Director of Budgeting        
NC-Wilmington, Definition: To perform a variety of professional level duties and responsibilities involved in performing complex statistical analysis, developing budgets and fiscal reporting systems, and to perform various related activities in support of the financial planning function. Exercises general supervision over staff in the payroll operations and budget areas. Minimum Required Education/Training/Exper
          Cinque buoni motivi per (non) leggere D'Annunzio        
Quest'estate ho intrapreso un viaggio in automobile attraverso i classici della prosa italiana. Per non partire da troppo lontano, ho limitato l'arco temporale agli ultimi due secoli; sono entrato al casello dell'Ortis, ho proseguito per Manzoni, poi ho attraversato le Operette morali e lo Zibaldone e, già che c'ero, mi sono concesso una deviazione per i Canti e i Paralipomeni. Durante la sosta in autogrill, davanti a una piadina e a un quartino di Chianti, ho pensato a quanto ero fortunato per il fatto che né Carducci né Pascoli si fossero mai dedicati alla narrativa; poi ho imboccato con fiducia il rettilineo che conduce al grande De Roberto attraverso il grandissimo Verga.

Fin qui tutto bene. Ma già sapevo che, dopo la barriera in uscita dall'A-800, e prima di imboccare con decisione l'A-900, avrei dovuto attraversare un tratto di raccordo pericoloso e arduo.

Ecco che già si snoda sotto i miei occhi la temutissima tangenziale D'Annunzio, con le sue cinque uscite.

1. E' un classico. Può esservi capitato, per motivi di lavoro o di studio, di dover leggere parecchi testi italiani risalenti alla fine del diciannovesimo o all'inizio del ventesimo secolo. Non necessariamente testi letterari: anche articoli di giornale o saggistica. Vi sarete accorti di quanto spesso lo stile appare gonfio, ampolloso, enfatico. E' come se, in quel periodo, un'epidemia di cattiva retorica (il "dannunzianismo") si fosse abbattuta sulla prosa italiana. E però: quando un autore riesce a imprimere in modo così massiccio e durevole la propria impronta sulla lingua nella quale scrive, questo autore è ciò che si dice un classico. Vale a dire che D'Annunzio non può essere tralasciato, in quanto rappresenta una fase di evoluzione della lingua italiana.

"Ma, trapassando il simbolo materiale, ci abbandoniamo con ansia alla virtù evocatrice dei profondi accordi in cui il nostro spirito sembra oggi trovare il presentimento di non so qual sera grave di belle fatalità e d'oro autunnale su un porto quieto come un bacino d'olio odorifero ove una galera palpitante d'orifiamme entrerà con uno strano silenzio come una farfalla crepuscolare nel calice venato d'un gran fiore".

2. E' decadente. Mettiamo che un bel mattino vi svegliate e vi sentiate esteti. Ovviamente non lavorate, e non avete il problema della sussistenza materiale. Fra i moltissimi modi a vostra disposizione per iniziare la giornata (il sesso, l'equitazione, il gioco d'azzardo, le droghe, bighellonare per il centro cittadino, ecc.) scegliete di leggervi un buon libro. Siete snob, e quindi sdegnate l'idea di leggere una volgare traduzione. Siete pigro, e non vi va di approcciare Proust né Wilde in lingua originale. Siete italiano, e vi dovete accontentare di quello che passa il convento. E allora non c'è via di scampo. Alla richiesta "estetismo decadente", la letteratura italiana risponde con D'Annunzio. O cambiate arte (Puccini è una validissima alternativa), oppure vi tocca tirare giù dall'ultimo scaffale il poeta di Pescara.

"Ricordi la ventesima delle variazioni beethoveniane sul tema del Diabelli dedicate ad Antonia Brentano? - diceva Aldo, svegliando nella profondità della nera cassa quegli accordi in cui per una miracolosa trasfigurazione il tema principale è irriconoscibile. - Non sembra armonizzata su quel fondo ove la croce le scale i corpi i singhiozzi le grida gli aneliti la luce non penetrano? Ascolta; e guarda quell'azzurro opaco sordo eguale, senza raggio, senza nube, di là da cui spazia forse quella regione della vita ove una sola cosa importa".

3. E' un poeta. Nonostante tutto, in D'Annunzio c'è del bello. Egli si autodefinì "l'Imaginifico" (con la I maiuscola, e una emme sola). Infatti, la sua prosa è caratterizzata da una strabordante varietà di immagini, di similitudini e di metafore. In gran parte sono rumore di fondo e gratuito orpello kitsch. Ma, per un puro fatto statistico, ogni tanto qualcuna è giusta. In altre parole, D'Annunzio funziona un po' come quei comici che producono battute a raffica, velocissime: alla fine ridi, un po' per sfinimento e un po' perché fra le tante ce n'era una buona.

"E nella faccia e nella mano era tanta forza d'espressione e d'illuminazione, ch'elle parevano sorpassare la realtà e intagliarsi nel cielo stesso del fato, come quando il crinale delle Dolomiti solo arde nei crepuscoli inciso contro tutta l'ombra e ciascuno dei suoi rilievi s'addentra nell'anima di chi mira e vi s'eterna".

4. E' conseguente. Come si sa, l'opera di D'Annunzio ha anche una ben precisa connotazione politica. Non mi dilungo su questo aspetto, però voglio rilevare che, sotto questo punto di vista, moltissimi italiani sono dannunziani, senza saperlo o sapendolo. Non tanto, e non solo, per una questione di appartenenza a certi partiti o a certe ideologie; quanto per il fatto di condividere con D'Annunzio un determinato rapporto con il reale. Infatti, il tipico atteggiamento dannunziano nei confronti della realtà non consiste nel riconoscerla così com'è, né tanto meno nel cercare di cambiarla. Consiste nel mistificare, sempre e comunque, e con ammirevole pertinacia e coerenza, la realtà. Se D'Annunzio fosse un software, sarebbe una specie di Matrix che trasfigura esteticamente tutti gli oggetti dell'esperienza facendo apparire "bella" ogni cosa. Se D'Annunzio fosse un odierno manager della TV, la sua ambizione sarebbe quella d'ideare un palinsesto così avvincente da tenere tutti i telespettatori attaccati allo schermo ventiquattr'ore su ventiquattro, dimentichi della vita e desiderosi di sempre nuove illusioni. Se D'Annunzio fosse un politico... Ma lo fu, tra l'altro. E fece scuola, ed ebbe tanti seguaci. E molti ne avrebbe ancora oggi, se fosse vivo.

"Né soltanto verso quella moltitudine ma verso infinite moltitudini andò il suo pensiero; e le evocò addensate in profondi teatri, dominate da un'idea di verità e di bellezza, mute e intente dinanzi al grande arco scenico aperto su una meravigliosa trasfigurazione della vita, o frenetiche sotto il repentino splendore irradiato da una parola immortale. E il sogno d'un'arte più alta levandosi in lui anche una volta, gli dimostrò gli uomini novamente presi di reverenza verso i poeti come verso coloro i quali potevano soli interrompere per qualche attimo l'angoscia umana, placare la sete, largire l'oblio. E troppo gli parve lieve quella prova ch'egli compiva; poiché mosso dal soffio della folla il suo spirito si stimò capace di generare finzioni gigantesche".

5. E' morto. Alla fine questa è la cosa più importante. Dall'esperienza dannunziana la nostra letteratura uscì vaccinata: per un paio di generazioni gli scrittori sfuggirono la retorica e cercarono una lingua scabra ed essenziale.

"Io non comprendo perché oggi i poeti si sdegnino contro la volgarità dell'epoca presente e si rammarichino d'esser nati troppo tardi o troppo presto. Io penso che ogni uomo d'intelletto possa, oggi come sempre, nella vita creare la propria favola bella. Bisogna guardare nel turbinio confuso della vita con quello stesso spirito fantastico con cui i discepoli del Vinci erano dal maestro consigliati di guardare nelle macchie dei muri, nella cenere del fuoco, nei nuvoli, nei fanghi e in altri simili luoghi per trovarvi invenzioni mirabilissime e infinite cose".

Sì, certo.
E l'orifiamma e la ventesima variazione e l'arco scenico e le Dolomiti...
Le Dolomiti?
Mi sa tanto che ho sbagliato uscita.
Sto andando verso il Brennero.
Arrivederci, Italia!

[Già pubblicato su Evulon]
          Il terremoto di Messina del 1908        
Ripubblico qui di seguito una mia recensione (risalente a sei anni fa) al libro di Giorgio Boatti, La terra trema. Messina 28 dicembre 1908. I trenta secondi che cambiarono l'Italia, non gli italiani, Mondadori, Milano 2004, pp. 414, € 18,50.

"Ore 5.20 terremoto distrusse buona parte Messina - Giudico morti molte centinaia - case crollate sgombro macerie insufficienti mezzi locali - urgono soccorsi per sgombro vettovagliamento assistenza feriti - ogni aiuto sarà insufficiente".

E' il testo del telegramma con cui il governo italiano apprese del terremoto di Messina: inviato dal comandante di una nave militare da una stazione telegrafica calabrese alle 14.50 del 28 dicembre 1908, giunse al Ministero degli Interni alle 17.35 dello stesso giorno, cioè dodici ore dopo il disastro.
In questo telegramma la valutazione dei danni è naturalmente molto sottostimata: il terremoto, dell'undicesimo grado della scala Mercalli, distrusse quasi completamente le città di Messina e Reggio Calabria e causò, secondo le statistiche ufficiali, 77.283 morti (in altre valutazioni la cifra oscilla fra le 80.000 e le 140.000 vittime).

A volte, quando ci si sofferma a considerarla, la storia del nostro paese sembra un'ininterrotta sequela di disastri. Ogni generazione ha la sua catastrofe civile da ricordare e anzi spesso più d'una, a volte d'origine naturale e a volte umana. Il copione sembra sempre lo stesso: evento tragico; prime ricostruzioni giornalistiche, concitate e a forti tinte; interviste ai superstiti; il cordoglio della nazione; le autorità dello stato si precipitano sul luogo dell'evento; polemiche sulla tempestività dei soccorsi e sulla loro efficienza; i parenti delle vittime accusano; funerali solenni; ancora polemiche finché i riflettori dei mass-media si spengono.

Questo libro di Giorgio Boatti sul terremoto di Messina si basa in gran parte su uno studio accurato dei giornali dell'epoca. Una prima constatazione è che in essi lo schema che ci è tristemente familiare appare già operante. Il governo di Giovanni Giolitti dovette ben presto difendersi dalle accuse di non aver compiuto in modo adeguato e tempestivo l'opera di soccorso delle popolazioni colpite. In particolare, l'opinione pubblica dell'epoca fu colpita dal fatto che i primi soccorsi organizzati non vennero apprestati da parte italiana, bensì, a partire dalla mattina del 29 dicembre, dagli equipaggi di squadre navali russe e inglesi che casualmente si trovavano nei pressi al momento del terremoto (equipaggi che, secondo tutte le testimonianze, svolsero la loro opera eroicamente). I primi soccorritori italiani, dell'ottavo reggimento dei Bersaglieri, provenienti da Palermo, sbarcarono solo nel pomeriggio inoltrato dello stesso giorno.

Ma la cosa che più colpisce nella reazione all'evento da parte del governo italiano non consiste tanto nella lentezza o inefficienza dei soccorsi, per la quale si possono addurre delle circostanze attenuanti: l'Italia era allora un paese povero, sottosviluppato rispetto alle altre nazioni europee; la stessa tecnologia dell'epoca non consentiva una grande rapidità di reazione; il terremoto danneggiò molto seriamente le infrastrutture e le vie di comunicazione nelle zone colpite; infine non esisteva ancora il moderno concetto di protezione civile e lo Stato italiano non era preparato ad affrontare simili emergenze.

Ciò che realmente sorprende è che fin dall'inizio, il governo e una parte della pubblica opinione sembrarono considerare il terremoto principalmente come un problema di ordine pubblico. Fra le prime preoccupazioni si registrano, infati, il timore delle epidemie e la paura dei saccheggi.

Scrive il quotidiano "La Tribuna" del 2 gennaio 1909: per impedire un'epidemia occorre "compiere l'opera distruggitrice perpetrata dal terremoto: buttare giù quel poco che resta di queste case, buttarlo giù nel modo più energico, più rapido: a colpi di cannone. Far sgomberare i pochissimi superstiti e dalle navi bombardare queste scarnificate vestigia della città (...) non v'è altra via per impedire che il luogo dov'era Messina diventi un centro d'infezione a cui nessuno osi più avvicinarsi". (p. 118). "Il Mattino" del 6-7 gennaio rilancia la stessa idea attribuendone la paternità al Re, mentre "Il Messaggero" del 6 gennaio suggerisce di ricorrere al fuoco: "Si dia in preda alle fiamme [Messina] per purificarla, o si ricostruisca con piccole case come una cittadina giapponese" (p. 119).

E' sconcertante che fra le prime misure suggerite dopo un terremoto, vi sia quella di deportare la popolazione colpita e poi bombardare la città: sembra che nel caso di Messina non si sia arrivato a tanto solo perché, a distanza di molti giorni dalla catastrofe, si continuavano a trovare dei sopravvissuti sotto le rovine. Ma si rimane ancora più stupiti quando si apprende che uno dei motivi che suggerirono queste misure estreme, fu la necessità di preservare dai furti i valori rimasti sotto le macerie e soprattutto i caveaux delle banche.

Il regio decreto del 4 gennaio 1909 stabiliva lo stato d'assedio nei territori colpiti dal terremoto e conferiva i pieni poteri per l'emergenza al generale di corpo d'armata Francesco Mazza (annota Boatti che una diceria popolare fa discendere dal suo cognome l'etimologia della locuzione siculo-calabra "non capire una mazza"). Installatosi con il suo stato maggiore a bordo di una lussuosa nave militare al largo, e senza scendere quasi mai a terra, il generale Mazza provvide a circondare Messina di un cordone sanitario di truppe, cui diede l'ordine di sparare su chiunque dall'esterno si avvicinasse alla città senza lasciapassare. Questo per impedire che bande di saccheggiatori si riversassero sul luogo del disastro.

Ecco alcuni passi tratti dal bando emanato dal generale Mazza il 10 gennaio, riportato integralmente a p. 374 del libro di Boatti: "1 - Sono sospesi fino a nuovo ordine gli scavi delle macerie da parte di privati cittadini, sia per rintracciare cadaveri, sia per recuperare valori. (...) Le persone trovate a scavare saranno considerate come ladri e deferite al tribunale di guerra. [Questo mentre ancora i parenti delle vittime cercavano i loro cari sotto le macerie, n.d.r.] Anche le truppe, nei lavori stradali che compiono, si limiteranno esclusivamente ai lavori di assestamento evitando di eseguire scavi. (...) 3 - E' proibito l'ingresso in città a tutte le persone non munite di regolare permesso rilasciato dall'autorità politica della provincia da cui provengono..."

Il 6 gennaio l'autorità militare ordina di sospendere la distribuzione di viveri ai superstiti. Saranno distribuiti viveri a bordo delle navi, solamente ai profughi che accetteranno d'imbarcarsi per lasciare la città. L'idea, commenta Boatti, è perciò quella di "utilizzare l'arma della fame e della sete per imporre (..) la desertificazione di Messina" (p. 135). Questa cinica soluzione non viene attuata perché, come accennavo sopra, alcuni dei sepolti sotto le macerie si ostinano a farsi ritrovare vivi anche dopo giorni e giorni dal terremoto; ma altresì per le perplessità espresse da una parte della pubblica opinione e anche per le proteste degli stessi messinesi: un'assemblea autoconvocata di cittadini chiede il 19 gennaio la revoca dello stato d'assedio. Stato d'assedio che - osserva con sarcasmo il corrispondente de "Il Mattino" del 6 gennaio 1909 - sembra avere lo scopo precipuo di garantire "il sonno ai morti e la biancheria, gli oggetti e i titoli di banca ai vivi" (p. 137).

In seguito Giolitti giustificò la scelta di dare priorità al recupero dei valori, adducendo il timore di speculazioni al ribasso sulla lira (p. 146). Boatti propone un'altra spiegazione: "La difesa delle proprietà, la guardia ai caveaux delle banche, il salvataggio dei lingotti che mette in secondo piano altri interventi è una linea d'azione adottata, anzi, sbandierata, perché dal disordine - anche sociale - del terremoto emerga alfine una visione dove a prevalere è l'ordine, lo status quo, l'autorità e il prestigio dell'apparato dello Stato. (...) Salvare milioni, o lingotti, dopo tutto è meno complicato che cercare di strappare alla morte, in una gara contro il tempo, migliaia di sepolti vivi" (p.155).

A questo atteggiamento grettamente calcolatore da parte degli apparati dello Stato si contrappone lo slancio di solidarietà manifestato da più parti della società. In poche settimane si raccolgono più di ventun milioni di lire (dell'epoca) in sottoscrizioni, buona parte delle quali provenienti dall'estero. La cosa non manca anzi di creare preoccupazioni nelle alte sfere: non si rischierà di creare l'abitudine all'assistenza, al farsi mantenere dallo Stato, a quello che oggi si chiama assistenzialismo? Sua Altezza Reale il Duca d'Aosta esprime autorevolmente questo cruccio quando afferma che "è immorale mantenere un'orda di vagabondi e creare oziosi" (p. 234).

Non si trattò soltanto di solidarietà finanziaria. Volontari affluirono da tutta Italia per prestare opera di soccorso. Boatti dedica particolare attenzione alla vicenda di uno di essi, il parlamentare parmense Giuseppe Micheli, un deputato cattolico che, arrivato a Messina pochi giorni dopo il terremoto, subito mise in piedi, con la collaborazione dell'Arcivescovo, un "comitato messinese di soccorso", a carattere volontario, che si rivelò un'organizzazione semiufficiale sotto molti aspetti più efficiente di quella statale (pp. 263-68). Un'altra figura che emerge è quella dell'ex sindaco socialista di Catania Giuseppe De Felice Giuffrida, che era stato protagonista pochi anni prima di una delle esperienze politico-amministrative più avanzate della Sicilia dell'epoca: da sindaco della sua città aveva promosso forme di socializzazione dei servizi pubblici (forni municipalizzati, cucine popolari), la cui esperienza risultò ora preziosa per organizzare la distribuzione dei viveri ai superstiti del terremoto (pp. 203-4).

La miseria delle regioni colpite dal terremoto impressionò molti degli osservatori e degli inviati giunti sul luogo della catastrofe. Qualcuno propose dei rimedi; ad esempio il letterato Giovanni Cena suggerì, naturalmente quale misura temporanea, quella di emigrare. "Parecchi anni di duro tirocinio all'estero (...): poi gli emigranti calabresi torneranno altri uomini e non domanderanno più nulla, fuorché il loro buon diritto di cittadini" (p. 381). (Oggi si può dire che noi calabresi abbiamo seguito il consiglio, e che gli "anni di tirocinio" sono stati effettivamente molti, anzi durano tuttora. Sarà che siamo un po' lenti ad imparare?).

Il libro di Boatti non manca di sottolineare l'imprevidenza e anche l'incoscienza generalizzata che indussero i cittadini di Messina e Reggio Calabria (le città che oggi qualcuno vorrebbe unire con un ponte lungo tre chilometri, inutile, dannoso e pericoloso) a costruire tutto, anche gli edifici pubblici, al di fuori delle più elementari regole di sicurezza. Le fotografie che corredano il volume illustrano un panorama di distruzione impressionante, ove emerge, unica costruzione intatta perché edificata con criteri antisismici, il villino di un medico messinese.

Nella sua ricognizione della pubblicistica dell'epoca, Boatti dedica due capitoli ad alcune singolari polemiche: quella (cap. XVII) fra autorità laiche e cattoliche riguardo alla sistemazione degli orfani del terremoto (il Vaticano pretendeva ovviamente che fossero tutti educati "in Cristo" nei suoi istituti), e quella concernente il destino dell'Università di Messina, di cui alcuni illustri cattedratici proposero senz'altro la chiusura, in base alla considerazione che di università ce n'erano fin troppe e che in particolare quelle meridionali erano diplomifici per giovani sfaccendati (pp. 276-7).

Boatti chiude la sua esposizione con un'osservazione suggestiva: la "meglio gioventù" dei volontari del terremoto, poco dopo, buttò via inutilmente la propria carica di idealismo e di amor patrio, la propria volontà di fare e di cambiare le cose, nelle trincee della Prima guerra mondiale. Agli ordini (aggiungo io) di quella medesima classe dirigente ignorante, ottusa, autoritaria, incapace e meschinamente arroccata nella difesa dei propri privilegi, che aveva già dato prova di sé nella gestione ufficiale dell'emergenza-terremoto e che di lì a poco "inventerà" il fascismo.

Questo testo di Giorgio Boatti fa luce su un episodio importante e poco conosciuto della nostra storia nazionale, e lo fa (a differenza della pseudo-storiografia sensazionalistica e superficiale oggi di moda) con grande scrupolosità e metodo: il volume si chiude con ben cento pagine di appendice documentaria e di note al testo. Anche solo per questo sarebbe da raccomandare. Per chi come me proviene da una delle zone disastrate, la lettura di questo libro è irrinunciabile e consente di ritrovare la radice di mali antichi.

Originariamente pubblicato il 22 febbraio 2005, qui.
          '..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention .. Financial politicians..' (no replies)        
'..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention..'

'This Fed has already engineered the next crisis, just as Greenspan kept rates too low for too long, ignored his regulatory responsibility, and engineered the housing bubble and subprime crisis. If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention. The Trump Fed is going to have to deal with that crisis, but we still have many questions as to what a Trump Fed will actually look like or do.'

John Mauldin (Source, Jun 25, 2017)


'..Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

'Powerful people everywhere routinely make decisions that hurt others. We see it in central bankers, politicians, corporate CEOs, religious groups, universities – any large organization. The old saying is right: Power really does corrupt. And corruption is a barrier to sustainable economic growth. This is more than a political problem; it has a serious economic impact.

Recent psychological research suggests that powerful people behave remarkably like traumatic brain injury victims. Controlled experiments show that, given power over others, people often become impulsive and less sensitive to risk. Most important, test subjects often lose empathy, that is, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.

..

Powerful people also lose a capacity called “mirroring.” When we observe other people doing something, our brains react as if we were doing the same thing. It’s why, when you watch a sporting event, you may unconsciously mimic a golf swing or the referee’s hand signals. Some portion of your brain thinks you are really there. But when researchers prime test subjects with powerful feelings, their mirroring capacity decreases.

You can see why this is a problem. The Protected-class members of the Federal Open Market Committee must feel quite powerful when they gather in that fancy room to make policy decisions. It’s no wonder they forget how their decisions will affect regular working-class people: Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

- Patrick Watson, The Wedge Goes Deeper, June 30, 2017


'..I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest..'

'Re-entering the news flow was a jolt, and not in a good way. Looking with fresh eyes at the economic numbers and central bankers’ statements convinced me that we will soon be in deep trouble. I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest. Just a few months ago, I thought we could avoid a crisis and muddle through. Now I think we’re past that point. The key decision-makers have (1) done nothing, (2) done the wrong thing, or (3) done the right thing too late.

Having realized this, I’m adjusting my research efforts. I believe a major crisis is coming. The questions now are, how severe will it be, and how will we get through it? With the election of President Trump and a Republican Congress, your naïve analyst was hopeful that we would get significant tax reform, in addition to reform of a healthcare system that is simply devastating to so many people and small businesses. I thought maybe we’d see this administration cutting through some bureaucratic red tape quickly. With such reforms in mind I was hopeful we could avoid a recession even if a crisis developed in China or Europe.

..

One news item I didn’t miss on St. Thomas – and rather wish I had – was Janet Yellen’s reassurance regarding the likelihood of another financial crisis. Here is the full quote.

Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? You know probably that would be going too far, but I do think we’re much safer, and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don’t believe it will be. [emphasis added]

I disagree with almost every word in those two sentences, but my belief is less important than Chair Yellen’s. If she really believes this, then she is oblivious to major instabilities that still riddle the financial system. That’s not good.

..

Financial politicians (which is what central bankers really are) have a long history of saying the wrong things at the wrong time. Far worse, they simply fail to tell the truth. Former Eurogroup leader Jean-Claude Juncker admitted as much: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” he said in the throes of Europe’s 2011 debt crisis.'

- John Mauldin, Prepare for Turbulence, July 9, 2017


'..Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

'This week marks the five-year anniversary of Draghi’s “whatever it takes.” I remember the summer of 2012 as if it were yesterday. From the Bubble analysis perspective, it was a Critical Juncture – for financial markets and risk perceptions, for policy and for the global economy. Italian 10-year yields hit 6.60% on July 24, 2012. On that same day, Spain saw yields surge to 7.62%. Italian banks were in freefall, while European bank stocks (STOXX600) were rapidly approaching 2009 lows. Having risen above 55 in 2011, Deutsche Bank traded at 23.23 on July 25, 2012.

It was my view at the time that the “European” crisis posed a clear and immediate threat to the global financial system. A crisis of confidence in Italian debt (and Spanish and “periphery” debt) risked a crisis of confidence in European banks – and a loss of confidence in European finance risked dismantling the euro monetary regime.

Derivatives markets were in the crosshairs back in 2012. A crisis of confidence in European debt and the euro would surely have tested the derivatives marketplace to the limits. Moreover, with the big European banks having evolved into dominant players in derivatives trading (taking share from U.S. counterparts after the mortgage crisis), counter-party issues were at the brink of becoming a serious global market problem. It’s as well worth mentioning that European banks were major providers of finance for emerging markets.

From the global government finance Bubble perspective, Draghi’s “whatever it takes” was a seminal development. The Bernanke Fed employed QE measures during the 2008 financial crisis to accommodate deleveraging and stabilize dislocated markets. Mario Draghi leapfrogged (helicopter) Bernanke, turning to open-ended QE and other extreme measures to preserve euro monetary integration. No longer would QE be viewed as a temporary crisis management tool. And just completely disregard traditional monetary axiom that central banks should operate as lender of last resort in the event of temporary illiquidity – but must avoid propping up the insolvent. “Whatever it takes” advocates covert bailouts for whomever and whatever a small group of central bankers chooses – illiquid, insolvent, irredeemable or otherwise. Now five years after the first utterance of “whatever it takes,” the Draghi ECB is still pumping out enormous amounts of “money” on a monthly basis (buying sovereigns and corporates) with rates near zero.

..

Thinking back five years, U.S. markets at the time were incredibly complacent. The risk of crisis in Europe was downplayed: Policymakers had it all under control. Sometime later, the Financial Times - in a fascinating behind-the-scenes exposé - confirmed the gravity of the situation and how frazzled European leaders were at the brink of losing control. Yet central bankers, once again, saved the day – further solidifying their superhero status.

I’m convinced five years of “whatever it takes” took the global government finance Bubble deeper into perilous uncharted territory. Certainly, markets are more complacent than ever, believing central bankers are fully committed to prolonging indefinitely the securities bull market. Meanwhile, leverage, speculative excess and trend-following flows have had an additional five years to accumulate. Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

- Doug Noland, Five Years of Whatever It Takes, July 29, 2017


'..This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.'

'While I've written about numerous valuation measures over time, the most reliable ones share a common feature: they focus on identifying "sufficient statistics" for the very, very long-term stream of cash flows that stocks can be expected to deliver into the hands of investors over time. On that front, revenues are typically more robust "sufficient statistics" than current or year-ahead earnings. See Exhaustion Gaps and the Fear of Missing Out for a table showing the relative reliability of a variety of measures. In April 2007, I estimated that an appropriate valuation for the S&P 500 stood about 850, roughly -40% lower than prevailing levels. By the October peak, the prospective market loss to normal valuation had increased to about -46%. As it happened, the subsequent collapse of the housing bubble took the S&P 500 about -55% lower. In late-October 2008, as the market plunge crossed below historically reliable valuation norms, I observed that the S&P 500 had become undervalued on our measures.

Again attempting to “stimulate” the economy from the recession that followed, the Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates to zero in recent years, provoking yet another episode of yield-seeking speculation, where yield-starved investors created demand for virtually every class of securities, in the hope of achieving returns in excess of zero. Meanwhile, Wall Street, suffering from what J.K. Galbraith once called the “extreme brevity of the financial memory,” convinced itself yet again that the whole episode was built on something more solid than quotes on a screen and blotches of ink on paper..

..

..greater real economic activity was never the likely outcome of all this quantitative easing (indeed, one can show that the path of the economy since the crisis has not been materially different than what one could have projected using wholly non-monetary variables). Rather, Ben Bernanke, in his self-appointed role as Mad Hatter, was convinced that offensively hypervalued financial markets - that encourage the speculative misallocation of capital, imply dismal expected future returns, and create temporary paper profits that ultimately collapse - somehow represent a greater and more desirable form of “wealth” compared with reasonably-valued financial markets that offer attractive expected returns and help to soundly allocate capital. Believing that wealth is embodied by the price of a security rather than its future stream of cash flows, QE has created a world of hypervaluation, zero prospective future returns, and massive downside risks across nearly every conventional asset class.

And so, the Fed created such an enormous pool of zero interest bank reserves that investors would feel pressure to chase stocks, junk debt, anything to get rid of these yield-free hot potatoes. That didn’t stimulate more real, productive investment; it just created more investors who were frustrated with zero returns, because someone had to hold that base money, and in aggregate, all of them had to hold over $4 trillion of the stuff at every moment in time.

When you look objectively at what the Fed actually did, should be obvious how its actions encouraged this bubble. Every time someone would get rid of zero-interest base money by buying a riskier security, the seller would get the base money, and the cycle would continue until every asset was priced to deliver future returns near zero. We’re now at the point where junk yields are among the lowest in history, stock market valuations are so extreme that we estimate zero or negative S&P 500 average annual nominal total returns over the coming 10-12 year horizon, and our estimate of 12-year prospective total returns on a conventional mix of 60% stocks, 30% Treasury bonds, and 10% Treasury bills has never been lower (about 1% annually here). This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.

Examine all risk exposures, consider your investment horizon and risk-tolerance carefully, commit to the flexibility toward greater market exposure at points where a material retreat in valuations is joined by early improvement in market action (even if the news happens to be very negative at that point), fasten your protective gear, and expect a little bit of whiplash. Remember that the “catalysts” often become evident after prices move, not before. The completion of this market cycle may or may not be immediate, but with the median stock at easily the most extreme price/revenue ratio in history, and a run-of-the-mill outcome now being market loss on the order of -60%, the contrast between recent stability and likely future volatility could hardly be more striking.'

- John P. Hussman, Ph.D., Hot Potatoes and Dutch Tulips, July 31, 2017


Context

(2017) - '..a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929 .. the stage has now been set..'

(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..'

'..the Next 30 Years: “Everything is Deflationary”..'

          Les Lions Indomptables        
The Indomitable Lions Traditional dancers at the Lions game Waving the Cameroon flag We have a camera again so now we can share photos again. Studies show that blog posts sans photos are 23% less exciting. I just made that statistic up. A couple weeks ago I was in Yaounde taking the Foreign Service Officers Test. The same weekend, [...]
          Longest Job Expansion Continues: 82 Months         
Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported jobs data for July 2017. Payroll employment was higher than expected […]
          Longest Job Expansion Continues: 81 Months         
Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported jobs data for June 2017. Payroll employment was higher than expected […]
          Data Science Campus outlines plans for Fall        
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Data Science Campus has been set up to act as a hub for the whole of government to gain practical advantage ...
          What does a Buffalo Drink?        

More work is getting done n the last week. We have started collection data from Buffalo Bar’s on what it is people are drinking. Hopefully we can get an honest look at what kind of beers people are buying. Its one of those hard things in Craft Brewing. You get allot of false positives from things with a ton of awards and then find you sell hardly any of it. Dogfish Head World Wide Stout is a great example, a couple hundred barrels a year for that amazing brew! Over the next month we’ll get some on the ground information and see what people are really buying and use that to adjust our offerings. It’s not to say we’re not going to do what we want. Statistically most people are drinking Bud Light, we’re not making Bud Light. Period. Since you didn’t read the period as ‘period’ I thought I’d write it out for you. Point being please tell us what beers your buying and what beers you want to buy. It’s important for us to make what Buffalo demands.

          Liquid Assets: Cincinnati drowning in water tech        

The most recent statistics show the Tri-State has the highest concentration of water technology patents per capita in the United States. As of October, 2010, the number stood at 687, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.


          ALEATORIEDAD, POLÍTICA Y VOTOS...        
Hace unos días hablábamos mi hermano y yo de la aburridora política. Este año no me gusta porque hay elecciones. Todo el mundo se apasiona por unos seres que ni conoce y por lo que vota y como mínimo su participación, si quedan puede ser irrelevante para cada uno. Pero bueno, yo jugaré también a la hinchada en este escrito. Los candidatos por los que he votado solamente ganó una amiga a la Junta Administradora Local del Barrio: esa es la democracia. Votamos para que gente que no elegimos decida sobre nuestras vidas.

MIS VOTOS
En estas elecciones votaré por el número 19 de la Lista del Partido Liberal, por Marcela Posada. Dos razones claves me mueven a votar por ella. La primera es que su propuesta se centra en apoyo a la maternidad, la segunda es que medio la conozco. Marcela Posada es actriz (¿yo votando por una actriz?) y era "la jirafona" en Betty la Fea, no me vi Betty la fea. Sus propuestas van en la línea de protección a la maternidad y primera infancia, además defiende la vida de los bebés.  A Marcela la tengo en Facebook. ¿La conozco? Sin embargo, muchas cosas me preocupan de votar por Marcela. No es ella, me da confianza así apenas la conozca (primera irracionalidad política), lo que más confianza me da es que no intentó convencerme de votar por ella. Adicionalmente es transparente expresa sus ideas sin esperar el voto, muestra todo hasta las propuestas indecentes que le hacen y muestra su lealtad. Pero es más lo que no conozco de Marcela que lo que conozco.

En primer lugar me preocupa la forma en que plantea sus buenas propuestas son quitando el dinero de otros para fines que a mí me interesan. Puede beneficiar a los bebés, mamás, etc, pero sus propuestas son entre coactivas e impositivas o sea no en lo que yo entiendo por liberales, no se trata de obligar se trata de promover. Sería perfecta si sus propuestas fueran vía incentivos, descuentos, entre otras y como asumo que ella lo leerá sepa que yo me ofrezco a redactarle la ley vía incentivos tributarios y laborales (sin coacciones) para promover el apoyo a la protección a la maternidad, la vida del no-nacido y la primera infancia. 

Publicidad Política Gratuita.

EL PROBLEMA DE LOS VOTOS A "CUERPOS COLEGIADOS"
El segundo problema más grave es quiénes conforman la lista del partido liberal. Entre esos están Horacio Serpa, Vivian Morales y otra serie de personajes de quienes desconfío. Desconfío del mismo partido liberal, de todos los partidos desconfío. El problema radica en que gracias a una reforma que propuso e impulsó Germán Vargas Lleras uno ya no vota por una persona avalada por el Partido Liberal, uno vota por alguien que quede en una bancada. Eso funciona de la siguiente manera:

1. Se cuentan los votos válidos
2. Se divide el número de curules al Senado (en este caso 100) por el número de votos totales y eso da el umbral. Los partidos o movimientos que no pasen el umbral no obtienen curules.
3. Los partidos que pasen el umbral serán aquellos en los que se distribuyan las curules ¿Cómo? El sistema que es una función bastante rara que se llama cifra repartidora. La cifra repartidora consiste en tomar los votos de los partidos que superan el umbral y dividirlo entre 1, 2, 3, hasta n que es el número de curules. Eso da una matriz de números de los cuales los primeros 100 números son las curules a asignar. Es así que supongamos tenemos dos partidos que pasaron el umbral y 5 curules a asignar a continuación la tabla:

PARTIDO 1:
100 votos

PARTIDO 2:
50 votos

Con cifra repartidora dividimos hasta 5

PARTIDO 1: 100, 50, 33.33333, 25, 20
PARTIDO 2: 50, 25, 16.66666, 12.5, 10

Y ordenamos los primeros 100 números

PARTIDO 1: 100, 50
PARTIDO 2: 50
PARTIDO 1: 33.333, 25

La cifra repartidora es 25 y con base en este método el PARTIDO 1 tiene 4 curules y el PARTIDO 2: tiene 1 curul. No sé cómo se asignan en caso de empate, pero supongamos que se asigna la curul empatada al que tiene más votos. Aquí en primer lugar la desigualdad es clara la relación de votos entre partidos es de 1/2 la relación de curules de 1/5.

Luego de tener la cifra repartidora se mira si la lista es cerrada o abierta, si es cerrada se asigna al primero de la lista y así sucesivamente. Si es abierta se mira el número de votos y se organizan de mayor a menor. Así que no voto por la lista de Marcela Posada, voto por la lista del Partido Liberal y espero a que los votos que corresponden a los de las maquinarias den para un espacio para Marcela.Vale la pena correr el riesgo, pues por un lado está el tema de que los candidatos del Partido Liberal con maquinarias pueden ganar solos, pero darle el voto a Marcela puede dar un espacio para votos de opinión dentro del Partido. Pero las probabilidades no son mejores que las de candidatos con maquinarias, aunque es actriz y en Colombia la gente cree y quiere a sus actores (sin perjuicio de que yo no los conozca ni los vea). Es allí donde viene otra vez la conversación con mi hermano.

ALEATORIEDAD O DEMOCRACIA...
Sin embargo, la conversación entre mi hermano y yo versaba "¿Sería mejor una elección aleatoria que las elecciones vía voto?" Es claro que entre un político honesto y uno deshonesto, las posibilidades están a favor del deshonesto. Tal vez los que tengan "voto inteligente" (¿es eso posible?) no voten por el deshonesto, pero el deshonesto superando los topes de publicidad en campaña, mediante maquinarias, sancochos, promesas de burocracia, entre otras que van de $1.000.000 para arriba (menos de lo que pagarán en impuestos por 4 años) ofrecen mayores incentivos a las personas para que voten por ellos. A mi que me compren con que nadie tendrá que pagar impuestos en 4 años, ja, apuesto a que no hay político que haga esa oferta, bueno me equivoco, un "buen político" haría esa oferta pero no la cumpliría. En todo caso es claro que las probabilidades favorecen a los deshonestos. El iluso que crea en la democracia dirá: eso no es así. O defenderá su partido pero es claro. Supongamos que la distribución de deshonestos es igual en todos los partidos. Alguna amiga me dirá que en su partido todos son honestos, yo creo que hay de todo en todos.

Si hacemos una distribución aleatoria es muy probable que todos los partidos superen el umbral con más o menos la misma cantidad de votos. Lo mismo los votos al interior de los partidos, teniendo una probabilidad más o menos equilibrada entre honestos y deshonestos. La cuestión funciona teóricamente y si uno hace simulaciones, que se pueden programar en R Statistics y ver que efectivamente el azar elegiría mejor que lo que lo hace la democracia, porque corruptos y honestos tendrían las mismas probabilidades. Claro asumiendo que los corruptos no hagan un programa que desbalancee las probabilidades. Mejor dicho a la democracia le iría mejor en un casino que en las urnas...

APOSTANDO
Ya queda claro que apostaré por el L 19 al Senado, además me gusta ese número, pero es una apuesta riesgosa como lo es la política. ¿Por quién apostar en los otros? Bien para Cámara no conozco a nadie, y no creo en los conocidos de los conocidos de los conocidos, se supone que deberían ser más cercanos, pero no lo son. Pensaba dar ingenuamente el voto por el Partido Conservador pero, ¿dar un voto por una lista de un partido que se dice pro-vida? ¿Les creo? Solamente he votado por ellos por eso ¡qué pendejo! En la consulta del Partido Verde votaré por Ingrid Betancourt, con sus defectos pasados y su impopularidad presente, me ha parecido una mujer auténtica, eso no significa si gana tenga que votar por ella, pues tendría que tantear cómo está en el tema pro-vida. Finalmente, tampoco conozco a nadie para el parlamento Andino, así que tristemente esos dos cuerpos colegiados se van con mi voto en blanco, le apuesto al 0. Esa apuesta también tiene sus riesgos, como que gente buena no alcance el umbral, pero eso no es una carga mía sino del candidato.

Finalmente queda la Presidencia, también creo que le apostaré al blanco. No me gusta la bala, no me gusta la Habana y esos dos son los menos malos a mi juicio, bueno Clara López no me da la sensación que lo haya hecho mal como alcaldesa encargada de Bogotá, pero su partido promueve el aborto, están en contra de la libertad de empresa bueno del TLC que no necesariamente ha significado libertad de empresa.

El problema del voto en blanco es que si gana mandarían a otros de los mismos partidos y como dice la canción de Arjona: "para qué cuentan los votos si se repite la ecuación". Se supone que el país no puede quedar en "situación de interinidad" que eso es "malísimo" para la democracia, a mí me parecería genial no tener presidentes, ni  congresistas, no creo en el estado, no creo en la constitución pero no puedo librarme de ella, bueno al menos no en el corto plazo. Yo soy partidario de la anarquía que permite la libertad y solamente cuando hay libertad se puede ver la solidaridad. No hay solidaridad forzada. Yo preferiría ver a Marcela Posada parada con su liderazgo y autenticidad apoyando ella directamente a las mamás, pero no hacen daño las leyes que bajen los excesivos impuestos a cambio de promover el amor a los bebés y las mamás...


