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

WILMINGTON AROUND THE WEB The Best Stories From Wilmingtons Newspapers

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are recent articles about Wilmington — published online between June 30, 2019 to July 7, 2019 — that residents should consider reading:Wilmington Town CrierShine raises money for deceased Vietnam veteran’s grave by Heather BurnsPublic Buildings update by Lizzie McDermottWilmington Town Crier sports stories can be read HERE.Wilmington AdvocateNoneWilmington PatchWilmington Agrees To Mediation On Proposed Detox Facility by Dave CopelandLowell SunWilmington police arrest 2, seize 29 grams of fentanyl by Aaron CurtisLike 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… RelatedWILMINGTON AROUND THE WEB: The Best Stories From Wilmington’s NewspapersIn “Community”WILMINGTON AROUND THE WEB: The Best Stories From Wilmington’s NewspapersIn “Community”WILMINGTON AROUND THE WEB: The Best Stories From Wilmington’s NewspapersIn “Community”last_img read more

Argentine navy hunts for missing submarine

first_imgARA San Juan submarine in Buenos Aires. The Argentine submarine is still missing in Argentine waters after it lost communication more than 48 hours ago. AFP file photoArgentina’s navy was hunting Friday for one of its submarines, which has been reported missing in the South Atlantic with a crew of 44 on board.The navy said it had not had any contact with the submarine, the San Juan, for 48 hours.“We have not been able to find, or have visual or radar communication with the submarine,” navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told a news conference.The United States, Britain and Chile had offered “logistical support and information exchange in this humanitarian search,” the foreign ministry in Buenos Aires said.The TR-1700 class diesel electric submarine had been returning from a routine mission to Ushuaia near the southernmost tip of South America, to its base at Mar del Plata, around 400 kilometers (240 miles) south of Buenos Aires.The San Juan’s last contact with the navy command was on Wednesday morning, Balbi said.Argentina said it had launched an air and sea search on Thursday, involving a destroyer and two corvettes.An initial search in an area around the sub’s last known position, some 430 kilometers off the southeastern Valdez peninsula, provided no clues.Balbi said an initial search was hampered “because it was carried out at night and in bad meteorological conditions prevailing in the area of operations.”The three navy ships and two aircraft flying rotations had “already swept 15 percent of the search area,” Balbi told reporters.The vessel had not activated its emergency beacon, he said.The navy denied a press report that there may have been a fire onboard.Balbi appealed for caution.“I don’t want to dramatize the issue. We’re lacking communication and don’t know what happened,” he said.“There may be a battery issue, a problem of power supply,” the spokesman said, adding that navy protocol was that the submarine would surface if any power problems were detected.The San Juan sailed 10 days ago from Mar del Plata to Ushuaia. It spent three days there before heading back to base, Balbi said.Among those on board is Argentina’s first female submarine officer, 35-year-old weapons officer Eliana Krawczyk.“Let us pray that nothing has happened to any crew member. At sea they are all brothers, and a submarine carries more risk than a ship,” her father Eduardo told Todo Noticias TV.The San Juan is one of three submarines in the Argentine fleet.Sixty-five meters (213 feet) long and seven meters wide, it was built by Germany’s Thyssen Nordseewerke and launched in 1983.It underwent a re-fit between 2007 and 2014 to extend its usefulness by some 30 years.last_img read more

HIDCO to organise Great Indian Dessert Festival in December

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Housing & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) is taking significant strides to enhance the ‘sweetness’ of the area around Misti Hub in New Town that had come up two months back. In December, a special “Great Indian Dessert Festival” will be organised to pamper the taste buds of the residents with items comprising a wide variety of custards, ice creams, puddings and other special confections available in other parts of the country. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA private partner is being roped in for the Festival that will be held at the site of the motorcycle stand behind Misti Hub.”It is a strategy for giving the people of our state a concept of ‘Experiential Tourism’ which is evolving fast across the world. People will visit Eco Park, Misti Hub near Gate Number 3 of the park and at the same time, relish the popular desserts that are popular across the country,” said Debashis Sen, managing director of HIDCO. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe campaign for the Festival has already started on social media and HIDCO is also planning to hold a Pudding Festival after this event.HIDCO has already made elaborate plans to spread the footprint of Misti Hub. Home delivery of sweets through app based food delivery services and packet menu (assorted sweets, in packets, for distribution in short meetings) for offices and corporate will be introduced soon.”We will design a special prestige carry bag with Misti Hub logo for common branding. This would be of cloth or jute consisting of three sizes small, medium and large. There are also plans to introduce discount coupons on Eco Park on selective days for those who buy sweets from Misti Hub,” an official said.It may be mentioned that HIDCO has already done a review of two months’ performance of Misti Hub and found that the shops had done very good business during this period. It has been decided that there will be bus branding to spread the word on Misti Hub.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

