New Service Aims to Help Publishers Bypass Google

first_imgWhile the debate over “Google: Friend or Foe” continues with magazine and online content publishers, a new service from MashLogic offers publishers a way to keep readers at their sites without having to look up related topics on Google or Bing. MashLogic has developed two semantic tools, “2Stay” and “2Go,” that identify and link to related topics and terms. “If you’re interested in a certain topic like sports or music, this would automatically identify links to those topics like players and teams or performers,” said CEO Ranjit Padmanabhan.” The service is customizable for the host site. On Goal.com, a soccer-dedicated site and early MashLogic client, a series of red dots are visible under linkable terms which take the reader to other contextually relevant articles at the site. MashLogic is currently on 14 of Goal’s international language sites and in front of approximately 10 million monthly uniques. “This offers the ability to expose the reader to additional content,” said vice president of business development John Bryan. “There is a great degree of positive churn with stories and we’re making older content relevant by bringing it in front of the user. This also reinforces the relevance of your brand to the user and can increasing page clickthrough and time on site, which leads to higher CPMs and advertiser satisfaction.” Bryan said the tool has particular appeal for publishers in three areas: fast-moving news, celebrity stories and sports. Past articles can be presented in a vertical timeline or horizontally across different categories. In a demo for the NewYorkTimes.com, the term “Meryl Streep” on the home page generated 10 related stories in the past seven days that had been on the site across blogs, movie reviews, fashion, finance and celebrity. The minimum requirement for a publisher is to have an RSS feed which they can turn over to MashLogic for indexing, as well as implementation of a few lines of java script. Publishers can also restrict certain terms (such as the name of a competitive site). “We have found MashLogic to be a valuable tool in both retaining users on Goal.com and encouraging them to return to the site for access to related content,” said Ron Elwell, president and COO of Goal.com. “We generate upwards of 60,000 articles each month, and MashLogic encourages our visitors to read and engage more with them. It also diverts users back towards Goal.com in coordination with our content, and the tool is in line with our aim of equipping each user with the functionality to seek out information.”Free To Publishers (With an Eye on Revenue Sharing) MashLogic is currently free to publishers and is looking at developing a revenue share model on product links to sites such as iTunes and Amazon, as well as product sales (such as a soccer jersey) on sites like Goal.com.last_img read more

Michael Jackson Musical To Land On Broadway In 2020

first_imgNews The new stage production will highlight the life and music of the “King Of Pop”Nate HertweckGRAMMYs Jun 19, 2018 – 8:56 am The Michael Jackson Estate has partnered with Columbia Stage Live to develop a new stage musical inspired by the life and music of Michael Jackson. The show is set to arrive on Broadway sometime in 2020, and the score will include some of Jackson’s most influential hits such as “Thriller,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Beat It,” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” the song that earned Jackson his first career GRAMMY for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male at the 22nd GRAMMY Awards.  Michael Jackson Musical To Land On Broadway In 2020 Facebook Twitter Michael Jackson Musical Coming To Broadway michael-jackson-musical-land-broadway-2020 Email NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO May 15, 2017 – 1:50 am Michael Jackson GRAMMY memories While the show’s title and the theatre that will host it were not revealed, some of the key contributors have been announced. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage is on board to write the book and Tony Award-winning ballet superstar Christopher Wheeldon will handle choreography, according to Variety.The new show follows a slew of so-called “jukebox musicals” featuring the life and works of music artists, including “Jersey Boys” (The Four Seasons), “On Your Feet” (Gloria Estefan), “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” and “Beautiful: The Carol King Musical,” which won two Tony Awards in 2014.Jackson’s remarkable career, from his time in the Jackson 5 to his worldwide success as a solo artists, was cut short in 2009 by the singer’s untimely death. In 2010, he was honored with The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and Jackson also received the prestigious GRAMMY Legend Award in 1993. The Jackson Estate previously sanctioned two Cirque du Soleil shows, and has produced other posthumous projects including a Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D and the albums Michael and Xscape.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”last_img read more

VIDEO Watch 5th Grade 6th Grade Bands Winter Concert

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Public Schools’ 5th Grade and 6th Grade Bands held their Winter Concert on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 in the Wilmington High School Auditorium.Wilmington Community Television was on hand to cover the concert. Watch it below:—Video Playerhttps://objects-us-east-1.dream.io/wilmington/6/8/1/9/c/d/6819cd6b-e5c9-4c74-b29a-21f422f879931545254266.257%2B50036965.300%40castus4-wilmington%2B15453185441545316888440681.vod.720p.20181218_5th%20and%206th%20grade%20band%20concert.mp41.mp4Media error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not foundmejs.download-file: https://objects-us-east-1.dream.io/wilmington/6/8/1/9/c/d/6819cd6b-e5c9-4c74-b29a-21f422f879931545254266.257%2B50036965.300%40castus4-wilmington%2B15453185441545316888440681.vod.720p.20181218_5th%20and%206th%20grade%20band%20concert.mp41.mp4?_=100:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Thank You To Our Sponsor: WOW Factor Auto Detailing Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedVIDEO: Watch 2019 Wilmington Spring Strings FestivalIn “Videos”VIDEO: Watch 2019 Wilmington Spring Band FestivalIn “Videos”VIDEO: Watch ‘The Back Track Band’ Perform A Concert On The CommonIn “Videos”last_img read more

POLICE LOG for July 23 Highway Crash Hit Run In Market Basket

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights of the Wilmington Police Log for Tuesday, July 23, 2019:A black 2015 Honda Accord struck a median guardrail on 93 North, south of Exit 39. Vehicle towed. State Police handled scene. (6:23am)A walk-in party reported a hit and run in the Market Basket parking lot yesterday between noon and 1pm. No witnesses or note left. (9:34am)Animal Control Office retrieved a sink skunk from a Carolyn Road backyard and brought to Chelmsford rehab. (12:57pm)Police retrieved a syringe from Shawsheen Avenue and Blanchard Avenue and brought it back to the station for proper disposal. (5:10pm)Police spoke with several parties on the train tracks on Richmond Street and sent them on their way. (5:36pm)Officers observed parties walking around the police station’s parking lot, taking video and photographs. Parties walked into the lobby videotaping and photographing. They attempted to question dispatch personnel and the station officer in an attempt to illicit banter back and forth. When parties were not satisfied with the officers’ responses, they exited the building. (6:33pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information.  An arrest does not constitute a conviction.  Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for August 29: Burlington Man Arrested For OUI; Injured HummingbirdIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 5: Driver Throws Beer Bottles; Syringe Found; Woburn Man Issued Summons; Texting While DrivingIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 4: Lowell Man Arrested On Warrant; Bad Crash In Front Of Rocco’s; Syringe FoundIn “Police Log”last_img read more