          Dow Dogs May Be Barking Up The Right Tree        
An investment strategy that has been derided by some money managers and academics as overly simplistic, once again, proved to be best in show last year. The Dogs of the Dow strategy produced a capital gain of 26.59% in 2006 plus a dividend kick of 4.77%, handsomely beating the Dow Jones Industrials gain of 16.3% and yield of around 2.2%. The strategy, popularized by Michael O’Higgins in his 1991 book “Beating the Dow,” consists of simply buying the 10 highest-yielding dividend payers in the Dow Jones Industrials, holding them for a year, and then buying the new crop of dogs. Proponents call it an easy way to handsomely outperform the average fund manager most years with an easy, do-it-yourself strategy. Critics call it an overly simplistic approach with hidden costs and risks that has outperformed only because of “data mining” - searching for statistical anomalies and then assuming they will work in the future. “The starched shirt and suspender crowd in New York are pretty savvy, and it’ll take a bit more to beat them than this,” said finance Professor Grant McQueen of Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. “It’s a competitive world, and to think you’ll get rewards without doing homework is naive.” Source: Scottrade News, Jan 3, 2007
          "The Uninhabitable Earth", by David Wallace-Wells, long piece in New York Mag         

David Wallace-Wells has a long article in New York Magazine July 9, 2017, “The Uninhabitable Earth”.

 The subtitles are “Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak, sooner than you think”, and “When will the planet be too hot for humans?  Much, much sooner than you think”.

The author thinks that today’s teenagers will see the catastrophic collapse.

One of the biggest dangers is sudden release of methane from permafrost.

In some parts of the world, it will not be possible for humans to survive outside.  Their bodies just can cool fast enough.

There’s also the astonishing statement that the spurt in standard of living in the West really occurred only once, with the industrial revolution.



The author notes that it may be common throughout the Milky Way for civilizations to rise and fall.  They don’t survive long enough to have a good statistical chance of finding one another across light years.   In the video above, Harvard professor David Kipping notes that methane degrades quickly and says that Wallace could be overstating the methane risk.
 
It may have been possible for Venus to host life more than a billion years ago, before a sudden catastrophe led to runaway greenhouse effects.  Both Venus and Mars may be sites of tragedies and we don’t know it yet.

Nev Schulman ("Catflish") shared this in his Facebook feed tonight.


          Book publishing site reports that Amazon is aggressive in deleting less-than-valid book reviews of self-published books         

A site called “Just Publishing” offers what looks like good advice to new authors especially with self-published books, especially POD.

“Why did Amazon delete my book reviews?  Because there was a problem with how you got the reviews”, link.

I can certainly understand that paying for reviews is unethical (although you would wonder if people pay for Yelp and Angie's List, which both companies adamantly say you cannot).

I can understand that family is off limits.  But the article also implies social media friends is a no-no.  That’s getting difficult, and I hadn’t heard that before.  People who network enough to sell their books the old fashioned way probably would attract quality Facebook friends and Instagram and twitter followers.  Such a policy would sound a bit self-defeating.

It is true that there are industry statistics on the expected reasonable ratio of books sold to reviews – it’s high.



I’ve noticed something else about the POD business.  POD companies often mark the list prices high, which will be only slightly discounted on the Amazon and BN sites, and perhaps some others.  Then they encourage authors to try copies themselves by buying hundreds of copies at maybe 50% off or so.  An author who really wants to operate her own wholesale (with bookstores) and retail (with consumers) could mark them up to about 60% or so and make a profit.  But that would be so time consuming that the author wouldn’t have time for new material.

It’s frankly very difficult to sell books, or sell advertising on a blog, unless you have built a reputation first in some niche that relates to something people will pay for.  Fiction sometimes provides an exception, but even then it is often niche-like.  Hopefully it’s legitimate (not porn). Given the “gofundme” culture online today (which has become much more prominent than it was two decades ago when I got into this) there is probably opportunity to “sell” in the special needs area – but I have my own psychological and perhaps moral qualms about this.



          Simple Equations are No Good When the Variables are Meaningless        
A few weeks back, I reflected on why mathematical biology can be so hard to learn—much harder, indeed, than the mathematics itself would warrant. The application of mathematics to biological evolution is rooted, historically, in statistics rather than in dynamics. Consequently, a lot of model-building starts with tools that belong, essentially, to descriptive statistics (e.g., … Continue reading Simple Equations are No Good When the Variables are Meaningless
          NEWFOUNDLAND MOOSE - SCI SILVER AWARD        


PART I - THE BEGINNING
Have you ever flipped through the pages of Field & Stream or watched an exciting big game hunt on the Outdoor Channel and said to yourself, “Someday I would like to do that?” I guess all hunters have a specific species they dream about pursuing and mine has always been a moose. In terms of my “bucket list” for animals I want to hunt, the moose has always been number one. For years, I have sent my check to Vermont and Maine in hopes of getting drawn in their moose hunting lottery; but it never was. But last Fall I received an email from Amsterdam hunters Dick Andrews and Marshall Knapik and Rich Kraus(Ballston Spa) about their Newfoundland moose hunt that finally lit the fire under me. And the results is that in 3 weeks my dream hunt will finally become a reality.

The moose, which is derived from the Algonkian name meaning “eater of twigs,” was not native to Newfoundland. They were introduced, two bulls and two cows from New Brunswick, in 1904 and today it is estimated that there is a population of 120,000. Moose are the largest member of the deer family with a weak eyesight but their most acute sense is their hearing. Their habitat is includes swampy areas as well as forested higher ground around lakes.

The destination, which I choose mainly because of Dick’s recommendation and the fact that he has hunted there successfully five times already and will be returning in 2010, is Sam’s Hunting and Fishing Camps located in Portland Creek, Newfoundland, Canada. Owned and operated by Sam and Hebbert Caines, they have over 30 years of experience guiding and outfitting hunters. Sam’s has three hunting camps located in Area No. 3 on the Northern Peninsula: St. Paul’s Big Pond, where I will be hunting, which is one-half mile from Gros Morne National Park which is 35 miles from Deer Lake; Long Range Mountains at Trophy Lake and High Pond which are each 60 miles from Deer Lake which is the pick up point for all Sam’s hunters. Now although we will be hunting from fly-in remote sites, which I am looking forward to, it is comforting to know that there is two-way radio and cell telephone contact with these camps.

There are two ways to get to Deer Lake; driving and flying. If you drive there is a 5 - 8 hour ferry crossing depending upon the weather or, my choice, drive to Montreal and fly into Deer Lake. Here I will spend the night, be picked up early the next morning and flown in to camp by helicopter. And this, the helicopter ride, is something I am looking forward to also. All the camps are built to Newfoundland Tourism specifications and include indoor toilets, showers, two bedroom with two single beds in each, a large dining room and a kitchen. And each camp has a full time cook. Each hunter has his/her own guide. The actual hunting is done by spot and stalk, which is walking and glassing a variety of terrains, and/or sometimes glassing from elevated blinds.

Now when choosing a guide/outfitter success rate should always be a major consideration. In the case of Sam’s Hunting and Fishing Camps he has a 90 percent success rate for moose and 100 percent for caribou. Unfortunately, I applied for a Woodland caribou hunting tag but did not receive one; but I did get a black bear permit which I hopefully will be able to fill during this hunt. As for the caribou, I will try again next year.

BORDER CROSSING
When hunting in Canada there are a number of forms and documents that are needed when crossing the border. The easiest way to travel to and from Canada is with a passport. As for your firearm, this too is fairly simple and most of the paperwork can be competed before you go. You cannot bring a fully automatic weapon, handgun or pepper spray into Canada. Your regular hunting rifle/shotgun is not a problem as long as complete a Nonresident Firearms Declaration(CAFC909EF) form. Sam sent this form to me when I confirmed my hunt with him in February. The form is very simple to complete and on it you can register up to 3 firearms and the cost is $25(Canadian) which you pay at the time of crossing. The registration is good for 60 days. Do not sign and date the form until you are at customs. In all the times I have traveled to Canada with a firearm(s) to hunt it has been a very simple process which usually will take no more than 30 minutes. To download this form Goggle “Canadian firearms declaration form.”

With regards to transporting firearms to Canada , which they may or may not inspect at the border, is in a protective and lockable case, and obviously, unloaded. It is wise if your gun is a bolt action to remove the bolt, and if it a clip remove the clip.

CLOTHING
Weather-wise, during September it is usually very pleasant in the mid - 40s which is good hunting weather. But Dick and other hunters who have been to Newfoundland in September all agree that things can change very quickly. “You will hunt in the rain,” they tell me and things will get damp and therefore layering you clothing is the best method. The absolute must for this trip is quality rain gear which should include quality rubber boots that are 16 or 17 inches high and with aggressive tread.


THE GUN/AMMO
Now those of you who know me are probably saying: “First moose hunt; he will surely have to buy a new gun.” That’s what my wife thought also. Well, believe it or not, the gun that I will be using is one that is already in my gun cabinet. In fact I have had it for at least 7 years now and never really shot anything with it. It is a ported Remington Model 700 BDL in the .300 Win Mag caliber. I told you I knew that one day I would be making this hunt and actually bought the gun solely for the purpose of hunting moose with it. The only action it has seen up until now has been a twice a year complete cleaning and oiling. But now that my dream hunt is going to be a reality I have added a quality optic and spent some range time getting acquainted with this gun; and I am very impressed with its performance and power; just what is needed to bring down a large bull moose that stands higher than a large saddle horse and can weigh as much as 1500 pounds.

When I asked Sam and Hebbert what to expect in terms of the range of shooting distance he said that it could be anywhere from 50 yards to 400 yards; which was another reason I chose the .300 win mag cartridge.

With the number of quality scopes offered today my selection of the right one for this rifle and especially this hunt was difficult. At the Shot Show in January I spent one day visiting optic manufacturers booths and reviewing what they were offering in scopes. One in particular impressed me; Hawke Optics. And when Brad Bonar, their Sales Manager, let me look through their Endurance 30 series 3-12x50 L3 Dot IR reticle scope all I could think about was placing that red dot on the shoulder of my Newfoundland bull moose. Other important features include a 30mm matt black mono tube, it is fog and waterproof, shockproof and has an 11 setting rheostat to adjust the Dot’s intensity to any light condition.

After mounting and bore sighting the scope I headed for the range where I tested 3 brands of ammunition shooting from a Caldwell Lead Sled shooting rest which is the only way to sight in a firearm for two reasons: one is that you get the best accuracy and two, it absorbs almost all of the felt recoil. My 3-shot grouping with the Endurance was quite impressive(one-half inch) and the best results were with the Winchester Supreme Elite XP3, 180 grain 2-stage expansion bullet with delayed controlled expansion, deep penetration and high weight retention. Ballistically it has a muzzle velocity of 3000 feet per second and energy of 3597 foot pounds. Just the right medicine for taking a moose down. Zeroed at 200 yards it will be 1.4 inches high at 100 yards and 6.4 inches low at 300 yards. And should I get that 400 yard shot, my holdover will be 18.5 inches.

One other service I found helpful when dealing with Hawke Optics was their Ballistic Reticle Calculator(BRC) which is a free software package that will help you to choose the right ammunition for your gun and print a copy of the results. This program covers calibers from a 177 air rifle, up to a 300 Weatherby magnum and even will calculate the best crossbow bolt for your crossbow. To get the BRC go to their web at hawkeoptics, click on “Hawke BRC” and they will email it to you. And while you are there click on “NEW Reticle Information” and see how my L3 DOT IR looks when sighting in a bull elk in the field.

PART II - THE HUNT

Forty five years ago when I realized how much I enjoyed big game hunting I promised myself that someday I was going to go on a moose hunt. And two weeks ago my wish came true in Newfoundland at Sam’s Hunting and Fishing Camps; and I can honestly say it was the most exciting hunting adventures I have ever experienced.

It was 2a.m. when I stepped off the plane in Deer Lake along with several other camo clad passengers and headed for the baggage claim conveyor. Now if you have ever traveled with a firearm on a hunting trip you know how good you feel when you see that gun case come out on the conveyor; and mine did. But my suitcase, with all my hunting clothes, boots and other accessories, didn’t. Now I had a real problem because in just 4 hours my outfitter Sam Caines was going to pick me up and take me to the helicopter that would fly me into St. Paul’s Big Pond; which was the only access to the camp.

At the airline desk I completed the missing baggage claim form and explained the situation and asked how, when they found my bag, they would get it to me. They would have to send it to the outfitter who would then have it flown out to me at the camp. So when I climbed into that helicopter later that morning I was wearing my hunting clothes: jeans, Nike shoes, long sleeve cotton shirt, baseball cap and a photographer’s vest. Not exactly what I needed for the spot and stalk hunting in wet bogs in the wind and rain and temperatures in the low 40s.

The helicopter ride was great and I got a chance to see just how beautiful the Newfoundland wilderness really is; and it was then that I felt the excitement of the upcoming hunt despite the knot in my stomach because of my lost luggage. I could not hunt like this and all I thought about was having to stay in camp for 7 days and not being able to hunt; something I waited a lifetime to do.

After settling in, which did not take long for me, I got to meet the other three hunters: Oscar Primelles, my roommate from Florida; and Victor Chandler and Wayne Cleveland who were both from Nova Scotia. The staff included guides Hebbert, Sherman and Harrison Caines, Ralph House and Derrick Kelly our camp cook. Each hunter at Sam’s has his/her own guide. Ironically all had heard of my problem with the airlines and they all said “they would dress me.” Each one of them contributed to my hunting outfit and when I dressed for hunting on Monday morning the only piece of clothing I was wearing that was mine was my underwear; which by the way, I washed each evening and hung over the wood stove to dry.

That evening before the hunt I felt lot better knowing I would be able to hunt comfortably and thoroughly enjoyed Derrick’s ham dinner with all the trimmings which we all found out was equally outstanding all week. And that included the home made bread, pies and cakes.

MONDAY
It rained all night and it was raining at 7 a.m. with 5-10 ph winds and temperatures in the mid - 30s when Sherman, my guide, and I along with Oscar and his guide Hebbert, all climbed into an 18 foot aluminum boat and headed for the other end of the pond. This “pond” by the way was the size of Saratoga Lake.

Once on shore we all started up 12 STOP mountain which is the name I gave it because it required 12 rest stops where I would catch my breath before I reached the top. Sherman and I stayed on one side of the top while Oscar and Hebbert went over the top to the other side to set up. Each of the guides would call, using only their mouths, but nothing came in.

By 9 a.m. the wind had picked up considerably and that combined with the heavy rains made sitting difficult; and at by 11:00 we were back in the boat and headed for camp. And when we got there Derrick’s homemade turkey vegetable soup was just what we all needed. No one that morning had seen a moose.

The afternoon watch took us up another steep incline( 10 Stop mountain) and the bad weather conditions were the same. I remember reading that moose do not move much when it is rainy and windy and they didn’t this evening either. Victor and Ralph reported seeing two cow moose that evening but they were about 500 yards across the bog.

TUESDAY
Anticipation was high that morning despite the fact that conditions had actually gotten tougher and we had to wait about an hour for the fog to lift before we left camp. This time Sherman and I headed out behind the camp for an area they called the Waiting Rock stand. It was an 8 stops climb for me and we climbed into the 20 foot high tower. These towers are quite unique. They(guides) find four 10 - 12 inch trees that are in a square about 5 or 6 feet apart, trim the branches from the ground up, cut the tops off the trees, and build a platform blind enclosing the sides with canvas and with seats. It is quite comfortable but I found out that temperatures were a bit colder at this height. And at times the high winds would create horizontal rains which added to our discomfort. But that’s hunting. And again, by 10 a.m. we were headed back to camp without sighting a single moose.

It was on this trip back to camp that I found out about what Newfoundlanders call a bog hole, and why they told me to always watch and duplicate where your guide steps; which I did on the first day. However on this day I got caught up in looking at the beautiful scenery and my right foot with the 18 inch high boot found its way into a 24 in hole full f water. I knew than that I was done hunting for the day. But as it turned out, because of the bad weather no one went out that afternoon.

WEDNESDAY
Finally Mother Nature turned off the water, reduced the wind and replaced them with chilly 34 degree temperatures. At daybreak Sherman and I headed back up for the Waiting Rock tower; but we never made it. The evening before Hebbert had told me that in the history of this camp Waiting Rock had produced at least 100 moose harvests and on this day I was about to make it 101.

Several hundred yards from camp we stopped and Sherman made a few cow calls but got no response. Continuing up the hill we were just about 100 yards from the bog that the tower was located in when Sherman stopped, tapped his ear and pointed at the thick spruce off to our left. I heard the scraping and then saw those large palmated antlers thrashing the trees and brush about 80 yards from us. I think I froze momentarily in awe. It is one thing to watch something like this on the Outdoor Channel, but it is nothing like actually being there. Quickly and quietly I chambered a round and turned the Hawke scopes power down to 4. I don’t remember being nervous but I am sure I was.

By watching the movement of the bushes and trees we could see the bull was heading parallel to us and hopefully he would cross a 15 foot opening about 50 yards from me. Sherman motioned me up a few yards where I set up on a small rise in the trail, got down on one knee, clicked off my safety and laid my cheek on the stock.

All the time I could feel the chill running up and down my spine and my heart was pounding. To keep the bull headed in our direction Sherman cleverly turned his back on the bull and called again making it sound like this love sick cow was leaving. It worked.

Not only did the bull step into the opening but he started to turn down the trail towards me. I don’t know remember my feelings or even pulling the trigger when that big bull was just 40 yards from me slowly tossing his head from side to side. I knew I had hit him, but I am not sure he knew. Shot number two got the reaction I was looking for and shot number three put him on the ground. It was then that I remember what the veteran hunters and guides in camp said; “ shoot until he is down.”

My knees were a bit shaky when I stood up and so were my hands as Sherman and I waited a few minutes before moving cautiously toward the fallen bull. And when we were sure he was dead the high 5s, hoots, hugs and handshakes began. I don’t know exactly how many times I thanked Sherman, my 27 year old guide, for my first bull; and he thanked me also; because I was actually the first client he had guided.

I believe I stood over my bull for at least 15 minutes just admiring his rack, head, swollen neck and shoulders. Everything about him was “BIG.”

Now the real work was about to begin for Sherman. That big half ton at least animal had to be rolled over and not only field dressed but boned, quartered and carried out on a pack frame.

Back in camp that afternoon after another long photo shoot Hebbert gave me my bulls statistics. He estimated that the bull weighed 1500 pounds, was 7-8 years old, had 22 measurable points, 13 inch palms, a 48 3/4 inch spread and the bases of his antlers measured 9 3/4 inches around.

As for the other hunters in camp they too tagged out by the end of the week. My cabin roommate Oscar, shot a 10 point bull, called in by Hebbert, just about 550 yards from where I took my bull on the Waiting Rock watch. On the next morning, Thursday, Harrison called in a 3 point bull and a cow moose to Victor, who chose to shoot the cow. And at 9:10 a.m. on Saturday, the final day of hunting, I was in camp when Ralph called in to report he had called in a 4 point bull at the Waiting Rock tower, which Wayne dropped with just one shot at 158 yards. It was this 73 year old gentleman’s 10 th bull and his 10 th year of hunting with Sam. The first week of the 2009 moose hunt at St. Paul’s Big Pond was 100 percent successful. And I later found out that only one hunter in all three of Sam’s outpost camps had not taken a moose this week.

If you have ever considered a moose hunt I highly recommend that you contact Sam’s Hunting and Fishing Camps(709-898-2535).



          The Following        
  • Media Blog Project.
  • Topic #2: TV as a cultural mirror.

     I watched The Following episode 2 "Chapter Two", which aired on FOX Monday, January 28th at 9:00 pm.  The Following is a drama and suspenseful TV show that stars Kevin Bacon who is a former FBI agent that has been asked to come back for a very large case involving a murderer that he put away for life who has amassed a "cult following" to do his dirty work for him now.  In this particular episode, Dr. Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), who Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) has put in jail previously, has had his "followers" kidnap his his son from his ex-wife and Hardy and the FBI agents and police officers he is consulting with are looking for him.  Hardy discovers the house where the "followers" meet and they reconfirm that all of Carrolls symbolism and antics are based off Edgar Allen Poe's writings.  In that house, Hardy was attacked by a man wearing a Poe mask and later at the end of the episode we see a masked Poe man light a man on the street on fire and run away.
     The ads that aired during this episode are pretty much the stereotypical ads that you would expect.  There were ads for cars and car dealerships; including Honda, Kia, Chevrolet, Ford, Subaru, and Buick.  There were also ads for different foods like Lean Cuisine, Campbell's, and Weight Watchers meal plans.  In the category of online dating, notable services were Christian Mingle, Match.com, and eHarmony.  Major commercials that were most prominent and were aired multiple times included Ford, Honda, Chevrolet, Comcast, Direct TV, Kiefer Kia, John and Phil's, Guaranty in Junction City, beer brands like Coors, Heineken, and Budweiser, and of course there is always the Fox News ads that feature their anchors for around 15 seconds each time a commercial ends to continue with the program.  These commercials all fit the demographic that the TV show is trying to reach.  Younger adults through mid-life adults.  These are all people who have cars or will by buying new cars in the future, they may be insecure about their weights or just want some food that is not only tasty but healthy or a viewer who is single and wants to find somebody.  The commercials are definitely spot on for their target audiences as far as I am concerned. 
     The Following is meant for more mature audiences and was rated TV 14 for language, images, sexual situations and the like.  The actors and actresses were dressed appropriate for our time period and the authority figures has appropriate looking uniforms.  Most of the men who were FBI agents wore suits and the women wore suits as well.  Compared to other shows like this one, I would say that dress and mannerisms are identical and what you expect and would want to see for a drama/suspenseful TV show.  The main thing, for me, that makes this show different than others is the fact that the whole show is based around an ex FBI agent and the man he put away years before and the this guys "followers" and how they are operating.  I have never seen a show like this one in terms of that.
     A major stereotype that occurred in this particular episode was about police officers.  There were several cuts to them just standing around and drinking coffee around the house they were supposed to be guarding.  Same thing happened when they were shown at the scene of the murders in the sorority house after they had come in and done the initial reports on the situations.  The other stereotype that I noticed, and probably the most prominent, is that the wife of Carroll, who is an attractive woman, had an affair with Hardy who was the main FBI agent that was there when her husbands case was first taking place.  This refers to her being maybe a weak and needy woman who has lost who she thought was her best friend and trusted lover and in walked tough, strong, independent agent Hardy who was not married.  These kinds of relationships always happen in TV shows and movies and aren't always the reality of true real life.  Other than these two outstanding stereotypes, I think the directors and producers have done a pretty good job at trying to be new and different in the ways of how the TV show operates within the story lines and isn't too predictable.  If I were a viewer from another country, I would not think much of the shows Americans watch because I am sure there are many good dramas that air in other country's.  In fact, The Following actually airs in the U.S. plus another 17 countries.  If I were not from here, based on the commercials, I would say that there is a problem with people being overweight and single and everybody is buying new cars.
    I do not watch many crime/drama/suspense TV shows but I would say that this one, as of now (it's only aired two episodes total so far) is a TV show that I am expecting to be kept on FOX and be aired for at least several seasons or until the story is wrapped up and concluded.  What really keeps me interested in this show is that it's not as predictable as other similar shows.  Usually I am able to predict what can happen in a TV show after 15 minutes or so.  I am not so accurate with this one.
    I would tend to agree with the 7.5 stars that IMDB gave them.  If I never watched it I wouldn't feel like a part of my life was missing but if I just stopped watching I would be very curious as to what happened in each episode.  My girlfriend watches the this show with me and what she likes most about The Following is all the plot twists.  I definitely agree.  It's a very engaging TV show.  One thing that all TV shows like this one do is end with a cliff hanger.  That cliff hanger keeps you wondering all week what is going to happen in the next show and that brings back viewers from previous weeks.
    I have seen every single episode The Following! Wait, that's only two episodes.  But still, it is one that I am going to have to add to my list of shows that I try to keep up on.  I am not a user of social media so I don't follow the show on Twitter or on Facebook but I have visited the shows page on FOX and the opening sentence on their page paragraph about the show is very interesting.  "The FBI estimates there are currently up to 300 active serial killers in the United States."  This is a very bold statement and scary statistic.  One thing that the average viewer may not know is that Hardy wrote a book sharing the details of his previous investigation and other factoids about his case regarding Carroll.  If a book like this came out or is already out here in real life, that would be a very interesting and possibly quite controversial book.
    Overall, I would recommend The Following to most normal people who enjoy good TV shows that keep the viewers eyes glued to their TV.  Upon further examination, one could come to the conclusion that TV programs, the ads run, and the particular channel or station that is airing all have very close relation and share the same views and interests. 
          Top Posts By Category mais sans compter vos visites        
Top Posts By Category est un plugin qui permet d’afficher (dans la sidebar avec un widget) les articles les plus consultés sur votre blog. Seul petit défaut, quand on est l’administrateur du blog on a tendance à le visiter régulièrement (pour des tests ou autres), ces visites faussent les statistiques. Plus grave encore, vu que les [...]
          From statistics to surgery to psychology: Our favourite reads        
A visit to the bookstore turns up a trove of smart scientific (and not-so-scientific) thinking
          The Gamma dataviz package now available!        

There were a lot of rumors recently about the death of facts and even the death of statistics. I believe the core of the problem is that working with facts is quite tedious and the results are often not particularly exciting. Social media made it extremely easy to share your own opinions in an engaging way, but what we are missing is a similarly easy and engaging way to share facts backed by data.

This is, in essence, the motivation for The Gamma project that I've been working on recently. After several experiments, including the visualization of Olympic medalists, I'm now happy to share the first reusable component based on the work that you can try and use in your data visualization projects. If you want to get started:

The package implements a simple scripting language that anyone can use for writing simple data aggregation and data exploration scripts. The tooling for the scripting language makes it super easy to create and modify existing data analyses. Editor auto-complete offers all available operations and a spreadsheet-inspired editor lets you create scripts without writing code - yet, you still get a transparent and reproducible script as the result.


          2016: 122 journalists killed globally, 5 in India        

New Delhi: As many as 122 journalists and media professionals were killed in 2016 globally, 93 of them in targeted killings and others in natural disasters and accidents, while India witnessed death of five scribes and was eighth on a list topped by Iraq, according to a new report.

The targeted killings, including murders, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents, span 23 countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East and Arab World regions, said International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in its annual report released Friday.

The IFJ said the number (93 targeted killings) was down from 112 targeted killings in 2015 while Iraq still had the largest number of media killings with 15, ahead of Afghanistan (13) and Mexico (11).

These were followed by Yemen (8), Guatemala (6), Syria (6), India and Pakistan (5 in both), according to the statistics published by the largest global federation of journalists' trade unions.

In addition to the 93 targeted killings, 20 Brazilian sports journalists perished in a plane crash over the city of Medellin in Colombia, a country where for the first time in many years no killing was recorded this year, against three in 2015. Nine Russian journalists were killed in a military plane crash.

Although the 2016 figures for targeted killings of media professionals are down from the previous year's, the IFJ has cautioned against complacency citing reports of rising threats, intimidation and self-censorship as evidence that attacks on freedom of expression remain at critical levels.

In India, Tarun Mishra, Bureau Chief of Jan Sandesh Times, died on 14 February; Indradev Yadav, Journalist with Taaza TV, on 16 May; Rajdeo Ranjan, Bureau Chief of Dainik Hindustan on 13 May; Kishore Dave, Bureau Chief of Jai Hind on 22 August and Dharmendra Singh, Correspondent of Dainik Bhaskar on 12 November, the report noted.

In 2015, India had reported targeted killings of six media professionals, including those from news channel Aaj Tak and Hindi daily Dainik Jagaran, the report states.

Noting that India along with Yemen, Pakistan and Syria form a group which saw little or no change in the numbers of killings from 2015, IFJ President Philippe Leruth said, "Any decrease in violence against journalists and media staff is always welcome but these statistics and the continued deliberate targeting of media workers in many incidents causing loss of life give little room for comfort nor ground for hope to see the end of the current media safety crisis." 

The IFJ, which claims to represent more than 6,00,000 journalists in 140 countries, has recorded at least 2,297 killings of media professionals in targeted assassinations, cross-fire incidents and bomb attacks till 2015.

2016: 122 journalists killed globally, 5 in India
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          How Plastic We've Become        

Our bodies carry residues of kitchen plastics

Food for Thought

In the 1967 film classic The Graduate, a businessman corners Benjamin Braddock at a cocktail party and gives him a bit of career advice. "Just one word…plastics."

Although Benjamin didn't heed that recommendation, plenty of other young graduates did. Today, the planet is awash in products spawned by the plastics industry. Residues of plastics have become ubiquitous in the environment—and in our bodies.

A federal government study now reports that bisphenol A (BPA)—the building block of one of the most widely used plastics—laces the bodies of the vast majority of U.S. residents young and old.

Manufacturers link BPA molecules into long chains, called polymers, to make polycarbonate plastics. All of those clear, brittle plastics used in baby bottles, food ware, and small kitchen appliances (like food-processor bowls) are made from polycarbonates. BPA-based resins also line the interiors of most food, beer, and soft-drink cans. With use and heating, polycarbonates can break down, leaching BPA into the materials they contact. Such as foods.

And that could be bad if what happens in laboratory animals also happens in people, because studies in rodents show that BPA can trigger a host of harmful changes, from reproductive havoc to impaired blood-sugar control and obesity (SN: 9/29/07, p. 202).

For the new study, scientists analyzed urine from some 2,500 people who had been recruited between 2003 and 2004 for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Roughly 92 percent of the individuals hosted measurable amounts of BPA, according to a report in the January Environmental Health Perspectives. It's the first study to measure the pollutant in a representative cross-section of the U.S. population.

Typically, only small traces of BPA turned up, concentrations of a few parts per billion in urine, note chemist Antonia M. Calafat and her colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, with hormone-mimicking agents like BPA, even tiny exposures can have notable impacts.

Overall, concentrations measured by Calafat's team were substantially higher than those that have triggered disease, birth defects, and more in exposed animals, notes Frederick S. vom Saal, a University of Missouri-Columbia biologist who has been probing the toxicology of BPA for more than 15 years.

The BPA industry describes things differently. Although Calafat's team reported urine concentrations of BPA, in fact they assayed a breakdown product—the compound by which BPA is excreted, notes Steven G. Hentges of the American Chemistry Council's Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group. As such, he argues, "this does not mean that BPA itself is present in the body or in urine."

On the other hand, few people have direct exposure to the breakdown product.

Hentges' group estimates that the daily BPA intake needed to create urine concentrations reported by the CDC scientists should be in the neighborhood of 50 nanograms per kilogram of bodyweight—or one millionth of an amount at which "no adverse effects" were measured in multi-generation animal studies. In other words, Hentges says, this suggests "a very large margin of safety."

No way, counters vom Saal. If one applies the ratio of BPA intake to excreted values in hosts of published animal studies, concentrations just reported by CDC suggest that the daily intake of most Americans is actually closer to 100 micrograms (µg) per kilogram bodyweight, he says—or some 1,000-fold higher than the industry figure.

Clearly, there are big differences of opinion and interpretation. And a lot may rest on who's right.

Globally, chemical manufacturers produce an estimated 2.8 million tons of BPA each year. The material goes into a broad range of products, many used in and around the home. BPA also serves as the basis of dental sealants, which are resins applied to the teeth of children to protect their pearly whites from cavities (SN: 4/6/96, p. 214). The industry, therefore, has a strong economic interest in seeing that the market for BPA-based products doesn't become eroded by public concerns over the chemical.

And that could happen. About 2 years after a Japanese research team showed that BPA leached out of baby bottles and plastic food ware (see What's Coming Out of Baby's Bottle?), manufacturers of those consumer products voluntarily found BPA substitutes for use in food cans. Some 2 years after that, a different group of Japanese scientists measured concentrations of BPA residues in the urine of college students. About half of the samples came from before the switch, the rest from after the period when BPA was removed from food cans.

By comparing urine values from the two time periods, the researchers showed that BPA residues were much lower—down by at least 50 percent—after Japanese manufacturers had eliminated BPA from the lining of food cans.

Concludes vom Saal, in light of the new CDC data and a growing body of animal data implicating even low-dose BPA exposures with the potential to cause harm, "the most logical thing" for the United States to do would be to follow in Japan's footsteps and "get this stuff [BPA] out of our food."

Kids appear most exposed

Overall, men tend to have statistically lower concentrations of BPA than women, the NHANES data indicate. But the big difference, Calafat says, traces to age. "Children had higher concentrations than adolescents, and they in turn had higher levels than adults," she told Science News Online.

This decreasing body burden with older age "is something we have seen with some other nonpersistent chemicals," Calafat notes—such as phthalates, another class of plasticizers.

The spread between the average BPA concentration that her team measured in children 6 to 11 years old (4.5 µg/liter) and adults (2.5 µg/L) doesn't look like much, but proved reliably different.

The open question is why adults tended to excrete only 55 percent as much BPA. It could mean children have higher exposures, she posits, or perhaps that they break it down less efficiently. "We really need to do more research to be able to answer that question."

Among other differences that emerged in the NHANES analysis: urine residues of BPA decreased with increasing household income and varied somewhat with ethnicity (with Mexican-Americans having the lowest average values, blacks the highest, and white's values in between).

There was also a time-of-day difference, with urine values for any given group tending to be highest in the evening, lowest in the afternoon, and midway between those in the morning. Since BPA's half-life in the body is only about 6 hours, that temporal variation in the chemical's excretion would be consistent with food as a major source of exposure, the CDC scientists note.

In the current NHANES paper, BPA samples were collected only once from each recruit. However, in a paper due to come out in the February Environmental Health Perspectives, Calafat and colleagues from several other institutions looked at how BPA excretion varied over a 2-year span among 82 individuals—men and women—seen at a fertility clinic in Boston.

In contrast to the NHANES data, the upcoming report shows that men tended to have somewhat higher BPA concentrations than women. Then again both groups had only about one-quarter the concentration typical of Americans.

The big difference in the Boston group emerged among the 10 women who ultimately became pregnant. Their BPA excretion increased 33 percent during pregnancy. Owing to the small number of participants in this subset of the study population, the pregnancy-associated change was not statistically significant. However, the researchers report, these are the first data to look for changes during pregnancy and ultimately determining whether some feature of pregnancy—such as a change in diet or metabolism of BPA—really alters body concentrations of the pollutant could be important. It could point to whether the fetus faces an unexpectedly high exposure to the pollutant.

If it does, the fetus could face a double whammy: Not only would exposures be higher during this period of organ and neural development, but rates of detoxification also would be diminished, vom Saal says.

Indeed, in a separate study, one due to be published soon in Reproductive Toxicology, his team administered BPA by ingestion or by injection to 3-day-old mice. Either way, the BPA exposure resulted in comparable BPA concentrations in blood.

What's more, that study found, per unit of BPA delivered, blood values in the newborns were "markedly higher" than other studies have reported for adult rodents exposed to the chemical. And that makes sense, vom Saal says, because the enzyme needed to break BPA down and lead to its excretion is only a tenth as active in babies as in adults. That's true in the mouse, he says, in the rat—and, according to some preliminary data, in humans.

Vom Saal contends that since studies have shown BPA exhibits potent hormonelike activity in human cells at the parts-per-trillion level, and since the new CDC study finds that most people are continually exposed to concentrations well above the parts-per-trillion ballpark, it's time to reevaluate whether it makes sense to use BPA-based products in and around foods.


If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.


          Troubling Meaty 'Estrogen'        

High temperature cooking can imbue meats with a chemical that acts like a hormone

Food for Thought

Women take note. Researchers find that a chemical that forms in overcooked meat, especially charred portions, is a potent mimic of estrogen, the primary female sex hormone. That's anything but appetizing, since studies have linked a higher lifetime cumulative exposure to estrogen in women with an elevated risk of breast cancer.

Indeed, the new finding offers a "biologically plausible" explanation for why diets rich in red meats might elevate breast-cancer risk, notes Nigel J. Gooderham of Imperial College London.

At the very high temperatures reached during frying and charbroiling, natural constituents of meats can undergo chemical reactions that generate carcinogens known as heterocyclic amines (see Carcinogens in the Diet). Because these compounds all have very long, unwieldy chemical monikers, most scientists refer to them by their abbreviations, such as IQ, MeIQ, MeIQx, and PhIP.

Of the nearly two dozen different heterocyclic amines that can form, PhIP dominates. It sometimes accumulates in amounts 10 to 50 times higher than that of any other member of this toxic chemical family, Gooderham says. Moreover, he adds, although heterocyclic amines normally cause liver tumors in exposed animals, PhIP is different: "It causes breast cancer in female rats, prostate cancer in male rats, and colon cancer in both." These are the same cancers that in people are associated with eating a lot of cooked meats.

However, the means by which such foods might induce cancer has remained somewhat elusive. So, building on his team's earlier work, Gooderham decided to probe what the heterocyclic amine did in rat pituitary cells. These cells make prolactin—another female sex hormone—but only when triggered by the presence of estrogen. Prolactin, like estrogen, fuels the growth of many breast cancers.

In their new test-tube study, Gooderham and coauthor Saundra N. Lauber show that upon exposure to PhIP, pituitary cells not only make progesterone, but also secrete it. If these cells do the same thing when they're part of the body, those secretions would circulate to other organs—including the breast.

But "what was startling," Gooderham told Science News Online, is that it took just trace quantities of the heterocyclic amine to spur prolactin production. "PhIP was incredibly potent," he says, able to trigger progesterone production at concentrations comparable to what might be found circulating in the blood of people who had eaten a couple of well-done burgers.

The toxicologist cautions that there's a big gap between observing an effect in isolated cells growing in a test-tube and showing that the same holds true in people.

However, even if PhIP does operate similarly in people, he says that's no reason to give up grilled meat. Certain cooking techniques, such as flipping hamburgers frequently, can limit the formation of heterocyclic amines. Moreover, earlier work by the Imperial College team showed that dining on certain members of the mustard family appear to detoxify much of the PhIP that might have inadvertently been consumed as part of a meal.

The human link

Three recent epidemiological studies support concerns about the consumption of grilled meats.

In the first, Harvard Medical School researchers compared the diets of more than 90,000 premenopausal U.S. nurses. Over a 12-year period, 1,021 of the relatively young women developed invasive breast cancers. The more red meat a woman ate, the higher was her risk of developing invasive breast cancer, Eunyoung Cho and her colleagues reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine last November. The increased risk was restricted, however, only to those types of breast cancers that are fueled by estrogen or progesterone.

Overall, women who ate the most red meat—typically 1.5 servings or more per day—faced nearly double the invasive breast-cancer risk of those eating little red meat each week.

Related findings emerged in the April 10 British Journal of Cancer. There, researchers at the University of Leeds reported data from a long-running study of more than 35,000 women in the United Kingdom who ranged in age from roughly 35 to 70. Regardless of the volunteers' age, Janet E. Cade's team found, those who consumed the most meat had the highest risk of breast cancer.

Shortly thereafter, Susan E. Steck of the University of South Carolina's school of public health and her colleagues linked meat consumption yet again with increased cancer risk, but only in the older segment of the women they investigated. By comparing the diets of 1,500 women with breast cancer to those of 1,550 cancerfree women, the scientists showed that postmenopausal women consuming the most grilled, barbecued, and smoked meats faced the highest breast-cancer risk.

These data support accumulating evidence that a penchant for well-done meats can hike a woman's breast-cancer risk, Steck and her colleagues concluded in the May Epidemiology.

PhIP fighters

Such findings have been percolating out of the epidemiology community for years. Nearly a decade ago, for instance, National Cancer Institute scientists reported finding that women who consistently ate their meat very well done—with a crispy, blackened crust—faced a substantially elevated breast-cancer risk when compared to those who routinely ate rare- or medium-cooked meats.

However, even well-done meats without char can contain heterocyclic amines, chemical analyses by others later showed. The compounds' presence appears to correlate best with how meat is cooked, not merely with how brown its interior ended up (SN: 11/28/98, p. 341).

At high temperatures, the simple sugar glucose, together with creatinine—a muscle-breakdown product, and additional free amino acids, can all interact within beef, chicken, and other meats to form heterocyclic amines. In contrast, low-temperature cooking or a quick searing may generate none of the carcinogens.

Because there's no way to tell visually, by taste, or by smell whether PhIP and its toxic kin lace cooked meat, food chemists have been lobbying commercial and home chefs to reduce the heat they use to cook meats—or to turn meats frequently to keep the surfaces closest to the heat source from getting too hot.

The significance of this was driven home to Gooderham several years ago when just such tactics spoiled an experiment he was launching to test whether Brussels sprouts and broccoli could help detoxify PhIP. "I bought 30 kilograms of prime Aberdeen angus lean beef," he recalls. "Then we ground it up and I gave it to a professional cook to turn into burgers and cook." Professional cooks tend to move meats around quite a bit, he found. The result: His expensive, chef-prepared meat contained almost no PhIP.

In the end, he says, "I sacked the cook, bought another 30 kilos of meat and prepared the burgers myself. It was a costly lesson."

Once restarted, however, that study yielded encouraging data.

One way the body detoxifies and sheds toxic chemicals is to link them to what amounts to a sugar molecule. Consumption of certain members of the mustard (Brassica) family, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts (both members of the B. oleracea species)—can encourage this process. So Gooderham's team fed 250 grams (roughly half a pound) each of broccoli and Brussels sprouts each day to 20 men for almost 2 weeks. On the 12th day, the men each got a cooked-meat meal containing 4.9 micrograms of PhIP.