Saddle Skedaddle cycles into North American market

first_imgSaddle Skedaddle cycles into North American market << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group Posted bycenter_img NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, UK — Saddle Skedaddle is now offering its nearly 25 years of cycling adventures and expertise to the North American travel market.Operating in 36 countries (including Asia, Europe and South America) with more than 250 experiences, Saddle Skedaddle bills itself as a one-stop shop for travel advisors looking for biking adventures for their clients.From road cycling into remote Colombian villages and mountain biking through Croatia’s national parks to self-guided family getaways on Norway’s Lofoten Islands and adventure rides across the grasslands on Mongolia, the company offers experiences for both starter and serious cyclists and everything inbetween.“We’ve spent the last few decades traveling the world and blazing trails on two wheels, and we’re now eager to share our cycling expertise with North American travel advisors who care about providing specialized cycling experiences to their clients,” says Paul Snedker, Saddle Skedaddle’s co-founder and director.He says Saddle Skedaddle specializes in inclusive travel experiences designed to suit every cyclist of any skill level. A team of flexible, in-house experts works with travel advisors on customizing tour options, transportation details and in-destination logistics according to the needs of each client.More news:  Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsTo learn more about Saddle Skedaddle and its latest offerings, visit skedaddle.com/us. Tags: North America, Saddle Skedaddle Monday, May 13, 2019 last_img read more

Costa Rican government lauds new cleantechnology buses

first_imgNo related posts. President Laura Chinchilla on Wednesday signed an executive order for the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) to buy “the cleanest and cheapest energy available in the country” starting in January.The order also includes a request to the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) to oversee public institutions to comply with this guideline.Environment Minister René Castro said that ICE “sometimes spends more on Bunker fuel than needed for electricity generation,” mostly during the dry season.The announcement was made at the facilities of Autotransportes Pavas, where the company unveiled new hybrid buses. The vehicles also are larger, with the capability of transporting 120 passengers, and they run on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or diesel.Company owners said the new buses will allow them to lower their operating costs by 30 percent, and they emit 15 percent less pollution than traditional buses.Chinchilla participated in a tour of the bus route, which runs between the western canton of Pavas and downtown San José.On Nov. 26, the government signed a decree declaring of “public interest” the activities of import, use and distribution of LPG. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Germany should see sales of 82 million TV sets ov

first_imgGermany should see sales of 8.2 million TV sets over the Christmas period, up 5% year-on-year, according to forecasts from consumer electronics industry association GFU.However, a fall in prices of TVs will lead to a slight fall in revenue of about 1.5% to €4.7 billion, according to the association. The GFU predicts that smart TVs will account for 76% of units sold.Overall, the GFU expects consumer electronics will deliver sales of €8.5 billion over the Christmas period, up 2.3%, with overall sales for 2014 up 2.5% to €27.6 billion.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

