ParkCloud Brings Sata Azores Airlines Partnership Into Land

first_imgOne of Portugal’s leading airlines, Sata Azores Airlines, is the latest international carrier to choose ParkCloud to market its parking services online for its global network of passengers. As the European leader in its field with in excess of 22 airline collaborations, ParkCloud is well situated in the market to support Sata Azores Airlines’ ancillary product expansion, with its extensive car park inventory currently spanning 42 countries worldwide. Affiliated exclusively via newly developed co-branded site https://sataazores.parkcloud.com, airline passengers will be able to browse and book a range of parking products to complement their flight booking at 295 car parks in 41 locations across Europe, Canada and the US. Customers will also be able to compare individual car park features, prices and consumer reviews via the platform’s intuitive search engine capabilities. In addition to the expertise ParkCloud employs to boost the visibility of its partners’ parking offers, the reservation specialist also provides customer service support, enabling fluidity at every stage for a growing network of customers looking for simple yet reliable online booking services. ParkCloud’s Brand Partnership Manager, Nicola Pilling, said: “With intelligent travel solutions advancing all the time, collaborations such as our recent agreement with Sata Azores Airlines demonstrate how likeminded companies are planning for flexibility in terms of the availability and reach of desired services. “Helping to bring the itineraries of passengers full-circle dovetails perfectly with ParkCloud’s ongoing commitment to streamlining the parking process in order to create a more personalised approach to the overall travel experience.” Centrally situated from headquarters in São Sebastião, Ponta Delgada, Sata Azores Airlines also operates nine domestic routes throughout the Azores, as well as flying internationally. To find out more about ParkCloud, please visit www.parkcloud.com.  About  ParkCloud ParkCloud, simply put, lets drivers book a parking space in advance, in the same way as it’s possible to do with hotel rooms, restaurant tables…and even a coffee these days. When travelling, parking is usually the last thing on anybody’s mind, but research shows that as much as 20 minutes is wasted when searching for a parking space. ParkCloud aims to solve that problem by letting customers make a parking booking, whether they are getting on a plane, taking a cruise, catching a train, or visiting a city or event. ParkCloud was founded in 2008 as an online parking reservation service and within the 10 years we’ve been operating our success and growth has been rapid. Today we are an award-winning, global provider, working with car park operators across 42 countries to include them on our comparison search engine, which aims to give consumers the most user friendly, efficient service possible when they need it most. This bookable parking network is also made available to travel industry partners to help complete the itineraries of passengers worldwide. Winner of Queen’s Award for International Tradehttp://www.parkcloud.com About SATA Azores AirlinesWith more than seventy-five years of experience, SATA Group has a modern and functional structure, adjusted to the challenges of an extremely demanding and competitive sector. Its fleet is divided between its two airlines. SATA Air Açores flies 37-seat Bombardier Q200 and 80-seat Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft, while Azores Airlines flies 165-seat A320-200, 186-seat A321neo aircraft, operating flights to mainland Portugal and islands, Europe, the United States, and Canada.SATA Group’s five companies are involved in air transport, tourism promotion, airfield management, and ground-handling services for all airlines landing on the Azorean soil. The company’s growth strategy that contains the mission of taking the Azores to the World and the World to the Azores endures.last_img read more

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Emma Watson Spotlights Efforts To End Child Marriage In Malawi

first_imgThanks to growing implementation of a law passed last year, child marriage may soon be a relic of Malawi’s past, and on the eve of the International Day of the Girl Child, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson visited the country to celebrate the achievements of UN Women, the Malawian Government, local chiefs and girls who have returned to school after having their marriages annulled.UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson (centre) visits Mtakataka Secondary School in the District of DedzaCredit/Copyright: UN Women/Karin Schermbrucker“Meeting with young girls, who like many in their country, are struggling with poverty and were pressured into early marriage, depriving them of their education in the process, made me realize just how important it is for women to be able to make their own choices, said Ms. Watson, adding: “It’s so encouraging to see how such a harmful practice can be stopped when communities work together to pass laws, and then turn those laws into reality.”In 2015, Malawi passed the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act, raising the minimum age of marriage to 18. Since then, UN Women has worked with partners and tribal chiefs to ensure that the law is implemented at a local level. Malawi’s President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, who is an Impact Champion of the HeForShe Campaign, has appointed a special task force to see that the law is fully implemented within five years.According to UN Women, Malawi has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world: half of girls are married before the age of 18, usually because families are too poor to continue to support them. Moreover, teen pregnancies account for 20 to 30 per cent of maternal deaths, and a mere 45 per cent of girls continue their education beyond the 8th grade.Excluding China, one-third of girls from developing countries are married before the age of 18, ending their childhood and right to education. Early marriage practices also expose girls to physical and sexual abuse as well as early pregnancies before they are emotionally or physically ready to care for a child.Malawi’s law is the result of 12 years of effort, including cooperation between UN Women and local community chiefs. Around the world, UN Women advocates for the adoption and implementation of laws that prohibit and prevent child marriage. It empowers girls and women to know their rights, and rallies communities to help bring an end to the practice.Ms. Watson’s visit brings to light the work of these communities and their international partners. In Dedza, a district in Central Malawi, she met with Chief Kachindamoto, a prominent leader in the fight to end child marriage whose efforts have earned her the nickname ‘The Terminator,’ thanks to her tireless efforts.Ms. Watson praised Chief Kachindamoto, who “has implemented the annulment of so many child marriages and restored the future of these girls. With the help and collaboration of her local chiefs, mothers’ group and religious leaders, she has managed to annul almost 1,500 child marriages, sending the girls back to school. Because of bold and brave leadership like this, things may start to change. It was amazing to be on the ground with UN Women to witness their work!”This work is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As UN Country Representative Clara Anyangwe explains, “progress is not possible without investing in women and girls. They are our future and constitute half of any society’s promise and resources.” UN Women’s Planet 50-50 by 2030 calls upon governments to empower women and girls to reach their full potential by making national commitments such as the one in Malawi that Ms. Anyangwe calls “a top priority for change.”The UN marks the International Day of the Girl Child annually on 11 October. This year’s theme is ‘Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls,’ and urges stakeholders to take the opportunity provided by the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs to harness the data required to ensure programmes, policies and services effectively respond to the specific needs of girls.last_img read more

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Feds promise to guard Canadian jobs before approving BombardierAirbus deal

