2013 Queensland Affiliates Cup

first_imgClose to 40 teams will take part in the inaugural Queensland Touch Football Affiliates Cup on Saturday, 7 December and Sunday, 8 December 2013 at the Carrara Sports Complex.38 teams will compete across five divisions – Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Mixed Open, Masters/Men’s 50’s and Senior Mixed. The event, in its first year, sees teams from the South Queensland region, as well as Brisbane, Noosa and Kingaroy, travelling to compete. Round games will be played on Saturday and Sunday morning, before the grand finals take place at the following times: 1.30pm – Mixed Open and Masters2.00pm – Women’s Open and Senior Mixed2.30pm – Men’s Open and Men’s 50’sTo keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and results from the 2013 Queensland Affiliates Cup, please click on the links below:Website – – Twitter – Related LinksAffiliates Cuplast_img read more


10 months agoSporting CP target Liverpool winger Rafa Camacho

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Sporting CP target Liverpool winger Rafa Camachoby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool are expected to release Rafa Camacho for loan next month.The Liverpool Echo says Sporting CP want their ex-academy star for the rest of the season, with a number of Championship clubs also interested.Camacho, 18, can play across the front line and was also used as a full-back in an impressive pre-season campaign under Jurgen Klopp.After starring in America, his performances in the Uefa Youth League have brought him plenty of suitors.The Portugal Under-20s international is yet to make his first-team debut but could be contention next season if he can gain experience on a short-term deal elsewhere. last_img


19 days agoChelsea winger Christian Pulisic eyeing loan move away

first_imgChelsea winger Christian Pulisic eyeing loan move awayby Paul Vegas19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea winger Christian Pulisic is eyeing a loan move away in January.The Daily Mailsays he is said to be considering asking for a loan move away from Chelsea if he is not given more opportunities soon.Pulisic has found himself falling down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge just three months after completing his £58million move from Borussia Dortmund.The 21-year-old has been an unused sub in the last three Premier League matches – and hasn’t been seen in top flight action since August.Now the American is open to the prospect of moving elsewhere in January if Frank Lampard continues to overlook him in his Chelsea plans. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more


5 days agoLeicester keeper Schmeichel says being late bloomer is career motivation

first_imgLeicester keeper Schmeichel says being late bloomer is career motivationby Paul Vegas5 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel says being a late bloomer has helped his career motivation.The Dane made his international debut at 26, though is now regarded among the best keepers in the world. He reached a personal national team landmark last week against Switzerland. Schmeichel made super four saves in the 1-0 European Championships qualifying win.And the Foxes favourite admits his late career recognition is now working in his favour. At 32 years of age, Schmeichel insists he’s as ambitious and motivated as ever.Now boasting 50 caps, he was quoted by Bold as saying, “It was a big motivating factor that I was not involved in the national team earlier in my career, but I am grateful to be part of it now and it makes me proud to play 50 games for my country – now I just hope for 50 more.”If I don’t last five years, then I will be disappointed.”Indeed, while not taking anything for granted, Schmeichel is adamant that thoughts of retirement are far into the future. The goalkeeper, who is in his eighth year with Leicester, is determined to make the most of a period in his career where he is now reaching his peak. After spells with the likes of Darlington and Bury, Schmeichel is grateful for his current status in the game.He added: “You can’t plan in football. Anything can happen. You can get hurt tomorrow and not have the opportunity to come back, so you have to be grateful every time you are teamed up with the national team.”Every match I get in the Parken in front of such an audience, I am incredibly grateful for, because it happens so rarely. We must be proud of all the matches we can fight for the national team.”- updated 21/10 About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Sky Sports is to expand its service to offer 10 ch

first_imgSky Sports is to expand its service to offer 10 channels and is introducing new ways to consume the service.The revamped service will include dedicated channels for the English Premier League, football, cricket, golf and Formula 1. Two channels, Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Arena, will offer a mix of rugby union, rugby league, boxing, netball, darts, NFL, tennis, WWE and GAA wrestling. A Sky Sports Main Event channel will include the main sporting events in one place.Two channels – Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Mix – will be available for all Sky customers.The 10-channel package will be available for £27.50 (€31.10), frozen for 12 months. Existing customers will receive the new Sky Sports package automatically and the new channels will replace the existing line-up.For the first time, Sky is providing more flexible options for customers that are interested in specific sports, although with significant discounts for those taking the full line-up. It is offering three separate sports packages, with one available for £18 a month, two for £22 and three for £26.Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports said: “We’re dedicating channels to some of our biggest sports, launching a new way to watch the best live action and offering even better digital products too.  Sky Sports is giving customers even more choice and channels at the same price for another 12 months, while opening up new ways for sports fans to join.  If you love Premier League, you can enjoy it for as little as 60p a day or you can have the full Sky Sports package for less than £1.”Stephen van Rooyen, Sky UK and Ireland chief executive said: “Sport has been a major part of Sky for 26 years and we’re improving our service even further, super-serving existing customers and providing flexibility to a whole new generation of sports fans. We are making sport more accessible and offering even more choice; all part of our continued investment in offering Sky customers an unrivalled service.”last_img read more


first_imgShareTweet Sinn Fein councillor Eric McGinley calls for more police action against criminals in BallymagroartySINN Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has called for a greater PSNI response in relation to ongoing criminal activity in the Ballymagroarty area of the city. “I have requested a meeting with the PSNI to raise our concerns.“I will be asking for more resources to be deployed to combat the criminal actions of a number of individuals who are plaguing our communities.“In most cases these criminals are gaining entry to homes through unlocked doors and I would appeal to residents to be vigilant at all times and ensure doors are properly secured,” he added.GREATER PSNI RESPONSE NEEDED TO TACKLE ONGOING CRIMINAL ACTIVITY IN BALLYMAGROARTY was last modified: December 15th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: COUNCILLOR ERIC MCGROARTYGREATER PSNI RESPONSE NEEDED TO TACKLE ONGOING CRIMINAL ACTIVITY IN BALLYMAGROARTYSinn Fein Cllr. McGinley said: “There is a growing sense of frustration from residents at the lack of action being taken in relation to arrests and prosecution of criminals who have been wreaking havoc within our communities.“These individuals have been responsible for break-ins, attempted burglaries and car crime and appear to be carrying out these activities with impunity.“Whilst we appreciate the PSNI requires credible evidence to bring these criminals to court there is a concern being expressed that not enough focus is being placed on this problem’last_img read more

