Pushed and rotated down the order in first four games by the Gujarat Lions, Ishan Kishan is much relieved to finally open the innings, a slot he bats on while playing for Jharkhand in domestic cricket. From No 4 to 7, the Gujarat Lions team management experimented with the 18-year-old on all four batting positions in the first four games of the season. The talented youngster could only muster a total of 54 runs from three outings, which included a 16-ball 39 against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.Now, back in his usual opening role, the left-hander has responded with two 30-plus knocks in the last two matches.”I have to make most of this big opportunity. The team combination was such that I was batting lower down the order. But, I never thought that it is not my slot. I wanted to perform in whatever role was assigned to me. Now, opening the innings with someone like Brendon McCullum, is a big thing for a youngster like me,” Kishan told INDIA TODAY.Much before he rubbed shoulders with international stars in this year’s IPL, the Ranchi lad, just like the rest of his state team players, was lucky to have the company of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the dressing room this domestic season.It turned out to be a perfect preparation for the T20 extravaganza.”When you have someone like MSD in your dressing room, there is no need to ask for anything else. I got to learn so much from him while playing for Jharkhand this season. Batting alongside in the nets, he used to tell us about all aspects of the game. It helped me a lot while batting in a pressure situation during the IPL with more than 40,000 people present in the stadium,” says Kishan.advertisementNearing 36, Dhoni can still give many youngsters a run for their money when it comes to testing fitness levels. Kishan is hugely inspired with the way former India skipper manages his body.”What he (Dhoni) stresses most on is about maintaining a good fitness level. He told me that if you are not working on your fitness then it will eventually affect your game a lot. I used to always concentrate only on bating and bowling earlier. If you look at our team’s showing this season, Jharkhand did well in every format. It was all due to the superb fitness level maintained by the players. We were putting the same kind of effort in our eighth Ranji game as we had put in the very first one.”Another India great who has had a huge impact on the wicketkeeper-batsman is Rahul Dravid, also the national Under-19 team coach.”During the World Cup, Dravid Sir was our coach. He told me about the mistakes I was making and all the technicalities. He also told us about the player-owner relationship in the IPL, about how much confidence a player gets if his owner supports him. It has really helped me a lot.”With his U-19 mates Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson having already made their India debuts, Kishan knows that the opportunity will come knocking his door as well.”It is really a good competition (amongst youngsters), they are doing really well too. But, I don’t want to think about them. I keep telling myself to get better with each game. That is what I want to focus on right now.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea striker Giroud: I do not accept this situationby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveOlivier Giroud admits he’s unhappy with his situation at Chelsea.The France international, who scored the only goal in Friday’s win over Iceland, has hinted at talks with Frank Lampard but insisted he would never seek to insult his manager.”Accept it? No, I do not accept it,” he told Le Pelerin.”You do not have to be fatalistic in certain situations. I have always been respectful and humble. Even if I do not agree with the coach, I do not criticise him.”But in myself, I cannot accept it because I know what I’m worth on a pitch. Last year, when I felt that I deserved to play, I asked the coach for explanations.”
Michigan may have completely overhauled its coaching staff this offseason, but clearly, Michigan State and its fans aren’t conceding state bragging rights any time soon. Thursday night, one MSU board of trustees member made that clear.Mitch Lyons, the Vice-Chair of the Michigan State Board of Trustees, had a little fun with new Michigan tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh on Twitter. Harbaugh, clearing trying to endear himself to his new fan base, asked his followers if it was legal to own a Wolverine as a pet. Lyons responded, telling Harbaugh he should ask Coach Mark Dantonio. If you aren’t connecting the dots, he’s claiming that Dantonio owns the Wolverines.@JayHarbaugh @ryanschuiling Ask Coach D…..#GoGreen— Mitch Lyons (@mlyons85) January 23, 2015Considering Dantonio is 6-2 against Michigan in his time in East Lansing, this is an A+ troll job. Unfortunately, Harbaugh never responded, instead choosing to ignore the comment.
In a typical year, the NBA’s All-Star break offers the league’s most dysfunctional contenders a chance to reset, take inventory and right what ails them heading into the final stretch before the playoffs. This season, thanks to Cleveland’s moves at the trade deadline, the post-All-Star watch likely will fall to the Oklahoma City Thunder and how it weathers the loss of Andre Roberson, the beating heart of its defense.After an offseason that included acquiring Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to combine with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, the Thunder expected to compete at the highest levels. It hasn’t worked out that way. The team is 33-26 at the break and has lost six of its last nine games. There are all manner of reasons for this, from the obvious difficulties of integrating three high-usage stars to the decline of key players on an already-thin squad. (Offseason acquisition Patrick Patterson, who was a reliable stretch 4 for years in Toronto, has disappointed and tanked the offense while he’s been on the court.) Despite all that, the team seemed to have figured something out by January, when it ran off eight straight wins on the strength of its defense and a newly thriving offense. But late in that stretch, Roberson went down with a ruptured patellar tendon. He was lost for the season, and the Thunder had a whole new sort of crisis.Roberson is a singular player in the NBA. He is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, and at 6-foot-7, he has the size and quickness to guard four positions. Roberson’s effect on the Thunder defense is tremendous. He can switch practically any matchup, cover opposing stars and not only challenge their shots but also dissuade them from even attempting them. His defensive Real Plus-Minus — a stat that heavily favors big men — ranks fourth in the league. Overall, the defense was 12.5 points worse per 100 possessions when he left the floor. His effect doesn’t grade out at quite the same level of Golden State’s Draymond Green or Utah’s Rudy Gobert, but he just about maximizes the impact a perimeter defender can have on a game.Or as Westbrook put it: “I think people outside our building, people across the world always complained about different things Andre didn’t do instead of embracing all the great things he did do. I’ve always embraced Andre and I was