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Youth robotics global championship returns to Detroit

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DETROIT — Thousands of students from dozens of countries are in Detroit this week competing in the biggest youth robotics event in the world.Still, organizers of the FIRST Championship hope it gets a lot bigger.President Don Bossi (BOH’-see) says FIRST has a presence in only 12% of U.S. schools.He and others with the Manchester, New Hampshire-based non-profit are trying to attract more students, including from under-represented communities.Mary Pangowish (PONG’-wish) is the captain of the First Nations STEM team that qualified for its first FIRST Championship. The 17-year-old says her Ontario-based squad is the only one here made up entirely of indigenous students.Pangowish says she remembers her reaction when introduced to robotics as a middle schooler as, “That is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.”Mike Householder, The Associated Press read more

Parents to shell out more than 400 per child for backtoschool

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TORONTO — Canadians will be digging a little deeper into their pockets during this year’s back-to-school shopping season, a new survey suggests.According to the Pollara survey, Canadians intend to shell out an average of $428 per child on items such as school supplies, clothing and technology as their kids head back to class.That’s an increase of 18.2% over last year, when they planned to spend an average of $362 per child.Back-to-school shopping typically marks the start of the peak selling season as retailers gear up for Christmas.Regionally, Quebecers plan to shell out the most on back-to-school shopping this year — an average of $501 per child — followed by shoppers in the Atlantic Canada and the Prairies, who intend to spend $450, on average.Ontarians lag at the back of the pack with plans to spend $390 per child, on average, while Albertans are budgeting for an average of $431 and shoppers in B.C. are planning to spend $403.Parents with kids who are in college or university plan to spend the most — an average of $572 per child.Those with high school kids plan to spend an average of $226 per child, while parents of kindergarten and elementary school children plan to spend $170.The online poll, which was funded by the Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO), surveyed roughly 1,000 Canadians.The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.“The end of summer is an important time of the year for many businesses that sell back to school supplies,” Mike Bonner, vice-president of commercial banking at BMO, said in a statement.“Many will see an increase in the number of shoppers and dollars spent during the season, leading to a positive impact on their bottom line.” read more

Ottawa posts 32 billion deficit for October as new tax credits weigh

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OTTAWA — The federal government said Monday it posted a deficit of $3.2 billion in October due in large part to its new income-splitting plan for families and the doubling of the children’s fitness tax credit.The result for the month compared with a deficit of $2.5 billion in October 2013.The tax changes resulted in a $1.6-billion adjustment to revenue and, without that, Ottawa would have posted a deficit of $1.6 billion for October.The Harper government announced in October it would go ahead with income-splitting plan for couples with children as well as higher child-care benefits.The income splitting plan has been sharply criticized by the opposition who say the $2-billion-a-year program would only benefit about 15 per cent of Canadian households.For October, the Finance Department said revenue was down by $200 million or 0.9 per cent compared with a year ago due to the tax changes, partially offset by increased corporate income tax revenue.Income splitting not the only good tax news for Canadians this weekCanada’s current account deficit shrinks to six-year low in latest sign economy is picking up speedProgram spending for the month was up by $600 million or 3.1%, while public debt charges decreased by $100 million or 3.4%.In its fall economic update, the federal government said last month it expected to post a deficit of $2.9 billion for 2014-15 and a $1.6-billion surplus in the 2015-16 fiscal year.Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said the falling price of oil will reduce some federal fiscal flexibility, but that it will balance the budget next year.For the current fiscal year to date, the government posted a deficit of $4 billion, compared with  a deficit of $12.8 billion in the same period a year ago.Revenue for the period from April to October increased $5.3 billion, or 3.7%, to $150.3 billion while program spending fell $3.2 billion, or 2.3%, to $137.7 billion. Public debt charges dropped to $16.5 billion from $16.9 billion for the comparable seven-month periods. read more

Iran says no decision to lease aircrafts from Sri Lanka

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The former management of SriLankan Airlines had entered into a contract in 2013 with Airbus for the purchase of eight A350-900 aircrafts to replace the existing wide-body fleet.Tehran Times reported that Sri Lanka was looking to lease three of those aircrafts to Iran. (Colombo Gazette) Iran has not made any decision to lease aircrafts from Sri Lanka, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan said.He was responding to reports that Iran was in talks with Sri Lanka to renegotiate the orders for three A350-900 aircrafts ordered by the last Government. read more

A summary report on the Oct 7 senate meeting

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Click here for the summary report on the Senate 633 Meeting held Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Most important Buckeyes for 2014 — No 1 JT Barrett