Compared to similar trial periods when their diets had been Brassica-free, the volunteers excreted up to 40 percent more PhIP in urine, the researchers reported in Carcinogenesis.

Experimental data suggest that two brews may also help detoxify heterocyclic amines. In test-tube studies, white tea largely prevented DNA damage from the heterocyclic amine IQ (SN: 4/15/00, p. 251), and in mice, extracts of beer tackled MeIQx and Trp-P-2 (see Beer's Well Done Benefit).

The best strategy of all, most toxicologists say, is to prevent formation of heterocyclic amines in the first place. In addition to frequently turning meat on the grill or fry pan, partially cooking meats in a microwave prior to grilling will limit the toxic chemicals' formation. So will mixing in a little potato starch to ground beef before grilling (see How Carbs Can Make Burgers Safer) or marinating meats with a heavily sugared oil-and-vinegar sauce (SN: 4/24/99, p. 264).


If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.

Citations

Janet E. Cade

UK Women's Cohort Study

Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics

30/32 Hyde Terrace

The University of Leeds

Leeds LS2 9LN

United Kingdom


Eunyoung Cho

Channing Laboratory

Department of Medicine

Harvard Medical School

181 Longwood Avenue

Boston, MA 02115

Nigel J. Gooderham

Biomolecular Medicine

Imperial College London

Sir Alexander Fleming Building

London SW7 2AZ

United Kingdom

Susan Elizabeth Steck

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Statewide Cancer Prevention and Control Program

Arnold School of Public Health

University of South Carolina

2221 Devine Street, Room 231

Columbia, SC 29208
Further Reading

Raloff, J. 2007. Concerns over genistein, part II—Beyond the heart. Science News Online (July 7). Available at [Go to].

______. 2007. Concerns over genistein, part I—The heart of the issue. Science News Online (June 16). Available at [Go to].

______. 2006. Pesticides mimic estrogen in shellfish. Science News 170(Dec. 16):397. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

______. 2006. No-stick chemicals can mimic estrogen. Science News 170(Dec. 2):366. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

______. 2006. Meat poses exaggerated cancer risk for some people. Science News Online (March 25). Available at [Go to].

______. 2005. Beer's well done benefit. Science News Online (March 5). Available at [Go to].

______. 2005. Carcinogens in the diet. Science News Online (Feb. 19). Available at [Go to].

______. 2004. How carbs can make burgers safer. Science News Online (Dec. 4). Available at [Go to].

______. 2004. Uranium, the newest 'hormone'. Science News 166(Nov. 13):318. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

______. 2001. Fire retardant catfish? Science News Online (Dec. 8). Available at [Go to].

______. 1999. Well-done research. Science News 155(April 24):264-266. Available at [Go to].

______. 1998. Very hot grills may inflame cancer risks. Science News 154(Nov. 28):341. Available at [Go to].

______. 1996. Another meaty link to cancer. Science News 149(June 8):365. Available at [Go to].

______. 1996. 'Estrogen' pairings can increase potency. Science News 149(June 8):356. Available at [Go to].

______. 1995. Beyond estrogens: Why unmasking hormone-mimicking pollutants proves so challenging. Science News 148(July 15):44. Available at [Go to].

______. 1994. Meaty carcinogens: A risk to the cook? Science News 146(Aug. 13):103.

______. 1994. Not so hot hot dogs? Science News 145(April 23):264-269.

______. 1994. How cooked meat may inflame the heart. Science News 145(March 12):165.

______. 1994. The gender benders. Science News 145(Jan. 8):24. Available at [Go to].

Smith-Roe, S.L., et al. 2006. Induction of aberrant crypt foci in DNA mismatch repair-deficient mice by the food-borne carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP). Cancer Letters. 244(Nov. 28):79-85. Abstract available at [Go to].

______. 2006. Mlh1-dependent responses to 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP), a food-borne carcinogen. (Abstract # 514). Toxicologist 90(March):105.

______. 2006. Mlh1-dependent suppression of specific mutations induced in vivo by the food-borne carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo [4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP). Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 594(Feb. 22):101-112. Abstract available at [Go to].

           Bayesian hierarchical clustering for studying cancer gene expression data with unknown statistics         
Sirinukunwattana, Korsuk, Savage, Richard S., Bari, Muhammad F., Snead, David R. J. and Rajpoot, Nasir M. (Nasir Mahmood). (2013) Bayesian hierarchical clustering for studying cancer gene expression data with unknown statistics. PLoS One, 8 (10). e75748. ISSN 1932-6203
          Marking Teton History        

MARKING HISTORY-FIRST TURNS
















I was lucky enough to become the first female to snowboard the Grand Teton.

We had been watching the weather for days, wind looked good and no new storm cycles coming our way...1st attempt was on Tuesday. I was supposed to work, and on Monday night Max and I saw a window of opportunity in the forecast and decided to make it happen. I called my boss and said, "look, there's something I need to do..."! He said don't worry about work...and get 'er done! Tuesday morning we woke up at 2am and starting skinning up Garnet Canyon just after 3am. The sun started to rise while we were in the meadow and deep down we knew we were way behind schedule. With all the gear on our backs we headed up the Teepe Couloir and stopped for a rest. The day had started and we weren't sure about the haze turning to cloud cover or the heat of the day creating dangerous snow conditions. This was the turn back moment. Once beyond the Teepe, there is no turning back. We chose to bail after 7 hours in, and maybe 4 hours from the summit! But we left our ropes and gear under some rocks at the top of the Teepe to make our lives easier on the next attempt. Once the decision was made to abort, the day became leisure. We skied the Teepe and stopped before the Meadows to take a nap on the Jackson Hole Climbers Guide summer station (which was just a tarped platform). Once we woke up and the snow was softer we rode down back to the car somewhat disappointed.

I had the next two days off, and after religiously looking at web cams and weather stations online we chose Thursday for the next attempt. Wednesday became the day of rest, we tried to sleep as much as we could and eat as much as we could. This time we thought of giving ourselves a head start and wake up even earlier. An addition to our crew was added, it was Nick, Max and myself. We woke up at 1am and in the zone were skinning by 1:50am. I was prepared for the cold skin up to the Meadows and made it as efficient as possible this time, there was no wasting of energy or time today. We got to the Meadows and it was still dark. Dropped our skins off, laced up our crampons and started booting up towards the Teepee. We hit sunrise at the top of the Teepee and we were feeling good. Except for poor Nick, at the no turn back moment, Nick had become nauseous and decided to bail and let Max and I go.

Max and I left as much unnecessary gear at that spot and started the ascent. Roping up with ice axes in hand, Max lead the way to the Stettner Couloir. Rounding the corner with Nick watching us go, I knew this was going to be the day I "send" the Grand. I had prepared myself in the past months, my determination washed away all fear and it was merely an execution of moves. Once in the Stettner I experienced my first ice climbing. Testing out my ability to trust an ice ax I moved over the ice bulge. Cleaning the gear and simultaneously climbing we reached the Chevy Couloir. It got a bit cruxy so I belayed Max as he headed up. While in the shade, and my sweat drying I became borderline hypothermia watching Max move over the biggest crux of ice. Once he anchored and it was time for me to climb, I moved as fast as I could, not knowing if we were running out of time and to just keep warm. Quickly we moved from one anchor to the next until we reached the last set, where we would be rappelling for the descent. we left one rope and some gear, ate and drank as much as we could and began the final approach to the summit in the Ford Couloir. This was just a symo climb on rope through knee deep, crusty/sugar snow. Safe for the most part but as always high exposure with serious consequence. I became so exhausted that I found myself grunting through every throw of my ax into the snow and every step with my crampons. But alas, finally we summit and it seemed as if we could see the world. I was the first to drop in, marking history of the first female to snowboard the Grand. At no point was I scared through all the climbs, but at that moment, when all I had to do was what I do best-snowboard-I was terrified. Because at that moment I knew that I would either become a statistic or mark history!! I dropped in gripping my ax in my right hand. Each turn was scarier than the next but I made it to the first rappel station and clipped in waiting for Max. Ok, so far so good, I successfully snowboarded, now the exit! 5 rappels later and some down climbing we reached the top of the Teepe Couloir. SAFE! At that moment I knew it was done. We weren't out yet, but I knew I was capable of getting back to my car alive!

Retrieving all our gear along the way we finally made it back to the car just before sunset, tired, hungry, cranky and all my toes and fingertips frostbit...But I was alive and I had just SNOWBOARDED THE GRAND TETON!

Now, I'm trying to retire from snowboarding and go back to skiing!! just kidding!
          Kota dostu uygulama: Yandex Navigasyon ve Haritalar        
Yandex‘in paylaştığı istatistiklere göre Navigasyon ve Haritalar uygulamasını tercih eden kullanıcılar günlük ortalama 2.1 Mb internet tüketiyor. Yandex’ten Onur Karahayıt, kullanıcılardan gelen geribildirimler nedeniyle bu...
          one in a million        

Let's get realistic about love.

For this exercise, we will make certain broad assumptions, discounting exceptions and outliers. We will try to figure what's happening statistically when two people fall in love. We will also place our exercise in an Indian social and cultural context.

Let's start with the potential "universe" of people one can possibly fall in love with. We will start with the total population, and reduce for mutually exclusive groups. India has 1.2 billion people. ~50% for the opposite sex -> 600 million. India's median age is 27 years (50% population less than 27 years of age) . For this exercise, assuming that one intends to get married in the age range of 24-32, an 8-year span (our math won't vary much if we increase this window on either side by a few extra years, there is a bulge below this range), we are down to ~80 million.

It gets a little tricky from here. Remove for some semblance of economic backgrounds and we are down to ~8 million (80 lakh). Now from this, remove for religion & caste preferences (I am looking at you Brahmins), dietary preferences (no onion no garlic anyone?), height & weight preferences (taar bijli se lambe humaare piya), complexion preferences (it's only fair, right? Lovely), educational preferences, language barriers and north Indian and south Indian and Gujju and Mallu and Kashmiri and Jat preferences. And so far we haven't removed for people already married or in love with someone else who is not you. And after you have removed for all of the above, you need to be with a person with whom when you spend time, your emotional response to them lies between "surreal" and "I can stand this person" on a scale of butterflies, and the other person's emotional response also lies somewhere in the same ballpark. And whoever you are left with, you haven't even begun to find him/her yet. Given your life experiences of school, college, workplace, pubs, bars, travels, tinder and what not, and the count of people you potentially meet through these life experiences, what are the fuckin' odds.

I had always believed that the concept of "the one" does not hold. But given the odds, and given that there exists atleast "a" one, you are probably better off with a the. Two people falling in love with each other is a statistical miracle.


[from Watchmen] Miracles. Events with astronomical odds of occurring, like oxygen turning into gold. I've longed to witness such an event...; ...and out of that contradiction, against unfathomable odds, it's you - only you - that emerged. To distill so specific a form, from all that chaos. It's like turning air into gold. A miracle.


I hear "everything is great, but I am not so sure" ever so often that it's fuckin' unbelievable. I don't understand why anyone in their right mind would break up. You met someone and liked, and they liked you back, and you loved each other's company, and then you eventually started driving each other crazy and "it didn't work out"?! Huh?

For people who are single still, I feel sorry for you. The odds are stacked against you and there is little hope for you (lol). Live, is all, and maybe, just maybe lightning will strike (in this case, twice). And for people who are married or with someone and in love, go hug your Significant Other really hard right now right this moment, take a good look at them, smile, hold their hands, and know that they are your one in a million. You have witnessed a miracle.




          ECU TO PROVIDE BUSINESS CERTIFICATE IN PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING        

East Central University has registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) to provide the means of awarding a new business certificate diploma for personal financial planning.

This certificate compliments the current business administration in finance concentration degree.

An independent certifying organization, CFP Board owns the CFP® and Certified Financial PlannerTM certification marks, which it awards to individuals who meet its education, examination, experience, ethics and other requirements.  Students completing the financial planning program at ECU will have met the education requirement for CFP® Certification Examination administered by CFP Board.

“Financial planning is an excellent career choice. The need for qualified planners is great…and it keeps growing,” said Wendell Godwin, dean of the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business. “Devoting time and energy toward achieving CFP® certification, the highest standard in professional financial planning, can make a financial planning career even more rewarding.”

CFP® certification is generally recognized as the highest standard in personal financial planning, qualifying financial planning professionals to provide their clients with comprehensive financial advice, according to Godwin.

“Students completing this certificate will be positioned to take the national CFP® Certification Examination through the CFP Board,” Godwin said. “We are the fourth program approved by the CFP Board in Oklahoma. We are one of only two state universities that offer a program at the bachelor level with the other being Northeastern State University.”

The CFP Board’s approval certainly pleased Blaine Aikin, CFP®, chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors.

“As student interest in financial planning as a career continues to grow, we anticipate that

ECU’s program will contribute significantly to the number of qualified candidates seeking to attain the CFP® certification, the standard of excellence for competent and ethical financial planning,” said Aikin.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow 30 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the population ages and life expectancies rise, demand for financial planning services should increase.

Today, CFP Board partners with over 340 programs at more than 240 institutions. CFP

Board-Registered Programs are financial planning education programs at the college or university level that meet specific criteria for educating individuals who wish to fulfill the education component for obtaining CFP® certification.

The mission of CFP Board is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning.  CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial PlannerTM, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.  CFP Board currently authorizes more than 76,000 individuals to use these marks in the United States.  For more about CFP Board, visit www.CFP.net.

-ECU-

For Immediate Release: 

Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford

                                East Central University Communications and Marketing

                              580-559-5650 or 405-812-1428 (cell)


          Sex Differences Among Opioid-Abusing Patients With Chronic Pain in a Clinical Trial        
imageBackground: The characteristics of patients with co-occurring chronic pain and prescription opioid abuse have not been well described, and even less is known about differences between men and women in this population. Objectives: This study evaluated sex differences in the demographic, diagnostic, and behavioral attributes of patients with chronic pain and opioid abuse. Methods: Data were collected via self-report and semistructured clinical interviews from 162 patients (120 men and 42 women) who screened for a study investigating the abuse liability of prescription opioids. Results: There were no differences between men and women in age, race, education, marital status, or employment status. Participants had used prescription opioids for 5.4 ± 6.7 years. The majority of participants (60%) had low back pain in addition to opioid dependence as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition. More women reported more arthritic pain than men, but otherwise there were no differences in types of pain. Pain exerted a greater effect in women on mood, walking ability, and social relations. Men reported more of certain aberrant behaviors, including abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs, unauthorized dose increases, contact with street culture, and being arrested by police. Women were more depressed than men. Conclusions: The demographic profile of opioid-abusing patients with chronic pain presenting for treatment in a clinical trial was similar between sexes; however, some important differences were observed. Women reported more psychiatric comorbidity and endorsed greater pain-related physical and social impairment. Men reported more aberrant behaviors. These differences suggest that men with chronic pain and opioid abuse/dependence may benefit by closer monitoring of aberrant behaviors whereas women may benefit from closer attention paid to physical and psychological effects of pain.
          Comment on Pricing to stay in business by Dennis Yu        
Scott, Fascinating that prices can vary so widely on a simple donut. You know, a friend of mine who was a statistician at Blockbuster a few years ago ran tests where he varied the price of a single movie rental-- between $2 and $10 for one night across a range of locations. He found that consumers were highly price inelastic, leading to Blockbuster raising prices and increasing earnings overnight. For Dunkin Donuts, there is likely more price elasticity, since if you have taken the effort to drive to a Blockbuster and select something, you're already committed-- versus you walk by a donut shop and decide if you want a donut or not.
          BZU Declares MA/MSc Supply Exams Result 2017        
Multan, Baha Uddin Zakariya University Multan has conducted the MA/MSc supply exams 2016 in the subjects like Arabic, Botany, Physics, Political Science, Zoology part 1 and Statistics part 1 and 2. Now the exams department of BZU declared the BZU MA/MSc result 2017 after checking of the papers and preparation of the master degree supply [...]
          Wake Forest Baptist Fiscal Year 2017 Third Quarter Performance        
 Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center released its third quarter report on operating performance and operating statistics for fiscal year 2017 (FY17) today and reported improvements in key areas primarily driven by volume growth in the clinical enterprise with improving patient access and enhancing provider throughput continuing to be an ongoing focus.
          Wake Forest Baptist Fiscal Year 2017 Second Quarter Financial Performance        
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center released its second quarter report on operating performance and operating statistics for fiscal year 2017 (FY17) today and reported improvements in key areas primarily driven by volume growth in the clinical enterprise.
          Wake Forest Baptist Fiscal Year 2017 First Quarter Financial Performance        
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center released its first quarter report on operating performance and operating statistics for fiscal year 2017 (FY17) today and reported improvements in key areas driven primarily by volume growth in the clinical enterprise.
          The 15 most watched ski-related Jerry of the Day Instagrams of 2017        

After hours of research and statistical analysis, the team at FREESKIER is proud to present the most watched ski-related Jerry of the Day Instagrams of 2017 (so far). During the production phase of these clips, the athletes on camera were in full send mode, and, therefore, their actions require the utmost respect. There are no […]

The post The 15 most watched ski-related Jerry of the Day Instagrams of 2017 appeared first on Freeskier Magazine.


          The travesty that is Australia's asylum seeker offshore detention policy -"If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here."         

It seems the truth will out.

After the United States completes its vetting of asylum seekers held in overseas detention by the Australian Government it is not obliged to take even one of those individuals U.S. immigration officials have examined.

In May 2017 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed 268 people had completed their second-stage security interview with US officials: 220 in Nauru and 48 on Manus Island.

U.S. immigration officials halted screening interviews and departed Nauru on 14 July 2017, two weeks short of their scheduled timetable and a day after Washington said the US had reached its annual refugee intake cap.

However, under the original agreement once that vetting is completed Australia becomes obliged to resettle between 20 and 50 people under a U.S. "Protection Transfer Arrangement" in Costa Rica set up to resettle refugees from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Prime Minister Turnbull verbally changed that undertaking to an open-ended number of people the Trump Administration might be “very keen on getting out of the United States”.

There is no indication that the U.S. Government intends to complete its vetting of those detained on Nauru and Manus islands.

The Washington Post, 3 August 2017:

The Washington Post has obtained transcripts of two conversations President Trump had with foreign leaders: one with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and another with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The transcripts were prepared by the White House but have not been released. The Post is publishing reproductions rather than original documents in order to protect sources. The reproductions below also include minor spelling and grammatical mistakes that appeared in the documents………………


JANUARY 28, 2017 FROM 5:05 TO 5:29 P.M. EST.

TURNBULL
Good evening.

TRUMP
Mr. Prime Minister, how are you?

TURNBULL
I am doing very well.

TRUMP
And I guess our friend Greg Norman, he is doing very well?

TURNBULL
He is a great mutual friend yes.

TRUMP
Well you say hello to him. He is a very good friend. By the way thank you very much for taking the call. I really appreciate it. It is really nice.

TURNBULL
Thank you very much. Everything is going very well. I want to congratulate you and Mike Pence on being sworn in now. I have spoken to you both now as you know. I know we are both looking to make our relationship which is very strong and intimate, stronger than ever – which I believe we can do.

TRUMP
Good.

TURNBULL
I believe you and I have similar backgrounds, unusual for politicians, more businessman but I look forward to working together.

TRUMP
That is exactly right. We do have similar backgrounds and it seems to be working in this climate – it is a crazy climate. Let me tell you this, it is an evil time but it is a complex time because we do not have uniforms standing in front of us. Instead, we have people in disguise. It is brutal. This ISIS thing â€“ it is something we are going to devote a lot of energy to it. I think we are going to be very successful.

TURNBULL
Absolutely. We have, as you know, taken a very strong line on national security and border protection here and when I was speaking with Jared Kushner just the other day and one of your immigration advisors in the White House we reflected on how our policies have helped to inform your approach. We are very much of the same mind. It is very interesting to know how you prioritize the minorities in your Executive Order. This is exactly what we have done with the program to bring in 12,000 Syrian refugees, 90% of which will be Christians. It will be quite deliberate and the position I have taken – I have been very open about it – is that it is a tragic fact of life that when the situation in the Middle East settles down – the people that are going to be most unlikely to have a continuing home are those Christian minorities. We have seen that in Iraq and so from our point of view, as a final destination for refugees, that is why we prioritize. It is not a sectarian thing. It is recognition of the practical political realities. We have a similar perspective in that respect.

TRUMP
Do you know four years ago Malcom, I was with a man who does this for a living. He was telling me, before the migration, that if you were a Christian from Syria, you had no chance of coming to the United States. Zero. They were the ones being persecuted. When I say persecuted, I mean their heads were being chopped off. If you were a Muslim we have nothing against Muslims, but if you were a Muslim you were not persecuted at least to the extent – but if you were a Muslim from Syria that was the number one place to get into the United States from. That was the easiest thing. But if you were a Christian from Syria you have no chance of getting into the United States. I just thought it was an incredible statistic. Totally true – and you have seen the same thing. It is incredible.

TURNBULL
Well, yes. Mr. President, can I return to the issue of the resettlement agreement that we had with the Obama administration with respect to some people on Nauru and Manus Island. I have written to you about this and Mike Pence and General Flynn spoke with Julie Bishop and my National Security Advisor yesterday. This is a very big issue for us, particularly domestically, and I do understand you are inclined to a different point of view than the Vice President.

TRUMP
Well, actually I just called for a total ban on Syria and from many different countries from where there is terror, and extreme vetting for everyone else – and somebody told me yesterday that close to 2,000 people are coming who are really probably troublesome. And I am saying, boy that will make us look awfully bad. Here I am calling for a ban where I am not letting anybody in and we take 2,000 people. Really it looks like 2,000 people that Australia does not want and I do not blame you by the way, but the United States has become like a dumping ground. You know Malcom, anybody that has a problem – you remember the Mariel boat lift, where Castro let everyone out of prison and Jimmy Carter accepted them with open arms. These were brutal people. Nobody said Castro was stupid, but now what are we talking about is 2,000 people that are actually imprisoned and that would actually come into the United States. I heard about this – I have to say I love Australia; I love the people of Australia. I have so many friends from Australia, but I said – geez that is a big ask, especially in light of the fact that we are so heavily in favor, not in favor, but we have no choice but to stop things. We have to stop. We have allowed so many people into our country that should not be here. We have our San Bernardino’s, we have had the World Trade Center come down because of people that should not have been in our country, and now we are supposed to take 2,000. It sends such a bad signal. You have no idea. It is such a bad thing.

TURNBULL
Can you hear me out Mr. President?

TRUMP
Yeah, go ahead.

TURNBULL
Yes, the agreement, which the Vice President just called the Foreign Minister about less than 24 hours ago and said your Administration would be continuing, does not require you to take 2,000 people. It does not require you to take any. It requires, in return, for us to do a number of things for the United States – this is a big deal, I think we should respect deals.

TRUMP
Who made the deal? Obama?

TURNBULL
Yes, but let me describe what it is. I think it is quite consistent. I think you can comply with it. It is absolutely consistent with your Executive Order so please just hear me out. The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1,250 to 2,000. Every individual is subject to your vetting. You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1,000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process. So that is the first thing. Secondly, the people — none of these people are from the conflict zone. They are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. That is the vast bulk of them. They have been under our supervision for over three years now and we know exactly everything about them.

TRUMP
Why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?

TURNBULL
Okay, I will explain why. It is not because they are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in. Because the problem with the people —

TRUMP
That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am.

TURNBULL
This is our experience.

TRUMP
Because you do not want to destroy your country. Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries. These people are crazy to let this happen. I spoke to Merkel today, and believe me, she wishes she did not do it. Germany is a mess because of what happened.

TURNBULL
I agree with you, letting one million Syrians walk into their country. It was one of the big factors in the Brexit vote, frankly.

TRUMP
Well, there could be two million people coming in Germany. Two million people. Can you believe it? It will never be the same.

TURNBULL
stood up at the UN in September and set up what our immigration policy was. I said that you cannot maintain popular support for immigration policy, multiculturalism, unless you can control your borders. The bottom line is that we got here. I am asking you as a very good friend. This is a big deal. It is really, really important to us that we maintain it. It does not oblige you to take one person that you do not want. As I have said, your homeland officials have visited and they have already interviewed these people. You can decide. It is at your discretion. So you have the wording in the Executive Order that enables the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State to admit people on a case by case basis in order to conform with an existing agreement. I do believe that you will never find a better friend to the United States than Australia. I say this to you sincerely that it is in the mutual interest of the United States to say, “yes, we can conform with that deal – we are not obliged to take anybody we do not want, we will go through extreme vetting” and that way you are seen to show the respect that a trusted ally wants and deserves. We will then hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country 31 [inaudible] that you need to move on from.

TRUMP
Malcom [sic], why is this so important? I do not understand. This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.

TURNBULL
With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000.

TRUMP
Well, it is close. I have also heard like 5,000 as well.

TURNBULL
The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting. I think that what you could say is that the Australian government is consistent with the principles set out in the Executive Order.

TRUMP
No, I do not want say that. I will just have to say that unfortunately I will have to live with what was said by Obama. I will say I hate it. Look, I spoke to Putin, Merkel, Abe of Japan, to France today, and this was my most unpleasant call because I will be honest with you. I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.

TURNBULL
I would not be so sure about that. They are basically —

TRUMP
Well, maybe you should let them out of prison. I am doing this because Obama made a bad deal. I am not doing this because it fits into my Executive Order. I am taking 2,000 people from Australia who are in prison and the day before I signed an Executive Order saying that we are not taking anybody in. We are not taking anybody in, those days are over.

TURNBULL
But can I say to you, there is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal. Look, you and I have a lot of mutual friends.
Look, I do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. They said I had no way to 270 and I got 306. That is why they lost the election, because of stupid deals like this. You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible.

TURNBULL
Mr. President, I think this will make you look like a man who stands by the commitments of the United States. It shows that you are a committed —

TRUMP
Okay, this shows me to be a dope. I am not like this but, if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. I will be honest with you. Not even a little bit. I think it is ridiculous and Obama should have never signed it. The only reason I will take them is because I have to honor a deal signed by my predecessor and it was a rotten deal. I say that it was a stupid deal like all the other deals that this country signed. You have to see what I am doing. I am unlocking deals that were made by people, these people were incompetent. I am not going to say that it fits within the realm of my Executive Order. We are going to allow 2,000 prisoners to come into our country and it is within the realm of my Executive Order? If that is the case my Executive Order does not mean anything Malcom [sic]. I look like a dope. The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option then to honor the deal. I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?

TURNBULL
That is the point I have been trying to make.

TRUMP
How does that help you?

TURNBULL
Well, we assume that we will act in good faith.

TRUMP
Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

TURNBULL
Let me explain. We know exactly who they are. They have been on Nauru or Manus for over three years and the only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

TRUMP
Malcom [sic], but they are arrived on a boat?

TURNBULL
Correct, we have stopped the boats.

TRUMP
Give them to the United States. We are like a dumping ground for the rest of the world. I have been here for a period of time, I just want this to stop. I look so foolish doing this. It [sic] know it is good for you but it is bad for me. It is horrible for me. This is what I am trying to stop. I do not want to have more San Bernardino’s or World Trade Centers. I could name 30 others, but I do not have enough time.

TURNBULL
These guys are not in that league. They are economic refugees.

TRUMP
Okay, good. Can Australia give me a guarantee that if we have any problems – you know that is what they said about the Boston bombers. They said they were wonderful young men.

TURNBULL
They were Russians. They were not from any of these countries.

TRUMP
They were from wherever they were.

TURNBULL
Please, if we can agree to stick to the deal, you have complete discretion in terms of a security assessment. The numbers are not 2,000 but 1,250 to start. Basically, we are taking people from the previous administration that they were very keen on getting out of the United States. We will take more. We will take anyone that you want us to take. The only people that we do not take are people who come by boat. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.

TRUMP
What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats? No, I know, they come from certain regions. I get it.

TURNBULL
No, let me explain why. The problem with the boats it that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea. So what we say is, we will decide which people get to come to Australia who are refugees, economic migrants, businessmen, whatever. We decide. That is our decision. We are a generous multicultural immigration nation like the United States but the government decides, the people’s representatives decides. So that is the point. I am a highly transactional businessman like you and I know the deal has to work for both sides. Now Obama thought this deal worked for him and he drove a hard bargain with us – that it was agreed with Obama more than a year ago in the Oval Office, long before the election. The principles of the deal were agreed to.

TRUMP
I do not know what he got out of it. We never get anything out of it – START Treaty, the Iran deal. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing.

TURNBULL
You will not.

TRUMP
Yes, I will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week by these people. This is a killer.

TURNBULL
You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it.

TRUMP
I have no choice to say that about it. Malcom [sic], I am going to say that I have no choice but to honor my predecessor’s deal. I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. It is an embarrassment to the United States of America and you can say it just the way I said it. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcom [sic]I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.

TURNBULL
Do you want to talk about Syria and DPRK?

TRUMP
[inaudible] this is crazy.

TURNBULL
Thank you for your commitment. It is very important to us.

TRUMP
It is important to you and it is embarrassing to me. It is an embarrassment to me, but at least I got you off the hook. So you put me back on the hook.

TURNBULL
You can count on me. I will be there again and again.

TRUMP
I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm.

TURNBULL
Okay, thank you.
END OF CALL

* My yellow highlighting.

          Surprise, surprise - those Murray-Darling Basin water raiders have slithered over the horizon once more and are eyeing off the Clarence Valley river system yet again        

With so little fanfare that much of  Northern Rivers region missed it, the NSW Berejiklian Government reopened the March 2016 inquiry into augmentation of water supply for rural and regional New South Wales on 28 May 2017, with Terms of Reference published in July 2017.

This Upper House inquiry is chaired by Robert Brown MLC, from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party and its reporting date has been extended to 30 March 2018. 

Current committee membership is as follows:

Robert Brown MLC, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, Chair
Mick Veitch MLC, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Chair
Jeremy Buckingham MLC, The Greens
Rick Colless MLC, The Nationals
Scot MacDonald MLC, Liberal Party
Greg Pearce MLC, Liberal Party
Penny Sharpe MLC, Australian Labor Party
Daniel Mookhey MLC, Australian Labor Party
Paul Green MLC, Christian Democratic Party
* Jeremy Buckingham MLC (Greens)is substituting for Dr Mehreen Faruqui MLC for the duration of the inquiry.
* Matthew Mason-Cox MLC (Liberal)  is substituting for Hon Greg Pearce MLC for the duration of the inquiry.
* Paul Green MLC and Penny Sharpe MLC will be participating for the duration of the inquiry.

A poorly advertised public hearing scheduled for 1 August 2017 in Lismore (with details sent to media on 31 July 2017) excluded Northern Rivers residents from giving evidence unless they represented a small number of invited groups.

It appears the committee had also determined that Clarence Valley Council was to be asked its view on diverting Clarence River system flood water.

Given flood water is already diverted to the purpose built Shannon Creek side dam to ensure a sustainable water supply for the est. 125,103 residents (Census 2016) currently living in Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour local government areas, there are no prizes for guessing where any additional water diversion would be allocated.

Yes, that paragon of sustainable water mismanagement - the cluster of councils, industries, irrigators and water traders within the Murray-Darling Basin.

It will come as no surprise that Griffith Council is still pursuing a Clarence River dam and divert scheme. North Coast Voices reported on its obsession in August 2016.

This is what the Griffith City Council Deputy mayor, Dino Zappacosta of Zappacosta Estate Wines in Hanwood, told the inquiry on 1 March 2017:

The issue that my committee, Build More Dams, has looked at is that we need more water because farmers are crying out for more water. We need new water. By "new water", I mean water that is not currently being used at all. We looked at various options, including the Clarence Valley area, where millions and millions of megalitres of water flow out into the sea for what seems to be no real benefit at all for the community of the Clarence region, other than for the natural farming land and the fishery industry there.

It soon became apparent that, appart from the notion of free water at the expense of Clarence Valley communities’ social, cultural, aesthetic, environmental and economic values, Griffith Council knew little about how this dam and divert scheme would work.

The Hon. RICK COLLESS: You have been talking about the Clarence River diversion scheme. Is it correct that that is essentially restricted to the Mann River subcatchment?

Mr ZAPPACOSTA: To the best of my knowledge, it covers most of the tributaries—for example, the Boyd River, the Mann River, the Nymboida River and the Timbarra River. They are highlighted on map 2, which was provided to the Committee.

The Hon. RICK COLLESS: I am a little confused about the way the map reads. It appears as though the water is coming out of the Mann River catchment, which is a subcatchment of the Clarence. The divisions appear to be above the confluence of the Nymboida and the Mann. You recommend a 23 per cent Clarence River diversion, but the question is: What percentage of is that of the Mann River flow and what environmental impact will that have on the Mann River below where it is diverted? We should keep in mind the history of the Snowy River and what has happened there over the past 50 years. Does anybody have any thoughts about that? Mr ZAPPACOSTA: I will have to take on notice exactly how much comes from the Mann River itself.

The Hon. RICK COLLESS: What is the reduction in flow from the sub-catchment rivers below where the water is diverted from them? What environmental impacts will that have on those rivers?

Mr ZAPPACOSTA: I appreciate the question. I think what you are asking is something we should dig into a bit deeper; there should be a study of it, preferably a feasibility study.

The Hon. RICK COLLESS: There needs to be a lot of work done on this, as you would appreciate.

While the Director of Utilities at Griffith City Council stated:

As an engineer I see the great benefits of supporting a scheme such as the Clarence River diversion scheme, not only from a water augmentation point of view. My directorate covers water supply as well as the flooding impacts caused by rainfall run-off. The Clarence River diversion scheme is not only a supply scheme but a flood mitigation solution, as the general manager mentioned. In my research I have referred to the document entitled Lower Clarence Flood Model—Update 2013 produced by BMT WBM consultants. They happen to be the same consultants who undertook our flood study and provided our flood mitigation options. They work across the State and they are well versed in flooding, from the Northern Rivers down to our area.

The Clarence River catchment on the far North Coast of New South Wales is one of the largest catchments on the east coast of Australia. It is approximately 20,000 square kilometres. It is above the towns of Grafton, Maclean and Yamba, and it is home to more than 20,000 people. The lower Clarence Valley has a long history of flooding, since settlement in about 1850. Bear with me as I read out the dates of the flooding events. I was just going to say a number, but it has more of an impact when you follow the years of flooding that the area has endured due to the large catchment that sits above it. Floods were recorded in 1863 and 1864. There was a record flood in 1890 in which two people lost their lives and there was extensive damage to the rural area. Further floods occurred in 1921 and 1928. Since 1945 the incidence of major flooding has been much higher, with floods occurring in 1945, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1954, 1956, 1959, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1988, 1996, 2001, 2009 and 2013.

There is a regular occurrence of extreme flooding in the Northern Rivers catchment, below the Clarence River. Section 4.4 of the Lower Clarence Flood Model—Update 2013 acknowledges that "the river flows originating from upstream of Grafton dominate flooding in the Lower Clarence Valley". Diversion of the Clarence River flows for that area towards the west, and the 25 per cent or 23.8 per cent that will be captured, diverted and controlled, will be of great benefit to flood mitigation in the Northern Rivers area. The document further says that it will maximise the investment from the Government not only to help solve water augmentation issues but to reduce the financial and human impacts flooding has in the northern coastal areas. The Clarence River diversion scheme was documented in 1981 by David Coffey and he estimated costings back then. We have done a projection to a present-day cost of approximately $10 billion. There are statistics on the map that I have provided to the Committee.

The Snowy Mountains scheme would have cost $10 billion in present-day money, so there are similar costings in the schemes. The 1,100 gigalitres diverted per annum from the Clarence River has generated $1.82 billion in agriculture. The scheme means that 23.8 per cent of the flows that would be heading down to flood people can be diverted. When you equate the $550 million a year in flood damages with the cost of a diversion scheme, 1,100 gigalitres can generate $1.8 billion a year in agriculture growth. The additional water means that 118,000 hectares of viable open country can be farmed. The offset of diversion and flood protection is that it is beneficial to all. That is where I will leave it.

The public hearing in Griffith was reported thus by The Area News on 2 March 2017:

HIGH-profile Griffith water users and city officials enjoyed a rare opportunity to sit face-to-face with Members of the NSW Upper House on Wednesday to discuss their handling of water….

The Honourable Rick Colless, The Honourable Paul Green, The Honourable Matthew Mason-Cox and The Honourable Penelope Sharpe were on hand to hear the concerns of the community….

Along with wanting to fix the water sharing plans, the other hot topic was the Clarence River Scheme, initially conceptualised by David Coffey in the 1970s.

The plan outlined diverting river flows westward from high rainfall catchments in the Northern Rivers.

According to Griffith City Council, the scheme will benefit lands south of the Dumaresq River while also providing flows into the Murray River, reducing the reliance for Murray-Darling Basin allocations to fill the original allocation to the basin. 

“We have looked at various options and we look at the Clarence Valley area where there are millions of millions of megalitres of water flowing out into the sea for what seems to be for no real benefit,” Councilor Dino Zappacosta said.

Griffith City Council general manager, Brett Stonestreet said it’s time the scheme is looked at again.

“It provides new water to give this state another shot in the arm,” he said.

“It also looks at potentially reducing flooding impact of the coastal communities adjacent to the Clarence by 25 per cent.

“There is a huge amount of money that can be generated and inland communities rediscovered and regenerated through new water.”

Mayor Dal Broi was pleased with how the inquiry was conducted and the feedback from the Senators.

“Some of the questions that were asked by the panel members, we know now what they are thinking,” he said.

“They were very receptive to the concept of new water so whether it's the diversion of the Clarence or lifting the wall on Burrinjuck Dam ... they were very receptive to that because we tried to make the point that the limited resources at the moment.”

“We need new water if our regions are to grow and have a better long-term sustainable allocation.”

Not content with bringing down the largest river system in Australia in order to line their own pockets, these wanabee water raiders just keep on coming after what they see as more 'free' water for the rorting.

Clarence Valley Council gave evidence at the re-opened inquiry on 1 August and the only question of interest to the water raiders came after a few minutes of questioning at Page 26 of the Lismore public hearing transcript:

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: Thank you for your submission. In your submission you talk about this idea of diversion of the Clarence River to west of the Great Dividing Range. Could you give us a bit of a background on that proposal and what your council thinks about it?

Mr ANDERSON: I will start but Mr Mashiah might finish. Our council has resolved six times that they do not support the diversion of the Clarence, and each time that has been unanimous in regard to council's position. That is based on the fact that damage to the environment and the ecological systems that work within the Clarence River emerge from there. 

The CHAIR [Robert Brown MLC, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party]: You probably cannot answer this, but that is an all-encompassing position of council?

Mr ANDERSON: Yes.

The CHAIR : I wonder what the council's position would be on the diversion of floodwaters only.

Mr ANDERSON: Again, Mr Chair, like you said, I cannot answer that question.

The CHAIR: What I am asking you is that I guess the council's resolutions were not burrowed down to that extent to be able to answer that question. We might ask Clarence council for an opinion on that.

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: Are those decisions supported by an independent side to pick advice? How were they derived?

Mr MASHIAH: There was a Healthy Rivers Commission inquiry into the Clarence in I think it was 1999, from memory, and part of the outcome of that commission inquiry was the importance of regular flood events in terms of the fishing industry and also the cane industry. I believe you have representatives from the cane industry here with us later.

The CHAIR: This afternoon, yes.

Mr MASHIAH: And also in terms of fisheries, one of the aspects that Clarence Valley Council has been active in for the past 20 years is trying to manage the floodplain to address issues such as acid runoff.

The CHAIR: Solid sulfate soils.

Mr MASHIAH: As the sulfate soils and particular acids run off. So we have done things like open floodgates and—

The CHAIR: And you should be congratulated.

Mr MASHIAH: Thank you, Mr Chair, for that. I will pass that on to the relevant staff who have been coordinating that. The regular flushing of those areas, which are fish breeding grounds, by floodwaters is very important. So if floods were diverted there are significant concerns from the fishing industry about the ongoing viability of the industry because the grounds where fish breed, according to the studies that have been undertaken, would then be adversely impacted. So that is one of the reasons that the fishing industry has very strongly opposed, through our estuary management committee in particular and through the estuary management plan, any diversion of water and we have tried to ensure that the fish breeding grounds are protected.

The CHAIR: I just made the observation that most of those fish breeding grounds would not be the same areas of land that are subject to high residential development or business or commercial or other aspects. In other words, you are not talking about the township of Grafton itself, you are talking river peripheries, flooded-out areas, for breeding concerns?

Mr MASHIAH: The challenge is that the urban footprint on the lower Clarence floodplain is probably about 1 to 2 per cent of the total surface area and all the urban areas are surrounded by rural areas. So it is very hard to work out how you manage that 1 or 2 per cent without adversely impacting the other 98 per cent, or vice versa, how do you manage the 98 per cent without adversely impacting 1 or 2 per cent of urban area?

The CHAIR: The 2013 flood, you have described it as a major flood, correct?

Mr MASHIAH: It was the flood of record at Grafton.

The CHAIR: I am wondering how the 2013 flood would have enhanced the fishery on the Clarence?

Mr MASHIAH: The main issue with the 2013 flood—I guess with any flood in the Clarence the flood behaviour in the upper river is a lot different to the flood behaviour in the lower river because of the tidal influences in particular and also how wet the floodplain is already. The 2013 event was actually three floods.