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have promised to build in safeguards to make sure this week’s stunning deal between Bombardier and European rival Airbus helps — and doesn’t hurt — Canada’s aerospace industry.Airbus wants to buy a majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries commercial planes, whose future has been in question after U.S. officials proposed a hefty 300 per cent import duty on the jet program.The two plane makers hope that by working together, they can skirt the duties by building CSeries planes for U.S. customers in Alabama instead of outside the U.S.But the proposal, which still needs federal approval, has raised questions about whether it will result in job losses in Quebec, where Bombardier is based, and weaken Canada’s aerospace industry.Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains promised Tuesday that the Trudeau government would require several long-term promises from Airbus before signing off on the deal.Sources say those undertakings were negotiated in advance by the government and Airbus, and include keeping 100 per cent of those employed at Bombardier’s main CSeries assembly plant in Mirabel, Que.Airbus would also keep and even expand production at the Mirabel plant, which is currently running under capacity, while also adding an assembly line in Alabama to meet demand from U.S. customers.Canada will also become the company’s fifth “home base,” and first outside Europe, to allow Canadian industry to tap into the company’s supply chain, while the CSeries headquarters will remain in Quebec.The European company will also take over repayment of the federal government’s $372-million loan to Bombardier for research and development of the 100- to 150-seat commercial planes.“I oversee this process,” Bains said outside the House of Commons, “and I will make sure we get the maximum economic benefit for Canadians.”But one question remains: how long Airbus will be required to maintain employment and production levels under the agreement, and whether Canada will continue to benefit after that period has expired.Bains said the government was looking for “long-term production guarantees in Canada” that would run “at least a minimum of 20 to 25 years,” though an official said that was still to be negotiated.The minister was more guarded about employment levels, though he hoped the deal result in thousands of CSeries planes being ordered and built in Montreal.“We think the potential sales opportunity in this segment is up to 6,000 over the next 20 to 25 years,” he said.“So that means there’ll be stable, predictable production opportunities in the Mirabel facility … and that means more jobs, up to 5,000 jobs in that facility.”Peter Glossop, a foreign investment lawyer with Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt, said most government-imposed undertakings run for three years when a foreign company takes over a Canadian entity.That means the foreign company can basically do whatever it wants once the time period expires, including cut jobs in Canada.But shutting down or slashing production at the Mirabel plant could be difficult given its expertise with the CSeries, he said, which could ensure its sustainability over the long run.“There’s lots of embedded know-how in Canada, so just shutting all that down would be quite difficult,” Glossop said. “These people know how to build them.”— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter read more

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Indian envoy takes on opposition over economy pact

Tracing the genesis of the proposed pact, the High Commissioner said Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, during his visit to New Delhi in September, had set “very ambitious timelines,” according to which the framework agreement should be concluded by 2015 end or 2016 early and the final agreement by June 2016.The diplomat expressed the hope that there would be an understanding over the framework of the ETCA soon.On the rationale behind the fresh pact, he said there was no formal agreement in place to regularise “investment and services” even though India invested $one billion since 2003 and another $1.5 billion to 2 billion was in the pipeline, apart from the existence of three modes of trade in services and the issue of 350-400 employment visas by Indian High Commission to Sri Lankan nationals last year. Even in the respect of the two fields of the services sector, it was sought to be done at the request of the government of Sri Lanka, which felt that India could help it immensely. “We do not know what the ETCA will do because serious negotiations have not begun,” Mr. Sinha pointed out. Sinha’s response was in the context of views expressed in certain quarters that the proposed ETCA would deprive job opportunities for Sri Lankans in a host of fields including information technology and the Free Trade Agreement, effective since March 2000, had not been beneficial to Sri Lanka. India’s High Commissioner Y K Sinha has taken on former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Joint Opposition, an informal coalition of pro-Rajapaksa parties and groups, over the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) between India and Sri Lanka, The Hindu newspaper reported.Referring to reported observations of the former President and members of the Joint Opposition against the ETCA, Mr. Sinha, who did not mention the name of any Sri Lankan leader opposing the pact, told members of the Sri Lanka-India Society on Friday that he was “surprised” to come across Mr. Rajapaksa’s statements in sections of the local press on the issue. Giving an account of the CEPA negotiations during 2005-2008 (when Mr. Rajapaksa was President), he said the CEPA, “which is [now] a dirty word here,” was “almost concluded.” Sixteen rounds of negotiations were held, many of which were “detailed.”Even the two countries had “tentatively” agreed on a draft. “At the last minute, the Government of Sri Lanka indicated its inability to sign that agreement,” which was subsequently “shelved.”As part of the now-aborted agreement, under Mode 4 [of the General Agreement on Trade in Services] which pertained to “movement of natural persons,” Sri Lanka had agreed to open up two sectors — marine ship building and information technology (IT)/ IT-Enabled Services, both of which were “very limited fields,” while India would throw open nearly 80 sectors. It was Mr. Rajapaksa’s government that held negotiations with India over the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which had included “trade in services.” He described as “quite amusing” the statements of members of the Joint Opposition, some of whom were Ministers during the Rajapaksa regime, when the CEPA, he said, was negotiated. Qualifying his rebuttal, the diplomat said “I hesitate to get into the political controversy” but he felt “constrained” to join the debate because “I do not think we should let naysayers take all the public space on this issue without anyone else trying to put the facts.”Emphasising that he had not seen any draft text of the ETCA, he said what he received “two days ago” was a draft text of the framework agreement, which might form the basis for further negotiations. He hastened to add that the draft framework agreement “is not necessarily an indication” of the nature and coverage of the discussions to be held in future. Terming “absurd” the argument that the 16-year-old FTA had not been beneficial to Sri Lanka, he said that in 1999, the value of Sri Lankan exports to India was $49 million and this went up to $645 million in 2015. Noting that there had not been much increase in the value of Sri Lankan exports since 2005, he raised the question whether this was due to “limited” base of the exports. He added that that the regulatory framework in India was “non-discriminatory.”The Emergency Ambulance Health Protection Service, modelled on the lines of the “108 Emergency Response Services” of India and being implemented with Indian government’s grant of $ 7.55 million, has nothing to do with the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), Mr. Sinha has said.Expressing dismay over the controversy on the launch of the scheme, Mr. Sinha said the service was in response to a “specific request” made by Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to his counterpart Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit here last year.Admitting that originally, the Indian side was not “that keen” when the request was made, the High Commissioner said this was because India had already extended its portfolio and it was providing assistance of over $2.6 billion (grants and loans combined). But, the service eventually came through as Mr. Wickremesinghe had followed up the matter with a formal letter and some Sri Lankan Ministers had visited India to study how the service was working.He clarified that ambulances would be registered in the name of the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine in the government of Sri Lanka and not that of GVKEMRI of India, the implementing agency in the initial phase. The service would be offered free of charge as long as the Indian government was funding it, he added. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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US defence chief Esper cautions Europe to be wary of China

LONDON — The new American secretary of defence, Mark Esper, is cautioning European allies to be wary of China’s growing global influence.In a speech to a British think-tank on Friday, Esper said countries that grow too dependent on Chinese investment and trade become susceptible to coercion and retribution when they cross Beijing.Esper was making the case for the Trump administration’s argument for doing more to counter what he called efforts by China and Russia to “disrupt the international order” to gain advantage. It was the first major policy speech by Esper since he became defence secretary in July.Esper also was meeting Friday with his British counterpart, Ben Wallace, amid a crisis over Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s determination to lead Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31.Robert Burns, The Associated Press read more

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The Latest Slain Honduran inspires womens equality fight

