OTTAWA – A Liberal backbencher has been informed of the price he’ll pay for breaking ranks with the Trudeau government on an opposition motion calling for more consultation on controversial tax proposals.Wayne Long has been notified of the punishment he faces for voting against the government, a staffer in the MP’s Saint John, N.B. constituency office said Thursday. But Jim Hennessy, Long’s executive assistant, declined to share details of the penalty.“Wayne has been made aware of the consequences and at this time it’s an internal matter,” Hennessy said.Liberal whip Pablo Rodriguez defended the decision to mete out punishment, although he, too, refused to go into details.“Whenever there’s a whipped vote, there’ll always be consequences (for defying the whip) related to that,” Rodriguez said.The CBC reported Thursday that Long was removed from two parliamentary committees for supporting the opposition motion.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has relaxed party discipline considerably, allowing free votes on most matters. But he still insists that Liberal MPs toe the party line when it comes to traditional confidence votes on things like the budget, votes related to implementing promises made in the Liberals’ election platform and votes that impact protections guaranteed in the charter of rights.Votes in which MPs are expected to support their party are referred to as whipped votes.Earlier this week, Long was the only Liberal to support a Conservative motion to extend consultations on proposed tax reforms that have unleashed a flood of criticism from farmers, doctors, accountants, shop owners and other small businesses and even from some other Liberal backbenchers.Rodriguez said the vote on the motion was whipped “because it was in the platform.”The 2015 Liberal platform included a promise to ensure that high-income earners couldn’t continue to use incorporation of their businesses to reduce their personal income tax burden — which Finance Minister Bill Morneau maintains is the objective of the reforms he’s proposed.However, the platform did not specify what measures would be taken to achieve that end. Nor did it say anything about consultations, much less specify how long they should last.Long has said he voted for the Conservative motion because he and his constituents wanted the consultation, which ended Monday, extended amid concerns that the unintended consequences of the proposed changes will hurt small businesses.The consequences of breaking ranks on a whipped vote range from relatively mild punishments, such as not being allowed to go on a parliamentary junket or being relegated to a minor Commons committee, to the ultimate penalty of being kicked out of the party caucus.In Long’s case the penalty is intended as a warning to him and any other Liberal backbenchers that there’ll be a heavier price to pay should anyone break ranks when the tax proposals themselves are eventually put to a series of votes.Morneau insists the proposals are designed to create a fairer tax system, while critics warn the plan will hurt entrepreneurs who take personal financial risks when they decide to open a business and have to save for retirement and prepare for economic downturns.Morneau has said there will be some changes to the proposals to address some of the concerns.
By Chaimaa ZahaarRabat – Through the Regional Academies of Education and Training (AREF), recently opened nearly 24,000 new positions. The ministry hopes to recruit candidates with BA degrees in either primary or secondary education, to avoid overloaded classrooms.The recruitment process for teachers opened between June 5 and 7, and interviews are set to take place on June 29 and 30. All of the new positions will follow a contract-based system. In addition to recruiting teachers for the upcoming academic year, the ministry will also recruit 8,000 administrative and technical staff members in two waves.Access to education in Morocco remains a concern in some regions and this initiative to put more teachers in classrooms will hopefully boost literacy rates and improve the retention rates of students.Available positions are divided among the regions as follows:-Souss- Massa: 1,741 position.-Fez- Meknes: 2,450 position.-Casablanca- Settat : 3,865 position.-Tangie- Tétouan-Al Hoceima : 3,763 position.– Beni Mellal-Khenifra : 2,121 position.– Oriental: 2,055 position.– Marrakech-Safi : 3,601 position.– Rabat Salé Kénitra : 1,806 position.– Laâyoune Sakiat Hamra : 252 position.– Guelmim Oued Noun : 341 position.– Draa Tafilalet : 1,856 position.
“There has been no organised repatriation of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees since 1995,” he said.The Minister said the Sri Lankan government has released nearly 2,000 acres of land to internally displaced persons in the Northern and Eastern provinces. “The beneficiaries of the housing project are identified through a consultative process,” he said in reply to a written question. India is committed to build 50,000 houses for internally displaced people in Sri Lanka, India’s Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the project envisages construction of new houses and repair of damaged houses and it is being implemented through two models, agency driven and owner-beneficiary driven, the Press Trust of India reported. In January 2015, the External Affairs Minister, during her meeting with visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, has urged the Sri Lankan government to create conducive environment for Sri Lankan refugees to return to Sri Lanka.The Sri Lankan government has been extending facilities, including education, civil documentation and medical services to any returning Sri Lankan citizen after staying as refugee, including in India, he said. (Colombo Gazette) Rijiju said as per the information received from the state governments of Tamil Nadu and Odisha, a total of 1,01,368 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are presently staying in the country.