Puneeth Rajkumars birthday treat Yuva Rathnaa first look James motion poster launched

first_imgHere is the first look poster from Puneeth Rajkumar’s Yuva Rathnaa.PR HandoutPuneeth Rajkumar is turning a year older on Sunday, 17 March as he celebrates his 44th birthday on Sunday, 17 March. To coincide with the birthday celebration, the first look from his upcoming movie Yuva Rathnaa and the motion poster of his other movie James have been released.Yuva Rathnaa The first look of Yuva Rathnaa was launched at 11 pm on 16 March. Puneeth Rajkumar has sported simple yet powerful look. The intensity in his body language makes one wonder whether he is playing the role of a cop. The Huli Vesha artists around him further gives an impression of whether the story is set in Dakshina Kannada district where the unique form of folk culture is found. Puneeth Rajkumar, Santhosh Ananddramm and Hombale Films, which had delivered blockbuster in the form of Raajakumara, are joining hands again in Yuva Rathnaa. It is a youthful entertainer which is aimed at mass and family audience. Sayyeshaa is making her Sandalwood debut with Yuva Rathnaa.James The Sandalwood’s Power Star has collaborated with Chethan Kumar for the first time. It is said to be an action thriller which is a Bond movie, produced by Kishore Pathikonda. The movie will commence once Puneeth Rajkumar wraps up the shooting of Yuva rathnaa.The motion poster from the movie was launched at 11 am on Sunday. Vijetha Krishna has scored the music for the promotional video, while director Chethan Kumar himself has written the lyrics. Find it below: Currently, Chethan Kumar is busy with Sriimurali’s Bharaate.Nata Sarvabhouma If it is not enough, Pavan Wadeyar, director of Nata Sarvabhouma, is coming up with a special song on Appu. The introduction song of Puneeth Rajkumar from the movie will be released with a fresh set of lyrics.Meanwhile, Puneeth Rajkumar, like every year, will not be taking part in mid-night celebration of the fans rather he will be returning only on Sunday morning. He has requested his fans to not spend money on cakes and gift items this time.The actor has stated that their love and affection are enough for him. Puneeth Rajkumar in Chethan Kumar’s James.PR Handoutlast_img read more

Top five investment options for salaried individuals

first_imgTop five investment options for salaried individualsIANSThe law of compounding works wonderfully for salaried people who invest regularly across savings instruments. Safety, return, liquidity and tax benefits are the major points a salaried investor is always on the lookout for. There are only few investment instruments that can offer these three together.Here are top five instruments the salaried can invest for decent returns.1. KTDFC Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation Ltd (KTDFC) is a government of Kerala owned non-banking Company, which is registered under RBI. For 1 year the interest rate on a KTDFC deposit is 8.25 percent for one year, while it offers 8.50 percent for senior citizen deposits. As of now no banks excluding co-operative banks in the country offer these interest rates along with safety.2. PPF Public Provident Fund offers customers an interest rate of 7.8 percent currently. The interest earned under this instrument is tax-free and the amount invested qualifies for tax rebate under sec 80C of the Income Tax Act. In PPF the amount invested has a tenure of 15 years. Partial withdrawals can be made after 7 years.3. Company FD There is some AAA-rated Company fixed deposits which beat bank FD interest rates. For example, Bajaj Finance offers an interest rate up to 7.85 percent per annum. Mahindra Finance FDs offer an interest rate of 7.75 percent to 7.80 percent depending on the tenure of investment. Senior citizens are entitled to an extra 0.25 percent.4. Systematic Investment Plan SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) is based on the idea of averaging your investment cost over time. Under SIP the investor invests a constant amount every month and keep doing it for a long time. ICICI Prudential Value Discovery Fund, SBI Blue Chip Fund, and Aditya Birla Sun Life Frontline Equity Fund are popular SIPs.5. Bank FDs Tax-saving FDs are offered by many leading banks including SBI, HDFC, Axis, ICICI Bank, they may not offer the best rates on these fixed deposits. Most of the tax-saving FDs have a compulsory lock-in period of 5 years and maturity period from 5-10 years. Government banks are at best offering 7.5 percent interest on normal deposits.last_img read more

LIVING FOR THE WEEKEND

first_imgBy Valerie Fraling, Special to the AFRO“Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, years back, to the very moment certain things happened in your life. It’s uplifting, it’s encouraging, it’s strengthening.” Aretha FranklinThe first time I met Aretha Franklin was her first appearance at the Baltimore Civic Center. DJ Larry Dean took me backstage to meet the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She was so gracious and built like a “Brick house.”“I say a little prayer for you” Aretha FranklinWhile backstage, Sir Johnny O told us that Otis Redding had just died in a plane crash. We sat in disbelief as everyone processed the tragic news. Later, Aretha went on stage to perform as only the future Queen could.“Being the Queen is not all about singing, and being a diva is not all about singing. It has much to do with your service to people. And your social contributions to your community and your civic contributions as well.” Aretha FranklinYears later, The Queen performed at Pier V in Baltimore, my great friend Biddy Wood asked me if I wanted to meet Aretha Franklin. He walked over to her limousine and the next thing I know I am standing in front of the Queen and Wes Hairston is standing beside the limo witnessing this special moment. Biddy walked away and she invited me to sit in the limo with her.“Everybody wants respect. In their own way, three-year-olds would like respect, and acknowledgment, in their terms.” Aretha FranklinThe first thing she asked me was “how is Damita?” Now, I’m totally impressed that she would ask about a fellow sister in music. I told her how Damita Jo DeBlanc, a singer, was doing and she told me to make sure I told Damita that she asked for her. We talked mostly about Baltimore back in the day. I will always remember that magical night.“I’ve been around long enough for people to know who I am and what my contributions are. They know me as more than just an artist. I think they know me as a woman as well.” Aretha FranklinI saw The Queen perform at the Meyerhoff; I was standing outside when I saw her pull up in her limo. I wasn’t close enough to speak but, as she stepped out of the limo she looked around and waved. Yes, the Queen waved. I got my ticket from my good friend Mary Demory and and unbeknownst to me, it was the best seat in the house, seven rows back dead center. The Queen walked out on stage with her legendary big purse, in a sky blue gown. She sat the purse down next to the piano and gave a royal performance befitting her royal subjects, who have loved her from the beginning of her career until infinity.The last time I saw the Queen was at the inauguration of President Obama. In frigid weather she sang as we all stood in the cold, proving once again that she was still the Queen.“Falling out of love is like losing weight. It’s alot easier putting it on than taking it off.” Aretha FranklinThe Queen taught us about RESPECT and how to feel like a “Natural Woman,” she taught us if we wanted “a do right man we had to be a do right woman.” The Queen told us about “the house that Jack built” and when we’re sick don’t call no doctor but call “Dr. Feelgood” and the perseverance to sit right there “until you come back to me” and how to say “call me.” Then she would tell him “I’m drinking again” while experiencing “sweet bitter love” while telling him “I never loved a man the way that I loved you.”“And I was booked once to go on ‘Ed Sullivan’ and I got bumped and ran out the back door crying.” Aretha FranklinQueen, in your early life like a “bridge over troubled water,” you navigated the tide and made every young girl realize it’s not where you start but where you end in life that counts.The “skylark” will sing as you “climb up the mountain” riding on the “freeway of love in your pink cadillac” remember to “rock steady” and “jump to it” entering heaven’s gates. “You told Mary don’t you weep” but it’s hard not to weep.“Feels like I’ve seen you before maybe in a past life, you were mine and I was yours. ‘Cause the vibe we share feels so comfortable. Is it possible someone could make me lose control? Look what you’ve done to me. Finding it hard to breathe, cause’ I just can’t believe you’re feeling me like I’m feeling you.” Aretha FranklinHappy 44th anniversary Dell and Tony Perry and happy 10th anniversary to Colin’s Restaurateurs, Dante and Candes Daniels.“Every birthday is a gift. Every day is a gift.” Aretha FranklinSending birthday wishes to Rosa Barber on her 93rd birthday, 80th birthday for William Clayton and happy birthday Pastor Purcell Wylie, Pastor Tim Tooten, Helen McDonald and my great neighbors Ernestine Jolivet and Tina Jolivet.Somebody prayed for mePlease keep my mother, retired United Methodist Pastor Pauline Wilkins, in your prayers as she recuperates at St. Agnes Hospital and Thurston Jones as he recuperates at home.“I paid my dues; I certainly did.” Aretha FranklinFamily and friends gathered to say good-bye to the beautiful 96-year-old Priscilla Blackwell, mother of Maurice, Charles, Leo and Wayland. Mrs. Priscilla was a woman of class, style and dignity, elegantly dressed in a hat, stylish outfit and her red nails, making a true fashion statement.Family and friends are mourning the death of longtime community and political activist Randy Carroll and prayers to Ralph Gilliam on the death of his mother Josephine Gilliam.“When God loves you, what can be better than that? “ Aretha Franklinlast_img read more

