About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea No2 Zola: Ampadu has very important future hereby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea No2 Gianfranco Zola admits they’re delighted with the progress of Ethan Ampadu.Ahead of facing FA Cup opponents Nottingham Forest today, Zola discussed the teen.Ampadu committed his future to Stamford Bridge in September with a new five-year deal and assistant manager Zola stated he is highly rated at the club.The Blues legend said: “Ampadu is… when we spoke about Ampadu, me and a lot of staff, everybody shares the same opinion: he’s going to become an important player for this club.”He has intelligence, he has attitude. He has all the, in my opinion, qualities to become a top player. As a staff we value him a lot and when there is an opportunity he will get time.”
Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Wednesday proved the majority of his BJP-led government in the Assembly, comfortably winning a floor test in the House. Twenty MLAs voted for the motion of confidence in the two-day old government, while 15 opposed it. The special session of the House was convened by Governor Mridula Sinha to conduct the floor test, after Sawant was sworn in as the CM during wee hours of Tuesday. Besides 11 members from BJP, three each from Goa Forward Party, MGP and Independents supported Sawant during the head count conducted in the House. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The Assembly session was presided over by Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo. All the 14 MLAs of Congress and one from NCP stood up against the motion. After winning the trust vote, Sawant appealed all the members to join hands with him to ensure that developmental work reaches every nook and corner of the state. The change in leadership in the coastal state was necessitated due to the death of then CM Manohar Parrikar on Sunday.
In need of a break from the winter chill? Somewhere you can be sure of sunny weather, delicious food, sensational shopping and friendly locals? Then it’s hard to go past Malaysia. And this July is definitely a great time to plan your trip to one of South East Asia’s favourite holiday destinations. There are some great events and attractions taking place right around the country, sure to appeal to every taste:7TH ANNIVERSARY UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE CELEBRATION Celebrate Malaysia’s rich colonial history in Penang and Melaka state. This July marks the 7th anniversary of the listing of twin-cities, George Town and Melaka City as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. At the start of the July a huge array of memorable events and activities will take place in and around the historic centre of each city including cultural performances, heritage tours – and of course a chance to sample some of the amazing local cuisine for which both are rightly famous.Penang – 4 to 7 July. Visit www.heritagecelebrations.infoMelaka – 7 July. Visit www.mbmb.gov.myNEW MUSEUM IN IPOH:Ipoh’s latest museum pays homage to Malaya’s colonial tin mining history. Han Chin Pet Soo, the Hakka tin miner’s club, was established in 1893 as a recreational club for tin miners to relax after a hard day’s work at the mines, with opium smoking and gambling among the key benefits of membership. Today, this historic building has been restored to its former glory, with many original exhibits dating back 100 years or more. Spend an afternoon here taking many fascinating artifacts from a bygone era and learn about Malaya’s glorious tin mining past.Visit www.ipohworld.org/reservationPENANG BON ODORI FESTIVALOver centuries, Penang has emerged as veritable melting pot of peoples from all over the world. This July the Island state acknowledges the heritage and culture of its Japanese community. The Bon Odori Festival is a traditional summer event where the Japanese honour their ancestors. Also known as Obon, this year’s event features Japanese food and refreshments, Taiko and martial arts performances, craft exhibits as well traditional music and dancing in and around the streets of Georgetown. A highlight is the colourful display of exquisite Japanese Kimono, Yukata and Happi coats worn by many of the festival-goers.25 July 2015. Visit www.visitpenang.gov.myBLOODRUNNER 2015Those harbouring more ghoulish desires, should head to Putrajaya. BloodRunner is Asia’s first, werewolf-themed urban obstacle night race that is ready to take Malaysia’s Garden City by storm. Held over an especially designed 10km urban course, BloodRunner is sure to thrill and excite contestants. Expect obstacles that will cater to runners of all levels – from seasoned athletes, to first-time runners to weekend gym warriors. Food trucks featuring delicious Malaysian Hawker cuisine and a post-race party featuring up-and-coming local bands are an added attraction.31 July 2015. Visit www.bloodrunner.comBARIO FOOD FESTIVAL For food lovers, the 10th Anniversary Bario Food & Cultural Festival will be held from 30 July until 1 August this year. The 3-day festival celebrates the unique food, farming, forest and cultural heritage of the Bario Highlands – one of the last surviving traditionally farmed and forested highland watersheds in Sarawak and East Malaysia. Enjoy delicious organic food cooked by the various longhouse communities of the Kelabit Highlands as well as traditional games and dances. Plus there are plenty of trekking trails to keep your adventure spirit high.30 July to 1 August. Visit www.facebook.com/pages/bariofoodfestival Source = Tourism Malaysia
