Tag: 杭州桑拿

This Might Be A Perfect Description Of What Jim Harbaugh Looks Like

first_imgHead coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines gathers his team before the start of the game.ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 02: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines watches his team warm up before the game against the Florida Gators at AT&T Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)The best bit in sports radio is The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz‘s “What He Looks Like Game.” Le Batard, Stugotz and Co., with the help of their listeners, try to come up with perfect descriptions of what people in sports look like. Some examples:Paxton Lynch looks like the old school Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo.Vin Scully looks like the one real human in a Disney movie filled with animated talking animals.Dan Gilbert looks like the guy who shaves in the locker room mirror at the gym while totally nude.They’ve come up with one for Jim Harbaugh and, Ohio State fans, it’s pretty perfect, right?Jim Harbaugh looks like the guy who yells at his wife in front of everyone when they lose at Pictionary on gamenight pic.twitter.com/Whz6ERQVAI— What He Looks Like (@WhatHeLooksLike) May 8, 2016He totally does.last_img read more

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Timeline for Boeing and Bombardier dispute over the CSeries

first_imgMONTREAL – The timeline of the commercial dispute between Boeing and Bombardier:– April 27: The Chicago giant asks the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to take action against Bombardier’s business practices.– May 18: The Department of Commerce confirms the beginning of an investigation. Ottawa replies by questioning a military order from Boeing for new Super Hornet jet fighters.– June 9: ITC gives the go-ahead for Washington to continue its investigation into CSeries sales south of the border.– 28 June: At the request of Boeing, the Department of Commerce agrees to delay the disclosure of its preliminary decision on possible punitive duties by two months, until Sept. 25.– Sept. 4: Boeing International Division President Marc Allen says the U.S. giant has no intention to back down and withdraw its complaint against Bombardier.– Sept. 5: British Prime Minister Theresa May, in a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump, pleads in favour of the Quebec manufacturer, which has more than 4,000 employees in Belfast, Northern Ireland.– Sept. 13: Demonstration in downtown Montreal of hundreds of union members in the aeronautics sector to denounce the Boeing approach.– Sept. 20: Bombardier workers in Toronto walk off the job to support company’s battle against Boeing.– Sept. 24: JetBlue becomes latest U.S. airline to write to the ITC urging it to deny Boeing’s petition, saying tariffs on the aircraft would harm competition and result in higher airfares.– Sept. 26: Department of Commerce announces a hefty 219 per cent preliminary countervailing duty on CSeries exports to the U.S., pending a final determination in February.– Oct. 4: Department of Commerce is expected to announce preliminary anti-dumping duties, but that could be extended.– December: Department of Commerce will release its final determinations.– February: ITC will make its final ruling, imposes any final duties.last_img read more

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MLAs daughter delivers Mothers Day gifts to local seniors

first_img“I was riding by the hospital recently and saw a bunch of seniors out front of the care centre, they were so nice and friendly, I just felt I wanted to do something nice for them,” said Davies. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The ladies residing at Peace Villa and Abbeyfield House each received a carnation, chocolate and a card on Mother’s Day after the daughter of Peace River North MLA Dan Davies came up with the idea of doing something nice for local seniors.Bert Bowes Grade 7 student Hana Davies said she thought of the idea of giving the gifts last week. Dan Davies said his daughter got permission from the two care centres, did a budget, and got Inland Concrete to sponsor the gifts. Davies hand-delivered the surprise gifts to the residents of the two facilities at lunch time on Mother’s Day.Hana Davies handing a flower and card to Peace Villa resident Debbie Simons. Supplied photo.last_img read more

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Thailand junta poised to retain power

first_imgBangkok: Thailand’s election results were due Monday, with the junta appearing poised to hold on to power in a vote that saw its main rival diminished but vaulted a new pro-democracy force into the kingdom’s politics. Sunday’s poll — seen as a referendum on the military — was the first since a 2014 coup, and was held under new rules written by the junta to ease its transformation into a civilian government. Despite that, analysts had not expected the army-linked Phalang Pracharat party to win the popular vote, given mounting anger at junta rule and the enduring popularity of Pheu Thai — the party of ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USBut Thai politics is unpredictable, and as preliminary results trickled in Sunday, Phalang Pracharat — with coup leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha as its candidate for prime minister — clung to the lead, racking up more than 7.6 million votes with 93 percent of ballots tallied. “This will give them… popular legitimacy and more credibility,” Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a political scientist at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, said. Phalang Pracharat had nearly half a million more votes than Pheu Thai, despite the track record of Thaksin whose parties have won every vote since 2001, drawing on loyalty from the rural and urban poor. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsPrayut’s party is on track to cobble together the 126 votes in the lower house it needs for a parliamentary majority, in combination with a 250-seat upper house Senate that is appointed by the junta. The Bangkok Post, Thailand’s main English-language newspaper, splashed “Prayut return ‘likely'” across its front page on Monday. The poll pitted a royalist junta and its allies against the election-winning machine of billionaire-turned-politician Thaksin and featured an unpredictable wave of millions of first-time voters. As the results came in, dismay rippled out across the pro-democracy camp, with prospects diminishing of an anti-junta coalition squeezing into power. The Election Commission unexpectedly postponed the release of fuller results until Monday afternoon, including the number of lower house seats won by each party. The Election Commission has said it will finalise the results by May 9. But questions quickly began to percolate on social media over an election that saw a massive 1.9 million ballots invalidated, setting the stage for disputes. Turnout was a tepid 64 percent, much lower than forecasts. Election night was full of surprises, with the new, youth-focused Future Forward party led by telegenic billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit taking more than five million votes, which could make it Thailand’s third-biggest party. And on the eve of the poll, Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn issued a cryptic statement urging people to support “good” leaders against those who create “chaos.” Another royal command in February torpedoed the candidacy of the king’s elder sister Princess Ubolratana for prime minister via a party linked to Thaksin. Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 coup, and has lived in self-exile since 2008. The administration of his sister Yingluck was also the victim of a 2014 power grab by the military. The Shinawatra-aligned Pheu Thai party has vowed to accept the results but said it needed more “clarity” on the outcome before it took a stance.last_img read more

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Flavours of South America on show

first_imgRoadshow inspires destination awareness. The Flavours of South America Roadshow Sydney showcased exciting destinations, providing an insight into the unique tours and opportunities available throughout the continent.Adventure World hosted the event, bringing together destination specialists from Peru, Brazil, Patagonia, Argentina, Bolivia, Condor Travel, LATAM Airlines, Exodus and Metropolitan Touring and Cruceros.Adventure World reminded delegates of their ongoing partnership with National Geographic and the magazines involvement with features for the Adventure World 2012/2013 series brochures.LATAM Airlines advised attendees of the opportunities associated with their South American Airpass, which has been available for purchase since June 2013.“The South American Airpass provides travellers the choice to fly to preferred destinations on multiple routes, with the ability to create tailor-made itineraries,” LATAM Airlines business development manager Aaron Lovelock said.Destination specialists gave brief presentations and were available throughout the evening to answer any questions and provide information in the form of brochures and fact sheets.The colourful event was held at The Cuban Place in Sydney, with traditional South American cuisine and entertainment, including latin dance, on display.The Flavours of South America Roadshow has already visited New Zealand and is currently touring Australia. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.last_img read more