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Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett waits for the snap during OSU’s Spring Game April 12 at Ohio Stadium. Gray beat Scarlet, 17-7.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorThe Lantern originally selected Braxton Miller as the No. 1 most important Buckeye before he suffered a season-ending injury on Aug. 18. Now, just days away from the start of the 2014 football season, The Lantern’s countdown of the top 10 most important players on this year’s Ohio State roster has reached its final stage as we reveal our most important player for the 2014 Buckeyes.No. 1: J.T. Barrett, redshirt-freshman quarterbackAnytime a Heisman Trophy candidate goes down to injury, the team’s backup instantly goes under the microscope.That’s been true with J.T. Barrett.The Wichita Falls, Texas, native was thrust into the spotlight when senior quarterback and two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Miller went down with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.Just two weeks ago, Barrett was the third-string quarterback behind Miller and redshirt-sophomore Cardale Jones. Then coach Urban Meyer announced he had gained a slight edge over Jones in fall camp.Two days later, Barrett was OSU’s starting quarterback.Barrett, who has yet to see playing time in an actual game since his senior year of high school when he tore his ACL, will be making his first start as a Buckeye in an NFL stadium.As if that wasn’t pressure enough, the Buckeyes were picked by many as a favorite to participate in the first ever College Football Playoff before Miller’s injury. Now, some have gone as far as to bump the Buckeyes out of Big Ten title contention.With all that, Barrett must be a manager of the OSU offense, while Miller was more of a playmaker who could keep plays alive when the pocket broke down.His job in the Buckeye offense will be getting the ball to the many playmakers around him, something he has done well in practice, according to players and coaches who have even nicknamed Barrett “the Distributor.”While the young quarterback has other young talent around him, he — along with the rest of the offense — will have to make up for a lot of lost yardage as the Buckeyes only return about 12 percent of its total offensive yards from last season.Among the players Barrett is expected to distribute to are sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson, sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott and senior wide receiver Devin Smith.Wilson leads all returning players from last season in all-purpose yards with 983, 523 of those yards coming on kickoff returns.The only glimpse Buckeye fans have seen of Barrett in a Scarlet and Gray (well, technically black) uniform was in the 2014 OSU Spring Game, when Barrett completed 17 of his 33 pass attempts for 151 yards, including a 15-play, 80-yard scoring drive.Barrett, along with Jones, has also taken the majority of the practice snaps in spring and fall camp as Miller sat out because of soreness in his shoulder. Meyer said he’s attempted more than 300 competitive throws in camp.Although he has been named the starter for week one, Barrett will have to perform in order to keep the job because Meyer did not rule out the possibility of playing Jones as well in the opener.Barrett and the Buckeyes are scheduled to open their season Saturday against Navy at the Baltimore Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

Market traders dismiss criticism from local businesses as begrudgery

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first_imgMARKET TRADING GROUPS have defended their right to compete with others businesses, following criticism from a Dublin councillor.Kate O’Connell, a Fine Gael Councillor in Dublin South East, said that Dublin City Council should not pay to advertise street markets as it gives “an unfair advantage” to casual traders over local businesses.“It’s daylight robbery. Why should the Council fund these marketeers when struggling local businesses are paying thousands of euro in rates every year and are barely managing to open their doors every day?“Stalls that are seeking to trade in direct competition with existing, rate-paying businesses should be prohibited from being part of local markets.”O’Connell also questioned how the traders’ stalls are inspected in terms of health standards.She was due to raise these issues at a meeting of Dublin City Council yesterday, but her motion had to be pushed back due to time constraints. It is expected that the motion will be discussed next week instead.‘Pop-ups, not bricks’Des Vallely, the co-director of Irish Village Markets (IVM), disputed O’Connell’s claims.She doesn’t really know what she’s talking about, our guys do pay rates.IMV organises nine markets a week, with an average of 15 stalls per market.Vallely said that all of the 55 traders on the group’s books pay rent and VAT and pass all Health and Safety Authority inspections with “flying colours”.“The only difference is that we’re pop-ups, not bricks.”He remarked that businesses should do more to compete with markets in terms of quality and price, rather than engaging in “giving out” and “begrudgery”.Our guys work very hard and have a right to trade … I’ll take [O’Connell] on, if she wants to get into a debate then let’s open a debate about it.‘Trying to make a living’Gráinne Quinn, director of International Operators Market & Street Traders, also defended the rights of stall owners, saying they pay many fees including rent and insurance.These are just local people trying to make a living … Market trading is a very important part of our culture, many shops started out as market traders. There should be equal opportunities for everyone to make a living.O’Connell said that she had “no problem” with traders selling home-made food but in particular questioned stalls that sell coffee.“Coffee is not grown in Ireland so who is that supporting?”She noted that, as a pharmacist, her business is “protected” from any such competition, stating: “Someone can’t start selling Solpadeine outside my door.”However, she said that she was compelled to raise the subject among her peers on the Council after a number of business owners contacted her about it.“I love going to markets and I never thought about [this issue] until traders came to me about it.”Read: Value of Irish food and drink exports nearly €10 billion in 2013last_img read more

New Chromebooks boot in 5 seconds thanks to open source BIOS

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first_imgSo-called “instant on” options have yet to become truly instant, but we’re getting closer. An updated Samsung Chromebook that was just shown off at IDF in Beijing, for example, can perform a cold boot in just five seconds. You’ve still got to log in after that to get at your Chrome OS desktop, of course, but it’s still a pretty impressive feat.Current generation Chromebooks like the Samsung Series 5 and Acer AC700 take around eight or nine seconds to boot. Thanks to this new model’s updated processor (thought to be a Sandy Bridge chip) and a lot of time spent tweaking Coreboot, a Linux-based replacement for the proprietary BIOS options from companies like Award and AMI, there’s almost no need to bother with sleep states on Chromebooks any more.The prototype here closely resembles a unit that Samsung had on display at CES 2012, which was running a dual-core Celeron chip — a healthy upgrade over the original Series 5, which sported a slightly underwhelming Atom N570 chip clocked at 1.66GHz.Google recently introduced an impressive software renderer in Chrome that helped to alleviate some of the performance issues, but with that new Aura interface turning Chrome OS into a more full-featured operating system, new Chromebooks stand to benefit greatly from an upgrade in horsepower.Google’s not the only company focused on imperceptible boot times, of course. About a year ago, Microsoft showed off an HP laptop that reached the Metro desktop in just eight seconds from a powered-down state. Nobody likes to wait, and fortunately everyone developing operating systems seems determined to make sure we don’t have to when it comes to using our computers.More at Netbook Newslast_img read more