WTI

first_img WTI <$55.09 5 months 24 months, 4% extraction tax thereafter 5.0% 0.0% All Wells How Do You Make Money from the Evolving Shale Revolution? The current energy markets are volatile, but a speculator must use volatility to his own advantage to build positions in companies that have suffered as a result of the current market correction. I follow a very disciplined approach and use very advanced mathematics and technical knowledge to position myself in the best energy companies. If you’re looking for in-depth research, experience, and exposure to my vast network in the resource sector, then you may want to pay attention to what I’m doing. If you believe that in order to be successful in the resource sector, one must be a contrarian—as I do—now is the time to become engaged. Come see what I’m doing with my own money. You’ll get access to every Casey Energy Report newsletter I’ve written in the last decade. I reveal which companies will be best situated to make their shareholders money in the current depressed energy market. It’s all available right here. I can’t make the trade for you, but I can help you help yourself. I’m making big bets—are you ready to step up and join me? I plan on writing a weekly missive on whatever I find interesting in the resource world. I will also attempt to make this the one stop. K-Man’s Resource Financial Tip of the Week: Price per Flowing Barrel If you’re wondering why this portion is K-Man, it was my nickname back when I was a teacher. Though I left teaching years ago, some people still call me K-Man, including Casey Research’s Louis James. In the spirit of learning, and as a flashback to my old teaching days, this section will be called “K-Man’s Financial Tips.” Over decades of practice, valuation experts have derived industry specific multiples to determine the intrinsic value of companies. Investing is not easy and requires hard work and a lot of time. Thus, any tools to make things simpler is definitely welcome, and multiples are just that: tools to help in the process of buying and selling stocks. For example, social media stocks have been on everyone’s radar: companies with absolutely no earnings are raising billions upon billions of dollars from a more-than-eager investment community. However, traditional valuation methods, especially the price-to-earnings ratio, are thrown out the window, and investors must somehow quantify what is merely an idea. This is where the industry specific multiple comes in. The only thing that can be quantified in the case of Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc., are the users of the application. And as it turns out, you and I are worth roughly $100 each. So, if a new social media company is launched and 1,000 users sign-up, the company is worth $100,000 to the market. Let’s look at a real life example. According to their last financials, Twitter, who had a loss of $578 million in 2014, has 288 million users and market capitalization of approximately $34 billion. So, each user is currently being valued at $118. Your tweets about the weather and how long your coffee is taking at Starbucks are worth roughly the cost of Netflix for a year. Feeling used? The price per flowing barrel is just another multiple, but used in the valuation of oil and gas. It is calculated as: Russian Urals 54.51 The WTI price in January, February, and the first half of March 2015 have remained below $55.09, which means that if oil prices remain below $55.09 for the next 2½ months, we could see this tax incentive kick in as early as June 2015. $57.50> WTI >$55.09 1 month First 75,000 Barrels, $4.5 million revenue per well, for 18 months 5.0% 2.0% New Wells Western Canadian Select         38.17 Global Crude Prices $USD US oil production has increased even under a crumbling oil price. How? For one thing, lower production costs. As drilling and service companies are forced to undercut each other to compete for business, the cost of production per barrel decreases. Another and now very crucial element is the support from state governments. State Governments backing the US oil patch For every $1 spent on Texas’s oil and gas industry, $2 of additional business is generated in other industries, and for every $1 spent on North Dakota’s oil and gas industry, $1.60 of additional business is generated, according to both Texas’s and North Dakota’s own government websites. Texas and North Dakota are the largest oil producing states, and they are more than aware that their economies depend on oil production. Texas and North Dakota produce 3.5 and 1.2 million barrels per day of oil, respectively, which is over 50% of total US oil production. (To put things in perspective, one in every four drilling rigs on the planet is in Texas.) Thus, for their states to do well, it is essential for the oil and gas industry to continue to thrive. The way Texas and North Dakota have dealt with the issue of low oil prices is by providing oil and gas companies with tax incentives. The most effective tax incentive will come from North Dakota’s tax program on new and old oil wells. If oil drops below $55.09 for five consecutive months, all wells will be exempt for 24 months from paying a 6.5% extraction tax on oil produced. After the 24 months, if oil prices have not increased above $55.09 for a five-month period, the extraction tax will increase to 4%. However, if oil prices rise above $55.09 per barrel for five consecutive months, the extraction tax exemption will become inactive. Oman 55.90 Brent 55.55 What’s Next in the Energy Sector? In the past four months, I have personally invested more cash in speculations than I have in the last four years. Could I be wrong? You bet I could, but this is not my first downturn. I’ve seen this rodeo before. I also do not have many positions personally, nor does the Casey Energy Report portfolio. I follow a very disciplined approach, and my style isn’t for everyone. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that fact. If you’re looking for a newsletter that recommends a stock every month, I’m not your guy. I only recommend stocks that I’m willing to put my own money in. If you’re looking for in-depth research every month, experience, and exposure to my vast network in the resource sector, then you may want to pay attention. There’s blood in the streets in the energy sector right now—and I love it! If you believe that, as I do, to be successful in the resource sector, one must be a contrarian, now is the time to become engaged. So how can we profit from the blood in these markets? Take me up on my “Katusa Challenge.” You’ll get access to every Casey Energy Report newsletter I’ve written in the last decade, along with my current recommendations, with specific price and timing guidance. There’s no risk to you. If you don’t like the Casey Energy Report or don’t make any money over your first three months, just cancel within that time for a full, prompt refund, no questions asked. Even if you miss the three-month cutoff, cancel anytime for a prorated refund on the unused part of your subscription. As a subscriber, you’ll receive instant access to our current issue, which details how to protect yourself from falling oil prices, plus our current top recommendations in the oil patch. Do your portfolio a favor and have me on your side to increase your chances of success. I can’t make the trade for you, but I can help you help yourself. I’m making big bets—are you ready to step up and join me? Below are the US natural gas storage levels. Interesting metaphor (unconventional, as it’s unconventional technologies that will save the US E&P sector) I’m jabbing with here, but it’s an appropriate one, as the Russians have increased their oil production, as have the US and Saudi Arabia. And just like in boxing, it is important to not be caught standing still. Iran? Yes, Iran also might become an issue because of the potential increase of Iranian oil exports. The P5+1 countries have come to a framework agreement with Iran regarding the nuclear issue. Part of this agreement would lead to the sanctions against Iran being removed, including oil sanctions. Iran has the ability to increase production and the existing infrastructure to bring this oil to the international markets. All of this would increase the global supply of oil. Bearish for oil. This means as an investor, you have to be on your toes at all times, stick and move, as Ali would say. If you’re caught flatfooted or get hit on the chin, it could be lights out for your portfolio. Oil Prices around the World One of my favorite scenes in Rocky is where Rocky asks his manager, Mickey, who is in his corner, to cut open his right eye just before the 15th round. Apollo Creed had cut and bruised Rocky’s eye so badly that Rocky couldn’t see out of his right eye. Time will tell how the US oil patch