The CHAIR: And they rolled up on each other?

Mr MASHIAH: Yes, within a three-week period—quite distinct flood events.

The CHAIR: So it was a prolonged flood.

Mr MASHIAH: It was a prolonged flood and that meant there was significant inundation of back swamp areas, and I understand that there were some areas that effectively were areas that were flushed that had not been flushed in floods probably since 2001, so it is probably 12 years. So from an ecological perspective, talking to our environmental scientists, I understand that it was actually quite beneficial because the bigger floods only get into those areas once every 10 to 20 years.

The CHAIR: Were there any concurrent blackwater events for the fishery?

Mr MASHIAH: Not that I can recall, and I think that is a result of the management measures that have been undertaken on the floodplain because most of the farmers now operate the floodgates and so only shut the floodgates when there is actually a flood coming and open them fairly soon afterwards.

The CHAIR: So it is their responsibility to operate their own floodgates, is it?

Mr MASHIAH: That has been passed on to them, yes.

The CHAIR: Do you have any oversight of that?

Mr ANDERSON: Yes, we do, and we work with those groups and undertake training et cetera . It is a two-way street of communication: they tell us what they need and, vice versa, we provide training associated with that and inductions and operate that through a number of committees et cetera as well.

Evidence was also given by the NSW Professional Fishermen’s Association (commencing Page 38) the NSW Canegrowers Association (commencing Page 45) and the Clarence Environment Centre (commencing Page 56).


One has to wonder why the committee members of this reformed Water Augmentation Inquiry didn't seek the views of those holding Native Title (See Yaegl People #1 Yaegl People #2) over the Clarence River from the waters approximately half-way between Ulmarra and Brushgrove right down to the eastern extremities of the northern and southern breakwater walls at the mouth of the river.

After all they are significant stakeholders in any discussion of water policy and water management in the Clarence River catchment area.

The other matter of note, arising from North Coast Voices somewhat belated discovery that the water raiders were back on the scene, is the suggestion that not all Clarence Valley councillors had forewarning that council staff were appearing before the inquiry on 1 August.

If true this would be a disturbing indication that council administration has retained some of the bad habits it acquired under the former general manager who was handed his hat in March this year.


          Kucing Mati dan Perihal Lain yang Nyaris Terjadi        

GoBlog – NYARIS menabrak kucing dan benar-benar menabrak kucing adalah dua hal berbeda. Yang pertama adalah kejadian biasa. Hampir semua pengendara—bermotor maupun tidak—pernah mengalami. Memang belum ada catatan statistik yang pasti. Namun, kita barangkali bisa bersepakat, nyaris menabrak kucing adalah kasus umum yang kurang menyenangkan. Keumuman dan kekurangmenyenangkannya hanya bisa ditandingi oleh sehelai rambut yang kau...

The post Kucing Mati dan Perihal Lain yang Nyaris Terjadi appeared first on DeGorontalo.


          Where has John Thompson Gone?        
John Thompson resigned from the Census Bureau, effective June 30th. [See previous post on this]. Here’s where he landed: John H. Thompson Appointed Executive Director of COPAFS WASHINGTON, July 12 – The Board of Directors of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) is pleased to announce the appointment of John H. Thompson […]
          LORINC: Does TCHC even know the extent of its fire risk? Part III        
Update: Joe Cressy, Trinity-Spadina councillor and a member of the Toronto Community Housing board, on Tuesday provided Spacing with fire fatality statistics for the housing agency as well as the city generally. Between 2012 and 2016, 69 people died in fires across Toronto (pop. 2.88 million). Ten of those were in TCHC buildings, which collectively house 110,000 people. […]
          EPSA 2015: The Public Sector as Partner for a Better Society - by Julia Bosse, Michael Burnett, Susanne Møller Nielsen, Claude Rongione, Harrie Scholtens        

Under the theme “The Public Sector as Partner for a Better Society”, the EPSA 2015 gathered and rewarded those ground-breaking and evidenced solutions of public administrations facing current (European, if not worldwide) challenges related to areas such as migration and integration, health and educational sectors, the labour market, energy, the environment and demographics coupled with pressures on welfare budgets and general budgetary constraints.

A total of 266 projects from 36 European countries and European institutions were submitted, which shows that working in partnership is a necessity for all levels of public administrations across Europe in order to contribute to and take the lead towards a better society.

This publication highlights the trends identified from the EPSA 2015 practice-front in order to share best practice elements with the readers – as a source of inspiration for their own change projects. Thus, this publication presents a first analysis and taster of the novel solutions applied by public administrations across Europe.

It is split into two parts: An EPSA 2015 Trends & Practices Report analysing the best practices and successful elements identified in the EPSA submissions, which are of interest to other public administrations looking for solutions on how to address current challenges. Common elements, enablers and barriers are pin-pointed during this analysis. The general findings and common trends across the two administrative categories are sketched out in the joint conclusions at the end of this report.

The second part of this publication contains the Best Practices Catalogue, which comprises the EPSA 2015 statistics and the edited executive summaries of the 64 best practices (9 nominees and 55 additional Best Practice Certificate recipients) with the contact details of the EPSA 2015 winners, nominees and best practice certificate recipients to allow the reader to directly contact the public sector innovators behind the rewarded projects and thus encourage joint learning and knowledge transfer.  

In conclusion, this publication contains inspirational and working solutions which are ready to be adapted to and replicated by the readers’ public sector institutions in their own administrative cultures and systems.


          Weathering the Storm: Creative EPSA Solutions in a Time of Crisis - by Julia Bosse, Michael Burnett, Alexander Heichlinger, Claude Rongione, Harrie Scholtens        

The economic storm faced by European public administrations continues unabated. Budget cuts and austerity measures coupled with unpleasant tax increases have been extensively applied, though they have not always delivered the expected results.

Difficult choices lie ahead for Europe’s public sector in order to stabilise public finances, while continuing to deliver the services needed more than ever by an increasing number of citizens as a result of the economic pressure. Trends over time which exacerbate such pressures are unlikely to be reversed in the medium term.

The EPSA 2013 edition has collected a rich harvest of 230 solutions from across all levels of public administration and from 26 European countries and EU institutions, which can all be proud of their achievements and also showcase how they are dealing with these challenging times.

This publication aims to sketch out the trends, ideas and solutions in the various creative public management and service reforms on the one hand, whilst pinpointing common elements or obstacles in their delivery – The Research Part. Key findings, among many others, include active strategies to promote economic growth, the ability to enhance social inclusion, the use of transparency as a means to promote better governance, or the smart deployment of ICT to boost trust in government and improve service delivery.

On the other hand, the best and top-ranked 47 practices (15 nominees and 32 additional best practice certificate recipients) are subsequently described, allowing the reader to not only get an idea of the innovation and drivers behind the cases, but also to directly contact the owners behind the applications in order to encourage the learning and transfer potential. These outstanding public achievements span sectors such as economic and urban development, sustainable development, justice and police, education and training, sports and youth, public health, social media, and human resources management. This part – The Catalogue – is supported by data and statistics on the applications (e.g. type, country, size, fully or partly EU co-financed).

In a nutshell, the EPSA 2013 book demonstrates – again! – how the public sector has tried to resolve the various urgent challenges linked to the current crisis, by combining creativity and sustainability, accompanied by an often needed passion in their solutions.


          The impact of demographic change and its challenges for the workforce in the European public sectors - by Danielle Bossaert in cooperation with Christoph Demmke and Timo Moilanen        

European public sectors are particularly affected by the demographic challenge and an ageing and shrinking workforce. According to OECD statistics, over 30% of public employees of central government in 13 countries will leave during the next 15 years. Moreover, the public sector has as compared to the private sector to rely on a much older workforce, who will have to work longer in future. Against this background, European governments need to react and re-think major elements of current HR and organisational management in the public sector. Particularly the skills in age management should be improved in order to also maintain in future a highly productive, competent and efficient public sector and to ensure that public employees stay longer ‘employable’, ‘healthy’, ‘fit for the job’ and ‘up to the task’. The survey suggests some solutions by investing more in three priority areas in the field of HRM.


          European Public Sector Award 2011- Project Catalogue - by Marga Pröhl & Alexander Heichlinger        

The catalogue is structured into three parts. In the first chapter, data and statistics on the applications are provided, i.e. an overview of the projects by countries, administrative level, and size of administration or sectorial area of the submitting institution. Subsequently, the EPSA multi-step selection and assessment methodology and process is decribed in detail. The third chapter illustrates all the good practices following a brief introduction to each of the three EPSA 2011 thematic areas - Smart Public Service Delivery in a Cold Economic Climate (Theme I), Opening Up the Public Sector Through Collaborative Governance (Theme II) and Going Green: Concrete Solutions from the Public Sector (Theme III) - and ordered by country and EPSA registration number. Each case description also provides the reader with contact details of the submitter and how to find more information about the project in order to facilitate the exchange of good practice and lessons learnt.


          European Public Sector Award 2009 - Project Catalogue - by Marga Pröhl & Alexander Heichlinger        

The catalogue is divided into two parts. In the first chapter, data and statistics on the applications are provided, i.e. an overview of the projects by countries, administrative level, and size of administration or sectorial area of the submitting institution. The subsequent chapter illustrates all the good practices following a brief introduction to each of the four EPSA 2009 thematic areas - Performance Improvement in Public Service Delivery (Theme I), Citizen Involvement (Theme II), New Forms of Partnership Working (Theme III) and Leadership and Management for Change (Theme IV) - and ordered by country and EPSA registration number. Each case description also provides the reader with contact details of the submitter and how to find more information about the project in order to facilitate the exchange of good practice and lessons learnt.


          Jadi Penjual Kuih Sambilan        

Salam Alaik
lama sungguh tak bersiaran
yelah
sekadar menulis blog buat catatan dan kenangan
dulu menulis sebab nak kejar ranking, statistic.
atau masuk contest atau kena buat review
sekarang malas je sebab keje dan komitment anak2
udah tu skrg plak niaga kuih muih plak
last 4 years niaga gak, niaga cake.
tapi memandangkan bukanlah ade strong customer.
maka berhentilah menjual cake
kuih muih ni baru - baru ni je
yelah, nak tambah duit lauk dan petrol
orang tak kaya harta macam hamba ni, kerjakan tulang 4 kerat ni je la


Image may contain: food
ni order semalam
tq kak fauzanah


Image may contain: food and indoor
angker kuih ni
baru 2minggu niaga dah dekat 5kg buat



Image may contain: food
kuih kasturi dan burger malaysia



Image may contain: food
karipap ni wajib la.


puding kastard jagung



          Venezuela is Socialism's Last Nail in the Coffin        

From a so-called “economic miracle” to a human rights disaster, Venezuela has followed in the footsteps of literally every single socialist or communist country ever with its country in complete collapse. Crime is on the rise, the people are starving, protests are going all throughout the country, and unconfirmed rumors are coming out that President Nicolas Maduro is considering leaving.

In the never ending desire to achieve an impossible utopia, Venezuela is living in a nightmare that may serve as the best evidence against government mismanagement.

To be blunt, the people are starving. Roughly 75 percent of the country lost 19 pounds in 2016. This actually coincides with reports that Venezuelans were looking for food in the trash.

It is not just food that Venezuelans seem to be running out of at the moment. The country is lacking medicine, toilet paper, and even goods for religious sacraments as well. All sorts of goods are disappearing from the country faster and faster.

Meanwhile, their economy is in complete shambles. At the start of the year, inflation had hit 800 percent while their GDP had shrunk by 19 percent. To make matters worse, 2016 marked its third year of recession.

Of course, the elite of the country have not seemed to notice the problems their citizens are facing. Accusations fly of the leaders of Venezuela living luxurious lifestyles despite the recession. Unsurprisingly, reports have the daughter of Venezuela’s last President Hugo Chavez at a networth of $4.2 billion.

So the big question is: why is Venezuela falling apart? The simplest answer is government mismanagement as it started taking over the economy. Under the watch of Socialists Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro, the socialist leadership in the country has greatly increased its influence in economic affairs, resulting in decreased investment, business failures, and scarcity.

Over the past decade and a half, the Venezuelan government has nationalized multiple industries, including oil, agriculture, finance, steel, electricity, and telecommunications. Unsurprisingly, this led to significant ruin in the various industries it controlled, especially oil. Case in point, the Chavez regime largely underfunded the investment necessary to bring about increased oil production.

Large portions of oil revenues were transferred to generous social programs but there was lackluster reinvestment to make sure that more oil was produced to keep revenue flowing. As a result, oil production starting dropping consistently after 2007 which saw a major decline in revenue (and helped lead to the debt that caused hyper inflation). Additionally, Chavez demanded more money from oil companies investing in the country and the ones that refused saw their assets seized. With such a clear lack of respect for human rights, it should come as no surprise that foreign investment has been on the decline recently in the country which is also hurting business and revenue.

To make matters worse, many workers were fired and replaced with government loyalists. In one case, a company that had never created an oil well was hired to create several since it had ties to the government. The lack of experienced workers unsurprisingly has also added to the decline of the oil industry that was a huge part of the government’s revenue.

Just about every industry the government has touched has fallen apart. Steel production was reduced by 70 percent after it was nationalized, food production has been on the decline while the government redistributed farmland for the production of food the land was not suited for, and the Venezuelan government is instituting blackouts to reduce consumption to reduce electricity use due to decreased supply. Overall, it seems Venezuela is in the process of running its economy into the ground.

Venezuela has also added newer regulations and laws to improve the economic situation of its country that had the opposite effect. Case in point, the minimum wage was increased recently by 50 percent despite the fact overall wages still decreased by 17 percent. Other reports have increased labor protections actually hurting business while price controls that were implemented to reduce profits and keep prices low also helped to reduce food productions which also helped cause the food crisis. With all this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the number of businesses in Venezuela has gone down from 800,000 in 1998 to 230,000 in 2016, a decline of 570,000.

It is important to remember though that none of this should even be looked at as being done as a love for the people from the state. As was noted by a former education minister, the goal of the people reforms is “‘not to take the people out of poverty so they become middle class and then turn into escuálidos’ (a derogatory term to denote opposition members).” Translation: it’s not for their benefit but to create a dependent class of supporters.

For more evidence of how the government does not care about its people, look no further than its human rights records. The Maduro government has been seizing power by stacking the courts with supportive justices and then met the protests against that with violent crackdowns on dissenters. Meanwhile, accusations of sham elections are now flying in the wake of an election referendum to give him the power to rewrite the country’s constitution. In the end, the increase in power has come to the detriment of the people backed by phony promises.

As is always the case, the promise of helping the people through government intervention completely falls apart. Just like with China and Russia, the result is always economic ruin with the well connected few reaping the benefits. Unfortunately, the US is not free from these mistakes as states like Connecticut or cities like Seattle implementing their own interventions in the economy that results in disaster. If the US wants to head down the path same economic path as Venezuela that leads to destruction and corruption, it will inevitably end there.


          Support the Prison Reform and Redemption Act, H.R. 3356        

On behalf of FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and encourage him or her to cosponsor the Prison Reform and Redemption Act, H.R. 3356, introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.). This bill would require the Attorney General to develop an offender risk and needs assessment system and incentivizes offenders to lower their risk of recidivism.

On a fiscal level, this bill simply makes sense. Right now, taxpayers are not getting a return on their investment. In 2005, the Bureau of Justice Statistics an office of the Department of Justice tracked over 400,000 offenders in over 30 states after their release from prison. The study found that within three years 67.8 percent reoffended and in five years 76.6 percent reoffended. This failure rate is unacceptable, and Congress must change the direction by utilizing evidenced-based practices to reduce recidivism.

Thankfully, the states – the laboratories of policy innovation – have shown that rehabilitative programming in state prisons reduces recidivism and enhances public safety. In 2007, for example, Texas began the first phase of its justice reinvestment initiative, using a data-driven approach to corrections to reduce recidivism. Crime in the Lone Star State is now at its lowest rate 1968. More than 30 states, including Georgia and South Carolina, have adopted similar justice reinvestment initiatives.

The Prison Reform and Redemption Act would require the Attorney General to develop a post-sentencing risk and needs assessment. All prisoners in the federal prison system will be assigned recidivism reduction programming. The Bureau of Prisons would be responsible for the implementation of the risk and needs assessments for each prisoner and development of recidivism reduction programming.

Each offender will be assessed for risk on an individual level to develop a comprehensive plan based on his or her need and probability of reoffending. Utilizing private public partnerships in this capacity would allow non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and private sector entities to build relationships and community for the most vulnerable citizens in our society. The bill would incentivize prisoners to reduce their risk of recidivism. For every 30 days of successfully completed recidivism reduction programming, prisoners will ten days of time credits. Prisoners can earn an additional five days, for a total of 15 days, after two successful risk assessment periods. Those prisoners who have are considered low or no risk of recidivism can earn an additional five days, for a total of 15, provided that their risk of recidivism doesn’t increase over two risk assessment periods.

Certain categories offenders – including violent offenders, sex offenders, and terrorists – would not be eligible to earn time credits.

The Prison Reform and Redemption Act would allow for great access to visitation and phone privileges, create a pilot program to address the heroin and opioid epidemic, and prohibit the use restraints of pregnant offenders unless the offender poses a serious threat. The bill would require the Bureau of Prisons to collect statistical and demographic information to be provided to Congress on an annual basis.

Congress has fallen behind the states on this important issue. While other policy changes – such as sentencing reforms and reentry reforms – are needed, this bill would bring a key component of state-level success to the federal prison system, offering prisoners an opportunity for restorative justice while enhancing public safety. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and encourage him or her to cosponsor the Prison Reform and Redemption Act, H.R. 3356.

Sincerely,

Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks


          La Habra first-half homebuying: Prices down; sales up        
In 2017’s first six months, the La Habra housing market looked mixed. CoreLogic statistics for the first half of 2017, compared with the same period a year earlier, show these trends for La Habra … 1. 58 homes sold this year vs. 55 a year ago. 2. That’s a sales gain of 5.5 percent vs. […]
          Measuring graphics performance        
If you want to measure the render time, it doesn't work very well with a standard OS timer function. The reason for this is that OpenGL will do some of the work in the background, which means your timer function can return a value close to zero. There is support in OpenGL 3.3 to request the actual render time, using queries. This is done in a couple of steps:
  1. Request OpenGL to begin the query.
  2. Do the Draw operation
  3. Request OpenGL to stop the query.
  4. Read out the result of the query.
The problem is that you obviously can't read the result until the drawing is done. And as already mentioned, the actual drawing may be done in the background and still not be complete when you ask for the result. That means that OpenGL will have to wait until the drawing is actually done, and then return the result. This can severely degrade the performance. It could be okay if you only do this during development, but it will screw up the timing of other functions, and be less helpful.

The result of a query is available until you start the next query on the same query ID. As long as the result isn't requested too early, the pipeline will not be disturbed. The trick I am using is to read out the result the frame after, instead of in the current frame. The draw back is that the result will be one frame old, which is not a problem for doing statistics. That is why, in the pseudo code below, I read out the result first, and then request a new query to be set up.

GLuint queries[3]; // The unique query id
GLuint queryResults[3]; // Save the time, in nanoseconds

void Init() {
    glGenQueries(3, queries);
}

The main loop is as follows:

bool firstFrame = true;
while(1) {
    if (!firstFrame)
        glGetQueryObjectuiv(queries[0], GL_QUERY_RESULT, &queryResults[0]);
    glBeginQuery(GL_TIME_ELAPSED, queries[0]);
    DrawTerrain();
    glEndQuery(GL_TIME_ELAPSED);

    if (!firstFrame)
        glGetQueryObjectuiv(queries[1], GL_QUERY_RESULT, &queryResults[1]);
    glBeginQuery(GL_TIME_ELAPSED, queries[1]);
    DrawTransparents();
    glEndQuery(GL_TIME_ELAPSED);

    if (!firstFrame)
        glGetQueryObjectuiv(queries[2], GL_QUERY_RESULT, &queryResults[2]);
    glBeginQuery(GL_TIME_ELAPSED, queries[2]);
    DrawMonsters();
    glEndQuery(GL_TIME_ELAPSED);

    printf("Terrain: %.2f ms, Transparent: %.2f ms, Monsters: %2.f ms\n",
        queryResult[0]*0.000001, queryResult[1]*0.000001, queryResult[2]*0.000001);
    SwapBuffers();
    firstFrame = false;
}

C++ Implementation

For a C++ class automating the measurement, see Ephenation TimeMeasure header file and implementation file.

AMD

If you have a graphics card from AMD, there is a tool available that will give very detailed timing reports: GPUPerfAPI.

Revision history

2012-06-13 Added reference to AMD tool.
2013-02-07 Added reference to class implementation.

          FBI Reports Continued Decline in Police Officers Killed        

On November 24, the FBI released a report on law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2013. Twenty-seven (27) officers were killed in "felonious acts," a 45% drop compared to 2012, when 49 officers were killed, and a 53% decline since 2004. Most (15) of the 27 officers killed were in the South, with Texas having the highest number of any state (6). Six officers were killed in the West, four in the Midwest, and only two in the Northeast. California had the second highest number, with 5. In 26 out of the 27 incidents, officers were killed by firearms. Forty-nine (49) other officers died as a result of accidents.

(Press Release, "FBI Releases 2013 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted," Federal Bureau of Investigation, November 24, 2014). See Studies and Deterrence.


          STUDIES: FBI Preliminary Crime Report for 2012        

The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently released the preliminary findings of its annual Uniform Crime Report for 2012. The final report will likely be published in October, but the initial statistics indicate the number of murders in the U.S. increased slightly by 1.5% from 2011. Three regions of the country showed an increase in murders, while one region declined. Murders in the Northeast decreased by 4.4%. The number of murders increased by 3.3% in the Midwest, 2.5% in the South, and 2.5% in the West. The entire Northeast has not carried out an execution since 2005 and accounts for less than 1% of the executions in the country since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. It consistently has the lowest murder rate for the 4 regions. The South, which regularly has the highest murder rate, has been responsible for 82% of the executions; the Midwest 12%; and the West 6%.

(“Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, January-December, 2012,” U.S. Dept. of Justice, June 2013; DPIC posted, Aug. 14, 2013).  See Deterrence and Murder Rates.


          Murders Drop in New Jersey Following Moratorium and Abolition of Death Penalty        

The number of murders in New Jersey declined 24% in the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period last year.  Murders declined in 2008, the year after the state abolished the death penalty, marking the first time since 1999 that New Jersey has seen a drop in murders for two consecutive years.  Murders dropped 11% in 2007, the year following a state-imposed moratorium on executions, which was instituted in 2006. Governor Jon Corzine, who signed the bill abolishing the death penalty, was encouraged by the statistics and attributed the decline to aggressive crime-fighting measures: "The release of these crime report statistics shows that we are winning important battles in the war against violent criminals and gangs," said the Governor. "Thanks to the efforts of Attorney General Milgram and the New Jersey law enforcement community, county task forces, police departments, and partner agencies, more than  4,200 offenders have been arrested for crimes including murder, assault with a firearm, armed robbery, and gun and drug trafficking. We know more work remains.  Even one act of violence against a New Jersey citizen is one too many."

For the first six months of 2009, the overall statewide homicide rate was down every month as compared to the same month in 2008.  The broader category of violent crime also decreased in the past two years.  New Jersey was the first state to legislatively abolish the death penalty since the 1960s.

(Press Release, Gov. Corzine and Attorney General Anne Milgram, Aug. 3, 2009; DPIC research).  See Deterrence and Recent Legislation.


          In the name of development        
Teaser: 
The indigenous community of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has been systematically alienated from their land by the colonial and post-colonial policies. A new book chronicles the change.
The forests and the tribal communities of the islands are being decimated. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Pankaj Sekhsaria’s recent book Islands in flux--The Andaman and Nicobar Story is a collection of around 20 years of his writings on the environmental and conservation concerns faced by the indigenous tribal communities of the region. Unlike his previous book, The last wave, a factual fiction adventure story dealing with love, longing and loss, this one is a collection of contemporary developments in the islands. The book is divided into seven parts and several chapters each dealing with the societal and ecological facets of the islands. Issues related to the environment, wildlife conservation and development policies that threaten the island’s indigenous communities have been chronicled by the author who is a long-time member of the NGO, Kalpavriksh.

Alienation of islanders

The book begins with the section, Setting the context, in which he writes about the history of the alienation of the island communities living there for over 40,000 years. The author takes a dig at the history writers of the modern democratic Indian state who have left gaping holes in their writings by not sudying the ancient indigenous communities--the Great Andamanese, the Onge, the Jarawa and the Sentinelese. It is here that the author mentions “if the real and complete history of the islands is ever written, the British would not be more than a page and India could only be a paragraph”.

The indigenous people have been systematically alienated from their resources by the British colonial policies and the post-colonial development-oriented policies of India. The Britishers set up a penal colony in the islands in 1858, the Japanese occupied the islands during the World War II, and during the post colonial period, thousands of settlers from mainland India were brought to the island. Though the islanders put up a fierce fight to defend their territories, the social fabric of the island communities has been violently torn apart and their populations decimated while the settlers outnumbered the original inhabitants. The region is witness to nation building exercises, hinduisation of ‘uncivilized junglees’ and even an attempt to rename the islands. The author calls this as an attempt to “reclaim what was never yours”. No effort has been made by way of scholarship or historical studies to take the islanders’ point of view.

Forestry is the chief source of revenue in cash in the islands but the system of forestry did not suit the region. The author quotes an official report by the Department of Environment, Government of India that argues that “the forestry system was leading to a preponderance of deciduous elements in the evergreen system that would eventually destroy the whole island ecosystem”. The carrying capacity of the islands has been long exceeded, the author says. Ill-conceived schemes like cattle rearing were introduced for a community that does not consume milk. Tourism is a concern in the islands which have been declared as ‘global biodiversity hotspot’.

The pristine forests and the people living in the Jarawa tribal reserve that covers half the island is under threat because of the ill conceived Andaman Trunk Road that separates the reserve land from the rest of the island. The Jarawas for whom the forests have been a home for ages have been reduced to begging around the Trunk Road that runs through the reserve. The road has been controversial due to the negative fallouts on the island’s ecology and the indigenous people. The Supreme Court had in 2002 passed an order to close it; the island administration chose to ignore it. Its closure was absolutely critical to protect the Jarawa community, the author says.

Islands turn colonies

The author chronicles the colonising of the islands in a chapter of the same name and discusses how the settlers look down upon the indigenous communities. Tension continues between the tribal communities especially the ancient tribal community of Jarawas and the settlers over land rights and there is a lack of political will to ease this even as the population of the Jarawas has been reduced to a few hundreds. “There are opinions that the Jarawas should be assimilated into the modern world, but it is clear that it is exactly this contact with the outside world that is rapidly pushing them towards the brink,” the author states.

In the chapter, A brief history of logging, Sekhsaria provides an account of the timber operations in the Andamans. He notes how as a part of India’s colonisation scheme, mainlanders were settled here. This was done to strengthen India’s claim over the islands. Incentives were offered to settlers by way of land and royalty free timber. Timber-based industry was promoted and liberal subsidies offered. Forests were exploited to benefit settlers who had little stake in the islands or its natural resources. Timber offered for millions decreased after the 2002 Supreme Court order. The order was in response to a petition by three NGOs to stop logging. The Supreme Court order that banned the cutting of naturally grown trees in the Andamans and Nicobar islands were welcomed by the environmental rights groups. But logging continued within the tribal reserve.

In the section, Environment, ecology and development, the author stresses the need for evolving sensible conservation policies. The author discusses the consequences of introducing exotic species into the island systems. This has led to irretrievable loss of native species and ecosystems. “The Andaman and Nicobar islands are unsurpassed in their botanical wealth, and the ethnomedical knowledge of the tribals who live here is astounding,” he says.

In the section, December 2004 and its aftermath, the author discusses the turmoil caused by the tsunami of December 26, 2004 which killed around 3500 people in the fragile Andaman and Nicobar islands, the worst hit area in India. The tectonic activity due to the third deadliest earthquake of the world in the last 100 years caused a significant shift in the islands’ geography with a permanent average uplift of four to six feet while parts of Nicobar islands went significantly under, with the southernmost tip, Indira point on Great Nicobar island going 15 ft down. Apart from dealing with how the tsunami destroyed the island, the section also highlights how the people picked up the pieces and started all over again.

Leave them alone

The tsunami waters inundated large areas of the islands causing damage to its coastal and marine ecology. In the aftermath of this turmoil, ecologists have suggested ‘no intervention’ and that ‘leaving areas alone should be the preferred management option’. A disturbing facet of the islands in recent times is its water scarcity. The islands have been facing severe water shortages even during the pre-tsunami period but this got worse after 2004. Fresh water sources got hit by the tsunami.

Talking about the faulty development planning, the author discusses how the former president late Abdul Kalam in 2005 in the aftermath of the tsunami announced a grandiose vision for the development of the Andamans and Nicobar islands. This included ecologically perilous components like deep sea fishing, exploitation of bamboo, value-added coconut products and tourism.

A central thread of Sekhsaria’s book has been the neglect and acculturation of the Jarawas, and their losing scuffle with the outsiders. The book presented in a journalistic manner handles the issue very sensitively and the author exhibits a keen understanding of the history of the indigenous people and its ecology.

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          How to Make Money Online Through Internet Marketing        
By Brian Kos

Internet Marketing is one of the tools made by many websites today to keep their websites keep a steady traffic. The income they make through successful marketing of their products and services rely so much on how much their websites are being visited. To make this possible, they employ various methods to advertise all over the web.

Of course, they have to use the widest tools to reach the most markets that they could advertise at, and they could not do it alone. They have to hire people to do the legwork for them. This is where affiliate marketing enters the picture.

Affiliate marketing works like task networking. Websites hire people who will post their banners and links for visitors to see. When visitors click this certain banner, they will be redirected to the advertisement site and the advertiser gets paid for that single click. This makes the advertiser and affiliate. Any web owner or blog owner can be an affiliate as long as the site has steady visitor statistics. Therefore, if you are in that league, you can definitely apply as an affiliate. This could make you earn by benefiting from the clicks that is made on your site.

If you are really intent on making money, all you have to do is keep your site traffic forthcoming, so as to earn more potential clicks. There are various tutorials to make the most out of Internet Marketing all around the net. These tutorials could help you enhance your Internet Marketing strategies and polish your own product's or services' marketing.



          Making Sense of MACRA        

In January 2015, the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) established new goals for Medicare to improve value while controlling costs. The Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) will help achieve these goals:

  • Goal 1: by the end of 2016, 30% of Medicare payments are tied to quality or value via alternative payment models (APMs), and 50% by the end of 2018.
  • Goal 2: by the end of 2016, 85% of Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) payments are tied to quality or value, and 90% by the end of 2018.

Why must we change Medicare reimbursement? As shown in Chart 1, based on DHHS reports, Medicare costs rose sharply from its enactment in the mid-1960s to today, both as a percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and as a percent of all national health expenditures (NHE). Currently, Medicare is estimated to account for roughly 4% of the GDP, and for over one in five health care dollars. There is also a need to improve the quality of health care services and delivery. Changing Medicare reimbursement is a way to better manage costs while enhancing care quality.

As discussed in the series of posts on bundled payments, traditional medical billing and payment is volume-based. In other words, the more hip replacements that surgeons perform, the more they can bill for. If the hip replacement procedures are more costly than necessary, the surgeons still get reimbursed. If the patient suffers complications following hip replacement surgery, the added days in the hospital and hospital readmissions are reimbursed. Providers are rewarded for doing more, but not for doing better.

Increasingly, Medicare and other payers are moving to value-based reimbursement systems that reward providers for improving the quality of care while controlling costs. MACRA changes the incentives for patient care to encourage providers, largely physicians, to become part of this value-based movement. MACRA also ends the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula used since 1997 for Medicare reimbursement to healthcare providers.

MIPS and APMs

MACRA establishes the Quality Payment Program (QPP) with two paths that move providers to value-based reimbursement:

  • The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
  • Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

Healthcare practitioners eligible for Medicare Part B reimbursement will participate in MIPS. For the first two years of MACRA, MIPS eligible clinicians include physicians, dentists, physician assistants and advance practice nurses such as nurse practitioners and certified registered nurse anesthetists. In following years, eligibility may be expanded to other practitioners such as physical or occupational therapists, nurse midwives, clinical social workers and audiologists. Hospitals and other facilities, clinicians with low patient volume or in their first year of Medicare Part B participation, and some clinicians in APMs are excluded from MIPS.

Under MIPs, the eligible clinician’s Medicare Part B reimbursement is adjusted based on a Composite Performance Score (CPS) that encompasses the categories of quality, resource use, clinical practice improvement activities and advancing care information. The scoring system is complex, and may also be adjusted for factors such as practices located in rural areas. The amount of the adjustment to Part B reimbursement may be positive or negative, beginning at ± 4% in 2019 and increasing to ± 9% by 2022. The adjustments are designed to be more reasonable and predictable than the earlier SGR annual adjustments. Exceptional performers may receive additional reimbursement in the adjustment. These payment adjustments and bonuses begin in 2019.

APMs include new financing initiatives that increase incentives for high value care, including bundled payment models and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Bundled payment models and ACOs compel providers across a health care episode to work together to deliver high quality care while controlling costs. Physicians, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, home health agencies and other healthcare providers share accountability for their budget as well as their patients, and are rewarded for high-value performance. QPP providers may not need to participate in MIPS if they are part of an advanced APM.

Nurses in many healthcare settings will see changes to improve coordination and services as a response to MACRA and other value-based reimbursement strategies. My book helps nurses understand fundamental concepts of health care economics and financing, including innovations that tie quality to payment. It is essential that nurses, at the front lines of health care delivery, learn about healthcare finance and its impact on their work and their institutions.

Susan J. Penner, RN, MN, MPA, DrPH, CNL . Author, Economics and Financial Management for Nurses and Nurse Leaders, 3rd  Edition, 2016, and adjunct faculty at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions.


          Debra Riegert receives the Eber Distinguished Service Award        

Debra RiegertOur very own Executive Acquisition Editor, Behavioral Science, Debra Riegert, has been recognized for her outstanding work by the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology. She was named as the 2016 Eber Distinguished Service Award recipient during last night's annual meeting, in honor of her nearly two decades of exemplary service to both her field and the Society. We could not be more proud of Debra and wish her continued success. Please join us in congratulating Debra on this prestigious award!

The Eber Distinguished Service Award was initiated by the Trustees in 2004 to recognize extraordinary service to the Society. The recipient is honored at the Annual Meeting and presented with an inscribed plaque. This is not an annual award, but is rather made by the Trustees, who receive nominations from the membership. This  Award was renamed in 2012 for Herbert W. Eber in recognition and gratitude for his longstanding service to the society. Past recipients of the Eber Distinguished Service Award are:

2014 Patrick E. Shrout: Citation: With Deep Appreciation from the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology for Years of Distinguished Service as Secretary-Treasurer and Editorial Advisory Board Chair.

2013 Ralph Hakstian (Editor of MBR from 1984 to 1985): Citation: With Deep Appreciation from the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology for Years of Distinguished Service as Editor, Multivariate Behavioral Research.

2013 James Steiger (Editor of MBR from 1986 to 1987): Citation: With Deep Appreciation from the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology for Years of Distinguished Service as Editor, Multivariate Behavioral Research.

2012 Roger E. Millsap (Editor of MBR from 1996 to 2005): Citation: With Deep Appreciation from the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology for Years of Distinguished Service as Editor, Multivariate Behavioral Research.

2012 Stanley A. Mulaik (Editor of MBR from 1988 to 1995): Citation: With Deep Appreciation from the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology for Years of Distinguished Service as Editor, Multivariate Behavioral Research.

2012 Joseph L. Rodgers (Editor of MBR from 2006 to 2011; Secretary-Treasurer from 2002 to 2006): Citation: With Deep Appreciation from the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology for Years of Distinguished Service as Secretary-Treasurer and Editor, Multivariate Behavioral Research.

2007 Lawrence Erlbaum. Citation: With Deep Appreciation for Years of Distinguished Service as Publisher of Multivariate Behavioral Research and of SMEP Monographs, and as Friend and Advisor to the Society.

2004 Herbert W. Eber. Citation: With Deep Appreciation from the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology for Years of Distinguished Service as Managing Editor, Multivariate Behavioral Research.

The Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology (SMEP) is a Section 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of multivariate statistical approaches in psychology. For many years, the organization has supported educational activities at a variety of levels of development, for undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals.

Have a psychology book idea that you would like to discuss with Debra Riegert? Contact our Psychology Editors!


          Statistik Ketahanan Pangan tahun 2011        

          IL NOSTRO TRADITORE TIPO        


“Qual è la cosa più atroce e tremenda che hai visto nella tua vita? Ovunque tu sia stato. A parte la canna dell’Uzi di un signore della droga puntata in faccia. I bambini con il ventre gonfio e le mani mozze che muoiono di stenti in Congo, che urlano disperati per la fame senza nemmeno la forza di piangere? I padri castrati con il cazzo cacciato in bocca e le orbite piene di mosche? Le donne con le baionette infilate nella fica?”
Luke non aveva mai prestato servizio in Congo, quindi suppose che Hector stesse descrivendo la sua esperienza personale.
“Noi abbiamo il nostro equivalente” osservò.
“Cioè, fammi qualche esempio.”
“Le grandi manovre del governo colombiano. Con l’aiuto degli americani, ovviamente. Villaggi incendiati. Abitanti stuprati in massa dalle bande, torturati, fatti a pezzi. Tutti massacrati eccetto l’unico superstite lasciato in vita per raccontarlo agli altri.”
“Già. Bé, ne abbiamo visto di cose in giro per il mondo” osservò Hector. “Non siamo stati a menarcelo.”
“No.”
“ E i flussi di denaro sporco, i profitti ricavati dalla sofferenza, abbiamo assistito anche a quello. Solo in Colombia, miliardi. L’hai visto con i tuoi occhi.  Lo sa Dio quanto valeva il tuo uomo.” Non aspettò la risposta. “Nel Congo, miliardi. In Afghanistan, miliardi. Cazzo, un ottavo dell’economia mondiale: in nero, nero come l’inferno. Noi lo sappiamo.”
“Sì, lo sappiamo.”
“Denaro di sangue. Ecco cos’è.”
“Sì.”
“Non importa dove. Può essere in una scatola sotto il letto di un signore della guerra in Somalia, come in una banca di Londra vicino alla vecchia zona portuale. Il colore non cambia. Rimane sempre denaro di sangue.”
“Immagino di sì.”
“Non c’è niente di affascinante, non ci sono scuse. I profitti dell’estorsione, dello spaccio di droga, dell’omicidio, dell’intimidazione, degli stupri di massa, della schiavitù: è denaro di sangue. Dimmi se sto esagerando.”
“Non stai esagerando.”
“Ci sono solo quattro modi per fermare tutto ciò. Primo: dai la caccia ai responsabili. Li prendi, li ammazzi o li sbatti dentro. Se ci riesci. Secondo dai la caccia al prodotto. Lo intercetti prima che arrivi sulle strade o nei mercati. Se ci riesci. Terzo: blocchi i profitti, mandi in rovina quei bastardi.”
Una pausa fastidiosa, mentre Hector sembrava riflettere su argomenti non alla portata di Luke. Stava pensando agli spacciatori di eroina che avevano ridotto il figlio a un avanzo di galera e a un tossico? O agli avvoltoi capitalisti?       
“E poi c’è il quarto modo” proseguì Hector. “Davvero orribile, il più sicuro, il più semplice, il più conveniente, il più comune, quello che crea meno difficoltà. Te ne fotti di quelli che sono stati ridotti alla fame, che sono stati stuprati, torturati, dei morti per droga. Al diavolo i costi umani. Il denaro non puzza, se ci appartiene ed è tanto. Soprattutto pensa in grande. Becchi i pesci piccoli ma lasci in giro gli squali. Un tizio ricicla un paio di milioni? E’ un volgare truffatore. Fai intervenire l’autorità, mettilo ai ferri. Ma se ricicla qualche miliardo? Bé allora la faccenda è diversa. I miliardi rientrano nelle statistiche.” Con gli occhi chiusi, immerso nei suoi pensieri, a Luke Hector per un attimo parve una maschera mortuaria. “Non devi per forza essere d’accordo con tutto questo, Lukie” disse gentilmente, ridestandosi dalle sue fantasticherie. “La porta è aperta. Considera la mia reputazione, a questo punto un sacco di gente se ne andrebbe.” (...)