Over €40k raised in one day for Kerryman in battle with Bank

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first_imgRay, I am so very sorry for the loss of your wife. I truly hope and pray things will get better for you and your children. Your wife would be very proud of you. Keep fighting Ray. Really hope there are brighter days ahead for you all. Thursday 6 Apr 2017, 10:45 AM All the good people of Ireland are behind you.Fouhy said all funds will go towards paying off the arrears on Flavin’s mortgage. The GoFundMe page can be found here.More on this story: Tracker mortgage scandal: Widower charged wrong interest rate may now lose family home>Related: ‘How did this happen?’: Court hands Bank of Ireland almost 8 acres of land it has no right to>More: ‘They’ll have to shoot me’: Widowed father-of-five’s battle to keep his children in their home> Short URL http://jrnl.ie/3326572 97,960 Views Apr 6th 2017, 10:45 AM 95 Comments Over €40k raised in one day for Kerryman in battle with Bank of Ireland to keep family home More than 1,000 people have already donated to the fund, which will be used to help pay off his arrears. Mr Flavin, I hope this donation helps in some small way in your fight against BoI. Truly horrible, the way you and your family have been treated. I’m sure your wife is looking down on you and your children with pride. Good luck!center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article I know it’s not much, but I truly hope it helps. What has happened to your family is so upsetting and wrong. Look after yourself and your beautiful children. Updated 1.52pmA FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN for a widowed father-of-five who is battling to keep his home, has raised more than €40,000 in just one day.This week TheJournal.ie revealed Bank of Ireland had a possession order for 40-year-old Ray Flavin’s house in Lisselton, Co Kerry, and was fighting his appeal, despite admitting in February that it had overcharged him on his tracker mortgage.It also emerged in the High Court recently that the bank had included almost eight acres of Flavin’s father’s land – which was not mortgaged  – in the possession order, and the Circuit Court had still granted it.Flavin, whose wife Trish died suddenly in January this year, told TheJournal.ie he would not “be giving up”.She made a perfect life for me there and I won’t let anyone take it, they’ll have to shoot me or knock it down around me.Two friends of Flavin’s, Brian Fouhy and Niall McMahon, set up a GoFundMe page and in just one day it has raised more than €40,000. The page was set up on Tuesday, but it was not until last night that it started to take off.“I didn’t see that coming, it’s going from strength to strength” Fouhy told TheJournal.ie this morning. “One guy put in €501, I’m just blown away by that.”It’s been a disaster for him. He has five lovely kids and there’s a big mortgage there to get clear so we’ll do whatever we need to.Donations on the page range from €5 to €501 and many of the almost 1,000 contributors have left comments to show their support for the Kerry man. Here are just a few:Well chief I don’t know you and you don’t know me…but what I do know is that the banks etc need to realise we are all actual humans beings, not f***ing bank account numbers. I hope things work out for you and your family. I have three small kids myself and not much cash, but don’t think I could cope if I were in your situation. Best of luck pal, stay strong. From little acorns mighty oaks grow. You may only be one man, but you must fight Ray. Fight and win. We are behind you brother. By Michelle Hennessy Share4803 Tweet Email12 This will all work out for you. We all have your back. Irish people will rally together for this. Stay strong. Hi Ray & family, it’s my pleasure to help, and I wish you and your children the very best of wishes. This is just a battle..we will help you win the war.last_img read more

Appeal for information on 17yearold girl missing from Dublin

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first_img Donna Maughan Source: Garda Press OfficeDonna Maughan is missing from the Blanchardstown area. She is described as being: Appeal for information on 17-year-old girl missing from Dublin Donna Maughan is missing from the Blanchardstown area. Wednesday 10 Apr 2019, 6:52 PM Share47 Tweet Email 4 Comments Approximately 5’5″With blonde hairOf slim build with blue eyesAnyone with information on her whereabouts are asked to contact gardaí in Blanchardstown on 01 666 7000. https://jrnl.ie/4586246 Apr 10th 2019, 6:52 PM By Hayley Halpin GARDAÍ IN DUBLIN are seeking the public’s help in tracing the whereabouts of a missing 17-year-old girl.  Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 39,686 Views last_img read more

Twitter des parodies de Nicolas Sarkozy censurées

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first_imgTwitter : des parodies de Nicolas Sarkozy censurées ?Des internautes accusent Twitter d’avoir censuré des comptes parodiant Nicolas Sarkozy, dans les jours qui ont suivi l’annonce officielle de la candidature du président à sa réélection. Cinq comptes auraient été supprimés depuis mercredi dernier.Cinq comptes Twitter parodiant ou critiquant Nicolas Sarkozy ont été suspendus par le site de micro-blogging suite à l’annonce officielle le 16 février de la candidature du chef de l’Etat aux élections présidentielles. Une censure dénoncée par l’association de défense de la liberté d’expression Internet sans frontières. Dans un communiqué, l’organisation se dit “préoccupée par la censure politique opérée par ce réseau social à moins de 62 jours de l’élection présidentielle française”.À lire aussiTwitter : l’oiseau bleu chante à nouveau !Les comptes @mafranceforte (lien non disponible), @fortefrance (lien non disponible), @sarkozycaSuffit (lien non disponible), @nicolassarkozy (lien non disponible) et @sarkozycestfini (lien non disponible) ont disparu du réseau social, “quelques heures après la création d’un compte officiel Nicolas Sarkozy, le 15 février dernier” affirme l’association qui ne croit pas en une simple coïncidence. Certains de ces comptes, souligne Internet Sans Frontières, existaient depuis plus d’un an.Face à ces accusations, Twitter a rapidement réagi, mais n’évoque qu’un seul compte, @_nicolassarkozy. “Nous avons reçu un rapport selon lequel le compte @_NicolasSarkozy commet une usurpation d’identité non parodique. Bien que Twitter croie fermement à la liberté d’expression, une imitation qui induit en erreur, prête à confusion ou trompe autrui est contre les règles de Twitter” explique le réseau social qui permet à ses utilisateurs de signaler des pratiques indésirables et des usurpations d’identité via un formulaire dédié. Il revient ensuite à Twitter de décider de sanctions ou non.Mais pour l’association, le caractère parodique de ce compte “était inéquivoque. Il ne violait donc pas les conditions générales de Twitter, qui précisent qu’en cas de compte parodique, la mention précisant le caractère caricatural ou parodique du compte doivent figurer dans l’intitulé de celui-ci. Les archives récupérées de ce compte montrent qu’il respectait absolument cette exigence”, affirme Internet Sans Frontières.Le 20 février 2012 à 18:20 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Marijuana busts in Bahamas Crooked Islander among arrested