The Latest: Slain Honduran inspires women’s equality fight by The Associated Press Posted Mar 8, 2016 1:13 pm MDT Last Updated Mar 8, 2016 at 6:30 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW DELHI – The Latest on International Women’s Day (all times local):4:15 a.m.The head of the U.N. women’s agency says the fight for gender equality by 2030 should take inspiration from slain Honduran environmental activist Berta Caceras and women around the world working to achieve the goal.UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka began her speech Tuesday to a U.N. event on International Women’s Day on a sombre note: She asked ambassadors, diplomats and activists for a moment of silence in tribute to Caceras, the feminist indigenous leader shot dead five days ago.She then asked women and the growing number of men supporting gender parity to join together in a stepped-up campaign to achieve the U.N. goal.Mlambo-Ngucka said the Commission on the Status of Women meeting this month will establish “decisive actions” and milestones to check progress toward gender equality.___3:45 a.m.On International Women’s Day, the Committee to Protect Journalists is drawing attention to nine female journalists jailed for their work.The U.S.-based CPJ said Tuesday that the women reported on protests, riots, revelations of official corruption, deplorable living conditions and natural disasters. It says authorities reacted with strip searches, weapons and forgery charges and accusations of sexual misconduct.Most of the women have been convicted on anti-state charges, but two have not been charged at all despite still being held.The nine include four freelancers.___3:25 a.m.A new International Labor Organization report says women still face “significant obstacles” in getting decent jobs and there have been only marginal improvements in the last 20 years.The report says women’s significant progress in educational achievements since 1995 has not translated into comparable improvements in the workplace.In many regions, it says women are more likely to lose jobs and remain unemployed, and when they do find work they often have to accept lower quality jobs.The report was released Tuesday, International Women’s Day. The day carried the theme “Pledge for Parity.”The report calls for more — and higher quality — jobs for women, universal social protection and redistribution of unpaid care and household work.___3 a.m.The International Criminal Court is calling for greater co-ordination around the world to stop sexual and gender-based crimes.The Netherlands-based court points out on Tuesday — International Women’s Day — that women bear the brunt of rape, sexual slavery and other sexual violence during armed conflict.The court says in a news release that it’s committed to holding perpetrators accountable. It notes that its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, includes sexual and gender-based crimes in the definitions of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.The court says in the release that it complements national efforts to prosecute such crimes, so “increased co-operation will make efforts on both sides more efficient and effective.”___1:45 a.m.The president of the U.N. General Assembly is calling for more female diplomats and ambassadors — and perhaps the first-ever female U.N. secretary-general.Mogens Lykketoft told a U.N. event commemorating International Women’s Day that there must be increased participation of women not just in politics but across society to reach the U.N. goal of gender equality by 2030.Ban Ki-moon’s term as secretary-general ends on Dec. 31 and some U.N. member states are pushing for a female successor. Three of the seven current candidates to succeed him are women.Lykketoft called it “a glass ceiling for women for over 70 years.”She also called for a “head-on” campaign against gender stereotyping, saying violence against women and male control over “the bodies and the futures” of women and girls are unacceptable and must end.___1:40 a.m.The United Nations’ children’s and populations agencies are announcing an international initiative to end child marriage by 2030.UNICEF and UNFPA say they have started a program to prevent girls from marrying too young by involving families, communities, governments and young people in their effort. The announcement comes on International Women’s Day.The initiative focuses on increasing girls’ access to education and health care services, educating parents and communities on the dangers of child marriage, increasing economic support to families and strengthening laws that establish age 18 as the minimum for marriage.Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA’s executive director, says the agency will work with governments to uphold the rights of adolescent girls “so that girls can reach their potential.”___10:40 p.m.Romanians gave gifts of flowers and dedicated songs and poems to their mothers, wives, girlfriends and colleagues to celebrate International Women’s Day.Women, some dressed in bright colours, could be seen on a sunny Tuesday in the Romanian capital carrying flowers, and also in Bulgaria where the day is also celebrated.Elsewhere in Bucharest, some women marked the feminist origins of the day in an outdoor performance outside the National Theater, where they dressed in black. Women brandished a banner saying “March 8 is for fighting.”A survey published by the Romanian national news agency Agerpres on Tuesday said more than half of Romanians mark the day.International Women’s Day traces its history to the early 1900s.___10:25 p.m.U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is marking International Women’s Day by recalling scenes from his childhood in post-war South Korea.Ban remembers that as a boy he saw that women going into labour would leave their shoes outside the door and then look back in fear. He says his mother explained that “they are wondering if they will ever step into those shoes again.”More than half a century later Ban said women still risk death in childbirth.The U.N. chief said maternal mortality is “one of many preventable perils.”He also cites girls being subjected to “genital mutilation” and being attacked on the way to school. He also mentions women’s bodies being used “as battlefields in wars” and widows left shunned and impoverished.Ban said the key to ending these practices is empowering women.___10 p.m.The U.N.’s women’s rights organization has kicked off its inaugural HeForShe Arts Week in celebration of International Women’s Day in New York.Actors Emma Watson, the UN Women global goodwill ambassador, and Forest Whitaker, a UNESCO special envoy for peace, joined UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at The Public Theater in Manhattan to announce a week of arts events aimed at initiating a dialogue about gender equality.Watson says it’s not enough for people to rationally understand the necessity of gender equality. She says, “it’s also about making them feel it in their bones.”Arts venues around New York City, including ballets, Broadway theatres, museums and galleries, will take part in the initiative.___9:20 p.m.The U.N. cultural agency says girls are the first to be excluded from education, with more than 63 million out of school in more than 200 countries across the world.Almost 16 million girls between the ages of 6 and 11 will never get the chance to learn to read or write in primary school compared to about 8 million boys “if current trends continue,” according to a report from UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics released as part of International Women’s Day.UNESCO says gender disparities remain highest in the Arab States, sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia.The agency says that “across sub-Saharan Africa, 9.5 million girls will never set foot in a classroom compared to 5 million boys.”___7 p.m.Cambodia is one of the few countries where International Women’s Day is a public holiday, and its long-serving leader marked the occasion with a tongue-in-cheek call for protecting men’s rights.Prime Minister Hun Sen, better known for savaging his political enemies than joking about family life, said many men in Cambodia are oppressed by wives who do not let them go to wedding parties for fear that they would eye prettier women. He said he didn’t think he was being extreme in demanding that an association be set up to promote men’s rights.However, Hun Sen did not ignore the many problems besetting Cambodia’s women, highlighting unequal pay, fewer educational opportunities and domestic violence.___7 p.m.International Women’s Day typically happens during China’s annual ceremonial legislature. And Chinese state media are fond of marking the day with photo galleries of female journalists covering the legislature — “Beautiful Women Reporters” asking questions, checking their makeup, posing for selfies.The Communist Party-run People’s Daily said in a front-page editorial that women “can not only help to make homes more pleasant and lively, but also contribute their valuable female perspective and efforts to the progress of the entire society.” The editorial made no mention of leadership roles for women.Last year, the Chinese government detained five women just before International Women’s Day for planning to hand out fliers denouncing sexual harassment. The women were released 37 days later but remain criminal suspects.___5 p.m.Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for only female lawmakers to address the Indian parliament on International Women’s Day included silence because there weren’t enough women to speak.Of 543 elected members in the lower house, only 62 are women — or 12 per cent — and not all of them were prepared to address the assembly.Those who spoke Tuesday talked about allowing women’s entry into Hindu temples and better education for girls. They also demanded renewed effort in passing long-stalled legislation to require that 33 per cent of lawmakers be women.After all the women who wanted to speak had taken their turns, there was enough time left for the Speaker to ask the men in the house for input on the day’s agenda. Women wearing black scarves pose as laborers during a performance honoring the history of feminist movements, marking the International Women’s Day in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, March 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru) ROMANIA OUT read more