will look by the time this battle with OPEC is over. Rocky is one of my favorite films of all time. Chuck Wepner is regarded as the “real life” Rocky, as it’s Chuck’s career that people most believe Stallone used to create Rocky. But I believe it was based on a hybrid of both Chuck Wepner’s and my favorite boxer “Mr.Canada,” George Chuvalo’s, careers. Chuvalo, like Rocky had very little time, exactly 17 days to prepare for the world title bout against Ali, and like Rocky, Chuvalo went the distance with Ali. Also, like Rocky, Chuvalo came from an ethnic background. Muhammad Ali, stated of Chuvalo, “He’s the toughest guy I ever fought,” and Chuvalo, whom many believe had one of hardest punches in boxing history, happens to be of Croatian descent. Even Stallone made a remark about Chuvalo, calling him, “My hero.” Chuvalo’s post-ring life has been a nightmare, with his first wife and a son both committing suicide, and two sons who died from drug overdoses. Trying to make the best of a horrible experience, Chuvalo has dedicated his life to trying to teach kids the dangers of drug abuse. Chuvalo, you’re a world champ in my books! West Texas Int. 50.42 Midland 50.09 Price per Barrel Period Sustained Period Enacted Production Tax Extraction Tax Well Types Bakken 46.39 Back in November I wrote why OPEC would not cut oil production. At the same time, I also stated that we would see US government tax breaks for certain US producers. It’s now official. Tax breaks are about to start. If the shale revolution is in a 12-round boxing match, then we are barely through the first few rounds. In the first round, OPEC came out swinging with haymakers as they declared war on US shale and said they would not cut production. Many US exploration and production (E&P) companies’ share prices took a beating as the price of WTI tumbled over 50%. Supported by the ropes and holding on for dear life, round one ended with the US E&Ps looking to their corner for help. And help has come. The oil patch has always tried to distance itself from all forms of government, but it is the government that is coming to their rescue. And because of the US government’s assistance, the US E&Ps are able to throw a couple of uppercuts back at OPEC. Why? Tax breaks, which have helped increase US oil production. OPEC took round one, but round two goes to the US E&P sector. Back to the oil patch. Should the government create tax incentives for the US E&Ps? Answer: They have no choice. But the governments will actually add to the problem and here is why. The state governments of Texas and North Dakota have additional legislative measures that will promote oil production through force. Under Texas and North Dakota oil well abandonment laws, any well that remains inactive and unproductive for more than a year must be plugged. North Dakota, in addition to plugging, the well site must be reclaimed to its original landscape. The reason this is particularly important to the current US shale oil industry is due to the increased amount of oil wells that have been drilled and left uncompleted in North Dakota and Texas. The costs of reclaiming certain wells is actually higher than the NPV of the well, thus the companies will continue to produce because it’s cheaper than reclaiming the well. The reason oil and gas companies are leaving wells uncompleted is to prolong their production until a higher oil price is realized. These companies are essentially storing oil in the ground in hopes that within a year, oil prices will appreciate. Large producers such as EOG Resources, Apache, Anadarko Petroleum, and Chesapeake have added over 3,000 US shale wells that remain uncompleted and unable to produce. I wrote about this in 2011, calling them “phantom wells” in the gas sector. The phrase being used today is “fracklog.” If oil prices remain low for the rest of 2015, it is likely that many of these wells will be forced into production or required by state regulations to be plugged and, for North Dakota wells, reclaimed. According to the North Dakota Industrial Commission, Department of Mineral Resources, there are 825 North Dakota wells that were drilled and uncompleted as of January 2015, compared to October when 650 were left uncompleted and 150 were left uncompleted in June 2014. If we just focus in on North Dakota production, by June 2015, oil producers will be forced to either plug and restore their well sites or bring on at least 37,500 barrels per day of additional production over the next two months. As October 2015 approaches, an additional 500  wells will be forced to either plug the wells and restore the land, or produce a minimum of 150,000 barrels of new oil production per day. Ding, Ding, Ding; Round Three. Who Will Take Round Three? Unfortunately for this fight, there will be no scantily clad models walking the ring between rounds. No ring girls in this fight. Just investors, speculators, traders, E&P’s, NOCs, and now governments. Round three is likely going to be a long and bloody round as both sides (OPEC and US E&Ps) begin to suffer from the previous rounds of the fight. The Saudis have publicly stated they have produced 350,000 more barrels per day than reported to OPEC, while also suggesting they could increase production further if there was demand. This is not a knockout punch but a definite body blow to the North American shale industry. The US tax incentives are not going away and will drive production higher into 2015 and early 2016. Furthermore, the backlog of thousands of wells (fracklog) that can be completed in a matter of days will force down any short-term increase in the price of WTI. Round three will extend throughout the majority of 2015 as OPEC and the United States circle each other, leaving everything in the ring. What about Russia? For all the Rocky fans, don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the greatest Russian boxer, Ivan Drago. In Rocky IV, Ivan Drago easily took down Apollo Creed. Rocky turned to unconventional training methods to take down Ivan Drago. WTI > $57.50 5 months N/A 5.0% 6.5% All Wells The incentive trigger for a price under $55.09, plus the existing tax incentive trigger for a price between $55.09 and $57.50, will reduce North Dakota oil-driven tax revenue by $100 million per month, provided oil stays below $55.09 per barrel for the entire 24-month period. Tax incentives in both Texas and North Dakota provide oil and gas companies with a saving grace of last resort. But just as oil companies can benefit from incentivized regulation from state governments, there are certain regulations that may hinder the profitability of oil and gas companies, while simultaneously leading to another unwarranted flood of US oil production. Mick, Cut me Syncrude 53.62 Condensate 51.83 North Dakota Tax Incentive Program Edmonton Par 47.36 If this multiple is higher than its peers, the company is trading at a premium, and if it’s lower, the company is trading at a discount. Now let’s use it in a real life example like we did with Twitter. In one of the most recent transactions in the oil patch, Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO) acquired Beaumont Energy, a private E&P, for $587.5 million. At time of acquisition, Beaumont had production of 5,100 barrels of oil equivalent per day, so Whitecap paid $115,196 per flowing barrel. Historically, companies operating in the same light-oil play sold for $100,000 per flowing barrel, so initially we can conclude Whitecap overpaid for Beaumont. This metric is easy to use, but we emphasize that it is just one tool to use in the valuation of an oil company. And it comes with several shortcomings. One is that the metric does not take into account the reserves of a company or the future growth from undeveloped fields. So, while it may look like Whitecap overpaid for Beaumont, we are not taking into account the 27.2 million barrels of 1P reserves Beaumont also comes with. Which is why the price per flowing barrel metric is often used in combination with the enterprise value to 1P Reserve ratio. It helps investors understand how well a company’s current production is supported by what is in the ground. Remember, these metrics will differ due to location and oil/gas mix, but it’s a great starting point if you have a group of similar companies. Interesting Resource Data Below is the data showing the current oil storage, capacity, and daily production. This past week was the first week of the year that had a production decrease. US crude oil production is at 9.386 million bopd, down 37,000 bopd from the week before. Hard Rock Data Here are the five-year storage and price decks for some of the more popular metals. I have put this info together for you so you can quickly see the price and LME inventory levels all in one place.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