always very, very happy he was on my team because of things he did on both sides of the ball. Setting screens, cutting, running the floor. A lot of things that you can’t teach.”Those “things Andre didn’t do,” of course, refer to Roberson being one of the worst regular offensive players in the league. Roberson is a notoriously inept and unwilling shooter. He is shooting 22 percent from the 3-point line this season on a diet of wide-open shots the opposing defense is thrilled to see him take. And yet, his overall effect on the offense doesn’t seem to have been as dire as advertised.Since Roberson went out, Oklahoma City’s defensive rating has been 112.3, which would rank 27th in the league, ahead of only the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns. That’s extreme though not unexpected with Roberson no longer there to cover for weaker defenders like Westbrook or Anthony. But here’s the kick in the head: The team’s offensive ratings has barely budged despite losing one of the worst offensive players in the league, going from 110.9 before Roberson’s injury to 111.8 after it. This is much harder to explain.Roberson didn’t simply deprive his offense of a player who could do a better job of shooting, passing or dribbling. He shrank the court, allowing defenders to roam guilt-free, to harass ballhandlers and make life difficult for anyone establishing post position or running around off-ball screens.So clearly the team would be expected to show more improvement than it has in his absence. But while the overall offense has been flat, the individual stars have thrived with Roberson out. With Roberson on the floor, the Thunder pick and roll barely worked at all, producing just 87 points per 100 chances, according to data from Second Spectrum. It didn’t much matter if it was Westbrook handling the ball (90 points per 100 chances), George (73), Raymond Felton (91) or Carmelo Anthony (94). Without Roberson there, the team’s pick-and-roll points jump to 95. Westbrook and George see especially large jumps without Roberson, landing at 100 and 91 points per 100 chances created on the pick and roll, respectively.It gets stranger: George produced only 77 points per 100 chances on drives with Roberson on the floor; without him, that shot up to 96 — on a significant number of shots. Westbrook, too, goes from 98 points per 100 chances to 105, or the difference between Ish Smith and Victor Oladipo this season. And while Roberson didn’t actually affect the team’s effective field goal percentage overall, both Westbrook and George suffered large drop-offs in their shooting numbers when they shared the court with him.But the Thunder have yet to capitalize on the additional space available with Roberson out. Westbrook has played well in some ways, creating at James Harden/Chris Paul levels on the pick and roll, and poorly in others, shooting just 43 percent from the field and 18 percent from the three in the games since Roberson’s injury. George has been hot from the three — he’s hit at least five 3-pointers in four consecutive games — and has averaged 29.6 points on a 62 effective field goal percentage through those 10 games. But Anthony has gone absolutely dormant, and both he and Westbrook missed two games to injury.There’s plenty to be encouraged by over these past few games. George looks like a different player without Roberson, and all may be right if he and Westbrook are both firing at close to optimal levels by the playoffs. Further, second-year shooter Alex Abrines, seeing increased minutes with Roberson out, has run hot and cold, shooting 35 percent on threes overall since the injury. That should improve over time.But even so, the offense taking a dip despite subtracting a guy who may be the single worst offensive player who’s actually allowed to play s troubling, and Oklahoma City doesn’t have an obvious source of those unteachable qualities Westbrook mentioned — the cutting, the running, the screens. The Thunder’s stars may finally have the room to operate as stars, but its problems are now ones not solved easily by star power.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
There’s been no shortage of attention on the Sacramento Kings in the wake of their mind-boggling choice to deal DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans for pennies on the dollar. But one thing that’s garnered almost no scrutiny is the inconsistency of the team’s play.The Kings this season have lost a league-worst five games in which they once held a lead of 15 points or more, according to NBA Miner, a site that tracks advanced and unusual statistics. But they’ve also tied for an NBA-best four wins in contests that they once trailed in by 15 points or more. How are those two things even possible?Well, it helps when you’re as inconsistent as the Kings are. Sacramento is the NBA’s worst team in first halves by far yet owns the league’s 10th-best net rating1A net rating measures how many points a team outscores an opponent by — or is outscored by — for every 100 possessions. in second halves (even better than the defending-champion Cavs). Those numbers fit the pattern of what’s happened in the team’s craziest outcomes: Three of Sacramento’s four major comebacks this season began during the third quarter, while four of the Kings’ five collapses began unraveling in the second quarter.In the comebacks, the Kings often had trouble containing opposing forwards — Andrew Wiggins, Gordon Hayward, Tobias Harris and Paul Millsap, among others — in the early going. But Sacramento wisely dumped the ball into Cousins, who repeatedly drew fouls and visits to the line during second halves, which allowed his team to play catch-up with the clock stopped. This especially worked in a 94-93 win over Utah, in which Cousins shot 10 free throws in the fourth quarter without taking a single field-goal attempt.During the back-breaking losses, the slow-paced Kings have often been outrun by their opponents. In a game on Nov. 10, the Lakers outscored Sacramento 13-4 in second-half fast-break points, according to NBA.com. The Warriors outscored the Kings 21-3 in fast-break scenarios during the second half of their Jan. 8 comeback. And the Pacers finished with a 22-0 second-half advantage in fast-break scoring over the Kings en route to a come-from-behind victory on Jan. 18. (Sacramento’s 3-point defense, one of the worst in the NBA, was also less than stellar in those second-half efforts.)Cousins obviously had a ton to do with the Kings’ outcomes in these games — particularly in a 3-point loss to the Sixers in which he had 46 points but fouled out in the final minute. But the loss of Rudy Gay, out for the season, arguably had a bigger impact in some cases.Gay tore one of his Achilles tendons in the midst of one of the collapses, with the Kings up by 10 against Indiana in a Jan. 18 contest that Sacramento once led by 22. Gay’s injury took a psychological toll on the club that night, Cousins told reporters after the game. Cousins shot 0-for-9 with six turnovers after halftime.And there was a tangible difference in the team’s play. Without Gay’s ability to ease some of the scoring burden (his 26 percent usage rate was the team’s second-highest before the team remade itself at the trade deadline), Cousins was overworked in some fourth periods. His fourth-quarter usage rate jumped to 57.5 percent during the last week and a half of January, after Gay’s injury, up from 37 percent earlier in the same month. That’d be asking too much of anyone — let alone the NBA’s most double-teamed post player.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/cousinsnorudygay.mp400:0000:0000:16Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Things will change considerably now that Cousins is in New Orleans. The Kings can only hope that the move allows for increased stability, and perhaps fewer blown leads, going forward.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