(John le Carré IL NOSTRO TRADITORE TIPO mondadori, Milano 2010)

          çµ±è¨ˆå­¸æ•™æˆ‘çš„ 6 個人生體悟 Lesson Learned from Statistics        
我在 Facebook 上的朋友丙申最近遇到來自別人的中傷、誤解,感到有點難過。丙申是在大學教「統計學」的老師,我就班門弄斧,講講自己從「統計學」中體悟到的人生觀察做回應,只希望他看過後能釋懷、儘快回復成原來的丙申。

我專科唸的是建築工程科,沒有修過「統計學」。所以我第一次接觸「統計學」是在服役後進入補習班補二技時才學到的,當時只有第一項體悟(寫在後文)。但隨著年紀越來越大,從「統計學」中體悟的也越來越多。
Standard deviation diagram
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          AAA Boycott Vote Postmortem        
By now you have probably heard that the boycott vote failed by an incredibly narrow margin: In the end an astounding 51% of its 10,000 members participated. The resolution failed by exactly 39 votes: 2,423-2,384 (50.4%-49.6%)—a statistical dead heat. David Palumbo-Liu, Steven Salaita, Charlotte Silver, and Elizabeth Redden have all written excellent postmortems about the … Continue reading AAA Boycott Vote Postmortem
          Familie: 1,3 % mehr Schwangerschaftsabbrüche im 1. Quartal 2017!        
    Wiesbaden  – Im ersten Quartal 2017 wurden rund 26 600 Schwangerschaftsabbrüche in Deutschland gemeldet. Wie das Statistische Bundesamt weiter mitteilt, waren das 1,3 % mehr als im entsprechenden Vorjahreszeitraum. Knapp drei Viertel (72 weiter lesen
          Is Advanced Driver Training Worse than Useless?        
As the only engineer in history to graduate without taking a course in statistics, I may not be the right guy to apply the old joke about the three types of liars - liars, damned liars, and statisticians. I mean,...
          New Honorary Doctors appointed        

A Professor in Rehabilitation, a renowned Norwegian Landscape Architect and an American Professor of Statistics: Jan Lexell, Jenny B Osuldsen and Geoffrey Vining are Luleå University of Technology’s Honorary Doctors of 2017.


          2016 UPSC Examination Question Papers        
2016 UPSC Examination Question Papers
Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2016
Literature Subjects
Optional Subjects
Indian Languages (Compulsory)
General
General Studies
Indian Forest Service (Main) Exam. 2016
Combined Defence Services Examination (II), 2016
National Defence Academy & Naval Academy Examination (II) 2016
Engineering Services Examination , 2016
Conventional Papers
Objective Papers
General
Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2016
Combined Defence Services Examination - I, 2016
CAPF (AC) Examination 2016
Combined Geo-Scientist & Geologist Exam 2016
Indian Economic Service And Indian Statistical Service Exam 2016
Indian Statistical Service
Indian Economic Service
General
National Defence Academy & Naval Academy Exam (I), 2016

          Bangalore University Second Semester BCA Exams Question Papers        
Bangalore University Second Semester BCA Exams Question Papers

Question Papers 2015

II Sem Language Sanskrit Paper-II
II Sem Numerical & Statistical Methods
II Sem Language Kannada-II
II Sem Language English-II
II Sem Database Management System
II Sem Data Structures

Question Papers (2014)

II Sem Object Oriented Programming Using C++
II Sem Database Management System
II Sem English
II Sem Kannada
II Sem Mathematics

Question Papers (2010-2013)

Additional English Jun2010
BCA 2nd sem 2009
BCA II sem 2009
Business communication Per devmt Dec09
Computer Science(Mathematics) Jun 2010
Computer Science(Num & Statistical ) Jun 2010
Computer Science Database Mng Systs Jun 2010
Data structure using C Dec 09
DBMS 2011
DBMS 2013
English 2013
English Jun 2010
Hindi 2013
Hindi Jun 2010
Human Rights Environmental Studies 2013
Kannada Jun 2010
Kannada 2013
Kannada May 2011 (Rep)
Mathematics 2011 (O.S)
Mathematics 2011
Mathematics 2013
Maths Dec 09
Numerical & Statistical Methods 2011
Numerical & Statistical Methods 2013
Obj Orie Program II Jun 2010
Sanskrit 2013
Sanskrit Jun 2010
System Analysis & Design 2013
System Analysis Design 2011


          Matematicamente incapace        

Sto ripassando le equazioni di secondo grado. Chiunque dica che le ripetizioni sono soldi facili, mente. Mi servono dei soldi in più per togliermi qualche sfizio, tipo il cibo, per cui ho pensato di tornare a dare ripetizioni di matematica, anche se non l'ho mai capita. Ho fatto due esami di analisi, due di fisica e uno di statistica, ma ancora non so la tabellina dell'otto. 8, 16, 24.. e poi inizio a contare con le dita. Ricordo ancora quando mia sorella mi aiutava con i compiti: mi chiedeva 3x2, io ci pensavo un paio d'ore e poi con voce flebile rispondevo “sei”, subito rilanciava con un 2x3.. ed io tentennavo nuovamente. In quel momento la vena sulla tempia le si gonfiava e iniziava ad urlare come se fosse posseduta dal demonio: E' LA STESSA COSAAAAAA!!!?!?! Sono traumi infantili che si portano dentro per tutta la vita.
Alla fine dell'esame di analisi1 il professore mi chiese una dimostrazione: “E' giusta. Non le chiedo delucidazione su quello che ha scritto perché si vede che non capisce niente di matematica, ma apprezzo l'impegno”. Chiunque si sarebbe sentito offeso da quelle parole, non io. Avevo imparato tutto a memoria, mi beccai 19 e passai l'esame al primo colpo. Lo considero ancora il mio più grande successo.

C'è un vecchio con cappello che mi sta facendo traffico. Sparato in mezzo alla strada a 30 km/h. Per ottimizzare tempo e risorse scrivo mentre guido, so che è pericoloso digitare sms mentre si è alla guida di un automezzo, ma io sto scrivendo un post. Son cose diverse. Ora sperono il tipo e cerco di gettarlo fuori strada. Nel fosso.


          SMARK Brand&Communities 2014: Analiza comunităților și cum pot acestea să ajute brandurile        
Comunitate, branduri şi iar comunitate, astea au fost laitmotivele celor două zile dedicate conferinÅ£ei Smark: Brand&Communities 2014. Cu cifre, statistici, insight-uri şi analiză de consumatori, a fost probabil una dintre cele mai aplicate conferinÅ£e la care am luat parte, cu un caracter puternic de how to. Lăsând deoparte şi momentele de ”pauză publicitară” din timpul […]
          A new culture of sexual harassment        
I've been following the public debate on whether or not the Middle Eastern and African immigrants have brought with them a new culture of sexual harassment, with some people saying that yes, they did, and other people saying that Finnish men have been harassing Finnish women since time immemorial.

Frankly, I don't see how those things are mutually exclusive.  Finnish men have been harassing women since time immemorial, and  Middle Eastern and African immigrants have brought with them a new culture of sexual harassment: more violent, more frequent and more persistent. My claim of "more violent" comes from the crime statistics; more frequent and more persistent are just personal experience.

Finnish men have, on a countless number of occasions, informed me that I have big tits (and appeared to expect me to treat this as new information), informed me that they have an erection (which can be a joyful occasion, but not when a total stranger tells you about it at the bus stop and expects you to do something about it other than laugh and point). When I was young they also offered me money for services (not programming of the web services, although I did try to offer that), but I got the impression that this is less common nowadays, even for young women. They have also occasionally tapped me on the butt in clubs, and on one memorable occasion one of them grabbed my breast and twisted it at Tietokilta's yearly party sometime in 1997 or thereabouts (I still regret not filing a police report; but the person in question apologized when he ran into me in a street 2 years later).

What Finnish have not usually done is following me around and demanding sex even after being told "no" numerous times. I also don't recall them demanding an explanation for a "no".  They haven't retorted to "I have a boyfriend" with "he doesn't have to know anything", or "how long have you been together? isn't two years enough?". They have certainly not continued on that with "but can you take me to your bed anyway?".

Of course none of that is new either. Middle Eastern and African immigrants were doing it in the 90s already.

None of this is meant as an excuse for the Finnish idiots who scream "tits!" like they've never seen any tits in real life before (even if they haven't), but it is more annoying to say "no" 20 times to the same guy than to say it once.

EDIT: Remembered another assault by a Finnish man. I was at a perfectly normal party talking to some perfectly normal people when a sociologist came from behind and bit me on the shoulder. The sociologist was encouraged to go home after that.


          Woningverkopen langs de Spaanse kust in de lift met 281 verkochte woningen per dag        
MADRID - In de zomer worden altijd meer woningen verkocht dan in de koudere wintermaanden en ook dit jaar is geen uitzondering. Volgens de laatste gegevens van het Spaanse Bureau voor de Statistiek ...
          What are the top Computer science programs for women?        
What are the top Computer Science Programs for Women?

How would one even answer the question?

Some people did a study based on National Center for Education Statistics and Payscale. The results are here.

1) While I believe the top X school listed are pretty good for women in computing I don't believe that (say) the Yth school is better than the (Y+1)th school for some values of X and all values of Y.

2) I appreciate that they put in the work for this.

3) Overall good news and bad news:

The number of female professionals in computer science has fallen by 35% since 1990

The number of women  finishing a comp sci degree has increased by 75% in the last five years.

4) Why do we care? If there are many talented people in group X who are being discouraged from going into field Y, but society needs more people in field Y then YES we should do something about that. Also, if a certain group of people is shut out then a group-think might occur.

5) What to do? Organizations like Girls who code are good. The younger they start the bettter.

6) Is there a social stigma for women to go into computer science? I think the answer is yes. How can we break that stigma? Realize that the notion of a female lawyer or doctor at one time had a stigma but I don't think it does anymore. What did they do right? What are we doing wrong?

7) Personal note:

I have mentored 58 High School Students. 56 were male, 2 were female.

I have mentored 45 ugrad students. 33 were male, 12 were female.

I have supervised 17 Masters students. 15 were male, 2 were female

I have supervised 7 PhD students, 6 were male, 1 was female.

The HS students stats are the most startling (at least to me). I don't have much control on this one as HS students seek me out and they happen to mostly be male. Reading that over it sounds weak on my part.


          How to Combat Condensation        

Condensation occurs when warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface, causing water droplets to appear. Though for some, the concept of condensation may be confined to long forgotten science books and notebooks, for others, condensation poses as a daily problem. In fact, statistics say that condensation is among the most persistent problems […]

The post How to Combat Condensation appeared first on Interior Decorating Tips.


          Need something different? Start homeschooling!        
So, from what I’ve seen the statistics show that most people change from traditional schooling to homeschooling in the month of October and January. I’m sure we can all guess as to the timing of that… perhaps a bit disgruntled? I’ve had many people ask if it is even possible. Definitely! In any case, starting […]
          Biology: Assistant Professor of Biology - University of Richmond - Richmond, VA        
We seek a biologist who has expertise in analysis of big data, modeling, bioinformatics, genomics/transcriptomics, biostatistics, or other quantitative and/or...
From University of Richmond - Thu, 06 Jul 2017 23:17:18 GMT - View all Richmond, VA jobs
          Data Scientist/Quantitative Analyst, Engineering - Google - Mountain View, CA        
(e.g., as a statistician / data scientist / computational biologist / bioinformatician). 4 years of relevant work experience (e.g., as a statistician /...
From Google - Sat, 05 Aug 2017 09:55:57 GMT - View all Mountain View, CA jobs
          Comment on I HATE NIGGERS!!!!!!!!!!!! by dj2008        
LOL I love the fact that whitey is out-smarted by our yellow (Asian) and brown (Indian) brothers!!! And not one of these piss-ass 'white-power' honkeys admit this fact. Whites and Blacks are far below the intellectual curve (see statistics)
          Most prisons overcrowded says Prison Reform Trust        

Overcrowding and high reoffending rates are the norm in the prison system according to an analysis of recent statistics by the Prison Reform Trust.

Overcrowding and high reoffending rates are a fact of life in today’s prison system according to an analysis of recent prison population statistics by the Prison Reform Trust. Despite opening two new prisons this year with a capacity of 2,500 places, 59 per cent of prisons in England and Wales are operating at an overcrowded level.

Although the growth in the prison population has slowed down in recent months, prompting plans to close HMP Wellingborough, there are still 7,294 more people in the prison system than it is designed and built to hold. On 31 July 2012, there were 77 out of 131 establishments over the Prison Service’s Certified Normal Accommodation defined as “the good, decent standard of accommodation that the Service aspires to provide all prisoners”.

The most overcrowded prison in England and Wales, according to official figures, is HMP Kennet. Designed to hold 175 men, it now holds 337. In second place is Shrewsbury (built to hold 170 men and holding 326) and in third is Swansea (built for 240 and holding 435).

For people in prison themselves, overcrowding has a tangible impact. Nearly a quarter of people in prison are being held in overcrowded accommodation, either doubling up in cells designed for one occupant or being held three to a cell in cells designed for two people. Private prisons have held a higher percentage of their prisoners in overcrowded accommodation than public sector prisons every year for the 13 years to 2010/11.

Overcrowding makes it much harder for staff to work intensively with offenders on resettlement, says the Prison Reform Trust. Currently 47 per cent of adults reoffend within a year of leaving prison, rising to almost 57 per cent for those who had served a sentence of less than 12 months. Nearly 70 per cent of children aged 10 to 17 released from custody reoffend within a year.

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) itself has recently acknowledged that “imprisonment in and of itself does not reduce reoffending. If anything it slightly raises reconviction rates after release”. The NOMS consultation document goes on to state that “to reduce reoffending, as well as mitigating the negative effects of imprisonment […] prisons need to focus on four essential factors”, the first being the “provision of a legal, safe, decent and rehabilitative regime supported by appropriate staff behaviours.”

Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust said: “Building our way out of the overcrowding problem is not the answer. The prison population can be safely reduced by curbing inflation in sentencing, calling a halt to any unnecessary use of custodial remand and investing in effective community penalties.

"Court ordered community sentences are more effective, by eight percentage points, at reducing one-year proven reoffending rates than custodial sentences of less than 12 months for similar offences. Rather than falling back on short, ineffective spells behind bars, investment in more intensive community sentences and public health solutions would cut crime and save the taxpayer money."

[Ekk/4]


          Lettre ouverte à François Hollande, Président de la République mais Vincent Peillon, Ministre de l'Éducation Nationale peut y jeter un coup d'oeil aussi        

Cher monsieur,

Je me permets de vous adresser cette petite bafouille en tant que

  • nana qui a voté à gauche par idéologie (même si, putain, vous êtes bien conscients que vous êtes sacrément attendus au tournant, rapport à l'espoir et à la notion de "justice" (mot-clé de votre campagne) que vous avez su distiller ces derniers mois).
  • enseignante effarée par cette profonde dégradation de l'éducation nationale causée en grande partie par le précédent gouvernement et aussi par une vision de l'éducation de certains parents, complètement à côté de la plaque.
  • blogueuse qui ne sait pas manier la langue de bois (je ne voudrais pas crâner mais j'ai écrit un bouquin trash et malheureusement on ne peut plus véridique et lucide sur certains dysfonctionnements de notre belle institution) (''Chroniques d'une prof qui en saigne'' - Éditions Privé, Michel Lafon)

Je viens d'entendre Vincent Peillon, ministre de l'éducation nationale, sur France Inter annoncer que "tous ceux qui veulent participer à la refondation de l'école républicaine sont les bienvenus".

Et bien, me voici.


Vincent Peillon par franceinter




Vincent Peillon par franceinter


Normalement, j'aime bien France Inter mais là j'ai trouvé certaines questions un peu vagues voire inintéressantes... "quand avez-vous appris que vous étiez désigné ?", combiné à du blabla inutile sur de vraies ou fausses querelles internes, le divorce Hollande-Aubry (prendre la voix du Figaro)... Quatre minutes à ne pas parler d'éducation. Je sais bien qu'il faut une introduction. Mais "COMME MÊME" comme dirait Brenda-Gwendoline, 13 ans et demi, il serait temps de passer aux choses sérieuses car il reste... ah ouais... moins de six minutes d'interview.

Je vous parlerai essentiellement de l'enseignement au collège qui est celui que je maîtrise le mieux. Nul doute que parmi les - j'espère - nombreux commentaires, mes lecteurs, collègues et citoyens préoccupés par l'avenir des écoles maternelle, primaire et lycées, sauront vous indiquer les mesures hautement souhaitées afin d'insuffler une nouvelle énergie salvatrice.

Le manque de dialogue avec les principaux partenaires d'éducation (notamment et surtout les enseignants) fut l'un des écueils du précédent gouvernement... un ministre totalement déconnecté des réalités du terrain, uniquement intéressé par des chiffres, des statistiques et autres résultats transformant l'école en une entreprise rentable... des décisions prises sans une réelle concertation avec des professeurs confrontés aux problèmes envahissant les établissements scolaires. Bien évidemment, je ne vous apprends rien en vous disant que l'école ne produit rien. Elle est là pour développer connaissances, compétences, savoirs et savoirs-faire chez des enfants et des adolescents, le tout en instillant esprit critique, curiosité intellectuelle, envie de réussir... Il ne semble pas inutile de rappeler ces valeurs fondamentales de l'école, car celles-ci semblent s'être estompées pour laisser place aux notions de rendement et d'économie.

Dans cet entretien, Vincent Peillon a abordé succinctement :

  • l'abrogation du décret concernant l'évaluation des enseignants (trop choupi ♥) (et je vous conseille de cliquer ici pour lire ma vision de l'évaluation des enseignants)
  • les 2000 postes en plus d'encadrement dès la rentrée 2012 : auxiliaires de vie scolaire pour les élèves handicapés, assistants pédagogiques, assistants d'éducation, infirmiers/infirmières scolaires, assistants sociaux, conseillers d'orientation (trop choupi ♥)... et du personnel pour assurer la sécurité dans les bahuts difficiles (il va falloir m'expliquer plus précisément les tenants et aboutissants du concept. Je ne suis pas contre du tout mais encore faut-il savoir comment cela sera mis en place)
  • le retour des RASED (trop choupi ♥)
  • la création de postes pour alléger les classes et pour que les élèves ne se retrouvent pas sans prof de SVT pendant deux mois (trop choupi ♥)
  • l'allocation de rentrée scolaire +25% (trop choupi ♥)
  • le retour de la formation des futurs enseignants (trop choupi ♥)
  • le retour de la semaine de 5 jours en laissant le choix aux collectivités locales du mercredi ou du samedi (sachant que les deux ont leurs avantages et leurs inconvénients aka ouais c'est choupi d'avoir son samedi ET son dimanche... mais se lever 5 jours d'affilée très tôt le matin pour des enfants et des ados, c'est pas méga choupi)
  • l'apprentissage, voire le pré-apprentissage sous statut scolaire et non plus comme un contrat de travail lambda + revaloriser les filières pro. (trop choupi ♥)

Les trucs qui me semblent méga vitaux afin de redresser une structure branlante :

  • Alléger les effectifs des classes. Parce que 28 élèves en 6ème, c'est un peu cruel et criminel pour les enseignants ET pour les élèves. On parle d'individualiser le parcours de chaque élève... Méga choupi comme principe, méga logique... MAIS pour cela, il faut du temps. Et du temps, on n'en a pas lorsqu'on a 28 élèves tous plus différents les uns que les autres, avec des personnalités, des possibilités et des besoins différents. Qui dit création de postes, dit création de classes. C'est l'un des piliers qui permettra une réelle progression. 20 élèves maximum par classe. Et ouais. Faut savoir ce qu'on veut.
  • Rouvrir des classes adaptées. IME, ULIS, SEGPA... Il n'y a pas assez de places en IME, alors on parque (oui PARQUER, il n'y a pas d'autre mot) les gamins en SEGPA. Du coup, les élèves relevant de SEGPA n'ont plus de places et se retrouvent dans des classes-types où ils galèrent et où il est difficile de les aider à cause des effectifs trop lourds et du manque d'AVS (Auxilaire de Vie Scolaire) et crevette sur la paëlla => FORMER LES PROFS POUR ENSEIGNER À CE PUBLIC SI PARTICULIER et surtout ne recruter que des enseignants volontaires avec une prime supplémentaire car il s'agit d'un investissement émotionnel et nerveux énorme.
  • Afin de pallier le manque de profs remplaçants, pourquoi ne pas créer un statut spécifique avec un salaire plus élevé, de véritables remboursements de frais de déplacement pour des profs certifiés/agrégés volontaires qui se déplaceraient dans leur académie afin d'assurer des remplacements plus ou moins longs. Cela éviterait de devoir recruter des personne via "Le Bon Coin" ou Pôle Emploi qui ne sont absolument pas qualifiées, formées pour se retrouver devant des élèves, pas forcément dociles et assoiffés de connaissances.
  • Transformer certains "enseignements" en disciplines à part entière. Je pense à l'Histoire des Arts (et pourquoi ne pas en faire une option facultative au Brevet des collèges ?), au B2i, à la formation aux premiers secours... Il y a d'énooooormes incohérences... je pense à l'option Euro anglais qui ne compte pas pour le Brevet... je pense à l'Histoire des Arts qui est coefficient 2 tandis que les autres matières ne sont que coefficient 1... et quid de l'histoire-géographie qui ne compte pas pour le contrôle continu ??? L'Histoire des Arts est un concept intéressant qui demande un encadrement spécifique avec des enseignants qualifiés. Pour l'instant, il s'agit juste d'un vaste bordel qui appartient à tout le monde et à personne.
  • Lever un énorme tabou... les élèves mal-élevés dont l'éducation reçue à la maison n'est pas compatible avec les règles d'un établissement scolaire et par extension avec les règles de la société. Sur France Inter, Vincent Peillon a commis une maladresse rhétorique en désignant les enseignants comme "ceux qui éduquent nos enfants"... J'aurais préféré que l'on parle de "ceux qui INSTRUISENT" nos enfants. Dans mon collège, certains parents ont déjà maintes fois menacé certains enseignants de je cite : "si vous embêtez encore ma fille, la prochaine fois que je viens c'est pour vous mettre deux balles dans la tête" / "Moi, je ne viens qu'une fois pour parler. Après je casse tout et je vous défonce". Pour l'instant, les menaces sont restées en l'air même si l'an dernier, une collègue a failli se prendre le poing d'un père d'élève dans la tronche parce qu'elle avait osé disputer sa fille qui faisait un caprice en classe... Il y a un véritable malaise. Dans certaines zones (défavorisées, rurales, isolées...), le manque d'éducation, de repères, de règles de courtoisie est devenu le problème number one de l'école. Les élèves ne travaillent pas, se montrent insolents avec un sentiment d'impunité insupportable. Comment faire pour éduquer les parents ? Des cours de parentalité ? Il est nécessaire de repérer très tôt les élèves perturbateurs qui manquent cruellement de bases d'éducation parce que malheureusement, certains parents sont persuadés qu'avant l'âge de 4 ans, les enfants sont incapables d'être éduqués... J'ai déjà parlé de ce problème dans cet article et les commentaires qui en ont découlé, cliquez ici pour le (re)découvrir.

Vincent Peillon a également adroitement ajouté que les enseignants n'étaient pas des crevards, qu'ils souhaitaient tout d'abord que l'école redore son blason et que les élèves progressent et réussissent dans de bonnes conditions et que les augmentations de salaire n'étaient pas leur cheval de bataille principal.
Pas faux.
Néanmoins, avant de nous payer plus, il serait choupi de payer déjà ce qui nous est dû. Les frais de déplacement sont remboursés jusqu'à 6 à 8 mois en retard, certaines HSE effectuées ne sont pas payées faute de moyens, et surtout les heures supp' de septembre ne sont absolument pas payées, ce qui est quand même hallucinant, idem pour la prime de professeur principal qui n'est versée qu'à partir d'octobre (c'est bien connu qu'à la rentrée, le prof principal fait des sudokus au lieu de préparer l'accueil des élèves...). L'état a la réputation d'être le plus mauvais payeur... Il serait bon d'inverser un peu cette tendance.

Je compte sur vous pour ne pas tout faire foirer. Entourez-vous de profs, de conseillers qui sont sur le terrain et qui sauront vraiment vous aiguiller... Ne faites pas comme vos prédécesseurs qui ne se sont intéressés qu'aux profs obséquieux, carriéristes bons à rien mais prêts à tout...


(un prof carriériste ? c'est un oxymore, non ?!)


          Experiment in fear        

This sounds brilliant. A tv show based on exposing the mental influence of the tabloids Not just tabloids in general, with their z-list celebs and soap opera stars, but the most mind-sapping terror-inducing tabloid – the Daily Mail.

The film Supersize Me showed you are what you eat, but is it true that you are what you read?
New documentary The Daily Mail Diet aims to find out as it follows film maker Nick Angel giving up all TV, radio, print and online news sources for 28 days – except for the Daily Mail.

Mr Angel said: “It’s important to know what the Mail thinks, because it’s a lightning rod (or so it claims) to ‘Middle England’ – that ill-defined and slightly scary mass of people whose various incarnations include the ‘Moral Majority’ and ‘All Right Thinking People’.
“And in a sense, there’s a little bit of Daily Mail in all of us – who hasn’t felt their cheeks flush and blood boil when snapped by a speed camera or confronted with some maddening example of NHS bureaucracy?
“That’s what makes the Mail such a potent force – because while it’s loathsome, it’s also weirdly attuned to the dark heart of the British psyche.”

If you can get to see this programme, it sounds really worth watching.

By coincidence, it’s particularly relevant today. Following on from yesterday’s post here and Xanderg’s (of badnewsbible’s) excellent comments, the Daily Mail seems intent on lowering the bar below its even its own usual ant-limboing level.

The Tory leader is calling for the repeal of the Human Rights Act and the government is doing its best to pull the despotism rug from under the Tories by itself challenging the operation of the courts. Scenting success for its worldview, the Daily Mail has redoubled its attack, over the Chindamo case.

Here are three headlines from pages linking to today’s main Stephen Lawrence storyMail’s pages which carries the title ‘He’s no risk’: why jail boss backed Lawrence killer (I’m selflessly ploughing through this rubbish so you don’t have to. You can get the flavour of it from the headlines. But if you want to try an experimental diet of the Daily Mail, the link will take you to enough pages to undermine your will to live):
The quangocrats who let Chindamo stay (They are referring to the Immigration Appeals Tribunal, not previously known as liberal trailblazers.)
Chindamo’s Mafia gangster father awaiting trial for murder in Spain (Guilt by association, even though it seems the boy has barely seen his father since he was three.)
COMMENTARY: Has the law deprived Frances Lawrence of justice?

The Commentary refers to an editorial piece which tugs at the reader’s sympathy and emotions but signally fails to make any logical connection between sympathy for Frances Lawrence and their case for overriding EC law to deport Chindamo.

Why does justice for Frances Lawrence require that her husband’s killer doesn’t live in Britain? I know that Great Britain is a small island (compared to the land mass of Canada, say) but there are still about 65 million of us living here. The chance of accidentally bumping into him in Tesco’s is statistically pretty slim.

Just in case you think we are all certifiably mad in the UK, there’s a reasoned piece by Katie Ghose in the Guardian. This human rights hysteria threatens every one of us.

Once again we are in the grip of human rights hysteria. Variously blamed for allowing prisoners access to porn and preventing police forces from publishing photographs of suspects, the latest attack on the Human Rights Act relates to the decision not to deport Learco Chindamo, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of head-teacher Philip Lawrence in 1995.
Human rights have never been a passport to porn – nor were they an obstacle to the conviction or sentence of Chindamo, who is serving a minimum of 12 years for his brutal attack. But the truth takes a back seat when there are juicy headlines to be made out of human rights “lunacy”.


          Top 10 Best Beers of 2015        
Last year (2015 that is) was the statistically best year in beer for me. Believe it or not, I reviewed more beers in 2015 than any other year and the average grade was also the highest of the eight years I’ve been doing Chad’z Beer Reviews with a median rating of 7.24 (out of 10).
          Go言語にさらに入門するために係り受け解析器を書いた話        

今年からGo言語に入門していますが、もう少し複雑なものをものを書いてみたいと思ったので、係り受け解析器を書きました。その過程で工夫したこと、苦労したことをまとめます。作ったものはこちら。

一人で作っているプロジェクトですが、100行以下の細かめの修正毎にPull Requestを作っているので、どのような過程でやっているかが比較的分かりやすいと思います。

easy-first algorithmについて

  • 係り受け解析アルゴリズムの1つです
  • 最も自信のある(つまり簡単な)ところから係り受け関係を付けていくgreedyな方法です
  • コーパスには正解の係り受けは付与されていますが、簡単さの順序は当然分からないので、構造化パーセプトロンでそれを含めて学習します
    • 構造化パーセプロトンについては入門エントリを書いているので、興味がある方はどうぞ

なぜ係り受け解析器を書いてGo言語の入門をするのか

  • 今年の初めからGo言語に入門していた
  • おかげでAPI wrapper的なcliツールは作れるようになった
  • しかし、以下の経験をもっと積みたい
    • もっとCPUやメモリに負荷がかかる計算をやらせたい
      • Go言語でどの辺がボトルネックになりやすいのか知りたい
      • プロファイリングで地道に改善していく経験がしたい
    • もう少し複雑なデータ構造を扱いたい
    • goroutineやchannelについての知識を、本を読むだけではなく、実装しながら掴みたい
  • 係り受け解析器を作るのは(自分にとっては)よい選択
    • ドメイン知識があるので、係り受け解析器のこと自体はそれほど心配しなくてよい
      • clojureでも実装経験済み
      • 初めてのタスクでやるとタスク固有のことではまっているのか言語のことではまっているのかの切り分けが必要
    • 特に学習部分はあまりにナイーブな実装をするとそこそこ時間もかかるし、メモリも食う

学んだこと

Goroutineによる並列処理

Go言語の定石的なところ。sync.WaitGroupを使って並列に処理をする、channelを使ってCPU数に合わせた並列度にするといったところが学べました。元の関数にはほとんど手を入れずに並列化できているので、お手軽感が分かるかと思います。

文字列連結のパフォーマンス

最初は何も考えずにfmt.Sprintfで丁寧に文字列の特徴量を作っていましたが、案の定ボトルネックになりました。読みやすさも考えて妥協できるライン(ハードコーディング)で落ち着きました。

プロファイリングの取り方

文字列連結のパフォーマンス改善をしたほうがよさそうと決めたのも、プロファイリングの結果を見てからでした。Goは標準のツールセットがよくできていますが(gofmtなど)、プロファイリングも標準のpprofで十分でした。pprofの使い方については、以下のサイトを参考にしました。

プロファイラを取りたいコードに以下のコードを仕込みます。

defer profile.Start(profile.CPUProfile).Stop()

仕込んだバイナリを実行すると、cpu.pprofができあがります。

% go build
% ./go-easy-first ...
% go tool pprof go-easy-first /var/folders/pk/zk906vvd7rx7ls8g3sv3vs800000gn/T/profile498633669/cpu.pprof

私の場合はtop 20 -cum main.やlist main.を実行するとボトルネックになっている箇所が大まかに分かり、そこを修正すると速度が改善できました。最初は7分程度かかっていたものが2分程度まで縮んだので、まあまあのインパクトです。また、実行する関数を文字列で取りたい場所でreflectionを使っていて、パフォーマンスが若干気になったのですが、プロファイリングを取ることでそこはほぼ問題にならない程度の時間であることが分かってよかったです。

mapの辞書引きのパフォーマンス

同じくプロファイリングを取っていて少しずつ改善していった箇所です。文字列連結のパフォーマンスを改善した後も、内積計算(DotProd)で計算時間がかかっていることが分かりました。初期は内積計算をするための重みベクトルをmap[string]float64で保持していましたが、keyが文字列で引いてくるのは明らかに時間がかかります。そこで、keyをid化して辞書引きを高速にするように変更しました。また、Feature Hashingも使い、最大の次元数を決めることで重みベクトルも[]float64となり、使用するメモリも削減&高速になりました(最大の次元数が小さすぎるとhashが頻繁に衝突してしまいますが、100万次元程度確保しておけばこのタスクではほぼ精度は落ちずに済みます)。

外部のciサービスを使う

仕事ではcircleciやtravis-ciにお世話になっていますが(mackerel-agent関係)、個人のプロジェクトでは使ったことがなかったため導入してみました。CircleCIのようなバッチをREADME.mdに付けたかったというミーハー的な動機もあります。いくつか似たようなものがありましたが、今回は以下の3つを導入しました。

ずぼらな性格なので、一人でやっているとどんどん適当になってしまいがちですが、ciを入れると適度に秩序が保てるのでよいですね。

タスクランナーとしてMakefileを使う

これまで小規模なGo言語のアプリしか使っていなかったため、go runやgo buildで十分でした。しかし、後述するgo-bindata等をビルドの前に行ないたい等、色々やることが増えてくるとタスクランナーが欲しくなってきます。みんGoでも我等がid:SongmuさんがMakefileでやることをオススメしていたので、Makefileを導入することにしました。

はまったこと/困ったこと

パラメータファイルの読み書き

パラメータファイルはただのベクトル([]float64)なので、human readableなjsonである必要は特にありません。バイナリファイルに書いて、デコードのときに読み込ませるようにしようと思いましたが、イマイチbest practiceがよく分かりませんでした。試行錯誤をした結果、encoding/gobのEncoder/Decoderでやりすごしました。

この程度のことだったら、gopher的にはこの程度だったらencoding/binaryを使うのがよい?

パラメータファイルをバイナリに埋め込む

係り受け解析器を走らせるんだったら、バイナリを一個落としてくるとそれでOKな形になっているとかっこいいです。Goで書かれた形態素解析器のkagomeは実際そのようになっています。

みんGoでこういうときにはgo-bindataを使うべしとあったので、導入してみました。

しかし、ちょっと困りました。学習済みのパラメータファイルがすでにあれば普通にビルドできますが、そもそもビルドしないと学習ができないのでした。ひとまず空ディレクトリを置いとくことでビルドは通るようにしました。普通にgo-bindataを使うだけならそんなに困らないけど、機械学習のモデルもバイナリに組み込んで配布したいといった場合にはちょっと考えることが増えそうです。

副作用

ここは当てはまる人はそんなにいなさそう。前職ではClojure、現在はScalaを書いていることが多く、immutableなデータ構造を扱うことが多いのですが、Goは当然ながらそうではないので、副作用関連ではまりました。思っていなかったところが書き変わっていたり、あるいは変更できたと思っていたところが書き換えられていなかったり。immutableな場合は考えるスコープがかなり局所的ですが、mutableだと広くなりがちなので頭のスイッチに時間がかかりました。

まとめ

係り受け解析器をGo言語で書くことで学んだ様々なことについて紹介しました。慣れない言語は自分が慣れている言語と比べるとどうしても実装速度等は落ちてしまいがちですが、自分がなじんでいるドメインで実験すると新しい言語のこと自体に集中できて、なかなかよかったです。そろそろGo初心者を脱出したい…!

みんなのGo言語【現場で使える実践テクニック】

みんなのGo言語【現場で使える実践テクニック】


          ä¸å®šæœŸML&NLPå ±#2        

最近の機械学習&自然言語処理に関する情報をまとめるコーナーです。今回は医療品設計やセキュリティなど、自分があまり知らなかった分野での機械学習適用事例が多く、勉強になるものが多かったです。前回はこちら。

このエントリ忘れてるよというのがありましたら、たれこみフォームから教えてもらえるとうれしいです。

論文

  • [1612.03242] StackGAN: Text to Photo-realistic Image Synthesis with Stacked Generative Adversarial Networks
    • テキスト(キャプション)からの画像生成系のタスクでGAN(Generative Adversarial Networks)がよく使われているが、GANを多段にする(最初は荒い画像を作って、積んだやつで精密にする)ことでかなり精密な生成ができるようになったという論文。GANをあまり追っていないけれど、出てきている画像がぼやっとしていないのでかなりびびる
  • 統計的自然言語処理と情報理論
    • 統数研の持橋さんが情報理論研究会での招待講演で話された発表資料
    • 中野さんと一緒にやっておられる典型度の定量化の話は知らなかったので面白かった(論文)

ブログ/勉強会資料

ビジネス

  • Googleの自動運転車ユニット、Waymoとして独立―クライスラーと提携して事業展開も | TechCrunch Japan
    • 自動運転車の開発を断念という話が一瞬出ていたけど、飛ばし記事だった様子
  • 言葉に表れない相手の本音が分かる! 会話中の満足感を定量化するAI(人工知能)技術 : FUJITSU JOURNAL(富士通ジャーナル)
    • アクセントやイントネーションによってコールセンターでの会話の満足度を機械学習を使って特定
  • How we learn how you learn | Making Duolingo Blog
    • 語学学習アプリを作っているduolingo社が機械学習を使ってどのようにユーザーが学習すべき単語を出しているかという話(論文)
    • 単純に精度が上がったという話だけでなく、サービスにどのような影響があったか(学習が効率的になってユーザーがonline fome等を使ってくれるようになったなど)も書かれているので参考になる
    • 社内で元になった論文をすごく簡単に紹介したときの資料があったので貼っておきます

Duolingo.pptx from syou6162

学会/勉強会

NIPS2016

  • NIPS 2016参加報告 - Qiita
  • www.reddit.com/r/MachineLearning/comments/5hwqeb/project_all_code_implementations_for_nips_2016
    • NIPS2016で発表された論文の中でgithub等で実装が公開されているもの一覧。すでに20個以上ある様子
    • 実装やデータセットが公開されるとレビューに加点があったり、ということで公開される流れができつつある。再現性の観点からも望ましい

その他

データセット

  • GitHub - yahoojapan/YJCaptions
    • Yahooが画像の日本語のキャプションデータを公開(約12万件)。元になっている画像データはMS COCOはマイクロソフトが出しているもの
  • FMA: A Dataset For Music Analysis

  • これもMS COCOに対してアノテーションしているデータセットの1つだった


          Inspiring words from restaurant owner Keith Santangelo        
Keith Santangelo is the co-owner of Bourbon Street Bar & Grille in New York, NY.  We interviewed him for our upcoming book, Restaurant Owners Uncorked Part II, coming in March. Here said this when I asked him to share his general advice for people interested in owning an independent restaurant...

"If I could give people advice it would be that it seems a lot scarier than it is.  And it’s a risk.  But a lot of things come with risk.  This is something that people are really passionate about.  I love the mom-and-pop restaurants, I love independents.  Corporations are great too, but what really makes this industry special in my opinion is the individual owners.  It’s getting harder for people like that to operate.  But it is possible.  And I do believe the industry will see it through.  I believe people have a lot of fortitude.  To me, nothing will ever replace that independent restaurant that really nails it as far as an experience for people going out and having hospitality and dinner and celebrating things together.  If you really love those sort of things it can make it all worth it.  There are a lot of things that are scary and that are challenges.  But the one thing I’ll say to people is, 'It’s possible.  You can do it.  Get in there and work.  Learn as much as you can.'  If you find the right opportunity, it really can work.  A lot of those statistics of the failures include people that have really never worked in the restaurant industry before and maybe have no idea what they’re doing.  If you feel like you have a good idea of what you’re doing – I say go for it.  Follow the right advice and take the right precautions, but this is a great industry and it can use more creative, genuinely hospitable people to open more places.  I really believe that."

Lots more commentary like this in the book, as well as the back stories of all of the twenty-one owners we interviewed for it. In the mean time, if you like this type of content and haven't read the original Restaurant Owners Uncorked, it's here on Amazon.

The Schedulefly Crew
Wes, Tyler, Wil, Charles and Hank

          ä¸å®šæœŸML&NLPå ±#1        

先日、社内で定期的に行なわれているフロントエンド会にお邪魔してきました(podcastが配信されています)。jser.infoというサイトを参照しながら雑談していたのですが、最近のフロントエンドの動向を知るという目的にはこのサイトなかなかよさそうでした。

機械学習勉強会でもランチタイムに最近の話題を見ながら雑談しているのですが、ネタになるエントリ一覧とそれに対するコメントは社外に公開して別に問題ないなと思ったので、不定期報という形で出してみることにしました。自然言語処理も自分がカバーできる範囲限られているし、自然言語処理以外の機械学習の話はかなりカバーできないので、たれこみフォームも作りました。耳寄りな情報、お待ちしております:)

論文

ブログ/勉強会資料

ビジネス

学会/勉強会

Coling2016

今年は大阪で開催。

NIPS2016

NL研(第229回自然言語処理研究会)

(2) [NLC] ゲーミフィケーションを利用した効率的な対話ログ収集の試み
○叶内 晨・小町 守(首都大東京)

データが集まると学習する方法はいくらでも出てきているので、データをどうやって効率よく集めていくのかというところに興味がある。

(5) [NL] 雑談対話システムの話題遷移における自然性の自動評価
○豊嶋章宏(NAIST)・杉山弘晃(NTT)・吉野幸一郎・中村 哲(NAIST)

(20) [NL] 14:30 – 15:00
単語分散表現を用いた単語アライメントによる日英機械翻訳の自動評価尺度
○松尾潤樹・小町 守(首都大)・須藤克仁(NTT)

データ収集と合わせて解析系でないタスクの評価は今後ホットなタスクになると思ってます。

(15) [NL] 17:25 – 17:55
単語分かち書き用辞書生成システム NEologd の運用 — 文書分類を例にして —
○佐藤敏紀・橋本泰一(LINE)・奥村 学(東工大)

最近各地で使われることが多くなってきたNEologdの話もあった。

言語処理学会2017

チュートリアルとテーマセッション、ワークショップの内容も出ていました。

クラウドソーシング
馬場 雪乃 先生(京都大学)
ニューラル機械翻訳
中澤 敏明 先生 (JST)
Universal Dependencies
金山 博 先生(日本IBM東京基礎研究所)
田中 貴秋 先生(NTTコミュニケーション科学基礎研究所)
認知言語学
西村 義樹 先生(東京大学)

ニューラル機械翻訳とUniversal Dependenciesが特に気になっている。

IM飲み2016

その他


          About Jackie Robinson        

Who was Jackie Robinson?