Best of Last Week – Tricking the uncertainty principle how brains work

first_img 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. In the biological sciences, a team of neuroscientists showed how the brain works during meditation, and it apparently does so in different ways depending on which type of meditation you’re doing. Another team has found the brain’s response to sexual images is linked to the number of sexual partners. It seems the more real-world sexual encounters with different people a person has, the more strongly they react to sexual imagery—a find that just might cause advertisers to react.It’s also been a good week for technology as researchers developed an ultra-fast bionic arm that can catch objects on the fly. It sits there waiting, then reacts in less than a second, manipulating its parts to allow it to catch all manner of objects, from tennis rackets to soda bottles. Very impressive. Also, Power Japan Plus announced a dual carbon battery that charges 20 times faster than current lithium ion batteries—it’s made mostly of carbon grown from cotton fibers and doesn’t overheat. Maybe electric cars will be the wave of the future after all. And speaking of the future, operation of the longest superconducting cable worldwide started—engineers in Essen, Germany are laying down the cable between two power transformers in the city, it transports five times more power than conventional lines and is far more efficient.And finally, sadly, it appears that drinking wine and eating chocolate won’t keep you alive longer as diets rich in antioxidant resveratrol fail to reduce deaths, heart disease or cancer—the study by a team at John’s Hopkins University found that anecdotal evidence of health benefits from the chemical were completely misguided. Sad, very sad indeed. Citation: Best of Last Week – Tricking the uncertainty principle, how brains work during mediation and bad news for resveratrol (2014, May 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-05-week-uncertainty-principle-brains-bad.html Power Japan Plus announces dual carbon battery that charges 20 times faster than current lithium ion batteries Scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) image of graphene on Ir(111). The image size is 15 nm × 15 nm. Credit: ESRFcenter_img Explore further © 2014 Phys.org (Phys.org) —It’s been an exciting week in physics, first, scientists discovered how to turn light into matter after 80-year quest at Imperial College in London—turns out, Breit and Wheeler were right when they suggested back in 1934 that all it would take would be smashing two photons together. Another team of physicists showed unlimited heat conduction in graphene—they’ve demonstrated via simulations and experiments that the temperature conductivity of graphene deviates depending on the size of samples. Also, a team of researchers at CalTech has found a way of tricking the uncertainty principle—taking measurements that go beyond the limits imposed by quantum physics. And in a spectacular feat of applied physics, a one-nm-thick graphene engine mimicking a two-stroke engine has been developed by a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore. Instead of a piston, a spot on a sheet of graphene is heated till it blisters, then is allowed to cool so it goes flat again—over and over.last_img read more

BJP lodges protest with Sayeed over release demands rearrest

first_imgBJP legislators in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday lodged a strong protest with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed over the release of hardline separatist leader Masarat Alam and demanded his re-arrest. The party also took exception to the “misinformation campaign” that the decision to release Alam was taken after consulting it. The MLAs led by state BJP General Secretary Rajiv Jasrotia met Sayeed at his residence and submitted a memorandum. “We have lodged a strong protest with the Chief Minister and expressed our deep concern over the unilateral decision (of release of the Masarat Alam),” Jasrotia told reporters later.last_img read more

Dog sterilisation programme KMC starts with RG Kar CMCH NRS next on

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation kicks off its sterilisation and vaccination drive across all state government hospitals inthe city. The drive began on Thursday with the civic body picking up 20 dogs from RG Kar Medical College Hospital and another 15 from Calcutta Medical College and Hospital for sterilisation. “The animals will be sterilised in our dog pounds and will be put back at the same place after seven to 10 days. We have also vaccinated a number of stray dogs found inside Medical College and RG Kar,” said Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh, who also holds the charge of KMC’s Health department. The civic body is expected to conduct a vaccination camp at NRS on Friday afternoon. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIn the wake NRS puppy incident, KMC officials had sent letters to all state government hospitals in the city intending to sterilize and vaccinate campus dogs to keep their birth in check and prevent rabies. The hospitals across the state attract dogs from the nearby areas because of the uneaten food being dumped in vats kept inside hospitals premises. Mayor Firhad Hakim recently held a meeting with the Director General (Civil) and the Director General (Health) and gave them necessary instructions to fast track the process of giving a facelift to its two existing dog pounds at Dhapa and Entally so that around 1,000 animals can be sterilised on a daily basis. He assured that there won’t be any constraint of funds and said the state government has already allocated Rs 3 crore for the same.last_img read more

DeepMind Artificial Intelligence can spot over 50 sightthreatening eye diseases with expert

first_imgDeepMind Health division has achieved a major milestone by developing an artificial intelligence system that can detect over 50 sight-threatening eye diseases with the accuracy of an expert doctor. This system can quickly interpret eye scans and correctly recommend how patients should be referred for treatment. It is the result of a collaboration with Moorfields Eye Hospital; the partnership was announced in 2016 to jointly address some of the current eye conditions. How Artificial Intelligence beats current OCT scanners Currently, eyecare doctors use optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans to help diagnose eye conditions. OCT scans are often hard to read and require time to be interpreted by experts. The time required can cause long delays between scan and treatment, which can be troublesome if someone needs urgent care. Deepmind’s AI system can automatically detect the features of eye diseases within seconds. It can also prioritize patients by recommending whether they should be referred for treatment urgently. System architecture The system uses an easily interpretable representation sandwiched between two different neural networks. The first neural network, known as the segmentation network, analyses the OCT scan and provides a map of the different types of eye tissue and the features of the disease it observes. The second network, known as the classification network, analyses the map to present eyecare professionals with diagnoses and a referral recommendation. The system expresses the referral recommendation as a percentage, allowing clinicians to assess the system’s confidence. AI-powered dataset DeepMind has also developed one of the best AI-ready databases for eye research in the world. The original dataset held by Moorfields was suitable for clinical use, but not for machine learning research. The improved database is a non-commercial public asset owned by Moorfield. It is currently being used by hospital researchers for nine separate studies into a wide range of conditions. DeepMind’s initial research is yet to turn into a usable product and then undergo rigorous clinical trials and regulatory approval before being used in practice. Once validated for general use, the system would be used for free across all 30 of Moorfields’ UK hospitals and community clinics, for an initial period of five years. You can read more about the announcement on the DeepMind Health blog. You can also read the paper on Nature Medicine. Read Next Reinforcement learning optimizes brain cancer treatment to improve patient quality of life. AI beats Chinese doctors in a tumor diagnosis competition. 23andMe shares 5mn client genetic data with GSK for drug target discoverylast_img read more