In This Issue… BOC hints of rate hikes… Over

first_imgIn This Issue… * BOC hints of rate hikes… * Overnight currency rally fades… * PM Gillard tests Chuck’s patience… * RIP Dick Clark… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! More Gyrations… Good day… And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! Well, my beloved Cardinals did a Tub Thumpin’ on the Reds last night, so they got started on Thursday early! Have you ever heard the Rev. Al Green sing How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? Well, that’s what’s playing as I begin today’s letter, and I have to say that hearing the Rev. sing, really starts my day right! Well… the gyrations and volatility continue in the markets, one day up the next day down. One day a piece of data matters, the next day it doesn’t… But we carry on in spite of these daily movements back and forth… For instance, the euro is rallying this morning, which gives all the other currencies a chance to spread their wings… Spain was able to auction their target maximum amount of euro bonds this morning, and while the yield rose from the last time 10-year bonds were auctioned, the fact that the whole allotment went off without a hitch, is giving the euro some breathing room this morning. For those of you keeping score at home, in January, Spain issued 10-year Gov’t bonds at a yield of 5.403%… This time, they had to sweeten the pie a bit for buyers to take a bite of the debt ridden nation’s offerings… The current auction saw 10-year yields rise to 5.743%.. France also auctioned some debt issues this morning, and they too say yields rise… As I keep telling you, and anyone in the U.S. Gov’t that will listen… This is what will happen to us someday… the markets will demand a higher yield to take on more U.S. Debt… This U.S. Debt really gets me riled up… but the thing I keep coming back to, is that most Americans have no idea the depth of the Debt here in the U.S. I saw a story headline come across the Bloomberg this morning, that said, “World’s Richest Worth $1 Trillion.” The story went on to say that the 40 richest individuals on Earth are worth $1 Trillion… OK, think about that for a minute… If the 40 richest individuals gave everything they had to the U.S. to pay down the Debt, it wouldn’t make a difference, really… In fact, it would take the current Congress about 9 months and they would go right through those riches… Does that help illustrate how bad our debt has gotten? Or.. how about this… The total National Assets are $83.3 Trillion… The total U.S. Unfunded Liabilities are $118.5 Trillion… If each taxpayer were to “ante up” and give the Gov’t money to pay off our Unfunded Liabilities, each taxpayer would have to put up $1,045,026.00… A million dollars! I don’t make these numbers up folks… each Friday, I give you a link to the U.S. Debt Clock… here it is for you to look at… Ok… sorry I went off on that tangent with Debt… But, I’ve been banging this Debt drum for over a decade now, and believe me now and hear me later, the Debt was nowhere near where it is today… Back to the currencies… Well the Bank of Canada (BOC) left rates unchanged the other day, and tried to throw the markets a bone, by saying that stimulus could be removed sooner than later… But since then, the BOC has made an upward revision to their forecast for 2012 GDP from 2% to 2.4%. They also said that they believed the Canadian economy would hit its capacity limit in the first half of 2013, with economic growth then moderating the remainder of 2013… OK, that’s all well and good, but what about now? If the BOC believes that GDP growth is stronger than they previously did, then why aren’t interest rates going higher right here, right now? Well… I’ve explained this before, but just to review, the BOC can’t wander too far away from the interest rates in the U.S., which we’ve been told by more than a handful of Fed Heads that they will remain near zero through 2014… And I totally dislike the saying, “but this time it will be different”… So… I’ll just say that the BOC is going to have to wander from the U.S. near zero rates, because, inflation is going to be a real problem in Canada if they don’t! So… here I am, sitting here in St. Louis, Mo. And I see rate hikes in Canada… Where are all the “large research departments” with their calls for Canadian rate hikes? OK, Chuck, quit rubbing it in, these rate hikes haven’t happened yet, so you had better be careful calling out the “large research departments”… Ok… let’s mark this down, right here, right now, there is no other place I’d rather be, no wait! Come on Chuck, people don’t read this to see Jesus Jones songs! OK, I apologize, that was my evil twin that took over the Pfennig for a minute… But I’m back now, and I want to say that I think we’ll see one rate hike of 25 Basis Points (1/4%) before year-end, bringing the internal rates in Canada to 1.25%… But, in the first half of 2013, we could see the BOC really ratchet up the rate hikes… Can you say 2% by the end of 2013? And where will U.S. rates be? Still near zero… But just keep the legal beagles happy… This is just what I see, it’s my opinion, and I could be wrong… The euro has sold off by 1/4-cent since I came in, so the gyrations continue… Over in Japan, I’m still not used to saying this, but Japan posted another Trade Deficit, although it was weaker than forecast (Yen 82.6 Billion VS forecast Yen 223 Billion)… But still, no matter the size, it’s still strange to report a Trade Deficit for Japan… the yen traded off, or sold off either one, pick the one you like, but yen is weaker this morning on the Trade Deficit news… Apparently, the markets are like me, and seeing the Japanese Trade Balance in red still shocks them… In Australia… things are getting pretty hairy regarding the May Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) meeting… I told you earlier this week that the RBA tied their monetary policy to the outcome of the 1st QTR CPI (inflation), which is set to print on April 24th… But last night, Prime Minister (PM) Gillard argued that the Gov’t’s plans to return to a budget surplus this year would give the RBA scope to cut rates… OK.. two things pop into my head when I read that statement by Gillard… 1. That she must know something about the CPI report next week, so she’s trying to persuade the RBA to look past the CPI report and to the plans for a budget surplus… or.. 2. She’s trying to apply pressure to the RBA to cut rates… I have quite a few Aussie readers of the Pfennig, and they send me notes all the time, telling me of their dislike for the PM… Hmmm… I now see why! The RBA used to be completely independent, but if they go ahead and cut rates next month, they are going to appear to be under the thumb of the PM… The Aussie dollar (A$) is weaker this morning on those comments by Gillard… When will Gov’t leaders learn to keep their hands out of the cookie jar? When will they ever learn? When, will, they, ever, learn? And this just came across the screens… The Brazilian Central Bank (BCB) cut rates this morning 75 Basis points (3/4%)… That’s a shocker to me, in that while I know that the BCB and the Brazilian Gov’t believe they are in a currency war, and need to get the real weaker, I really didn’t see them going to this length… But they have, and like I said the other day, I’m not sure the currency market guys are willing to fight them any longer… They are going to do a Dieter… and that won’t be good for the real… I haven’t mentioned Gold (& Silver) for a couple of days… I can tell you this… that most observers of the precious metals that have done this for some time, and not your Johnny-come-lately crowd, believe that Gold is simply forming a base here before it moves higher once again… but, the chart guys don’t see it that way… So… you choose your sword here… Me? After all these years of reading and researching these two metals, I can’t change horses in the middle of the stream here… My colors are still pinned to the mast of higher values for Gold & Silver… But remember that’s just my opinion, and maybe the chart guys are right… And the price of Oil remains above $100… I see where the President is going to get his hands in the cookie jar… I have to say that all the things I’ve told you in the past about why Oil prices are high are very important to keep in mind, when you hear politicians spouting off about those “evil Oil companies”… The cost of getting Oil out of the ground continues to rise… Think about that.. Yes, we’ve found all sorts of oil deposits, but it’s not like we can go out and stick an oil rig in the ground and start pumping oil! Any way… that’s just one of the things that keep the price of Oil high… But it’s not manipulated markets, folks… There’s just too many trades going in and out of Oil and no concentrated positions… This is not Gold & Silver, folks… Yes the price if high, and I don’t like it… But the price of just about everything these days is higher… Where’s all the complaining from the Gov’t that a beer at a ballgame costs $9? Don’t even get me started on this stuff, we could be here all day, I think you get my point here… And that brings me inflation here in the U.S. I’m not buying the story in the Bloomberg today about how the Bureau of Labor Statistics has all these people around the country going out and checking the prices of items for the calculation of inflation… Yes, maybe they do that, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle folks… I’ve told you for years about the “substitutions” that are made in the CPI calculation.. I’ve told you about the adjustments that are made to the weightings of items, and I’ve told you about this whole housing thing… it’s in the calc, then it’s not… right now they use “owner’s equivalent rent” which replaces the cost of owning a home with what it cost to rent it… How dumb is that? So… as I get ready to head to the Big Finish today… I want you to keep in mind a couple of things… that you don’t want to get mixed up in the gyrations… and everything isn’t as it appears to be… you have to look closer… Then There Was This… Ok… yesterday I gave you a couple of items that scare the bejeebers out of me… but forgot one that I was going to talk about… it goes like this: The WSJ reported that the U.N. had agreed to send “observers” to Syria… How about you? Does the word Observer when it comes to observing a war bother you? It does me… Vietnam comes to mind… and several places since then that the U.S. was just an “observer”… And yes, I know it says the “U.N.” not the U.S. but do we really think there’s a difference? To recap… The euro is leading a currency rally on the good news from Spanish and French bond auctions this morning… Both sold their maximum target of bonds, but both also saw yields rise. The Bank of Canada is greasing the tracks for a rate hike by raising their forecasts for GDP growth in 2012 and 13… Aussie PM, Gillard, is doing her best to get on Chuck’s persona non gratis list… And Chuck takes us on a ride to visit the Debt Clock… Currencies today 4/19/12… American Style: A$ $1.0365, kiwi .8185, C$ $1.0110, euro 1.3115, sterling 1.6030, Swiss $1.0915, … European Style: rand 7.8220, krone 5.7440, SEK 6.7320, forint 226.25, zloty 3.1860, Koruna 18.9150, RUB 29.49, yen 81.70, sing 1.2510, HKD 7.76, INR 51.98, China 6.3037, pesos 13.17, BRL 1.8780, Dollar Index 79.62, Oil $103.02, 10-year 1.99%, Silver $31.55, and Gold… $1,639.60 That’s it for today… RIP Dick Clark… I remember watching American Bandstand with my older sisters when I was young, and we would try to do the dances they did on TV… And before going out on New Year’s Eve was viable, I watched Dick Clark’s rockin’ New Year… I made a mistake yesterday and said our Blues played last night, but they play tonight, sorry to all that made a point of telling me I was wrong… So… Go Blues tonight! A day game at Busch Stadium today… hint, hint… Alex came home dead tired last night, after a good water polo game on the other end of town… Some of these schools are so far away, but still in the same conference… strange… And little Braden Charles (B, as we call him) was at the house yesterday… he’s a scooter… he doesn’t crawl, he goes across the floor, Army style… funny stuff! OK… time to go, thanks for reading the Pfennig, I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 read more

