together to support NHS heroes during the pandemic, and Manchester United defender Harry Maguire, 27, helping vulnerable people in his home city of Sheffield.Another Premier League man on a mission is Watford skipper Troy Deeney.Striker Troy, 31, remembers, as a child growing up on a Birmingham council estate, opening the door of his home to find debt collectors demanding money from his hard-pressed single mum, Emma.She did three jobs to support Troy and his four younger siblings but it still was not enough to make ends meet.‘GIVE SOMETHING BACK’Money was tight because Troy’s birth dad left home when he was a baby and his stepdad, Paul Burke, who he always considered his true father, was in and out of jail.Those troubled times remain scorched on Troy’s memory — and three years ago inspired him to set up the Troy Deeney Foundation for children with learning disabilities and life-limiting illnesses.Projects have included funding a multi-sports area at specialist Garston Manor School in Watford where there are pupils with autism and speech and language problems.Troy, who is reportedly paid £65,000 a week, says: “I’ve long since wanted to give something back.”That desire comes, also, from a darker time in his playing career.Troy remembers opening the door to find debt collectors demanding money from his hard-pressed single mum EmmaCredit: InstagramDeeney seen in action for Watford last yearCredit: ReutersTroy’s troubled memories remain inspired him to set up the Troy Deeney Foundation for children with learning disabilities and life-limiting illnessesCredit: Twitter @TheTDFoundationTroy Deeney and his beautiful model girlfriend Alisha HosannahIn 2012, Troy was sentenced to ten months in prison for kicking a student in the head during a drunken night out in Birmingham.While the player was doing his time — in the end just two months after he was ruled to have shown genuine remorse — other inmates told him not to waste the opportunities he had as a footballer. At the time he was a 23-year-old talent in the game’s second tier — where Watford then played — but with a chance to make a bigger name for himself.He recalls how a fellow lag who had lived near him before jail told him: “You’ve got to understand how big of an opportunity you’ve got. Not only for you, but to show kids from around our area that they don’t have to be like us.”Troy, who has two children by ex-wife Stacey, knew he had to set a positive example both to his own kids and those from his old neighbourhood.Having been troubled with aggressive impulses, he turned to a psychologist for help. He now sees the error of his old ways and how he blew his footballing riches on booze and bling rather than some-thing worthwhile.He recalls: “Being exposed to money was a whole different thing to me. I was just a d***head, I didn’t know how to handle it.”FUNDRAISING GALABut he came to realise there are only so many flash cars one person can buy. Having bought a home for his mum and helped out other family members, Troy set about doing his bit for the wider community.For him, though, it was about more than just signing a cheque then forgetting the people he was helping.He wanted to get involved with the projects, seeing how they tick and raising awareness. He says: “This is going to be a long stint for me, not just a gesture.”Troy regularly visits Garston Manor School and has the word autism inscribed on his football boots because he is so passionate about the issue.Arsenal and England legend turned TV pundit Ian Wright, 56, and ex-JLS singer Marvin Humes, 35, now a Capital Radio DJ, were among guests at the foundation’s first charity gala in 2017. Since then Troy has also visited Antigua to see work his found-ation has been doing in a school on the Caribbean isle.He feels foot-ballers earning six- figure sums each week are “an easy target” for criticism.But many of them, he points out, do work for the less fortunate that goes unheralded. He says: “We all have charities, foundations, we all give to people.”