Police probe Toronto shooting in Greektown on the Danforth

first_img By: The Canadian Press Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Danforth, Toronto TORONTO — Several blocks in the heart of Toronto’s popular Greektown district were surrounded by yellow police tape Monday morning, and nearly all local businesses were closed, after a fatal shooting on Sunday night.Two people were killed and 12 others were injured when a man armed with a handgun fired into restaurants and patios lining Danforth Avenue.Police said the 29-year-old suspected gunman exchanged fire with officers and was later found dead in the area. There was no immediate word on a motive. The incident began around 10 p.m.No information had yet been released about the two shooting victims. Police Chief Mark Saunders previously said a woman was killed and a girl, aged eight or nine, was in critical condition.Neighbourhood residents visiting the scene of the shooting said they’re struggling to process the deadly incident.“There’s a lot of good people here,” said Gord Cheong who lives blocks away. “There’s a lot of people who come to the Danforth, to Greektown, but it’s generally quite quiet. So this is unusual, and disturbing.”More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthPrime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a statement of support via Twitter.“My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible tragedy on the Danforth last night in Toronto, and may the injured make a full recovery,” he wrote Monday morning. “The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave – and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.”Toronto Mayor John Tory called the shooting “a despicable act” and expressed outrage that someone had “unleashed such a terrible attack on our city and people innocently enjoying a Sunday evening.”The mayor said the latest shooting happened as the city was still healing from a van attack that left 10 people dead just a few months ago. In April, a white van mounted a sidewalk on a busy Toronto running down pedestrians.“We were so used to living in a city where these things didn’t happen and as we saw them going on in the world around us (we) thought they couldn’t happen here,” Tory told reporters Sunday night, urging people to stay calm while police carry on their investigation. Police probe Toronto shooting in Greektown on the Danforth Monday, July 23, 2018 last_img read more