The Great Wall of China A walk on the moon Genom

first_imgThe Great Wall of China. A walk on the moon. Genome sequencing. How did we humans, who share almost all of our DNA with chimpanzees, end up doing all that, while they ended up pretty much where they started?Some scientists will tell you it was language, or tools, or brainpower.Another group of researchers has come up with a new and surprising theory — that something else put us on the road to success. They say it has to do with how we raised our kids.This new theory claims that sharing — first of food and child care, then later of feelings and intentions — was the original secret of our species’ success. Without it, we might have occasionally hunted in a group like other apes, but human civilization requires more than occasional male bonding.So why did we evolve this ability to be so ultrasocial and ultrasharing? Why not chimps?See what these scientists think may have happened. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit read more

Disabled activists have welcomed the decision of d

first_imgDisabled activists have welcomed the decision of doctors to vote strongly against relaxing their union’s position on physician-assisted suicide.The British Medical Association (BMA) voted by 63 per cent to 37 per cent this week at its annual representative meeting (ARM) in Belfast to maintain its current position of being opposed to physician-assisted suicide.Some doctors had wanted the BMA to move to a neutral stance on the issue.Last September, the latest parliamentary attempt to weaken the law, through a private members’ bill put forward by Labour MP Rob Marris, was defeated by 330 votes to 118.But there were concerns after his bill was thrown out that pro-assisted suicide campaigners were already plotting their next move to try to force through legalisation, either through the courts or parliament.A move to a neutral position by the BMA would have given euthanasia supporters a significant boost in their continuing quest to change the law.Minutes before the debate, delegates had decided by a margin of only three votes to allow the meeting to debate the issue of whether the BMA “should adopt a neutral stance on assisted dying”.  Dr Andrew Mowat told delegates that BMA had debated the issue in seven of the last 10 ARMs.He pointed out that MPs voted by nearly three to one against changing the law to legalise assisted suicide last year, while the Scottish parliament had thrown out a similar bill months earlier.He said: “The public expect their doctors to lead on ethical issues. The thought of doctors killing patients creates public mistrust of us.”He said that evidence from other countries showed that when doctors’ organisations moved to a position of neutrality it was soon followed by legalisation of assisted suicide.Baroness Finlay, a crossbench peer and consultant in palliative medicine, and a leading opponent of legalisation, said: “With our hard-pressed healthcare system, doctors have enough to juggle without being saddled with assessing whose life is worth working hard to improve, and who should be given lethal drugs.”But Professor Clare Gerada, former chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners and a leading supporter of legalisation, said it was the BMA’s responsibility to debate the issue “year in, year out”.The disabled people’s campaign network Not Dead Yet UK (NDY UK), which opposes assisted suicide, welcomed the BMA vote, tweeting: “Thankyou to @BMA for continuing to oppose #assistedsuicide & listening to disabled people. Our lives are worth living,” and, “Disabled people will sleep safer tonight knowing @BMA doctors support us.”Baroness [Jane] Campbell, NDY UK’s founder, added on Twitter: “Great news! Not Dead UK thanks you from the bottom of our heart.”Dr Ian Wilson, chair of the BMA’s representative body, said: “Doctors appreciate the strongly-held views both across society and their profession on both sides of this complex and sensitive issue.“The issue of assisted dying has been regularly debated by the BMA at its annual policy-forming conference, with delegates voting this year to remain opposed to assisted dying.“By engaging with doctors and members of the public in an 18-month long project, we have compiled a comprehensive body of qualitative research to look at the wider context of the issue and enable members to have informed discussions at this year’s conference.“This work will still continue and we will also be holding a special open discussion this week during which doctors will be able to share their views on some of the more complex and practical issues doctors would face if assisted dying were permitted in the UK.”Picture: Not Dead Yet UK supporters protesting about the Marris bill outside parliamentlast_img read more

Hull City v Bristol City

first_imgSTAR EVENT: Hull City v Bristol CityKC Stadium TIME: 7.45pm TV: SKY37 points separate them in the Championship and it’s long odds-on at the end of the season there will be two leagues between Hull City and Bristol City.Hull need just four points to seal promotion to the Premier League whilst Bristol City are already condemned to League One after their defeat to Birmingham on Tuesday.If Bristol City were to achieve the impossible and win tonight – that would ensure leaders Cardiff City were crowned champions of the Championship without kicking a ball.But we don’t say impossible lightly, as it really is hard to envisage anything other than a Hull win and it could well be a convincing one.The win odds are tight, obviously, but there are two things that we at Star Sports think will happen.Firstly, there will be over 2.5 goals. There’s no reason for this game to be cagey. Bristol City are already down so will play free flowing football rather than cautiously whilst Hull are as good as up and will want to show off in front of their home crowd tonight.The reverse fixture resulted in a 2-1 win for Hull in October and the same fixture last season a more convincing 3-0 win for Hull.We can’t see anything beyond a Hull win, and plenty of goals.STAR FORECAST(stake between 0.5 and 10 points)5 points HULL-HULL HT/FT5 points over 2.5 goals(-3 points Wednesday)Agree OR disagree? Call Star Sports on 08000 521 321 to place your bet.last_img read more