‘Everyone wanted to do something to help, and to do it together made it even more powerful’Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson is a leader on the pitch – and has also demanded the best from footballers off the field of play.When the Covid-19 lockdown began in March there were calls for mega-rich Premier League stars to take pay cuts so money could be channelled to the greater good.England midfielder Jordan Henderson persuaded the captains of the Premier League teams to support our NHS heroesCredit: Getty – ContributorBut many Premier League players refused to accept an across-the-board reduction in their wages.One who wanted to do something positive during this national crisis was England midfielder Jordan, 29.He persuaded the captains of the Premier League teams to get behind a way of supporting our NHS heroes.They set up Players Together, which aims to raise £20million for health workers, volunteers and patients in this country.So far £4million has been handed out, but Jordan says that more is to come.The said: “Everyone wanted to do something. To do it together made it even more powerful.RIVAL SIDES COME TOGETHER“We made sure the funds were going in the right place. Hopefully there is more to come in the near future.”The funds are paying for food, drinks, iPad-style tablets, counselling support and suitable places for staff to rest.Jordan has been praised for the way he galvanised the sport, bringing rival sides together to support one cause.Former Liverpool forward Stan Collymore said Jordan deserved to be honoured with an MBE or CBE and Reds’ legend Steven Gerrard described him as a “role model.”It is not the first good work Jordan has done for charity, with the player helping food banks, donating money to a fund for stabbed 18-year-old Sunderland teenager Connor Brown and laying on a party for underprivileged children.‘There’s always been a sense of community and it is more important than ever at the moment’Hardman centre-back Harry Maguire has never been one to dodge a challenge – and has proved himself a grafter for good causes during the pandemic.The Manchester United and England defender has not only been a key force behind Players Together, with Jordan Henderson, he has ensured elderly residents in lockdown in his home city of Sheffield get the help they need.Harry Maguire has made sure elderly residents received the food they needed during the lockdownCredit: Getty Images – GettyHarry Maguire has done his bit in the past for Soccer Aid and UnicefBrought up in the Mosborough area on the city’s outskirts, Harry decided to help out those locals who were most vulnerable.With his dad, he arranged for a shop to send food packages and other essentials to all residents aged 70 and over.Harry, who signed for Man United from Leicester last year for £80million, said: “There’s always been a real sense of community in the area, which is more important than ever at the moment. I just wanted to do something to help those who need it most.”He is reported to earn £200,000 a week. But the down-to-earth star offered 30 per cent of his wage to good causes when lockdown hit and encouraged teammates to make a similar gesture.He has also helped promote fundraising by the Manchester United Foundation for Covid-19-related charities.The chance to enjoy a “virtual hangout” with the fans’ favourite was the first prize offered up in their raffle.Could Marcus Rashford be honoured with a knighthood after school meals campaign?GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected] 8 MOST DANGEROUS RAINS of All Time | TOP 10 INTERESTING People Slammed By Massive Waves 4 Travel Diary // Vietnam 2017 Top 5 Best Budget Hotels In Dubai under AED 400 a night. 10 INCREDIBLE Space Launch Failures!center_img Real or Fake? Shark Attacks Helicopter Source: Soccer – thesun.co.uk What’s This “Trick” Called? Comment Down Below!! Rebekah Vardy scores an impressive penalty in six-inch heelslast_img read more