Ohio State then-freshman goalie Andrea Braendli (30) prepares for a shot in the game against Minnesota State on Oct. 11. Ohio State won 4-0. Credit: Wyatt Crosher | Assistant Sports EditorThe Ohio State women’s hockey team is ready to prove that last year’s Frozen Four run was no fluke.The No. 7 Buckeyes (14-6, 8-4 Big Ten) will try to steal a win against No. 1 Wisconsin (19-1, 9-1 Big Ten) as they begin a home series against the Badgers on Friday.Ohio State will face a Wisconsin offense that is No. 2 in the country in goals and No. 1 in scoring margin.With the Badgers entering the weekend on an 11-game winning streak, the Buckeyes’ interim associate head coach Andrew Cassels said the series will test his team’s mettle.“It’s a great way to measure up our team versus the best team in the country,” Cassels said. “It’s going to show us where we are and how far we have to come. It’s a great challenge for the girls.”Ohio State is no stranger to defeating the Badgers. The Buckeyes claimed victories in their past two matchups against the Big Ten rival last year in February.“We had some success against them last year,” Cassels said. “We’ll take a lot of footage from that and try to put that into our game plan.”Cassels emphasized Wisconsin’s speed and said that blocking shots will be key to neutralizing its prolific offense, encouraging his team to get into shooting lanes and making sure the Badgers cannot easily get shots off.Coming on the heels of a three-game win streak, Ohio State’s standout freshman goalie Andrea Braendli said the Buckeyes don’t have many adjustments to make.“I don’t want to change my strategy,” Braendli said. “I have to play my game. The most important thing is that we have to trust each other. We have to have each other’s back.”Braendli, who is No. 8 in the nation with a .939 save percentage, said playing a highly touted conference rival such as Wisconsin provokes a higher sense of anticipation from the team, bringing an excitement to the Ohio State locker room ahead of the weekend.But Ohio State redshirt junior defenseman Jincy Dunne thinks it brings a higher expectation for the team, saying the Buckeyes defense will have to be aggressive in front of Braendli against the creative Wisconsin lines.“We have to be a nightmare to play against,” Dunne said. “We have to be all over them all the time, every second. Any time they’re around us, they’re not being untouched.”With Wisconsin outscoring opponents 81-23 on the season, Dunne said the Badgers defense has yet to face the type of challenge that the Buckeyes can give them.“I don’t think their defense has really had to play defense,” Dunne said. “They’re a very offensive-heavy team so if we can just get pressure on their defense and get pucks behind them, I think we’ll be very successful.”Dunne stressed the impact a series victory against the Badgers could have on the national perception of the Buckeyes. “It would be huge for us to get up in those rankings and show that the Frozen Four wasn’t a mishap,” Dunne said.The Buckeyes face Wisconsin in Columbus at 6:07 p.m. Friday at the OSU Ice Rink and again at 3:07 p.m. Saturday.
Francesco Totti has criticised the VAR officials after a 2-2 draw with Inter Milan questioning why they failed to see the penaltyClub legend and director Totti spoke to the media in place of Coach Eusebio Di Francesco after the game.“It was an open game between two great teams who scored four goals, created many more chances, hit the woodwork and were denied a penalty. It was very exciting,” the director told Football Italia.The reference was to an incident 30 seconds before the opening Inter goal, when Danilo D’Ambrosio clearly tripped Nicolò Zaniolo just inside the penalty area.The remarkable element is that Fabbri in the VAR booth did not alert referee Gianluca Rocchi to the foul or ask him to view it again.Capello calls Lukaku “a modern striker” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The former Italian manager believes Romelu Lukaku is perfectly suited for Antonio Conte’s Internazionale Milan in the Serie A.“Everyone saw it, there’s no need to describe. I want to know, and we all do, how those in the VAR booth didn’t see that foul. We all saw it on a far smaller screen. It’s shameful.“Why don’t you call them and ask how they didn’t see that? This is precisely what VAR was introduced for. Rocchi might’ve seen it or not, but that’s not the issue. The VAR officials had to see it. Fabbri was watching another game on his screen, evidently.“We cannot go on like this. There are meetings, we go here and there to discuss how VAR is used, when and in what way, then it’s not used on an incident like this?“That’s not because it’s Roma, it could happen to any club. It’s impossible. Someone ought to call Fabbri and ask: ‘What were you looking at?’ It’s all fine to laugh and joke, but this is serious.“We’re not seeking alibis, but this changes the game. We could’ve taken the lead, moments later Inter score. It changes the entire match and that can change an entire season.”
Alcohol use is especially detrimental to patients with Hepatitis C.The findings showed that people infected with Hepatitis C are three times more likely to drink five or more drinks per day everyday than those without Hepatitis C, lifetime abstainers or current non-excessive drinkers.“Alcohol promotes faster development of fibrosis and progression to cirrhosis in people living with Hepatitis C, making drinking a dangerous and often deadly activity,” said lead author Amber L. Taylor from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Viral Hepatitis. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“In 2010, alcohol-related liver disease ranked third as a cause of death among people with Hepatitis C,” Tylor added in the paper published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.In order to better understand the link between alcohol use and Hepatitis C, investigators examined self-reported alcohol use.The team looked at Hepatitis C infection rates for four groups: lifetime abstainers, former drinkers, non-excessive current drinkers and excessive current drinkers. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixPeople who participated and tested positive for Hepatitis C antibodies found that 50 per cent were unaware before being notified.“Half of all people living with Hepatitis C are not aware of their infection nor the serious medical risks they face when consuming alcohol,” Taylor stated. The new information provided by this study helps shed more light on the level of alcohol consumption among those living with Hepatitis C. It can help guide best practices for both treating patients and possible interventions.