Uber Must Leave Italy in 10 Days After Nationwide Ban

first_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Add to Queue Mariella Moon Next Article Image credit: Pacific Press via Getty Images This story originally appeared on Engadget It can no longer advertise its services or operate in the country. Uber 2 min read Apply Now » Trouble seems to follow Uber wherever it goes. A court in Rome has just banned the ride-hailing service in Italy for contributing to what it says is “unfair competition” faced by the local taxi industry. Uber must now stop promoting its services and cease all operations in the country within 10 days, unless it’s willing to pay a $10,600 fine for each day it remains active after that grace period. While Uber’s $70 billion valuation makes that amount sound like chump change, it hasn’t exactly been profitable and actually bled billions in 2016.Uber’s situation in Italy is the same problem it typically deals with, albeit on a different day and in a different country. The company faced similar pushback from local taxi associations in France, the U.K. and other places around the globe, and it’ll no doubt happen again and again. In fact, this isn’t the first court battle it lost in the European country: a couple of years ago, a court in Milan banned the company’s UberPop application.Nevertheless, the company said in a statement that it’s “shocked” by the court’s decision and will file for an appeal. It added: “Thousands of professional, licensed drivers use the Uber app to make money and provide reliable transportation at the push of a button for Italians.” Until it changes the court’s mind, though, Uber’s Black, Lux, Suv, X , XL, Select and Van phone applications will have to say “ciao” to Italian commuters. –shares Uber Must Leave Italy in 10 Days After Nationwide Ban April 10, 2017 2019 Entrepreneur 360 Listlast_img read more

IBM Signals End of Telecommuting Craze

first_imgRemote Workforce Remote workers are strong proof that talking face to face is the best communication technology. Next Article IBM Signals End of Telecommuting Craze Author of Real Leaders Don’t Follow Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Steve Tobak Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. VIP Contributor May 24, 2017 Register Now » 5 min read –shares Remember the time Marissa Mayer banned telecommuting at Yahoo and started a media firestorm? Some thought she’d flipped her lid. Others said she’d made a grave mistake that would kill morale. Well, she hadn’t and it didn’t. That was one of the few things she did right in her ill-fated attempt to turn around the hapless internet portal.While the former Googler didn’t intend to start a trend, she did. HP followed suit a few months later. Then came Best Buy, Bank of America, Aetna and others.Last week, IBM gave thousands of virtual workers an ultimatum: either show up in the office, or go work somewhere else. Considering that Big Blue pioneered the “anytime, anywhere workforce” decades ago, that sort of closes the books on what has turned out to be yet another overhyped management fad.Years ago, telecommuting was all the rage. Many predicted that, in the not-too-distant future, just about everyone would work remotely. Turns out, while working alone can boost productivity for some, the isolation can also have a chilling effect on collaboration and innovation. It’s sort of a mixed bag.Related: How Telecommuting Reduced Carbon Footprints at Dell, Aetna and XeroxWith decision-making becoming more real-time, data-centric and collaborative every day, it’s easy to see that a distributed workforce can slow the wheels of progress. It’s not at all surprising that nearly every company that’s put a stop to working remotely has been in a turnaround situation when team performance is critical.That’s why Apple spent billions to build Apple Park — its new spaceship-like headquarters with 175 acres of parkland and a 2.8 million square-foot main building that can house more than 12,000 employees. It’s all about collaboration and innovation. You’d think the tech giant would know something about that sort of thing.   The notion of overhyped management trends goes far beyond telecommuting. Every year or so the media goes bananas over a new fad. Enterprising opportunists then write books and start lucrative consultancies. There are always companies, big and small, that take the bait. Most end up regretting it, especially those who go for it hook, line and sinker.Related: 4 Reasons Telecommuting Can Be Bad for BusinessBack when I was a young up-and-comer, the big management trends were matrix management, core competency, management by objective, organizational development, six sigma and strategic planning. The hot books were The One Minute Manager, Guerilla Marketing, Crossing the Chasm and Good to Great.Granted, there was some benefit to most of those concepts. It was the hype that caused executives and business leaders to go overboard.One of the best examples of that was outsourcing pioneered by Peter Drucker, the father of modern management. The problem came when outsourcing turned into offshoring, and ended up exporting jobs and importing cheap labor. The result was the near extinction of America’s manufacturing sector.Today, we live in the golden age of overhyped fads: company culture, personal branding, content marketing, cause marketing, growth hacking, emotional intelligence, employee engagement, crowd funding, positive thinking, productivity, time management and, of course, everything Steve Jobs. There are countless books like The Lean Startup, Strengths Finder and Start With Why.As in the past, there is some value to most of those concepts, but again, overdoing it can do far more harm than good. The best recent example I can think of is the self-management craze. For a while, everyone was starting to question whether companies even needed bosses or titles anymore. It turns out that flatter organizational structures are indeed beneficial, but only to a point. As usual, some went overboard.Related: 5 Ways Telecommuting and Flex Time Help You Recruit the Best WorkersA book called Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux popularized the controversial concept of teal or nonhierarchical, peer-to-peer organizational structures. Holacracy took it a step further. But Tony Hsieh’s move to take Zappos in that direction has been an unmitigated disaster. Twitter cofounder Ev Williams dropped Holacracy at Medium, which is currently trying to reinvent itself and its business model.In the early days of the company, Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin toyed with the notion of a completely flat organization without bosses. They finally came to their senses and realized that, while it might work for some companies of limited size, it simply wasn’t very practical or scalable for a growth-oriented company. Kudos to them.Look, I’ve been around a long time, long enough to see dozens if not hundreds of management fads come and go. The problem is when otherwise smart people stop thinking for themselves and start listening to the hype. They follow the crowd because all those people can’t be wrong. On the contrary, they can, and usually are.You know how there’s supposed to be so much wisdom in crowds? Nope: It’s just another fad. There’s no wisdom in crowds, just massive groupthink and herd mentality. You can’t beat the irony. As I say in my book, Real Leaders Don’t Follow: Leaders lead. Followers follow. You can’t do both. And that’s no hype. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Image credit: Philippe Huguen | Getty Images Add to Queuelast_img read more