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first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #marijuanabusts Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, October 11, 2017 – Crooked Island – A man was arrested in Cooked Island for the possession of marijuana after police reportedly found him with the illegal drug.   The arrest happened on Monday around 10am, when police on routine patrol searched the man in the self drive car and found the drugs.The find in a similar stop and search arrest was much larger, five pounds of marijuana was discovered and two Nassau men are in custody.   They were found to be with the drugs in the vehicle they were driving near the six legged roundabout in Nassau on Monday afternoon.In yet another drug arrest, on Sunday around 9pm, one man is in custody when a similar stash was found at the house he was in at the time of the discovery.   Over five pounds of marijuana explained a police crime report issued on Tuesday, were found in the Kemp Road home.#MagneticMediaNews#marijuanabustslast_img read more

Tribes Request King Bycatch Reduction as Pollock Season Wraps Up

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first_imgAs the Pollock season wraps up in the Bering Sea, the Association of Village Council Presidents and the Tanana Chiefs Conference want immediate action to protect declining Western Alaska King Salmon stocks from trawl bycatch. Wednesday they filed a joint petition for emergency regulations with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to crack down on king bycatch for the remainder of the 2014 season.Download AudioIn their petition they suggest reducing the 2014 overall Chinook salmon by-catch hard cap in the Bering Sea-Aleutian Island Pollock fishery by 40,000 fish.Natasha Singh is an attorney for the Tanana Chiefs Conference. She says together, the tribes along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers making the request total nearly 100. And they want the Secretary and the Council to make the Pollock fishery conserve the way that families along the rivers have.“There’s not food in the freezers for our families, yet you see significant profit from the fleets in the ocean who are taking kings as bycatch and we know that they have the technology where they could increase avoidance of the bycatch we are pleading that for the sake of the people and the families in the river who depend on the king salmon to eat, to provide and subsist, they reduce the bycatch,” said Singh.The petition calls for the bycatch hard cap in the Bering Sea Pollock fishery to be slashed from 60-thousand to 20-thousand and the performance standard, which is a lower threshold to avoid penalties, to be cut from 47,591 to 15-thousand. That’s just for the remainder of the 2014 season. Historically Pollack bycatch spikes have occurred late in the season in the fall.But that all appears to be moot. Federal officials say the Pollack fishery has reached 99 percent of their available quota and the B season is expected to close soon, perhaps in week or so, which would make an emergency closure redundant. They add that the total bycatch is expected to be under the 15,000, the lower cap requested by tribes.The North Pacific Fishery Management Council, which manages off shore fisheries, including bycatch, asked in June for an in-depth analysis of ways to reduce the incidental catch of kings in Pollack nets.Scientists say there are likely many factors that could be impacting the wild Western Alaska King salmon stocks, from food supplies and climate change to ocean acidity. The state of Alaska has committed funding toward a long-term study to try to figure out what’s gone wrong. But bycatch is one consideration.Myron Naneng is President of AVCP. He says after a summer of sacrifice, tribes are eager to see a commitment to conservation from the trawl fleet.“The State of Alaska already implements openings and closures on the river system whenever they feel the returns of salmon are low. So we want that same requirement to be carried through with the trawl fleet in the Bering Sea,” said Naneng.Attorneys for tribes say if the Pollock fishery bycatch stays under the 15,000 mark, it demonstrates what the tribes claimed in their petition, that the Pollock fishery can stay under a Chinook bycatch of 15,000 and still catch the allowable limit of Pollack.last_img read more

3 killed dozens feared trapped in Mumbai building collapse

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first_imgMap of India’s Mumbai locating Bhendi Bazaar, where a four-storey residential building collapsed on Thursday. Photo: AFPAt least three people died and dozens were feared trapped when a building collapsed in India’s financial capital of Mumbai Thursday, after days of heavy rain swamped the city.Rescuers using diggers could be seen sifting through the remains of the four-storey residential building which gave way around 08:40 am (0310 GMT) in the densely populated area of Bhendi Bazaar.It was the latest deadly housing collapse to strike the teeming metropolis-shining a spotlight on poor construction standards in the Asian country-and came after heavy rains and inundations in the city killed 10 people.A spokesman for the Mumbai civic authority’s disaster control team said three bodies had been pulled from the rubble.“Three people are dead and thirteen injured have been rescued from the building collapse. Two firemen also have been injured during the rescue operations,” Tanaji Kamble, told AFP.An official in the control room of India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said dozens more were thought to be trapped, he added.“Forty people are believed to be stuck inside and a 43-member team is conducting rescue operations,” the official told AFP.He said eight or nine families were thought to have been living in the building.Building collapses are common in Mumbai, especially during the monsoon season from late June to September, when heavy rains lash the western Indian city.Severe downpours began on Tuesday and caused flooding across Mumbai and the neighbouring region of Thane.The collapse came as officials said the death toll from the floods was expected to rise above 10, despite the waters receding after better weather.“We are still on the lookout for more missing persons and the number may go up,” Santosh Kadam, spokesman for disaster control in Thane, told AFP.Bhendi Bazaar, a scruffy colonial-era market, is one of Mumbai’s most historic districts.It is currently undergoing a six-hundred-million-dollar redevelopment project that is set to replace hundreds of ramshackle, decades-old low-rise buildings with around a dozen glitzy new tower blocks.Mumbai has been hit by several deadly building collapses in recent years, often caused by shoddy construction, poor quality materials or ageing buildings.The city is particularly vulnerable to deadly collapse with millions forced to live in cramped, ramshackle properties because of rising real estate prices and a lack of housing for the poor.Activists say housing societies, private owners and builders often cut corners to save on costs. They also claim that corruption plays a part with officials sometimes knowingly certifying dilapidated buildings in return for money.In July, 17 people including a three-month-old baby, died when a four-storey building gave way in the northern suburb of Ghatkopar.In 2013, 60 people were killed when a residential block came crashing down in one of Mumbai’s worst housing disasters.last_img read more