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Technicolor and Philips have merged their High Dyn

first_imgTechnicolor and Philips have merged their High Dynamic Range (HDR) development efforts in a bid to accelerate deployment of the technology.The agreement will see the companies merge their delivery roadmaps for HDR solutions – including content creation tools, encoding and decoding software and implementation support.Technicolor and Philips said they will offer HDR delivery with “full backwards compatibility” to Standard Dynamic Range displays – meaning distributors who will be able to send one signal to all of their customers, regardless of which TV they have.“This move is a reflection of how fast the market for HDR is developing, and how important it is to partner and scale up to effectively serve industry demand for high-quality video delivery,” said Jako Eleveld, head of IP licensing for Philips.Manuele Wahl, senior vice president of technology and trademark licensing at Technicolor added: “Combining the HDR research from two of the most prominent and trusted names in imaging is a significant step in the maturity of HDR technologies.”“Philips is bringing years of experience in consumer electronics and silicon partnerships. This combined with Technicolor’s heritage in content creation and technology licensing will provide a compelling backwards compatible solution which will accelerate HDR adoption.”Technicolor and Philips said they will continue to support their respective HDR products and solutions, which are already deployed in the market, and will merge “the best part of these” into the combined solution.Early results of the firms’ combined HDR offering are due to be shown at NAB 2016 in April, followed by commercial deployments on silicon in late 2016. Both companies will continue to work independently on other solutions for enhancing video and audio technologies.last_img read more

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Todays article comes to us from world traveler a