In This Issue. * Currencies look tired and worn out. * Singapore inflation increases! * U.S. data is ugly. * Chuck retracts his comments on Poland. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. RBNZ Hikes OCR! Good Day! . And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! I’ve got a ton of stuff to talk about today, so get your cup of coffee, and something to nibble on (my fave would be a cheese Danish!), and sit yourself down, for this is going to be an interesting ride today. Now, if I can just remember all the stuff I wanted to talk about today! UGH! Funny, I can hear a song for the first time in 30 years, and remember the lyrics, but I can’t remember what happened 10 minutes ago! Oh, well, I guess I should get worried if I end up forgetting those lyrics, eh? Reminds me a great 70’s song, by the Pousette-Dart Band. Amnesia. I hope that it’s only amnesia, believe me I’m sick but not insane. Front and Center this morning, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) surprised me and the markets for that matter, by hiking their Official Cash Rate (OCR) by 25 Basis Points (1/4%) last night. I wasn’t surprised that the RBNZ hiked the OCR, I was surprised that they did it rate hikes at back to back meetings. Back to back, belly to belly, I don’t give a dang ’cause I’m stone dead already, the Zombie Jamboree! I had told you long ago, and before the first rate hike by the RBNZ in March that I expected the RBNZ to hike the OCR 3 times this year, adding a total of 75 Basis Points (3/4%) to the OCR. Well, there’s two down, one to go! I’m feeling pretty confident that the 3rd rate hike will be coming, maybe not next month, but coming nonetheless, because the RBNZ remained hawkish in their statement last night. In fact, I’m so confident now, I’m going to be like a cheesy infomercial and tell you: That’s Not All! If the RBNZ acts right away, they might be ready to hike rates another 50 Basis Points (1/2%) before summer is over! The New Zealand dollar / kiwi got a boost from the rate hike news, and the subsequent hawkish statements by the RBNZ, but this morning kiwi is flat, and waiting for the U.S. markets to get a view of the new level for the OCR in New Zealand. I think that with rates starting so low in New Zealand, that these first two rate hikes have almost brought rates back to a better starting point, and IF, (that’s a BIG IF) the RBNZ does hike two more times it will bring the OCR to 3.5%… Still quite low for New Zealand, but over 300 basis points better than the U.S., Japan, and Eurozone. nothing to stick your nose up in the air over. OK. The currencies as a whole look tired this morning, and all either flat or down a shade, and wouldn’t you know it, China allowed an appreciation in the renminbi / yuan overnight. Moving in an opposite direction than the other currencies.. Strange but true.. And Gold is still stuck in the mud below $1,300. Well, one of my fave currencies, because of the way it is used to combat inflation, instead of arbitrary interest rate adjustments, The Singapore dollar / Sing $, should be getting the wink and nod from the people who set the trading bands on the currency, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), soon. Why you ask? Well, Sing inflation moved higher in March by 1.2% VS last year. Yes, I think that while inflation in Singapore seems to be under control, you can’t ignore a move from .4% in Feb, to 1.2% in March. History shows us that the MAS is very diligent in maintaining price stability in Singapore, and knowing this, I would expect to hear that the MAS widened the trading band for the Sing $, very soon. Proving once again that the bad weather card is something that will be used when necessary. Canada printed their Feb, yes that’s right, Feb Retail Sales report yesterday. Retail Sales for Feb rose the expected amount of +.5%, which follows a revised .9% gain in January. You might recall, that originally, Retail Sales in January for Canada printed at +1.3%, so the .9% revised number is a downward revision. So, even Canada plays this game, folks. And they don’t have to! Canada is a sound financial, hardworking country, they don’t need to play games with data! Any-old-way you roll the dice, the data was not good for the Canadian dollar / loonie. I did see a write up from one of the writers at Agora that touted the Canadian dollar as a buy. He based it all on a recovery of commodities. And that’s a great place to start, for the loonie is considered a Commodity Currency, and in the past has responded favorably to rallies in commodities. So, I guess the question would be.. Do you believe in a Commodities Rally? For if you do, you might want to look to the loonie in addition.. Well.. Shiver me timbers! I must make amends! Yesterday, I told you how I was watching the Polish zloty and liked the economic and fiscal performance in Poland. I had a dear reader send me a note and ask me if I were crazy? “Didn’t you see that Poland confiscated private pension funds?” I was shocked! Because NO, I had NOT seen that story reported anywhere! But this dear reader thought to tell me where she saw this (Thanks Lynn!) and sure enough there it was on zerohedge.com for all the world to see! OK. first let me set this up for you. Poland has a hybrid pension system: mandatory contributions are made into both the state pension vehicle, known as ZUS, and the private funds, which are collectively known by the Polish acronym OFE. Bond make up half the private fund’s portfolios, with the rest company stocks.. The Polish Gov’t called this, what I’m about to explain as “an overhaul”. I’ll let you decide what you would call it, but I wouldn’t use the word “overhaul”! “On Wednesday, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said private funds within the state-guaranteed system would have their bond holdings transferred to a state pension vehicle, but keep their equity holdings. The funds would effectively be left with only the equities portions of their assets, even this would be depleted, and there will be uncertainty about the number of new savers joining. But why is Poland