Meet The Student Activists Emerging In Texas After The Mass Shooting In

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first_imgMax Mimaroglu/Via The Texas TribuneFormer Santa Fe High School student Bree Butler speaks to a crowd of gun control protestors at the U.S. Capitol on June 12, 2018.Amid a sea of people wearing business suits and dresses in a Senate office building in Washington, D.C., Bree Butler found herself sitting on the floor in protest at U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz‘s office last week, donning a black hoodie and shorts with a bright orange bandana wrapped around her head. Butler, who grew up in a conservative, close-knit community in southeast Texas, recently became a school shooting survivor, high school graduate and activist — all within a month. “We went into the capitol building, we went into Ted Cruz’s office and we sat there until they threatened to arrest us,” Butler said. The 18-year-old was a student at Santa Fe High School when a gunman opened fire last month and killed 10 people. Days after she ran for her life from her school, Butler gathered with classmates and other Houston-area student activists for a weekend in Galveston where they formed the Orange Generation — a non-profit organization that aims to reduce gun violence and advocate for what members consider to be common sense gun legislation. “This is literally life or death for us and I don’t think [adults] understand that,” Butler said. “If we don’t do this, more people are going to die — and we’re not OK with that.” American teenagers, some of them survivors of recent mass school shootings, have increasingly mobilized  to combat the continuing deaths this year. After a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead in February, students Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg and Cameron Kasky were thrust into the national spotlight over their gun control comments just hours after the shooting. Now after tragedy hit home in Texas, students from Santa Fe High School are turning into gun control activists themselves. Following in the steps of their Parkland predecessors, Santa Fe’s student activists have carefully branded their movement on social media. The color orange, which represents gun safety, fills the Twitter pages of the Orange Generation’s student organizers. So does the movement’s hashtag, #expectchange — similar to the #NeverAgain hashtag Parkland students used after their school shooting. “The Parkland kids allowed me to know that I was able to do this,” Butler said. “Their voices elevated mine.”Just hours after the Texas shooting, Butler received messages of support from Gonzalez and Hogg. They were connected by not only tragedy, but also dealing with a wave of online criticism from adults who don’t think that young people like themselves can lead a movement.  “It’s not really your age that matters it’s all about the time and effort you put into educating yourself,” said Megan McGuire, a senior at Santa Fe High School. “People that patronize us for just being teenagers…they’re just not worth talking to — they’re not going to listen to us anyways.”Cruz spokesperson Maria Jeffrey said her office told Capitol Police last week to let the protestors stay in the Senator’s office, unless students “engaged in any violent or threatening behavior.” Jeffrey added that she could not speak for what Capitol Police may or may not have said to students in the hallway.“Sen. Cruz agrees that we need to find solutions to prevent further mass shootings and he believes it can be done without stripping law-abiding citizens of their constitutional liberties,” Jeffrey said. “In particular, Sen. Cruz believes it is critical that current laws on the books are enforced — something the previous administration failed to do.”Meanwhile, Santa Fe student activists’ biggest challenge could be the town they call home. Bringing a gun control message to their tight-knit, conservative community of around 13,000 people hasn’t always been received positively by others, according to Butler.   “It’s been a very, very mixed reaction, actually,” said Butler, who has been raised around guns her entire life. “In Santa Fe, most of the town is against us — but there is a minority that is ready to go.” Butler’s classmate, Wesley Hill, said hours after the shooting that the small town of Santa Fe might not be open to the gun control message some activists wanted to push.“The first person that reached out to me when they saw I was on the news was March For Our Lives Houston,” Wesley said. “I straight-up told them right then and there that they’re reaching out to the wrong people. I said this is Santa Fe. This is not a city. This is a small town, country town. I said you’re not gonna take our guns away.”Sophomore Esta O’Mara, whose best friend Kyle McLeod was killed in the shooting, has had guns in her life for as long as she could remember. She said her dad taught her responsible gun use. But with her new dive into gun control activism, she’s experienced resistance both in and outside the classroom — and some people just won’t listen to her. “I’m not trying to take your guns away,” O’Mara said. “People in Santa Fe tend to live just in Santa Fe and they don’t think about the fact that like there’s a whole world past Highway 6 and past everything that’s in Santa Fe — they don’t understand that.” State officials, victims’ families respondIn the wake of the Santa Fe High School shooting, Texas conservatives have taken steps to address school safety. Gov. Greg Abbott introduced a plan which called for more school protections and mental health screenings. In addition, Abbott asked lawmakers to consider “red-flag laws,” which allow judges to temporarily seize a person’s firearms if they’re considered an imminent threat. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick created the Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools & School Security to study ways to limit violence in Texas public schools before they reopen in August.Lawmakers on the select committee met last week over two days to discuss mental health training, school architecture and arming faculty and school staff. Legislators expressed support for giving faculty and staff guns — even rifles. “If a bad guy’s got a rifle, not exactly a fair fight,” State Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, said during the committee hearing.McGuire’s father, attorney Clint McGuire, is representing the families of four Santa Fe students who died in the shooting in the first civil lawsuit filed after the attack.  The lawsuit aims to hold gun owners responsible for how they store their firearms around their troubled children. The Santa Fe families seek more than $1 million in damages for emotional anguish and funeral bills.  “Had the Murderer not had available to him the weapons for his carnage, his hidden black rage might well have continued to simmer within,” the lawsuit says. “The Murderer pulled the pistol’s and sawed-off shotgun’s triggers, but also upon them, pressed just as firmly, were the fingers of his parents.”Continuing the momentum  While the civil lawsuit carries on at home, students from the Orange Generation have met with Democratic lawmakers from U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso to U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. Students also met with Texas’ 7th Congressional District Democratic nominee Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, who called the Orange Generation “inspiring.”“What they are doing to build a coalition across this country is not only smart, it is effective and will bring real change to this country,” Fletcher said. “Our campaign team is proud of the students in our community who have stepped up to take on this issue, and to do so in a way that has real meaning, not political rhetoric.” The response from some federal Republican lawmakers has been limited, according to Butler. When she and other student activists visited U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Cruz’s Washington, D.C. offices, Butler called the experience “frustrating” and didn’t feel heard by the staffers they met with. “I was confident in what we were doing — I know all of us well enough to know that we’re determined,” Butler said. “We’re not going to give up.”Aside from reducing gun violence and advocating for gun control, the Orange Generation has another message: “Don’t forget us.” It’s been a month since the shooting, and although the headlines about Santa Fe have slowly faded, the school’s student activists will continue to push their message. “I am doing it because I’m grieving but I’m also doing it because I want it to change,” O’Mara said. “I’ve never wanted anything in my life so bad than for it to just change.”   Sharelast_img read more