Commemorating the sombre 10th anniversary of the fall of Srebrenica – Europe’s worst massacre since World War II – senior United Nations officials today vowed to “continue the fight…to secure a full and proper reckoning” for the families of some 8,000 Muslims killed by the Bosnian Serb forces who overran the town designated by the Security Council as a “safe area.” “We share in the grief of those whose loss can never be repaired. And we pay homage to those who died. May their souls rest in peace. May we all learn, and act on, the lessons of Srebrenica,” said Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a message to a ceremony in Potocari-Srebrenica, delivered by his Chief of Staff Mark Malloch Brown.“Our first duty is to uncover, and confront, the full truth about what happened…[and] for us who serve the United Nations, that truth is a hard one to face,” Mr Annan said, adding:“We can say – and it is true – that great nations failed to respond adequately.” He said that it was also true that there should have been stronger military forces in place, and a stronger will to use them and that it was undeniable that blame lies first and foremost with those who planned and carried out the massacre, or who assisted them, or who harboured and are harbouring them still. “But we cannot evade our own share of responsibility,” he said.Recalling his 1999 report on the massacre, Mr. Annan said that “serious errors of judgment” had been made, rooted in a philosophy of impartiality and non-violence which, however admirable, was unsuited to the conflict in Bosnia. “Our…duty is to help rebuild trust among the peoples of this region. That can only be done by persisting in the struggle for justice,” he said stressing that the UN International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) has worked hard, and some important culprits had been found guilty. But those charged with being the main architects of this massacre – Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic – were still at large. “Until they are made to answer the charges against them, we cannot say we have defeated impunity,” he said. The sentiment was echoed by Judge Theodore Meron, President of the ICTY, who said that it was fitting on this occasion to call once again for the arrest and transfer of Mr. Karadzic and General Mladic to the Hague-based Tribunal. “Those who continue to shelter these fugitives only further the cause of impunity and show contempt for the memory of the victims we honour today,” he said. “In delivering up Karadzic and Mladic to the Tribunal, the Serbian authorities would not only be responding to international legal obligations, but they would also be serving their people’s best interests. The fugitives’ time in hiding must end, not next month, but this month; not tomorrow, but today. The victims of Srebrenica deserve it; justice requires it,” he said. “The meaning of what transpired is written in the lives that were lost, the prayers that still go out, the hearts that continue to weep. In solidarity with the victims and their loved ones, we at the Tribunal will persist in our efforts to render justice and uphold basic principles of human rights,” he said.
“The Secretary-General today is in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire, where he is convening a mini-summit to discuss the implementation of the road map for that country,” UN spokesman Marie Okabe told reporters in New York. The road map was put forward by the UN-authorized International Working Group (IWG) mandated to monitor progress in the Ivorian peace process.“He met earlier today with South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is attending that mini-summit, and, after that, he met with Côte d’Ivoire’s President, Laurent Gbagbo.”Mr. Annan’s meetings today followed on talks he held earlier this month in the margins of the African Union (AU) summit in Banjul, the Gambia, where he met with President Gbagbo and a number of concerned regional leaders. Asked on that occasion about elections scheduled for October, Mr. Annan said ideally, Côte d’Ivoire should adhere to that timetable. “But, for technical reasons, if there has to be any delay, I hope it will be a very, very brief one and there must be elections, in any event, by the end of the year,” he said.
TORONTO – An app that tracks electricity use and shows consumers how their daily actions affect their overall energy consumption is the winner of the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge.The Wattson app, which was named the best app by the panel of industry experts and by public voting, received $22,500 in funding.The apps were judged on creativity, how well they share electricity data in a standardized and secure manner, and their potential impact.The Ontario Ministry of Energy funded the challenge and awarded a total $50,000 across six different categories.The challenge is part of the Green Button Initiative, which allows customers to securely download their energy usage data.This spring London Hydro and Hydro One customers will be able to connect their data with Green Button apps like Wattson.The Wattson app, developed by Atindra Ganeshen, Saman Alvi, Shaheer Aziz, and Arjune Selvarajan, graphs energy usage and uses units of measurements people can actually understand.Instead of kilowatts per hour, the app can convert usage to measurements like bathtubs full of water so users can visualize their energy usage.Users can tag what they were doing during peak energy usage times, like doing laundry or using the dishwasher and the app can suggest coupons and energy efficient products based on those tags.The Ministry of Energy says apps will help Ontario households and businesses better understand and manage their electricity use.“When you look at who will be new home owners in the next few years, this will be second nature to them,” said Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli. by The Canadian Press Posted Feb 27, 2014 3:11 pm MDT Apps that tracks energy use wins the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
by The Associated Press Posted Aug 12, 2017 5:19 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 12, 2017 at 5:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email UK tries to parry claims it’s unprepared in Brexit talks LONDON – The British government is fighting back against criticism that it is divided and unprepared for Brexit, announcing it will publish a set of detailed proposals on customs arrangements, the status of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border and other issues.The Department for Exiting the European Union said Sunday that it would release the first set of position papers this week, more than a year after Britons voted in a referendum to leave the European Union.The government says it hopes to persuade the 27 other EU nations to start negotiating a “deep and special” future relationship that would include a free trade deal between Britain and the EU.The EU says those negotiations can’t start until sufficient progress has been made on three initial issues: how much money the U.K. will have to pay to leave the bloc; whether security checks and customs duties will be instituted on the Irish border; and the status of EU nationals living in Britain.The exit bill, estimated at tens of billions of euros, is to cover pension liabilities for EU staff and programs Britain committed to funding over the next few years.The government’s Brexit department said Britain wants to show that progress on the preliminary issues has been made and “we are ready to broaden out the negotiations” by the time of an EU summit in October.“Businesses and citizens in the U.K. and EU want to see the talks progress and move towards discussing a deal that works for both sides,” the department said in a statement.EU officials have expressed impatience with the pace of Britain’s preparations.The bloc’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said last month there was “a clock ticking” on the talks. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said last week that Brexit advocates “already had 14 months” to issue detailed proposals, but had not.Barnier is due to meet Britain’s Brexit minister, David Davis, for a new round of negotiations at the end of August.Britain voted to leave the EU in June 2016, but did not trigger the formal two-year exit process until March.Prime Minister Theresa May then called a snap election in an attempt to increase her Conservative Party’s majority in Parliament and strengthen her negotiating hand. But voters did not rally to her call, leaving May atop a weakened minority government.In recent weeks, with May on her summer vacation, members of her Cabinet have openly disagreed about what direction Brexit should take.