first_img[Today’s article comes to us from world traveler and quintessential “international man” Dr. Jack Wheeler.] Jamestown, St. Helena, South Atlantic Ocean. If you have ever heard of this little 47 square mile island lost in a vast sea, 1,200 miles west of Africa and 1,800 miles east of Brazil, it’s because here is where the British exiled Napoleon after Waterloo, and here is where he died. The 5.5 years of Napoleon’s exile – October 15, 1815 to his death on May 5, 1821 – dominate the island’s 500-year history. For the last 354 years, since 1659, it has been a British possession. Yet such is the grip of Napoleon that the Brits ceded the home and property of where he lived in exile on St. Helena – called Longwood House – to the government of France. It is French territory, as is his original burial place nearby. Moreover, there is a Consul appointed by the French government, who lives in a diplomat’s mansion on the island. Personally, I have no regard for a megalomaniac responsible for the deaths of millions of people. The Brits should have treated him as a war criminal, executed him by firing squad aboard a ship far out to sea, and dumped his body in the ocean. But no. Instead the Brits treated this mass murderer, because he called himself “Emperor” and dressed himself in ermine robes, with the same honor and respect as if he were royalty. This has tainted St. Helena and its people ever since. You have to wonder though, after learning the island’s history, whether it has been tainted from the beginning. This place is a paradise – or rather, it’s a place that always could have been but never was. The people of St. Helena like to call themselves “Saints.” In a number of odd and interesting ways, they are the saints who lost paradise. And it turns out those ways are very relevant and instructive for us today. The folks who originally made it a paradise were the Portuguese. A captain named João da Nova returning from India was blown off course in 1502, and discovered an uninhabited island which he named St. Helena (the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine who converted him to Christianity) as it was her Saint’s Day (May 21). He had meant to keep a course up Africa’s west coast, but realized the prevailing winds (the southeast trades) made it quicker and easier to sail via this island that was lush and verdant, with a perfect climate for growing anything, and that no one knew about. The Portuguese converted it into a replenishment station to resupply ships on the way back home from India, planting fruit trees (fig, lemon, orange, pomegranate), plus vegetables and herbs, and left pigs and goats to breed – all for food for ships’ crews. They never colonized it nor built a settlement, and kept it a secret for 86 years. Then a British captain, Thomas Cavendish, found it in 1588, and soon British pirates used it to waylay Portuguese ships heavily laden with riches from the East. When the Dutch learned of St. Helena, they began fighting the Brits over it, and the Portuguese left in disgust that their peaceful paradise was spoiled. Even though the Brits and Dutch fought over it, strangely enough neither settled there, until 1659 when the British East India Company landed the first people to ever live on St. Helena. The fruit trees were flourishing, plenty of pigs and goats to eat (not to mention swarms of fish in the sea), plenty of water, forests, fertile land – and somehow these folks, even with African slaves, managed to go hungry. In 1672, the first of many mutinies and rebellions occurred, when the settlers seized the East India Company’s Governor of the island and shipped him back to England. Settlers and soldiers stationed by the Company mutinied and forcibly removed subsequent Governors in 1674, 1684, and 1693. The Company insisted a large contingent of soldiers was necessary to guard the island, among whom drunkenness was a constant problem. Whenever there wasn’t enough booze (rum shipped from the Caribbean or an island-made tequila distilled from fermented prickly pear juice), they would threaten to mutiny. The biggest was the Christmas Mutiny of 1783, after which ten soldiers were hung. All through this, the settlers and their slaves couldn’t manage to adequately feed and work for themselves. So in 1810, the Company imported hundreds of Chinese laborers. When Napoleon arrived in 1815, they built Longwood House and cultivated its gardens. The British spent a fortune guarding Napoleon to prevent his escaping as he had previously at Elba (an island just off the west coast of Italy, easy to escape from). 2,000 more soldiers were stationed on the island, and Royal Navy ships constantly patrolled the coastline. Napoleon and his entourage dined with fine cuisine and wines every night. He had his personal library of 1,847 books, he dictated his memoirs, his entourage doted on him, he had a life of peace and leisure. Yet he deteriorated rapidly. There are many contemporary drawings of him at Longwood, showing him getting fatter, older, and more depressed with each year. By 1820, he looked like an aged old man. When he died of stomach cancer the next year, he was 51 years old. The Brits withdrew their guarding soldiers and patrolling ships, and the islanders slid back into their usual poverty. In 1832, the East India Company turned control of the island to the Crown. St. Helena became a British Crown Colony and slavery was abolished, with 2,200 African slaves (one third of the population) liberated. The Colony was instructed to become self-sufficient – which, after an almost unbroken string of failed attempts, it has proved unable to do so to this day. From the 1840s through the 1870s, every attempt to establish the island as a whaling center failed. In 1869, the Suez Canal opened, so ships had no need to go around Africa (and stop at the island) to get to and from the Orient. More isolated than ever, the islanders turned to flax. Seedlings were imported from New Zealand, and grew like weeds. Flax mills were built to convert flax into fiber for rope and twine. Flax, however, is a plantation plant harvested with mechanization. On the mountainous slopes of the island, it could only be harvested by hand. Excepting a few rare interludes over the next 90 years, the flax industry could only be supported by government subsidy, and collapsed immediately after the subsidy was finally withdrawn in 1966. An attempt at establishing a lace-making industry failed in 1907, followed by the failure of a fish-canning factory in 1909. The islanders, it seems, just weren’t very good at catching fish. They never have been, accounting for the failure of another fish cannery in 1957. Another thing Saints have never been any good at is growing food. Valleys once full of groves of fruit trees left by the Portuguese became dead and stony due to neglect. Land cleared for pasture was allowed to erode away. The islanders were as bad at farming and husbandry as they were at fishing. They’ve been like that since the 1660s and are now. Most fruit, such as lemons and oranges, are imported today. It’s the same with most meat and vegetables, imported from South Africa. Tristan’s 262 people can feed themselves in a far harsher environment, but St. Helena, with some 3,000 people and thousands of acres of far more fertile land, cannot. What could account for centuries of incompetence and failure on this lush, beautiful island? What happened last week, before we got here, might help explain. A large cruise ship arrived, enroute to Cape Town, carrying 900 passengers. Not one of them was able to step ashore. Jamestown, the only place to make a landing, has no harbor – not even an itsy-bitsy one like Tristan with an itsy-bitsy breakwater. The Jamestown Wharf has no dock, no breakwater, nothing’s enclosed, the swell just slams into these concrete steps straight on. Last week, the swell was so large that it wasn’t safe for the ship’s tenders to offload passengers – so the ship finally sailed away, with 900 very angry and frustrated people aboard. Tristan can’t expand its micro-harbor as the water’s so deep. But Jamestown’s anchorage is shallow, making it far easier to construct a safe harbor – yet the Saints never bothered. Last week, they just shrugged their shoulders at the loss of business from 900 customers. I’m on a small expedition ship. There’s only 54 of us, and we use Zodiac inflatables to make landings. The swell is down a bit this week, so we all got ashore. We found most stores closed. It’s a Saint tradition that everything shuts down on Wednesday afternoons – and it just doesn’t matter if there are visitors in town willing to spend money. So I went off to climb Jacob’s Ladder. Jamestown is in a narrow valley open to the sea, two blocks wide and a mile long. In 1829, the Brits built what is still the world’s longest continuous stairway, 699 10-inch steps, at a gradient of 39° to 44°, to a fort at the top of the hill above the town. Going up Jacob’s Ladder wasn’t so bad – it was coming down fast that blew out my quadriceps. So I retired to the locals’ main watering hole, the bar at the Consulate Hotel, for a cold beer. There, old-timer Saints like Trevor and Geoff were happy to tell me how St. Helena was Paradise Lost. “I’d say the Saints’ problem has always been lack of enterprise,” Trevor let me know. “You say you’ve been to Tristan, right? They really know how to fish there, how to work hard, how to raise their sheep and grow potatoes. Here, folks don’t know and don’t want to know, they don’t care. They’d rather be poor and hungry than work hard. Been that way for centuries, why everything here always fails.” Geoff stepped in. “That may all be true – the government is always complaining about the Saints’ ‘lack of motivated labor,’ as they put it. But the government has always been the problem here, all the rules and very little private property, first of the Company and then the Crown ever since. All these ‘civil servants’ sent from London to run our lives – we call them ‘inky fingers.’ Their fingers used to be stained from handling the carbon copies of their forms in triplicate.” We all laughed hard and ordered another beer. I told them, “I have a news flash for you guys. In America, it’s just as bad now. Our lives are controlled by Obama’s inky-finger bureaucrats.” Geoff asked, “Are people in America leaving or staying? It won’t be as bad as here until lots of people leave and won’t stay. Then it keeps getting bad. For three centuries here, people with gumption left the island to work elsewheres like South Africa or England. Those with no gumption stayed. You say you’ve been to the Falklands – bet you met a lot of Saints working hard there, right?” I nodded. I thought of Carl, who managed the Malvina House Hotel in Stanley so well, and other smart, capable Saints I knew there. A fellow named Bob joined us. With a smile, he said, “Well, you might use these two as examples. Both are from old Saint families, born and raised on the island, then Geoff here joined the British Merchant Marine and sailed the world, while Trevor went to the UK and became a London cabbie. Do you know how smart you have to be with an encyclopedia in your head to be one of them?” I certainly did and said so. Trevor acknowledged the compliment. “Yes, for 37 years I was, and now we’re retired – Bob here was with the RAF (British Royal Air Force) – so we’ve come back home to live, where our pensions can easily carry us. Look around town, you’ll see many of us, and youngsters, but fewer of working age. They’ve left, and the remits (remittances) they send back to their families are what keep this economy afloat.” Bob added, “That and all the government paychecks everyone gets, for unemployment or a make-work government job.” I asked them, with almost no crime at all on the island, why did I see uniformed police walking in ones and twos all over town? “More make-work with government money,” came the answer. “Most of them are nice, but it’s still more government control, and more rules to enforce that are made up by the inky fingers.” Government control really is the universal social poison. Combine it with a flawed culture, and you get failure every time. The Saints were given a paradise, but they were never given freedom, not by the East India Company nor the British Crown. They never developed a work ethic, a determination to thrive, as did the people of Tristan. Those that did have it expressed it by leaving. The future of St. Helena may not be good, at least for the Saints. An international airport is being built on the island, by a South African company at British government expense. A “tourist boom” is expected, but just how and for whom is not clear. St. Helena is a beautiful place, but there are no beaches, there’s little wildlife, its history can be experienced in a morning’s tour of Longwood House and an afternoon walk in Jamestown. The airport should be completed by 2016 and the island is utterly unready. Not a single airline has committed to flying here. There’s no tourist infrastructure nor people trained in the tourist industry, and given the Saints’ work ethic, it’s unlikely there will be. Which means there’s going to be a huge influx of foreign labor to build the hotels and staff them and various tourist services. If the tourists come, on airlines willing to bring them. The whole thing may be the biggest St. Helena Failure of all. It may succeed, but those succeeding will be the foreign workers, managers, and business owners. Most Saints will remain on government paychecks, while Trevor, Geoff, and Bob will be at the Consulate Bar gently laughing about it all over a cold beer. The first Americans – settlers from England in the 1600s like the Saints – were given a paradise. And they were given their freedom. They put them together to develop a determination to thrive like no other people on earth. Yet freedom-destroying government control and subsidies can sap that determination out of any culture, and can cause the loss of any paradise. Ronald Reagan called America “the last, best hope of mankind.” The loss of a paradise on a volcanic speck in the South Atlantic Ocean means nothing, save to the tiny number of people who live there. The loss of the American Paradise of Freedom and Prosperity would be an incalculable loss for all of humanity. We haven’t lost it yet, but we’re losing more of it day by day, inch by inch. We’re losing what the Saints never had, a culture of freedom, self-sufficiency, personal responsibility, the determination to thrive, a culture not controlled by inky fingers. The Saints never had this, so it’s hard for them to acquire it. But we did have it, and we still have enough of a residue to get it back. We’re not Saints, we’re Americans. It’s time to shake off control of Zero’s inky fingers. [Editor’s Note: Once called “Indiana Jones of the Right” by The Washington Post, Dr. Jack Wheeler is the founder of To The Point, a website that serves as “The Oasis for Rational Conservatives”. Learn more at www.tothepointnews.com.]last_img read more