Cheap prices lead to more exotic pets in the wild, research finds

first_imgAmphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Citizen Science, Conservation, Environment, Extinction, Frogs, Herps, Invasive Species, National Parks, Pet Trade, Pets, Reptiles, Research, Wetlands, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade New research shows that exotic amphibians and reptiles sold inexpensively as pets are more likely to end up in the wild, where they can pose problems for native wildlife.The authors of the study believe that many pet owners may not fully understand the responsibility of owning these animals, some of which can grow to large sizes and live for decades.They suggest that limiting the numbers of certain species popular as pets could help limit their often-destructive impact on ecosystems. Exotic pets that grow to be big adults and are inexpensive to buy are more likely to end up in the wild, according to a recent study.“It is difficult to unravel why an owner might release their household companion,” ecologist Oliver Stringham of Rutgers University in the United States said in a statement. “Impulsive buying decisions without proper research about care requirements could be a reason.”Stringham was the lead author of a study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology on Aug. 21.A vendor’s display of exotic snakes available for purchase at an exotic pet expo. Image © Diane Episcopio.These non-native animals can struggle, more than their erstwhile owners might think, to make a go of their new environments at times. But more destructively, they can also wipe out the animals they go after as prey, outcompete local species, and bring new and deadly diseases, all of which increase the likelihood of the extinction of native wildlife.Researchers know that the pet trade is how most reptiles and amphibians from other locales end up wreaking havoc in new habitats. It’s how the Burmese python, a 5.5-meter (18-foot) predator, has taken up residence in Florida’s Everglades National Park in the past few decades, where it’s likely been a part of driving down resident bird and mammal species. Still, the factors that have opened such pipelines have remained a mystery.Stringham and his colleagues counted more than 1,700 species of reptiles and amphibians that were sold as pets between 1999 and 2016. Lizards topped the list at 739 species, followed by snakes at 490 species. They then looked for which ones most commonly ended up in the wild as non-native species, based on prior research and counts by citizen scientists of these animal invaders. The team also looked for common traits, such as the life expectancy and body mass of different species, that occurred in animals that were more frequently set free.In addition to affordability, reptiles and amphibians that grow to large sizes and live long lives were more likely to be released. Once these animals have been purchased, exotic pet owners might decide that they’re ill-equipped to handle them, Stringham said.The green iguana is a common exotic pet that originates from Central and South America. Image © Matthew Sileo.“They may underestimate the space and costs needed to keep such animals as they grow into adults,” he said. Sentimentality, too, might play a role.“Understandably, some owners may not wish to euthanise their pet for ethical or emotional attachment reasons,” Stringham said.He and his colleagues suggest that better-informed pet owners could provide a potential solution. Policies directed at keeping large numbers of animals from setting up shop in a new environment could also help, before the problem becomes insurmountable, ecologist Julie Lockwood, also of Rutgers University, said in the statement.This Burmese python was captured in Everglades National Park in Florida, where the invasive snakes have established a large breeding population. Image by Susan Jewell/USFWS (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons.“Stopping an established species from spreading is often not possible, and if at all, very expensive to eradicate,” Lockwood said.“When it comes to tackling nature invaders, it is best to take a precautionary approach,” she added. “While it might not be possible to fully prevent the release of exotic pets, reducing the number can be an effective way to prevent new species from becoming established and potentially invasive.”Banner image of a Burmese python by Susan Jewell/USFWS (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons. Citation Stringham, O. C., & Lockwood, J. L. (2018). Pet problems: Biological and economic factors that influence the release of alien reptiles and amphibians by pet owners. Journal of Applied Ecology.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by John Cannoncenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Thank Your Teachers: Teacher Appreciation Week in NC

first_imgNorth Carolina teachers increasingly report they aren’t feeling appreciated when it comes to their paychecks in the Tar Heel State.According to a documentary produced by WRAL-TV in Raleigh, teacher pay has dropped by 13 percent in the past 15 years, when adjusted for inflation. While policymakers debate education funding at the state and local levels, the PTA is observing Teacher Appreciation Week this week. Kelly Langston, state PTA president, said caregivers are asked to show their child’s teachers how much they are appreciated.“Teachers certainly do what they do for the love of the teaching profession, not necessarily for the paycheck,” she said. “When we can say to them ‘We value you and we appreciate you,’ it really is especially motivating in a climate where they may not feel appreciated.”This week, parent organizations across the state are encouraging caregivers to send in thank-you notes, volunteer, offer gift cards and host meals for North Carolina teachers.Langston said supporting teachers with resources and even gift cards for classroom supplies is valuable.“I think human nature, when you feel supported and you feel encouraged, it just gives you that little extra energy to put into what you’re doing and to feel good about what you’re doing,” she said. “We all know we work better when we feel appreciated.”Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget on K-12 education maintains funding at pre-recession levels, and nearly half of funding for pay raises is in the form of bonuses instead of a permanent raise. North Carolina’s per-student spending also is down by more than $500 in the current budget proposal, and textbook funding has been cut in half compared with pre-recession levels.last_img read more