Business Leaders Slam Trumps Decision to Withdraw From Paris Climate Agreement

first_img Editorial Intern 4 min read Elon Musk, Mark Cuban and Mark Zuckerberg are among those who spoke out. This story originally appeared on Business Insider Business Leaders Slam Trump’s Decision to Withdraw From Paris Climate Agreement June 2, 2017 –shares Elon Musk is leaving Trump’s advisory council. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article Image credit: AP/Evan Vucci Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Government Mary Hanbury Add to Queue President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he will pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.The agreement, which was signed by 195 nations in December 2015, aims to slow down the rate at which the planet is warming.Before today’s decision was made, several executives of U.S. companies showed their disapproval of the U.S. pulling out of the agreement. On Wednesday, a letter signed by the executives of major companies, including Facebook, Google, Apple and Unilever, urged the president not to abandon the agreement.After Trump announced his decision, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that he will be leaving Trump’s advisory council. Other executives have taken to social media to voice their concern.Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of General ElectricDisappointed with today’s decision on the Paris Agreement. Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.— Jeff Immelt (@JeffImmelt) June 1, 2017Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceXAm departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017Satya Nadella, CEO of MicrosoftWe believe climate change is an urgent issue that demands global action. We remain committed to doing our part.— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) June 1, 2017Brad Smith, president of MicrosoftWe’re disappointed with the decision to exit the Paris Agreement. Microsoft remains committed to doing our part to achieve its goals.— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) June 1, 2017Aaron Levie, CEO of BoxWith so many things America needs to make substantial progress on, it’s incredibly disappointing to see us regress in significant areas.— Aaron Levie (@levie) June 1, 2017Mark Cuban, owner of NBA’s Dallas Mavericks1) If Dems are smart, they should call for immediate meetings w POTUS to determine how to get back in the Paris Agreement— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) June 1, 2017Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives at Apple and former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyAddendum: minus ??. For the good of big coal.— Lisa P. Jackson (@lisapjackson) June 1, 2017Marc Benioff, CEO of SalesforceDeeply disappointed by President’s decision to withdraw from ParisAgreement. We will double our efforts to fight climate change.— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) June 1, 2017Brent Saunders, CEO of Allergan$AGN is committed to doing our part to reduce climate change: decrease energy consumption, greenhouse gas, water use & waste by ~20% in 2020— Brent Saunders (@brentlsaunders) June 1, 2017Sundar Pichai, CEO of GoogleDisappointed with today’s decision. Google will keep working hard for a cleaner, more prosperous future for all.— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) June 1, 2017Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman SachsToday’s decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.’s leadership position in the world. #ParisAgreement— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) June 1, 2017Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of FacebookBob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney CompanyAs a matter of principle, I’ve resigned from the President’s Council over the #ParisAgreement withdrawal.— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) June 1, 2017Apple CEO, Tim CookDecision to withdraw from the #ParisAgreeement was wrong for our planet. Apple is committed to fight climate change and we will never waver.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 2, 2017In an email to employees on Thursday, following Trump’s withdrawal announcement, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “Climate change is real and we all share a responsibility to fight it. I want to reassure you that today’s developments will have no impact on Apple’s efforts to protect the environment.”Cook had phoned the White House earlier this week to urge President Donald Trump not to withdraw from the Paris climate deal. Register Now »last_img read more

Address Unknown Return to Sender 3 Tips for Bringing Life to Outdated

first_img Image credit: dardespot | Getty Images November 10, 2018 5 min read Next Article 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Principal at the design firm CBT Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. A lot of real estate formerly devoted to moving mail is being creatively, and profitably, repurposed for the digital economy. Real Estate Haril Pandya The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Address Unknown, Return to Sender: 3 Tips for Bringing Life to Outdated Mailrooms When was the last time you sent a handwritten letter? Think about it. Sure, maybe you’ve scribbled a quick thank you note or birthday card, but let’s face it — lines are much shorter at the post office these days and snail mail isn’t what it used to be. The immediacy of email, Facebook and online retail has replaced the U.S. Postal Service, which has become little more than a “last-mile” distribution network for Amazon.As vacant post offices dot the nation, property owners and developers are rethinking the purpose of service areas originally designed to host streams of people and truckloads of goods. Those who view everything from factory-sized distribution centers to 10- by 12-foot mailrooms as a redevelopment opportunity will have the best chance of transforming these obsolete spaces into the next best thing.I’ve been an architect for more than 25 years and specialize in enhancing the value of forgotten, underperforming properties. This year, my team and I repurposed a 430,000-square-foot former mail processing plant into a commercial campus coined POST Waltham. Rather than bulldozing the building, we took advantage of the loading docks, high ceilings and industrial character to design a dynamic, character-rich office atmosphere where people want to work.Here are three ways to make those warehouses or dusty mailrooms shine like they did in their heyday.Related: How the Stars of ‘Fixer Upper’ Transformed a Town in TexasUse large floor plates to your advantage.Massive square footage can be daunting to own, lease or develop. However, a large footprint can be an advantage and appeal to different types of tenants.TAMI (Technology, Advertising, Marketing and Innovation) businesses in particular like to have all their workers on one level to optimize interaction and company culture. To attract these innovation economy leaders, make spatial diversity and flexibility a driving design focus to establish a collaborative environment. A mixture of shared benches, enclosed offices available for use and areas to socialize promotes both egalitarianism and productivity.The high ceilings of manufacturing spaces also provide an opportunity to experiment with desirable, but uncommon amenities. At POST Waltham, the space allowed us to install a rock-climbing wall and half-court basketball court. If you have the height, differentiate yourself by offering amenities that other spaces can’t.Related: Amazon’s Whole Foods Deal Will Remake Strip MallsSocialize a traditionally sterile space.Although people rarely send mail, they love receiving it. Residential and hotel mailrooms are expanding as a result of people shopping more online and buying everyday products. As mailrooms grow on the back end to accommodate the spike in large packages, here are a few simple design techniques that invest in the human element on the recipients’ end.By installing warm or soft light fixtures, you can easily brighten up the mailroom and counteract the sterile nature of enclosed processing areas. To create a sense of liveliness, consider painting the walls a rich jewel or warm tone instead of a neutral color. Positioning lounge furniture near the entryway can also encourage tenants to read their mail right then and there or spend time while they wait for a package.Taking this approach to the extreme, WeLive — a co-living offshoot of WeWork — recently turned the mailroom of its Lower Manhattan location into a dimly-lit, plush speakeasy. Complete with a bar, food and hipsters’ love for not-so-secret-secret destinations, the old-fashioned mailroom hides the back-end, allowing the historic detailing of the mail boxes and backlit bar to be front and center.Related: Why Your New Company Needs an Old BuildingRecognize and amplify authenticity.What people crave today is storytelling. Everything from the photos we post on Instagram to how we talk about what happened over the weekend centers around showing that we’re living a genuine life with unique experiences.Historic buildings, especially those designed to serve an antiquated purpose, tell stories at no extra charge. Rather than removing antique features, like entryway signage or the wooden-doweled partitions that were used to separate customers from the mail distribution area, make them a central focal point.For example, Exeter Realty completed the renovation of the 17-story, 750,000-square-foot Eugene McCarthy Post Office, now named the Custom House, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Refurbished into 202 luxury apartments, a 149-key Hyatt Place and ground floor retail, the Custom House is full of early 20th-century ornamental finishes that recall a time when post offices were a source of local and municipal pride. The hotel lobby’s marble sheen is accented by art-deco brass detailing, including engraved eagles on each elevator door, that evokes the appearance of old-school P.O. boxes. The hotel also repurposed 20 percent of the building’s doors, using the classic dark wood and frosted glass combo to hang as partitions between common area seating. These restored elements, accentuated by low-back fabric furniture, reflect the corporate grandeur of the community post office.As you can see, it’s possible to make an archaic space feel authentic, original and more interesting than any cookie-cutter design scheme.While the way we live, work and play continues to change, preserving the character of yesterday’s buildings ensures that the future of our spaces celebrates the narratives of their pasts. Add to Queue Guest Writer –shares Apply Now »last_img read more