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Goldsmith Why I Work For Doug Casey Now—EyeOpeni

first_img Goldsmith: Why I Work For Doug Casey Now—Eye-Opening Report from Former Stansberry Director Sean Goldsmith recently left Stansberry to work alongside one of the most influential economists in the world today, Doug Casey. Goldsmith explains the full details here. Recommended Links The deals keep getting bigger…and one of the gravest financial warnings of 2015 keeps growing in relevance. Last month, legendary investor Carl Icahn publically warned that cheap money is fueling a bubble in dealmaking. Icahn said: …[W]hat [companies] do with the money is almost perverse. They just go in and buy another company to show analysts on Wall Street that earnings are going up, so their stock will go up and it’s financial engineering at its height. Icahn is known for buying huge stakes in “broken” companies…taking a seat on the board…and trying to turn the companies around. He knows more than almost anyone about buying companies. •  Last week, we were reminded of Icahn’s warning… On Thursday, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (PFE) revealed plans to buy drugmaker Allergan PLC (AGN). Pfizer is the 12th-largest publicly-traded U.S. company. It’s worth $213 billion. Allergan is another huge drug company. It’s worth $123 billion. If the deal goes through, it would create the sixth-largest publicly-traded company in the U.S. The new company would dethrone Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) as the world’s largest healthcare company. Pfizer-Allergan would be biggest deal in a monster year for mergers and acquisitions. On Sunday, Financial Times said 2015 is shaping up to be the biggest year ever for global dealmaking: With close to $4tn worth of deals already announced this year, 2015 is on track to beat the all-time record of 2007, when the credit bubble helped generate $4.3tn worth of transactions. •  Pfizer has already made a big acquisition this year… In September, Pfizer completed its $15 billion purchase of pharmaceutical company Hospira. Pfizer’s management hopes these deals will help the company start growing again. Pfizer’s annual sales have declined, for the last four years, by an average of 6.5% per year. – The Fed’s Crazy Plan Zero percent interest rates have led to the largest amount of malinvestment in human history. How will the Fed’s historic monetary experiment end? And how will it affect you? To get Marc Faber’s insight into these questions and more, click here.center_img Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida November 2, 2015 We 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. If management’s track record is any indication, the acquisition of Allergan won’t create value for Pfizer’s shareholders. Since 2000, Pfizer has spent more than $235 billion buying other companies. However, Pfizer is only worth $213 billion today. Pfizer isn’t the only company in the healthcare sector making big deals. Last week, Financial Times reported global healthcare companies have announced $850 billion worth of deals this year. In July, health insurance company Anthem (ANTM) agreed to buy rival Cigna (CI) for $48.3 billion. The deal will create the nation’s largest health insurer. And last Tuesday, pharmacy chain Walgreens (WBA) bought rival Rite Aid (RAD) for $17 billion. It was a pricey acquisition…Walgreens paid more than a 50% premium to Rite Aid’s share price, and 21 times Rite Aid’s book value. •  Record low interest rates are driving the massive increase in dealmaking… During the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve dropped its key interest rate to effectively zero. The Fed has held rates near zero ever since. Seven years of zero percent rates have made it ridiculously cheap to borrow money. Many companies have used this as an opportunity to buy out competitors with borrowed money. According to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, U.S. corporations borrowed a record of $1.2 trillion in the bond market through the first nine months of 2015. •  Buying a competitor can boost sales and profits… But Carl Icahn notes the “high” usually wears off quick. Last month, Icahn said buying a company with borrowed money was like “taking a drug.” It can cause sales and profits to jump, but the benefit usually only lasts a year or two. Icahn says U.S. companies are buying up rivals to goose their earnings numbers. He says this is masking major problems in corporate America. And the facts back up his claim… Last week, The Wall Street Journal explained how U.S. business investment has stalled since the financial crisis: Business investment in the real economy is weak. While U.S. gross domestic product rose 8.7% from late 2007 through 2014, gross private investment was a mere 4.3% higher. Growth in nonresidential fixed investment remains substantially lower than the last six post-recession expansions. Instead of investing to build their businesses, companies are taking a shortcut to growth by buying other companies. In July, Forbes reported that 54% of CEOs in the U.S. plan to complete an acquisition by the end of the year. •  Earnings growth has been sluggish… Earnings for companies in the S&P 500 have only grown 6.9% annually since 2011. That’s far less than during past economic expansions, according to The Wall Street Journal. Earnings grew 12.9% per year between 2003 and 2007. They grew at 11% per year between 1995 and 1999… As of Friday, 340 companies in the S&P 500 reported third-quarter results. So far, earnings have declined 2.2% from last year. We can’t know for sure until all the results are in, but it appears that earnings will decline overall this quarter. If that happens, research firm FactSet says it will be the first time since 2009 that earnings have declined two quarters in a row. If you’ve been listening to Icahn’s warnings, this bad earnings news shouldn’t be a surprise. Instead of investing in their businesses, companies are using cheap money and financial engineering to boost profits. That can work for a while. But once the “high” wears off, you’re left within shrinking profits and no growth. Chart of the Day Don’t buy into the “recovery” hype… Today’s chart shows the number of people enrolled in the U.S. federal food stamp program. As you might expect, the number of people on food stamps surged during the financial crisis. However, food stamp usage kept rising through 2013. More than forty million Americans are still on food stamps today, nearly double the pre-crisis number. This isn’t what a healthy, growing economy looks like. —last_img read more

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What are the rules of warIts a timely question i