How The Internet Has Kept Weird Al Yankovic On His Toes

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first_imgweirdal.comSong parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic performs in Houston June 15. 00:00 /06:31 Share Xcenter_img “Weird Al” Yankovic is America’s foremost song parodist, with wildly popular send-ups of hit songs, such as Eat It, Like a Surgeon, Smells Like Nirvana, Amish Paradise, White & Nerdy, and Word Crimes.He also writes some of original songs, like Dare To Be Stupid, You Don’t Love Me Anymore, and Harvey the Wonder Hamster. And he and his band have toured numerous times over the years performing both those originals and the parodies.And now, Yankovic and his band are teaming up with a full symphony orchestra for his Strings Attached tour, which comes to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in the Woodlands on Saturday, June 15.In the audio above, Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty catches up with Weird Al before his Houston performance to talk about how the Internet has changed the song parody business, how he’s evolved as a musician, and about touring with an orchestra.weirdal.com“Weird Al” Yankovic’s Strings Attached tour comes to Houston June 15. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listenlast_img read more

Researchers grow Lokiarchaea in special tank over 12year study

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first_img Citation: Researchers grow Lokiarchaea in special tank over 12-year study (2019, August 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-08-lokiarchaea-special-tank-year.html A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Japan has succeeded in cultivating samples of Lokiarchaea in a special tank in their lab. They have published a paper describing their work on the bioRxiv preprint server as they await publication. 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. Explore further Fig. 1 Growth curves and photomicrographs of the cultured Lokiarchaeota strain MK-Dl.a, Growth curves of MK-DI in anaerobic media supplemented with Casamino acids (CA; 0.05%, w/v) alone; CA with 20 amino acids (20 AAs; 0.1 mM of each) and powdered milk (PM; 0.1 %, w/v); or peptone (0.1 %, w/v) with PM. Results are also shown for cultures fed with 10- and 100-fold dilution of CA, 20 AAs, and PM. b, c, Fluorescence images of cells from enrichment cultures after eight (b) and eleven (c) transfers stained with DAPI (violet) and hybridized with nucleotide probes targeting MK-DI (green) and Bacteria (red). Pie charts show relative abundance of microbial populations based on SSU rRNA gene tag-sequencing (iTAG) analysis. d, A fluorescence image of cells from enrichment cultures after eleven transfers hybridized with nucleotide probes targeting MK-DI (green) and Methanogenium (red). e, SEM image of a highly purified co-culture of MK-DI and Methanogenium. White arrows indicate Methanogenium cells. The detailed iTAG-based community compositions of cultures corresponding to each of the images are shown in Supplementary Table S2. biorxiv (2019). DOI: 10.1101/726976 Researchers discover ‘marvel microbes’ explaining how cells became complex More information: Hiroyuki Imachi et al. Isolation of an archaeon at the prokaryote-eukaryote interface, biorxiv (2019). DOI: 10.1101/726976 © 2019 Science X Network The tree that represents all known living things has three main branches: eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea. The first branch includes existing organisms, including humans; the second comprises familiar microbes—but archaea are less well-known. They, too, are microbes, and resemble bacteria, but are actually different. In recent years, some scientists have suggested that eukaryotes evolved through interactions between archaea and bacteria. Some have taken a further step and suggested that a certain kind of archaea, Asgard archaea, may have been that which interacted with bacteria, resulting in the first eukaryotes. Such theories emerged after researchers subjected samples of mud from the deep ocean to DNA analysis—the results showed evidence of both archaea and eukaryote-like genomes. The samples were given the name Lokiarchaea, because they were uncovered from an area close to Loki’s Castle, a deep-sea hydrothermal vent. These theories were met with skepticism, however, due to the possibility of sediment contamination. In this new effort, the researchers have overcome that argument by growing and testing pure samples of Lokiarchaea in their lab.The work consisted of obtaining sand from the seafloor and putting it in a special chamber that mimicked the conditions under which the mud was found—deep pressure and exposure to a lot of methane. The researchers report that it took five years for the microbes to reproduce in detectable numbers. Once that happened, they separated the microbes into glass tubes, and once again waited for signs of a colony to develop. That took another year. At that point, the team collected samples and carried out a DNA study that confirmed the microbes were Lokiarchaea. More time passed as the researchers allowed the colony to grow. Twelve years into the project, the team finally had a large enough sample for more sophisticated testing. DNA analysis showed that the Lokiarchaea genome did have eukaryote-like genes, strongly bolstering the theory that eukaryotes evolved due to interactions between archaea and bacteria.last_img read more