 

Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was the first black Major League Baseball. Robinson broke the baseball color barrier when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues, (aside from the 1880s, before the MLB was organized) he is most known for bringing social justice to baseball, which had seperate leagues for blacks (the Negro leagues) and whites for six decades. His character and skills are what helped him challenge the traditional basis of segregation, which was prevalent in all areas of American Life, and was a catalyst to the Civil Rights Movement. Robinson was not just any other baseball player, he strived for success and achieved it, as he helped the Dodgers get to six World Series' and win it all in 1955. He was Rookie of the Year in 1947, MVP in 1949 and a six time All-Star from 1949-1954. He was then inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1962 followed by all of MLB retiring the Jackie Robinson Jersey: number 42, in 1997, an honor reserved solely to Robinson. 

Pre Baseball Life

Jackie was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, to a family of farmers during a Spanish flu and smallpox epidemic. He was the youngest of five children, after his brothers Edgar, Frank, Matthew, and Willa Mae. He was named "Roosevelt" as a middle name, in honor of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who died earier that month. The Robinson's moved to 121 Pepper Street in Pasadena, California after their father left them in 1920. Their mother worked various jobs to support them as they grew up in relative poverty even though Pasadena was considered an affluent place. They attended Washington Junior High School followed by Muir Tech High School. The Robinsons were superb athletes. Matthew was a silver medalist in the 1936 Olympics and he and Frank inspired Jackie to seriously pursue a career in sports. Jackie played on the Muir Tech football team as quarterback, basketball team as a guard, track team as a jumper, tennis team and baseball team as both a catcher and shortstop. In 1936, he won a Tennis Tournament and played in the Pomona baseball tournament all star team with fellow future Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Bob Lemon. 

After High School, Jackie went on to Pasadena Junior College where he continued his involvement in sports. He also was elected to the Lancers, a local organization responsible for helping patrol school activities. In 1938, Jackie joined the All-Southland Junior College baseball team and was selected as that years MVP. He also received honors for his outstanding community service, even though he sometimes acted against those around him who seemed racist. While playing football for PJC, Jackie broke his ankle. A few days before Jackie's 19th birthday he was arrested for vocally disputing the arrest of a black friend of his. He quickly earned a reputation for being one who won't shy away from beligerrance in the face of racism.

After graduating from PJC, Jackie's brother, Frank, was killed in a motorcycle accident which helped Jackie make a decision to move to L.A. where he could console Frank's family. Jackie decided to attend UCLA where he met is future wife, Rachel Isum, and won varsity letters in all the major sports. He won the 1940 NCAA Mens Outdoor Track and Field Championship in the Long Jump,jumping a whopping 24 Feet 10.5 Inches. Ironically, in that year, robinson batted .097 for the UCLA baseball squad. In 1941, he took a job with the NYA as an assistant athletic director, as it would have been impossible for him to get a job as a proffesional athlete due to the color barrier. Later that year he traveled to Hawaii where he had an opportunity to play for the racially mixed semi-pro Honolulu Bears' football team. After that season he would move back to L.A. to play for a local football team, not realizing that the US involvement in World War 2 would sidetrack him for a little while and end his short football career.

Robinson was drafted to the Army in 1942 and was stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas. Throughout his 3 plus years in the Army, he was always treated as a subordinate by the White controlled military. He still managed to become a second lieutenant in 1943, and joined the Black Panthers Tank Battallion, the first Black tank unit to see combat in WWII. However, jackie was never in combat. After getting engaged to his College sweetheart, Rachel, he was sidelined after injuring the same ankle he hurt back in high school. He would finish his army service as a coach for army athletes until 1944 when he was discharged. While in the Army, Robinson made close ties with boxer, Joe Louis, as they helped each other struggle in the white dominated Army.

In early 1945, after working some part time coaching jobs, Jackie received an offer from the Kansas City Monarchs to Play professional Baseball in the Negro Leagues. He signed a contract worth $400 a month as he played for the Monarchs for 1 Season. He played 47 games at shortstop batting .387. The Negro leagues were'nt for Jackie as he didn't like their unorganized style. Luckily he received a secret offer from the GM of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey, to come to NY and play for their Minor League team. They offered him $600 a month on the condition that he would be able to take abuse from other players for being the only black, but contain himself from fighting back. Jackie accepted, and immediately left the Monarchs for NYC where he would marry Rachel Isum, who was in NY studying to be a Nurse. Jackie would start with the Dodgers' AAA club in Daytona Beach, FL that next season.

Baseball Career

In 1946, Robinson arrived at Daytona Beach, Florida, for spring training with the Montreal Royals of the Class AAA International League (the designation of "AAA" for the highest level of minor league baseball was first used in the 1946 season). Robinson's presence was controversial in racially charged Florida. As he was not allowed to stay with his teammates at the team hotel, he lodged instead at the home of a local black politician. Since the Dodgers organization did not own a spring training facility (the Dodger-controlled spring training compound in Vero Beach known as "Dodgertown" did not open until spring 1948), scheduling was subject to the whim of area localities, several of which turned down any event involving Robinson or Johnny Wright, another black player whom Rickey had signed to the Dodgers' organization in January. In Sanford, Florida, the police chief threatened to cancel games if Robinson and Wright did not cease training activities there; as a result, Robinson was sent back to Daytona Beach. In Jacksonville, the stadium was padlocked shut without warning on game day, by order of the city's Parks and Public Property director. In DeLand, a scheduled day game was called off, ostensibly because of faulty electrical lighting.

After much lobbying of local officials by Rickey himself, the Royals were allowed to host a game involving Robinson in Daytona Beach. Robinson made his Royals debut at Daytona Beach's City Island Ballpark on March 17, 1946, in an exhibition game against the team's parent club, the Dodgers. Robinson thus simultaneously became the first black player to openly play for a minor league team and against a major league team since the de facto baseball color line had been implemented in the 1880s. Later in spring training, after some less-than-stellar performances, Robinson was shifted from shortstop to second base, allowing him to make shorter throws to first base. Robinson's performance soon rebounded. On April 18, 1946, Roosevelt Stadium hosted the Jersey City Giants' season opener against the Montreal Royals, marking the professional debut of the Royals' Jackie Robinson. In his five trips to the plate, Robinson had four hits, including a three-run home run. He also scored four runs, drove in three, and stole two bases in the Royals' 14–1 victory. Robinson proceeded to lead the International League that season with a .349 batting average and .985 fielding percentage, and he was named the league's Most Valuable Player. Although he often faced hostility while on road trips (the Royals were forced to cancel a Southern exhibition tour, for example), the Montreal fan base enthusiastically supported Robinson. Whether fans supported or opposed it, Robinson's presence on the field was a boon to attendance; more than one million people went to games involving Robinson in 1946, an amazing figure by International League standards. In the fall of 1946, following the baseball season, Robinson returned home to California and briefly played professional basketball for the short-lived Los Angeles Red Devils.

The following year, six days before the start of the 1947 season, the Dodgers called Robinson up to the major leagues. With Eddie Stanky entrenched at second base for the Dodgers, Robinson played his initial major league season as a first baseman. On April 15, 1947, Robinson made his major league debut at Ebbets Field before a crowd of 26,623 spectators, including more than 14,000 black patrons. Although he failed to get a base hit, the Dodgers won 5–3. Robinson became the first player since 1880 to openly break the major league baseball color line. Black fans began flocking to see the Dodgers when they came to town, abandoning their Negro league teams.

Robinson's promotion met a generally positive, although mixed, reception among newspapers and white major league players. However, racial tension existed in the Dodger clubhouse. Some Dodger players insinuated they would sit out rather than play alongside Robinson. The brewing mutiny ended when Dodgers management took a stand for Robinson. Manager Leo Durocher informed the team, "I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fuckin' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded."

Robinson was also derided by opposing teams. Some, notably the St. Louis Cardinals, threatened to strike if Robinson played. After the threat, National League President Ford Frick and Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler let it be known that any striking players would be suspended. Robinson nonetheless became the target of rough physical play by opponents (particularly the Cardinals). At one time, he received a seven-inch gash in his leg. On April 22, 1947, during a game between the Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies players called Robinson a "nigger" from their dugout and yelled that he should "go back to the cotton fields". Rickey later recalled that Phillies manager Ben Chapman "did more than anybody to unite the Dodgers. When he poured out that string of unconscionable abuse, he solidified and united thirty men."

Robinson received significant encouragement from several major league players. Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese once came to Robinson's defense with the famous line, "You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one of them." In 1948, Reese put his arm around Robinson in response to fans who shouted racial slurs at Robinson before a game in Cincinnati. A statue by sculptor William Behrends, unveiled at KeySpan Park on November 1, 2005, commemorates this event by representing Reese with his arm around Robinson. Jewish baseball star Hank Greenberg, who had to deal with racial epithets during his career, also encouraged Robinson. After colliding with Robinson at first base on one occasion, Greenberg whispered a few words into Robinson's ear, which Robinson later characterized as "words of encouragement." Greenberg had advised him that the best way to combat the slurs from the opposing players was to beat them on the field.

Robinson finished the season having played in 151 games for the Dodgers, with a batting average of .297, an on-base percentage of .383, and a .427 slugging percentage. He had 175 hits (scoring 125 runs) including 31 doubles, 5 triples, 12 home runs, driving in 48 runs for the year. Robinson led the league in sacrifice hits, with 28, and in stolen bases, with 29. His cumulative performance earned him the inaugural Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award (separate National and American League Rookie of the Year honors were not awarded until 1949).

Following Stanky's trade to the Boston Braves in March 1948, Robinson took over second base, where he logged a .980 fielding percentage that year (second in the National League at the position, fractionally behind Stanky). Robinson had a batting average of .296 and 22 stolen bases for the season. In a 12–7 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 29, 1948, he hit for the cycle—a home run, a triple, a double, and a single in the same game. The Dodgers briefly moved into first place in the National League in late August 1948, but they ultimately finished third as the Braves went on to win the league title and lose to the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

Racial pressure on Robinson eased in 1948 as a number of other black players entered the major leagues. Larry Doby (who broke the color barrier in the American League on July 5, 1947) and Satchel Paige played for the Cleveland Indians, and the Dodgers had three other black players besides Robinson. In February 1948, he signed a $12,500 contract (equal to $120,914 today) with the Dodgers; while a significant amount, this was less than Robinson made in the off-season from a vaudeville tour, where he answered pre-set baseball questions, and a speaking tour of the South. Between the tours, he underwent surgery on his right ankle. Because of his off-season activities, Robinson reported to training camp 30 pounds (14 kg) overweight. He lost the weight during training camp, but dieting left him weak at the plate.

In the spring of 1949, Robinson turned to Hall of Famer George Sisler, working as an advisor to the Dodgers, for batting help. At Sisler's suggestion, Robinson spent hours at a batting tee, learning to hit the ball to right field. Sisler taught Robinson to anticipate a fastball, on the theory that it is easier to subsequently adjust to a slower curveball. Robinson also noted that "Sisler showed me how to stop lunging, how to check my swing until the last fraction of a second". The tutelage helped Robinson raise his batting average from .296 in 1948 to .342 in 1949. In addition to his improved batting average, Robinson stole 37 bases that season, was second place in the league for both doubles and triples, and registered 124 runs batted in with 122 runs scored. For the performance Robinson earned the Most Valuable Player award for the National League. Baseball fans also voted Robinson as the starting second baseman for the 1949 All-Star Game—the first All-Star Game to include black players.

That year, a song about Robinson by Buddy Johnson, "Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?", reached number 13 on the charts; Count Basie recorded a famous version. Ultimately, the Dodgers won the National League pennant, but lost in five games to the New York Yankees in the 1949 World Series.

Summer 1949 brought an unwanted distraction for Robinson. In July, he was called to testify before the United States House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) concerning statements made that April by black athlete and actor Paul Robeson. Robinson was reluctant to testify, but he eventually agreed to do so, fearing it might negatively affect his career if he declined.

In 1950, Robinson led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman with 133. His salary that year was the highest any Dodger had been paid to that point: $35,000 ($338,091 in 2012 dollars). He finished the year with 99 runs scored, a .328 batting average, and 12 stolen bases. The year saw the release of a film biography of Robinson's life, The Jackie Robinson Story, in which Robinson played himself, and actress Ruby Dee played Rachael "Rae" (Isum) Robinson. The project had been previously delayed when the film's producers refused to accede to demands of two Hollywood studios that the movie include scenes of Robinson being tutored in baseball by a white man. The New York Times wrote that Robinson, "doing that rare thing of playing himself in the picture's leading role, displays a calm assurance and composure that might be envied by many a Hollywood star."

Robinson's Hollywood exploits, however, did not sit well with Dodgers co-owner Walter O'Malley, who referred to Robinson as "Rickey's prima donna". In late 1950, Rickey's contract as the Dodgers' team President expired. Weary of constant disagreements with O'Malley, and with no hope of being re-appointed as President of the Dodgers, Rickey cashed out his one-quarter financial interest in the team, leaving O'Malley in full control of the franchise. Rickey shortly thereafter became general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Robinson was disappointed at the turn of events and wrote a sympathetic letter to Rickey, whom he considered a father figure, stating, "Regardless of what happens to me in the future, it all can be placed on what you have done and, believe me, I appreciate it."

Before the 1951 season, O'Malley reportedly offered Robinson the job of manager of the Montreal Royals, effective at the end of Robinson's playing career. O'Malley was quoted in the Montreal Standard as saying, "Jackie told me that he would be both delighted and honored to tackle this managerial post"—although reports differed as to whether a position was ever formally offered.

During the 1951 season, Robinson led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman for the second year in a row, with 137. He also kept the Dodgers in contention for the 1951 pennant. During the last game of the season, in the 13th inning, he had a hit to tie the game, and then won the game with a home run in the 14th. This forced a playoff against the New York Giants, which the Dodgers lost.

Despite Robinson's regular-season heroics, the Dodgers lost the pennant on Bobby Thomson's famous home run, known as the Shot Heard 'Round the World, on October 3, 1951. Overcoming his dejection, Robinson dutifully observed Thomson's feet to ensure he touched all the bases. Dodgers sportscaster Vin Scully later noted that the incident showed "how much of a competitor Robinson was." He finished the season with 106 runs scored, a batting average of .335, and 25 stolen bases.

Robinson had what was an average year for him in 1952. He finished the year with 104 runs, a .308 batting average, and 24 stolen bases. He did, however, record a career-high on-base percentage of .436. The Dodgers improved on their performance from the year before, winning the National League pennant before losing the 1952 World Series to the New York Yankees in seven games. That year, on the television show Youth Wants to Know, Robinson challenged the Yankees' general manager, George Weiss, on the racial record of his team, which had yet to sign a black player. Sportswriter Dick Young, whom Robinson had described as a "bigot", said, "If there was one flaw in Jackie, it was the common one. He believed that everything unpleasant that happened to him happened because of his blackness." The 1952 season was the last year Robinson was an everyday starter at second base. Afterward, Robinson played variously at first, second, and third bases, shortstop, and in the outfield, with Jim Gilliam, another black player, taking over everyday second base duties. Robinson's interests began to shift toward the prospect of managing a major league team. He had hoped to gain experience by managing in the Puerto Rican Winter League, but according to the New York Post, Commissioner Happy Chandler denied the request.

In 1953, Robinson had 109 runs, a .329 batting average, and 17 steals, leading the Dodgers to another National League pennant (and another World Series loss to the Yankees, this time in six games). Robinson's continued success spawned a string of death threats. He was not dissuaded, however, from addressing racial issues publicly. That year, he served as editor for Our Sports magazine, a periodical focusing on Negro sports issues; contributions to the magazine included an article on golf course segregation by Robinson's old friend Joe Louis. Robinson also openly criticized segregated hotels and restaurants that served the Dodger organization; a number of these establishments integrated as a result, including the five-star Chase Park Hotel in St. Louis.

In 1954, Robinson had 62 runs, a .311 batting average, and 7 steals. His best day at the plate was on June 17, when he hit two home runs and two doubles. The following autumn, Robinson won his only championship when the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series. Although the team enjoyed ultimate success, 1955 was the worst year of Robinson's individual career. He hit .256 and stole only 12 bases. The Dodgers tried Robinson in the outfield and as a third baseman, both because of his diminishing abilities and because Gilliam was established at second base. Robinson, then 37 years old, missed 49 games and did not play in Game 7 of the World Series. Robinson missed the game because manager Walter Alston decided to play Gilliam at second and Don Hoak at third base. That season, the Dodgers' Don Newcombe became the first black major league pitcher to win twenty games in a year.

In 1956, Robinson had 61 runs, a .275 batting average, and 12 steals. By then, he had begun to exhibit the effects of diabetes, and to lose interest in the prospect of playing or managing professional baseball. After the season, Robinson was traded by the Dodgers to the arch-rival New York Giants for Dick Littlefield and $35,000 cash (equal to $299,192 today). The trade, however, was never completed; unbeknownst to the Dodgers, Robinson had already agreed with the president of Chock full o'Nuts to quit baseball and become an executive with the company. Since Robinson had sold exclusive rights to any retirement story to Look magazine two years previously,[165&91; his retirement decision was revealed through the magazine, instead of through the Dodgers organization.

Legacy

Robinson's major league debut brought an end to approximately sixty years of segregation in professional baseball, known as the baseball color line. After World War II, several other forces were also leading the country toward increased equality for blacks, including their accelerated migration of to the North, where their political clout grew, and President Harry Truman's desegregation of the military in 1948. Robinson's breaking of the baseball color line and his professional success symbolized these broader changes and demonstrated that the fight for equality was more than simply a political matter. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that he was "a legend and a symbol in his own time", and that he "challenged the dark skies of intolerance and frustration." According to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robinson's "efforts were a monumental step in the civil-rights revolution in America ... [His&91; accomplishments allowed black and white Americans to be more respectful and open to one another and more appreciative of everyone's abilities."

Beginning his major league career at the relatively advanced age of twenty-eight, he played only ten seasons, all of them for the Brooklyn Dodgers. During his career, the Dodgers played in six World Series, and Robinson himself played in six All-Star Games. In 1999, he was posthumously named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

Robinson's career is generally considered to mark the beginning of the post–"long ball" era in baseball, in which a reliance on raw power-hitting gave way to balanced offensive strategies that used footspeed to create runs through aggressive baserunning. Robinson exhibited the combination of hitting ability and speed which exemplified the new era. He scored more than 100 runs in six of his ten seasons (averaging more than 110 runs from 1947 to 1953), had a .311 career batting average, a .409 career on-base percentage, a .474 slugging percentage, and substantially more walks than strikeouts (740 to 291). Robinson was one of only two players during the span of 1947–56 to accumulate at least 125 steals while registering a slugging percentage over .425 (Minnie Miñoso was the other). He accumulated 197 stolen bases in total, including 19 steals of home. None of the latter were double steals (in which a player stealing home is assisted by a player stealing another base at the same time). Robinson has been referred to by author David Falkner as "the father of modern base-stealing."

"I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." —Robinson, on his legacy

 

Historical statistical analysis indicates Robinson was an outstanding fielder throughout his ten years in the major leagues and at virtually every position he played. After playing his rookie season at first base, Robinson spent most of his career as a second baseman. He led the league in fielding among second basemen in 1950 and 1951. Toward the end of his career, he played about 2,000 innings at third base and about 1,175 innings in the outfield, excelling at both.

Assessing himself, Robinson said, "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." Regarding Robinson's qualities on the field, Leo Durocher said, "Ya want a guy that comes to play. This guy didn't just come to play. He come to beat ya. He come to stuff the goddamn bat right up your ass."

Post-baseball life

Robinson as ABC sports announcer in 1965

Robinson retired from baseball on January 5, 1957. Later that year, after he complained of numerous physical ailments, his doctors diagnosed Robinson with diabetes, a disease that also affected his brothers. Although Robinson adopted an insulin injection regimen, the state of medicine at the time could not prevent continued deterioration of Robinson's physical condition from the disease.

In his first year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, Robinson encouraged voters to consider only his on-field qualifications, rather than his cultural impact on the game. He was elected on the first ballot, becoming the first black player inducted into the Cooperstown museum.

In 1965, Robinson served as an analyst for ABC's Major League Baseball Game of the Week telecasts, the first black person to do so. In 1966, Robinson was hired as general manager for the short-lived Brooklyn Dodgers of the Continental Football League. In 1972, he served as a part-time commentator on Montreal Expos telecasts.

On June 4, 1972, the Dodgers retired his uniform number, 42, alongside those of Roy Campanella (39) and Sandy Koufax (32). From 1957 to 1964, Robinson was the vice president for personnel at Chock full o'Nuts; he was the first black person to serve as vice president of a major American corporation. Robinson always considered his business career as advancing the cause of black people in commerce and industry. Robinson also chaired the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) million-dollar Freedom Fund Drive in 1957, and served on the organization's board until 1967. In 1964, he helped found, with Harlem businessman Dunbar McLaurin, Freedom National Bank—a black-owned and operated commercial bank based in Harlem. He also served as the bank's first Chairman of the Board. In 1970, Robinson established the Jackie Robinson Construction Company to build housing for low-income families.

Robinson was active in politics throughout his post-baseball life. He identified himself as a political independent although he held conservative opinions on several issues, including the Vietnam War (he once wrote Martin Luther King, Jr. to defend the Johnson Administration's military policy). After supporting Richard Nixon in his 1960 presidential race against John F. Kennedy, Robinson later praised Kennedy effusively for his stance on civil rights. Robinson was angered by conservative Republican opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He became one of six national directors for Nelson Rockefeller's unsuccessful campaign to be nominated as the Republican candidate for the 1964 presidential election. After the party nominated Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona instead, Robinson left the party's convention commenting that he now had "a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler's Germany". He later became special assistant for community affairs when Rockefeller was re-elected governor of New York in 1966. Switching his allegiance to the Democrats, he subsequently supported Hubert Humphrey against Nixon in 1968.

Protesting the major leagues' ongoing lack of minority managers and central office personnel, Robinson turned down an invitation to appear in an old-timers' game at Yankee Stadium in 1969. He made his final public appearance on October 15, 1972, throwing the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the World Series. He gratefully accepted a plaque honoring the twenty-fifth anniversary of his MLB debut, but also commented, "I'm going to be tremendously more pleased and more proud when I look at that third base coaching line one day and see a black face managing in baseball." This wish was fulfilled only after Robinson's death: following the 1974 season, the Cleveland Indians gave their managerial post to Frank Robinson (no relation), a Hall of Fame-bound player who would go on to manage three other teams. Despite the success of these two Robinsons and other black players, the number of African-American players in Major League Baseball has declined since the 1970s.

Family life and death

After Robinson's retirement from baseball, his wife, Rachel Robinson, pursued a career in academic nursing—she became an assistant professor at the Yale School of Nursing and director of nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. She also served on the board of the Freedom National Bank until it closed in 1990. She and Jackie had three children: Jackie Robinson Jr. (born November 18, 1946), Sharon Robinson (born January 13, 1950), and David Robinson (born May 14, 1952).

Robinson's eldest son, Jackie Robinson Jr., had emotional trouble during his childhood and entered special education at an early age. He enrolled in the Army in search of a disciplined environment, served in the Vietnam War, and was wounded in action on November 19, 1965. After his discharge, he struggled with drug problems. Robinson Jr. eventually completed the treatment program at Daytop Village in Seymour, Connecticut, and became a counselor at the institution. On June 17, 1971, at the age of 24, he was killed in an automobile accident. The experience with his son's drug addiction turned Robinson, Sr. into an avid anti-drug crusader toward the end of his life.

Robinson did not long outlive his son. Complications of heart disease and diabetes weakened Robinson and made him almost blind by middle age. On October 24, 1972, he died of a heart attack at home in Stamford, Connecticut, aged fifty-three. Robinson's funeral service on October 27, 1972, at New York City's Riverside Church attracted 2,500 admirers. Many of his former teammates and other famous black baseball players served as pallbearers, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson gave the eulogy. Tens of thousands of people lined the subsequent procession route to Robinson's interment site at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, where he is buried next to his son Jackie and mother-in-law Zellee Isum. Jackie Robinson Parkway also runs through the cemetery.

After Robinson's death, his widow founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation, of which she remains an officer as of 2009. On April 15, 2008, she announced that in 2010 the foundation will be opening a museum devoted to Jackie in Lower Manhattan. Robinson's daughter, Sharon, became a midwife, educator, director of educational programming for MLB, and the author of two books about her father. His youngest son, David, who has ten children, is a coffee grower and social activist in Tanzania.

Awards and recognition

According to a poll conducted in 1947, Robinson was the second most popular man in the country, behind Bing Crosby. In 1999, he was named by Time on its list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Also in 1999, he ranked number 44 on the Sporting News list of Baseball's 100 Greatest Players and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team as the top vote-getter among second basemen. Baseball writer Bill James, in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, ranked Robinson as the 32nd greatest player of all time strictly on the basis of his performance on the field, noting that he was one of the top players in the league throughout his career. Robinson was among the 25 charter members of UCLA’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984. In 2002, Molefi Kete Asante included Robinson on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. Robinson has also been honored by the United States Postal Service on three separate postage stamps, in 1982, 1999, and 2000.

The City of Pasadena has recognized Robinson in several ways. Brookside Park, situated next to the Rose Bowl, features a baseball diamond and stadium named Jackie Robinson Field. The city's Human Services Department operates the Jackie Robinson Center, a community outreach center that provides early diabetes detection and other services. In 1997, a $325,000 bronze sculpture (equal to $470,522 today) by artists Ralph Helmick, Stu Schecter, and John Outterbridge depicting oversized nine-foot busts of Robinson and his brother Mack was erected at Garfield Avenue, across from the main entrance of Pasadena City Hall; a granite footprint lists multiple donors to the commission project, which was organized by the Robinson Memorial Foundation and supported by members of the Robinson family.

Major League Baseball has honored Robinson many times since his death. In 1987, both the National and American League Rookie of the Year Awards were renamed the "Jackie Robinson Award" in honor of the first recipient (Robinson's Major League Rookie of the Year Award in 1947 encompassed both leagues). On April 15, 1997, Robinson's jersey number, 42, was retired throughout Major League Baseball, the first time any jersey number had been retired throughout one of the four major American sports leagues.

As an exception to the retired-number policy, MLB has recently begun honoring Robinson by allowing players to wear number 42 on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day. For the 60th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut, MLB invited players to wear the number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day in 2007. The gesture was originally the idea of outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr., who sought Rachel Robinson's permission to wear the number. After receiving her permission, Commissioner Bud Selig not only allowed Griffey to wear the number, but also extended an invitation to all major league teams to do the same. Ultimately, more than 200 players wore number 42, including the entire rosters of the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Pittsburgh Pirates. The tribute was continued in 2008, when, during games on April 15, all members of the Mets, Cardinals, Washington Nationals, and Tampa Bay Rays wore Robinson's number 42. On June 25, 2008, MLB installed a new plaque for Robinson at the Baseball Hall of Fame commemorating his off-the-field impact on the game as well as his playing statistics. In 2009, all uniformed personnel (players, managers, coaches, and umpires) wore number 42 on April 15.

At the November 2006 groundbreaking for a new ballpark for the New York Mets, Citi Field, it was announced that the main entrance, modeled on the one in Brooklyn's old Ebbets Field, would be called the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The rotunda was dedicated at the opening of Citi Field on April 16, 2009. It honors Robinson with large quotations spanning the inner curve of the facade and features a large freestanding statue of his number, 42, which has become an attraction in itself. Mets owner Fred Wilpon announced that, in conjunction with Citigroup and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Mets will create a Jackie Robinson Museum and Learning Center, located at the headquarters of the Jackie Robinson Foundation at One Hudson Square in lower Manhattan. The main purpose of the museum will be to fund scholarships for "young people who live by and embody Jackie's ideals."

Since 2004, the Aflac National High School Baseball Player of the Year has been presented the "Jackie Robinson Award".

Robinson has also been recognized outside of baseball. In December 1956, the NAACP recognized him with the Spingarn Medal, which it awards annually for the highest achievement by an African-American. President Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded Robinson the Presidential Medal of Freedom on March 26, 1984, and on March 2, 2005, President George W. Bush gave Robinson's widow the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress; Robinson was only the second baseball player to receive the award, after Roberto Clemente. On August 20, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, announced that Robinson was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts in Sacramento.

A number of buildings have been named in Robinson's honor. The UCLA Bruins baseball team plays in Jackie Robinson Stadium, which, because of the efforts of Jackie's brother Mack, features a memorial statue of Robinson by sculptor Richard H. Ellis. City Island Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida—the baseball field that became the Dodgers' de facto spring training site in 1947—was renamed Jackie Robinson Ballpark in 1989. A number of facilities at Pasadena City College (successor to PJC) are named in Robinson's honor, including Robinson Field, a football/soccer/track facility named jointly for Robinson and his brother Mack. The New York Public School system has named a middle school after Robinson, and Dorsey High School plays at a Los Angeles football stadium named after him. In 1976, his home in Brooklyn, the Jackie Robinson House, was declared a National Historic Landmark. Robinson also has an asteroid named after him, 4319 Jackierobinson. In 1997, the United States Mint issued a Jackie Robinson commemorative silver dollar, and five dollar gold coin. That same year, New York City renamed the Interboro Parkway in his honor.

In 2011, the U.S. placed a plaque at Robinson's Montreal home to honor the ending of segregation in baseball. The home is located at 8232 avenue de Gaspe south of rue de Guizot Est and near Jarry Park and close to Delorimier Stadium, where Robinson played for the Montreal Royals during 1946. In a letter read during the ceremony, Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow, wrote: "I remember Montreal and that house very well and have always had warm feeling for that great city. Before Jack and I moved to Montreal, we had just been through some very rough treatment in the racially biased South during spring training in Florida. In the end, Montreal was the perfect place for him to get his start. We never had a threatening or unpleasant experience there. The people were so welcoming and saw Jack as a player and as a man."

Career statistics

YearTeamGABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOAVGOBPSLGTBSHSFIBBHBPGDPE
1945 Kansas City 47 163 36 63 14 4 5 23 13       .387                  
1946 Montreal 124 444 113 155 25 8 3 66 40   92 27 .349                 10
1947 Brooklyn 151 590 125 175 31 5 12 48 29   74 36 .297 .383 .427 252 28     9 5 16
1948 Brooklyn 147 574 108 170 38 8 12 85 22   57 37 .296 .367 .453 260 8     7 7 15
1949 Brooklyn 156 593 122 203 38 12 16 124 37   86 27 .342 .432 .528 313 17     8 22 16
1950 Brooklyn 144 518 99 170 39 4 14 81 12   80 24 .328 .423 .500 259 10     5 11 11
1951 Brooklyn 153 548 106 185 33 7 19 88 25 8 79 27 .338 .429 .527 289 6     9 10 7
1952 Brooklyn 149 510 104 157 17 3 19 75 24 7 106 40 .308 .440 .465 237 6     14 16 20
1953 Brooklyn 136 484 109 159 34 7 12 95 17 4 74 30 .329 .425 .502 243 9     7 12 6
1954 Brooklyn 124 386 62 120 22 4 15 59 7 3 63 20 .311 .413 .505 195 5 4a   7 13 7
1955 Brooklyn 105 317 51 81 6 2 8 36 12 3 61 18 .256 .378 .363 115 6 3 5b 3 8 10
1956 Brooklyn 117 357 61 98 15 2 10 43 12 5 60 32 .275 .382 .412 147 9 2 2 3 9 9
TotalsBrooklyn13824877947151827354137734197 740291.311.409.47423101049772113107
 Career155354941096173634267161867248   .316    97   

a The sacrifice fly (SF) as a unique statistical category did not exist in Major League Baseball from 1940 through 1953. Any pre-1954 sacrifice flies by Robinson would be reflected in the sacrifice hit (SH) category.

b Likewise, the intentional walk (IBB) category only became a unique statistic beginning in 1955. Any intentional walks issued to Robinson before that year would be reflected in the walk (BB) category.

 


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          Ð¡ÐµÐ¼ÐµÑÑ‚Ñ€ 4. Глава 7. DHCP, NAT, IPv6        
DHCP

Механизмы предоставления IP адресов абонентам
- назначение вручную
- автоматическое назначение - DHCP сервер назначает абоненту один и тот же установленный адрес из пула адресов
- динамическое назначение - DHCP сервер выдает адреса в аренду динамически из пула имеющихся адресов на определенный период аренды или до момента, когда абонент не отдаст адрес сам с сообщением, что он ему больше не нужен.

Этапы аренды адресов:
- Discover - когда клиент подключается к сети, он еще не имеет IP адрес. Поэтому он отправляет сообщение DHCDISCOVER на широковещательные адреса уровней 2 и 3. В качестве адресов источника используются: L3 - 0.0.0.0, L2 - свой ARP адрес.
- Offer - когда сервер получает сообщение DHCDISCOVE, он выбирает доступный IP адрес и отправляет назад юникастовое сообщение DHCPOFFER, в котором предлагает клиенту использовать данный IP адрес. В качестве адреса назначения используется: L3 -предлагаемый адрес, L2 - ARP адрес клиента.
- Request - когда клиент получает сообщение DHCPOFFER, он отправляет назад сообщение DHCPREQUEST, в котором клиент просит в аренду предложенный IP адрес. Оно отправляется широковещательно, т.к. в сети может быть несколько DHCP серверов. Тогда сервер, получивший DHCPREQUEST с адресом из своего пула, дает его в аренду, а остальные сервера узнают, что в адресе, который предложили они, нет нужды.
Также клиент отправляет сообщение DHCPREQUEST для обновления аренды и проверки.
- Acknowledge - получив DHCPREQUEST, сервер проверяет информацию об аренде, создает новую запись с ARP адресом клиента в таблице арендованных адресов. После этого отправляет клиенту юникастовое сообщение DHCPACK с подтверждением аренды.

BOOTP - сетевой протокол, предшественник DHCP, используемый для автоматического получения клиентом IP-адреса. Это обычно происходит во время загрузки компьютера. BOOTP позволяет бездисковым рабочим станциям получать IP-адрес прежде, чем будет загружена полноценная операционная система. Между DHCP и BOOTP существуют следующие различия:
- BOOTP обеспечивает присвоение только предустановленных IP адресов, т.е. сначала внести в таблицу сервера IP адреса и ARP адреса клиентов. DHCP обеспечивает динамическое назначение IP адресов.
- BOOTP присваевает адреса без учета времени. DHCP - дает в аренду
- BOOTP позволяет назначить всего четыра параметра (адрес, маска, шлюз и DNS сервер). DHCP - более 20 параметров.

Настройка DHCP сервера
1. Исключаем адреса, которые не будут раздаваться
R1(config)# ip dhcp excluded-address 192.168.10.10 192.168.10.16 - диапазон  адресов
R1(config)# ip dhcp excluded-address 192.168.10.19 - один адрес
2. Создаем пул адресов для аренды
R1(config)# ip dhcp pool NAME
3. Задаем обязательные параметры для пула
R1(dhcp-config)# network network-number [mask | /prefix-length] - сеть, из которой будут раздаваться адреса
R1(dhcp-config)# default-router address [address2...address8] - шлюз по умолчанию
4. Можно задать необязательные параметры, например:
R1(dhcp-config)# dns-server address [address2...address8] - DNS сервер
R1(dhcp-config)# domain-name domain - домен
R1(dhcp-config)# lease {days [hours] [minutes] | infinite} - время аренды
R1(dhcp-config)# netbios-name-server address [address2...address8] - WINS сервер

Отключение службы DHCP
R1(config)# no service dhcp

Проверка работы службы DHCP
R1# show ip dhcp binding - таблица выданных адресов
R1# show ip dhcp server statistics - статистика сервера
R1# show ip dhcp pool - просмотр всех выделенных пулов и статистика по ним

DHCP Relay
Когда клиенты и DHCP сервер находятся в разных подсетях, широковещательные запросы через маршрутизатор не проходят. Для решения этой проблемы служит функция DHCP Relay. Она настраивается на порту маршрутизатора, к которому подключены клиенты.
R1(config)# interface f0/0
R1(config-if)# ip helper-address 192.168.10.12

Решение неисправностей DHCP
1. Проверить, есть ли конфликты IP адресов
R2# show ip dhcp conflict
2. Проверить физическое подключение
R2# show interface interface
3. Проверить сетевое подключение клиента с помощью настройки статического IP адреса
4. Проверить настройки порта коммутатора (STP, Portfast и др.)
5. Проверить, находятся ли клиент и сервер в одном VLAN.
6. Проверить, включена ли служба DHCP на сервере.\
7. Проверить настройки ip helper на маршрутизаторе.
8. Проверить ACL.
R1(config)# access-list 100 permit ip host 0.0.0.0 host 255.255.255.255
R1# debug ip packet detail 100

9. Проверить прием и отправку DHCP пакетов (запросов и ответов)
R1# debug ip dhcp server events

NAT
Частные IP адреса
10.0.0.0 - 10.255.255.255 (10.0.0.0/8)
172.16.0.0 - 172.31.255.255 (172.16.0.0/12)
192.168.0.0 - 192.168.255.255 (192.168.0.0/16)

Терминология:
Inside Local Address - адрес клиента в частной сети
Inside Global Address - публичный адрес клиента, который присваивается пакету на выходе из NAT маршрутизатора наружу.
Outside global address - публичный адрес хоста внешней сети, к которому отправляется пакет.
Outside local address - локальный адрес хоста внешней сети, к которому отправляется пакет. Часто совпадает с глобальным, а иногда преобразуется в частный адрес.

Типы трансляции адресов:
- статическая - трансляция конкретного внутреннего адреса в конкретный внешний, постоянно в один и тот же. Используется в основном для веб-серверов, которые должны быть видимы снаружи.
- динамическая - трансляция внутреннего адреса в любой свободный внешний адрес из пула внешних адресов.

NAT Overload или Port Address Translation (PAT) - преобразование большого количества частных IP адресов в один или несколько публичных с отслеживанием номера порта. Маршрутизатор, приняв пакет, перед преобразованием заностит в свою таблицу адрес и порт источника, адрес и порт после преобразования, преобразовывает частный адрес в публичный, отправляет наружу. По приему ответа он находит в таблице запись и производит обратное преобразование.
Если несколько клиентов одновременно отправляют пакет с одинаковым номером порта источника, маршрутизатор присваивает исходящему пакету первый доступный номер порта из группы, в которой находился порт источника - 0-511, 512-1023, 1024-65535, и отправляет пакет. Если доступных портов в группе не будет, NATмаршрутизатор изменит IP адрес исходящего пакета на следующий доступный и попытается выделить оригинальный исходящий порт снова. Этот процесс будет продолжаться, пока не закончаться доступные порты и IP адреса.

Настройка статического NAT
Router(config)#ip nat inside source static local-ip global-ip - определяем, какой частный адрес в какой публичный адрес будет транслироваться
Router(config)#interface type number - выбираем внутренний интерфейс
Router(config-if)#ip nat inside - указываем, что он будет внутренним в NAT
Router(config)#interface type number - выбираем внешний интерфейс
Router(config-if)#ip nat outside - указываем, что он будет внешним в NAT

Настройка динамического NAT
Router(config)#ip nat pool name start-ip end-ip {netmask netmask|prefix-length prefix-length} - определяем пул публичных IP адресов
Router(config)#access-list access-list-number permit source [source-wildcard] - создаем стандартный ACL, определяющий частные IP адреса, которые будут транслированться
Router(config)#ip nat inside source list access-list-number pool name - определяем адреса из ACL как внутренние локальные
Router(config)#interface type number
Router(config-if)#ip nat inside
- определяем внутренний локальный интерфейс
Router(config)#interface type number
Router(config-if)#ip nat outside
- определяем внешний локальный интерфейс

Настройка РАТ

1. Если провайдер выделил только один публичный адрес
Router(config)#access-list acl-number permit source [source-wildcard] - создаем стандартный ACL, определяющий частные IP адреса, которые будут транслироваться
Router(config)#ip nat inside source list acl-number interface interface  overload - определяем адреса из ACL как внутренние локальные, а также внешний интерфейс, через который будет осуществляться трансляция РАТ
Router(config)#interface type number
Router(config-if)#ip nat inside - определяем внутренний локальный интерфейс
Router(config)#interface type number
Router(config-if)#ip nat  outside - определяем внешний локальный интерфейс

2. Если провайдер выделил несколько публичных адресов
Router(config)#access-list acl-number permit source [source-wildcard] - создаем стандартный ACL, определяющий частные IP адреса, которые будут транслироваться
Router(config)#ip nat pool name start-ip end-ip {netmask netmask | prefix-length prefix-length} - определяем пул публичных IP адресов
Router {config}#ip nat inside source list acl-number  pool name overload - привязываем внутренние адреса к внешнему пулу
Router(config)#interface type number
Router(config-if)#ip nat inside - определяем внутренний локальный интерфейс
Router(config)#interface type number
Router(config-if)#ip nat  outside - определяем внешний локальный интерфейс

Проверка NAT
Router# show ip nat translations - список всех трансляций
Router# show ip nat translations verbose - более детальная информация о трансляциях
Router# show ip nat statistics - статистика трансляций
Перед тем, как проверять работу NAT, сначала надо очистить таблицу динамических трансляций. По умолчанию таблица динамических трансляций обновляется через 24 часа неактивности. Изметить время очистки можно командой: Router(config)# ip nat translation timeout timeout-seconds
Очистка вручную выполняется командами:
Router# clear ip nat translation * - очистка всех динамических трансляций
Router# clear ip nat translation inside global-ip local-ip [outside local-ip global-ip] - очистка конкретной записи, которая включает внутреннюю или внутреннюю и внешнюю трансляцию
Router# clear ip nat translation protocol inside global-ip global-port local-ip local-port [outside local-ip local-port global-ip global-port] - очистка расширенной записи трансляции, содержащей номера протоколов
Только динамические записи можно очистить.  Статические - невозможно.