first_imgWhat are the rules of war?It’s a timely question in the wake of attacks on civilians, aid workers and hospitals in conflict zones around the world. Just this week, three hospitals in southern Syria were bombed by pro-government forces, according to The Washington Post.After such incidents, there are many references to the “rules of war.”In January, a British MP wrote an op-ed in The Guardian calling for the prosecution of the forces in Yemen led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “for any violations against civilians and breaches of the rules of war.” This month the coalition’s forces have been attacking the port city of Hodeida, Yemen’s lifeline to critical aid, food and fuel.Doctors Without Borders has this month declared “that the conduct of hostilities in Syria may violate the basic rules of war.”The president of UNICEF in Canada has declared, “Around the world, the rules of war are under attack — and so are millions of children.”The rules of war are part of the Geneva Convention and they first were established in the 19th century.They dictate what can and cannot be done during armed conflict. They aim to protect people who are not fighting in the conflict and curb the brutality of war by setting limits on the weapons and tactics that can be employed.Representatives of aid groups say there is a growing disregard for these rules in conflict zones around the world. “It has become glaringly obvious that respect for international humanitarian law is in decline,” says Scott Paul, the humanitarian policy lead of Oxfam America, a global aid agency.History of the rules of warAlthough our modern rules of war can be traced back to ancient civilizations and religions, it was Henri Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross, who began the process of codifying these customs into international humanitarian law. In 1864, he helped establish the first Geneva Convention, an international treaty that required armies to care for the sick and wounded on the battlefield. It was adopted by 12 European countries.Over the next 85 years, diplomats debated and adopted additional amendments and treaties to address the treatment of combatants at sea and prisoners of war — not just combatants on battlefields. In 1949, after the horrors of World War II, diplomats gathered again in Geneva to adopt four treaties that reaffirmed and updated the previous treaties and expanded the rules to protect civilians. They’re now collectively known as the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and contain the most important rules of war.Upholding the rulesSince then, the rules of war have been ratified by 196 states. They protect people who are not fighting in the conflict and curb the brutality of war by setting limits on the weapons and tactics that can be employed. In 2014, for example, the rules helped guarantee safe passage for civilians in South Sudan to flee violence.They’re also used in domestic and international courts to determine if a government or non-governmental militant group is guilty of a war crime. If a warring party is accused of violating international humanitarian law — whether by an individual, group, country or observer — countries are obligated to investigate. The U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, for example, helped punish war criminals who committed mass atrocities during the Bosnian war in the 1990s.The U.N. Security Council, a group of 15 countries at the U.N. charged to maintain international peace and security, may also impose sanctions — like a travel ban or an arms embargo — as an incentive for warring parties to comply with the rules of war.Enforcing the rules can be difficult. For example, the five veto-holding permanent members of the Security Council — the U.S., China, Russia, the U.K. and France — must vote unanimously to pursue a resolution that might call for an investigation, refer a case to a court for trial, threaten sanctions or propose another motion. But often one or several of these countries has a vested interest in the conflict in question.As mandated by the Conventions, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has a special role to play as a guardian of these laws. The ICRC tracks the evolution of warfare and makes recommendations for updates to the rules accordingly. It also participates in U.N. discussions on crises and potential violations to ensure the rules are being upheld.In addition, the ICRC helps inform the public of the rules of war through videos and social media messaging. This 2-minute film, titled “Why we can’t save her life,” won a Grand Prix award at the Cannes Lions festival in France this month. The film reminds people that hospitals are not a target.The rules of warAlthough there are many rules contained in the Conventions, here are six crucial principles that are relevant to ongoing conflicts. Because the rules themselves often use legal terms, we have paraphrased the language. To read the original language, click here:1. No targeting civiliansIntentionally targeting civilians, buildings such as schools or houses and infrastructure like water sources or sanitation facilities is a war crime. Killing or injuring a person who has surrendered or is no longer able to fight is also prohibited, as is punishing someone for an act that another person, even a family member, has committed.Attacks should only be directed at military objectives, and military targets such as bases and stockpiles should not be placed in or near populated areas.If the expected “incidental civilian damage” of an attack is “excessive and disproportionate” to the anticipated military gain, then the attack legally cannot be carried out.There is one caveat: a civilian structures, for example a school, may become a legitimate target if it is being used for specific military operations — as a base to launch attacks, for example, or a weapons storehouse.2. No torture or inhumane treatment of detaineesTorture and other forms of cruel, degrading or ill treatment are expressly prohibited. The lives, rights and dignity of detainees should be preserved. They must be given food and water, protected from violence and allowed to communicate with their families.There are no exceptions to this rule, even when torture might elicit lifesaving information.3. No attacking hospitals and aid workersThe wounded and sick always have a right to be cared for, regardless of which side of the conflict they’re on. Medical and aid workers who are on duty in these areas make an effort to be neutral and serve both sides of the conflict. They must, therefore, be protected by all warring parties and allowed access to collect and care for the wounded and sick.If combatants see a red cross or red crescent, symbols of the national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, they should know that person or place should not be attackedBut the rules of law do grant an exception for hospitals as well as other civilian structures. If a hospital is being used for specific military operations, it may become a legitimate target.4. Provide safe passage for civilians to fleeParties to a conflict must take all reasonable steps to evacuate civilians from areas where there is fighting. In the heat of conflict, such steps can take the form of advanced warnings or the creation of “safe corridors” for civilians to leave a besieged city and for humanitarian workers to deliver aid and services. Civilians must never be blocked from fleeing.5. Provide access to humanitarian organizationsCivilians and militants who are no longer fighting in the conflict have a right to receive the help they need, whether it’s medical care, food, water or shelter. This means that restricting the delivery of humanitarian aid — through naval and air blockades, closing ports or confiscating supplies — is prohibited. In fact, deliberately causing starvation and hunger is a war crime.6. No unnecessary or excessive loss and sufferingThe tactics and weapons used in war must be proportionate and necessary to achieve a definitive military objective. The use of weapons that are “by nature indiscriminate,” according to the Geneva Conventions, is prohibited. For example, the use of land mines, while not banned, is limited because they can indiscriminately kill and maim both combatants and civilians.Joanne Lu is a freelance journalist who covers global poverty and inequity. Her work has appeared in Humanosphere, The Guardian, Global Washington and War is Boring. Follow her on Twitter @joannelu. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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The Supreme Courts Decision on Health Care Subsidies What You Need to