Booker Harris Push Marijuana Legalization to Center Stage for 2020 Election

first_img Image credit: Pool | Getty Images Booker, Harris Push Marijuana Legalization to Center Stage for 2020 Election Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Legal Marijuana Two senators who are leading candidates in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination have already accomplished something early in the campaign – they’ve made legalization of marijuana at the national level a primary issue.Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey already has introduced legislation to remove marijuana from the federal list of illegal drugs and continues to take that position as a candidate. And Sen. Kamala Harris of California this month very publicly declared her support for legalizing pot on “The Breakfast Club” morning radio show in New York City.She couldn’t have been much more straightforward.“Let me just make this statement very clearly: I believe we need to legalize marijuana,” Harris said on the show. “Now, that being said – this is not a “but,’ this is an ‘and’ – and we need to research…the impact of weed on a developing brain.”She said leaders must also discuss a way to create standards for measuring impairment of drivers under the influence of marijuana.Related: This Week in Weed: High End Hemp!Much Ado About Nothing?That all seems clear, but of course there was an immediate political dustup over a side issue. In this case, it revolved around whether Harris listened to Tupac and Snoop Dogg when she tried marijuana in college (neither had released records before she graduated in 1986). Many media outlets reported she said this in the “Breakfast Show” interview.However, the video of the interview seems to show she was answering another host’s questions (there are multiple hosts) about music she listens to, not an interjected question about what she was listening to while using marijuana, according to the New York Times.The more important issue for cannabis entrepreneurs and consumers is that Harris, like Booker, put legalization of marijuana at the federal level on the front burner. When talking about using marijuana in college, Harris added, “and I inhaled.” That’s a reference to then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s statement in 1992 that he tried marijuana in college but “didn’t inhale.”The marijuana debate has come a long way in the intervening 27 years. What used to be the source of a “gotcha” question – “have you ever used marijuana?” – is now used by a candidate to talk about legalization.Related: 3 Compliance Considerations for Multi-State Cannabis BusinessesBooker Forces HandHarris, the former attorney general of California, had little choice but to take a position on the issue. Booker filed legislation in 2017 that called for removing marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug. He’s remained a strong supporter of legalization.The Drug Enforcement Administration maintains the schedule of illegal drugs , which was started during the Nixon Administration in the early 1970s. It essentially launched the War on Drugs and led to creation of the DEA in 1973.Schedule I is for the most stringently restricted  illegal drugs. In the eyes of the federal government, marijuana is as dangerous and addictive as heroin and cocaine. That’s an official position that stands at odds with what state voters and legislatures have done. In 10 states, recreational marijuana is legal., while 33 states have legalized medical marijuana.Booker’s legislation not only would legalize pot, but also withhold federal funds from states that maintain marijuana laws that disproportionately impact minority communities.Arguments for legalization.What voters will hear over the next few months from politicians will likely revolve around the following arguments for legalization.The War on Drugs hurts minorities the most: FBI statistics show that blacks are 3.73 times more likely to get arrested for marijuana possession than whites, according to an analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU also reported that marijuana possession arrests account for more than half of all drug arrests. Harris mentioned this in her interview, noting that “young men of color” have been arrested at rates higher than other young men.The people have spoken: In vote after vote in state after state, people have approved both legal recreational and medical marijuana.Marijuana has health benefits: Few will come out and say that marijuana has health benefits, although a lot of research shows that is the case. But they will argue that more research needs to be done and that can’t happen with marijuana being illegal at the federal level.Treat it like alcohol: Even if they don’t argue any of the above, some politicians already are saying that marijuana should be made legal and regulated like alcohol, another substance that used to be illegal.How President Donald Trump will position himself on the issue is unclear. However, in June 2018 he said he’d “probably” support bipartisan legislation that lifted the federal ban on marijuana and leave it to the states to decide.To stay up to date on the latest marijuana-related news make sure to like on Facebook Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. Perhaps the greatest proof the American people have rejected the War on Drugs is that presidential candidates can favor legalization at no political cost. Add to Queue Next Article –shares Guest Writer Free Green Entrepreneur App Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. 5 min read February 19, 2019 Download Our Free Android Applast_img read more

SoundCommerce Closes 65 Million Seed Round Led by Defy Partners

first_imgAmazon Veterans Apply Data Science to Help Brands Transform Operations and Shopper ExperiencesData platform provider SoundCommerce has closed a $6.5 Million seed round led by Silicon Valley’s Defy Partners with participation from Voyager Capital of Seattle, Stage Venture Partners of Los Angeles, the Alliance of Angels and other notable investors. The funding coincides with SoundCommerce’s public launch as a data platform for commerce operations, and will accelerate the company’s hiring, platform development and customer engagement.“Delivering amazing consumer experiences is incredibly hard — it’s the reason brands that directly serve consumers are worth ten times their wholesaler counterparts,” said SoundCommerce CEO Eric Best. “You’ve acquired the shopper, and now it’s time to deliver on your customer promise. This is where SoundCommerce comes in.” Defy PartnersfundingMarketing TechnologyNewsSoundCommerceStage Venture Partners Previous ArticleVonage and Freshworks Enhance Customer Experience Via Multichannel CommunicationsNext ArticleStartup Studios Are the Next Big Thing in the VC Industry, Says Sky 21 SoundCommerce Closes $6.5 Million Seed Round Led by Defy Partners PRNewswireJuly 2, 2019, 2:33 pmJuly 2, 2019 center_img “For omnichannel brands like Lucky Brand navigating the market today, both shopper expectations and operational complexity are higher than ever,” said Michael Relich, COO at Lucky Brand, a SoundCommerce customer. “SoundCommerce helps us manage the business to the key metrics and service levels that drive our profitability and customer experience across channels.”Marketing Technology News: Creator by Zmags Brings Greater Agility to Ecommerce CreativitySoundCommerce, an Operations Data Platform (ODP) for consumer brands and retailers, transforms customer experience through better decisioning across merchandising, supply, fulfillment, delivery, and customer service. SoundCommerce tracks real-time operational events, profitability and customer lifetime value to answer questions fundamental to cross-channel and direct-to-consumer success, including:“Are we meeting our delivery promise?”“What’s driving and detracting from profitability?”“Are assortment, inventory and promotions aligned with demand?”“Which markets, channels, and customers should we prioritize?”“How should we treat this customer to balance profit with experience and LTV?”SoundCommerce connects data between systems and partners, monitors operations, enables business intelligence, and drives machine learning-enabled predictive decisioning. The platform is integrated with major commerce systems including, Shopify, Magento, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, StitchLabs, NetSuite, Dynamics 365, ReCharge and Salsify as well as common EDI formats and leading parcel post carriers.Marketing Technology News: Amperity and Snowflake Partner to Help Joint Customers Power Customer 360 Initiatives“SoundCommerce is poised to capitalize on the value of operations data, beginning with the massive and growing consumer goods and D2C industries,” said Neil Sequeira, Co-founder and Managing Director at Defy Partners. “While everyone else prioritizes marketing, has proven that modern, intelligent operations are paramount to retail success.” In conjunction with the financing, Sequeira joins SoundCommerce’s board of directors.SoundCommerce is founded by CEO Eric Best and CTO Jared Stiff, industry veterans with previous exits to Amazon, Liberty Interactive, and the public equity markets. SoundCommerce investors include Defy Partners, Voyager Capital, and the AoA. Stage Venture Partners and Kick-Start Partners led the company’s pre-seed financing.Marketing Technology News: Creator by Zmags Brings Greater Agility to Ecommerce Creativitylast_img read more