engaging in behavior that will ultimately be disastrous to future capital allocation in non-public pension funds (the type that can at least on paper generate some returns as opposed to “public” funds which are guaranteed to lose)? After all, this is a last ditch step which no rational person would engage in unless there were no other option. Simple: there were no other option, and the driver is the same reason the world everywhere else is broke too – too much debt. By shifting some assets from the private funds into ZUS, the government can book those assets on the state balance sheet to offset public debt, giving it more scope to borrow and spend.” See what happens when a Gov’t gets pushed against a wall by debt? That couldn’t happen here, right? Ahem. think again. Oh, and by the way, I would call this confiscation. plain and simple. Well, since I came in this morning, Gold has dropped another $5 to $1,278.00. That’s just not right folks. But it is what it is. There’s nothing I can do about it, and I learned a few years ago that I can rant and rant about something, but it doesn’t change it, and only gets my blood pressure boiling, which isn’t a good thing! If all things were equal, and there was no such thing as price manipulators, I would say that this current level for Gold looked to be a good opportunity to buy it cheap. Long ago, and far away, I first began to tell you all how I viewed China’s hoarding of Gold as essential to their plan to either 1. Back their currency with a percentage of Gold when they decide to float it, or 2. Have enough Gold to make the rules when everything goes to hell in a hand basket, and countries sit down to see who has the Gold. I lean heavily on the 1st of those two options, and have for some time now. I’ve always thought that China would be the 1st to back their currency with Gold again. Then last year, I started telling you about how Russia was also hoarding Gold. Well, a recent article on Russia, states that “The Central Bank of Russia has made a subtle, yet serious threat against the lynchpin of the American Economy, the U.S. dollar. According to Russian media, The Central Bank just released a new logo, which is a Gold ruble.” So, is Russia planning on moving ahead of China in this race to have a Gold backed currency? Sounds like it, but. I would still think that China is more prepared to do this than Russia. However, having said that, the urgency to back the ruble with Gold seems to be fueled by Russian President, “Putin, who has made it quite clear that any attacks on the Russian economy will be answered in with retaliations of their own.” I think that we should be taking this treat seriously folks. I know that symbolism is huge to Putin. So, now we have two large countries, heading toward backing their currency with Gold. The tide is changing on the dollar’s hold as reserve currency folks. When will everyone else wake up and smell the coffee? The Aussie dollar (A$) is taking another shot to the mid-section this morning, after being down for the count yesterday. The soft CPI (consumer inflation) report from Australia on Tuesday night, has really caused the A$ to look for a place to hide, but finding no place to hide, it takes its punishment for having weak inflation. Now, how smartless does that sound to you? Doesn’t inflation eat away at a currency’s value? Of course it does! So, what’s the frequency Kenneth? The markets are convinced that Central Banks can control inflation, so with that thought, the markets want to see inflation in the countries rise, so that interest rates can rise. It’s a strange and dangerous game the markets are requiring the Central Banks to play right now. For it is my opinion that Central Banks are always late to the party, and always playing catch-up with runaway inflation. Well, the U.S. Data Cupboard printed some ugly data yesterday. I’m sure you didn’t hear about any of it, and if you did, I’m sure the “bad weather” card was played. First, we had Mortgage Applications for last week, drop by -3.3%… Then we had the private firm Markit print their U.S. Manufacturing Index, and saw it weaken a bit for April. and then the New Home Sales, took the Nestea Plunge in March. Sales of new single-family homes in the U.S. fell -14.5% VS Feb. to an annualized 384,000 units, in March. The lowest level of sales since July 2013. This one hurt, for the markets were expecting an increase to 450,000 annualized units. That’s a HUGE difference folks, and I think reflects the fears out there that interest rates are going higher in the near future. And then finally today, the first piece of market moving data for this week will print. Durable Goods Orders for March will find its way to the Data Cupboard’s docket this morning. And in the background, we’ll see something just as important, but pushed to the background by the markets, Capital Goods Orders & Shipments. For What it’s Worth. Man, I feel like today’s letter is a collection of For What It’s Worth ideas! But, fear not, dear reader, for I will still bring you a FWIW section/ story for today. And it’s a real treat this morning, for I have a snippet of an interview with my fave analyst / writer right now, Grant Williams. I’ll set this up first. Grant Williams is talking about how in the West the people don’t understand Gold, but in the East they do. But that’s not the Achilles’ heel that he sees for the West. let’s listen in.. Oh, and I found this on Kingworld.com. “I think the Achilles’ heel of the West is the politicians. I think they are inept and they are focused on all the wrong things. And the danger of a miscalculation on a political level by a very inept group in the West against the very smart operators that you have in the East, is potentially a big Achilles’ heel. Gold is certainly something that, despite protests by Western central bankers to the