first_img Add to Queue Image credit: REUTERS | Joshua Roberts This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine 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. March 4, 2015 Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Laura Lorenzetti Obamacarecenter_img –shares The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Wednesday in a case that could derail the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, and potentially increase the cost of insurance for millions across the U.S. It’s a big deal, and it has insurance companies, medical providers and everyday workers holding their breath.Here’s what you need to know about King v. Burwell before the case kicks off in the nation’s top court.What’s the case about?In short, it’s about the legality of insurance subsidies provided by the federal government under the ACA to only those people enrolled through federal exchanges (i.e. Healthcare.gov).The ACA established exchanges where individuals and small businesses could buy coverage. The intention was for the states to do this on their own, but 34 states chose not to. Therefore, the federal government stepped in and launched Healthcare.gov for anyone in those particular states who wanted to shop for coverage.The exchanges are where the subsidies come into play: the government allows for a subsidy for anyone registered through an exchange who cannot financially handle the full cost of a healthcare plan. According to the government’s interpretation of the ACA, the subsidy is available to anyone who buys insurance through any exchange, whether it was established by the federal government or a state.The King prosecution disagree. The ACA bill states the subsidies apply to “an Exchange established by the State,” and therefore the challengers allege that anyone who purchased coverage through a federal exchange is not eligible for a subsidy. Subsidies would only apply to those who bought coverage through a state-run exchange.What’s at stake?If the Supreme Court rules in favor of King, it would end up leaving millions without insurance because they would not longer be able to afford the premiums, or the deductible. Last year, over 5 million people bought insurance on federal exchanges and about 87% of them qualified for subsidies. If those people opt out of buying insurance, it could end up making everyone’s healthcare a lot more expensive in the affected states.What could happen if the subsidies are struck down?The worst case scenario? A “death spiral” of rising insurance costs for everyone in the 34 states where federal subsidies would no longer apply, according to Simon Lazarus, senior counsel to the Constitutional Accountability Center.Here’s how the death spiral could work: If healthy people opt out of insurance coverage because it’s not worth the price (which would be the case without subsidies for many low- and middle-income Americans), the population buying into the system would be weighted toward relatively sick people who value the coverage even at higher prices. In order to be able to afford these clients, insurance companies will raise premiums, which in turn causes more people to leave the market. The cycle would repeat itself, spiraling until insurance rates are unwieldy, even to the point where insurers leave the individual market altogether.“People who don’t have group health policies will see premium rates skyrocket. So, many of them will decide not to hold policies.” said Lazarus. “This ‘death spiral’ happened in the 1990s, and it’s what the ACA was designed to avoid.”In the 1990s a handful of states implemented laws that made insurers cover everyone, despite their health status, and offered no subsidies. The result was that insurance premiums skyrocketed and the number of people opting into the insurance pool went down. Sicker people continued to buy insurance even as prices grew, and more and more healthy people fled. Insurance companies abandoned the individual market in some of these states because it became financially unfeasible, and in the states where they remained, prices stayed very high.If the subsidies disappear and a number of low-income, relatively healthy people opt out of insurance coverage, that could destabilize the market for everyone in those states. An economic forecast by the RAND Corporation estimates that prices could rise by as much as 47% and enrollment in the individual market would fall by about 70%. That means about 8 million people in the 34 affected states could become uninsured if the subsidies disappear.Would that mean the end of Obamacare?Not totally. The expansion of Medicaid will remain in place for all individuals who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level, and states that established their own exchanges will not be affected. However, across more than half the U.S., the ACA will essentially be gutted.“One thing that you’ll get is an even sharper and sadder gap in the quality of health care between relatively blue [liberal] and relatively red [conservative] states,” said Lazarus.There are three key components of the ACA. First, the insurance reforms, which guarantee universal access to insurance despite any pre-existing conditions. Second, there is the individual mandate, which ensures there is a balanced pool of healthy and unwell subscribers. Third, there are the tax credits and subsidies that ensure everyone can afford coverage.“Remove one leg and the whole thing falls apart,” Lazarus explained.A ruling against the government would make the individual mandate moot in many cases, since it can be waived if a person cannot find affordable insurance, which is especially likely if the “death spiral” takes place. This could all add up to a 1990s-style implosion for states that don’t have their own exchanges pending the Supreme Court’s final decision come June. 5 min read The Supreme Court’s Decision on Health Care Subsidies: What You Need to Know Next Article Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

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Air pollution on the rise outside GP offices and hospitals finds study

first_img Source:https://www.blf.org.uk/take-action/campaign/nhs-toxic-air-report By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDOct 26 2018A new report has shown that the air outside the offices of General Practitioners and outside hospitals are high in pollutants. This can aggravate the lung problems in patients of asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) says the report.The report looks at the air quality of 2,200 GP surgeries and 248 hospitals and has shown that the air particles called particulate matter or PM2.5, around them exceed the recommended levels from the World Health Organisation (WHO). When patients with pre-existing lung conditions visit these places, they are put at a great risk the report states.The tiny particles of air pollutants are capable of passing via nose into the lungs and blood stream of the patients visiting these offices and hospitals. These can lead to asthma exacerbations as well says the report. The study was backed by the British Lung Foundation and was conducted by the Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants.The researchers have said that this level of air pollution is “unacceptable”. Alison Cook, director of policy at Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants in a statement said, “It can’t be right that hospital staff and GPs must care for people in environments that could worsen their symptoms and could be putting them at risk of a whole range of health problems.”A total of around 10,000 NHS health centres and areas around them were looked at in this study. It was noted that one third of GP practices and one fourth of hospitals are located in regions where air pollution is beyond recommended safe levels. Not surprisingly, the levels of pollution are greatest in major and moderately large cities such as London and Birmingham as well as Cardiff, Leeds, Leicester, Nottingham and Southampton. Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and Birmingham’s ChildrenRelated StoriesResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesHospital were particularly vulnerable to pollution, the report said. Smaller towns too were not free from pollution says the report and cites examples of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, Cornwall, Ipswich, Westcliff-on-Sea, Gillingham, Worthing, Kettering, Basingstoke, Colchester, Hull and Chelmsford. Wales came up with 54 GP surgeries that were located in air polluted areas while Scotland had three in Aberdeen, Falkirk and Berwickshire which were in polluted regions.Dr Maria Neira, from the WHO said that these hospitals and the GP surgeries were the “heart and lungs” of the healthcare system and no one who was visiting these places should be at risk of being exposed to air pollution. The British Lung Foundation also added that at least 12 million people are at risk of air pollution and its harmful effects. Improving the air quality can reduce the exacerbation and aggravation of thousands of cases of asthma, COPD, heart disease, stroke and lung cancers, the BLF says.Air pollution is responsible for around 40,000 prematrue deaths in the UK annually say the statistics. According to a statement from a Defra spokesman, the Government would adhere to its Clean Air Strategy and said, “The forthcoming Environment Bill will include provisions to improve air quality.”UK currently meets its own maximum legally recommended pollutant PM2.5 levels but this is twice as high as the WHO recommendation. This report comes right before the next week’s WHO global pollution conference.last_img read more

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Racism is toxic to humans study shows

first_imgThe survival of all living things depends on their ability to respond to infections, stresses and injuries. Such threats trigger an immune system response to fend off pathogens and repair damaged tissues. A select group of genes are key to this defense mechanism, and inflammation is a sign that those genes are working to counter the threat or repair the damage.Inflammation serves to protect an organism from a health threat. But if someone feels under threat for long periods of time, their health may suffer significantly with chronic inflammation.”If those genes remain active for an extended period of time, that can promote heart attacks, neurodegenerative diseases, and metastatic cancer,” says co-author Steve Cole of the University of California, Los Angeles.In previous studies, Cole had found that inflammatory responses are heightened among people in socially-marginalized, isolated groups. “We’ve seen this before in chronic loneliness, poverty, PTSD, and other types of adversity,” he says. “But until now, nobody had looked at the effects of discrimination.”Inflammation’s link to racismFor the study, Thames and her co-authors focused on a group of 71 subjects: two-thirds of them were African Americans; the others were white.In addition, 38 of the participants were positive for HIV. Their participation gave scientists a chance to study the effects of racism independently from the effects of the disease.Related StoriesNovel method can help clinicians identify individuals most in need of PrEPHIV persists in spinal fluid even after long-term treatment and is linked to cognitive deficitsStudy: HIV patients continue treatments if health care providers are compassionateThe scientists extracted RNA from the participants’ cells and measured molecules that trigger inflammation, as well as those involved in antiviral responses. The research team found higher levels of the inflammatory molecules in African American participants.The results also indicate that racism may account for as much as 50 percent of the heightened inflammation among African Americans, including those who were positive for HIV.Ruling out other stressorsThe scientists made sure that all the participants had similar socioeconomic background to account for financial stressors, which eliminated poverty as a potential factor for chronic inflammation among the people in the study.”Racial discrimination is a different type of chronic stressor than poverty,” Thames says. “People navigate poverty on a day-to-day basis and are aware that it is happening. They might even be able to address financial stressors through job changes, changes in earnings and financial management. But with discrimination, you don’t always realize that it’s happening.”Individuals’ decisions or lifestyles can reduce the ill effects of some stressors, but racial discrimination is a chronic stressor that people have no control over. “You can’t change your skin color,” she says.Thames notes that this latest study has an obvious limitation: The sample size was small. But she says the results signal that scientists should repeat the study with a larger sample to fully determine the inflammatory effects of racism on people of color.Source:University of Southern CaliforniaJournal reference:Thames, A.D. et al. (2019) Experienced discrimination and racial differences in leukocyte gene expression. Psychoneuroendocrinology. doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.04.016. We know discrimination is linked to health outcomes, but no one was sure exactly how it harmed health. I looked at it as a chronic stressor. Our results showed that racial discrimination appears to trigger an inflammatory response among African Americans at the cellular level.”April Thames, associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 31 2019A new study indicates that racism is toxic to humans.A team of USC and UCLA scientists found that racist experiences appear to increase inflammation in African American individuals, raising their risk of chronic illness, according to the study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology on April 18.last_img read more