The Golden State Warriors were partially in the running to recruit NBA player Dwight Howard, but at the end of the day they acquired the guy they really wanted on Friday. The organization is preparing to sign free-agent swingman Andre Iguodala.While waiting for Howard to make his decision, the Warriors put all their chips into pursuing Iguodala. According to sources, they made cap room by getting rid of three reserve players, a few draft picks and severed ties with two key players from last season, so they could sign Iguodala to a four-year, $48-million contract.The 29-year-old averaged 13 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists last season with Denver. Iguodala said that he’s happy with the signing because the Warriors were at the top of his list.“I feel like they have a good culture there,” Iguodala said. “A lot of great guys, great locker room. The way they’ve got those guys playing with such confidence, that comes from the coach. The way those young guys were playing against us (in the playoffs), that’s confidence. I want to play with that kind of confidence.”
Astec Industries has completed the $36 million acquisition of materials handling systems supplier Telestack, based located in Omagh, Northern Ireland. Telestack began operations in 1999 and specialises in the complete in-house design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of a complete line of material handling systems used extensively in the port, aggregate and mining industries. Mining customers include London Mining’s Marampa iron ore mine in Sierra Leone, which operates a Telestack custom design mobile truck unloading, stockpiling, reclaiming and barge loading facility.Telestack markets its products throughout the world with a combination of direct sales and distribution through dealers. Astec said that it anticipates the synergies between Telestack and its product lines will benefit both companies. Commenting on the acquisition, Benjamin Brock, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are excited to welcome Telestack to the Astec Industries family of companies. Telestack and Astec share many core business values such as a commitment to customer service and providing the most innovative products for the industries we serve – Infrastructure, Mining and Energy. With this acquisition, we have further demonstrated our commitment to growth in not only these industries but in international markets as well. Telestack will help us provide a broader product line to all of the industries mentioned in addition to material handling at ports around the globe. From 1999 to today, Telestack has sold equipment into six continents.”
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Cyprus’ female pole vault champion Marianna Zachariadi died on Monday following a two-year battle with cancer. The 23-year-old Greek born athlete was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma back in 2011 and her conditioned worsened in the last couple of months. Marianna slipped into a coma at Attiko Hospital in Greece last week and doctors confirmed she had died on Monday morning. Marianna gave a final interview earlier this month in which she spoke of her diminishing health. “I had taken every available medicine but nothing appeared to improve my condition. I have been travelling backwards and forwards from Greece to Germany for some time now. After the radiology treatment, we will see where I stand…only one of my lungs is working and my chances are diminishing day by day.” She added, “I feel very lonely. In the beginning, they think of you a lot, then they think of you sometimes and then they finally disappear.” Her touching interview had prompted fellow athletes to call on the public to donate whatever they can in a bid to kick-start her therapy. Footballers Constantinos Charalambides, Demetris Christofi, Andreas Avraam as well as fellow track and field athletes Kyriakos Ioannou, Eleni Artymata and Apostolos Parellis have all featured in an online video supporting Marianna. Marianna has brought much success to Cyprus in athletics. In October 2010, she took the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi while at the Mediterranean Games in Italy, a year earlier, she was again a silver medalist with one of the highest scores in Europe that year.
Windows 8 prêt pour la très haute résolutionL’iPad 3 d’Apple et son fameux écran Retina viennent tout juste de sortir des cartons. Certains constructeurs planifient déjà d’utiliser des écrans avec une résolution similaire. Et Microsoft est déjà sur les rangs explique le blog Building Windows 8. Premier point, l’interface Metro ne sera disponible que pour les appareils affichant au minimum en 1024×768 pixels, explique Presence-pc.Ensuite, à priori, Windows 8 sera capable de fonctionner sous des machines affichant en très haute résolution. En effet, de plus en plus de tablettes possédant un écran Full HD, font leur apparition sur le marché, comme l’iPad 3 et ses 284 ppp ou la Transformer Infinity et ses 218 ppp.Les équipes de Microsoft se sont donc penchées sur l’adaptation des applications selon les affichages. Ils ont pu identifier trois résolution pour lesquelles le contenu apparaîtrait dans des proportions satisfaisantes: standard (1366×768), HD (1920×1080) et quad-XGA (2560×1440), explique Techcrunch.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Ces deux dernières pourrait afficher les éléments à 140 et 180%, respectivement. David Washington, membre de l’équipe Microsoft UX, précise que “ces écrans haute résolution rendent certains éléments de plus en plus pesant”, rapporte Techcrunch. Seules de nouvelles interfaces seront capables de supporter leur poids, comme Metro, par exemple.Si, pour l’instant, l’iPad possède la meilleure résolution d’écran, cela pourrait bien ne pas durer… Le 22 mars 2012 à 13:30 • Maxime Lambert
If it’s a rainy day at Ridgefield High School, Madison Langer, 17, will eat lunch in her station wagon and watch “That ’70s Show” on her phone.If it’s sunny, she blows bubbles instead of watching a show.Regardless of the weather, the senior eats lunch alone. She’s grown used to it since she became sober a year and a half ago, she said.Langer began using drugs and doing some drinking because it helped her fit in and find a group of friends. But when she stopped using after about a year, Langer lost her friends. In the most recent Healthy Youth Survey for 2018, she said, Langer checked some of the boxes that dealt with depression and anxiety, and she’s far from alone in her feelings.The overall picture painted by the survey shows that Clark County teens are much more anxious, depressed and suicidal than a decade ago.Langer now works as a prevention assistant with Prevent Coalition — the first minor to be hired by the organization. Langer loves her work with Prevent Coalition and plans to continue working there, along with some other jobs she’ll do to pay her way to Portland Community College. She aspires to get a job in marketing analytics.“I’m doing amazing,” Langer said. “But not everything is perfect.”Survey resultsAccording to the new survey, 67 percent of 10th-grade respondents reported feeling anxious, nervous or depressed, while 55 percent were not able to stop or control worrying. Among 12th-graders, 68 percent were anxious, nervous or on edge, and 59 percent said they were unable to stop or control worrying.