contrary, they do think a lot about and it is something they watch. But if they did the right thing, the gold price would go higher. When I say the right thing, I mean that if they converted more reserves in the West to gold, yes, the price would go higher. And when you look at the incredible problems facing the West, with the sheer amount of the debt, watching the price of gold soar is not something they can allow if they are trying to print massive quantities of money. If they allow the price of gold to head significantly higher, then the underlying inflation in the West is going to become far more evident, and that’s something that doesn’t play well politically. So I think the political class is by far the most dangerous thing that the West has to face at the moment. And we are in a year where there are going to be elections all over Europe, midterms in the United States, so the political landscape is where we are going to see some real fireworks this year.” – Grant Williams Chuck again. I’ve told you all before that Grant Williams writes a newsletter called “Things that make you go hmmm”. It’s the one newsletter I get, and I get a boatload of them, that I open up and read the minute it hits my email box! Comfortably Numb was just playing on the IPod, and that’s what we’ve all become, regarding debt in this country. To recap. The currencies look tired and worn out, and for the most part are either flat or down a bit this morning, except the renminbi / yuan which saw an appreciation overnight by the Chinese Central Bank. The RBNZ hike rates last night, which surprised Chuck for the timing not the actual rate hike. Chuck now believes his original forecast of 75 Basis Points of rate hikes from the RBNZ was too conservative, and has now boosted it to 100 Basis Points before summer is over. 50 down, 50 to go! Chuck puts his tail between his legs on a statement he made about Poland, Singapore inflation jumps higher in March! Currencies today 4/24/14. American Style: A$ .9270, kiwi .8575, C$ .9075, euro 1.3825, sterling 1.6785, Swiss $1.1325, . European Style: rand 10.5650, krone 5.9860, SEK 6.5590, forint 222.90, zloty 3.0315, koruna 19.8560, RUB 35.68, yen 102.40, sing 1.2570, HKD 7.7530, INR 61.08, China 6.1589, pesos 13.03, BRL 2.2215, Dollar Index 79.80, Oil $101.87, 10-year 2.71%, Silver $19.09, Platinum $1,398.25, Palladium $785.56, and Gold. $1,278.15 That’s it for today. Long winded today, eh? Well, I think I recalled everything I wanted to talk about and then some! Little Feat are playing Dixie Chicken right now on the IPod. I love to sing along with that song! I’ve seen the bright lights of Memphis. And the Commodore Hotel. And underneath a street lamp, I met a southern belle. see what I mean? Well, our Blues lost their mojo these last two games, and head back to St. Louis for Game 5, tied 2-2 in games won. I hope they find the magic here on home ice! And Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha struck out 9 Mets batters for his first 9 outs last night, but still lost the game. UGH! So, another bad night for St. Louis sports! Alex picked up his tux last night, his senior prom is this Saturday night. I told him he could drive my car if he wanted to, and he was all over that in a heartbeat! Kathy’s baby boy is getting ready to graduate High School and move on to college, I have a feeling she’s going to be emotional about this. but maybe not. OK. once again, I’ve carried on too long. so for that I apologize. Now let’s go make this a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets
The death of a former major league baseball player in his native Venezuela this week is renewing concerns over the Latin American country’s growing health crisis amid ongoing economic and political turmoil.Marcos Carvajal, a 34-year-old former pitcher for the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins, died of pneumonia on Tuesday. He fell sick in December, but the antibiotics needed to treat the illness were hard to find. Drugs for Carvajal eventually were sent from abroad but he relapsed, returned to the hospital on Monday and died the next day. The Pharmaceutical Federation of Venezuela estimates the country is suffering from an 85 percent shortage of medicine amid an economic crisis also marked by severe hyperinflation and food scarcity.The entire Venezuelan health care system is on the verge of collapse, says Francisco Valencia, head of the public health advocacy group Codevida. Some hospitals lack electricity, and more than 13,000 doctors have left Venezuela in the past four years in search of better opportunities.”They don’t give food to the patients in the hospital,” Valencia tells Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd. “They don’t have the proper medical supplies to take care of the people who go to the emergency [room] like gloves, like every basic thing they need for an emergency.”According to the pharmaceutical association, there is also a 90 percent deficit of other medical supplies and drugs used to treat more serious conditions like cancer.The shortage has forced Venezuelans to go looking for medicine on the black market, Valencia says. Even if they find the right medicine, which is often smuggled from Colombia and Brazil and could be expired, most people can’t afford it.The crisis affects Valencia personally, who relies on medication for a kidney transplant.”I haven’t received my medicine since August last year,” he says. “Right now, I’m taking medicines that [have] expired, and my transplant is at risk.”Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has refused to accept humanitarian aid, blocking shipments of medicine and first aid supplies. Government data shows infant mortality rose by 30 percent in 2016 and malaria infections shot up 76 percent, Reuters reports.”So most countries when they’re hit by a crisis, they’re taking aid from other countries, from NGOs,” Associated Press reporter Hannah Dreier told NPR in 2016. “But Venezuela keeps refusing to take donations that other countries are offering and is actually turning back shipments of donations that people have given in places like the U.S., not letting medicine in.”Drug prices have skyrocketed along with those for food and other basic necessities. The International Monetary Fund predicts inflation will soar to 13,000 percent this year and the economy will shrink by 15 percent.Earlier this week, the government announced it would abandon one of its two official foreign exchange rates, which had been used for food and medicine imports, Reuters reports. The policy change could encourage businesses to import more goods, but critics say it won’t be very effective due to the lack of hard currency in Venezuela.The elimination of the exchange rate was “a step in the right direction because it helps correct foreign exchange distortion,” Asdrubal Oliveros of local consultancy Ecoanalitica told Reuters. “But without dollars, things will continue to be more complicated.”Since the collapse of Venezuela’s oil-rich economy in 2014, the country has struggled to raise hard currency. The monthly minimum wage for many Venezuelans is now equal to $3, according to the AP.Maduro blames the country’s growing crisis on foreign economic sanctions, claiming that the U.S. is leading an effort to wipe out socialism in Venezuela, according to Reuters. Presidential elections are set to be held by April 30, which is much earlier than usual, but Venezuela’s pro-government Supreme Court last week banned the main opposition party from running. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
When Maddy Nadeau was a toddler, her mother wasn’t able to care for her. “I remember Mom was always locking herself in her room and she didn’t take care of me. My mom just wasn’t around at the time,” she says.Every day, her older sister Devon came home from elementary school and made sure Maddy had something to eat.”Devon would come home from school and fix them cold hot dogs or a bowl of cereal — very simple items that both of them could eat,” says Sarah Nadeau, who fostered the girls and later adopted them.The girls’ parents struggled with drug addiction, and for several years, the sisters moved in with different relatives and eventually, foster homes. Nadeau says when they arrived at her home, both girls were anxious and depressed and had a hard time focusing in school — especially Maddy, who had been exposed to drugs in utero.”That makes it very difficult for her brain to settle down enough to do more than one task at a time,” Nadeau says.The Nadeaus live on Cape Cod, which has some of the highest numbers of deaths due to opioid overdoses in Massachusetts. It’s also where a growing number of schools are hiring treatment counselors to work with teachers and their students whose families are battling addiction. The counselors work at the schools but are employed by Gosnold, the largest provider of addiction services on the Cape.In October, Congress authorized $50 million a year for the next five years to fund mental health services to help school districts treat students who have experienced trauma due to the opioid epidemic.And an increasing number of school districts across the country are starting not only to screen and treat at-risk kids for opioid addiction, but also access mental health counseling specifically for students whose families and communities are consumed by opioid abuse.”Schools have more kids who cannot access the learning environment,” says Sharon Hoover, co-director of The National Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Children are “suffering from family substance abuse and schools are feeling the burden.”Hoover says bringing counselors and psychiatrists into the schools is an effective approach.”This is considered a preferable model of care,” she says. “The kids show up for treatment services because they’re not relying on a family member to take them somewhere in the community.”These programs are new, but data shows that school counseling for kids at risk for substance abuse leads to less absenteeism and better school performance.In Massachusetts, the schools using the Gosnold counselors report that their students are doing better academically and emotionally.Sarah Nadeau says that has been the case for both Maddy and her older sister, who are leading more stable lives since they began seeing the Gosnold counselors at school every week.”Their day runs smoother. They can get out their anxiety while they’re in school instead of bottling it up, and then go back to class and continue learning,” she says.K’yan Kelly is a Gosnold counselor who works at Lawrence Middle School in Falmouth, Mass. She sees Maddy Nadeau at least once a week.She recently increased the number of days she works at the school because she says so many children are experiencing the chaos of addiction, including the fear that their parents might not survive an overdose.”The unknown of whether a parent will live is a certain kind of trauma,” says Kelly. Also, “if you are a child who has experienced trauma, school itself can have a lot of demands.”The counselors are also there to support the teachers, who must navigate how to educate kids whose families are consumed by addiction.”It’s a lot. You’re dealing with addiction, you’re dealing with trauma, you’re dealing with loss and that’s what they’re up against, a lot of these kids,” says Carolyn Alves. Alves has been teaching for 17 years, most of them at Lawrence Middle School.She has seen an increasing number of students who are living in foster care or have moved in with other family members because their parents are dead, in jail, or struggling with active addiction.”You know that what they need is