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Five questions with WPSC keynote speaker Jada Monica Drew

Jada Monica Drew is an author and diversity training expert. She will be presenting a keynote address and workshop aimed at youth at the upcoming White Privilege Symposium at Brock University Sept. 30-Oct.1. The following is a Q&A with Drew.Q: Why is a conversation about white privilege important for youth to participate in?A: Youth experience the effects of white privilege daily, whether they know it or not. It is important for youth to have a space to express their feelings, share their thoughts, and to work to make sense of the inequity they notice and feel daily.Q: What is SNAP and how does it assist youth in pushing for social change?The acronym SNAP means See Name Act Proceed. This is the framework we present to the youth as a way to structure the Youth Action Project experience. We discuss the many ways we SEE or witness how white privilege is enacted and demonstrated in our lives and the lives of others. White privilege plays out differently regionally, nationally and even in different socioeconomic classes. The youth work collectively with the adult leaders to NAME white privilege. This means we all work towards a shared definition. The process of creating and developing shared language is a valuable tool for awareness and understanding that leads towards change. We strategize with the youth to generate methods for ACTION. These acts can include starting a school club, hosting a group meeting, or sharing knowledge with peers and family members. The YAP team believes in the power and the voice our youth have and we make space for them to brainstorm how to create action, but also to think about long-term sustainability. We share examples of what it looks like to PROCEED after YAP and after a short-term action.Q: In your experience, how are youth best reached and engaged on social issues?A: In my experience, they are best reached by allowing space, room and intense listening. Youth have so much to say and they also have so many solutions. However, adults get in the way by simply not allowing them to share. Engaging them in their language is important as well. Social media is led by youth. I bring in social media and multimedia tools to engage them. Over the years, the YAP experience has been led more and more by youth leaders. Research shows that peers learn best from peers.Q: What can adults do to help empower and inspire youth to get involved?A: Adults can do 3 things:1. Work hard every day to understand their own privileges (adult, race, religion, gender, class, language, etc) and to uncover their actions of bias.2. Create innovative space for youth to share.3. Listen to the ideas of our youth and support them to act without trying to make their ideas fit into your way of doing things.Q: In what ways can society start moving towards greater equality for all people?A: This answer requires a dissertation. In short, our motto at Social Designs is Historic Truth-Telling + Building Relationships + Creative Action = Social Justice. To achieve equity, we need to learn about historic and contemporary systemic laws, acts, and policies that have deliberately been put in place to advantage some people over others. It is also important that we have engaging and tough dialogue in mixed spaces to better understand each other. Then we must act. We must create innovation solutions for the inequity that is in space. These solutions have to be long-term and not quick Band-Aid fixes. read more

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The agony and the ecstasy of New Super Mario Bros 2

first_imgNew Super Mario Bros. 2, which was recently released for the Nintendo 3DS, is a brief, but inescapably accurate portrayal of everything that works and does not work with the 3DS. On the surface it’s YAMG (yet another Mario game) and it stays remarkably true to the formula.Since the 1988 release Super Mario Bros. 3, Nintendo has known exactly what gamers want from a 2D Mario game — the raccoon suit, the fire flower, bricks you smash by jumping, and a few swimming levels. The company has done an incredible job at keeping this formula interesting through many different iterations and platforms, but ultimately they know what people expect, and just how far things should be pushed before the natives get restless. The team also knows just what concoction brews up the secret sauce: that perfect Mario jump, the ideal degree of difficulty for all members of the family, and exactly how to introduce players to new perks and mechanics.Depending on your perspective this can be a good or bad thing. After all, Nintendo has managed to innovate without reinventing, to modernize without displacing our nostalgia, and to attract new players without losing the long-time fans. Depending on your perspective, this could be the sign of a company that doesn’t want to kill the golden goose or one that’s too complacent to survive in an ever-changing industry that thrives on creative destruction.One of the important aspects of a franchise that holds so many things constant is that the smallest changes can feel ever so important. While playing New Super Mario Bros. 2 I’ve been downright gleeful every time I get the gold flower, which turns Mario into a veritable King Midas. I’ve also been suspiciously eying the persistent coin counter, which gives me a virtual pat on the back every time I collect 1,000 new coins, reminding me both of the hard work I’ve done collecting them and the additional hours of my life that I’ve invested in jumping Mario into the same bricks and over the same koopa troopas.One of the most lackluster aspects of the otherwise extremely polished game is the 3D. This isn’t anything new for 3DS owners: the 3D perspective is unnecessary, uncomfortable and, unlike Super Mario 3D LandC$27.99 at Amazon, there are no times when 3D viewing is required to unlock a puzzle. I was able to play through long stretches of the game just as if I was still on my trusty DS Lite, having totally forgotten that 3D was even available.Not surprisingly, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is another fine addition to the franchise. The game has a new gold-obsessed Coin Rush mode, Mega (think 50-foot-tall) Mario is shockingly amusing the first time you get the power-up, and the game is still perfectly balanced. Like the other recent games, coins and lives are thrown at you with such reckless abandon that they lose all meaning. The stages are all ones we’ve seen before, and the game will not hesitate to pat you on the head and hold your hand if you have problems. Perhaps this biggest change with this release was that this game was not delivered to me as a cartridge, but as a download through the 3DS eShop.So yes, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is exactly what it sounds like, and the problems with both Nintendo and the 3DS remain unaddressed.last_img read more

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The one thing that stood out was the stag The stag stands