Madiba Music: Your 67-minute Mandela Day Mixtape

first_imgIn celebration of Mandela Day, here is an essential list of the best Madiba-inspired musical moments. Spend your 67 minutes doing something to honour the man and his life with this soundtrack of great local and international artists paying tribute to South Africa’s greatest citizen. Nelson Mandela dances on stage in October, 1995, with supporters in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Image: Reuters)• South African music• Nelson Mandela – a timeline • Watch: Salif Keita and Black Mambazo call for harmony in Africa• Remembering Mandela, one year on• Jazz trumpets the notes of freedom CD AndersonNelson Mandela called music the “great blessing”, and believed that it has the power to “unite us all to sing with one voice”, to give us all the opportunity to both dream and dance.Madiba inspired a diverse collection of musicians, from ska punkers to classical composers, world-beating rock stars and jazz greats, and they all responded with some amazing tributes.In celebration of Mandela Day, here is an essential list of the best Madiba musical moments, including some of his personal favourites, as well as songs that helped define his place in history and our hearts.While you spend 67 minutes doing something to honour the great man and his life, take a moment to listen to the songs below and join the celebration.Hugh Masekela – Bring Him Back Home One of South Africa’s jazz greats, Masekela spent much of his life in exile, and that longing to return home inspired this somber but powerful lament to both the African diaspora and Mandela himself, the guiding light for those returning home to a new South Africa. Masekela had the honour of playing the song live for Madiba on his release from prison in 1990.Simple Minds – Mandela DayA song celebrating an imprisoned African leader by a Scottish rock band makes for an interesting dichotomy, but it is an appropriate one: Simple Minds’ singer Jim Kerr was one of the more outspoken proponents of the UK’s anti-apartheid movement. This celebratory song is, naturally, the unofficial anthem of July 18th, but a more lasting legacy was its part in bringing the story of Mandela and apartheid South Africa to a global audience during the 1980s.Yvonne Chaka Chaka – Umqombothi According to Chaka Chaka, this song – an upbeat sing-along about traditional African beer – was Mandela’s favourite song of all time. With its bold African groove, catchy chorus and addictive rhythm, it is the perfect fit for our famous Dancing President.Abdullah Ibrahim – MannenbergThe quintessential sound of South Africa, instantly recognised by all its citizens by the rolling piano theme and dynamic tempo. Named after the vibrant District Six area scarred by forced removals during apartheid, the song’s uplifting coda also acts as a perfect motif for a returning hero to free his people.Brenda Fassie – Black PresidentMa Brrr was one of Madiba’s favourite singers, and she celebrated his presidency in 1994 with this impassioned pledge of allegiance to his leadership and his dream for a free South Africa. The song inspired a generation and made her one of the country’s greatest musical icons.Vusi Mahlasela – When You Come BackThe Voice of Mamelodi has enjoyed a long career as a musical storyteller at home and around the world. In 1992, he greeted Madiba and other returning heroes with the “ringing of bells and the beating of drums” in this joyful harmony that quickly become his signature song. The song, much like Mandela, calls for humanity to “give something to the world and not just take from it.”The Specials AKA – Free Nelson MandelaWithout doubt the most famous song about Madiba, this rollicking ska protest song inspired the youth-led anti-apartheid movement across the world during the 1980s. Today, the song’s lyrics still have resonance, highlighting the ideals of Nelson Mandela to overcome poverty through positive action.Johnny Clegg – Asimbonanga (We have not seen him)The live performance of this song says it all: a powerful performer with a powerful song, joined on stage by the most powerful icon in South African history. Asimbonanga is a joyous refrain to all South Africans to be inspired by the life and work of Madiba and use it every day to continue his legacy.U2 – Ordinary LoveWorld citizen Bono has always had a strong connection to Madiba and his ideals, so it was appropriate that U2 was asked to write the theme song for the “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” film in 2013. The song, released a week before Madiba died, is a touching final tribute to the great man and his life’s work.Some other great Madiba-inspired tracks to soundtrack your 67 minutes this Mandela Day: Zahara featuring Mzwakhe Mbuli – Mandela Youssou N’dour – Nelson MandelaSipho Hotstix Mabuse – NelsonKoos Kombuis – Madiba BayWilhelm Kaiser-Lindemann – Hommage a Nelson M for Cello and PercussionMiles Davis – Amandlalast_img read more