New book encompasses the vast history of reproduction

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 7 2018A new book is the first to encompass the vast history of how living things procreate, from the banks of the ancient Nile to the fertility clinics of today.The first book to take in 3,000 years of baby-making shows how women functioned as “vessels” in early ideas of creation, until the ancient Greeks established theories of “dual contribution” – whether two seeds or two souls – that dominated beliefs about how everything multiplied for centuries to come.This notion of “generation”, when two individuals combine to produce new life, was understood as an “active making of humans, beasts, plants and even minerals”. Likened to artisanal processes such as baking and brewing, say researchers, it shaped cultural and religious doctrine right up to the 19th century.From the 1740s, new science promoted a fresh concept: reproduction. The book’s authors show how this more abstract view gave us the sperm and egg, “test-tube” conception outside bodies, and all the language and ethical dilemmas we live with today – from population anxieties to surrogate mothers.Published by Cambridge University Press, Reproduction: Antiquity to the Present Day is the first major synthesis of decades of scholarship comprising millennia of human attempts to make (and not make) more of ourselves, other animals and plants.Led by three University of Cambridge academics, and pooling the expertise of historians from across Cambridge and around the world, the book is the culmination of a five-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust.”When we talk about major issues facing global society today, from climate change and migration to childcare and medical ethics, then to a large extent we are talking about reproduction: how it happens and how it should,” says Professor Nick Hopwood, from Cambridge’s Department of History and Philosophy of Science.”Reproduction has always been important, but in different ways. To provide a long-term perspective, we wanted to look deep into the history of reproductive practices and beliefs.”Hopwood co-edited the book with Cambridge colleagues Professor Lauren Kassell and Dr Rebecca Flemming. Over its 44 chapters and 40 ‘exhibits’, the lavishly illustrated volume features contributions from nearly 70 leading researchers.Flemming, from Cambridge’s Faculty of Classics, directs the first section, which takes the reader from antiquity to the early middle ages, and tells the story of the “invention of generation”.”The framework of ‘generation’ produced in classical Greece gave important, if unequal, roles to both women and men. This contrasted with the exclusive emphasis on masculine potency creating life and the cosmos that dominated Egypt and the ancient Near East,” says Flemming.Women and procreation became an integral part of the thriving Greek medicine – the “Hippocratic gynaecology” – of the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Female “seed” and blood provided vital contributions, and the child “grew like rising bread dough” in the womb. Cures for infertility and instructions for safe birthing were prominent.Philosophers including Aristotle grappled with “coming to be” in all its manifestations, along with the ideal population size for a state and how to achieve it, while farmers applied burgeoning livestock techniques.As different areas of the Mediterranean world converged, so too did ideas of generation. Greece gave way to Rome, and, according to Flemming, “the imperial metropolis of the second century AD was where the physician Galen put seeds, womb and menstrual blood into their most influential arrangement”. This would hold through the religious and political changes of the next centuries.Societies were still highly patriarchal, however. Romans mapped male physiology onto female bodies, says Flemming: ovaries were women’s testicles, the uterus was a deflated scrotum and a weak female ‘sperma’ was designed to lock in male seed. “Women were viewed as inferior versions of men due to their apparent ‘mutilations’ for accommodating babies.”Lauren Kassell of Cambridge’s Department of History and Philosophy of Science oversees the medieval and early modern periods, when theories of ‘generation’ expanded. Scientific inquiry was applied to distant lands and microscopic structures, and women and artisans joined in debates.Related StoriesAssisted reproductive technology solution from Olympus increases the efficiency of ICSITrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchBlastocyst transfer linked to higher risk of preterm birth, large-for-gestational-age rates”Numerous Greek works were translated into Arabic from the eighth century. Scholars from Asia and Egypt reworked theories about the importance of the female seed and the formation of the fetus – challenging older authorities,” says Kassell.Following the devastation of the Black Death, Christian clergy were instructed to counsel parishioners about sex to encourage “fruitful marriages”. Influenced by sex-positive attitudes from Arabic texts, church law supported spousal obligations to “honour each other’s desire for sexual gratification”.Lineage, paramount to social order, was threatened by women having children outside marriage, although men were free to do so – with theories of family resemblance invoked in cases of disputed paternity. While unwed women feared pregnancy, Kassell says that moral and medical advisors continued to be more interested in promoting rather than limiting fertility.”Questions about pregnancy defined early modern medical encounters. Seventeenth-century medical casebooks reveal diagnostic approaches for female fertility that are superficially familiar to modern readers, such as observing changes to a woman’s body and examining her urine, as well as the more otherworldly interpretations of the positions of the stars.”Within households, fertility was the business of men as well as women. Some husbands charted their wives’ menstruation cycles. The book features diary sections written by the mathematician and occult philosopher John Dee, in which he recorded his wife Jane’s periods alongside notes about meetings with Elizabeth I.Hopwood guides readers into the era of ‘reproduction’: a long revolution not just in society and culture, thought and technology, but also in terminology. The word is older, but its modern use began in earnest in the 1740s, when experiments to regenerate tiny freshwater animals after cutting or sieving provided a model for reproduction in general.It was not until the 1870s, however, that a scientific consensus emerged on the roles of eggs and sperm in fertilization. (In 1827, the same year he discovered the mammalian egg, embryologist Karl Ernst von Baer named ‘spermatozoa’ but dismissed them as parasites.)”As European birth-rates fell, reproduction became linked to worries about the quality as well as the quantity of populations, including nationalist fantasies of racial vigour,” says Hopwood. These would result in some of humanity’s darkest hours.People in industrialized countries increasingly limited the size of their families in the early 20th century, while governments initially fought contraception and abortion. Some worried that state control of reproduction would lead doctors to create humans “as farmers breed their beasts”. Others were more concerned that maternal mortality stayed stubbornly high.As reproduction moved centre stage after World War II, science and medicine took ever more important roles in childbirth (now safer), contraception (now respectable), and attempts to alleviate infertility. Feminist activists campaigned against “battery births” and for “a woman’s right to choose”. Environmentalists promoted population control.Hopwood contributes a chapter on the strange history of artificial fertilization, taking in horse-semen thieves,test-tube sea urchins, experiments to produce human-orangutan hybrids, and fertility magnates promising Nobel Laureate sperm. More routinely, over five million IVF babies have now been born around the world, though assisted conception is provided through the market more than by states.The book closes with contemporary phenomena, from egg freezing and “repro-travel” to food security and infant mortality, and the media debates that shape attitudes towards them. “Today, reproduction happens on screens as well as in bedrooms, clinics and barns,” says Hopwood.The editors hope the book’s extraordinary chronological range will give readers new insights into the past and prompt reflection on current challenges. “Long views reveal continuities we miss by focusing on a mere century or two, but the very similarities direct attention to the specifics of change,” Hopwood adds.​Source: read more