first_img Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloudSubscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: Saturday 4 May 2019, 7:00 AM Subscribe Johan Ackerman, now with Gloucester, pushed Ferreira to coach. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHOFerreira learned from many coaches at the Lions – Eugene Eloff, Jake White, Dick Muir and John Mitchell – as his role gradually morphed from analysis into coaching. When Johan Ackermann took on the head coach role in 2012, the transition became permanent as he was made defence coach of the Lions.“It was just the two of us as coaches,” says Ferreira. “After that, Johan just said, ‘I don’t want you behind a desk anymore. You’ve got to be on the pitch, I want you to coach.’“It really sparked it in 2012. You’ve got to take that knowledge you have from being an analyst into being a coach.“I’m not a guy that boasts but because I watched so much rugby and was so fanatical about rugby, that led to other things. With the analysis, it was going into depth about other teams, looking at trends in attack. Although you’re an analyst, I was allowed to speak up and suggest things, finding things that might improve the team.”Ferreira was also head analyst for the Lions up until leaving for Munster, but his role as defence coach was the priority. He helped the Lions to their 2015 Currie Cup success, as well as back-to-back Super Rugby finals in 2016 and 2017 when they had the best defence in the competition.“I had a strong idea what I wanted to do,” says Ferreira of being handed the defensive reins. “At the time, I would like to think what we did with the Lions wasn’t really in Super Rugby.“Very basically, it was to get the quicker guys on the outside and the slow guys to the inside and how you do that. It was different back then, everything with defence has changed since.”Defence has certainly transformed drastically in Ferreira’s time in the game, from a place where linespeed was nothing like the common theme it is now to the current status quo of having 13 or 14 players in the frontline racing towards the attack at speed.And shifting to Munster has been another welcome change for a defence coach coming from the Southern Hemisphere.“Defence in Europe is much more on the top shelf than what it is in Super Rugby,” explains Ferriera. “You’re sort of on the back burners in Super Rugby, where it’s more attack focused and the defence is just carrying the team but it’s lower down the order.”Coming in mid-season in December 2017 alongside van Graan was challenging for Ferreira, although he says previous defence coach Jacques Nienaber – now part of the Boks set-up with Rassie Erasmus – had left the place in good order. Ferreira started out as an analyst. Source: Matteo Ciambelli/INPHO“I didn’t come in here and say, ‘Ok, we’re scrapping everything and going with my way.’“I don’t believe in that, I believe that there was a system in place and it did work, but can there be improvements? Definitely, so I then implemented small things to improve it.”Ferreira focused on ensuring Munster’s players were better at staying ‘connected’ in defence. Even when bringing linespeed, Munster’s players have been good at working with the team-mates either side of them.“That was one area I asked questions of; ‘How come we are going into semi-finals and don’t go into finals?’ I looked at videos where we were trying to make crazy reads on the outside and taking ourselves out and teams were ripping us apart.“When you get into knock-out rugby, you’ve got to stay alive. If you’re going to take yourself out by trying to make a read, how are you going to get those trophies? So for me, it was trying to get that mindset of staying connected and staying alive.”Ferreira says he loves “getting my hands dirty” with the technical aspects of coaching defence, while his analysis background means he’s a big believer in the value of going through match footage in detail.Like most defence coaches, he stresses that mindset and communication are as important as anything, saying that “even if we had the shittest plan, it might actually be the best plan – there might be five different options of defending something but if we all agree on one, that can be the right thing.”In Ferreira’s eyes, defence can be straightforward if the attitude is right.“I said it to the lads at the beginning of the season, ‘If you’re not going to be a person that puts your body on the line, then you can’t play for this side.’ That’s how it should be. “Before I took this job in Munster, I really looked at the emblem. The one thing that stood out was the stag on the emblem.“The meaning behind that is that the stag stands its ground.“That, to me, is what we are about.“We stand our ground every single Saturday.”Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella are joined by Andy Dunne to discuss all the week’s rugby news.: May 4th 2019, 7:00 AM ‘The one thing that stood out was the stag… The stag stands its ground’ South African coach JP Ferreira has been in charge of stingy Munster defence this season. https://the42.ie/4618522 Share20 Tweet Email center_img 25,230 Views 7 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Murray Kinsella Short URL JOHANN VAN GRAAN and JP Ferreira first met as players in their native South Africa, although Ferreira – who is now Munster’s defence coach – had no memory of it until someone sent him a photo of an old match programme just before he moved to Ireland.Ferreira and van Graan, it transpired, had been in the same matchday squad for the University of Pretoria in the early 2000s.By the time Munster head coach van Graan had convinced Ferreira to relocate his young family to Limerick in December 2017, the pair were more than familiar with each other. Source: Munster RugbyThey first built a relationship during their time as analysts, van Graan working for the Blue Bulls and Ferreira for the Lions, then furthered the friendship as coaches when they were part of the Springboks’ staff on the 2016 November tour.Van Graan is still only 39, while Ferreira is four years his junior – these are relatively young men in the world of rugby coaching but their upward trajectory is one that is increasingly common in the sport: analyst to coach.Van Graan and Ferreira didn’t have high-profile playing careers but both men share a lifelong obsession with rugby that has catapulted them towards their work with one of the most famous teams in the game.Ferreira, coming towards the end of his first full season with the province, has overseen a superb defensive campaign from Munster – who have conceded the fewest number of tries in both the Guinness Pro14 and Heineken Champions Cup.While Munster’s attack has struggled at times, Ferreira’s defence has been consistently excellent. As importantly, his wife and two young daughters are happy in Limerick and he feels part of the Munster family.“The first six months was always going to be challenging, especially coming in mid-season and trying to get to know everyone, suss it all out,” says the Pretoria man.“But the people have been unbelievable in getting us set up as a family. The players have really made us feel part of Munster, which is massive.”Ferreira has been a rugby fanatic from as early as he can remember, first playing at the age of seven.His father played club rugby but his athletic genes came from his mother, former international tennis player Brigitte Cuypers, who was a South African champion multiple times, as well as playing in Wimbledon, the US Open and the French Open. Ferreira has overseen Munster’s excellent defence this season. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHOGrowing up, Ferreira played at fullback or on the wing and recalls “always saying I’d rather kick a ball than study.” His future as an analyst was also hinted at in his youth.“I’ve still got tapes of the 1995 World Cup in a box I have in storage,” says Ferreira.“I used to come back from school, I was 12 at the time that World Cup was on the go, and I would put in tapes every single day and I’d watch them so many times that I was sitting there commentating myself as the commentators were also commentating.”Ferreira didn’t play in the famous Craven Week schoolboy competition – where many future pros first make their names – but some connections of his father’s managed to secure him a trial with Bridgend in Wales after he left school.“I went over to Wales the day after I finished my last school exam and little did I know but in the changing room were Dafydd James, Nathan Budgett, Gareth Thomas, and some Tongan guys like Maama Molitika and Josh Taumalolo,” says Ferreria.“I was taken aback by the size of them. I was only 18.”Ferreira impressed enough to secure a contract and spent seven months training with the senior team and playing with Bridgend’s U21s before returning home to South Africa.The Blue Bulls’ Ian Schwartz, who went on to be Springboks team manager, then invited the youngster into the franchise for a trial, after which Ferreira played for the Bulls at U19 and U20 level, as well as training with the Springboks 7s squad.But only Morné Steyn, Pierre Spies and Wynand Olivier of his U20 vintage advanced onto senior terms with the Bulls, with Ferreira moving to a smaller South African union called the Leopards and then onto the Falcons of the Gauteng province, who play in the Currie Cup.Ferreira suffered a knee injury in 2005 and it looked like he would be released by the Falcons until he was struck by an idea.“I told them, ‘If you’re not going to offer me a contract just to play, I’ll do the analysis for you.’ The analysis guy had just decided to leave. I knew I could get back to play, so they kept me on, I did the analysis and it took off from there.”Ferreira played on until 2007 – his final game was a Currie Cup defeat to the Sharks – before his growing reputation as a rugby brain drew an offer from the Lions in Super Rugby to work solely as an analyst.last_img read more

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Degree lecturers problems will be solved soon Union leaders

first_imgVemulawada: All the issues of Degree College lecturers will be solved soon, assured Dr K Surender Reddy, the State general secretary of Telangana Government Gazetted College Teachers Association (TGGCTA). On Wednesday, he visited Government Degree College at Agraharam of Vemulawada Urban mandal in Rajanna Sircilla district and discussed various issues pertaining to the lecturers working in government degree colleges. Also Read – Non-bailable warrant to Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury Advertise With Us Speaking on the occasion, Dr K Surendar Reddy informed that the junior lecturers, who were promoted to degree colleges in 2016, will receive the fitment formula related UGC scale and the issues related to UGC-2016, 7th Pay Commission will be solved with the orders that would be issued very soon. The Commissioner responded positively to pay salary for the lecturers, who worked in summer holidays and orders regarding this will be issued soon as per the information received, he assured. Also Read – Hyderabad: Wall collapse in Kukatpally damages four cars Advertise With Us The lecturers must work hard for strengthening the government degree colleges by admitting more number of students along with giving high standard of education to the students so that they can reach greater heights in their future, he advised. TGCGTA Rajanna Sircilla district unit president Dr V Srinivas, secretary M Rajesh, N Srinivas, lecturers Dr Afsari Usmani, Dr Malla Reddy, Dr Bhadraiah, Dr Rama Devi, Swarupa, Venkateshwarlu, Dr Prabhakar and K Rajesh were present along with others.last_img read more