Silicon Valley Angels Refute Arrington’s Claims of Collusion

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… chris cameron Now and then a polarizing topic will make its way through the venture capital industry and several prominent investor/bloggers will chime in with their collective opinions in quick succession. Tuesday night TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington dropped a bomb on the industry, accusing Silicon Valley’s top angel investors of a collusion and price-fixing conspiracy. It goes without saying that while some intentionally chose to avoid the issue, many important VC industry voices have made their opinions heard on the topic this morning.Monday evening, Arrington crashed a meeting of “ten or so of the highest profile angel investors in Silicon Valley,” at San Francisco restaurant Bin 38. According to Arrington, who says he spoke with some of the participants following the meeting, the angels were colluding to keep deal valuations down and to keep traditional VCs out of deals, among other things.Wednesday morning, 500 Startups founder Dave McClure, pictured at top, (who has openly admitted to attending the meeting and is the most outspoken source for what may or may not have actually happened) refuted Arrington’s claims on his blog in the colorful, no-nonsense manner in which he addresses most issues.“Yesterday I was invited to a dinner with some well-known startup investors to discuss the latest and greatest in tech and startups. The agenda was drinks, good food and shooting the shit… It wasn’t to collude, to price fix, to put out a hit on Paul Graham or generally bust a cap in any founder’s ass,” writes McClure.He adds that “10 million other things” were discussed at the meeting, including convertible notes, valuations and term sheets. The group also discussed helping startups gain more access to capital, improving the M&A market and boosting innovation, says McClure.Bryce Roberts, managing director at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, also says he was there, and agrees with McClure’s account of the meeting. “The dinner I was at didn’t have agreement on anything, let alone agreements and pacts as outlined in [Arrington’s] article,” said Roberts on a Quora thread dedicated to the issue. “The dinner I was at had investors who preferred bridge notes and those who preferred priced rounds. Investors who’ve backed YC companies and those who haven’t. Investors who like working with big VCs and those who prefer quick flips without getting traditional VCs involved. […] The dinner I was at reflected a bunch of different styles, not consensus.”Based on these two first-person accounts, it seems that the meeting may not have been as incendiary as Arrington’s article indicates. Maybe. At this point it’s his word against theirs, but what is the actual likelihood that the Valley’s best and biggest angels would attempt to price-fix? According to VC wise man Fred Wilson, it’s not very likely at all.Wilson says that VC firms “have been accused of colluding for years,” and that he’s “seen it first hand.” He adds, however, that it has been years since he’s seen this activity, and that the state of the market today makes it close to impossible to pull off at all. “The very fact that some of the most active and respected angels in Silicon Valley were meeting to discuss the changing dynamic of their business suggests to me that the opposite is happening,” he wrote Wednesday. ” This is not a market suffering from collusion. It is a market where the investors wish they could inject some collusion. But they can’t and they won’t. Market dynamics, at least as they exist today and for some time to come, will not allow it.”With that perspective, it seems even more unlikely that the sole purpose of the meeting at Bin 38 was to arrange some sort of “super angel” price-fixing scheme. But, stranger things have happened in this world, so it’s a bit early to definitively say what is or isn’t happening with these angels. Let us know what you think, however, by leaving a comment below!Photos by Robert Scoble and Joi Ito A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts Tags:#Analysis#start 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Indiana’s Sewers: An Outpost on the Internet of Things

first_imgIT + Project Management: A Love Affair Related Posts Tags:#Analysis#enterprise 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now An unlikely place to look for the latest trend for the Internet of Things is inside the sewers of the City of South Bend, Indiana. For the past six years, South Bend’s city managers have been working with a group of consultants from IBM, nearby Notre Dame University and others to instrument the city’s sewers as a means of delivering better service and saving hundreds of millions of dollars in capital improvements. South Bend was facing more than $600,000 in potential government Superfund fines to bring its system up to par and had also experienced a series of regular overflows. Rather than build expensive new capacity, the city embarked several years ago on a project to do a better job monitoring its sewer conditions in both dry and wet weather. To do this, it needed to invent cheaper and better sensor technology that it could literally insert into the pipes and connect to a real-time monitoring system.“We needed sensors which were more economical and higher-definition than our traditional systems,” said Gary Gilot, a member of South Bend’s Board of Public Works (BPW). The city eventually built a monitoring system of more than 100 sensors, conceptualized by city engineers and developed in Notre Dame’s engineering school, and deployed them throughout South Bend’s 500 miles of sewers.Like many sewer districts, the South Bend BPW had been using 50-year-old mechanical valve technology to operate the system and direct water flows through the city’s pipes. The new technology (pictured above) enables the city managers understand the demands and actual real-time usage and flows. “At a glance, we can see in real time what is happening across our entire system,” Gilot said. “We are also able to examine how our system behaved in previous years when we had an inch of rain, so we can be better prepared now.”Spend $6 Million, Save $120 MillionThe annual sewer operating budget is about $30 million; South Bend invested about $6 million in the monitoring project and estimates it has saved $120 million in infrastructure improvements. Not a bad return on investment! The city is now able to do a better job predicting and responding to basement backups in low-lying areas; using its new residential basement “heat map,” South Bend can now direct utility cleaning crews to areas where they are most likely to be needed. And through the new monitoring capabilities, the city has also been able to reduce the flow of water through its treatment plants by up to 10 million gallons of water per day.The city didn’t just decide to instrument its sewers overnight. “We had to convince the mayor, and it took some time,” Gilot said. “We first set up our sensors in the lab and then next tried in the lakes near Notre Dame.” When these demonstration projects were successful, the sewer department set up a trial at one place in the system that had some overflow problems.The trials allowed South Bend to work out problems before a full deployment. For instance, placing the sensors inside pipes buried in the ground meant that it was hard to get radio signals out of the sewers. “We had to use our manhole covers as transmitters so we could get the sensor data out of our pipes,” Gliot said. The city also needed to work on parsing all of the sensor data and creating visualizations to make the information useful and actionable.The South Bend project represents the next stage of the Internet of Things – individual sewer pipe valves that can be tracked and controlled, with the added layer of data visualization to make it manageable and actionable. The city government is now looking beyond its sewers and seeing what else it can instrument to save money and deliver better services to its residents. That has certainly caught the eye of many other sewer and water districts facing similar circumstances.center_img Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… david strom Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…last_img read more