UPDATE: Uptown, InterMedia Acquire VibeIt appears that legendary jazz and pop music producer Quincy Jones might not be the only party interested in acquiring the assets of folded Vibe magazine.Uptown Media—a New York City-based magazine publisher targeting affluent African Americans with editions in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington D.C.—is said to be nearing a deal to acquire the Vibe brand. According to an Ad Age report citing unnamed sources, Uptown is negotiating with Vibe’s major debt holder, CapitalSource. When contacted by FOLIO:, Uptown co-CEO Len Burnett declined to confirm or deny the report. Burnett helped launch Vibe and later served as publisher of the Vibe Media Group.Vibe was acquired by private equity firm the Wicks Group in 2006 from Vibe Ventures for $35 million—including financing from CapitalSource. According to the report, CapitalSource has been entertaining offers for Vibe in hopes of recouping some of that unrecovered debt.In June, shortly after Vibe abruptly folded, Quincy Jones, who launched the magazine, told EbonyJet.com he was not pleased with the way the Wicks Group handled the Vibe brand and that he wants the magazine back.While the possibility of Uptown acquiring Vibe’s assets could “make sense,” as one media observer told FOLIO:, Michael Alcamo, president of investment bank M.C. Alcamo & Co., said CapitalSource would most likely retain “virtually all of the equity” and hire a publishing group, like Uptown, to serve as a management entity and revive the business. “I would not expect that the operating group would acquire it outright because, right now, the ‘fair value’ would be nearly zero,” Alcamo said. “The management group might, however, receive an option to acquire the business for the value of the loan, or about $35 million.”Spokespeople for Wicks and CapitalSource could not be immediately reached for comment.
Dear Fellow Wilmington Residents,Town Selectmen are more than just volunteers. They have positional power and literally make decisions that will shape the look, feel, and culture of our town forever. They also have direct and/or indirect influence over just about every board in town. Because of these reasons, I’m voting for two people who I wholeheartedly trust to do what is right for Wilmington and its residents. These two people are Suzanne Sullivan and Rob Fasulo.I met Suzanne Sullivan and Rob Fasulo a few years ago when the 362 Middlesex proposal emerged in front of the current Board of Selectmen. It didn’t take long to realize just how much they care for this town and the residents. Their commitment to stand up for what’s right and speak up to help others has been nothing less than remarkable. Their understanding of the complexities of our town’s rules, regulations, and bylaws will ensure that citizens come first, and everyone will be treated fairly and equally.One of their top priorities is to clean up the contaminated Olin site. And for me, this has been a long time coming. They’re also very focused on retaining open space in Wilmington because once it’s gone, it’s gone.It’s time for change in Wilmington government and Suzanne Sullivan and Rob Fasulo are this change. Vote with me for Suzanne Sullivan and Rob Fasulo—your voice will be heard.Sincerely,Kelly RichardsLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLETTER TO THE EDITOR: Fasulo & Sullivan Will Be Transparent, Listen To The Residents & Protect The EnvironmentIn “Letter To The Editor”LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Resident, Concerned Over Taxes & Town Debt, Is Voting For Fasulo & SullivanIn “Letter To The Editor”LETTER TO THE EDITOR: If You Want Change, Vote Fasulo & Sullivan For SelectmenIn “Letter To The Editor”
The finalization of a deal to acquire Horizon Lines’ Alaska operations means the nation’s largest Jones Act shipping company no longer exists. But the Matson Navigation Company isn’t planning any major changes to shipping service in the state.For decades, Horizon Lines provided regular shipping service between Tacoma, Washington and Anchorage, Kodiak and Unalaska.“The three ships that service the domestic service do provide groceries, mail and primarily supplies from primarily Tacoma and anchorage into the port of Dutch Harbor,” said Unalaska Port Directoir Peggy McLaughlin.“They also relay cargo in from Kodiak to make connection to the international line haul ships,” she said.But Horizon Lines no longer exists. In December, the company ended its operations in Puerto Rico. Its Hawaii services were sold to the Pasha Group and last Friday, Matson Navigation Company finalized the acquisition of Horizon’s Alaskan operations for $469 million dollars.Matson Spokesman Jeff Hull declined to have his comments recorded, but in a phone interview he said any major changes following the acquisition are likely to be in name only.“The acquisition was a matter of growth,” said Hull.He said Matson will retain the same union contracts, operate the same shipping schedule and continue to run the same three vessels in Alaska. Hull said there will be some minor restructuring to duplicate corporate positions in Washington State, but no personnel changes will be made on the ground in Alaska.Peggy McLaughlin doesn’t anticipate any major changes in Dutch Harbor either.“Unless there’s some reason for Matson to come out and sit down with us and discuss operational changes, we’re just going to assume that its’ business as usual,” she said.Horizon Lines used Unalaska’s municipal dock for more than two decades. A special contract with the city lapsed at the end of 2013. Horizon then paid tariffs to move cargo through the port. Both McLaughlin and Hull anticipate that agreement to continue.