Устранение неисправностей NAT
Шаг 1. Основываясь на конфигурации, определить, какую трансляцию хотели организовать.
Шаг 2. Используя команду Router# show ip nat translations, просмотреть таблицу существующих трансляций.
Шаг 3. Используя команды clear и debug, проверить, что NAT работает, как планировалось. Т.е. динамические записи в таблице были воссозданы после очистки.
Шаг 4. Просмотреть детальную информацию командой Router# debug ip nat, что бы увидеть, что происходит с пакетом, а также, знает ли маршрутизатор, куда отправлять пакет.

IPv6

Типы Unicast адресов:
Глобальные - соответствуют публичным адресам IPv4. Распределяются в диапазоне: 2000:: - 3FFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF. Содержат 1/8 часть всех адресов. Состоят из следующих частей:
- префикс глобальной маршрутизации (префикс реестра, префикс провайдера, префикс сайта) - 48 бит
- идентификатор подсети - 16 бит
- идентификатор интерфейса

Частные адреса:
Site-local адреса (локального сайта) - аналог чатных адресов в IPv4. Являются устаревшими адресами и не применяются. используют диапазон от FEC до FEF в начале адреса.
Link-local адреса (локальной связи) - используются только на одном физическом сегменте сети. Пакеты с этими адресами не перенаправляются. Используют диапазон FE8 - FEB в начале адреса.

Loopback адрес - используется для тестирования - 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1 или ::1.

Unspecified (неопределенный адрес) - 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0. Устройство имеет этот адрес пока еще не знает, какой адрес ему будет присвоен.

Методы назначения адресов:
Статически вручную - с помощью команды RouterX(config-if)#ipv6 address 2001:DB8:2222:7272::72/64. Т.е. обе части адреса (и префикс сети, и ID интерфейса) назначаются вручную.
Статически с использованием EUI-64 для назначения ID интерфейса - вручную задается только префикс сети, а ID интерфейса назначается с помощью EUI-64. EUI-64 берет MAC адрес интерфейса (48 бит), делит пополам и вставляет в середину FFFE. Используется команда RouterX(config-if)#ipv6 address 2001:DB8:2222:7272::/64 eui-64
Автоконфи
          Ð¡ÐºÐ¾Ð»ÑŒÐºÐ¾ шенгенских виз было выдано в 2016 году и какие страны останутся безвизовыми в 2017 году        

Статистика по шенгенским визам и отказам

Статистика по количеству выданных шенгенских виз и отказов за 2016 год в разных странах. Приведена статистика по визам, выданным консульствами Болгарии, Румынии и Хорватии.

Кроме того, приведён список стран, для въезда в которые в 2017 Ð³Ð¾Ð´Ñƒ визу получать не требуется.

Не забудьте, что максимальная разрешённая длительность пребывания в Шенгенской зоне определена как «90 дней в течение любого 180-дневного периода».

Для расчёта допустимого срока пребывания воспользуйтесь визовым калькулятором.


          We've got game: Follow the Vikings-Buffalo game with Access Vikings        
Play-by-play, updated statistics, a Live Blog and more are a click away to help you follow tonight's preseason opener between the Vikimgs and Buffalo Bills.
          [news] IT Spending Trends        
Tuesday, July 6, 2004
Dateline: China
 
A quick recap on IT spending trends from three recently published Smith Barney surveys.  The three reports are the May and June editions of their CIO Vendor Preference Survey and the 6 June issue of softwareWEEK.  Tom Berquist, my favorite i-banking analyst, was the lead for all three reports.  I have a backlog of blogs to write, so I'll use as many quotes as possible and add context where necessary.  (I'm mostly extracting from my smartphone bookmarks for these reports.  Warning:  I may have coded the May and June issues incorrectly, but the quotes are correct.)  NOTE:  Highlighted items (e.g., items in bold, like this sentence) are MY emphasis.  Items in red are my commentary.
 
Starting with the Survey editions, "(t)he strongest areas of spending appear to be software (apps, security, storage, and database) and network equipment/apps (Gigabit Ethernet, WLAN, VPNs)" and regarding software, "larger and more well known vendors continue to dominate the list in each category with vendors such as Microsoft, SAP, IBM, Veritas, Symantec and Computer Associates getting significantly more mentions in each of their groups than the remaining vendors did."  However, the report admits that their sample group might be biased.  Yes, vendors matter -- and so do vendor partnering strategies.  However, I'm a bit skeptical about CA and I don't particular care very much for Veritas or Symantec.  Not my part of the universe.
 
"Applications again stand out as a clear area of strength."  "Within applications, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Business Intelligence (BI) all showed extremely well ..."  Well, this is the first sign that a recovery may be in the making for SCM.  However, I'd emphasize BI and ERP, followed by CRM; don't count on a lot happening in the SCM space just yet.  Some other key surveys do NOT validate that SCM is in recovery.  "In terms of specific vendors, Microsoft, Symantec, Veritas, SAP, and Adobe were the top beneficiaries of CIOs intentions to increase spending."  The report continues that only SAP showed statistically significant results, both in ERP and SCM.  "Results were more mixed for best-of-breed vendors in this area, suggesting that horizontal applications vendors are having a tough time competing with the large ERP vendors even as vertically-focused vendors continue to have some measure of success on this front."  For the more adventurous SIs in China, SAP presents a lot of opportunities.  Tread carefully, though.  And "Adobe's enterprise strategy appears to be gaining momentum.  Adobe was a clear standout in content management ..."  "Survey results were also positive (though somewhat less so) for other leading content management players, notably Microsoft and IBM."  Another "win" for Microsoft.  Funny that none of the traditionally leading content management players were mentioned.  A take on Linux:  "Linux continues to garner mind share, but large enterprises remain the main adopter.  Interestingly, nearly 83% of our respondents stated that they were not currently moving any applications to Linux.  Of the 17% that said they were moving applications to Linux, only one company under $1.0 billion in revenue was making the transition to Linux confirming our views that Linux is primarily being used by large companies to shift Unix applications to Linux on Intel."
 
"Among CIOs who indicated a higher level of consulting spend, IBM was the clear winner, followed by Accenture as a distant second.  Unisys was also mentioned as a vendor being considered, but it was a distant third.  However, we note that Unisys being mentioned ahead of a pure-play consultant like BearingPoint (a low number of mentions, which included mentions of decreased spending) or EDS is positive, given that Unisys chooses to focus in 2 specific verticals, including one-public sector-that was not in the survey."  "Over two-thirds of CIOs indicated that they do not use IT outsourcers.  Most of the rest said they were unlikely to change the level of outsourcing spend.  IBM, ACS and CSC were the only vendors explicitly mentioned as likely to get more outsourcing business."  The "two-thirds" figure will likely change in favor of outsourcing.  This trend is fairly clear.  See a BCG report at http://tinyurl.com/2muy8 , although the report takes a relatively broad perspective.
 
From softwareWEEK, "(t)he CIOs were also very focused on rapid 'time to market' with purchases.  None were interested in starting projects that would take greater than 2 quarters to complete."  "This requirement was not a 'payback' requirement, but rather an implementation time frame requirement.  The CIOs did recognize that payback times could be longer, though the payback times on IT utility spending were much shorter than on applications or emerging area spending."
 
"In terms of spending, the CIOs all used a similar methodology for making decisions that essentially divides their IT spending into one of three categories: 1) sustained spending on their 'IT utility' (i.e., infrastructure such as network equipment, servers, storage, databases, etc.); 2) new project spending on applications (business intelligence, portals, CRM, etc.); and 3) investment spending on select emerging areas (grid/utility computing, identity management, collaboration, etc.)  It was pretty obvious that the CIOs recognized that business unit managers were more interested in spending on new applications/emerging areas than on the IT utility ..."  "(S)ome of the CIOs were experimenting with grid/utility computing initiatives to try to increase their utilization of storage/servers and reduce the amount of new equipment to be purchased.  In one example, a CIO showed their storage/server utilization around the world and many regions were in the 50% or worse bucket for average utilization.  Their goal was to use grid computing architectures and storage area networks (along with faster communication links) to better share the pool of resources."  Yes, this is it!!  Take this to heart!!  If you think grid and utility computing are Star Trek stuff, think again.
 
"In terms of new projects, the CIOs mentioned they were spending on business intelligence, portal/self-service applications, CRM, and collaboration.  Collaboration was a heated discussion, with all CIOs commenting that this was a big problem for them and there was no clear solution on the market.  While it wasn't completely clear to the audience what the CIOs were looking for in a collaboration solution, the elements that were described included: more intelligent email, corporate instant messaging, web conferencing, integrated voice over IP with instant messaging (so that a conversation could quickly shift from typing to talking), and collaborative document editing (spreadsheets, presentations, publications, etc.).  Within the business intelligence arena, business activity monitoring was discussed as was building of enterprise data warehouses/data marts.  The portal/self-service applications being built or deployed were primarily for customer and employee self-service (remote access to email, applications, and files was a big deal for all of the companies).  On the CRM front, the discussion from one CIO was around their need to increase revenues and manage channel conflict better."  [I'll be posting to this blog a bit more about collaboration opportunities over the next week.]
 
"While vendors were not discussed in any detail during the panel, the CIOs did say that they remain open to working with smaller vendors (public and private) as long as they have plenty of relevant references (in their industry, particularly with close competitors) and they offer a compelling value proposition versus larger vendors.  One CIO stated that they get called by 20 startups a week to sell products to them, but most of them cannot articulate the value proposition of their product.  Nonetheless, the CIO does take 5 meetings a month from startups because some of them are working on things that are interesting to the business."
 
Whew ...  Lots of good materials.  To reiterate, all highlighted items are my emphasis.  Bottom line:  The market is heating up.  Get your ISV relationships in place.  Pick your verticals (see the "Tidbit on Microsoft" which follows).  Pick your apps -- and the apps I like the best are content management and BI, although ERP is looking good, too.  Collaboration can be a major source of revenue if the SI can provide a truly effective solution.
 
Tidbits on Microsoft
 
A quick update on some happenings in the Redmond universe.  (See http://tinyurl.com/36xgu ; the article is titled, "Microsoft focuses on its enterprise-applications business".)  First, app areas that are of particular interest to MS include those for manufacturing and life sciences.  So, how about a MS build-to-their-stack strategy focused on either of these two verticals?  Second, MS is moving beyond purely horizontal offerings to very specific functionality.  Their Encore acquisition is an example of MS moving in this direction.  Finally, new releases of all four of Microsoft's ERP product lines are due for this year.  Not surprisingly, MBS marketing is up 20% from FY04.  Hmmm ... ERP spending intentions are strong and MS is a key player in this space -- with several updated offerings scheduled for release this year.  Another opportunity?
 
Tidbits on Infosys
 
Infosys formally enters the IT strategy consulting biz.  (See http://tinyurl.com/2xxlo .)  Yes, it was inevitable.  In April Infosys Consulting, Inc. was formed and, "(i)t's no secret that the winning model will be high-end business consulting combined with high-quality, low-cost technology delivery done offshore," according to Stephen Pratt, the head of Infosys' consulting unit.  The Infosys Consulting unit now has 150 employees in the States and plans to expand to 500 within three years.  Note to SIs in China:  You need more -- a lot more -- IT strategy types  And you need people in the States (at least on an "as needed" basis) in order to capture -- and serve -- new accounts.
 
Cheers,
 
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc.
Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China
http://www.itestrategies.com (current blog postings optimized for MSIE6.x)
http://tinyurl.com/2r3pa (access to blog content archives in China)
http://tinyurl.com/2azkh (current blog postings for viewing in other browsers and for access to blog content archives in the US & ROW)
http://tinyurl.com/2hg2e (AvantGo channel)
 
To automatically subscribe click on http://tinyurl.com/388yf .
 

          The Angel Campos Journal by the King Maker        

 

Angel Campos has a very small LOW zone. (proven)

Angel runs a K/BB ratio that rests in the 2.20-2.40 range during the last few seasons, but he's become a terror to pitchers during the first weeks of 2010. He was deceptive to me, because he had a 15-17 Over/Under record in 2009 (17-5 in 2007), but his numbers, aside from the high home run rate, were all pointing to an UNDER umpire (Strike Rates, K/BB, Pitcher matchups).

He had a 2.40 K/BB ratio in 2009! This is a massive UNDER indicator if the Strike Rate is high.

 

But the fact of the matter is that I RE-learned something about my statistical approach:

1. A High strike rate CAN mean that the pitchers are FORCED to throw more strikes. My traditional view was to assume a larger zone when I was beginning my umpire work (in 2005), but the contrary CAN exist, and Angel is a perfect example. It's just so rare that I got mechanical and robotic with my assessment.

2. Home Run Rate is an underrated number. This innocuous stat can be influenced by weather, hitters, bad pitchers, and just luck, but it is a deadly indicator if it agrees with strike rate, K/BB, and Total runs.

 

Angel Campos is one of the larger anomalies in strike zone analysis. He's going to be erratic on totals and he can range from that 17-5 OU (2008)  and he's just as likely to shift to a 15-17 (2009) again, but he's trending hard in the Over department and I was snakebitten because I FAILED to respect the HR rate. Angel is a hard nut to crack, but we have him in our sights now.

 

On May 2nd we played the Nationals and Marlins UNDER 8.5, and most of the statistical outliers supported our assessment, but I was blinded by a lazy look at Campos and we paid for it.

Johnson and Lannan were NOT getting the low zone in that game . Angel was completely consistant and both pitchers drew walks and then sniffed out the situation.

The result? Both pitchers began to move away from the low zone. Both pitchers lifted their pitches into the "hot" zones of the batter and, in that instance, the batters became dominant. The zone became a hitter's zone!

It was a humid day and the only thing that was needed was contact. The wager lost in the bottom of the 6th inning, but I rarely lose without reviewing the reason for the loss. We'll make money from this loss.

Verdict to watch?

*THE ACCURATE ASSESSMENT IS THAT CAMPOS CAN REMOVE THE LOW ZONE. This is the reason for the consistantly high HR rates and it's also the contributiing factor to that high strike rate.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


          The KINGMAKER'S Umpire Biographical Blogs: Terms and Conditions :)        

My original use of the term "King Maker" comes from a baseball handicapping system that I developed a few years ago. The King Maker System was an extremely popular subject at Pregame and it exploded with the help of my partner (The Game/JD). With his help, we gathered as many as 2,200-3,000 page views during a period when Pregame had a much smaller membership base. In the end, I can thank the King Maker System for my job at Pregame, so I thought I'd re-introduce certain segments to the archives.

 

Here's a clip from an article in 2008:

"Formerly known as Three2Won, The King Maker shifted gears to professional sports betting after retiring from a career in stock trading. On Pregame’s active forum community, The King Maker made a name for himself by developing a one-of-a-kind winning "Kingmaker system for betting Major League Baseball”, and was one of Pregame’s best baseball handicappers during the 2007 season.

By taking a 360-degree approach to utilizing information, The King Maker has created a system not only for baseball, but for basketball as well, hitting 70% of his plays during the month of February 2008, boosting him into March Madness."

It's clearly time to get back to the basics with my baseball experiments, so I'm diving back in......

 

The Umpire IS "The King Maker"

The form of capping that I use in baseball comes from the assumption that two players handle the ball on nearly every possession. If we keep this in mind, then we can leverage a ton of focus on the two men that affect almost every pitch (Pitcher/Catcher). The pitcher and catcher don't work in a vaccuum, so we have to look at the immediate secondary indicators (batter, fielders, Umpire).

Every secondary indicator has equal merit, and we have to weigh the batter and the fielders with a little more weight than an Umpire, but the hidden fact is that certain Umpires actually determine how a batter bats; how a pitcher pitches; and how a catcher calls a game. And this is why I call the "radical" Umpire a "King Maker". The King Maker determines whether an ACE will stink and he also has the power to transform a crappy pitcher into a god. In the days before computer-tracking, you could bank on the renegade umpires. Today is a little different, but I think it's important for you to know the tendencies of certain Umpires. BAIP, OPS, Range, and all of the other statistical models are VERY relevant, so please take all Umpire information as a small part of your capping package, ok?

What can we do with an Umpire database?

1. Find and record OVER and UNDER Umpires.

2. Locate great pitchers that struggle with certain Umpires.

3. Find the lousy pitchers that will get a boost from a King Maker.

4. Locate Homer Umps.

5. Locate potentially biased Umpires.

 

 

Odd-ball terms that Kevin Uses: (If I jot down terms that are not used in normal conversation, I'll post them here)

The Box: The StrikeZone

Hot Box Umpire: Usually a 12/6 K/BB Umpire that has a low home run rate and a massive grounder rate. This kind of "box" is usually built for contact.

"Shoe Box": Derryl Cousins' nickname. His strike zone shrinks to the size of a shoe box as the game progresses.

(more to come)

K/BB Ratio: Strikeout-to-walk ratio; calculated as:strikeouts divided by bases on balls.

Strike Rate: The percentage that an Umpire calls his strikes (60% is low and OVER/64% is high and UNDER)

 

 

This Blog will be tweaked and it will evovle over the next few years.......


          Ramazan Yazıları ve Patates Kroket        
Merhaba Misafirlerim, Dostlarım,
Yeni yazımız Wordpres bloğuma eklenmiştir. Sizleri oraya beklerim

Ramazan Hadisleri

Bu gün de size arşivimden bir tavsiyem olsun. Üstelik blog istatistiklerine göre en fazla görüntülenen tariflerimden biridir kendileri;  Patates Kroket
Patates Köftesi
Patates Köftesi
Ziyaretiniz İçin Teşekkür Ederim, Her Zaman Beklerim... Aysel...

          Death Records Search Resources        
Death records are instrumental in establishing our present-day vital statistics registration system. The statistical data that can be derived from them are of great value to public health and various other causes. Most states started centralizing death records in the fifties but they have been around at county and district level long before that although […]
          Best Way To Conduct Death Records Search        
Death records are instrumental in establishing our present-day vital statistics registration system. The statistical data that can be derived from them are of great value to public health and various other causes. Most states started centralizing Public Death Records in the fifties but they have been around at county and district level long before that […]
          The N-Word Presentation        
I developed this sample presentation for a course on "othering."  It is designed to both model how I'd like students to construct their own presentations throughout the semester and also to introduce them to some of the controversial issues that will arise as they read and discuss Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  The presentation brings up some important issues for teachers to consider--what are the consequences of using this term in the classroom or of avoiding the term?

I've posted the rough script below.  Follow along with the visual part of the presentation at: http://www.mixbook.com/photo-books/education/the-n-word-controversy-7764505.

Page 1
N-Word Controversy—more apt title might be N-Word Controversies
Used as my cover image a pic of Malcolm X, a man who gave a lot of thought to this word
According to a treatise that he wrote for the Organization of Afro-American Unity in his final years, decided that it must be rejected in all of its forms
So, going to turn it over to you
Will ask you to think about whether this word should ever be uttered in today’s world
If so, who has the right to say it?
When should it be said?
Should it be printed in classic literary texts?
Finally, how should we handle this issue as we encounter the term in our own classroom?
Disclaimer—I use term “n-word” when reading aloud, but I have printed the actual word in the text of the presentation

Page 2
Going to start by talking a little bit about the word's orgins, specifically how it came to be used in the US
N-word derived from the Latin “niger,” meaning “black,” according to an entry in the OED
More importantly, became derogatory in the US as African-Americans became quintessential others
Read quote
Remember our definition of othering—projecting negative traits onto another human or group of humans in order to imagine that you don’t possess those traits and then treating them as inferior to reinforce your own superiority
This is exactly how white colonists used n-word—to show that they were superior to another group, to other and oppress

Page 3
Many ask, why is this one word so incredibly offensive, maybe more so than any other in the English language?
Let’s follow the flow chart here
In American, at least, it all started with slavery
Here we have a poster, offering a monetary reward for the return of human property
Read poster
Evidence of people hunted like animals, forced to serve others in ways that we don’t want to even imagine, and regarded as little more than part of white people’s larger estate
Next, after abolition, freed slaves were forced to continue to serve white people, despite their legal “freedom”—as cooks, caregivers, maids, farm-hands
Disallowed opportunities for education, social advancement, political activism
Any attempts at uplift were met with violence
Were continued to be treated as others in order to reinforce superiority of white people
Here we have an example of segregation—a “colored” water fountain, where black people were forced to drink water separately from white people because white people could not bear the thought of putting their lips near a metal piece that black people might also put their touch with their mouths
Finally, in the present day, we only have to look at incarceration statistics to know that racism continues

There were more than five times as many black men in jail than white men in 2006 according to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics.
We know that this is partly due to the continued limited opportunities available to black men and partly due to the stricter penalties enacted on black men vs. white men
So, why is this word so offensive?
Aha! I know.
It has everything to do with othering
It is because this word represents how black men and women have been othered throughout American history, it has been used to reinforce the inferiority of black men and women for centuries
A clip from YouTube shows this legacy of oppression well--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdY04-xds3k: show segments 0-53, 1:24-2:05, 2:50-4:56

Page 4
The history of othering and oppression that my flow chart and the video show are very convincing in suggesting that the word should just never be spoken
On the other hand, some insist that we should say the word in appropriate contexts, in order to diffuse its power over us
Emily Bernard writes about a series of discussions that she had with her college-aged students about the word
Most refused to say it, but some agreed with her that it should be spoken
Quote
In The N-Word, a documentary produced by Andy Cohen, comedian Dick Gregory goes a step further, saying that we are actually allowing a white racist system to erase a history of oppression if we stop saying the word that represents that oppression.
Quote
Certainly, we don’t want our silence to amplify or erase a history of othering

Page 5
In the past few decades, black men and women have attempted to rehabilitate the n-word, or the different forms of it that I’ve printed on this pageWe know that lots of people today use it as a way of identifying fellowship or brotherhood among black people or even just close friends
OED even recognizes this positive form of the word’s usage
We see this in the media with figures like Laurence Fishborne, film director, who admits to using the term within close circles of friends on the documentary The N-Word
Nicki Minaj uses the term a total of 35 times in just one song, entitled “N.I.G.G.A.S.,” which laments the current oppression of black men in this country
And she actually references the problem that I talked about a few minutes ago—that many black men are given very little opportunity for social advancement and end up incarcerated in numbers that are not proportionate to the number of white men who are imprisoned for the same crimes
It is as if she is using this word—which some would say carries with it a history of oppression—to unite the black community in continuing “hold on” and “keep tryin,'” as the lyrics to the song say
Then we have Sean Combs and Ludacris who also use the word in their music as a way of indicating fellowship or closeness with other black men
Samuel L. Jackson says on The N-Word that he insists that all who work with him know upfront that he is an n-word
Using the word in slightly different way—to indicate that he is tough and not afraid to fight for what he believes in
Then we have Katt Williams who uses the term liberally in stand-up
Use of n-word by black people themselves started to gain national attention in the 1970s when Richard Pryor began to do it in his comedy routines
Used it in a positive way, as a way of showing affection between family members, brotherhood between men—much like all of these contemporary figures do
Ironically, after pretty much single-handedly managing to take the use of this word mainstream, Pryor renounced his use of the term in the late 80s.
According to Hilton Als, Pryor came to the conclusion that “to call one's brother a 'nigger'" is to describe one's own "wretchedness’”

Page 6
Now going to turn to the use of the word in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Ranked #14 on the American Library Association’s list of Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books for the decade of 2000-2009Reason cited is racism
Book actually uses word total of 219 times
Might have something to do with it
Because of the history of oppression and othering that comes with this word, it can make the book very difficult to read, even at the college level
Going to quote from an article that you are going to read for this class in a couple of weeks
This section of the article is written from the perspective of a non-traditional student—African-American woman, on her experience of reading Huck Finn
Had just returned to college
Excited to have opportunity to read this classic that she had never read
Read quote
Interesting that she refers to Malcolm X here, man who believed in procuring dignity of black men and women through eradication of n-word, in her lamentation of its use in this American classic
If it is this painful for a grown woman to read this word, imagine effects on a child

Page 7
This is why, in 2011, publisher NewSouth introduced edited versions of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Replaced "n-word" with "slave"
Here are some reasons that Professor Alan Gribben gave during NPR’s Talk of the Nation last January for agreeing to edit the two texts in this way
Says that this edition is for young children who would not get to read the book otherwise because of the ways that the book has been censored
Quote
Says that Twain might well have adapted to this change, since this author was particularly known for changing his opinions about matters throughout his life
Quote
And, finally, says that this edition does not change the central concept of the book, only makes it more tolerable for those sensitive to a particular word
Quote
It would appear that Professor Gribben should get a gold star, right?

Page 8
Well, except for the fact that the new edition has caused public and scholarly outrage
One commentator on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday compared the editing out of the n-word in Huck Finn to the covering of the bloody figures in Picasso’s “Guernica” with band-aids
Quote
Picasso painted “Guernica” to protest the bombing of Guernica, Spain by German and Italian warplanes during the Spanish Civil War
Meant to show suffering that war causes
To put band-aids over the gashes in this scene would not only deface this classic, evocative work of art, but it would also cover over a history of suffering that we should remember
Similarly, Simon is saying that to change "slave" for the n-word in Huck Finn is to tamper with a work of art and also to deny the oppression and othering that this word connotes
It is both silly and unwise

Page 9
Time is ticking
Now is when you decide what you believe and how you will handle this issue
We’ve looked at figures like Malcolm X and Richard Pryor, who insist that the use of this term is harmful
People like Nicki Minaj, who see it as a way of uniting black men and women and fighting oppression
Seen how it can be hurtful to people when read in classic texts like Huck Finn
Learned how others insist that we must keep it and talk about it in order to remember a history of oppression
What do you think?
Maybe take three comments on one small part of this issue, most important to us, how we should handle this in the classroom
Each extreme and in the middle
Clearly a provocative topic
My hope is that discussion of it can bring us together instead of divide us

Page 10
Works Cited


          Brünn-Statistik: Was gegen einen Márquez-Sieg spricht        
Das zehnte MotoGP-Rennwochenende 2017 findet auf dem Automotodrom Brünn statt. Vor dem «Grand Prix České republiky» trennen die Top-4 der MotoGP-WM nur zehn Punkte.
          Brünn-GP: Was Sie alles wissen müssen        
Der Motorrad-GP in Brünn hat Tradition. Nur in Assen/NL wurden seit 1949 mehr Grand Prix ausgetragen als in Südmähren. Wir haben etliche interessante statistische Einzelheiten ausgegraben.
          Ducati: Desmosedici als Topspeed-Königin von Brünn        
In Brünn war Ducati zuletzt 2007 mit Casey Stoner siegreich. Andrea Dovizioso und Jorge Lorenzo versuchen an diesem Wochenende, diesen Erfolg zu wiederholen. Lesen Sie hier die Statistik der Roten in Brünn.
          Japan’s PMDA Licenses Aptiv Solutions ADDPLAN® Software Suite for Clinical Trial Data Evaluation        

The Japan Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) has purchased a global license for the ADDPLAN platform. The license includes ADDPLAN DF, the first commercial tool for using the MCP-Mod methodology recently qualified this year by the European Medicines Agency as an efficient statistical methodology for Phase II dose finding studies.

(PRWeb February 12, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/02/prweb11576979.htm


          Fukushima hot particle update        
SUBHEAD: New study of hot particles shows full radiation risks from Fukushima meltdowns are not recorded.

By Arne Gundersen on 27 July 2017 for Fairwinds Associates -
(http://www.fairewinds.org/newsletter-archive//press-release-radioactively-hot-particles-in-japan)


Image above: Scientist gathers particle sample along curb in Japan for radioactive analysis. Photo by Mikeo Kawasaki. From (http://audioslides.elsevier.com/viewersmall.aspx?doi=10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.091&source=0).

Today, the scientific journal Science of the Total Environment (STOTEN) published a peer-reviewed article entitled: Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan by combination of gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and SEM/EDS analysis and implications in radiation risk assessment.

Co-authored by Dr. Marco Kaltofen, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education, the article details the analysis of radioactively hot particles collected in Japan following the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns.                          

Highlights

  • Radioactive particles from Fukushima are tracked via dusts, soils, and sediments.
  • Radioactive dust impacts are tracked in both Japan and the United States/Canada.
  • Atypically-radioactive particles from reactor cores are identified in house dusts.
  • Scanning electron microscopy with X-ray analysis is used for forensic examinations.

Based on 415 samples of radioactive dust from Japan, the USA, and Canada, the study identified a statistically meaningful number of samples that were considerably more radioactive than current radiation models anticipated. If ingested, these more radioactive particles increase the risk of suffering a future health problem.

“Measuring radioactive dust exposures can be like sitting by a fireplace,” Dr. Kaltofen said. “Near the fire you get a little warm, but once in a while the fire throws off a spark that can actually burn you.”
The same level of risk exists in Japan. While most people have an average level of risk, a few people get an extra spark from a hot particle.

According to Dr. Kaltofen, “The average radiation exposures we found in Japan matched-up nicely with other researchers.  We weren’t trying to see just somebody’s theoretical average result.  We looked at how people actually encounter radioactive dust in their real lives.

Combining microanalytical methods with traditional health physics models,” he added, “we found that some people were breathing or ingesting enough radioactive dust to have a real increase in their risk of suffering a future health problem.

This was especially true of children and younger people, who inhale or ingest proportionately more dust than adults.”

Fairewinds’ book Fukushima Dai-ichi: The Truth and the Way Forward was published in Japan by Shueisha Publishing, just prior to the one-year commemoration of the tsunami and meltdowns. “Our book,”

Mr. Gundersen said, “which is a step-by-step factual account of the reactor meltdowns, was a best seller in Japan and enabled us to build amazing relations with people actually living in Japan, who are the source of the samples we analyzed.

We measured things like house dusts, air filters, and even car floor mats.  Collecting such accurate data shows the importance of citizen science, crowd sourcing, and the necessity of open, public domain data for accurate scientific analysis.”

Fairewinds Energy Education founder Maggie Gundersen said, “We are very thankful to the scientists and citizen scientists in Japan, who sought our assistance in collecting and analyzing this data. We will continue to support ongoing scientific projects examining how people in Japan and throughout the world experience radioactive dust in their daily lives."

The complete peer reviewed report and project audio description by Dr. Kaltofen are available here at the Science of the Total Environment website.  

Interactive data and the supporting materials are available here at the Fairewinds Energy Education website.

Also see slide presentation by Dr. Marco Kaltofen (http://audioslides.elsevier.com/viewersmall.aspx?doi=10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.091&source=0


Video above: Arne Gundersen about hot particles. Tokyo soil samples would be considered nuclear waste in the USA. From (https://vimeo.com/38995781).

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: E-Fukushima bosses on trial 6/25/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco plan to dump tainted water 7/14/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Stop Fukushima as Olympic venue 5/10/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Continuing Fukushima danger 4/14/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Continuing Fukushima danger 4/14/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worse than ever 2/5/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation on West Coast 1/13/17
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima cleanup cost to double 12/9/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Tokyo damaged by nuclear pellet rain 9/24/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear Power and Climate Failure 8/24/16
Ea O Ka Aina: High radioactivity in Tokyo 8/22/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Nuclear Blinders 8/18/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima and Chernobyl 5/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation damages Japan 4/14/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima's Nuclear Nightmare 3/13/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fifth Fukushima Anniversary 3/11/16
Green Road Jounral: Balls filled with Uranium, Plutonium 2/19/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima impacts are ongoing 11/8/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Petroleum and Nuclear Coverups 10/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radiation Contamination 10/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Radioactive floods damage Japan 9/22/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fir trees damaged by Fukushima 8/30/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan restarts a nuclear plant 8/11/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima disaster will continue 7/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Too many fish in the sea? 6/22/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima prefecture uninhabitable 6/6/15
Ea O Ka Aina: In case you've forgotten Fukushima 5/27/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Radiation damages top predator bird 4/24/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukshima die-offs occurring 4/17/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Impact Update 4/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima - the end of atomic power 3/13/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Where is the Fukushima Data? 2/21/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fuku-Undo 2/4/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima MOX fuel crossed Pacific 2/4/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worst human disaster 1/26/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan to kill Pacific Ocean 1/23/15
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan's Environmental Catastrophe 8/25/14
ENE News: Nuclear fuel found 15 miles from Tokyo 8/10/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Earthday TPP Fukushima RIMPAC 4/22/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Daiichi hot particles 5/30/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Japanese radiation denial 5/12/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Entomb Fukushima Daiichi now 4/6/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Disaster 3 Years Old 4/3/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Tsunami, Fukushima and Kauai 3/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Japanese contamination 2/16/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Bill for Fukushima monitoring 2/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco under reporting of radiation 2/9/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Fallout in Alaska 1/25/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima engineer against nukes 1/17/14
Ea O Ka Aina: California to monitor ocean radiation 1/14/14
Ea O Ka Aina: Demystifying Fukushima Reactor #3 1/1/14
Ea O Ka Aina: US & Japan know criticality brewing 12/29/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Forever 12/17/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Brief radiation spike on Kauai 12/27/13
Ea O Ka Aina: USS Ronald Reagan & Fukushima 12/15/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Pacific Impact 12/11/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Berkeley and Fukushima health risks 12/10/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Madness engulfs Japan 12/4/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Edo Japan and Fukushima Recovery 11/30/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Reaction to Fukushima is Fascism 11/30/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Radioisotopes in the Northern Pacific 11/22/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima cleanup in critical phase 11/18/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima fuel removal to start 11/14/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima, What me worry? 11/13/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Remove other Fukushina fuel 10/29/13
Ea O Ka Aina: End to Japanese Nuclear Power? 10/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima & Poisoned Fish 10/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fuel Danger at Fukushima 9/27/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Reactor #4 Spent Fuel Pool 9/16/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima is Not Going Away 9/9/13
Ea O Ka Aina: X-Men like Ice Wall for Fukushima 9/3/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima House of Horrors 8/21/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Apocalypse 8/21/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radioactive Dust 8/20/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Cocooning Fukushima Daiichi 8/16/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima radiation coverup 8/12/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Leakage at Fukushima an emergency 8/5/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima burns on and on 7/26/13
Ea O Ka Aina: What the Fukashima? 7/24/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Spiking 7/15/13
Ea O Ka Aina: G20 Agenda Item #1 - Fix Fukushima 7/7/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima and hypothyroid in Hawaii 4/9/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan to release radioactive water 2/8/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima as Roshoman 1/14/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushia Radiation Report 10/24/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Fallout 9/14/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Unit 4 Danger 7/22/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima denial & extinction ethics 5/14/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima worse than Chernobyl 4/24/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima dangers continue 4/22/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima children condemned 3/8/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima fights chain reaction 2/7/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Tepco faking Fukushima fix 12/24/11
Ea O Ka Aina: The Non Battle for Fukushima 11/10/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Debris nears Midway 10/14/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Radiation Danger 7/10/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Abandoned 9/28/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Deadly Radiation at Fukushima 8/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima poisons Japanese food 7/25/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Black Rain in Japan 7/22/11
Ea O Ka Aina: UK PR downplays Fukushima 7/1/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima #2 & #3 meltdown 5/17/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima sustained chain reaction 5/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Ocean Radioactivity in Fukushima 4/16/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Japan raises nuclear disaster level 4/12/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima No Go Zone Expanding 4/11/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima to be Decommissioned 4/8/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Poisons Fish 4/6/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Learning from Fukushima 4/4/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Leak goes Unplugged 4/3/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Stick a fork in it - It's done! 4/2/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima reactors reach criticality 3/31/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Non-Containment 3/30/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Meltdown 3/29/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Fukushima Water Blessing & Curse 3/28/11 

.

          Analysis of the Indic Language Wikipedia Statistical Report 2012        
Last week we have seen the statistical report of Indic language wikipedias for the year 2012. That report was entirely based on the statistical data available at http://stats.wikimedia.org. (If you haven’t read that report I strongly recommend you to read … Continue reading
          Indic language wikipedias – Statistical report – 2012        
The content of this blogpost is moved to the new domain. Please visit http://shijualex.in/indic-language-wikipedias-statistical-report-2012-2/ to read this blogpost.
          Indic language wikipedias – Statistical report – 2012 January – 2012 June        
The content of this blogpost is moved to the new domain. Please visit http://shijualex.in/indic-language-wikipedias-statistical-report-2012-january-2012-june/ to read this blogpost.
          Pay Cash and Save!         

Canada’s auto finance market is worth $120Billion annually.  That means there are a lot of us that, for one reason or another, cannot afford to pay cash for a car purchase.  Cost of living being what it is, it can be quite difficult to save up $30,000+ required to buy a new car outright.  For a good late model used vehicle it can be the same story, with a total cost in excess of $20,000.  Not many of us have that kind of cake just lying around and if we did, we probably would find better things to invest it in other than a new car (or at least I hope we would). 

That puts many of us in a position where we need to borrow money to purchase a car and then pay that money back over a predetermined term.  Breaking up the cost this way over time can make a car purchase more affordable since you only pay a small percentage of the overall price on a monthly basis (or whatever your payment frequency is). 

There are some pitfalls to this though – the major one being negative equity.  Also known as being upside down or underwater, negative equity is when your car is worth less than the remaining balance of your loan.  If you have financed a new car in the last three to five years, chances are you owe more on the car than what you can expect to sell it for.  Cars depreciate fast, and unless you applied a hefty down payment to your purchase, you’re going to experience some negative equity.  And generally speaking, the longer the term of the loan (regardless of the interest rate), the more upside down on the vehicle you can expect to be.

This really isn’t too big a deal if you plan on keeping a car for a very long time, especially beyond the term of the loan.  By the time you go to sell the car (or scrap it), you won’t owe more than what it’s worth.  At the very least, you can break even.  However, if something comes up and you need to get rid of the car, it may be too cost prohibitive to make sense. 

For instance, when I went back to school I was unable to apply for a Government sponsored student loan (and was therefore ineligible for a number of bursaries and scholarships) because I was deemed to have too many assets that I could potentially sell to finance my education.  One of those “assets” was my car (another one was my house, but the thought of selling a house to become eligible for student debt is so ludicrous that I’m not even going to go into it here).  However, because I had only purchased the car a year ago, even if I had sold the vehicle for top dollar to the biggest sucker on the planet I still would have owed thousands to my lender.  And this was at a 0% APR.  Therefore, I calculated that even if I got the loan AND some of the bursaries I would have been eligible for because I was able to secure a loan, I likely wasn’t going to recoup the costs of selling the car – let alone have any money left over to apply towards school. 

Yeah, some asset that is.  Thanks, OSAP.        

So what’s my point?  Well, there is an alternative to going into debt for a new or late model used vehicle but it’s not for the faint of heart: buy an old car for cash. 

There are tons of decent vehicles out there that are perfectly serviceable and will get the job done for a wide range of driving needs.  Plus you can get them for less than the cost of a new sofa set. 

I’m referring to your late 1990s to early 2000s grandparent mobiles that can be picked up for a song and still have lots of life left in them.  They have names like Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Mercury are often big, well maintained and beige.  And, if you play your cards right, they will be the best financial decision you ever made. 

Generally speaking, the cost of ownership is very low on these vehicles.  Chances are you can buy it for less than $3000, your insurance costs will drop significantly and the parts will be cheap and plentiful.  Over the course of a couple of years, if you add up the costs of new car ownership vs Grandma’s beater ownership, you will likely find yourself ahead a few grand. 

What if the car breaks down?  So what?  Every car breaks eventually.  And let’s say you’ve driven your newer car out of warranty.   You’ll be on the hook for any repairs that car needs anyway, plus you may still have payments on top that.  You’ll be stuck in a situation where you have to pay potentially thousands of dollars because you’ll be so financially committed to the vehicle that you really have no other option.  In a worst case scenario with a cheap car – i.e. the repair is way more than what your car is worth – you can just sell the car on to the next person and pocket a few hundred dollars.  Best case scenario, you can get the parts cheap and do the work yourself.

What about maintenance costs?  All cars need tires, brakes, hoses, spark plugs, fluids, suspension components and filters to keep them running happy and safely.  Sure you’re older car will likely be at the stage in its life where it will be due for new examples of many of these components.  Granted, this will cost more money on top of what you already paid for the car.  It may even get you to that point where what you have into the car is more than what it is worth.  However, remember that your financed vehicle will need many of these components replaced at some point as well.  Will you still be dolling out regular payments when these maintenance items become due?  Probably.  Will you owe more on your car than what it’s worth AND have to pay more money to maintain it?  Likely. 

When you total it all up, would you rather be spending $1200 a year on maintaining and fixing a car you owe nothing on or paying $1200 a year on maintaining and fixing a car your spending thousands of dollars a year to repay?  What are you out at the end of the year?  What are you out after 5 years (or even as much as eight or nine years depending on the term of your loan)?  Even if you have to go through a couple old cars in the same time you would have paid for a new car, you will still be further ahead in terms of money saved.