a lot bigger than what you can give to them as their teachers,” she says.Each school pays Gosnold a fee for its counselors. Private insurance covers the student’s individual sessions. If insurance won’t cover the therapy, Gosnold will absorb the cost. Last year, 17 schools on Cape Cod used Gosnold counselors, this year there are more than 50 schools offering these services to students throughout Massachusetts.”I wish that more schools offered it because the epidemic is everywhere,” says Sarah Nadeau. “For a lot of these kids, school is the only place that is stable. They get their lunch here, they get their education here, so why not give them their support while they’re here at the school?”This story was produced in partnership with The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Blog, one of the few financial investments I’ve touched, that hasn’t turned almost instantly to shit in my hands, is a loans company in Leicester. Its gone SO well, in fact, that I even went out recently for a night of celebratory group-socialising, with their owners; the ‘Leicester Boys’.During the evening, the guys were discussing what they intend on doing when they become true ‘megas’. The conversation led on to what we thought would be an excellent, must-have accessory, for anyone who takes themselves even half seriously as a megatron:A private Concorde.Now that really would be top class, wouldn’t it, Blog?Once we came up with the idea, we really had to question why Star friend and client, ‘The Dark Knight’, doesn’t have one already? We almost had to call him, to give him a good berating over this matter. Sort it out, DK!!Immediate upsides:1) He could have it painted black, made to look as if Batman would fly in it, and have ‘The Dark Knight’ written along the side in red. Kool rating = 10.2) It’s instantly, at least, quite cool, because it uses loads of fuel and makes lots of noise, thus annoys all eco-leftie types. = bonus kool points.3) The plane would imasculate ALL other planes, at all other airports it visits. On landing, people would know that the mega of all megas is in town. The Dark Knight could sneer at owners of standard private-planes as if they’ve turned up in rusty Ford Cortinas = getting better all the time.I am so excited by our idea, that this evening, I have been ‘Googling’ for further research on purchasing a Concorde…There were 20 built.Due to a crash they once had, 9/11, and the fact that our generation have sunk to thinking that filth like Ryan Air are acceptable, and Easy Jet is the classy option; no modern drong want to pay decent money to fly anywhere (not a problem, however, if you’re a mega and want to have a private one).Many of these 20 aircraft are still in existence and just sitting around Europe. I have read online that one could be modernised and have the engine bought up to scratch for about £10mill. It would then cost about £1mill a year to maintain. To check there’s nothing funny going on, after the 2001 crash, we could send up some of The Staff, in a tester flight, before the big day. If they come down okay, we’re then GAME ON!This is a SNIP at £10mill! Having looked online, I’ve seen that cack normal ones cost more than that, Blog!!Also, my second middle-class leftie friend; David Haddrell, is currently qualifying to be a pilot. If I ever get to be a mega, he could fly me about all day, whilst I wind him up for the entire length of the journey, showing him headlines from my Daily Mail. ‘David, back in your seat, please, you mad leftie! You’re the pilot, that means you can’t start punching me during the flight!!’I shall leave this project with The Dark Knight and ask him to come back with a response asap.In other news:Full marks to Posh and Becks for sending their unused clothes to the Red Cross charity shop in Chelsea this week. They are often easy targets for jealousy and sniping but I think this is a great example. Lots of spoilt idiots take the piss out of people who go to charity shops, but there are some great bargains and real quality to be found. Recently, when walking along Marylebone High Street, with Gaul Wood, I saw a David Bailey book in the window of a charity shop. I’ve been looking for a copy of ‘Archive One’ for ages, as online they can cost anything between two hundred and five hundred quid. I dived in, and made a bargain purchase for £35. Who said you can’t eat value?! (Well, yes, okay, Blog. You can’t eat books, but you know what I mean.)Over and out,B x
Jan 29 2019The AYE Combo Refractometer / Viscometer from Testa Analytical Solutions e.K. sets a new standard for the detection of intrinsic viscosity of highly diluted samples. Source:https://www.testa-analytical.com/ This unique instrument is designed to have a high performance refractometer as an integral part of the viscometer, therefore both concentration and viscosity are measured at exactly the same time on the very same sample segment.Related StoriesTesta Analytical Solutions introduces new version of powerful Particle Solutions software suiteRevolutionary instrument for characterizing liposomes and liposome-drug conjugatesDynamic Light Scattering measurements in concentrated solutionsAs a consequence the AYE Combo Refractometer / Viscometer allows a much more accurate determination of molecular parameters and is particular suitable for applications focused on determining the structure and branching of complex polymers.Using a viscometer within a GPC/SEC System, requires a source of a concentration signal to complete the necessary calculations. The limitation of using a standard Differential Refractive Index (DRI) detector for this task, is that it must deliver a corresponding concentration signal for each point on the viscosity curve. This is possible with two separate instruments, precision of the results however, will be limited due to the volume difference of the detectors. A combination instrument, such as the AYE Combo, where both detectors are integral part of each other, overcomes these limitations and allows a much better determination of the sample under investigation.