ITS been a busy week for Royce Simmons his team

first_imgIT’S been a busy week for Royce Simmons, his team and Saints Media Department ahead of the Grand Final.As well as the plethora of TV, Radio and Newspaper interviews, Sky Sports and Granada have filmed training and Sky Sports News covered a community training session today.Trans World Sport, one of the world’s most popular sports programmes, which is broadcasted in over 180 countries and to 300 million homes, will also feature the club in this week’s programme. The show will be available on the Sky Sports platform later this week.Saints Fanzone has video and audio clips building up to the final and the main site alongside Saints Official Facebook and Twitter sites will be the places to be ahead of the big game.And, England coach Steve McNamara, along with the Super League trophy, will be in London on Thursday promoting this Saturday’s Engage Super League Grand Final, when St Helens take on Leeds Rhinos at Old Trafford.McNamara will be on a whistlestop tour of the capital visiting many of the national media outlets. He will feature live on BBC Breakfast on BBC 1 and BBC News Channel, BBC Radio Five Live Breakfast, BBC Radio Four Today Programme and there will be cameo appearances on TalkSPORT’s afternoon programme and Sky Sports News. His day will be capped off as a live guest on one of the UK’s most popular radio shows BBC Radio Two’s Simon Mayo Show from 6.30pm.Meanwhile, BBC Radio Five Live Sport will broadcast live from Old Trafford on Saturday. The popular sports radio show, hosted by Mark Chapman, will broadcast in full for the first time from BBC’s new home MediaCityUK in Salford and also live from Old Trafford with the match being broadcast in full.In addition, Five Live Sport will have a full preview of the Grand Final on Thursday night from 7.30pm with guests from both St Helens, including assistant coach Keiron Purtill, and Leeds on the programme.Sky Sports will commence their coverage of the Super League Grand Final on Saturday from 5pm with a full hour build up to the big kick off and for the first time the Grand Final will be shown on Sky 3D.Tickets for the 2011 Engage Super League Grand Final cost from just £21 and are available by calling the Saints Ticket Office on 01744 455 052 or by calling into Saints Town Centre Store in the Brownlow Arcade.last_img read more