Interviewed by Louis James Editor International

first_img(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator)L: So Doug, you’re off to FreedomFest 2012 shortly, where people will be able to hear your latest thoughts on many subjects. Maybe you can give us a sneak preview on whatever is uppermost on your mind today.Doug: FreedomFest should be especially outrageous, since I’ll be tag-teaming with my friend Jeff Berwick of the Dollar Vigilante for a featured lunch. I’m not sure exactly what topics we’re going to discuss, but I hope we aren’t prosecuted for breaking too many federal, state, and local statutes at one sitting.Anyway, lately I’ve been thinking about the EU’s rising tide of troubles. We talked about this last January, when I said it was coming, but it seems to me that at this point it’s rapidly coming to a head. A major financial and economic catastrophe in Europe is unavoidable. From there, it’s likely to spread out to the whole world.L: I fear you’re right, but the latest headlines have it that the EU bigwigs are taking measures to make it easier for Greece’s new pro-bailout government to honor its austerity obligations. Doesn’t that mean the EU has dodged the bullet for now?Doug: As far as I can tell, they’re doing absolutely nothing except print up more currency, in hope that will move the problem further into the future, when a deus ex machina device will magically appear.I haven’t seen any hard numbers published as to exactly what Greece has to cut to meet its EU-imposed austerity obligations, nor how that fits into Greek budgetary realities. But, as usual with popular reporting, the terms used are inaccurate, which makes clear thinking impossible. These idiots aren’t even capable of framing the problem, much less solving it.First of all, it’s not “Greece” we’re talking about, but the Greek government. It’s the Greek government that’s made the laws that got people used to pensions for retirement at age 55. It’s the Greek government that’s built up a giant and highly paid bureaucracy that just sits around when it’s not actively gumming up the economy. It’s the Greek government that’s saddled the country with onerous taxes and regulations that make most business more trouble than it’s worth. It’s the Greek government that borrowed billions that the citizens are arguably responsible for. It’s the Greek government that’s set the legal and moral tone for the pickle the place is in.Second, the term “austerity” is used very loosely by the talking heads on TV. It sounds bad, even though it just means living within one’s means… or, for Europeans, not too insanely above them. But who knows what’s actually included or excluded from what the EU leaders think of as austerity? Take the Greek pension funds, for example: exactly how are they funded? I’d expect that private companies make payments to a state fund, as Americans do via the Social Security program. I suspect there’s no money in the coffers; it’s all been frittered on high living and socialist boondoggles. Tough luck for pensioners. Maybe they can convince the Chinese to give them money to keep living high off the hog…L: Social Security. Now there’s a misnomer. No one I know my age or younger actually expects to ever get a penny of that money back.Doug: Yes, my generation, the Boomers, will have totally looted what little viability is left in it by the time you never get your check. Sorry, Lobo. It was our supposed “Greatest Generation,” however – who are mostly gone now – who really got a cushy ride. But the point at the moment is that just because the Greeks voted – basically to stay in the EU in hopes of economic benefits outweighing the pain of whatever the austerity requirements are – that doesn’t mean they’ll actually be able to deliver. Once the new half-measures begin to bite, I expect to see more angry mobs back out on the streets. These people have become so corrupt that they think the government is some kind of a magic cornucopia, when first and foremost it’s really just a vehicle for institutionalized theft.And it’s not just austerity, and it’s not just Greece, nor even Spain, which has formally asked for a bailout. All of these European economies are rigidly regulated: first, by their national governments; and then, even worse, by this extra layer of unbelievably oppressive regulation from Brussels. I understand there are some 30,000 people working for the EU, making new rules and regulations like an army of spiders, spinning their webs, sucking the life out of their victims. None of these rules are constructive. They’re a waste of time at best, and most are actively destructive – like for instance, the EU rules telling the French how to make cheese.I was reading in David Galland’s report from Portugal last Friday that the EU forced the Portuguese to destroy half of their fishing fleet. Not because there was anything bad, dangerous, or wrong with the boats, but because they were too good and the Portuguese were too successful as competitors; it’s life imitating Atlas Shrugged. He also said that most of the oranges grown in Portugal are either thrown in the trash or trucked to Spain, where they can’t be eaten but must be made into marmalade, which is then sent back to be sold to the Portuguese. Apparently about half of the chickens in Portugal are about to be executed – just killed, not eaten – because they were raised in conditions the EU doesn’t consider appropriate. The list goes on and on, and the madness is happening all over Europe.The proposed austerity measures will change absolutely nothing important; at best they’ll just lengthen the economic agony. Instead of austerity programs, cutting back marginally on the salaries of public employees and national pensions, all these hordes of Eurocrats should be summarily fired, and their agencies totally abolished. The markets should be liberated.And individuals should plan for their own retirements. They should behave like adults, not children who spend today with no thought for tomorrow, as state-sponsored retirement benefits encourage them to do.L: Excessive regulation and disincentives to production created by government intervention in the economy. Can you give us some examples of this happening and what the consequences are?Doug: The classic example is the Roman Empire after it passed through its time of troubles in the third century. After 50 years of utter chaos, constant crisis, and recurring civil wars, Diocletian gripped it in a stranglehold, regulating everything from top to bottom. I suppose, given a choice between chaotic violence and a police state, people will opt for the latter – as if there are no other alternatives. He instituted all manner of price controls and “people controls,” including forcing sons to take up their father’s occupations. The ultimate collapse of Rome and the success of the barbarian invasions wasn’t due to superior barbarian military technology or tactics, but Roman economic collapse. Romans were actually deserting the empire to live among the so-called “barbarians,” where they could both be free and prosperous. History is repeating itself.L: That’s pretty dramatic, Doug. You think Europe is in a similar death spiral now?Doug: Yes. Those governments are all bankrupt. But much more serious than financial bankruptcy is their total moral and intellectual bankruptcy. At this point the Europeans are so craven and degraded they deserve to be indentured servants of the Chinese, which they will be. The debt they are using to finance their bulging bureaucracies, bloated welfare rolls, giant pensions, and so forth is largely coming from the banks. But the banks are all bankrupt too, partly because they’ve lent so much capital to bankrupt governments. So you’ve got two sets of bankrupt institutions trading debt back and forth between themselves. It doesn’t help to say that it’s the PIIGS that are in the worst shape, because it’s the banks in the supposedly wealthier countries that own the PIIGS’s debt. They are all tied together.It’s much worse, on a global scale, because Europe is China’s largest trading partner. When the EU really goes into reverse and suffers a major economic collapse, the Chinese are going to lose their main customers – and end up owning a lot of chateaux. That also means the Chinese will stop buying the raw materials – commodities – they use to make what they sell to the Europeans. That will hammer the Australian, Brazilian, Canadian, and other resource-driven economies.And the problems with Japan are even worse, though somewhat different, than the ones in Europe. Chronically corrupt and now depopulating Russia is headed for a fall; its economy produces nothing but raw materials and weapons. The problem is truly global. The headlines keep pointing at Europe right now, but the EU is just the tip of the iceberg the global economy is aimed at.L: In this context, it’s not encouraging that the French have not only elected a socialist president, but a socialist parliament. I’d be fighting severe nausea right now if I were a French taxpayer.Doug: And France is not one of the PIIGS on the periphery, but one of the two big countries at the core of the EU. I don’t understand how anyone can conduct a profitable business in France today. It seems heroic to me, if anyone can do it, but it’s getting just about impossible. And now France is going to slide a couple standard deviations further to the left. If I were a Frenchman with any money, I would get my money and myself out of France – tomorrow morning.L: I read somewhere that Cameron in the UK announced that French people with money were welcome in the UK.Doug: I heard that too. But if I were a Brit, I’d also liquidate my assets and get out; there’s no reason to believe the situation is any better in Britain. It’s just not currently in the news. These governments are completely out of control, forces unto themselves, and they view their populations as milk cows. Governments all over the world are following Diocletian’s example.L: If it’s happening all over the world, what’s the point of packing up and leaving?Doug: Well, there really is almost no place you can run, no one place where it’s reasonably safe to be a citizen these days. We’re heading toward a time like in the book, Atlas Shrugged, when the productive people in society are just going to stop producing. Why should anyone work hard to create value when a substantial portion of that value will get diverted into fighting off regulators and other government goons, only to have half of what you do make seized to pay for those very same thugs?L: Are you telling all the Atlases out there that it’s time to shrug?Doug: I think so, on a moral basis. I’m sick and tired of supporting my oppressors. It makes me feel like dissipating my capital on high living, simply because that will deny it to the state. It’s perverse, how they’ve structured society with incentives to be a consumer, not a producer. Why save, when it’s likely your savings will be stolen?L: Well… I guess that explains why you’re building a house in a beautiful but rural corner of Argentina. You’re on strike, no longer wanting to be your brother’s financial keeper. But Argentina’s government is just as scary as any other.Doug: Yes, but that’s why I’m an Uruguayan resident, have my bank accounts in various jurisdictions other than Argentina – or the US, for that matter – and I’m also working on becoming a Paraguayan taxpayer.L: But Paraguay doesn’t have a personal income tax…Doug: Exactly. And this is my message to the Hank Reardens of the world: become a “permanent tourist.” There’s no such thing as a real tax haven anymore – even Swiss bank accounts, if you can get one, are not what they used to be. You ask what the point is of leaving when all governments look at their subjects as milk cows? Well, a tourist is an honored guest who spends money in the local economy; he’s welcome and largely left alone. No one place is perfect – certainly not Argentina – but if you distribute your life across various jurisdictions, none of them consider you to be their cow. I simply prefer Argentina as a place to spend most of my time. Other countries are to be used for different things for different reasons.L: So where’s the least-bad place to have your corporate office these days?Doug: I think you’ve got to look at Singapore. Hong Kong is still very good. Dubai offers some advantages in that part of the world. Other than that, you’ve got to go to a place where the government is small and incompetent.L: Hence your interest in Paraguay.Doug: Exactly. But that’s not a place I’d actually want to live; it’s a backwater, with little more than farms and a capital that’s like a small Midwestern city with colonial architecture in the center. The weather is unbearably hot during the summer. I also have to caution readers that the OECD is pressuring Paraguay to adopt a personal income tax – though none has yet been implemented, and it’s currently a good place to be a taxpayer.L: The US is still an economic powerhouse and a place where a lot of people make a lot of money…Doug: Yes, it’s shocking to me, though, how the US has gone downhill. In past decades, if anyone wanted to set up a business, the US would almost certainly have been the best place to do so. But it has become less and less so over the years. Now it’s just asking for trouble. But everything is relative. I’d advise anyone with capital to deploy it elsewhere, not in the US, because it has just become too dangerous, financially and morally. But if I had nothing, if I were a landless serf struggling to live in Nigeria or Burma or Venezuela, sure, I’d try to make it to the US. Bad as it’s getting, it’s vastly better than where they come from – and will likely be for years.The fact that there are some 50 million people relying on food stamps these days – about one in six US citizens gets money for food – just goes to show how bad things are getting. And worse, government agencies are trying to get more people on to these programs, instead of helping them to stand on their own two feet. According to a Wall Street Journal article I was reading the other day, Republicans and Democrats alike have blocked reform of the food stamp program, even minimal and sensible reforms like means testing. The program is projected to spend more than $700 billion over the next ten years.L: Gee, Doug: doom and gloom and dark despair. But that’s not a new tune for you. Let’s suppose that your analysis is essentially correct; what makes you think that the pot’s about to boil over? How can we know that this is not just more grumbling from a permabear?Doug: Well, it’s true: “inevitable” is not the same thing as “imminent.” When people see that something is inevitable – and I’m guilty of this mistake myself – they tend to believe those things are also imminent, even when that’s not so. But the inevitable is inevitable, and that means it must happen. We usually can’t predict exactly when – and such things often take far longer to arrive than we imagine they possibly can – but once things to start unravel, they tend to accelerate quickly. The crisis seems far off for a long period of time, and then suddenly it’s upon us.It’s much like the ground rush effect when you’re sky diving. When you first exit the plane, typically at around 7,500 feet for a 30-second free-fall, it seems like you could fall forever. That’s partly because it takes 5 or 10 seconds to reach terminal velocity and partly because of the way geometry plays with your visual perception. At around 2,500 feet, though, you can see the ride is coming to an end. By 2,000 feet, you don’t need to look at your altimeter to figure when to pull, because you’re feeling urgent ground rush. Europe is under 1,000 feet, and even if they do pull the ripcord, they’ll find there’s no chute… just a bunch of dirty laundry their economists packed as a joke. It’s pointless to talk about anything but a very, very hard landing. Unfortunately, when we’re talking about the economy, the analogy breaks down a bit. That’s because you actually don’t need a parachute to go sky diving. You only need one to go sky diving twice.L: [Laughs]Doug: Let me change the metaphor. Europe is in hot water. One of the things that has me thinking the water in the pot might hit its boiling point this summer is that people generally prefer to riot in the summer… for all kinds of reasons. Feeling ripped off by “the system” is a really big one. Take the bank runs in Greece – to the tune of a billion dollars a day. If I were a resident of any European country, I’d definitely run to the bank and get cash. Sure, it’s just paper, but that’s better than nothing if the bank fails and governments don’t bail it out quickly enough.Even the US has seen many bank failures since 2008, but the FDIC and the Fed always paper it over. And yet, more and more people are recognizing that the system rests on nothing more than confidence. More and more people are going to physical cash in their physical possession all over the world. Most people don’t have a lot of financial sophistication, but they read enough and see enough, and have enough sense to be scared. When that’s the case, they’d rather have more cash in their pockets or mattresses than they would normally. That’s because money left in banks can become suddenly inaccessible if there’s a problem with the banking system, or if the government declares a bank holiday, or if the government just takes it, alleging tax evasion or money “laundering”…Note to those living in the US: this can happen to you, too. I’d definitely recommend building up a stash of twenties and hundreds, enough for several months’ living expenses, in case banks suddenly don’t have cash on hand. Better yet, put it in gold and silver, because you never know what the banks will give you when push comes to shove – or if anyone will accept what the banks give you in exchange for goods and services you need … especially if Bernanke dumps too many hundred-dollar bills from helicopters. All these paper currencies are rapidly headed for their intrinsic values. And when they reach them, billions of people all over the world are going to feel very, very pissed off – and basically at the same time.During the last Argentine crisis, some people thought they were being smart, keeping their savings in dollars in banks. Well, the government declared a bank holiday, and when the banks opened, their dollars were converted to pesos – and devalued by about 75% to boot. Essentially the same thing happened in the US when Roosevelt devalued the dollar.L: So… the short version would be that what’s inevitable may or may not be that imminent, but on such matters, it’s better to be a year early than a day late?Doug: That’s exactly right. And I really do think we’re getting close to the edge of the precipice.You know, people can read this and just view it as entertainment, or dismiss it as just another opinion. But it’s like the old oak that was there for a hundred years and looked like it would last another hundred years, but fell suddenly in a storm. Only then did we see that it was hollow and had long been close to collapse. That’s where the world’s financial situation is: it’s rotten to the core because of fractional reserve banking and fiat currencies, and totally corrupt because of state intervention in the marketplace.L: I remember how we – people who understood market economics – all knew the Soviet Union had to collapse from its internal contradictions and economically self-destructive policies. But we didn’t know how long it could last, and sometimes it seemed like it would be forever. But then when it came unglued, it fell apart with breathtaking speed.Doug: Just so. But when the Soviet bloc collapsed, at least the West was there to help them out. Who’s going to bail out the West? A giant reset button will get pushed, with unpredictable results. Personally, I am buying more gold every month. I anticipate a genuine world-class and world-spanning crisis. And it wouldn’t just be financial and economic; everything will be in turmoil – society, the military, culture, education, art, science – everything. Really interesting times are coming up here. But on the bright side, I have a low threshold of boredom. I admit I’m something of both an adrenalin and an entertainment junkie.L: Right. But for those of us still working to amass the kind of capital it takes to be able to regard a global calamity as an adrenalin rush, it should be noted that this crisis will bring loads of opportunities to those who see it coming and prepare.Doug: Word to the wise. More on that in future conversations.L: And our newsletters, of course.Doug: Of course. The markets are going to be full of great speculations for the next few years. And, eventually, some great investments as well. I trust that by now our readers know the difference.Without fail, governmental meddling in the market creates economic dislocation ripe for exploitation. Get in on the right play ahead of the curve – like betting against Fannie Mae before the real estate market collapsed in 2008 or buying gold in the early 2000s – and you can make a fortune.The trick, of course, is to anticipate such moves before they happen. In hindsight, the action that precipitated the aforementioned opportunities – governmental incentives to banks to lend to those who couldn’t afford to buy homes (which led to the real estate collapse), and escalating sovereign debt worldwide (which helped spur the 21st-century gold rush) – is clear now.Equally clear to us is the fact that there are now many budding profit opportunities for speculators. One of the best is waiting to reward those who look beneath the surface of the gold market. Energy, technology, and foreign markets are also creating outsized opportunities for gains… but only for those who take the time to dig beneath mainstream economic news.It would be well worth your time to do so.last_img read more