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 22 2019The increase in cesarean sections is on the verge of a global epidemic. Though the World Health Organization recommends an optimal C-section rate of 10-15 percent, the United States’ C-section rate is more than 30 percent.In many Latin American countries, the procedure is sky rocketing, reaching more than 50 percent in some.While C-sections are lifesaving in some cases, they are increasing beyond recommended rates with harmful consequences for children’s health.Cesarean delivered children tend to be susceptible to infections, obesity, asthma and allergies. This occurs in part because many mothers are unable to successfully breastfeed them after a C-section.However, recent research shows that this may be culturally mediated. In some parts of the world, mothers are able to breastfeed successfully after C-section deliveries, and this practice may reduce their negative child health effects.Amanda Veile, an assistant professor of anthropology at Purdue University, and her team report that indigenous mothers in farming communities in Yucatán, Mexico, breastfeed for about 1.5 months longer following cesarean deliveries than they do following vaginal deliveries. Veile believes this is possible because the mothers live in an exceptionally supportive breastfeeding environment.”Moms living in this Mexican community don’t have to hide in a bathroom to feed their child when they are in public,” says Veile, a biological anthropologist who specializes in infant and child development. “Here, it is a cultural norm to breastfeed anytime, anywhere, and to sustain breastfeeding for longer than two years. And we think that prolonged breastfeeding offers protective benefits that reduces some of the health problems we often see in children delivered by C-section.”Veile’s research appears in the American Journal of Human Biology’s special issue on the evolutionary and biocultural causes and consequences of rising cesarean delivery rates. Veile and collaborator Karen Rosenberg, a professor from the University of Delaware, are the guest editors for the special issue. It features 10 research articles written by anthropologists, biologists and healthcare practitioners, which are available open access through spring 2019.Related StoriesBreastmilk antibody necessary to prevent necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infantsMothers can transfer life-long protection against infection to infants by breastfeedingPre-pregnancy maternal obesity may affect growth of breastfeeding infantsIn Veile’s study, she and her team compared breastfeeding durations and childhood infection rates based on how the child was born to Yucatec Maya farmers. Following 88 children from birth until age 5, the results show that those children born via C-sections were breastfed for about 2.7 years, whereas vaginally delivered children were breastfed for just over 2.5 years. There was no difference in infection rates between the two groups of children.”What a powerful message supporting breastfeeding,” Veile says. “We need to continue studying this issue, but it seems that these mothers, perhaps subconsciously, increased their breastfeeding efforts post-cesarean.”Veile says that Yucatec Maya women do experience post-cesarean challenges in the hospital environment, such as prolonged separation from their infants, latching issues and delayed milk let-down reflex. Still mothers overcome these challenges through determination, consumption of special foods, and the use of herbs and compresses. They also receive emotional support and breastfeeding advice from their family and friends.”Now that C-sections are becoming more universal, it is important to understand more about the consequences for children’s health in a variety of settings,” Veile said. “This includes very rural communities worldwide that are transitioning to increased health care access, while simultaneously experiencing poor community sanitation and the double burden of malnutrition.” Source:https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2019/Q1/c-sections-are-seen-as-breastfeeding-barrier-in-the-u.s.,-but-not-in-other-global-communities.html
Source:American Academy of Family Physicians Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 15 2019Visits to the doctor for a respiratory tract infection can lead to unnecessary antibiotic prescribing, but an online intervention with real-time information on locally circulating viruses may reduce mothers’ intentions to visit their primary care doctor.A representative sample of mothers in the United Kingdom (N=806) was randomized to receive the online intervention, including locally enhanced influenza statistics, symptom information, and home-care advice, either before (intervention group) or after (control group) responding to a hypothetical respiratory tract infection illness scenario.Participants in the intervention group had lower intentions to visit the doctor than those in the control group when adjusted for demographic and clinical characteristics. Intervention material was generally well received, with information on symptoms and when to visit the primary care doctor rated as more important than information on locally circulating viruses. If the intervention were rolled out widely, the authors surmise that it would have impact, given the high rates at which parents of children with respiratory tract infections visit primary care clinicians. The authors call for research to evaluate intervention effects on observed behavioral outcomes in real-world settings and examine long-term effects and cost-effectiveness.