Facebook and Jumia inspire Nigerian entrepreneurs with growth ideas

first_imgAdvertisement Last Thursday, Facebook and Jumia Nigeria partnered to host the first ‘Boost Your Business’ event in Nigeria at the Landmark Event Centre.More than 500 Nigerian entrepreneurs gathered to network, hear about marketing best practices, and learn about how they can use Facebook and Jumia to grow their businesses.The event served as a rallying call for Nigerian entrepreneurs, who have an invaluable role to play in growing the country’s economy. – Advertisement – The one-day workshop provided entrepreneurs and business owners with best practices and advice from top business owners, illustrating how using Facebook and Jumia can help them maximise sales on Black Friday, this Friday 27th of November. The first 200 people that registered each received a N5,000 voucher for Facebook Ads.The backbone of the economy“We enjoyed sharing our ideas at last week’s workshop about how effective, easy to use, and mobile social media solutions can help Nigerian entrepreneurs accelerate the growth of their businesses,” said Nunu Ntshingila, Head of Facebook Africa.“SMEs are the backbone of Nigeria’s economy and encouraging entrepreneurial activity is critical to its growth and development. As of May this year, more than half the people on Facebook in Nigeria were connected to an SME.”Added Jeremy Doutte, CEO of Jumia Africa: “Jumia is proud to partner with Facebook in Nigeria for the very first time. We are delighted to host an event for the booming Nigerian business community and our sellers in particular, providing them with a better understanding of how they can use Jumia and Facebook to grow their businesses exponentially.Black Friday is also around the corner and we have been witnessing already 100 times more traction on our website than the traction we had last year for this sale. This event was thus an opportunity for us to bring our sellers together, and coach them on how to make the most of Black Friday”With more than 15 million monthly active mobile users, 16 million total monthly active users, and 7.1 million daily active users in Nigeria, Facebook is the mobile solution for Nigerian businesses of all sizes.Facebook is where customers spend their time“SMEs are the engines for job growth in the world economy, accounting for 80% of jobs worldwide.As a platform that democratises marketing, Facebook can help small businesses to reach their full potential,” says Ebele Okobi, Facebook’s Head of Public Policy for Africa. “We give them a platform to advertise where customers already spend their time and make it easy for small businesses to communicate with people anytime, anywhere.”Nigerian start-ups and small businesses are already benefitting from the way that Facebook helps them to talk to customers in an affordable, personalised manner. Jay Osbie Clothing, a seller on Jumia for example, is using Facebook to promote its brand for fashion-forward men and bring interested customers back to his shop on Jumia.“Facebook is significantly cheaper than other channels. Actually, it’s not even comparable,” says Jay Osbie, the founder.  His Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/jayosbie/?fref=ts) has 6,500 fans and his Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/jayosbie) has 1,800 followers.Jay produces strong visual content and reached an Average Relevance score of 7 out of 10. He also recently ran link ads and paid $260 for 14k clicks ($0.02 per click).Girly Essentials, a one-stop shop for affordable and unique women’s products, has 176,000 fans on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/GirlyEssentials/?fref=ts) and 3,200 followers on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/girlyessentialsshop). It’s all about building a community, says founder Chinma Nwaozuzu, adding, “People ask how I’ve grown my business – I say Facebook – ads on Facebook.”Chinma does not have a team of people; “it is only Chinma!” she says and adds that she has grown her business by building trust through building a community first.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

Researchers show how mechanical stress affects bone development

first_img Source:https://www.okayama-u.ac.jp/eng/ Jan 22 2019Researchers at Okayama University show how mechanical stress at very early stages of bone development alters expression pattern of the non-collagenous matrix responsible for biological property of the bone. Left panel: A graphical depiction of frontal view of the suture between the right and left parietal bones. Tensile stress was applied to the suture by stretching the bones in the direction shown by the arrows. The dotted square indicate the area shown in A and B.Right panel: Illustrated summary of the results. Bidirectional arrows indicate distribution ranges along the parietal bone surface in which the osteoblast (OB) express bone sialoprotein (BSP), osteopontin (OPN), or osteocalcin (OCN).A: Normal gene expression pattern of non-collagenous proteins during OB differentiation.B: Irregular gene expression pattern of non-collagenous proteins during OB differentiation stimulated by mechanical stretching. Some OBs expressed BSP, and also OCN, ahead of OPN expression (BSP/OCN+).Red-colored outline: Alkaline phosphatase activity, an early osteoblastic marker. POB: Preosteoblasts, osteoblast lineage cells prior to matrix formation. OS: Osteoid. FB: Fibroblast-like cell, including OB progenitors.center_img The bone matrix contains various proteins, namely, collagen and other non-collagenous proteins. Osteoblasts, are responsible for producing these materials. At early stages of development these osteoblasts differentiate and give rise to mature bone components. While the pattern of gene expression for the bone matrix protein in osteoblasts under normal conditions is known, the effects of mechanical stress on the process are unknown. Associate Professor Mika Ikegame from Okayama University have discovered an unusual gene expression pattern for the non-collagenous proteins in osteoblasts that is triggered by mechanical stretching.Related StoriesOxidative stress could play key role in the spreading of aberrant proteins in Parkinson’s diseaseStudy reveals long-term benefits of stress urinary incontinence surgeryLong-term follow-up of childhood cancer survivors is essential to maintain bone healthFor their study, the team used parietal bones from the skulls of mice. The left and right parietal bones, attached in the middle by a suture, were carefully extracted from 4-day old infant mice; their skull bones were still in the developmental stages. These bones were then subjected to mechanical stretching by attaching each end to a spring. The spring tugged at the bones on either edge causing tension in the suture where new osteoblasts are developing. In the control group, the bones were connected to a spring without any stretching action. The set up was then left for 24 or 48 hours.Bone sialoprotein (BSP), osteopontin (OPN) and osteocalcin (OCN) are key non-collagenous proteins that play roles in bone formation and cellular activity. As the osteoblast develops and matures, it first produces BSP, then OPN and lastly OCN. Only late-stage mature osteoblasts will thus show OCN. The gene expression patterns of these three proteins were therefore examined in non-stretched versus stretched tissues to assess differences in developmental patterns.After 24 hours, the non-stretched tissues had little osteoid (non-mineralized bone) towards the middle suture, with mineralized, mature bone continuing outwards. BSP gene expression was detected in osteoblasts both on osteoid and mineralized bone, with lesser number of osteoblasts expressing OPN, especially towards the osteoid. This region also contained little to none osteoblasts expressing OCN, suggesting it was the least developed. The stretched sutures were widened, and contained a lot more osteoblasts producing new osteoid. BSP gene expression was still seen homogenously, and OPN and OCN were seen on mineralized bone, with a little level of OPN on the newly developed osteoid. By 48 hours, the new osteoid partially mineralized, and a lot more osteoblasts on the new bone matrix showed OPN and OCN, with some cells even showing OCN prior to OPN.This differential gene expression pattern shows that mechanical stretching not only increased differentiation of osteoblasts but also accelerated the expression of OCN. Given the fact that OCN can regulate energy metabolism outside of the bone, the authors conclude that this different pattern caused by mechanical stress might affect metabolic disorders, such as diabetes or hypercholesterolemia.last_img read more