Celebrating Indian art legends

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first_imgLalit Kala Akademi screened two documentaries directed by the veteran theatre personality, E Alkazi from their archives on 19 December evening in the auditorium of the Akademi. These two documentaries bring out the contributions and importance of two painters who gave a new grammar to the language of Indian Art.  One was on Amrita Sher Gil, much acclaimed painter who gave a new meaning to modern Indian painting. She single handedly took the challenge of modernising the Indian painting when already Bengal school and the school following the Victorian styles were dominating the Indian Art world. The ‘bharat-mata’ figure or the realistic depiction of women figures from these already existing schools did not inspire her. She infused raw energy into her works that profoundly talk about a deep understanding of sexuality and freedom of women. Her women—reserved, somber, poignant and with distinct characteristics add a cavernous observation of human psychology. Born, brought up and trained in Europe, she returned to India, she believed, where she belonged. She drew inspirations from Indian cultures and paintings, especially the miniature paintings. Her Three Women or Hill Women or Woman on the Charpoy brings forth her love for painting and Indian society. After a productive year of 1940s, she died in 1941 at the age of twenty-eight from a short period of illness. India lost the princess of canvas much before the independence.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The second one was on MF Husain, the controversial, loved, celebrated poet-painter of Modern India. Alkazi tried to capture the spirit of Husain, with his iconic painting-brush walking stick, walking on the streets of Delhi mingling with his own people. This gave him energy to give human shapes to inanimate objects, which can be seen in his umbrella series. His understanding of the working class and their struggles can be seen in his paintings where he made the cart-bull-man into a composite ‘machine’ yet representing a picture of the dismantled human figure. His Ramayana and Mahabharata series show his brilliant understanding of the Indian culture. He said the figure of woman/shakti is so powerful in his mind that he tried to give expressions to it through Parvati, Saraswati, Draupadi and Mother Teresa. The ‘horse’ that ran for freedom of imagination and creativity in life and on canvas died in 2011.last_img read more

Netflix Shows Are Entertaining Enough But Its the Digital Marketing Thats Masterful

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first_imgFebruary 20, 2018 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. In five years, the share of households with a Netflix subscription has increased 92 percent. Today the majority of households in the United States subscribe to Netflix, and that number is slated to rise this year.Why is this happening? The product is designed so well that you and I have been sucked into shows, only to emerge from our homes days later. The creative team is skilled at creating programs that receive both popular and critical praise.But Netflix doesn’t just produce good shows, it also knows how to use advanced digital marketing techniques to acquire new customers and retain existing ones. Let’s talk about a few of the digital marketing principles that make Netflix so successful. Follow them and you may just see similar results.Related: Netflix by the NumbersPersonalized content is the best kind.What sets Netflix apart from other streaming services? Amazon, HBO and Vudu all have access to thousands of television shows and movies. They offer intuitive user interfaces, and they are available across devices. Yet Netflix is uniquely situated to dominate the streaming video revolution thanks to the company’s obsessive approach to content personalization.My Netflix homepage looks entirely different from yours. This is thanks to the power of proprietary algorithms that predict what kind of content you’ll enjoy, and hide the rest. On Amazon Prime Video, I can’t even find the last thing I viewed there easily. Netflix has them beat here.You might be thinking that content personalization is only available to companies like Netflix that have the capital to employ hundreds of the world’s smartest engineers. But entrepreneurs can also tap into content personalization in a few different ways.Tools like Optimizely and Adobe Experience Cloud let you to personalize content based on a variety of data points like the country associated with an IP address, or whether or not a visitor is already a lead in a CRM. Based on this information, marketers can choose to display different website experiences in order to better serve the interests of a particular visitor.As an alternative to third-party software platforms, marketers can always “fake” personalization with a little elbow grease. By building behavior based email workflows, marketers can ask email recipients to click various links depending on their interest. Once their interest is registered, the rest of the email workflow can be based on the interests articulated by recipients.Takeaway:Remember, personalization isn’t about relying on advanced algorithms. Instead, it’s about identifying and providing the kind of experience the prospect, customer or visitor is most interested in having.Related: 11 Supernatural Ways ‘Stranger Things’ Has Turned Marketing Upside DownMulti-channel campaigns are key to getting your message out.Netflix is available on seemingly every device. From computers to smart televisions, users can access Netflix wherever and whenever they want. Marketers at Netflix take a similar approach to promotion.To hype season two of the company’s hit show Stranger Things, Netflix teamed up with Snapchat to release an augmented reality experience. At the same time, Netflix used Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and email marketing to promote the upcoming season.Takeaway:Multi-channel marketing isn’t about spending big bucks on advertising stunts. It’s about creating marketing campaigns that meet members of the target audience wherever they “live.” In the case of Stranger Things viewers, Netflix knew that their target audience would spend hours on social platforms, so they developed a strategy accordingly.Simple is powerful in a complex world.We live in complicated and noisy times. As a result, the average person has an attention span of just eight seconds, according to the New York Times. Netflix chooses to keep things simple when creating a mission statement or designing a user interface.The company’s investor relations page says, “We are a relief from the complexity and frustration that embody most MVPD relationships with their customers. We strive to be extremely straightforward.”It’s no surprise then that for non-customers, the Netflix homepage is so simple it’s sparse. It takes just two scrolls to reach the bottom of the page, and features two messages: “watch anywhere” and “cancel anytime.”Takeaway:Use simplicity as a differentiating factor, and make it easy for members of the target audience to understand what you do and how you can help them. Ensure that this approach translates to marketing material, product experience and customer service.Related: 18 Tips To Make Your Marketing Efforts Soar in 2018Email marketing is still a key component to customer onboarding.Despite claims to the contrary, email marketing is not dead. In fact, it’s used by Netflix as a key component of customer onboarding and nurturing.New Netflix customers receive a series of emails that make content recommendations and encourage new users to explore the platform. This is a way of driving platform adoption, which improves customer retention in the long run.Long time customers also receive periodic emails from Netflix. To promote the release of a new show called The Punisher, Netflix sent customers a marketing email that appeared to be spam at first glance. But once opened, the email played a GIF that slowly redacted information until a button at the bottom appeared, encouraging subscribers to watch the new show.Takeaway:Email marketing is not dead; unimaginative email marketing is. Netflix marketers invest hours in building creative email marketing campaigns designed to engage and delight recipients. You don’t need sophisticated tech to engage people in your database. You just need to understand the target audience, and apply some imagination to email marketing. Netflix is successful thanks to a focus on understanding target audiences. Once that happens, marketers launch creative cross-platform campaigns that deliver simple and clear value propositions.Remember that success in digital marketing isn’t a result of big budgets and advanced technology. It comes from creative and customer-centric strategies. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 6 min readlast_img read more