The intelligent city bus is the result of a joint project between ETH and the Swiss SME Carrosserie HESS, Switzerland’s only bus manufacturer. Credit: Daniel Winkler The rather unusual trolleybus could be mistaken for a tram with its large windscreen and covered wheels. Credit: ETH Zurich 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. Putting theory into practice ETH and Carrosserie HESS began working together in 2009. At that time, HESS was experimenting with a diesel hybrid bus, but the energy savings they were achieving were lower than they had hoped for. So when ETH came up with the idea of developing a new energy management system for the bus project as part of a doctoral position, the HESS project coordinators jumped at the chance. The doctorate was funded by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation CTI and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.There was still quite a way to go before the first bus with ETH software rolled off the HESS production line. From the research side, the project was a resounding success that produced some major fuel savings – but by the time the doctoral thesis was finished, the balance of customer demand had shifted from diesel hybrid buses to electric buses. This brought home the challenges that arise in any partnership between academia and the private sector, with the slow mill of ETH’s scientifically rigorous approach on the one hand, and Carrosserie HESS’s exposure to market dynamics on the other. “What we need is not necessarily a system that is theoretically perfect, but one that works in practice and complies with all the regulations,” says Widmer. “And obviously it has to eventually make us some money!”A project with a future”SwissTrolley plus” is a follow-up project involving the latest electric bus from HESS – and both partners have learned from experience. Once again, a doctoral student at ETH is developing a software program for efficient energy management. But what’s new is that this project brings on board a second research institute in the form of Bern University of Applied Sciences, as well as its first public transport operator in the form of Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich (VBZ). As a result, the ETH researchers can analyse the software in real-world conditions practically on their doorstep, thanks to the pilot bus that VBZ added to its Zurich fleet some 12 months ago.Right now, the smart Zurich pilot bus is the only one of its kind – but not for long. This autumn, three more bi-articulated buses based on the same technology will start operating on local routes. And back at Carrosserie HESS Widmer is confident that other public transport operators will soon follow suit: “A few of them have already expressed interest”.This second joint doctoral project comes to an end next year, but there’s a good chance the cooperation between ETH and HESS will continue in the future. The longer their collaboration lasts, the more issues they find that can best be solved by working together. “Software could potentially help out not just with the driving, but also save energy used for heating and air conditioning,” says Widmer. ETH Professor Onder agrees without hesitation: “That’s definitely an interesting and relevant area for researchers to look into.” Citation: Research helps make buses smarter (2018, September 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-buses-smarter.html HESS J1943+213 is an extreme blazar, study finds This intelligent city bus is the result of a joint project between ETH and the Swiss SME Carrosserie HESS, which is headquartered in Bellach in the canton of Solothurn. Carrosserie HESS is Switzerland’s only bus manufacturer – and ETH has developed an energy management software package tailored to its needs. Using algorithms, the software determines when the bus should alternate between the overhead wires and battery pack by identifying the optimum source of power at each particular moment. For example, during a hill climb the most sensible choice is to drain the traction battery, because the bus can subsequently take advantage of regenerative braking on a downhill stretch to recharge the battery “for free”. This method can reduce energy use by up to 15 percent, which translates into considerable cost savings.Competitive advantageThis collaborative project offers advantages on both sides. HESS benefits from a capacity for innovation that would be inconceivable without a research partner. “We simply don’t have the resources to develop that kind of efficient energy management system on our own,” says Martin Widmer, who is responsible for the project at Carrosserie HESS. Working with ETH has allowed the Swiss company and its approximately 260 employees to maintain a competitive edge over far bigger rivals from other countries.For their part, ETH researchers are able to translate their theoretical expertise into concrete projects. The scientific complexities of hybrid buses are a good choice of topic for contributions to academic journals, says Christopher Onder, Professor at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH. “The project attracts students like a magnet,” he adds, noting that the joint projects carried out with HESS to date have already yielded some 30 semester projects and Bachelor’s and Master’s theses. What’s more, a number of students have already completed an internship at HESS, while others such as Martin Widmer have taken on permanent positions at the SME after finishing their degree at ETH. Provided by ETH Zurich A rather unusual trolleybus has been navigating the streets of Zurich in recent months. With its large windscreen and covered wheels, it could easily be mistaken for a tram – but it’s not just the design that makes this bus so unique. For a start, it features a hybrid electric drive system that allows it to draw power from an on-board traction battery as well as overhead wires. But this bus is also “smart”, boasting specially designed software that automatically gathers information on the route. That means it always knows what to expect – whether that’s a downhill stretch or a dead wire up ahead.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (file photo) COMMENTS SHARE The war-of-words between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP turned uglier with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a “liar” and a “bad influence on youngsters”.Banerjee, who is known to be extremely critical of the Prime Minister, has previously called him “Hitler’s grandfather” and other names that include “expiry babu”.The attacks have even been personal to the extent that West Bengal Chief Minister said that “a man who cannot take care of his wife, will not be able to take care of the country either” (referring to Modi’s election affidavit and the controversy over his marriage). The sharpened attack on the Prime Minister came during one of Banerjee’s election rallies. “I have worked with many Prime Ministers. But, I have never seen a bigger liar than Modi. He is a bad influence for young minds,” she said in Purulia, 300 km from the city.Banerjee had previously made a veiled reference to Gujarat riots. “Today, you are calling me ‘tolabaaz’ (extortionist). If I am a tolabaaz, what are you? Your entire body, from head to feet, is drenched in blood. Only riots, riots and riots,” she had said. Modi had accused Banerjee and her party of being involved in extortion rackets and also ponzi scheme scams. The BJP has emerged the principal challenger to the TMC’s dominance in Bengal. With 42 Lok Sabha seats, the State holds the key to BJP’s hopes of improving its tally in the 2019 Lok Sabha. Published on political campaigns SHARE SHARE EMAIL May 07, 2019 COMMENT