State Rep. Phil Green of Millington today announced his legislative office is open and ready to serve residents of the 84th House District. Sherry Sofia will serve as Rep. Green’s legislative director and Zoe Harness as his director of constituent relations.Rep. Green will have an integral role in the state’s budget process, following the announcement of committee appointments by House Speaker Lee Chatfield this week.Rep. Green will serve as vice chair for an appropriations subcommittee related to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The committee, along with others in the appropriations stable, will be responsible for deliberating on funding plans that impact state budget changes.“As we craft a state budget that reflects the demands of residents and the well-being of Michigan’s economy, it’s important to look at issues that will help the health and well-being of all residents,” Rep. Green said. “I’m honored to hold this position and look forward to the hard work ahead, creating a better Michigan and a government that is working efficiently for its residents.”Rep. Green will also serve on House Appropriations subcommittees related to higher education, agriculture and rural development, and the Departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality.People can contact Rep. Green by calling (517) 373-0476 or emailing RepPhilGreen@house.mi.gov. Correspondence can also be mailed to S-1188 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909. Residents can view updates from Rep. Green or subscribe to his newsletter by visiting www.RepPhilGreen.com. Categories: Green News 17Jan Rep. Green ready to serve local residents
The palladium chart was somewhat similar to the price action in silver, with all the major price inflection points coming at the same times. Palladium was closed at $801 spot, down 4 bucks from Monday. The gold stocks, which gapped down about 3 percent at the open, began to rally at the 10 a.m. EST London p.m. gold fix. But once the highs of the day were in for all four precious metals at 11 a.m. EST an hour later, the gold stocks topped out—and from there they got sold back down to their 9:55 a.m. low tick, but rallied a bit in the close from there. The HUI finished the Tuesday session down 3.21%. Platinum had a very similar pattern to gold—and most of the day’s losses were in by the London p.m. gold fix, which was 10 a.m. in New York. Platinum was closed down $22 on the day. The dollar index closed late on Monday afternoon in New York at 87.98—and the rally that had begun at the London p.m. gold fix on that day, continued unabated until its 88.67 high tick, which came around 2:40 p.m. EST on Tuesday. From there it gave up a few basis points into the close. The index finished the trading day at 88.63—up 65 basis points. Considering the rally in the dollar index, gold and silver prices held up pretty well. Here’s the 3-day dollar index chart, so you can see the 10 a.m. EST low tick at the London p.m. gold fix on Monday morning in New York—and how the rally off that low has progressed over the last couple of days. As I’ve said on many occasions, I’ve always felt like that there were times when the precious metals shares were being actively managed. Yesterday was one of those days. The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 4 of the December delivery month showed that 8 gold and 110 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Thursday. In silver, the two largest short/issuers were Jefferies with 76 contracts—and JPMorgan with 31 contracts out of its client account. The only long/stopper of note was HSBC USA with 89 contracts. Jefferies was a distant second with 11 contracts. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Tuesday session showed that December open interest in gold fell by 1,359 contracts—and now sits at 2,250 contracts—minus the deliveries mentioned in the previous paragraph. Silver’s December open interest declined by 190 contracts, leaving 736 contracts still open—minus the 110 posted for delivery tomorrow. An authorized participant added 76,869 troy ounces of gold to GLD on Tuesday—and there was a huge withdrawal from SLV, as an a.p. took out 2,730,965 troy ounces. I’m sure that Ted Butler will have something to say about the activity in SLV during the last two trading days when he posts his mid-week commentary to his paying subscribers this afternoon. The good folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their website with the activity in their gold and silver ETFs for the week ending on Friday, November 28—and this is what they had to report. Their gold ETF dropped 8,741 troy ounces; but their silver ETF actually took in some metal—17,324 troy ounces to be exact. Not a lot, to be sure, but better than the alternative. The U.S. Mint had a smallish sales report. They didn’t sell any gold yesterday, but they did sell another 139,500 silver eagles. Retail bullion sales continue to be as slow as molasses in January, so it’s a lead-pipe cinch that almost all the silver eagles sold are being purchase by ‘Mr. Big’. There wasn’t must in/out activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday, as only 100 kilobars were reported received—and 1 lonely kilobar was shipped out. The link to that activity is here. In silver, there was 600,072 troy ounces received—and 615,470 troy ounces were shipped out. The link to that action is here. I don’t have all that many stories for you today—and I hope there’s the odd one that you’ll find interesting. It remains to be seen if [Friday’s] high volume sell-off in shares of SLV, the big silver ETF, will result in any liquidation of metal holdings, or if the sell-off was used by short sellers to buy back previously shorted shares. Along with the relative disparity of Silver Eagle sales compared to sales of Gold Eagles, the disparity between the metal holdings in the big gold ETF, GLD, and the holdings in SLV continue to amaze. The holdings in GLD slid to another new low not seen since late 2008, while the holdings in SLV remain close to the all-time highs and nearly 150 million oz above the levels of late 2008. Some might suggest that relative sales of Silver Eagles and holdings in SLV are so much stronger than their gold counterparts because silver is so much cheaper than gold and that’s hard to argue with; but I would add a slightly different twist. It seems to me that these relative measures of comparison has more to do with the deliberate effort of JPMorgan to manipulate silver prices lower on the COMEX for the express intent of acquiring as much physical silver as possible through any means available. The alternative explanation, I suppose, is that the physical silver fell magically into JPMorgan’s lap. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 29 November 2014 Well, there was absolutely no follow-through to Monday’s giant rally in London and New York on Tuesday—and it was as I feared, another one-day wonder—a painted key reversal to the upside that ‘failed’ once again. But, in all fairness, I suppose that I should give this rally more time to materialize, but with half of Wednesday’s trading session already done, with zero price movement in any of the precious metals, its hard to get get enthusiastic about a rally continuation at this point. It should be noted that gold was closed back below its 50-day moving average—and the other three precious metals were stopped cold at their respective 50 and 200-day moving averages as well. Here are their 6-month charts. The silver price action had a lot more shape to it, but followed a very similar path to gold. From its Far East high, which came shortly after 2 p.m. Hong Kong time, the silver price bottomed out shortly before 1 p.m. in New York. From there it rallied [with some resistance] until 11 a.m. EST, which corresponded with the 4 p.m. GMT close of trading in London. After that it traded more or less sideways until the 5:15 p.m. EST close of electronic trading. The low and high ticks were reported as $16.07 and $16.535 in the March contract. Silver finished the Tuesday session in New York at $16.465 spot, up a half a cent from Monday’s close. Net volume was up there at 66,000 contracts. The silver equities started off the trading day with the same price pattern as the gold stocks. The high tick [in positive territory] also came minutes after 11 a.m. EST—and it was all down hill from there—and after 2 p.m. EST, the index traded sideways. The silver equities came close to finishing on their low ticks—and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down