Scientists create comprehensive new method to predict breast cancer risk

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 14 2019Scientists have created the most comprehensive method yet to predict a woman’s risk of breast cancer, according to a study by Cancer Research UK published in Genetics in Medicine.They have a developed a way of calculating the risk of developing the disease by combining information on family history and genetics with other factors such as weight, age at menopause, alcohol consumption and use of hormone replacement therapy.Although individually some of these things have a small impact on the likelihood of developing the disease, researchers found that by considering all of them at once, plus family history and genetics, they can identify groups of women who have different risks of developing breast cancer.Importantly, for the first time, researchers have taken into account more than 300 genetic indicators for breast cancer. This makes calculating the risk much more precise than ever before.From this, the researchers have created an online calculator for GPs to use in their surgeries. Some GPs, practice nurses and genetic counselors are testing this tool before it is considered for wider use. Doctors are prompted to answer a series of online questions about their patient including their medical and family history, whether they have any known genetic alterations linked to cancer, their weight and whether they drink alcohol.In the future, information like this could help to tailor breast cancer screening depending on an individual’s risk. For example, it could help determine what age they are first invited for breast screening or how regularly they are invited to receive it.The risk calculation could also help people to make decisions about preventative therapy – such as identifying women at high risk who may benefit from taking the drug tamoxifen – as well as encouraging women to think about the ways they could reduce the risk themselves, for example trying to keep a healthy weight.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerProfessor Antonis Antoniou, lead author at the University of Cambridge, said: “This is the first time that anyone has combined so many elements into one breast cancer prediction tool. It could be a game changer for breast cancer because now we can identify large numbers of women with different levels of risk – not just women who are at high risk.”This should help doctors to tailor the care they provide depending on their patients’ level of risk. For example, some women may need additional appointments with their doctor to discuss screening or prevention options and others may just need advice on their lifestyle and diet. “We hope this means more people can be diagnosed early and survive their disease for longer, but more research and trials are needed before we will fully understand how this could be used.”Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Nearly 55,000 women are diagnosed with the disease each year. But a large proportion of breast cancer cases occur in people who are at an increased risk. Cancer Research UK has helped to double breast cancer survival over the last 40 years.Dr Richard Roope, Cancer Research UK’s GP expert, said: “Research like this is hugely exciting because in the future it will enable us to offer much more tailored care which will benefit patients and make best use of the services that we have available.”Although having an increased risk of breast cancer means a woman is more likely to develop the disease – it’s by no means a certainty. A woman at high risk may never get breast cancer just as a woman at low risk still could. But any woman with concerns should speak to her GP to discuss the options.”Source: read more

Mothers with children taken into outofhome care more likely to receive inadequate

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 25 2019Mothers whose first child was taken into care were found to have inadequate or no prenatal care during subsequent pregnancies, according to a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) study was conducted in the province of Manitoba, which has one of the highest rates of children in out-of-home care in developed countries. About 3% of children live in homes without parental caregivers compared with a rate of 1% of children in most developed countries.A total of 52 438 mothers were included in the study, of whom 1284 (2.4%) had their first child placed in out-of-home care before conceiving a second child. These mothers were more likely to have a substance use disorder, live in low-income and urban neighborhoods, receive income assistance and have diabetes. They were also 46% more likely to receive inadequate prenatal care than women whose children had not been taken into care.”Previous research has identified a fear of detection or involvement with child protection services as an important barrier for at-risk pregnant women, potentially leading to disengagement from, avoidance of or delayed presentation to prenatal care,” writes Dr. Elizabeth Wall-Wieler, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, with coauthors. “We expect this fear to be intensified for pregnant women who had their first child taken into care by child protection services because they may fear this happening again.”A harm reduction approach that provides easily accessible and nonjudgmental prenatal care could increase access to care for these women.”Pregnancy presents an important opportunity to increase positive outcomes for vulnerable women and to enable children to have the best possible start in life,” write the authors. “This represents an obligation within the child rights principles and a crucial strategy for reducing population-level health disparities.”Related StoriesGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenIn a related commentary, Indigenous maternal-child health experts Dr. Janet Smylie and Wanda Phillips-Beck state that the exposed cohort in the linked study “was very likely to be largely Indigenous.” They describe the barriers that First Nations, Inuit and Métis women face in accessing prenatal care, which Dr. Smylie saw while providing obstetric care in an urban clinic in the late 1990s. “These barriers included but went beyond the basic material needs such as transportation and the need to prioritize housing, food security and safe child care over scheduled medical appointments. Women feared being misunderstood and incorrectly judged by culturally biased maternity care providers who, without reflection on how social stereotyping was driving their clinical interactions and decision-making, would deem them inadequate mothers-to-be and contact child protection agencies.”The authors state that this situation is a consequence of colonialism. “These processes are also acknowledged to be ongoing, contributing to a situation where there are now more Indigenous children in Canada’s child welfare system than when residential schools were at their peak.”To move past this, there must be support for Indigenous-led community solutions with First Nations, Inuit and Métis actively involved in the research and system transformation.last_img read more

Music firms sue to keep hit songs off fitness streaming app

© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Citation: Music firms sue to keep hit songs off fitness streaming app (2018, January 23) retrieved 18 July 2019 from In a federal lawsuit filed in Atlanta, Sony Music Entertainment and more than a dozen other record companies say Fit Radio illegally infringes on their copyrighted recordings “on a massive scale.”The Atlanta-based streaming business is hurting artists who rely on music royalties, the music companies states in the suit filed recently in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. The lawsuit mentioned several major artists, including Beyonce, Jason Derulo, Green Day and others.”Rampant copyright infringement of sound recordings over the internet and through mobile applications, including the infringement engaged in and enabled by entities such as Fit Radio, has resulted in significant harm to the music industry, including to artists who rely on royalties from recorded music for their livelihood,” the complaint states.A representative of the Atlanta firm said in a statement Tuesday that it looks forward to “being vindicated by the court system.””We will continue providing exceptional services to our customers,” it said. The Fit Radio application icon is displayed on an iPhone, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in New York. In a federal lawsuit filed in Atlanta, Sony Music Entertainment and more than a dozen other record companies say Fit Radio, a music streaming service aimed at fitness enthusiasts, illegally infringes on their copyrighted recordings “on a massive scale.” A representative of the Atlanta firm said in a statement Tuesday that it looks forward to “being vindicated by the court system.” (AP Photo/Jenny Kane) Some of the nation’s largest recording studios have joined forces in an effort to stop a music streaming service aimed at fitness enthusiasts from using songs by Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Green Day and other stars. Fit Radio is available through its website,, and through an application or app on mobile devices such as cellphones. Fit Radio recruits disc jockeys who copy and upload popular songs to attract users, the lawsuit says.The streaming service entices the DJs to upload recordings to Fit Radio as a way for the DJs to “promote your personal brand,” the lawsuit states. The company also supports the DJs with marketing efforts through Facebook and email campaigns, according to the lawsuit.The recording companies say their music is legally streamed via services such as Apple Music and Spotify through business agreements with them. But Fit Radio is different because it has no such agreements to stream the copyrighted music, they say. Facebook signs deal with music label Universal Music 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 In this Oct. 15, 2016 file photo, singer Beyonce Knowles attends the Tidal X: 1015 benefit concert in New York. Some of the nation’s largest recording studios have joined forces in an effort to stop Fit Radio, a music streaming service aimed at fitness enthusiasts, from using songs by Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Green Day and other stars. A representative of the Atlanta firm said in a statement Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, that it looks forward to “being vindicated by the court system.” (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File) read more