Social Marketers Court Influencers But Ignore Susceptibility, Research Shows

first_imgTags:#social networks#web Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… dave copeland The researchers look beyond marketing, suggesting that “accurately identifying influential and susceptible individuals in networks could enable new behavioral interventions to affect obesity, smoking, exercise, fraud” as well as the adoption of new products and services.Understanding HomophilyOne of the biggest problems researchers have had in measuring influence on digital social networks is homophily, or the idea that people choose friends based on similar tastes and preferences. Did you influence a friend to see The Dark Knight Rises, or were you connected in the first place because you both like Batman?Aral and Walker were able to control for that in their study by using randomized experiments. While some homophily and peer some influence may have crept into their results, they worked around the homophily problem by letting study subjects randomly share opinions about films with some but not all of their friends, coupled with the large sample.“It’s Complicated”center_img Social media marketers have long focused on finding “influencers” on Facebook to spread a message or promote a product. New research suggests they’re missing half of the equation.Social media experts spend a lot of time talking about influencers, people who are most effective at pushing a message and getting their contacts to respond to it. Less often discussed is susceptibility, or the idea that some people are more likely than others to be influenced by online social networks.A new study by New York University’s Sinan Aral and Dylan Walker gauged susceptibility among 1.3 million Facebook users, making it is one of the most ambitious efforts yet to measure this phenomenon. Among the key findings, as reported in the July issue of Science:Younger users are more susceptible to influence than older users.Men are more influential than woman.Women influence men more than they influence other women.Married people are the least susceptible to influence in the decision to adopt products.The biggest takeaway for marketers and others trying to spread messages through social media may be that influential Facebook users are less susceptible to influence than non-influential ones, and influencers tend to cluster in the network. In other words, finding influencers isn’t enough. The key to successfully spreading a message on Facebook, according to the study, is to find influencers with influential friends. Not surprisingly, people tend to hold the most influence over people in their age range, the researchers found. And, generally speaking, the older a person is, the more influential and less susceptible he or she is on Facebook.But the study dug deeper, finding that Facebook users in an equally or more-committed relationship tend to hold more sway over peers. The most susceptible users? People who listed their relationship as “It’s complicated.” Influence Adopters, Not InfluencersSocial networking advertising targeted specifically at women may be ineffective, the data suggested, although the researchers said more study was needed. That’s because women are more likely to adopt messages spontaneously while having 22% less influence on peers than the average Facebook user.For now, the best marketing strategy is to target influencers who have already adopted a product, the researchers said. Individuals who already use a product can be given incentives to influence their peers, as opposed to giving individuals with susceptible peers incentives to adopt a product.That’s because more people are influential than susceptible on Facebook, and targeting individuals who are influential only because they have susceptible peers may be a wasted effort. The key is finding the clusters of influential users within a social network to get a message disseminated as quickly as possible. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img read more