This would be a terrible thing to say about most b

first_imgThis would be a terrible thing to say about most books but, in this case, it might actually be a compliment: I kept falling asleep reading Marina Benjamin’s Insomnia. I wasn’t so much bored as somehow soothed by her velvety ruminations on night wakefulness, which run on, unbroken by chapters, with lots of airy white space between paragraphs. Awash in the comfort of a kindred soul, I relaxed enough to be lulled into sleep. Did her Insomnia cure mine?Think how many hours are lost to night frets, which Benjamin ties to a “turbocharged … overactive brain” and I liken to a washing machine’s spin cycle. I know that my insomnia has increased since the 2016 election, and I don’t think I’m alone.Benjamin’s Insomnia follows Middlepause, her memoir about reaching 50, and indeed, insomnia often follows menopause, almost as reliably as Winter follows Fall. Her eloquent description of the inconsolability and frustration of finding oneself irremediably awake during the witching hours, “cannibalized by your own gnawing thoughts,” will certainly strike a familiar chord for many. She nails the “shotgun awakenings,” the sense of being “jet-lagged in your native time zone,” and the exasperation of being stuck chewing over all the day’s insignificant “crud,” “like waterboarding the mind with meaningless overflow, a smothering drip, drip, drip of surplus thought.”Even worse are the nocturnal worries: “In my bed, I flap and thrash like a grouper caught in the net, victim to an escalating anxiety,” she writes. “It is as if all the lights in my head had been lit at once, the whole engine coming to life, messages flying, dendrites flowering, synapses whipping snaps of electricity across my brain; and the brain itself, like some phosphorescent free-floating jellyfish of the deep, is luminescent, awake, alive.” She adds that, unable to find the off-button, “I pursue sleep so hard I become invigorated by the chase.”Benjamin’s book is more impressionistic than scientific: Don’t look here for an explanation of the chemistry or biology of nocturnal wakefulness. She pooh-poohs pharmaceutical sleep aids, and is also dismissive of a five-week course of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomniacs, which adds to her torment with its strictures about sleep hygiene and distressing, restrictive sleep diets. Meanwhile, her husband, whom she amusingly dubs “Zzz,” slumbers peacefully beside her, heightening her sense of isolation.Benjamin’s mind works like a wide-roving trawler that rakes an area repeatedly before moving on to adjacent territory. Among the live fish caught in her net: Greek mythology; Penelope weaving and unraveling Laertes’s shroud as she awaits Odysseus’ return; Sheherazade spinning nocturnal yarns to save her life; Nabokov’s dream diary; poet Charles Simic’s “The Congress of the Insomniacs”; Oliver Sacks’s Awakenings; Rene Magritte’s surreal paintings that combine day and night; and the Pre-Raphaelites Edward Burne-Jones’s and William Morris’s depictions of sleeping maidens.Her thoughts on some of these subjects are hit and miss — and sometimes soporific. But concerning Freud’s focus on the interplay between conscious and unconscious minds she writes amusingly, “It cheers me to note that because psychoanalysis works to excavate the brain’s nocturnal effusions and then drag them into the light, it is essentially an insomniac practice.” And her reflections on Robinson Crusoe lead to an unexpected discussion of slave labor and the dark side of capitalism and colonialism, in which she points out that what was being grown and imported were addictive stimulants: tobacco, coffee, sugar — “generators of mass insomnia.”Insomnia turns out to be somewhat of a celebration of sleeplessness as well as a lament. It is strongest at its most personal, and is filled with memorable images — including a Cree dream catcher that “resembled a giant dangly earring,” and Benjamin’s nocturnal canine companion’s “legs splayed like bagpipes” on the sofa beside her. Especially vivid is the “trail of evidence” she leaves behind on insomniac nights, which resembles “the scene of a crime. All that is lacking is the body shape outlined on the floor: the missing body, wakeful when it should be sleeping.”Benjamin’s book is more likely to elucidate than cure your insomnia, but it does offer a distracting brain-teaser for your next bout of sleeplessness: Try to come up with a collective noun for insomniacs. She toys with a flare, a fret, a brightness, before hitting on “a calculation of insomniacs.”I’m partial to a jitter. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Frank Teruel Joins ADARA as Chief Operating Officer