There is a downside to this though.  You do need to have enough knowledge of the mechanical aspects of cars in order to be able to pick out the gems from the crud.  It also helps if you are mechanically inclined enough to do as much work yourself as possible.  This is time consuming and can be stressful if your car needs a repair and you need to be somewhere the next day.  Therefore, this strategy is admittedly not the best idea for folks who commute to work every day and need to have the most reliable transportation possible.  Statistically speaking, like any machine, new cars are generally more reliable than older cars. 

Also, if you absolutely need to have the latest tech and gadgets you may never be satisfied driving an older car.  Furthermore, newer cars are usually more fuel efficient and produce fewer emissions than older cars.  So if you’re environmentally inclined, you will probably have some ethical concerns about driving an older car – then again, maybe the fact that you’re reusing an older car makes sense on that front given the resources required to produce a new car?  Maybe you just like that new car smell?    

There may be many reasons why an older car doesn’t work for you.  At the end of the day, you need to make the right decision for yourself.  If you can swing it though, the financial rewards can considerable. 

Finally, here are some tips I’ve used/wish I had used when checking out an older used car (or any car for that matter):

1.       Low mileage isn’t always an indicator of low cost.  Lack of use can be just as bad as over use, especially for things like gaskets, electrical components and hoses.  I bought a low mileage car that been sitting for a while and had to put more money in repairs than what I paid for it within the first 10 months.  While this meant I got on good terms with the local mechanic, I really could have saved a ton of cash if I had just purchased something that had regular use and a little higher mileage.  Personally, I aim for something in the 5,000 – 10,000 km a year range (about 3k-6k miles).  Not over used and not neglected.  And food for thought – how many miles do you think a poorly maintained car will last for?  It’s a good bet that high mileage car in clean condition has been well loved and properly maintained. 

2.       Be thorough in your inspection.  Check the frame/sub frame, body panels, floors, trunk, doors and all seams for rust and rot.  These may be obvious holes or subtle paint differences.  Also, make sure the all of the body panels line up and have consistent gaps.  If these things don’t check out, it could be an indication that the car was in a collision at some point in its history.  While this isn’t necessarily the end of the world, you should be aware of it. 

3.       Check the brake and fuel lines.  Replacing these could be big bucks, so make sure they are in good shape. 

4.       Make sure the tires are in good condition/match.  Tires can be expensive to replace.  If the car is otherwise perfect, a new set of tires is not going to break the bank.  However, if there are other repairs required, the costs can add up.

5.       Check to see all of the features of the car work (heat, AC, cruise, lights, etc.). 

6.       If the car has a scan port, bring a scanner with you to see if there are any MIL codes or if the test cycle is incomplete (which would indicate a code has recently been cleared).  Again, depending on the code, not the end of the world, but all good things to know when buying. 

7.       Take the car for a drive.  Make sure it runs well, there are no weird noises or fun colours of smoke coming out of the tail pipe (or other areas).  Make sure the exhaust isn’t blowing out of a hole somewhere in the system (especially the catalytic converters… pipes and mufflers are cheap to replace, exhaust manifolds and cats are not).  Make sure the car shifts smoothly.  Make sure the brakes stop the car.  Make sure the steering wheel steers the car.  Keep an ear out for bumps and clunks in the suspension and differentials.   

8.       When driving the car do some hard acceleration and braking tests.  See if there are any problems with the engine bogging down, the transmission responding to throttle input, dead spots in the power band, etc.  Make sure the brakes don’t fade quickly, that the ABS works (if so equipped), peddle feel is good, etc. 

9.       Do some steering tests to make sure the suspension and steering components are in good order.  Go to an open parking lot or something and do some full lock turns both left and right.  Then do some figure eights.  Listen and feel for clunks, shudders and other anomalies.  This could indicate that some suspension components are worn or broken and need replacing.

10.   Research the car beforehand.  In the age of the internet, there’s no reason why you can’t know pretty much everything there is to know about almost any car.  Between online databases, YouTube videos, forums and consumer reviews, there is probably more information online about the car you’re interested in than you can ever read.  Pay particular attention to the car’s trouble spots, how to do common repairs/maintenance and the cost/availability of parts. 

 

While this isn’t an exhaustive list it will certainly give you an idea of what to look for.  And if at all possible, bring the car to a trusted mechanic to give it the once over.  They’ll be able to effectively advise you on the car’s overall condition, and likely for less than $100 (or the cost of a tow).  Good piece of mind, I say. 

 

To sum up:

1.       New and late model used car loans can be financially debilitating.

2.       Paying cash for an older car in good condition can save you thousands of dollars every year. 

3.       Do what makes sense for your situation.

4.       Inspect and research any potential vehicle purchase. 

 

TTFN        

          U.S. Economy Adds 209,000 Jobs In July; Unemployment Dips To 4.3 Percent        
The U.S. economy created an estimated 209,000 jobs in July, representing a modest slowdown from the previous month but coming in better than many economists had expected. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its monthly report that, statistically, July showed little change from previous months, as the number of unemployed persons remained around 7 million. At 4.3 percent, the jobs rate is near the point that most economists deem full employment. About 200,000 new jobs a month is considered a sign of a robust economy. The figures for June were revised upward, with the BLS saying that 231,000 jobs were created in the month instead of the originally reported 222,000. However, the number for May was revised downward to 145,000 from 152,000. It was the 82nd consecutive month of jobs growth. Job gains have averaged 184,000 per month so far this year, slightly lower than last year's pace, according to David Berson, chief
          Ramadan Dreams        
This week marks the start of Ramadan. I would say today, but as is the case for many things, Muslims cannot even agree on what day marks the beginning of the holy month. Is it Tuesday? Wednesday? Thursday? Sometimes, even in the same country, clerics from different sects or schools of 'jurisprudence' disagree on the sighting of the crescent moon (which signifies that Ramadan has arrived). In Lebanon, Shiites started the fast on Tuesday, and Sunnis on Wednesday, at least the last time I checked. If only the Shiite-Sunni conflict was relegated to a debate over the start of Ramadan. Alas, while diversity is something to be treasured, that is not always true in what is the proverbial Muslim world. The Qur'an tells us about what we can gain from diversity:
O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. 
Somehow throughout history, perhaps the year after Prophet Muhammad died (circa 633 AD, or 1), Muslims lost sight of this. Today, you're more likely to hear about diversity as a threat rather than an asset. In fact, it seems to go hand-in-hand with regards to whether a Muslim country can be peaceful or democratic or successful: Well, I would say Country X would have a smooth transition, but they have a very diverse population with different ethnicities and groups. It's almost like Muslims can't survive with their own layered identities in the modern-age, longing instead for some Orwellian dictator to give them all a uniform to gloss over any differences that they may have. Of course, enough of those beautiful strongmen have come along for us to know that is not a great path either (um, certain exceptions aside of course).

And so in 2013, we enter into Ramadan, all 1.5 billion Muslims, or 1.2 billion, or 1.8 billion of us, depending on who's counting (or better yet who's making up statistics off the top of their head and then getting cited by the media, thereby cementing that figure as real), with a 'Muslim world' in complete conflagration - i.e. business as usual. Now all these millions of Muslims, some nominal, some not so nominal, live in different places with different challenges faced. Some in the West. Some in the East. Some in Muslim majority countries. Some as minorities in secular or other countries. And so it goes. Yet, look around, and we see challenges. There's the conflict in Syria, with a death count now over 100,000 and a displaced population representing a quarter of the country. There's the spiralling situation in Egypt, with an uncertain future ahead. And you can never count Pakistan out, with essentially a bombing a day.

You start to go through Muslim countries, and there's a lot that leaves a lot to be desired. It's almost too long of a list. It kind of makes you want to sing an Islamicized version of Les Misérables "I Dreamed a Dream", I guess with a Fatima instead of Fantine. Given the state of Islam, you might actually get in trouble for singing in public. I know that the 29 or so days of Ramadan will not bring peace, emancipation, and progress to the lands where so many Muslims live. Likely the strife, struggle, and scarcity that defines so many people's lives will not change. In fact in places like Syria, violence could actually intensify this month (some militant groups have actually announced an 'Operation Ramadan').

Thus, the realities of Ramadan may overwhelm us. Yet, if Ramadan is anything, it is a time for reflection and thinking of what can be, rather than what is. And in that spirit, I thought it would be good to end with a vision, a so-called Ramadan Dreams, of the realm of a possible future, of the Muslim world (i.e. Umma), where:
  • There are far more Sushis than Sunnis & Shiites; 
  • Being an 'Islamist' means being an expert in Islam rather than a judge/jury/executioner; 
  • The takbeer is used in excitement of a goal scored on the soccer field rather than a direct hit on the battlefield; 
  • Having a beard is a fashion statement not a religious statement; 
  • When we hear about a scandal about a royal Prince, it's because he had a nipple slip and not a multi-billion dollar arms deal go to his bank account; 
  • There are more ninjas than women in face-covering black robes; 
  • There will be actual Jews around to respond to somebody who says "don't be such a Jew"; 
  • When someone says "that's the bomb" he's not actually pointing at a bomb; 
  • You can debate the existence of God with two sides of the debate present; and
  • People can be proud to be Muslim...and not Muslim. 
Now before anybody gets their kefiyyeh in a twist, there are many Muslims who live in countries where things are not so bad, and countless others in Muslim countries, who believe in a pluralistic and open society. Yet, there is a long ways to go before we escape so many of the ills that have come to define Muslim lands and societies. Ramadan 2013 will not bring the change many of us would like to see, but here's hoping that, that change will come sooner rather than later, and help shape a Muslim world that embraces its pluralism, recognises its intellectual tradition, and empowers its people. Ramadan Kareem

          MLAs deserve their raise, but transparency is still lacking        
Alberta taxpayers should fully support the 3.2 per cent raise which MLAs received on April 1. Based on Statistics Canada's average weekly earnings index, these annual increases are transparent and fair.

But other aspects of MLA compensation need reform.

          Education system needs more accountability, not more money        
Alberta already allocates more tax dollars to education than any other province in Canada.

At $1,971 per Albertan per year, education spending in Alberta is higher than in New Brunswick ($1,700), Newfoundland ($1,553), P.E.I. ($1,548), Manitoba ($1,351) and every other province, according to Statistics Canada. And according to the B.C. Inter-provincial Education Statistics Project, the Alberta government spends $6,834 per student per year, more than B.C. ($6,809), Quebec ($6,761), Saskatchewan ($6,758), Ontario ($6,666) and Nova Scotia ($5,801).

          Work from Home SQL Writer and Data Analyst        
A premier humanitarian organization is filling a position for a SQL Writer and Data Analyst . Must be able to: Provide analytical support for leveraging applicable systems and technology Provide marketing campaign/program analytics, including performance forecasts, and other metrics analyses Analyze local customer, company, and competitor (3Cs) intelligence including donor/sponsor information Qualifications Include: Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in a closely related field (Business, Statistics, Marketing) 5 years related analytics/market research experience required (or equivalent combination of education/experience) Knowledge of project management, process flow, objective evaluation and management, group dynamics, customer maintenance techniques Must possess excellent organizational skills and the ability to handle multiple priorities effectively Ability to assimilate information quickly, analyze problems, and recommend appropriate solutions
          Movember Contest (Part II)        

Since the book I’m writing is two or three months behind schedule, I decided I’d spend all my time this week working on that instead of writing another irrelevant theory about potentially being murdered by a drifter. As always, if you have a problem with this, you can suck it. Besides, the Movember contest (that officially ended two weeks ago) and The Belt contest obviously matter more to the Trillion Man March than anything I write. And if they don’t, well, they absolutely should.

After analyzing the comments for the last blog post, I noticed that there were over 350 “nominations” for the mustache contest from probably no more than 20 people. When I said that you could vote for more than one person, I apparently forgot to request that you not submit the same nomination 50 different times. Oh well. I sorted through all of them as best I could and decided on the six that I thought got the most votes, and threw in my bonus pick (Nicolas Cage) because doing so gives me a feeling of authority I can’t get anywhere else in my life. Anyway, listed below (in no particular order other than alphabetical) are the pictures of the seven finalists. The poll is in the top right corner of the blog. Make yourself useful and vote for someone. As a reminder, whoever gets the most votes wins a free pack of Barbasol for being so manly and a free shirt for being so awesome. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back to playing FIFA writing my book.

CHRIS MULLIN

IMG00017-20101126-1937


JOHN STOCKTON

mustache


LEE GREENWOOD

image


LUTHER VANDROSS

201110961


NICOLAS CAGE

156345_521679035409_153800542_30788992_4422094_n


WALTER SOBCHAK

IMG00576


GEN. WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN

stache

___________________________________________________

A few quick points regarding the rules for The Belt:

  1. Ties will be settled by looking at the total minutes played in achieving the trillions. For example, a player putting up a 4 trillion and 3 trillion will beat out a player putting up a 2 trillion and 1 trillion. In other words, Nate Schwarze has one helluva tiebreaker in his back pocket by getting an 11 trillion earlier in the season. I’ll post a tiebreaker column with the leaderboard next time to make this easier to follow.
  2. I’m only considering the stats from ESPN box scores. In order for it to be considered a trillion, every statistic listed for the game other than minutes played must be zero. For a visual, here’s the game log for Wake Forest's Brooks Godwin (who is currently tied for the lead).

That’s all I got for now.

Things are getting much more interesting now that we have four people atop the leaderboard (one of which just recently submitted their name and is new to the contest).

Capture

Thanks to Alex in the Trillion Man March, I’ve recently learned that Wake Forest only has seven scholarship guys available right now, which means Brooks Godwin should have a lot more chances than the rest of the guys to put up trillions. I’ve said all along that I like one of the Purdue guys to ultimately win it, but I’ve recently suggested that Nate Schwarze of Rice is a serious darkhorse contender. So if you’re scoring at home, Godwin is probably the favorite, the Purdue guys are my pick(s), and Schwarze has a shot (especially considering that if he ties for the lead, his 11 trillion will probably propel him to victory). But, there’s obviously still a lot of basketball to not be played, so we’ll just have to wait and see. ___________________________________________________

Let me make it perfectly clear that I’m always impressed by basketball trick shot videos that feature kids who are considerably younger than me. When guys haven’t even hit puberty yet but can still make insane shots, I’m always going to give them some props. Especially when the video has one kid riding a unicycle and another kid repeatedly giving the “suck it” crotch chop. Anyway, keeping that in mind, your awesome YouTube was sent in to me by Travis W. and his friends. There’s your shout-out, Travis. And here’s your video.

Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder


          Movember        

One of my favorite things that happened on a routine basis with my teammates at Ohio State was when they would start sentences with either the words “real talk” or the much more entertaining and hilarious phrase “on some real s**t.” By starting their sentence with one of these phrases, they are basically telling everyone, “I was just messing around with everything else I have ever said in my life. That all means nothing compared to what I’m about to say, so please give me your undivided attention because I’m going to talk about something that is more serious and more important than global warming, AIDS, and Wrestlemania combined.” What made this so funny to me was that each and every time one of my teammates led with one of those phrases, they always would inevitably follow it up by saying something that couldn’t possibly be more irrelevant. Because of this, it was common for one of them to walk into our locker room after practice, get everyone’s attention, and then say something along the lines of, “Real talk, Martin had me rollin back in the day.” Sometimes, if they really wanted to drive the point home, they’d even throw in “and that’s on my momma” for good measure. Some people just know how to eloquently present an argument.

Having said all of that, it’s time for some real talk. My favorite month of the year, Movember, starts on Monday, which means on Monday it’s time to quite literally separate the men from the boys. Those of you who have been members of the Trillion Man March for awhile surely remember Movember from last year. If you’re new to the party, though, and don’t know about Movember, check out my blog post from last year that explained everything. Here are a few important paragraphs for those of you who are too lazy to simply click on a link:

It was brought to my attention by a few members of the Trillion Man March that the month of November marks a very important time for lovers of mustaches and haters of prostate cancer. That’s because November has been dubbed “Movember” by a couple of Australians, which may initially sound like a month-long tribute to GUTS announcer, Mo Quirk, but is actually an event that was started to raise prostate cancer awareness (apparently “mo” is an Australian slang term for mustache). I thought Movember was just another event started by guys in high school who wanted an excuse to grow out their peach fuzz without upsetting their moms, but as it turns out, Movember is actually the biggest charity event in the world that is targeted exclusively for men, having raised over $47 million to date. It’s like the men’s equivalent of Race For The Cure, except instead of using your legs all you have to use are your upper lip hair follicles.

Even though one out of every six American men will get prostate cancer at some point in time, it should be noted that I can’t think of anyone close to me who has ever had the disease. I’m not trying to get you to care because prostate cancer has personally destroyed my life by inflicting the people around me. It’s not like that at all. I’m just trying to get you to care because Movember provides a great opportunity to have an excuse to grow a mustache and also provides a great opportunity to raise awareness for a good cause. You can become a better person simply by growing out your mustache. Call me crazy but I think this might be the epitome of a win-win situation.

In short, Movember is an initiative to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer research. Prostate cancer is to men what breast cancer is to women, only more people care about breast cancer because, well, breast cancer affects boobs and everybody loves boobs. Since there isn’t as much of a focus on prostate cancer in this country as there is on breast cancer, the main goal with Movember is basically to show people that a man’s prostate can be just as sexy as a nice pair of hooters. Naturally, this is done by growing mustaches.

So here’s the plan. Since statistics say that at least 500 people reading this will end up getting prostate cancer at some point in their lives, I’ve decided that the Trillion Man March needs to do its part to kick prostate cancer in the nuts and give it the fiercest powerbomb of all-time. This can be accomplished two different ways.

Most of you are either in high school/college or have recently graduated college, which is another way of saying that most of you are ridiculously broke. Shoot, there are probably some of you that have been out of school for years and are still broke because you either have spending habits like my former OSU teammate, Daequan Cook (I heard rumors that he bought 13 flat screen TVs for just his living room immediately after signing his first NBA contract), or you have more likely fallen victim to the terrible economy. This first way of helping out doesn’t apply to you, so you can stop paying attention for a second. But, for those of you who have somehow found a way to successfully pay off all those student loans that went towards countless Trapper Keepers and Lisa Frank products, this first way of helping out just might be for you. The ultimate goal with Movember is to obviously raise money for prostate cancer research, so if you are in a financially stable place, you can help make this happen by donating whatever your heart desires. One member of the TMM, Matthew, took it upon himself to make a group on the official Movember site, so if you do want to make a donation, please click on this link, fill out the information to join Matthew’s group, and donate like your life depends on it (because it very well could someday).

As for those of us who aren’t rolling in the benjamins (the cool kids still say that, right?), we get to take on prostate cancer in a much more exciting way by growing out our mustaches for an entire month (it goes without saying that it’s perfectly fine to both donate and grow a stache). I’ve already pointed out that a majority of the Trillion Man March falls into the “dudes who are broke, man” demographic (myself included), which means that a majority of you will probably be taking part in Movember just by growing your stache. And since mustache growing will be the main way the TMM participates in Movember, I’ve decided to have a contest to establish who in the TMM is the manliest man of all. The only rules are as follows:

  1. You must shave your entire face (excluding eyebrows) down to the skin on October 31st. This is on an honor system. If you know you can’t grow an awesome stache, it’s ok. Just do the best you can. But whatever you do, don’t be a jealous doucher and cheat.
  2. Your stache can’t connect to itself or your sideburns anywhere on your face. If this happens, you have either a goatee or a beard, which means you no longer have a stache.
  3. The best mustache doesn’t necessarily mean the longest mustache. Creativity is taken into account, so doing something like this is every bit as impressive as growing a Sam Elliott stache (ok, so not really but you get what I’m saying here).
  4. Send me pictures of your stache throughout the entire month of Movember and I’ll post them on the blog as we move closer to judgment day on November 30th.
  5. The ultimate winner will be decided by a TMM vote and will win a case of Barbasol shaving cream for being so manly, as well as a free shirt (your choice between either CLUB TRIL or FUNDAMENTALS MONTAGE!!!) for being so awesome.

Just so you’re mentally prepared, this is what you’ll be up against:

IMG_0526_thumb[5]

“Who wants a mustache ride?”

Based on past experience, I know that many of you work for companies or bosses who suck and won’t let you grow out facial hair of any kind for any reason. The unfortunate reality about the world we live in is that some people just don’t get it. If the economy was better I would coerce you all to participate anyway, but getting fired seems like an awful idea right now, so I won’t give you too much trouble for not participating. I truly am sorry. Fortunately, most of the TMM is comprised of college-aged guys whose only responsibilities are to skip class and get drunk, so they can pick up the slack.

Obviously the women of the TMM also can’t take part in the mustache contest because you all can’t grow mustaches (unless, of course, you’re an elderly librarian or lunch lady). If you have your heart set on doing something for Movember, I suggest you make a pledge to yourself to only party with guys who have mustaches all month. If you’re a high school girl, refuse to give your class ring or go to the school dance with any guy who doesn’t at least have a little peach fuzz. If you’re a girl in college, take a stand and only let guys with staches do body shots off of you (that would probably feel better for you anyway – not that I’d know or anything). You get the idea.

Finally, I thought I would address something that might be giving a few of you cold feet. Some of you might be asking yourself, “How exactly does growing out my mustache for a month do anything to help prostate cancer research?” Good question. Your mustache serves as a walking advertisement to raise awareness for prostate cancer. A lot of men don’t know all that much about the disease, so half of the battle is just spreading the word. Here’s an example of how your mustache can achieve just that:

Friend: “Dude, nice mustache. You look like a pedophile that molests little kids.”

You: “A) I’m trying to raise awareness for prostate cancer by celebrating my manhood, and B) Your redundancy makes it obvious to me that you have no idea what the word ‘pedophile’ means.”

Friend: “Oh my bad, I didn’t know you worked for the grammar police. And who cares about prostate cancer? Getting rid of breast cancer is obviously much more important. Last time I checked, I’ve never gotten a pants-tent from looking at Pam Anderson’s prostates.”

You: “You are the single dumbest person I’ve ever met in my life. You should care about prostate cancer because it is the most prevalent cancer for men and affects millions of guys all over the world. It should be more important to you than breast cancer since, ya know, you’re a guy which means you actually have a chance of getting prostate cancer. Sure breast cancer research is important, but you’re never going to have to worry about getting breast cancer since dudes don’t have boobs. Well, except for Tony over there.”

(NOTE: I know that guys have breasts and can get breast cancer. Just go with me on this one.)

Tony: “Ha. Ha. Real funny. Dick. For your information, I’ve started a new diet that is actually working really well for me.”

Friend: “Oh really? What do you call it? The FATkins diet?”

You: (laughing) (high five your friend) “Good one, dude. Yeah, Tony, sitting on your ass playing Halo every day and falling asleep to anime porn every night isn’t much of a diet.”

Tony: “You guys are jerks. I’m offended and I’m leaving.”

Friend: “I would say, ‘Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out’ but chances are you actually need that to happen cause it will help you get unstuck after you get your enormous hips wedged in the doorframe.”

Tony: “I hate you both. While I’m gone, I suggest you both go die.”

You: “Tony. Got. Served.”

Friend: “Yeah, we totally served him. What a doucher. Look. He left his Halo game paused. We should go play it and ruin it for him. And maybe you can tell me more about this prostate cancer thing you were talking about earlier.”

You: “Deal.”

Real talk, Tony sucks. And that’s on my momma. __________________________________________________

After I called out the walk-on community with my last blog post, tons of walk-ons around the country emailed me to sign up for The Belt. This is very encouraging, but I still think we need more guys. So again, please email me if you are a Division I men’s basketball walk-on. Even if you aren’t eligible for The Belt, you can still help out by writing a Facebook message or something to the walk-ons for your favorite basketball team that will let them know about this awesome contest.

(I know that paragraph was copied and pasted from last time but it still applies, so shut up. Plus, I’m pretty sure it’s perfectly fine to plagiarize your own work. If it’s not, I should probably give back my college degree.) __________________________________________________

Your awesome YouTube was sent in to me by Evan T. (no, not The Villain). There’s your shout-out, Evan. And here’s your video.

Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder


          GAUSS Mathematical and Statistical System        

Mathematical & Statistical System

Version: 14

An easy-to-use data analysis, mathematical and statistical environment based on the powerful, fast and efficient GAUSS Matrix Programming Language.
          Eurovision Song Contest i Kiev        
Den 9, 11 och 13 maj är hÃ¥lls finalen i Eurovision Song Contest 2017 i Kiev i Ukraina. Det är den 62:a upplagan av musiktävlingen. Att tävlingen hÃ¥ll i Kiev beror pÃ¥ att Jamalas lÃ¥t "1944" vann förra Ã¥rets tävling i Stockholm. 
Vad vet du egentligen om Kiev? Här är några saker som kan vara bra att ha koll på inför den stora musikfesten. Visste du till exempel att:
1. Kiev har tvÃ¥ platser pÃ¥ Unescos lista över världsarv. Petjerskaklostret, även känt som Grottklostret i Kiev, är det ena. Det är ett historiskt, ortodoxt kloster och ligger ocksÃ¥ pÃ¥ första plats över saker att göra i Kiev pÃ¥ ressajten Lonely Planet. Detta kloster grundades Ã¥r 1015 och bestÃ¥r av ett antal monument, katedraler och Lavras stora klocktorn med förgylld kupol, men är även ett underjordiskt grottsystem. Besökare kan ocksÃ¥ ta en tur till katakomberna och titta pÃ¥ de mumifierade lämningarna av ortodoxa helgon. Häftigt för turister och heligt för pilgrimer. 
2. Sofiakatedralen blev Ukrainas första objekt pÃ¥ Unescos världsarvslista 1990. Den har ocksÃ¥ en svensk anknytning. Sofiakatedralen frÃ¥n Ã¥r 1037 är en av Kievs absolut mest häpnadsväckande byggnader, speciellt interiören. MÃ¥nga mosaiker och fresker är original frÃ¥n 1017 till 1031. Grunden till katedralen byggdes under Jaroslav den vises tid och hans hustru Ingegerd Olofsdotter var svensk. 

Kiev är ett paradis för modemedvetna

3. Kiev har beskrivits som ett paradis för modemänniskor. Marknaden Lesnoy är en second hand-marknaden som till och med modemagasinet Vogue skrivit om under rubriken "Omdefinierad lyx i Kiev blomstrande andrahandsmarknad". Det har kallats ett paradis för modemänniskor så här går det att shoppa och göra fynd. Marknaden Lesnoy, som ligger vid tunnelbanestationen Lesna, är en av Europas största loppmarknader. Hit kommer Kievs unga för att fynda allt från second hand-väskor till vintage märkeskläder från Gucci, Chloe, Armani och Chanel.
4. Revolution har bytts mot dans på Självständighetstorget. Torget som också kallas Majdan Nezalezjnosti är Kievs största torg och stadens mest centrala plats. Torget var platsen för pro-självständighet protester under 1990-talet och den orangea revolutionen 2004, liksom Euromajdan. Nu är här fullt av festprissar, gatumusikanter, souvenirförsäljare och skateboardåkande tonåringar. Det är ett vackert torg med sex fontäner, monument och ett stort underjordiskt varuhus. Här arrangeras också konserter, föreställningar och festivaler.
Nu är det fullt av festprissar på Självständighetstorget. Och i maj blir det mer underhållning i Kiev när Eurovision Song Contest 2017 arrangeras här.
Foto: OLGYSHA2008
5. Gatan Chresjtjatyk är Kievs pulsåder och att det finns två torg, ett antal shoppingcentrum och två metrostationer här. Chresjtjatykgatan är en trädprydd boulevard med byggnader från Stalinimperiet och exklusiva affärer som är fullproppad med folk på helgerna då den stängs för trafik. Detta är huvudgatan i Kiev och den sträcker sig över en kilometer genom en dalgång. All bebyggelse kring Chresjtjatykgatan förstördes under andra världskriget och de nuvarande byggnaderna är därför byggda senare.

I den botaniska trädgården finns 350 olika orkidéer

6. På Hryshko National Botanical Garden finns det över 350 olika orkidéer. Det är en botanisk trädgård på mer än 120 hektar och här finns över 13 000 olika träd, buskar, blommor och plantor från hela världen. På Central Botanical Garden finns även växthus och rosarium samt en imponerande samling av orkidéer. I trädgårdens centrala delar finns ett av de mest populära inslagen; liljorna som står i blom i slutet av våren. Den botaniska trädgården är svåra att nå med kollektivtrafik. Ta trådbuss 14 eller buss 62 från Pecherska tunnelbana till slutstationen.
I Central Botanical Gardens centrala delar finns liljorna som står i blom i slutet av våren. Väldigt populärt.
Foto: KATATONIA82
7. Ukraine State Aviation Museum är ett av världens största flygplansmuseum. Det är också Ukrainas yngsta, och största, historiska museum. Här finns 90 flygplan, inklusive fraktflyg, bombplan, kärnmissilbärare, helikoptrar och drönare. Museet, som ligger vid flygplatsen Zhulyany, nås enkelt med stadsbuss nummer 220. Missa inte ett besök i museets souvenirbutik.
8. På Mikrominiatyrmuseet Mykola Syadristy kan du inte se ett enda konstverk med blotta ögat. De är för små och kräver därför ett mikroskop. Här finns fantastiska skulpturer i miniatyr, till exempel har ett hårstrå borrats upp på längden och polerats både in- och utvändigt. Sen har konstnären placerat en ros, som har en diameter på 0,05 millimeter, inuti hårstrået. Inträdet kostar bara 10 kronor och en tur bland utställningarna tar drygt en halvtimme. Beskrivningar av varje objekt finns på engelska.
9. Golden Gate var tidigare huvudingången till Kiev. Bron som ursprungligen kom till 1164 förstördes under medeltiden men byggdes upp på nytt under Sovjettiden. Här finns även ett museum där besökarna kan lära sig mer om Golden Gates historia och det gamla Kiev. Golden Gate var en av stadsportarna där mongolerna stoppades år 1216.

I maj hålls Eurovision Song Contest 2017 i Kiev

10. Ukrainas vinnarlÃ¥t var en tydlig smocka mot Ryssland. Artisten Jamala tillhör Krims ursprungsbefolkning, krimtatarerna, och lÃ¥ten "1944" handlade om Josef Stalins tvÃ¥ngsdeporteringar av just tatarer under andra världskriget. Extra känsligt eftersom tatarernas politiska organisationer förbjudits av Ryssland sedan annekteringen. SÃ¥ngerskan Jamala, eller Susana Jamaladinova som hon egentligen heter, tillhör själv minoriteten Krimtatarer som i dag lever i Ukraina. 
Jamala vann förra årets Eurovision Song Contest i Stockholm med låten "1944". Jamala heter egentligen Susana Jamaladyovna och föddes 1983 i Osh, Kirgizistan
Foto: OLLE SPORRONG
11. Nattlivet i Kiev är intensivt och att det finns gott om nattklubbar och barer. En av de populäraste, enligt resesöksajten Skyscanner, både bland lokalbor och besökare är Caribbean Club på Petlyury Symona St. 4. Här kan du njuta av bra livemusik, goda drinkar och en härlig atmosfär. Boka gärna ett bord i förväg.
12. Ocean Plaza är ett av stadens populäraste köpcenter. Här hittar du kända märkesbutiker och många krogar. Köpcentret kan vara rätt så knökfullt under helgerna, så försök att ta dig hit under vardagarna istället. Ocean Plaza ligger en bit utanför centrala Kiev, men du tar dig hit med tunnelbana, stationen Lybidska ligger precis utanför.
13. Ryanair utökar på Skavsta flygplats. En ny direktlinje mellan Stockholm Skavsta och Ukrainas huvudstad Kiev invigs i höst. Med start i oktober kommer Ryanair att flyga rutten Stockholm-Kiev fyra gånger i veckan som en del av flygbolagets vinterprogram.

Det finns en nudiststrand i Hydropark i Kiev

14. Det finns en nudiststrand mitt i Kiev. Hydropark är en bad- och aktivitetsö i floden Dneper och ligger mitt i Kiev. Ön blev populär som sommarnöje under 60-talet och är det än idag. Stekheta sommardagar drar massorna till Hidropark, som ligger en kort tunnelbaneresa bort från centrum. Längs floden Dnepr finns stränderna som är späckade med lokalbefolkningen som spelar beachvolleyboll, badar och grillar läcker kebab. I området bjuds också på ett antal kasinon, en nudiststrand, ett diskotek, som ligger ute vid vattnet, och världens största utomhusgym.
Hidropark, en kort tunnelbaneresa från Kievs centrum, är en populär strand där lokalbefolkningen gärna badar och grillar.
Foto: STEPHANE MARTIN
15. Flygsökningar till Kiev har ökat med 23 procent. Allt enligt färsk statistik från resesöksajten Skyscanner.se. I dag är den fornsovjetiska staden mer populär än exempelvis Tallinn, Oslo och S:t Petersburg för svenskar, enligt sajten. Eurovision Song Contest och mycket valuta för pengarna är några anledningar till att staden spås bli en fortsatt het semesterdestination även i år. Lägre flygpriser tros också vara en bidragande orsak. Genomsnittspriset på flygbiljetter har nämligen sjunkit med tolv procent sedan 2014.
LÄS MER:
Bästa ständerna mitt i storstaden 
Guide till bästa weekenstäderna i vÃ¥r 
Här är de billigaste weekendstäderna i vÃ¥r 
http://www.expressen.se/allt-om-resor/resmal/europa/15-saker-du-inte-visste-om-kiev/

Läs ocksÃ¥: 


Mörka historien bakom världens längsta labyrint

One of the absolute best things about Twitter is that there are a bajillion scientists on it, and if I have a random question - what's your favorite cfos antibody, what's the best statistical test for ___, what do you think this blob on my micrograph is - I can just throw it out into […]
          Comment on Statistik 2 by heni ayaka hamasah        
penggambara suasana'a kurang ngena ka.hhe
          PCV Missing        
In the Philippines a PCV has been missing since April 8. I hope they find her soon.

UPDATE: I'm adding the following to clarify this post a little bit better. I was dumb to not have done it before:

The missing PCV reminds me of an issue that has bothered me since my tour. I don't intend to relate PC security policy with her disappearance in the following.

One of my greatest concerns about Peace Corps is the skewed statistics on crime. Our group had a huge number of assaults but the majority were not reported. Volunteers have found themselves under investigation after being victimized and it is common for PCVs to keep quite. Now before any PCVs challenge that, I'm speaking from experience and personal knowledge of a wide number of unreported assaults. It is simply a fact.

There was a notorious case in South America in which a PCV had been missing for months before anybody noticed. The regional manager had evidently been filing false reports of contacting the PCV during this period. By the time the family raised enough hell to get somebody to try to track down their son, he had been missing for weeks. He was never seen again.

There is a fatal flaw in the PC system for reporting assaults and that is that there is no upside for the staff. Higher assault rates reflect poorly on the staff. So you have volunteers that are encouraged, through a policy of suspecting volunteers first, to not report when they are attacked. Other organizations have procedures to deal with this but PC doesn't and doesn't seem to be motivated to make changes.

Too bad for so many reasons.
          SUNTEM PE PRIMUL LOC IN EUROPA!!! LA RATA AVORTURILOR... AM UCIS PESTE 20 DE MILIOANE DE SUFLETE        



Chiar daca zilnic suntem bormardati cu stiri mondene, despre cine cu cine a mai fost, chipurile, surprins, cine de cine mai divorteaza, se incearca tot mai mult distragerea atentiei noastre de la problemele de o reala importanta pentru Romania. Una dintre ele, avortul...

Si problema e ca nu avem suficienti „luptatori pentru viata”, nu sta nimeni sa le explice mamelor caror riscuri se supun. Si riscurile fizice sunt minime, traumele psihologice in schimb, raman fara vindecare si dau nastere la adevarate traume si surse de boli pe segment emotional. La final am sa atasez un filmulet pe care as vrea sa va rog sa-l vizualizati si eventual sa-l trimiteti mai departe, e unul cu un puternic impact emotional si va spun inca d epe acum nu este genul clasic de filmulet motivational...

Conform wikispaces.com, cercetările efectuate, începând cu 1993 (anul în care autorităţile au început să fie preocupate de fenomen), arată că, Ã®n intervalul 1990-1992, avortul, în România, a atins cele mai înalte cote din Europa „şi poate din lume”. ReprezentanÅ£ii mass-media, fără să se raporteze la analize credibile detaliate – ceea ce arata ca presa românească la acest capitol este vulnerabilă, uşor de intoxicat şi manipulat –, repetă, pe un ton triumfalist, un slogan de genul: â€žRomânia deÅ£ine recordurile la avort, la nivel mondial”.


Dr Mihai Horga, care a ocupat funcÅ£ia de director al DirecÅ£iei de Asistenţă Familială şi Socială în Ministerul Sănătăţii şi Familiei, în perioada 2000-2003, aexplicat, în lucrarea sa despre avort, intitulată „Contraception and Abortion in Romania, Backround paper for the strategic assessment of policy, programme and research issues related to pregnancy in Romania”, cum e posibilă subraportarea. „Rata totală a avortului este cu 70% mai mare decât rata totală a fertilităţii (2,2 : 1,3)Coeficientul avorturilor provocate la născuÅ£i vii este egal cu 1,6 avorturi la fiecare născut viu, în conformitate cu estimările din sondaje din ultimii trei ani. Aceste estimări sunt de două ori mai mari decât cele înregistrate în statisticile oficiale, fapt care arată grave disfuncÅ£ionalităţi de raportare din sistemul de raportare medical. Lipsa reglementărilor clare privind cerinÅ£ele de raportare ale unităţilor mediale private pot explica această situaÅ£ie. Un sondaj limitat efectuat de către DirecÅ£iile de Sănătatea Publică JudeÅ£ene, în 2001, au arătat că, în anul 2000, existau un număr de aproximativ 80 de mii de avorturi efectuate la cerere, realizate de către clinicile private şi neînregistrate în statisticile medicale. Dat fiind faptul că nu toate judeÅ£ele au raportat avorturile efectuate în sistemul privat şi că raportarea unui număr mai mic de avorturi din clinicile private a fost foarte posibilă, numărul real de avorturi efectuate în sistem privat ar putea fi chiar mai mare.”

Pornind chiar de la datele oferite de Ministerul Sănătăţii, în 1995, se vede că, în perioada 1990-1992, rata avortului provocat a avut o valoare medie foarte ridicată.„Clinicile au fost inundate de femei care solicitau avortul. Ca o consecinţă, rata avortului provocat legal a atins cel mai ridicat nivel din lume – aproape 200 la 1000 de femei între 15-44 de ani, între 1990-1992. Aceasta corespunde unei rate a avortului de aproape 3 avorturi provocate la fiecare născut viu pentru aceeaşi perioadă”. (Fragment din volumul „O viziune asupra vieÅ£ii”, manuscrisul ed. a II, revăzută).
Iar asta se intampla acum 10 ani, de atunci acest fenomen sa nu credeti ca s-a oprit la aceste numere!
 
 Despre cum sta treaba acum, aflam de la parintele Nicolae Tanase (caruia am sa-i aloc un articol separat pe blog, este un om care chiar merita orice pentru toata munca sa de „tatic” pentru 400 de suflete salvate de la conditii de trai inumane, fara acces la educatie sau conditii minime de trai sau de la avort): â€œÃŽn România, înotăm în sânge! Nu până la glezne, nu până la genunchi, nu până la brâu, nu până la gât, ci până peste cap! Pentru că populaÅ£ia existentă în România acum este de 18 milioane. Şi în 20 si ceva de ani, de la moartea lui Ceauşescu încoace,  s-au omorât 18.000.100 de copii! Aceasta este cifra oficială! Este statistica oficială, pentru că există una neoficială, care arată această stare de fapt, şi anume că cifra poate să fie chiar şi dublă!!!”

Unde ajungem in ritmul asta!? Va las pe voi sa raspundeti si sa-mi lasati comentarii, e clar ca ceva trebuie facut si poate n-ar trebui sa stam sa mai tot asteptam de la cei care ne conduc sa faca ceva, ne-au convins ce pot de prea multe ori generatiile de politicieni indiferent de culoarea politica. Poate raspunsul este la noi, in ce putem face si ce putem schimba noi pentru tara asta.

Pentru cele dintre dvs, doamnelor, care inca sunteti nehotarate daca sa mergeti si sa faceti sau nu o intrerupere de sarcina, va spun doar atat, un copil nascut, si dat spre a adoptie are o sansa, una foarte mica, e drept pentru ca sistemul nostru e asa cum e... Dar daca ii refuzati dreptul la viata nu mai are nicio sansa! Si ca sa fiu sincer, habar n-am care sunt sansele Romaniei vorbind pe termen lung. Nu doar femeile sunt responsabile pentru intreruperile de sarcina, si partenerii, tatii poarta aceeasi vina cu atat mai mult cu cat noi nu trecem prin problemele de sorginte psihologica specifice sarcinii. Si va mai lansez o data rugamintea de a viziona filmuletul din subsolul articolului.

Pe aceasta tema, atat de importanta am sa mai revin cu un articol viitor, in care am sa fac o trecere in revista a ONG urilor care lupta impotriva avorturilor, daca stiti sau ati auzit de asemenea grupuri am sa va rog sa mi le indicati si mie, sa avem o lista completa. E bine sa stim  cati „luptatori pentru viata” avem… 

Insa va intreb pe dvs, care e solutia pentru acest dezastru? Ce variante credeti s-ar preta in 2014 societatii romanesti asa cum este ea pentru a diminua macar cu 15-20% numarul avorturilor in urmatorii ani? 

Va multumesc si ma inclin in fata dvs!

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