a chunky 4.51%—giving up well over half of their Monday gains, even though the metal itself closed in positive territory, if only by a hair. And as I write this paragraph, the London open is about 25 minutes away. Precious metal prices, as I said already, are doing precisely nothing—and all, except for silver of course, are up a bit from their closing prices in New York yesterday afternoon. Gold and silver volumes—21,000 and 6,700 contracts respectively—are very light, at least compared to what we’ve seen since Friday at this time of day, but their still a little chunkier than I’d like to see. The dollar index hasn’t done much of anything so far in the Wednesday trading session, but is up 7 basis points during the last hour or so. With so little price action in any of the precious metals yesterday, we’ll get an excellent read on what happened last Friday, and on Monday of this week, when the new Commitment of Traders Report hits the street at 3:30 p.m. EST this coming Friday—and I’ll be very interested in what this report shows, especially in the Managed Money category. And as I said in this space yesterday, we also get the December Bank Participation Report—and the data in that will be extremely helpful as well. And as I send this out the door at 5:30 a.m. EST, I see that all four precious metals rallied by tiny amounts starting just before the London open. None were allowed above their respective 50-day moving averages—and palladium was turn back at its 200-day moving average once again. Net gold volume is approaching 39,000 contracts—and silver’s net volume is around 10,500 contracts. The dollar index is now up 18 basis points, so considering the fact that dollar index is up a bit over 100 basis points since the Monday p.m. gold fix in London, the precious metals aren’t doing all that badly. I’ll be more than interested in the price action when I check the charts later this morning. That’s all I have for today—and I’ll see here tomorrow. A painted key reversal to the upside that ‘failed’ once again After getting sold down five bucks or so in the first hour of trading in New York on Monday evening, the price did nothing until the early afternoon in Far East trading. The tiny rally that developed at that point didn’t last long—and minutes after 9 a.m. GMT in London, the gold price was back under the $1,200 per ounce price mark. That’s where it stayed for the most of the remainder of the Tuesday trading session. The high tick was the Monday close in New York—and the CME Group recorded that as $1,212.60 in the February contract. The low was reported as $1,191.40. Gold finished the day at $1,198.50 spot, down $14.30 from Monday’s close—and safely back below it’s 50-day moving average. Net volume was pretty heavy at 176,000 contracts. First Majestic is a mining company focused on silver production in México and is aggressively pursuing the development of its existing mineral property assets. The Company presently owns and operates five producing silver mines; the La Parrilla Silver Mine, the San Martin Silver Mine, the La Encantada Silver Mine, the La Guitarra Silver Mine, and the Del Toro Silver Mine. Production from these five mines is anticipated to be between 12.70 to 13.35 million ounces of pure silver or 14.85 to 15.60 million ounces of silver equivalents in 2014. Please visit our website for more information.
Behind pea-green curtains in a steamy office in the Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui, comic book artist Didier Kassai carefully dips his paintbrush into a nut brown pigment on his palette, wipes it on a scratch sheet then slowly puts it to paper. His brush strokes bring a watercolor to life – itself a scene of death. The brown is used to color the butt of a rebel’s gun in a strip chronicling his country’s spiraling conflict.Kassai is one of a small coterie of comic-book artists in CAR using their work for social good — in a struggling and impoverished country. CAR’s government wields little authority beyond the capital. Armed groups control vast stretches of the country, where roads and phone networks are at best unreliable. Even Bangui — with U.N. peacekeepers everywhere — is not immune from violence. Last week more than a dozen people were killed and scores wounded in clashes in the capital. State services like health-care, meanwhile, are in short supply.That’s why comic strips like Kassai’s have such power: They’re a means of reaching a struggling population with valuable information about navigating daily life and survival in turbulent times.The front page of the local L’Hirondelle newspaper regularly features a comic strip. Aid organizations and U.N. agencies throughout CAR commission comics drawn by Kassai and his colleagues on a range of topics: wound treatment, sexual violence, security, sanitation, health services, how to turn in weapons and more.”They [comics] can transmit a message,” 42-year-old Kassai explains. “The work I’m doing now is to raise awareness. The most important thing is to recount what is happening in CAR.”The Central African Republic has been plagued by conflict since 2013, when a predominantly Muslim rebel coalition overthrew the government. The rebels committed atrocities on their path to power and largely-Christian militias formed to fight back. Thousands died in sectarian violence. While the deployment of a U.N. peacekeeping mission helped stem the bloodshed, violence has spiked over the past year. As of the end of February, the number of displaced civilians was 694,000 — the highest since the conflict began.The upsurge in violence comes as more than half the population of around 4.6 million needs urgent humanitarian assistance – with the U.N. calling the situation “dire.” CAR ranks last on the world development index and and the adult literacy rate is just 36.8 percent – meaning that reaching the masses through written messaging isn’t an effective option.”There’s a big struggle with diffusing information here,” Mercy Corps country director Rodolphe Moinaux says. “A lot of people can’t read or write so the images can speak to them.”That’s why aid organizations and other agencies hire artists like Kassai, printing their work as posters, leaflets, billboards and manuals.”[Comics are] easier to understand, you can reach children,” echoes Duccio Staderini, a spokesman for a coalition of international NGOs in CAR. “It works – people are crazy about it.”There was no real comic-book culture when Kassai was growing up near the northern city of Birao. But he was attracted to artistry from a young age, watching his mother decorate curtains for women in their village.The first strips he saw were imports from France – like the “Rangers” series about WWII. Once he flipped those pages, Kassai was hooked.”They told a story,” he says with a broad smile. “It allowed us to know what was happening in another world, a different world.”His father didn’t think an artist’s life was a “good path,” so Kassai drew in the dirt outside his home or secretly in his room.”My father would check my notebooks when I came home from school to see if I had been drawing,” he recalls.When he was older a U.S. missionary saw his talent and hired him to illustrate manuals. Those gigs helped convince Kassai’s father that his pastime paid well – especially once his father lost his job.”Cartoons saved our family,” Kassai explains. And now they might be helping to save others.Medecins Sans Frontieres has hired him for a series of illustrations showing that weapons aren’t allowed in their hospitals, that violent behavior is not appropriate in hospitals and that ambulances need safe passage. They printed 400 posters and 1,000 leaflets to distribute in areas where the organization works.”I needed an illustration that everyone can understand just by looking at,” MSF’s field communications manager Natacha Buhler says. Her colleagues in the northwest – in an area riven by recent clashes – told her they’d seen an armed man notice one of Kassai’s posters outside their health center. He stopped short and put down his gun before entering.”I said wow – we had an impact,” she recalls.Kassai typically arrives at his studio around 8 a.m. The long office is packed with drawings in every stage of completion. Picture frames are stacked on the floor, books are piled behind the work space, which is totally clear save for paint bottles and paper.On a recent Friday morning the studio was already hot but Kassai left his small blue fan off and the radio on in the background, broadcasting calls from listeners about