first_imgExperienced Technology Executive Will Lead Operational Expansion and GrowthADARA announced that Frank Teruel is Chief Operating Officer for the company. This is a new position for ADARA, which was created to lead global operations as the company expands. Teruel is uniquely qualified for the role, with a dual financial and operational background, and experience at data and technology companies in growth markets. ADARA serves leading travel brands by delivering critical intelligence that drives personalization and relevance throughout the customer’s journey resulting in more enduring and profitable relationships. Over 200 of the top travel brands partner in ADARA’s travel co-op, a unique data asset that has grown significantly in the past year and continues to increase in value as brands move customer insights to the core of their marketing and customer care strategies. Teruel is charged to help the company rapidly expand the company’s business and operations around the globe.“Frank is a phenomenal addition to our executive team. He brings a wealth of relevant experience and enthusiasm for our business; he has a proven track record of scaling global businesses and was highly successful in creating a global data co-op business in his last company.  Excited to have Frank on board to help drive ADARA to the next stage of growth,” said Layton Han, CEO at ADARA. “His charge is to lead our operations globally as we acquire new customers and deepen our data-driven product offerings.”Marketing Technology News: AT&T Invests More Than $100 Million Over 3-Year Period to Boost Local Networks in San Joaquin CountyFrank Teruel has more than twenty-five years of experience in venture backed start-ups and tenured technology businesses. He brings to ADARA, deep expertise in sales, operations, and finance. Most recently, Teruel led ThreatMetrix through rapid global growth and expansion to new industries culminating in an $830 million sale to LexisNexis Risk Solutions.  Previously, Teruel held executive management positions at Vormetric and other software companies. He is also a frequent speaker and thought leader on contributory data, digital identities, cybersecurity and internet fraud prevention topics. Teruel also serves as an adjunct professor in the MBA program at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business.Marketing Technology News: Claravine’s New Chief Product Officer Leads Integrations With Google and Facebook“ADARA’s incredible digital asset of over 1 billion global digital identities, positions us well to capture huge market share as demand for customer data and insights increases,” said Frank Teruel, Chief Operating Officer at ADARA. “With such relevant real-time data for so many commerce use cases, ADARA is entering a high-growth phase, and I’m thrilled to be part of the team.”Marketing Technology News: :betr Announces Positive Media Platform to Unlock Development and Wellness for GenZ Frank Teruel Joins ADARA as Chief Operating Officer MTS Staff WriterJuly 11, 2019, 12:50 pmJuly 11, 2019 ADARAFrank TeruelMarketing Technology NewsNewsTechnology Previous ArticleUnofficial Sponsors Seize the Cricket World Cup OpportunityNext ArticleTechBytes with Scott Brazina, CMO at Impactlast_img read more

Researchers develop new app that reminds users to relax and prevent stress

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 29 2018Whether at work or at leisure – more and more people are feeling stressed. This makes it all the more important to learn to consciously relax in order to get stress under control. The app “Stress-Mentor”, which was developed by a team of researchers from Kaiserslautern, helps to solve this problem: Users can playfully incorporate various methods of relaxation such as meditation into their daily routine. A diary helps to better record additional triggers of stress. The app was further developed into a “pain mentor” for pain patients. At the Medica medical technology trade fair in Düsseldorf from 12 to 15 November, the researchers will present their project at the research stand (hall 7a, stand B06) of Rhineland-Palatinate.Sleep disorders, exhaustion, back pain – all of these symptoms can be signs of stress. In the long term, this is harmful to health. Although there are many relaxation methods such as yoga, meditation or muscle relaxation exercises, most people take little time for them in everyday life.Dr Corinna Faust-Christmann from the wearHEALTH junior research group at the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK) and her team have developed an app that reminds users to relax every day. “We offer a series of exercises,” says the psychologist. “These exercises last between five and 45 minutes. They can be individually integrated into daily routine.” These include meditation, movement and stretching exercises. The app “Stress-Mentor” is designed to playfully increase motivation. In this context, experts speak of “gamification.” “We have a little birdlike mythical creature in our app, the Rhineland-Palatinate Elwetritsch.” The user has to look after the animal by carrying out at least one exercise every day,” continues Faust-Christmann. “Up to three exercises a day are possible.”In addition, the app contains a diary to better observe stress in day-to-day life. “Using scales, the user can quickly assess how stressful the day was or the positive experiences they made. It takes about a minute to record such information,” says the researcher.Related StoriesOxidative stress could play key role in the spreading of aberrant proteins in Parkinson’s diseaseDogs and cats relieve academic stress and lift students’ mood, according to a new studyTransobturator sling surgery shows promise for stress urinary incontinenceThis health app is not intended for long-term use. “It is active for about three months, depending on how regularly it is used,” continues Faust-Christmann. “It’s meant to teach you how to deal with stress more consciously.” The exercises should simply be integrated into everyday life after that time. Stress-Mentor is to be launched on the market free of charge for Android devices at the end of next year.The program of the Kaiserslautern research team is not only interesting for stress management, but also for pain patients. Faust-Christmann’s team is working on this project together with Dr Katja Regenspurger from the University Hospital in Halle. In addition, more functions will be added to the app. If a pain attack occurs, it should help, for example, to plan the further course of the day more easily in order to get help. “We would also like to offer a diary in which pain days or parameters such as pain intensity can be recorded,” says Faust-Christmann.The app “Pain-Mentor” could, for example, be used as an aid for multimodal pain therapy. At the Medica, the team will present the technology.The Kaiserslautern junior research group wearHEALTH is an interdisciplinary team from the fields of computer science, mathematics, psychology, cognitive science, motion science and control engineering. They develop digital techniques that are intended to improve health preventively or, for example, in the form of rehabilitation measures. The team is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the “Interdisciplinary Competence Building in the Research Focus Human-Technology Interaction for Demographic Change” measure. Source:https://www.uni-kl.de/en/last_img read more

Spraying fine water particles onto facial skin improves skin hydration and softening

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 8 2018In a Skin Research & Technology study, spraying fine water particles onto the facial skin of adult women in winter, when skin is dry, improved skin hydration and softening. In addition, water retention remained constant at 360 minutes after spraying.The benefits occurred because the diameter of the sprayed fine water particles was smaller than the intercellular spaces in the skin, and the particles were non-charged. Typical steam and mist humidifiers generate larger water particles and increase indoor humidity that can promote mold growth.The findings indicate that sprays of non-charged fine water particles may help moisten skin in low humidity environments. Source:https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/skin-research-technology/fine-water-particle-sprays-improve-facial-skin-moisturelast_img read more