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PM to open MoghbazarMouchak flyover Thursday

first_imgThe final parts of the much-awaited Moghbazar-Mouchak Flyover will be opened to traffic simultaneously on Thursday.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to open the Kakrail-Malibagh, Rajarbagh-Mouchak, Rampura-Mouchak and Mouchak-Eskaton portions of the flyover through a videoconference at 12noon on Thursday, project director (PD) Susant Kumar Pal told UNB on Saturday.He said the necessary construction work on the flyover was completed last month. “The prime minister has given us schedule to open it on 26 October.”Once the prime minister inaugurates it, he said, the entire 8.7-km overpass, including the three portions already in operation, will be opened to traffic.The roads beneath the flyover that got seriously dilapidated have already been renovated, bringing an end to the immense sufferings to the commuters and residents of the areas.The country’s longest flyover drew criticism for repeatedly raising its project cost, deferring its implementation deadline and faulty designs.Though the overpass has been built for unhindered vehicular movement, traffic signal lights have been installed at the Mouchak and Malibagh intersection of the flyover due to its faulty design.Meanwhile, a passerby, Swapan of Kishoreganj’s Pakundia upazila, was killed and two others injured after a concrete girder of the flyover collapsed on Malibagh level-crossing on 13 March this year.Aiming to ease traffic in one of the city’s busiest areas, the construction work on the integrated Moghbazar-Mouchak Flyover Project began in January 2013 with a deadline to complete it by June 2015.On 19 January 2016, the project timeframe has been extended by another 18 months till June 2017 as its length has been extended through redesigning of its structure to make it more usable for easing traffic jam in the capital. But, the construction farm also missed the deadline, annoying the commuters further.Paul said three portions of the flyover–Holy Family Hospital to Tejgaon, Eskaton to Moghbazar Wireless Gate and Hatirjheel to Sonargaon intersection–have already been opened to traffic, reducing traffic jams at those points.On 30 March last year, prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the first part, stretching over two kilometres from Holy Family Hospital to Saatrasta intersection.Local government minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain inaugurated the one-km portion, Eskaton to Moghbazar Wireless Gate, on 15 September 2016 and the 450-meter long part, Hatirjheel to Sonargaon intersection, on 17 May this year.Paul said the rest of the nearly 5.5-km flyover will be opened to traffic on Thursday. Once the entire flyover is opened to traffic, vehicles can go over eight road intersections and three level-crossings at Karwan Bazar, Moghbazar and Malibagh, substantially improving the city tariff.He said a total of Tk 1,218 crore has been spent on the construction of the country’s longest flyover.The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) first approved the project on 8 March 2011 involving Tk 772.70 crore. The expenditure of the project was increased on different occasions later.The construction work on the project, which is jointly financed by Saudi Development Fund, OPEC Fund for International Development and the Bangladesh government, started in 2013 instead of the original schedule of 2011.last_img read more

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Myanmar protests demand military loosen grip on politics

first_imgThis file photo taken on 19 July 2018, shows Myanmar`s chief senior general Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the Myanmar armed forces, saluting to pay his respects to Myanmar independence hero General Aung San and eight others assassinated in 1947, during a ceremony to mark the 71th anniversary of Martyrs` Day in Yangon. AFP File PhotoProtesters in Myanmar called for the military to loosen its grip on politics Wednesday, as tensions mount over the country’s army-drafted constitution ahead of national elections next year.The 2008 charter, enacted by the ruling junta after decades of repressive army rule, bars embattled civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi from the presidency and forces her to share power with the generals.It also guarantees a quarter of parliamentary seats to the armed forces, along with powerful defence and security portfolios.Parliament is set to discuss proposed amendments to the document but military MPs hold a veto on any changes, prompting more than 1,000 protesters to gather in downtown Yangon and shout slogans demanding constitutional reform.”I think the military should stand with and think for the public,” said Yangon resident Thi Thi Han.But opinion over the issue is split, and a rival protest later on Wednesday demanded Myanmar leaders keep the charter as it is.”Democracy here is so young, it requires the military to be in parliament until democracy is fully fledged,” said 39-year-old Zar Chi Lin.The constitution has long been a flashpoint in Myanmar politics.Suu Kyi’s party, which won a landslide victory in 2015 elections, wants to downsize the role of the armed forces. But the military insists it plays a stabilising role in a country riven by conflict in border areas.Both the locally revered Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and Myanmar’s army chiefs have been criticised for a brutal crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority in the country’s west that provoked international outrage and a refugee crisis.The charter bars the de facto leader from the presidency because of an article that prevents anyone with a foreign family members from occupying the post. Suu Kyi was married to a British academic, with whom she had two sons.Instead she took up the role of state counsellor after winning landslide elections in 2015.Hardline nationalists oppose any constitutional amendments that would push the military to the fringes of political power.Suu Kyi’s former legal adviser Ko Ni, who had worked on drafting changes to the charter, was shot and killed two years ago in a plot by former military officers.last_img
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In Time For Super Bowl Houston Home Designed For Professional HomeSharing

first_img 00:00 /03:50 Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X – / 4Lydia Afeman owns a townhouse in Houston’s Sunset Heights. It’s a two-story building that from the outside doesn’t necessarily strike one as an architectural beauty – with its white, square, bunker-like appearance.But it’s what’s inside that makes this home special.“You could easily just shut one unit off or you could leave it all open if you don’t have a guest,” she said, showing off her home. “But when you do, you can just have your privacy.”Afeman hired local architect Michael Murrow to design her townhome in a way custom-made to host short- and long-term guests.The homeowner or primary renter is meant to occupy the first floor, with a spacious living room and kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom.Upstairs has a separate unit with all the same amenities. And then there’s a third unit above the detached carport.Afeman had a feasibility study done, which concluded the concept could be a money maker.“There would be return on investment and I could make enough money to cover the mortgage,” she said. “And while I was sleeping at night this whole house would be basically a revenue-generating property for me.”That’s assuming that there is an 88 percent occupancy rate throughout the year, which Afeman said is feasible.The idea is to host not just Airbnb travelers but longer-term medical tourists, function as corporate housing or even to simply rent out the different units.So is this an investment opportunity for the future?Steven Barth, an attorney and professor of hospitality law at the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, thinks it’s a good business model. “They’re probably going to take away business from the long-term stay hotel concepts,” he said, “because people have decided it’s more comfortable to be in an apartment-style, condo-style thing.”But there are a few things that professional home-sharers have to be aware of.“Well, first thing you’d want to do is first of all make sure it’s legal,” Barth said.That means they need to comply with any regulations by the city or homeowners association. For example, do they need to pay hotel occupancy taxes?Barth said occasional Airbnb hosts may be able to avoid them.“One of the arguments homeowners make is, look, I’m just renting this out every now and then, so I’m really not a hotel, so why should I be subject to the occupancy tax,” he said.“Well, in this model that they’re designing and building specifically for that concept, it’d be very hard to make that argument that you’re not subject to those taxes.”Also, their homeowners insurance may have to be adjusted to include temporary guests.As it turns out, a Texas appeals court decision just last month established a precedent for homeowners associations and landlords who want to crack down on unauthorized subleasing.In Tarr vs. Timberwood Park Owners Association, the appellate judge sided with the community association that wanted to stop a homeowner who was renting out his house to travelers.Houston law firm Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey represented the association.The firm’s Marc Markel said, sure, there are many positives to concepts like Airbnb, but many communities are opposed to short-term leasing, especially during big events like Super Bowl LI, which is expected to attract 150,000 visitors.“We have people from all over the world wanting to come to Houston,” he said.  “And they’re going to go and they’re going to rent out this large house, pay an ungodly amount of money for a weekend and either trash the house, have parties all weekend or do something which would be contrary to the residential nature of a community.”But there’s not much communities without a homeowners association can do to restrict short-term leasing.By the way, Lydia Afeman said her concept is not limited to temporary home-sharing. It could also work for families whose members wouldn’t mind some privacy, for example teens.“They start claiming the different units, and they’re like, when I get older I can sneak out the back in the alley,” she said.Homebuilding company Lennar is also marketing the big family concept with their NextGen homes.Afeman plans to test out her commercial concept for a while and then build a similar home in the Medical Center, where she expects to attract more potential short-time renters. Sharelast_img read more