politics and a report about the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.He painted slowly and deliberately, one coat of color at a time to fill in an outline on the page. The scene showed a rebel roadblock set up to collect unofficial taxes. Kassai mixed a blue, dabbed it, then painted in a man’s shirt. Shoulders hunched, he painted steadily for 30 minutes, then paused to check his phone before redipping his brush.While Kassai still does NGO work, he’s also working on a new graphic novel — a follow-up to his first, Tempete Sur Bangui (Tempest in Bangui) — which will continue telling the story of CAR’s struggles. This is his passion, recording his country’s history for future generations. He’s writing the word bubbles as well as doing the drawings.He is drawing gold mines run by armed groups, rebels torching houses. Other scenes show market women carrying their wares and a fisherman carting his catch along the river — all portrayed in meticulous and stunning watercolor.To ensure that the tradition of comics lives on, Kassai has been training young artists.One of Kassai’s proteges, 27-year-old Yvon Gandro, is a ready disciple.”I put everything into my art,” he declares.Gandro lost both parents as a boy and was raised by an aunt. Smiling, he recounts how he’d steal her black eyeliner, eyeshadow and lipstick to draw since he couldn’t afford crayons.”The drawings were my only friend,” he says, voice going soft. “They replaced my parents. It gave me a bit of paradise, a little joy, to create an imaginary world.”When his aunt discovered where her makeup had been going, she wasn’t angry – she was impressed by his talent and devoted herself to supporting his artistry.Gandro did a stint in art school and met Kassai in 2008 at a workshop, where he was introduced to comic strips and watercolor — “so different” from all he’d previously learned.”It was another world,” he recalls. “It was great.”Like his teacher, he has done work for U.N. groups on road safety, first aid, hospital protocols and more.While he doesn’t like depicting violence – “I get sad when I do those” – he believes such images have a greater purpose.”If we don’t do this work, tell the stories, our children won’t understand and they will suffer another violence,” he says earnestly.Take a strip on disarmament that he did for the U.N. At the end of the illustrated sequence, the disarmed rebel gets a job.”It shows that good can happen,” Gandro says. “Maybe it will show that the path of violence isn’t a good one.”That’s why he’s dedicated to continuing his work.With a boyish smile, he observes that his father had wanted him to be a doctor.”I became a doctor with images,” he says, “a healer through images.”Having young artists like Gandro carry on with comic strips in CAR means everything to Kassai.”For someone who is not Central African to tell our story, it won’t work,” he insists. “I want to show the reality [here].”Cassandra Vinograd is a freelance journalist working in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. She previously worked for NBC News, the Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal. Reach her @CassVinogradReporting for this story was supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Campaigners have been left “shocked and appalled” by the government’s decision to hold a workshop on the barriers facing disabled people without inviting a single disabled people’s organisation (DPO) to take part.The Cabinet Office workshop is due to take place tomorrow afternoon (Friday), and its purpose is to “convene leading external experts and officials to discuss the key issues facing disabled people and identify opportunities to address these”.But it has failed to invite representatives from organisations such as the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) – which represents many leading DPOs – or The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), and then snubbed their requests to take part when they found out about the event.Another disabled-led organisation missed off the list of invitees was Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).The Cabinet Office did invite Philip Connolly, policy manager for Disability Rights UK (DR UK), but he was invited as a policy specialist and not as a representative of DR UK.Mark Harrison (pictured, left), from ROFA, wrote to the Cabinet Office this week to ask if he could attend the workshop but was told it was “already at capacity” and that it was only “an initial exploratory meeting, including officials from Cabinet Office and the Office for Disability Issues [ODI] and a small group of academics and disability charity representatives”.The civil servant added: “If this initial work develops into a more significant work stream, then we intend to engage with a wide range of disabled person led and smaller groups and will be in touch with details.”Harrison told her he was “shocked and appalled” by the exclusion of DPOs and said this suggested the government had learned nothing from the recent examination by the UN of the government’s record in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).In its “concluding observations”, following the examination, the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities said in August 2017 that it was concerned about the UK government’s “lack of mechanisms to ensure effective participation of all organisations of persons with disabilities, in decision-making processes concerning policies and legislation in all areas of the Convention”.Harrison said he would now write to the UN committee “with this example amongst many others where the UK Government is still failing to comply with the [UNCRPD] which it has signed and ratified”.Sue Bott, DR UK’s deputy chief executive, said her organisations only found out about the event from the University of Bristol.She has been told the workshop will be based on research the university has co-produced with disabled people, including DR UK.Bott told Disability News Service (DNS): “[The university] did not want to attend the event without disabled people who had worked with them and asked if we had had an invitation.“Philip will be making our objections known at the workshop as will colleagues from Bristol University.“We were disgusted with the response given to ROFA from the Cabinet Office. “Either they have no knowledge of the CRPD, which is disgraceful in itself, or have chosen to ignore it and the need to engage with disabled people from the very beginning, not at some point down the line.”She said that DR UK would be happy to sign any joint letter of complaint from the coalition of DPOs – which also includes ROFA, ALLFIE and DPAC – that played a significant role in the review of the UK’s progress in implementing the UNCRPD.DPAC is also set to inform the UN committee of the government’s actions, which it says are an “ongoing and flagrant violation of our human rights enshrined in UNCRPD to which this government are committed to supporting”. DPAC has told the Cabinet Office that it is “horrified and angry” at its behaviour and that of the ODI, and added: “Oh, the irony of holding a workshop to address the barriers faced by disabled people which actually does not include disabled people – only a government department could do this without realising just how appalling it is.”Linda Burnip, co-founder of DPAC, told DNS that the decision to exclude DPOs from the workshop “ironically serves to illustrate the major barriers disabled people face.“This exclusion highlights the ongoing contempt which this government and its officials show towards disabled people and their lives.“It flies in the face of UNCRPD and the findings of the UN disability committee and can only be described as an utter and total disgrace.”Tara Flood, ALLFIE’s chief executive, told DNS she was “really cross” at her organisation being excluded from the workshop.She said: “We are the only DPO working in this area, so who the hell is on this invite list?“Where does this leave article 33 [of the UN convention, which describes how DPOs should be “fully involved” in monitoring the treaty’s implementation] and ‘nothing about us without us’?“If this is genuinely about tackling the barriers that disabled people face, where will disabled children and young people’s barriers fit in that? My feeling is that they are very unlikely to feature.”A government spokesperson declined to answer a series of questions about the workshop and its UNCRPD obligations, but said in a statement: “We recognise that a variety of groups have important insights to offer – and we will shortly be launching Regional Stakeholder Networks, providing forums for a wide range of people to contribute.”Only two months ago, the Department of Health and Social Care insisted that it was complying with the UN convention by consulting on its mental capacity (amendment) bill with non-user-led charities like Mencap and Sense.But the UNCRPD makes it clear that, when developing laws and policies relating to disabled people, governments “must closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities, through their representative organizations”.It defines “representative organizations” as those that are “led, directed and governed by persons with disabilities”, a definition which the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities included in its “general comment number seven”, which was adopted last September. A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…