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Study Early screening of autism may not be as beneficial as previously

first_imgPål Suren explains: “We generally want both sensitivity and specificity to be as high as possible. There isa trade-off between the two. If the threshold for testing positive is lowered, sensitivity increases but usually at the price of decreasing specificity – and vice versa”.Related StoriesTransgenerational BPA exposure may contribute to autism, study findsBullying in children with ASD gets worse with ageHigh levels of acid in processed foods could affect fetus’ developing brainLanguage delay is a common symptom of autism. However, most of the children (76 per cent) with autism had developed phrase speech at 36 months and did not have significant cognitive delays. For these children, screening scores largely overlap scores in those without autism, meaning it is hard to distinguish these children from children with normal development.The results and methods are presented in more detail in BJPsych Open.BackgroundAutism spectrum disorders (ASD) are neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by persistent impairment in reciprocal social communication and interaction, and restricted, repetitive behavioural patterns. Symptoms usually appear by the second year of life. ASD is often referred to as just “autism”.Current guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics state that ASD screening should be included in general developmental check-ups at ages 18 and 24 months. British guidelines, however, do not recommend universal autism screening. The benefits and disadvantages of such screening have never been assessed in population-based studies.Sensitivity and specificitySensitivity is the proportion of individuals with a condition who test positive. This is a measure of the test’s ability to detect those who have the condition.Specificity is the proportion of individuals without a condition who test negative. This is a measure of the precision of the test, i.e. the test’s ability to distinguish between those with and without the condition.Source:Norwegian Institute of Public HealthJournal reference:Surén, P. et al. (2019) Sensitivity and specificity of early screening for autism. BJPsych Open. doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2019.34 Current available evidence does not support universal early screening for autism.”Dr Pål Surén, lead author of the study Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 17 2019Screening for autism at three years of age only identifies those with significant developmental delay, and not those with less severe autism. Early screening may therefore not be as beneficial as previously thought, according to data from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study.This study measured the extent with which a commonly used screening tool could identify children with autism at 36 months. It found that the tool identified only one in five children who had autism.The screening identified individuals with autism spectrum disorders with significant development delay well but captured very few children with autism who have cognitive skills in the normal range.The authors of this study therefore question whether the benefits of nationwide screening outweigh the costs. Of the 385 children with autism, only one out of five children with autism tested positive at age three. In other words, screening sensitivity was 20 per cent. Screening captured only a minority of the children with autism and mainly those with significant developmental delay. Overall, screening specificity was 99 per cent. This means that the instrument has high precision because there were relatively few “false positives” (only 1 % children without autism tested positive). By lowering the cut-off score in the screening tool, sensitivity improved but led to a considerable increase in the number of false positives. About this studyThis study investigated the “sensitivity” and “specificity” of population-based autism screening at three years of age (see background). A total of 58 520 mothers from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study participated. They answered the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ), a 40-item screening instrument for autism spectrum disorders. The children were followed up until the end of 2015, when they were aged from six to 14-years-old. By the end of the follow-up, 385 children (0.7 per cent) were identified as autistic.Findingslast_img read more

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Brave new world of robotic architecture dawning

Storage in dose administration aids doesn’t affect warfarin Citation: Brave new world of robotic architecture dawning (2018, February 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-brave-world-robotic-architecture-dawning.html 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. As noted earlier, robotic construction methods are already in use, and Daas said this will only accelerate, with robots making “everything from small things all the way to skyscrapers.”They become part of building our world,” he said.As for the cultural effect of robots, Daas said that, too, is already happening.”With the invention of the clock, we framed the world, the universe, as a clock—a mechanism that keeps ticking,” Daas said. “Then when we began to use computers, we began to see the world as informational systems, including ourselves. So first we were machines, and then we were computers, and now we are robots. So in that sense it is a cultural phenomenon. We think the robot is the other, but little do we realize it is more about ourselves. Technically, as well as conceptually and experientially, the distinction between robots and humans is fuzzier than ever.”OK, so we’re already building and maintaining things robotically, but what about designing them? Isn’t that the heart of architecture: something irreplaceably human?”We talk about robots and artificial intelligence for design,” Daas said. “How we use robots in the design process, moving from the design process to prototype things. In that sense, robots become partners in exploring and designing. So it’s not that robots are going to take over, but the distinction between robots and us begins to get blurred. One becomes the extension of the other.”Daas believes that robots won’t obviate humans in his field but will instead enhance human life.”We are only afraid of what we don’t understand,” he said. “You have to demystify new technology. If you don’t, we’re driven by fear and baffled by that experience. It is a brave new world.” Explore further Credit: University of Kansas Sure, there have already been 3-D printed houses. And you can pick up a Nest Thermostat with artificial intelligence at your local hardware store. But a new book co-written and co-edited by Mahesh Daas, dean of the University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design, argues that robotics can and soon will be even further integrated into the design processes at the heart of architecture. Daas and his collaborator on “Towards a Robotic Architecture” (2018, Applied Research & Design Publishing), Temple University Assistant Professor of Architecture Andrew John Wit, brought together a variety of notable authors to survey the latest developments in the field.Daas said that, after an introductory framing of the question, the book explores such endeavors as robotic construction methods, robotics used for building operation, and maintenance and the use of robotics in design itself. Finally, it looks to the future, including a chapter on how robotic construction could make life on Mars possible.Daas said robots have fascinated him since he first encountered a robotic toy as a child. He has been involved in the field professionally for 20 years, serving, for instance, as president of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture from 2007-09. He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Architectural Computing.Despite some scary sci-fi depictions, robotics is nothing to be afraid of, Daas said. On the contrary, he said, robots will be necessary to do many of the things we wish to do in the 21st century. Daas believes robotics will affect every sphere of life: environmental, conceptual and cultural.”The world of tomorrow will not be possible without robotics,” Daas said. “They might be used as agricultural pollinators, as better ways to take care of wilderness, out in oceans. How do you track waste floating around the ocean? Going to Mars. We cannot get there without robots. Climate change can’t be combated without robots and artificial intelligence. We can’t solve the problems of today with the ideas of yesterday.”Indeed, our world is already being affected by robotics, Daas said.”Take the environment. Take self-driving cars,” he said. “There are already companies betting on it; cities are preparing for it. So the environment in which we live is already being transformed by robotic agencies of that kind. Why are drones so popular now? Because they are robotic. The technology of flight is not new. The helicopter is not new. But the ability to sense and respond in real time is new. That’s why drones have become so commonplace. They will transform … every topic: agriculture, biology, medicine and architecture.” Provided by University of Kansas read more