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Two Injured In Trump Tower Heating System Fire

first_imgPhoto via Twitter @emeraldskycomNew York City Fire Department vehicles sit on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower, in New York, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018.New York City fire officials say a fire in Trump Tower’s heating and air conditioning system injured two people and caused smoke to billow from the roof.The Fire Department of New York says the fire started around 7 a.m. Monday at the building that contains President Donald Trump’s home and business offices.Fire officials say a civilian was treated for serious injuries and a firefighter was treated for minor injuries. It took about an hour to put out the fire on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.The president’s son Eric tweeted his thanks to firefighters for doing “an incredible job.”There was a small electrical fire in a cooling tower on the roof of Trump Tower. The New York Fire Department was here within minutes and did an incredible job. The men and women of the #FDNY are true heroes and deserve our most sincere thanks and praise! https://t.co/xuTmq1GBbj— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) January 8, 2018 Share WATCH: Firefighters responded to a fire on the roof of Trump Tower in New York City https://t.co/LnII0XquRZ pic.twitter.com/yyJLEPC50K— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) January 8, 2018center_img Breaking: Two injured following small fire on the roof of Trump tower in Manhattan, New York. Fire is now under control. pic.twitter.com/FcdhQh7KIs— PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) January 8, 2018last_img read more

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Researchers Build Artificial Immune System to Solve Computational Problems

first_img Citation: Researchers Build Artificial Immune System to Solve Computational Problems (2009, December 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-12-artificial-immune-problems.html (PhysOrg.com) — By mimicking the way that a living body acquires immunity to disease through vaccination, researchers have designed an artificial immune system to solve optimization problems more effectively than before. The results show that the biologically motivated approach is better at exploring a greater amount of space and quickly locating the desired local and global optima than previous methods. The researchers, Kumlachew M. Woldemariam and Gary G. Yen, both from Oklahoma State University, have published their study in a recent issue of IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics – Part B: Cybernetics. As the researchers explain, the field of artificial immune systems (AIS) is an emerging branch of evolutionary computation in which computational systems are based on the structure and behavior of the immune system. By providing methods in pattern recognition, data analysis, and machine learning, AIS has applications in fields including computer science, robotics, and information technology.Unlike previous artificial immune systems, the system in the new study specifically takes advantage of the way that vaccines can improve the performance of the immune system. The antibody cells in the immune system are constantly trying to recognize foreign or malfunctioning cells (antigens such as bacteria, viruses, and tumors) in the midst of the body’s own healthy cells (mainly other antibodies). The way that the immune system distinguishes between different kinds of cells can be formulated as an optimization problem, in which the antibodies are the points in the decision space and the antigens are the solutions that the immune system looks for.Although the immune system usually works very well, sometimes it doesn’t identify an antigen quickly enough to prohibit it from causing illness. To accelerate the immune system’s functioning, vaccines can be administered to enable the immune system to detect a new (weakened) antigen and develop an immunological memory so that it can quickly recognize the same antigen in the future. Drawing inspiration from how such vaccines work, the researchers’ artificial immune system can be enhanced to quickly identify optimum solutions by being injected with certain points in decision space that act as weak antigens, or vaccines. In their study, Woldemariam and Yen explain how to determine which points should be used as vaccines to be “injected” into the algorithm. Once in the algorithm, the vaccines activate the antibody population to incorporate more diverse antibodies and explore new landscapes in decision space, so that the antibodies continually come closer to locating a desired local optimum point. “The main idea of introducing the notion of vaccines in the evolutionary algorithm is to help enhance the diversity of antibodies,” Yen told PhysOrg.com. “The way the vaccines are extracted from the decision space is in such a way that the decision space is explored widely. The implementation of the algorithm in multimodal optimization problem shows how fast and efficiently the antibodies, triggered by the vaccines, learn and locate the local and global optimal solutions of the problem. Therefore the vaccines help antibodies to achieve a speedy learning and diversified exploration.”When comparing the new algorithm, called Vaccine-AIS, to other artificial immune systems, the researchers found that Vaccine-AIS outperformed the others by locating the global and local optima in a plot in fewer evaluations. The key to the improved performance is that the algorithm can cover a larger portion of the search space, due to help from the vaccines. As Yen added, AIS has the potential for improving computational abilities in many other areas.“AIS was originally designed for data mining, anomaly detection and the like,” Yen said. “Its use as an optimization tool is a very young research area but its performance is drawing interest from researchers. Recently there has been research on using artificial immune systems in fault estimation and to design a power system stabilizer. The application of AIS in medical image processing for MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is being studied as well.”More information: Kumlachew M. Woldemariam and Gary G. Yen. “Vaccine-Enhanced Artificial Immune System for Multimodal Function Optimization.” IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics – Part B: Cybernetics, Vol. 40, No. 1, February 2010.Copyright 2009 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore furthercenter_img This figure shows the optimal solutions found in a certain landscape by the new vaccine-enhanced algorithm, Vaccine-AIS. Image credit: Woldemariam and Yen. ©2009 IEEE. 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. ‘Killer’ B cells provide new link in the evolution of immunitylast_img read more

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Colin NBA GMs look clueless for choosing Towns over Steph Curry to

first_imgThe results of the annual NBA GM survey were just released, and Colin had to do a double take when he saw who they named as the player they would most like to build a franchise around, and who was disregarded.The survey named Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns as the player they would most like to build around, but 2-time NBA champ, and 2-time NBA MVP Steph Curry only received a few token votes. This makes Colin question what NBA they’ve been watching, because it isn’t the one he sees.Aside from the fact that Towns is a center in a guard/wing league, and no centers have led their team to a title in a decade, Curry is 43-13 in the playoffs over the last three years, and his game is based on his shooting, which he should be able to do at a high level well into his 30’s.Give Colin the best shooter ever, and the best ball handler in the league, over a center that’s never won a playoff game.NBA general managers are completely disrespecting Steph Curry pic.twitter.com/jGF4B9ToXJ— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 4, 2017last_img read more