IKEA’s ‘Open Platform’ Embraces Furniture Hacking Reporter at PCMag Dubbed ‘Delaktig,’ the new range of modular goods is expected to launch in 2018. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Register Now » The internet is brimming with ways to turn a regular old IKEA spice rack, plastic bag dispenser or bookcase into a unique DIY project.But soon you won’t have to scour Pinterest for designs: The budget-furniture emporium is launching its own “open platform” household line.The first product in the range — a basic unit shaped like a low sofa or bed frame — is expected to go on sale in early 2018, according to The Verge, which cited a (paywalled) article by The Wall Street Journal.IKEA introduced the program, dubbed “Delaktig” (Swedish for “involved”), in late 2016. Students from the Musashino Art University in Japan and the Royal College of Art in London joined the home goods giant and British designer Tom Dixon to contribute ideas for “an open platform that challenges the traditional concept of comfort.”At its core of this first hackable product will be a durable aluminum profile, made of 40 percent recycled material, which creates a flexible base to build seating or bedding “where comfort and functions can be altered to meet the changing needs in a home,” IKEA said last year.Following the modular approach the tech industry has toyed with, the popular outlet hopes Delaktig will help challenge traditional ways of production.”People hack anyway; we want to encourage that,” IKEA creative lead James Futcher told the WSJ.IKEA did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.In December, the company introduced a new website, “Retail Therapy,” where products are renamed to match common Google searches in Sweden. That simple wood stool is no longer referred to as “Frosta”; it is now a $15 interpretation of “My husband falls asleep on the couch.” And that memo board where you hang your keys is not a “Luns,” but a safe space for someone to compose their feelings.” –shares Stephanie Mlot Next Article IKEA This story originally appeared on PCMag January 30, 2017 Add to Queue Image credit: PCMag 2 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel.
Connected Teddy Bears Leaked Kids’ Voices Online Toys; Games February 28, 2017 The supposedly private messages were even held for ransom. Jon Fingas Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Add to Queue When Germany banned a connected doll over security concerns, it wasn’t being overly cautious. As it turns out, there’s a textbook example of what happens when toy data privacy goes horribly wrong.Security researchers have discovered that Spiral Toys’ internet-savvy teddy bears, CloudPets, stored kids’ voice messages to their parents (not to mention names and birthdays) in an insecure, misconfigured database that anyone could access online. While the passwords for the toys’ accounts (more than 821,000 of them) were stored in a cryptographic hash, there was no password strength limit — it was trivial to crack many accounts and download voice data at will. And it gets worse.Info security expert Niall Merrigan found evidence that the databases were compromised. Intruders copied the databases, deleted the originals and demanded a payment in bitcoin to get the data back. Given that the databases appeared to be completely gone by Jan. 13, it doesn’t appear that Spiral gave into or acknowledged the demands.As for Spiral’s response? There is none, and might never be. Microsoft’s Troy Hunt and others have tried reaching out to Spiral multiple times to no avail, and the company doesn’t appear to have notified customers despite obvious signs that something was amiss. From all indications, the company is on life support or dead: its social media accounts have been silent for months and its stock price is near worthless.The kicker is that a lot of this would be entirely avoidable. Rapid7 security research director Tod Beardsley tells Engadget that all of the flaws have could been addressed, but that Spiral seems “uniquely uninterested” in taking them on. While Rapid7 tends to get responses from companies “about 70 percent of the time” and almost always sees them implement a fix or workaround when they get in touch, it’s “increasingly rare” for a company to go completely silent.Between this incident and revelations for other products, it’s clear that connected toy makers are walking on glass when they decide to put kids’ communications online. Even if a company doesn’t do anything shady, such as passing the info along to irresponsible third-parties, it can only take a slip-up to expose extremely sensitive messages to the world. And that’s assuming skilled hackers don’t find it first, or that the company doesn’t go belly-up without a firm plan to erase stored data.This doesn’t mean that companies should abandon internet-capable toys altogether, but they need both weigh the merits of storing any info online and take very, very through precautions to make sure that leaks like this can’t happen. This story originally appeared on PCMag Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand 3 min read –shares Enroll Now for $5 Image credit: CloudPets via engadget Next Article
Add to Queue There will be millions of gatherings to watch the game, and just about every snack will have been purchased close to home. Super Bowl February 2, 2018 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 4 min read With the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots set to face off this Sunday in the Super Bowl, retailers are working overtime to capture shoppers as they plan out their game day festivities — and rightfully so. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), consumers are expected to spend $15.3 billion on Super Bowl-related items this year, up 8.5 percent from 2017’s estimate of $14.1 billion.So, what does this mean for businesses? Individuals who are planning to host game day parties present a lucrative audience for retailers and grocers to tap into to “win” sales around this event. According to new research, this year’s party hosts expect to spend more than $50 on food and supplies alone. The findings also indicate that small, local retailers and grocers can expect to reap a bigger slice of the pie. Forty-three percent of respondents plan to shop small and local, compared to 33 percent who will opt for larger chain stores. Also, consider this — more than half are only willing to travel less than four miles to make their purchases. When it comes to those ordering take-out from a restaurant, they will travel similar distances.With this ideal market in front of them, here are three ways small, independent businesses can beat out the competition to score big on game day.Related: Billionaire Jeff Bezos Will Star in Amazon’s Super Bowl AdAdvertise early and often.According to the survey’s findings, the majority of consumers (69 percent) will complete their purchases just a day or two before, or even the day of the Super Bowl. This presents a prime opportunity for local businesses to draw in these last-minute shoppers through timely, targeted advertisements and promotions, as well as cross-platform messaging.For instance, a local grocer can send out a coupon via email on the morning of game day offering a buy-one-get-one free food deal for those who shop in-store by 10 a.m. In addition to increasing brick-and-mortar foot-traffic, this will also likely lead to ancillary purchases for items such as paper plates, plastic utensils and the all-important chips and dips.However, while these last-minute shoppers should certainly be prioritized by retailers and grocers, the survey