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @AKPublicNews Senate panel puts full dividend in budget draft with caveatAssociated PressThe Senate’s budget-writing committee voted to include a full dividend payout from Alaska’s oil-wealth fund this year, with the caveat that the item remains subject to negotiation.Legislature considers plastic bag banJoe Viechnicki, KFSK – PetersburgThe state legislature is considering a ban on plastic shopping bags.Legislature votes to change contentious ethics rulesAssociated PressThe Alaska Legislature has voted to change conflict of interest rules passed last year that members complained limited them from interacting with constituents and being involved with legislation.Sheldon Jackson Museum supporters, staff in dark over possible sale of collectionEnrique Perez de la Rosa, KCAW – SitkaThe Sheldon Jackson Museum and its collection is up for sale. That’s after Governor Mike Dunleavy directed state agencies to sell underutilized property last month in an effort to reduce state spending on upkeep and maintenance costs.Homelessness among KPBSD students on the riseRenee Gross, KBBI- HomerHomelessness among Kenai Peninsula Borough School District students is up 10 percent since this time last year. Due to lack of services and legal hurdles, many of those students are stuck in a cycle of couch surfing, camping or sleeping in their cars.NPR’s Lakshmi Singh discusses state of media with Bartlett sophomoresWesley Early, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageAt Bartlett High School in Anchorage, students in Linda Prince’s AP World History class hear a familiar voice every morning — that of NPR midday newscaster Lakshmi Singh.AK: A home-like environment to keep Native languages alive with youthHenry Leasia, KHNS – HainesOfficially there are 20 Native languages in Alaska. But fluent speakers continue to decline. That led then-Gov. Bill Walker to declare a linguistic emergency last year. Now… Tlingit elders are teaching young children early in a home-like environment. And as Henry Leasia reports they’re finding it more effective than the classroom.49 Voices: Levi Samuel of AnchorageWesley Early, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageThis week we’re hearing from Levi Samuel in Anchorage. Samuel is a lifelong Anchorage resident who attends East Anchorage High School. He was part of this year’s Points of Light Youth Leadership Institute.
Citation: Study shows even professional musicians can’t tell old master violins from new (2012, January 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-professional-musicians-master-violins.html (PhysOrg.com) — It’s been a known fact in the musical world for at least a couple of centuries; violins made by two old Italian masters, Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu, and especially Antonio Stradivari are superior in every way to anything that has come since. Because of this, various scientists over the years have studied these special instruments to discern their secrets and while they’ve come up with several theories, none has been able to conclusively prove anything. This might be, suggest Claudia Fritz and Joseph Curtin, because the musical magic wrought by the classical instruments is nothing more than a myth. The two have conducted a study at a violin competition in Indiana this past year using professional violinists to gauge the quality of a variety of violins, some from the old masters, some that were made very recently. And as they describe in their paper to be published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, master violinists, it appears, aren’t able to tell which instrument is which, any better than anyone else. Conducting the study was no small feat, to pull it off the duo (Fritz is an acoustical physicist and Curtin a well known violin maker) had to talk owners of multi-million dollar instruments into allowing their prized possessions to be included in the study, which meant allowing others to play them. They did succeed, but only in a limited way. They managed to secure just three highly prized old master-crafted violins; one from Guarneri and two from Stradivari. They then added three newer high quality (but much lower cost) violins to complete their test set.The tests were conducted in a low-light hotel room, with twenty one volunteer professional violinists wearing welding goggles to prevent them from being able to pick up on identifying traits or markings on the violins. They testers also applied perfume to the violins to mask any telltale odors that might give away their history. Then, to ensure that the testers themselves weren’t influencing the outcome, they had third party assistants, who also wore goggles present the instruments to the musicians.Each musician was asked to play two violins, one after the other. Unbeknownst to them, one of the instruments was new and one was one of the old prized violins. Afterwards, each musician was asked to judge both instruments on four criteria: tonal color range, projection, playability and response. In tallying up the responses, there were no clear winners, though there was one clear loser, one of the older instruments.Next, each volunteer musician was asked to try out all six of the violins (by sound alone as they were still wearing the goggles) for a few minutes and then to pick one as their favorite; one they’d like to take home. In this part of the study, one of the newer violins was the clear favorite, while the loser from the first test was found to be the least favorite of all the violins tested by all of the musicians.The loser in both tests just happened to be a violin labeled “O1” and has quite an illustrious history. It’s been used by many famous violin virtuosos over the years, both in concert and in recordings.These findings suggest, the researchers write, that it appears the old masters were no better at violin making than are those of today, and those that don’t believe it, are simply fooling themselves. Secrets Of Stradivarius’ unique violin sound revealed, prof says More information: “Player preferences among new and old violins,” by Claudia Fritz, Joseph Curtin, Jacques Poitevineau, Palmer Morrel-Samuels, and Fan-Chia Tao, PNAS (2011). dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1114999109 Violin © 2011 PhysOrg.com Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further 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.