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5G Five things to know

first_img Here are five things to know about the fifth-generation successor to today’s 4G technology, which is a decade old and struggling to keep pace with global broadband demand.— What is 5G? —5G promises radically quicker transfers of data, instigating major changes to an array of products and services from self-driving cars to “telemedicine”.On the entertainment front, users will be able to download a high-definition movie in a few minutes compared to an hour or two now. The market for streaming video games, a rapidly growing area, will get a huge lift, as will the “internet of things”—domestic appliances, lighting and other at-home technologies connected and operated remotely.It’s not just about speed of downloads and uploads. 5G promises much lower “latency” than 4G. That is the time lag between a command being sent by a user and a device acting on it.In the real world, that brings into play the possibility of factory robots being operated remotely or surgeons operating on patients from far away using augmented reality glasses. © 2019 AFP Fifth-generation or 5G mobile networks promise ultra-fast downloads, but will there be a rapid rollout and uptake of the technology? Explore further In addition to making network equipment, Huawei has become a major supplier of phones Huawei chairman says ready to sign ‘no-spy’ deal with UK A Samsung Galaxy S10 5G smartphone displayed at a telecom shop in Seoul last month The most visible gain from lower latency could be with the widespread advent of self-driving cars. But these will need 5G networks to cover large areas, which is some way off.— When’s it coming? —5G is already here in South Korea and for fixed internet lines in some US cities. It is also available in parts of Estonia, Finland and Switzerland.The global breakthrough—widespread ultra-fast mobile networks on a par with 4G today—is still in the works.Japan and China are targeting 2020 for nationwide rollouts. The rest of Asia and Europe will follow over the decade.But mobile communications industry body GSMA, which represents 800 operators worldwide, estimates 5G will account for just 15 percent of total global mobile connections in 2025.And when will most of us see 5G smartphones? China’s Huawei was set to launch a 5G phone later Thursday in London.But broad adoption by consumers depends on 5G networks spreading far enough, and for the handhelds’ chips and other architecture to be capable of handling the added workload. Governments first need to harmonise standards for the award of so-called millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum, which will carry the vast data flows promised by 5G.That high-frequency mmWave spectrum starts at about 30 gigahertz. In contrast, 4G networks operate at lower than 6 GHz. That means not only ultra-fast broadband but also much greater bandwidth for many more users and devices to be connected to the network at the same time.— Who’s building it? —To bring the promised speeds to the masses, 5G requires a whole new infrastructure of masts, base stations and receivers.Among the networking companies in the race are Huawei, Sweden’s Ericsson and Nokia of Finland. South Korean giant Samsung and China’s ZTE are other infrastructure players.Huawei says it offers better technology at a lower cost. The Chinese leader, however, is hitting hurdles in the global race. 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. It is heralded as an essential step to a brave new world of technology, but in the here and now, super-fast 5G networking is already pitting China against the West. — What’s the fuss? —The US government says Huawei—founded by former Chinese army engineer Ren Zhengfei—is a security risk and has urged allies including Britain to shun its equipment over fears it could serve as a Trojan horse for Chinese intelligence services.The US government has banned all federal agencies from acquiring Huawei equipment. Others including Australia, Japan and India have followed suit. Against the backdrop of a US-China trade war, on Tuesday President Donald Trump went further by effectively barring Huawei from the US market.China then formally arrested two Canadians already being held on suspicion of stealing state secrets in a case seen as retaliation over Canada’s arrest of a Huawei executive on a US extradition request. — 5G, give us a wave — Citation: 5G: Five things to know (2019, May 16) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-5g.html An antenna for the ultra-fast 5G mobile networklast_img read more

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France to ban destroying unsold goods targeting Amazon luxury brands

first_imgFrance Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that a ban on the destruction of unsold goods, which will affect online retailers like Amazon, would go into effect within four years France’s prime minister on Tuesday announced a crackdown on the destruction of unsold or returned consumer products, a move that will affect online retailers such as Amazon and luxury goods brands. 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. Citation: France to ban destroying unsold goods, targeting Amazon, luxury brands (2019, June 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-france-unsold-goods-amazon-luxury.html Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that a ban on destroying non-food goods—such as clothes, electrical items, hygiene products and cosmetics—would come into force within the next four years.The announcement came after Green parties surged across Europe in last month’s European elections, not least in France where the EELV party came third with 13.5 percent of the vote.According to the French premier’s office, over 650 million euros ($730 million) worth of new consumer products are thrown away or destroyed in France every year, five times more than donations of the same products.The measure would make it compulsory to hand in such products for re-use or recycling.”It is a waste that shocks, that is shocking to common sense. It’s a scandal,” said Philippe, as he launched the measure at a discount store in Paris.The measure is part of a draft bill on the economy which is due to be discussed by the cabinet in July. It would apply by between 2021-2023.France’s junior environment minister Brune Poirson promised a law to tackle waste in January after a television documentary showed Amazon destroying millions of products that had been returned by consumers.Based on hidden camera footage, the documentary on the M6 channel showed containers of unsold or returned products at an Amazon warehouse being sent for destruction under agreements signed between the online giant and third-party retailers.British fashion firm Burberry also caused a furore last year by acknowledging that it had burned unsold clothes, accessories and perfume worth £28.6 million ($35.5 million) annually to prevent them being sold off cheaply.The aim was to maintain the exclusivity and luxury mystique of the brand and it later became clear that the practice was relatively commonplace in the industry.The French PM’s office said special arrangements are anticipated for the luxury sector which would be encouraged to recycle the goods.This would avoid the risk of the copyright problems the luxury brands fear were the goods to be simply given away to third parties, an official at the French premier’s office said.Products which are not usable after a certain date would have exceptions.President Emmanuel Macron has sought to portray himself as a friend of the Green movement, especially in the fight against climate change.But his image was tarnished when prominent campaigner Nicolas Hulot, who Macron had named as environment minister, spectacularly quit the government last August, saying that his cabinet colleagues were doing too little to tackle climate change.center_img Self-destructive behaviour: Burberry not alone Explore further © 2019 AFPlast_img read more

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