Concordia researchers devise new technique to detect obstructions in artificial heart valves

first_imgRelated StoriesImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsWhen applied using phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the method is both non-invasive and radiation-free, says Kadem. That means doctors can use it for BMHV dysfunction detection and follow-up.”Currently, ultrasound is the best way to detect valve dysfunction,” he says. “The next step is cinefluoroscopy, which uses radiation. You can’t use this method as a follow-up because it exposes the patient to radiation and increases their risk of cancer.”Darwish and Kadem note that artificial heart valves are generally safe but are not risk-free. There is between 0.1 per cent and 6 per cent chance of dysfunctions that can occur between one hour and 20 years after they replace the organic valve. These can be fatal, with a 28.6 per cent mortality rate when a dysfunction results in an emergency. Source:Concordia UniversityJournal reference:Kadem, L. et al. (2019) Experimental investigation of the flow downstream of a dysfunctional bileaflet mechanical aortic valve. Artificial Organs. doi.org/10.1111/aor.13483. Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 19 2019Researchers at Concordia have devised a technique to detect obstructions in a type of mechanical heart valve they believe will contribute to safer follow-up methods for cardiologists and their patients.The team led by Lyes Kadem, professor in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering at the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science, published their findings in the journal Artificial Organs. PhD candidate Ahmed Darwish was lead author, and Giuseppe Di Labbio, assistant professor Wael Saleh and Othman Smadi of Hashemite University in Jordan contributed.The researchers used high-tech equipment to look at the flow downstream of a bi-leaflet mechanical heart valve (BMHV). The equipment included a custom-made double-activation left heart duplicator designed and created in their lab by Concordia undergraduate students, a high-speed camera and a laser.Despite the impressive name, the BMHV is a simple ring with an inner diameter of about 2.5 cm. Two carbon-based leaflets inside the ring open and close as the heart pumps blood out of the left ventricle and into the aortic arch, which sends the blood out into the body.They replace damaged aortic valves, and are installed via open-heart surgery. An obstructed BMHV can be catastrophic.Mapping blood flowThe method the team designed maps simulated blood flow patterns that result from six different heart valve blockages. The researchers photographed particles immersed in a liquid that mimics blood and pumped the fluid through the heart duplicator.Using a technique called particle image velocimetry, they were able to determine the flow velocity. It allowed them to simulate what blood flow would look like with the leaflets completely clear of obstruction, when they were partially obstructed and when fully obstructed. Imagine you are outside a stadium and the crowd is leaving from three gates next to each other.If the gates are open, you will see a uniform distribution of people leaving from all three openings. If one gate is closed, you will see more people leaving from the two others, and none from the one that is closed. Therefore, you will deduce that there is a blockage.”Kadem, the Concordia Research Chair for Cardiovascular Engineering and Medical Deviceslast_img read more