6 min read It’s easy to say that enterprise software has made great strides. After all, it’s hard not to marvel at the progress that’s been made over the last several decades, as businesses have transitioned from using paper and pencil to programs in the cloud in order to manage their operations.But if we take a closer look at more recent technological progress, we realize that the movement from on-premise to off-premise was the last major transition in enterprise software. No true transformation has occurred since then. And new data suggests that the current lapse in further innovation in the enterprise software space has resulted in significant consequences for today’s businesses.Related: 17 Apps Every Entrepreneur Needs in 2017In fact, while the migration to the “cloud” in the form of subscription-based software (SaaS) made big software more affordable and accessible by overcoming distribution and financial hurdles, it did very little to address the fundamental end-user challenges.It’s not just a matter of waiting for the next wave of innovation to make life a little easier for businesses. According to a recent survey of over 500 business and IT executives by my company, TrackVia, the absence of progress with current enterprise software is having a negative impact on businesses. Worse, it’s cited as preventing company growth.The survey revealed that traditional enterprise software — whether installed on local servers or delivered via the internet — lacks the capabilities they say they need most, and illustrates the four ways that today’s enterprise software is failing businesses.1. Few options for customization and scalability Inflexibility and an overall lack of adaptability was one of the top software challenges cited by executives. Current enterprise software solutions offer few options to customize or tailor applications to the unique needs of different businesses. Businesses need the ability to easily and quickly change, modify and scale software as they grow and their operations evolve. The inability to do this was also cited as a major frustration.Related: 5 Things to Know When Picking a Merchant Processing CompanyThese rigid limitations are having a negative impact on how businesses operate. In fact, more than four out of five (82 percent) executives claim they’ve had to change the way their business operates to match their enterprise software.This lack of customization is forcing organizations to rip out and replace legacy systems, as they struggle to find a solution that is more capable of meeting their needs. Seventy-six percent say they’ve switched software programs because they needed updates or customizations made that their vendor could not execute or the software itself could not accommodate. Unsurprisingly, the time, money and resources wasted as a result of this reality only continues to fuel the growing discontent among company leaders.2. A lack of mobile functionalityThe promise of off-premise software was accessibility. Businesses without the resources of behemoth enterprises could gain access to the applications that could power their business and allow it to run more efficiently.But the rise of mobile means the world has changed dramatically since off-premise software first arrived. Business doesn’t just take place in an office, at a desk or even from 9 to 5 each weekday. With a growing mobile workforce, companies simply need a way to enable productive work, regardless of where employees are physically located.Related: 4 Easy Ways to Protect Your Company from a Cyber AttackThat means there’s a new expectation for accessibility, and it’s not just having access to software — it’s the ability to access it anywhere, anytime, with or without an internet connection. Furthermore, native mobile features that elevate remote work, such as offline mode, signature capture, geo-location tags, barcode scanning, picture taking and the like, are becoming the new standard for enterprise mobile apps.We found that 65 percent of executives said a lack of mobile functionality made it difficult for them to use their software programs. In today’s digital age, the demand for software that provides sophisticated mobile capabilities does not seem to be going away anytime soon.3. Limited integration and compatibilityThe ubiquity and accessibility of cloud and SaaS solutions is becoming a double-edged sword for some businesses. On the upside, there are more software solutions than ever before to power businesses. But the downside is that executives say disparate and disconnected solutions are creating their own challenges.A lack of integration and compatibility with other software and applications is one of the top challenges of enterprise software. Siloed information and disjointed processes are quickly becoming a thorn in the side of enterprises of all sizes.Related: Top 10 Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots For Your Business4. Negatively impacting growthThis disconnect between end-user needs and the enterprise software would all be a moot point if it didn’t have a material effect on day-to-day operations or overall business success. But the data suggests the impact is real.Two in three respondents (66 percent) said the limitations of their enterprise software have negatively affected their company’s growth. Take a second, and let that sink in.This lack of progress in enterprise software means the software that’s designed to power businesses is actually hindering it.An emerging solutionA big part of the overall problems with enterprise software may lie in the fact that it’s usually designed and built by non-users for a generic use case. But as everyone knows, no two businesses operate alike.But all hope is not lost. The cure for what ails both end-users and developers is emerging, and already addressing many of these challenges.Like Amazon Web Services did for infrastructure or WordPress did for building websites, a new generation of low-code application platforms aims to flip the enterprise software paradigm. Low-code technology promises to simplify and speed up application creation, configuration, integration and deployment for enterprise software by replacing the need to write thousands of lines of complex code with drag-and-drop functionality and intuitive, visual features.Due to their unique capabilities, low-code platforms are catching on with savvy executives. Data revealed that 29 percent are already using low-code systems, and another 43 percent are considering them. Technology analyst firm Forrester Research projects the low-code application market to grow from nearly $3 billion today to $15 billion by 2020.Plus, many low-code users say it’s already addressing some of the shortcomings of traditional enterprise software systems.What the future holds for enterprise software is anyone’s guess. But it’s clear that user expectations are rising and the traditional enterprise software market is struggling to keep up with businesses’ growing demand for faster, more agile and mobile solutions. A new approach is inevitable and likely just on the horizon. March 16, 2017 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Researchers say that women may be born with an advantage when it comes to longevity. (Credit: Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com)Women have an average life expectancy that’s about 4 years longer than men’s – regardless of culture or geography. Even among animal species, females outlive males.Why females have an advantage in the longevity department hadn’t been well understood. In the past, some had assumed it had to do with lifestyle. But scientists say there may be a genetic mechanism underlying this age-old phenomenon. In a new study, researchers found that mice with two X chromosomes lived longer, regardless of other biological factors. Researchers say the finding suggests the second X chromosome may govern longevity and explain why women outlive men.X Marks Longer LifespansAll mammals are born with two sex chromosomes. Females have two X chromosomes, whereas males have one X and one Y. X chromosomes are necessary for survival and contain important genes related to the brain. Y chromosomes, on the other hand, are found only in males and are not crucial for survival. Y chromosomes carry relatively few genes beyond those related to secondary sex characteristics such as male genitals and facial hair.To investigate the link between chromosomes and survival, researchers tested different chromosome and gonad combinations among genetically identical mice. Some mice had biological male or female combinations mirroring those found in nature — XX with ovaries and XY with testes. Other mice had XX chromosomes paired with testes and XY chromosomes paired with ovaries.Researchers found that mice with natural female mouse biology — two X-chromosomes and ovaries — outlived all the mice. But mice with two X-chromosomes tended to live longer, regardless of whether they had ovaries or testes. Among this group of mice, the longevity effect was observed beginning at 21 months, which is at the end of a normal mouse lifespan. Researchers say the results point to a potential role of the second X chromosome in longer lifespans.“This suggests that the hormones produced by female gonads increase lifespan in mice with two X chromosomes, either by influencing how the mouse develops or by activating certain biological pathways during their lives,” said Dena Dubal, a neurologist and senior author of the study published in Aging Cell.Scientists don’t understand exactly why the second X chromosome contributes to a longer lifespan. It may be that the second X and its genetic expression has a protective effect that increases survival. Another theory is that the presence of a Y chromosome is somehow harmful. However, the scientists hope to understand this interplay by embarking on future chromosonal studies.“When things go wrong in aging, having more of the X chromosome, along with its diversity of expression, could be really beneficial,” Dubal said.