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Philippines Tourism Promotion Board launches photo contest

first_imgThe Philippines’ Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) together with Agoda organised ‘Tag the Fun’ – an exciting photo contest that rewards local and foreign travellers for choosing the Philippines as their destination.Travellers can get a chance to win a holiday break in the beaches and the underground wonder of Puerto Princesa, Palawan or in the Panglao Island, Bohol. In addition, one can also take home ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ premium items.‘Tag the Fun’ photo contest runs till November 13, 2015. It is open to participants 18 years old and above and has two categories: the local category, which is open to all Filipinos, and the foreign category, which is for the foreigners and visitors residing in and outside the Philippines.To join one needs to like the official Facebook pages of Tourism Promotions Board, The Philippines and Agoda; upload the best travel photo on the TPB Facebook page along with an English caption of no more than 500 characters together with the name of destination where the photo was taken. One needs to share the entry on their own Facebook newsfeed along with a mention of ‘The Philippines’ and ‘Agoda’ and the hashtags #tpbgovph, #tagthefun, and #itsmorefuninthephilippines.One can submit as many entries as one wish on or before the following dates with the corresponding weekly themes — November 2: History & Culture, and November 9: Music, Arts & Entertainment.There will be two winners for each week (1 local and 1 foreign) who will receive ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ premium items.On November 13, 2015, best entries will be chosen (1 local and 1 foreign) among the 4 weekly winners to award the grand prizes. The grand winners will enjoy a free 3 day / 2 night stay for two at the country’s two best beaches.The local winner will get to experience the paradise of Astoria Palawan Resort in Puerto Princesa, Palawan while the foreign winner will be treated to the white beaches of Eskaya Beach Resort and Spa in Panglao Island, Bohol.last_img read more

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Auctioncom Appoints EVP Chief Legal Officer

first_img February 20, 2015 636 Views Auction.com Appoints EVP, Chief Legal Officer After four months serving as interim general counsel for the company, Auction.com has named Lee Leslie as EVP and chief legal officer.Leslie joined Auction.com in 2014, bringing 20 years of legal and real estate experience with him. Prior to that, he was the founder and CEO of HouseTech Real Estate, an online real estate services firm that now operates as a subsidiary of Auction.com. He also previously served as chief legal officer at LendingTree Loans and LowerMyBills.com.Moving forward, Leslie will oversee all legal, regulatory, intellectual property, and corporate transactional and governance matters for Auction.com, working closely with CEO and co-founder Jeff Frieden.”Lee has been a terrific addition to the Auction.com executive team,” Frieden said. “His legal expertise, combined with his years of experience in launching and growing real estate and lending companies, has already proved invaluable in our ongoing efforts to expand the nation’s top online real estate marketplace.” in Headlines, Newscenter_img Share Auction.com Movers & Shakers 2015-02-20 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

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August 21 2018

first_imgAugust 21 , 2018 The head of Italy-based VOG Consortium says he is expecting a lively start to the European apple campaign, which has now begun following what he described as “an absolutely unheard-of situation” in the industry.He said that after a three-year cycle of difficult “post-[Russian] embargo” seasons, the 2017/18 season ended prematurely as frosts last year had severely impacted production.“This is an absolutely unheard-of situation – I can’t remember it ever happening in the past,” director Gerhard Dichgans said.”During these last few months there has been a shortage of European apples, and it appears that even the volumes of product imported from the Southern Hemisphere – in the specific case of Royal Gala – will only be able to cover demand up until the third week in August.”“Even if the new European apple harvest looks like being abundant, it will find plenty of potential demand and an empty market, ready and waiting to consume the first fresh apples, which are now coming through.”This year production has returned to normal, with 12 million metric tons (MT) estimated to be harvested across the continent.However, VOG said there are some doubts as to the real size of the crop in Poland, which alone accounts for over one-third of the European crop but where less than 50% is for the fresh market. There is also uncertainty regarding quality and sizes, as a direct consequence of the prolonged drought in the northern and eastern European growing areas in the spring and summer months, according to VOG. Applewood gears up for the 2019 harvest season as … Mexico lifts tariffs on U.S. apples … Japanese apple saplings reportedly sold illegally … center_img You might also be interested in EU: High apple stocks ‘put dampers on’ hopes for p … In spite of this large question-mark over the coming market equilibrium, Director Gerhard Dichgans is still optimistic.“Last season taught us an important lesson, which we must not forget: even though retail prices were sky-high in all European markets, volume consumption held up well throughout the central months of the season,” he said.”This gives me confidence for the new season, too: if prices drop back to ‘normal’ levels, consumption may really take off, provided it is supported by impeccable product quality.”More balanced seasonThe Italian consortium dispatched the first trucks immediately after the mid-August holiday, and Dichgans said he is expecting “a very lively start to the campaign, since we are facing an empty market, with no carry-over of apples from the old crop and very few overseas apples.”“The initial price quotations reflect those of the summer market for oversea apples, but it is premature to forecast how prices will develop in the coming weeks,” he said.”We will have to wait for the harvests to really get underway in the main growing areas: for sure, we have to forget last season’s prices, though I am not expecting prices to collapse to the levels of three or four years ago.”He pointed out that crops in some key growing countries like France, Italy an Germany will be 5-6% below the average for 2014-16, which makes him optimistic of seeing a “much more balanced market” this season. “The real question mark is the export potential of those markets in the Mediterranean area which absorbed the surplus product after the Russian embargo,” he said.”The most important thing is to recover the markets we were forced to neglect last season, and guarantee our customers continuity of supply to enable them to plan a full season again.”last_img read more

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November 2 2012On Saturday night October 27th t

first_imgNovember 2, 2012On Saturday night, October 27th, the Red Room at Arcosanti was filled with the sounds of over a dozen women’s voices singing songs with titles like “The Storm is Passing Over.”  The women were all members of the Flagstaff chapter of the Threshold Choir, whose mission is to sing at the bedsides of people who are struggling, many close to dying. The evening started with the building of a fire in the Red Room, and the women sitting in a circle.  Then one woman started singing spontaneously, and the others soon joined her, in a style of rounds or call and response.[the choir in the Arcosanti Vaults; photo by alumna and archive volunteer Ester Meyer & text by workshop participant in the Soleri archives David Chan]A white chair was set in the center of the circle for anyone who wanted to receive the blessing of the music, and several of the women at times sat silently in the chair to hear their fellow choir members sing to them. [the choir in the Arcosanti Vaults; photo by Ester Meyer & text by David Chan]At one point, the lights were turned off and the room was lit only by the fireplace and the light of candles from an altar set in the room; besides candles, the altar also contained mementos from people who had died, and throughout the night the women added to the altar the names and stories of loved ones, pets, and acquaintances who have passed on.[the choir in the Arcosanti Vaults; photo by Ester Meyer & text by David Chan]The Threshold choir visited Arcosanti from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon for rehearsal, and over the course of the three days they sang in the Vault, the Red Room, the Crafts III Tower, and the Music Room, practicing for their mission of bringing “comfort to those at the thresholds of living and dying.”[the choir in the Arcosanti Vaults; photo by Ester Meyer & text by David Chan]last_img read more

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