5 Points to Consider When Choosing an Ecommerce System for Your Business

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first_img 6 min read How Success Happens Consumers expect businesses to provide ease of use, efficiency and seamless payment processes. That’s especially pressing considering that globally, around two-thirds of the population of 52 key countries are expected to own a smartphone in 2018, as documented by Zenith Media.Unfortunately, as NFIB research shows, many smaller companies still forgo adopting digital solutions. One of my main companies helps small and large businesses with software, and we constantly encounter issues of old and unreliable systems and even an absence of the right software, including ecommerce options. Although this may seem like a no-brainer topic, the research proves that there are still slow adopters and laggards to digital solutions. While there are a host of variables to consider when putting up an ecommerce channel, among the critical decisions to make is choosing a payment system. As shown in this Baymard article, checkout concerns are among the top reasons why online shoppers abandon their purchases. Customers demand a frictionless experience.Related: New to Ecommerce? Save Yourself Thousands Yearly With These 5 Frugal Hacks.It’s high time for small business to ramp up their use of digital solutions. Here are five factors you should consider when choosing how to integrate ecommerce into your business.1. Customer’s preferenceThere’s a dizzying array of payment methods and solutions that are currently available. However, supporting every method available can be costly and impractical. A good way to approach this is for you to support the methods most preferred by your key customers.This can be based on geography. For instance, Americans typically use cards as funding sources even with digital wallets such as PayPal and Apple Pay. Certain regions in Europe such as the Nordics prefer to use bank accounts. The Chinese use mobile payment solutions such as WeChat and Alipay. Other parts of Asia still prefer cash-on-delivery.Preference can also be based on your particular audience and niche. Working-age customers should have a certain level of financial capacity and would have access to bank accounts and credit cards.Payment services can help you support virtually all these methods but keep in mind that service tiers that accommodate multiple payment methods come with a cost. If you run a smaller operation, consider prioritizing support for the most preferred method by your market.2. Emerging techConsider emerging niches as well. There’s a growing demographic of the crypto-wealthy who made their money investing in Bitcoin and Ether. Because of the lack of means to exchange cryptocurrencies to local currencies, these people try to spend them instead. This creates an opportunity for you to tap into this market. Services such as Paybear can help you support payments in Bitcoin and other altcoins.However, supporting cryptocurrency payments does have its challenges, after all, cryptocurrency values can fluctuate wildly. For example, Bitcoin can take double-digit swings within a single trading day. Projects like T.OS are developing blockchain-based emoney that can even be pegged to local currencies. Such “stablecoins” hold their value even if the rest of the crypto market fluctuates, making them suitable for use in commerce. Such options could allow you to work with crypto payments while minimizing the risk of volatility.Developments in logistics and payments have allowed cross-border commerce to grow. So, if you’re looking to expand your market across borders or overseas, accommodate the preferred methods in those places.3. Security of transactions Security is always a concern for anything that involves money and customer data. Payment services providers should be the ones who work towards compliance with security standards. Check if the provider you’re partnering with follows industry standards such as the PCI Standards if you’re accepting card-funded payments.Related: 5 Hot Trends That Will Continue to Change Your Ecommerce Horizons in 2018Fraud and chargebacks are also concerns. Criminals often use stolen credit cards for online purchases. If you happen to process orders from such fraudsters, you may be left shouldering the cost of goods and even shipping since card companies typically rule in favor of the cardholders in cases of disputes.Fraud prevention and chargeback protection may be available with your payments provider but they often charge extra for these services. One of the advantages of accepting crypto payments is that transactions can be irreversible and final, which eliminates exposure to chargeback fraud.4. Ease of useDue to the advances in user experience design, customers now demand speedy and convenient interfaces to use. It would do you well to check if your targeted payments solution will enhance your checkout experience. The fewest clicks or page loads customers have to make, the better.Take note of the ease of use at your end as well. See if the experience will be idiot-proof for your or your staff to handle. Go through the checkout process yourself to confirm. Ask questions about reporting, such as will you gain functionalities such as dashboards and reporting, inventory management, invoicing and bookkeeping integration? Does the new software have plug-ins and integrations for your shopping cart platform (e.g. Magento or Shopify)?You don’t want your payment solution to introduce unwanted complications to the way you do business.5. Fees and costsAmong the reasons many small businesses want to stick to cash are the costs associated with supporting other payment methods. Card companies can charge somewhere between 1 to 3 percent for every transaction. Digital payments services that support card payments often pad these rates even more.Crypto payments can charge lower rates. Since they use blockchain, they don’t have to route payments through intermediaries such as banks and clearing houses. However, it’s a different story if you have to convert crypto coins to traditional currencies. Crypto exchanges charge additional fees and commissions for such transactions.Related: $0 to $1,000 in a Day: How to Create a Community That Keeps Buying and Buying From YouMost payment services offer tiered charging depending on the volume of transactions you make. Shop around so that you can find the best option depending on your locality. Crunch the numbers to see which one will give you the best value.As a business owner, you are in the best position to know your business, industry and customers. The success of your ecommerce efforts depends on various factors, but your choice of payments system will play a major part. So evaluate your situation, check out possible providers and do the math to see how these would affect your bottom line.  September 4, 2018 Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Listen Nowlast_img read more