This story originally appeared on Grist and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.On a crisp winter morning, while my daughters lingered over pancakes with their grandparents, I drove a couple of miles past houses nestled among incense cedars, Ponderosa pines, and Douglas firs. I couldn’t help imagining those trees roaring with flames, because I was going to watch the neighbors set a patch of land on fire.I grew up here, in Nevada City, California, about halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe in the northern foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Like many of our neighbors, my family came for the forest, but with the forest comes forest fires. And in the last few years, it seems like all of the West has been on fire.A quarter mile up a steep driveway, where the rising sun illuminated a panorama of wooded ridgelines, I met Dario Davidson, a retired forester wearing a grubby baseball hat and well-worn leather gloves. He was there to conduct a controlled burn, a way of clearing out the underbrush and leaves that provide tinder to wildfires. In one hand he picked up what looked like a low-key flamethrower, called a drip can, and with the other, he flicked a lighter until the mixture of gasoline and diesel at its wick flared. Then he tipped the can forward and dribbled out a line of flaming fuel onto the forest floor. [embedded content]The people of Nevada County are no strangers to fire. Wildfires stud my memories of growing up in Nevada County. In 1988, my parents packed valuables into our car as a blaze threatened to sweep through town. A few years later, when my brother and I were teenagers home alone one afternoon, we lugged a pump and hose out to our pond as embers fell around us and helicopters roared overhead. Winds kept that first fire out of the most densely populated areas, and people rebuilt what burned down. The second fire was a small blaze just over the hill from my father’s house, which firefighters managed to suppress within a few hours.But things are getting worse. People here are feeling unusually nervous since wildfires consumed neighborhoods in Santa Rosa, Santa Barbara, Malibu, and Redding. Last year, the Camp Fire devoured the entire town Paradise just 50 miles north of here. When officials held a fire-safety meeting in Nevada County last month, residents filled the government building and packed the steps outside the meeting room. Nathanael Johnson/Grist“Business as usual” makes things a little worse every year. First, there are greenhouse gas emissions that make the summers hotter and drier in the West. Second, the forests produce tons of new fuel every year. For the 100-odd years that the government has been putting out fires in the western United States, the trees have been producing a steady rain of branches, leaves, and needles, creating a layer of duff that, in some places, is thick enough to keep water from trickling down to tree roots. Add that to the worst drought in history that parched the state from 2011 to 2014, throw in some voracious bark beetles, and you get 129 million dead trees in California, drying out and magnifying the risk of yet another devastating wildfire for the state. Even if people don’t see the threat, insurance companies do. The increasing risk of fires is driving up the cost of insuring houses in wildfire-prone neighborhoods. Newspapers have run a bunch of stories about people around Nevada City who have found the cost unaffordable, and are moving out. The state insurance commissioner recently said that California is “slowly marching toward a world that’s uninsurable.” One company, Merced Property & Casualty Company, went belly up after the fire in Paradise burned down many of its customers’ houses.Despite a flurry of stories in the media about people losing their insurance and leaving the area, Mark Sektnan, president of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, told me, “We’re not seeing a trend.” Insurance prices are increasing in some places, but California doesn’t allow insurers to jack up premiums based on recent disasters, and nearly everyone can find home insurance if they want it, he said. (Whether they can afford it is another question.)“We started seeing all these stories about uninsurable properties and we thought we were seeing a crisis here,” Sektnan said. “But it turned out the same guy had talked to four different media outlets.” “People need, not just a personal plan, but a community plan,” McLean said. “What about the little street they live on? Who is going to help out the elderly neighbors?”When McLean’s former boss, Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott, retired this year he gave a series of blunt exit interviews. “Folks can say what they want to say, but firefighters are living climate change. It’s staring them in the face every day,” he said. Individuals will have to organize themselves and local governments will need to improve their planning and regulations, Pimlott said. Nathanael Johnson/GristBack at the burn, Davidson was teaching the neighbors and a group of young foresters how to manage a controlled burn. Because fire moves uphill, they’d started near the top of the slope so that fire quickly moved to the upper perimeter — a line of bare dirt — where it ran out of fuel and burned out. Then the workers moved down a few feet and set a new line of fire so that the flames reached the previous burn scar before dying. With this technique, the fire always goes out on its own: You have to work to get the controlled burn to spread. “You just want it to be really slow and boring,” Davidson said.Nonetheless, the workers had raked (“scratched” in forester jargon) out a perimeter line, clearing the needles (“down to mineral soil,” Davidson advised), which kept the fire a good 100 feet from Kathy Keville’s house. The controlled burn was something of a demonstration project for the Lower Colfax Firewise Community association, and neighbors had gathered to watch, learn, and help out.This is a new phenomenon here in California’s fire country: not the use of controlled burns, but the willingness to participate in community organization to stem future fires. The numbers reflect this: There are 23 of these associations in Nevada County, 25 more have filed their papers to be officially recognized, and another 25 are organizing, according to the County fire council.My parents have always cut back the manzanita and scotch broom to maintain Cal Fire’s recommended 100 feet of “defensible space” around their homes (though as they get older they hire