With US sales boom over carmakers enter belttightening mode

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. Explore further An exterior view of the GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio—one of five North American plants GM is shuttering as part of a cost-cutting plan Will more drivers opt for ridesharing and against owning their own vehicle? How many consumers will opt for an electric car once more vehicles hit the market at lower price points? When will autonomous driving arrive in a meaningful way? Auto executives have spoken glowingly of a future with emissions-free vehicles, smart transportation systems and cars that drive themselves. “No one has any idea what the next cycle is going to look like,” Colas said. “In this case, GM not only has to plan for normal cyclicality, but GM clearly feels it needs to plan for the next five to 10 years.”Consolidation ahead?GM plans to shutter seven plants worldwide, including five in North America that build sedans that have not been selling well in the United States. The company did not release an estimate of the total potential employment hit but some news reports have put it at 14,000 workers or more. GM Chief Executive Mary Barra characterized the move, intended to save an estimated $6 billion, as part of an effort “to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future.”Many expect the GM downsizing to be followed by cuts at Ford, which has announced plans for an $11 billion restructuring.”We know there’s more to come,” said Michigan-based Chesbrough, alluding to Ford. On Monday, Ford said it expected the bulk of the costs connected to the reorganization to come outside of North America, but added that it expected a “headcount reduction” over time in global salaried staff.Ford is phasing out a series of cars such as the Focus, Fusion and Taurus, while steering funds to pickups, SUVs and other large models, as well as new technology investments.”These traditional sedans destroy value,” Ford Chief Executive James Hackett told analysts last month, adding that the company would release details about the reorganization “as soon as we can.”Both companies have announced ventures with other firms, with Ford unveiling strategic alliances with India’s Mahindra and Germany’s Volkswagen and the GM-led Cruise autonomous vehicle venture receiving $2.75 billion in funds from Honda as well as $2.25 billion from Japanese conglomerate Softbank.Building autonomous vehicles is expected to require billions of dollars in new investment. Analysts think the US auto giants could eventually be in the market for a deeper transaction with a non-US company, perhaps a full-scale merger.”The big issue is that this industry still employs a lot of people everywhere around the world and local governments don’t like to see automakers shed jobs,” Colas. “So it’s going to have to be a very stressful time in the industry before they go to governments and say, ‘Ok, we’ve got to do this.'” © 2018 AFP But in the interim, companies like General Motors—which on Monday unveiled major job cuts—face decidedly more mundane questions: How to respond to slowing US demand as higher interest rates bite into new car sales while more used vehicles are also entering the market?”It’s going to be a smaller market,” Cox Automotive economist Charlie Chesbrough said of GM and Ford, which is likewise expected to eliminate jobs and perhaps shutter factories.Both GM and Ford want to be major players in autonomous driving and other newer technologies, an objective that will demand billions of dollars in new investment and could ultimately lead to more industry consolidation, analysts say.”The pie is starting to shrink a little bit, or at least that’s their view and they’re trying to get themselves right-sized before things get much worse,” Chesbrough said.Cox Automotive projects new US car sales will slow to 16.6 million units in 2019 and 16.5 million units in 2020, a drop below the 17.0 million level that sales are expected to again eclipse in 2018.The forecast includes the effect of higher interest rates and the drag from a trove of leased cars manufactured during the boom period. But it does not assume an all-out trade war, which would further dent sales, Chesbrough said.’Nowhere to go but down’On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump on Twitter threatened new tariffs on car imports, amplifying his response against GM, whose job cuts affect the politically crucial states of Michigan and Ohio.Auto cycles typically end with a five or 10 percent drop, a relatively modest decline that automakers take as a signal “to get their production house in order,” said Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research.”You know that once you’re passed the peak, you have nowhere to go but down and that’s what scares auto executives,” said Colas, adding that auto sales could go as low as 13.5 million in a recession.Adding to the dilemma is uncertainty about the outlook for new car sales in the medium term given potential technological disruption. General Motors is cutting jobs and spending billions of dollars to become a player in autonomous vehicles, a pursuit that analysts think could ultimiately lead to industry consolidation Ford earnings drop on weak China sales Citation: With US sales boom over, carmakers enter belt-tightening mode (2018, November 29) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-sales-boom-carmakers-belt-tightening-mode.htmllast_img read more

IndoUS ties progressed to a new level during VajpayeeBush regime US AmbassadorIndoUS

first_imgSHARE COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on The Indo-US relationship progressed to a new level under Atal Bihari Vajpayee and George Bush though the two countries used to be at an arm’s length before that, US Ambassador Kenneth I Juster said today.The ambassador was speaking during a discussion here on “Evolution of US India relationship” with Lalit Mansingh, former Foreign Secretary of India and Ambassador to the United States. “The Indo-US relationship used to be at an arm’s length before the times of Vajpayee and Bush, who took the relationship to a new level,” the US Ambassador said.Agreeing with Juster, Mansingh said, “Indian diaspora did not play a major role in foreign policy formation until recent years when Indian immigrants distinguished themselves and the government focused on an outreach programme and used the Indian-American community as a lobby for betterment of Indo-US relationship“.“Indian culture is also doing well in the United States and people don’t look for patronage from the government for the purpose. Most significant presence of Indians in the US is of students and professionals,” he said.Over 75,000 Indians study in the US and 15 per cent of the Silicon Valley start ups are owned by people of Indian origin, he noted.Talking about the future of Indo-US relationship, Ambassador Juster said, “The new frontier of US-India relationship is the economic relationship between the two country and we are far far away from fulfilment of the potential. India needs to open up further for innovation and entrepreneurs”. center_img COMMENTS US Ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster August 16, 2018last_img read more