Mutations within junk DNA linked to autism spectrum disorder

first_imgThe researchers also noted that specific mutations in the non-coding regions could be linked to different IQs of children on the autism spectrum.The machine learning model used data from the Simons Simplex Collection from the Simons Foundation. This collection contains records of the whole genome sequences of nearly 2000 “quartets” that are associated with autism in a child and are associated with normalcy in siblings and parents.These four factors indicate mutations coming spontaneously in the child with autism with no inheritance. The team calculated the predicted effects of these mutations on the sibling that is unaffected by autism. Zhous explains, “The design of the Simons Simplex Collection is what allowed us to do this study. The unaffected siblings are a built-in control.”Co-author Christopher Park, a research scientist at CCB in a statement said, “. This is consistent with how autism most likely manifests in the brain. It’s not just the number of mutations occurring, but what kind of mutations are occurring.”The team saw that certain mutations when inserted into cells in the lab altered the way genes were expressed and this predicted the outcome of such mutations by the machine.Troyanskaya added that many diseases could be explored in those 98 percent of non-coding genes saying, “. Right now, 98 percent of the genome is usually being thrown away. Our work allows you to think about what we can do with the 98 percent.”The authors concluded the study, stating, “predictive genomics framework illuminates the role of noncoding mutations in ASD and prioritizes mutations with high impact for further study, and is broadly applicable to complex human diseases.”Sources:Simons Foundation Press Release. 27th May 2019. simonsfoundation.org.Zhou, J., et al. (2019). Whole-genome deep-learning analysis identifies contribution of noncoding mutations to autism risk. Nature Genetics. doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0420-0. Study co-author, Jian Zhou, said that there are many other diseases such as cancers and heart disease that could be evaluated using these techniques:  “This enables a new perspective on the cause of not just autism, but many human diseases.”Only around 1 to 2 percent of the genome is made up of genes that encode proteins. These proteins regulate the various functions of cells throughout the body. Much of the remaining non-coding regions serve to regulate gene expression. The scientists noted that some had mutations in the regions that did not code for any proteins while some had mutations in regions with coding functions. Both were similarly associated with autism.Why artificial intelligence?Only around 1 to 2 percent of the genome is made up of genes that code for proteins. The proteins then regulate the various functions all over the body. The rest of the genome works by regulating the coding regions of the genes.When the mutations were seen in the coding regions of the genes, there was a 30 percent association with autism. On the other hand the other cases of autism where there was no positive family history, the connection remained unclear. This prompted them to explore the non-coding regions of the genome to see if there are any connections between the two.  The team quickly realized that trying to discover mutations in non-coding DNA is comparable to looking for a needle in a haystack! There are often dozens of mutations in non-coding regions of DNA, and many of these will not cause a person to develop a particular disease. This meant that the scientists needed to look outside the box, as traditional genomics tools would fail to detect the correct mutations.Troyanskaya and her colleagues decided to use artificial intelligence technology to look for sequences that could predict the mutations in the non-coding regions of the genome. By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDMay 28 2019Using artificial intelligence, scientists have discovered mutations in parts of non-coding DNA known as “Junk DNA” that can lead to autism. This is the first study of its kind to connect the dots between autism and the human genome. The study titled, “Whole-genome deep-learning analysis identifies contribution of non-coding mutations to autism risk,” was published this week in the journal Nature Genetics.Timofeev Vladimir | ShutterstockThe research was led by Olga Troyanskaya, deputy director for genomics at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Biology (CCB) in New York City and a professor of computer science at Princeton University. Troyanskaya worked alongside Robert Darnell, a Professor of Cancer Biology at Rockefeller University and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.The scientists used artificial intelligence software to scan the genome sequences of 1790 people with autism, along with their siblings and parents who did not have autism. Inherited mutations were excluded from the results.This meant that the genomes of participants with a family history of autism were only picked up on if their DNA contained spontaneous mutations, rather than mutations they could have inherited from their parents.The AI aspect of the study allowed the team to accurately connect the DNA mutations detected to the development of autism in the individuals. This is a shift in thinking about genetic studies that we’re introducing with this analysis. In addition to scientists studying shared genetic mutations across large groups of individuals, here we’re applying a set of smart, sophisticated tools that tell us what any specific mutation is going to do, even those that are rare or never observed before.”Chandra Theesfeld, Co-author This is the first clear demonstration of non-inherited, non-coding mutations causing any complex human disease or disorder.”Olga Troyanskaya, Lead Authorlast_img read more

Study uncovers new oncogenic function of receptor associated with Alzheimers disease

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 28 2019Common and rare SORLA single nucleotide polymorphisms have been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. So far, SORLA has been mainly studied in neurons, but the new study focused on SORLA’s role in cancer cells. Led by Academy Professor Johanna Ivaska, researchers from the University of Turku in Finland observed that SORLA was highly expressed in HER2 positive cancers. Removing SORLA from cancer cells severely impaired the oncogenic fitness of HER2 positive cancers.HER2 is a strong driver of tumor growth. HER2 amplification occurs in about 20% of breast cancers and overexpression or amplification of HER2 is also commonly found in bladder and gastric cancers. HER2 targeting therapies, such as Herceptin, are widely used in clinics and it plays an important role in the treatment of HER2 positive cancers. However, some patients will eventually progress during the Herceptin treatment and some do not respond to it at all. The newly discovered role of SORLA in regulating the oncogenic fitness of HER2 offers novel possibilities to target HER2 positive cancers in the future. Our study showed that removing the SORLA protein from HER2 positive cancer cell lines, from which some were sensitive and some resistant to Herceptin, strongly inhibited the in vitro proliferation of these cells. More importantly, removing the SORLA protein from these cells prevented tumor formation and growth in mice. So far, the role of SORLA in cancer has been unknown, and our discovery on HER2 positive cancers being dependent on SORLA was surprising, since this cancer type has already been widely studied.”Mika Pietilä, former Ivaska Lab member and Postdoctoral Researcher, main author of the paper In vitro cell culture experiments showed that the SORLA protein promotes the recycling of the HER2 receptor back to the plasma membrane where the receptor is active and drives the proliferation of cancer cells. When SORLA was removed, the HER2 receptor accumulated into lysosomes where the receptor is not functional and thus cannot drive the tumor growth anymore.Previous studies have shown inverse association between Alzheimer’s disease and cancerRelated StoriesSex plays major role in Alzheimer’s disease riskStudy highlights the need for larger Alzheimer’s drug trials that intervene much earlierMachine learning can be a modern approach in cognitive brain health assessmentIn neurons, SORLA prevents the formation of amyloid plaques, and, therefore, inactivating or truncating mutations in SORLA are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Even though both Alzheimer’s disease and cancer are common among the aging population, previous studies have demonstrated that patients with Alzheimer’s disease have a lower risk to get cancer during their lives, and, vice versa, cancer survivors have a lower risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease.”No clear reason has been found yet for the inverse association between Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Our results, which show that SORLA promotes the aggressiveness of certain cancer types, could be one factor among others in this phenomenon,” suggests Ivaska.The Ivaska Lab is located at the Turku Bioscience Centre that is operated by both the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University.The next goal is to find a way to block the function of SORLA in tumor cells and thus develop SORLA targeting treatment. This part of the study is already running and funded by the ERC Proof of Concept funding. The study is also funded by the Cancer Foundation Finland’s Pink Ribbon Campaign.Source:University of TurkuJournal reference:Pietilä, M. et al. (2019) SORLA regulates endosomal trafficking and oncogenic fitness of HER2. Nature Communications. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10275-0last_img read more