others to do most of the work), but we never were part of a communal effort. Immediately, a knee-high fence of fire rose behind him. Fire can mesmerize. It’s easy to get lost staring into the flames at a hearth; it’s even more fascinating to see them spread outdoors. I watched as the blaze transformed the top few inches of pine needles and oak leaves into a film of ash atop the older, decomposing duff. Sweet-smelling smoke gusted around us, and we backed away.Perhaps I should have felt some respectful fear that this mini-forest fire might grow beyond our control. Sooner or later, a real wildfire will rage through here. Houses will burn, and the narrow roads will jam up. People I love, including my aging parents, could die. But I wasn’t even apprehensive: I’ve lived with the reality of wildfire for 40 years. So instead of fear, I felt a twinge of excitement as the flames rose.Davidson gestured toward the blackened patch where the flames were guttering out, diminishing to smoke. He explained that the goal of this burn was to reduce the amount of fuel available to a future wildfire.“This land has been pretty well-managed,” Davidson said. “There’s maybe 10 tons of fuel per acre here, versus 60 tons on nearby properties that haven’t been cleared out. That’s a big difference in terms of the BTUs [the sheer heat], and the number of embers that a big fire will produce.”Even if you’re not surrounded by forest, that heat can be deadly. Nearby homes can burst into flames with high enough temperatures. And flying embers can seed dozens of new blazes. But trees and houses can survive a lower-intensity burn.Davidson spread more fire, and the flames licked up tree trunks, charring the thick bark that evolved to insulate the living tissue inside from fire. For more than a century, we’ve managed to squelch fires, inadvertently creating the conditions for catastrophe. People have been doing prescribed burns for decades, but too few and too rarely to make much of a difference. After years of disastrous inaction, it was a relief to witness this little action — the fire’s warmth felt good, and the entire experience felt salutary. It was like getting out for a run after resolving to stop eating Christmas cookies and start exercising. This isn’t so bad, you think, why don’t we do this all the time? It was the same for Davidson. “I maintained my little five acres and thought I was safe,” he said. “Then I started looking at fire maps and I realized it was just a little postage stamp. I could do all the work I wanted and it would still burn if my neighbors did nothing.”So in 2016, he began organizing meetings. From an initial mailing list of 26, the Lower Colfax Firewise Community association has grown to encompass 680 people, living on 421 parcels covering 2,900 acres.These community associations are a relatively recent development in California and a necessary one, said Scott McLean, spokesperson for Cal Fire. Neighbors help motivate each other, they educate each other, and they figure out who needs help. That last point is crucial during emergencies when fire agencies count on individuals to save one another. The fire danger and high insurance prices will likely drive some Nevada City residents to relocate, but most seem to be staying put — at least for now. Big, slow trends, like climate change, hardly ever trigger radical actions. Instead, these shifts lead to gradual, piecemeal adaptation.During my stay in Nevada City this winter, I asked several locals about the risks of staying put, they were sanguine about the wildfires menacing their homes, and insurance rates reflecting that risk. “When we moved here we realized the danger,” said Suzanne Ferroggiaro, who lives a few miles from my mother. “We’ve lived in different places and we’ve always had threats — tornado threats, hurricane threats, flood threats.”It’s impossible to completely insulate yourself from natural disasters, and even the threat of wildfire is more widespread than you might expect. It’s not just a rural danger. The state fire agency, Cal Fire, says the towns in Nevada County are “very high fire hazard severity zones,” but so are swaths of Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego.Most people aren’t retreating; instead, they are trying new techniques. So everything will have to change, but that has always been true. Californian’s have always had to adapt to their beautiful surroundings. “Fire is a way of life in California, and we have to learn how to live with it, we have to learn how to have more resilient communities,” he said. As the climate continues to change we can expect to see a lot more adaptation like this. Where you might expect to see mass migration and big headline-grabbing actions, look for lots of local meetings, hyper-local associations springing up, and plenty of tinkering around the edges. Whether politicians in Congress ever figure out how to address the drivers of climate change, individuals no different from you and me will continue to hunt solutions that fit their communities.I left before the burn was finished (these things can take all day). At the end, the workers would tamp out embers and spray the area with water. They’d planned the burn between winter storms — a drenching rain with a chance of snow was due at the end of the week. Back at my mom’s house, I could see a scrim of smoke rising through the ponderosas from the direction of Keville’s property. But you probably wouldn’t notice the smoke if you weren’t looking for it. The sky was blue, and the air clear enough for me to see beyond the canyon where the Bear River runs, out past the next ridge that separates it from the American River watershed.That tiny fire Davidson set might make this place a bit safer for my parents, and for my children when I drop them off for summer visits. There’s no way to completely avoid the environmental risks cued up by the missteps of the past. But if this sort of thing inspires more community efforts, and more individuals stepping up to take responsibility for the problems within their grasp, it might make us all a little safer.More Great WIRED StoriesOne couple’s tireless crusade to stop a genetic killerYour tweets give away more location data than you thinkA family’s nuclear legacy, etched in silverHyundai’s walking car concept reinvents the wheelAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a new political reality👀 Looking for the latest gadgets? Check out our picks, gift guides, and best deals all year round📩 Want more? Sign up for our daily newsletter and never miss our latest and greatest stories