NS gives payroll rebates to Ernst and Young for new centre of

first_imgHALIFAX – The Nova Scotia government has awarded payroll rebates to Ernst and Young as the professional services firm establishes its first Canadian-based Global Centre of Excellence for Robotic Process Automation Service in Halifax.Nova Scotia Business Inc.’s payroll rebate, valued at more than $2.4-million over five years, is contingent on the firm creating 150 jobs in Halifax.Ernst and Young Canada, which has not previously announced the new Halifax centre, said Tuesday it will not be formally launching it until February.“The EY Halifax Centre will be the first Canadian-based Global Centre of Excellence,” John Munro, partner in EY Canada’s advisory services practice, said in an emailed statement.Asked what the centre will do, Munro said: “The EY Centre will be … offering cross-service line capabilities and co-creation with clients. The centre will employ data scientists, application developers, system architects, project managers and business analysts.”The company said it will be recruiting staff “from a variety of sources, including graduates from leading local schools.”Nova Scotia Business Inc., a Crown-owned business development agency, says it always gets more in tax revenue than it gives in payroll rebates for new jobs, and rebates are only paid after a business has generated “actual payroll.”Ernst and Young Canada would be eligible for a smaller rebate if it creates fewer than 150 new jobs.It says that under the maximum growth forecast, the company would spend $34,650,000 in salaries over five years.Ernst and Young says it has 231,000 employees in over 700 offices around the world, including 16 in Canadalast_img read more

Lets Not Get Carried Away With the 3s

The “short or long but never midrange” theory of NBA shooting has been popular in analytics since at least the early 2000s. Statistically, 3-point shots have long been more efficient than long 2-point shots: The reward — an extra point — has outweighed a slightly lower completion percentage. So, the theory goes, teams should eschew midrange shots as much as possible and either take the ball to the basket or shoot from beyond the arc.Whether or not NBA players and coaches have had this theory in mind, 3-point attempts have steadily risen since their introduction in the 1979-80 season. In “Daryl Morey’s D-League Plan to Do Away With Midrange Shots,” Grantland’s Kirk Goldsberry looked at the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Houston Rockets D-League team that has taken the inside/outside strategy to the extreme — a staggering 47 percent of players’ shots come from the 3-point range. (If the NBA keeps increasing its long-distance shooting at the pace it has in the past 25 years, it should match the Vipers in approximately 2054.)Although the Vipers have had good results so far, Goldsberry warned against reading too much into the experiment and assuming the same strategy would work in the NBA:One troubling issue with the Vipers’ strategy is that they are significantly reducing the size of the scoring area. Let’s go back to the 1,300-square-foot apartment metaphor — the Vipers hang out only in the kitchen and bedroom. They never use the living room. By forgoing midrange shots altogether, they are telling opponents that they don’t plan on using a giant swath of tactical space relatively close to the basket. As NBA defenses evolve, the smartest ones are already finding ways to counter the smart-guy shot-selection strategy. The Pacers, who have the league’s best defense, have a reputation for vigorously defending the restricted area and the 3-point area, while being less protective of the midrange. They are the Vipers’ antivenom. And if defenses are able to take away those “efficient” areas, you better have alternative ways to generate offense.Goldsberry was describing an important limitation in the 3s-and-layups strategy: 3-point shots will only be more efficient than midrange shots so long as defenses fail to devote enough resources to defending them. Unless the best-defended 3-point shot is more efficient than a wide-open midrange shot (it’s not), saying 3-point shots are better than midrange shots is wrong. What we really mean is 3-pointers are suboptimally defended. As unwitting game-theory expert Stan Van Gundy would say, “Sometimes you’re going to get the shots the defense allows.”But there’s an even bigger issue with the back-of-the-envelope efficiency calculation at the heart of the pro-3 argument: The fact that 3-pointers are more efficient than midrange shots overall doesn’t mean the marginal 3-pointer is necessarily more valuable than the marginal 2-pointer.If you want to replace a midrange attempt with a 3-pointer, you will normally be replacing a bad 2-pointer with a bad 3-pointer. There’s no intrinsic reason those marginal shots should have the same relative efficiency as better shots of the same type. In fact, there are plausible reasons to think they wouldn’t. Average 3-point shot efficiency may be skewed by the extremely high efficiency of wide-open looks, which players probably weren’t passing up in the first place.This doesn’t mean that NBA teams shouldn’t be taking more 3s. I’d guess we probably haven’t reached that point yet. read more