findings also note that nearly one-third of consumers will begin shopping for party supplies at least a week in advance of game day. With this insight, it’s important for businesses to create multiple touchpoints with shoppers via offers and promotions throughout the week leading up to Sunday.Related: The Conclusion to This Super Bowl Ad Was Deemed Too Controversial for TVOptimize the in-store experience.With so many last-minute shoppers coming out in full-force on game day, and 75 percent of them planning to purchase their game day party supplies in-store, retailers and grocers must ensure that their brick-and-mortar locations provide customers with speed, accessibility and convenience. To do so, stores should:Embrace the perimeter: Place party essentials like chips and dips and beer/soda options in convenient, high-traffic areas for enhanced convenience.Group related items: Create one-stop sections for items such as disposable plates, eating utensils and napkins.Utilize in-store circulars for coupon distribution. One-third of consumers plan to check for coupons and deals via in-store circulars — retailers and grocers should ensure they are meeting this demand.Related: Secrets from a Super Bowl Campaign That’s Had 2 Billion ImpressionsPrepare for increased traffic.It’s clear that when it comes to game day shopping and preparation, consumers are planning to shop local. However, many of these businesses tend to have less shelf space and inventory, which brings me to my final point — ensuring the supply meets the demand.That holds especially true for restaurants. Nearly half (47 percent) of all survey respondents plan to order out for their parties this year, presenting an opportunity for small, local restaurants to capitalize on the event. Often, pizza is synonymous with a football party. According to RetailMeNot, last year, Americans bought over 12.5 million pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday, with an average order value of $26.45.For a local pizza establishment cranking out pies, they need to drive a positive experience to bring the consumer back for more. And ensure they are well-staffed to deliver with speed.The year’s biggest football event presents a valuable opportunity for restaurants, grocers and retailers of all sizes to boost sales and start the New Year strong. However, small, local businesses should expect to see the biggest gains as consumers value convenience and proximity above all else when it comes to hosting parties for game day. With just a few tweaks to their operations, smaller shops can expect to score big both on Super Bowl sales and future brand loyalty. CMO of Valassis Guest Writer Super Bowl Provides Opportunity for Local Businesses to Score Big Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Curtis Tingle Image credit: keira01 | Getty Images –shares Register Now » Next Article
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 15 2018When a child gets the flu, they’re not only sick in bed for a week or more, but the illness can also have serious and even life-threatening consequences. In fact, 180 children died after contracting the flu during the 2017-2018 season, one of the most severe on record. Despite the consensus of the medical community, a new national survey by Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children finds that a shocking number of parents are still skeptical about the safety and effectiveness of the flu shot.”We know that there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about the flu,” said Jean Moorjani, MD, a board-certified pediatrician at Arnold Palmer Hospital. “In this day and age we have so many ways to get information, so if anybody has questions or concerns, we recommend they talk to a doctor they trust to get the right information about what’s best to protect themselves and their families.”The survey found that more than half of parents with children under age 18 believe that their child can get the flu from the flu shot, while a third think that the shot does not protect against the flu.Moorjani says many parents are unaware that it takes about two weeks after getting the vaccine for the body to build up antibodies to adequately protect against the flu, during which someone is still susceptible to contracting the virus. When someone gets sick within that time period, they may incorrectly assume that the flu was caused by the shot.”The parts of the virus that are used in the vaccine are completely dead, so you cannot get the flu from the flu shot,” said Moorjani. “It takes time for your body to get strong and ready for flu season, which is why we recommend everybody get the shot as soon as they can. If you are infected with the flu shortly after getting your flu shot, your body may not be able to fight it off.”In addition to the effectiveness of the flu shot, the survey also found that many parents question the vaccine’s safety, as well. 30 percent think that the flu shot is a conspiracy, while 28 percent believe it can cause autism.Related StoriesAntibiotics can wipe out early flu resistance, study findsWomen’s greater immune response to flu vaccine declines with ageComputer-generated flu vaccine enters clinical trials in the US”After extensive studies, we know that the flu vaccine is safe,” said Moorjani. “You cannot get autism from the flu vaccine. It is not a conspiracy for doctors to recommend the flu vaccine. Doctors recommend it because we know — based on science, research and facts — that it is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu.”Ehren McMichael makes it a point to take her three children to get their flu shots every fall. While she’s aware that the shot is not 100 percent effective in preventing the flu, she knows that it is the best method available to keep her family healthy through flu season.”My youngest child got the flu last year before we were able to get our flu shots, and he was miserable for about four days,” said McMichael. “I know moms who believe a lot of the misinformation that’s out there, but I think that our pediatrician is the best person to get our information from. As a parent, the flu shot is just another level of protection I can give my kids, and with so many places offering flu shots, it’s really simple.”Experts recommend that everyone over the age of six months get the flu shot, and the sooner the better. If you have the choice, doctors say the shot has been found to be more effective than the nasal spray in preventing the flu. If your child is under the age of eight and it is the first time they’ve received the flu shot, they will need two shots, spaced a month apart, to build up their resistance. Getting the shot not only helps protect those who receive it, but also vulnerable populations, such as infants, who can’t be vaccinated and are more likely to experience serious health effects from the flu. Source:http://ohap.multimedia-newsroom.com/index.php/2018/10/15/survey-shows-widespread-skepticism-of-flu-shot-despite-doctor-recommendations/
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 9 2018A standardized care pathway for children with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis undergoing spinal fusion surgery reduces the need for opioid pain medications and shortens hospital stays at Children’s National Health System.The outcomes were reported in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. The study measured the impact of a new spinal fusion surgical home pathway that delivers coordinated, comprehensive care for every patient without increasing costs.The study is the first of its kind to show that the benefits of this unique care pathway, which was mapped and designed at Children’s National using the Six Sigma LEAN process, are sustainable and repeatable over a longer period of time, and have been maintained longer than any other pediatric spinal fusion care model to date.Related StoriesNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’Revolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degeneration”Our primary goal was to improve the value of care for children with scoliosis and their families,” says Matthew Oetgen, M.D., chief of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at Children’s National and study lead author. “Even better, we’ve shown that this model can be used consistently over time to maintain the benefits it delivers to this patient population.”The team conducted a retrospective analysis of prospective data from all patients (213) undergoing posterior spinal fusion at Children’s National Health System from 2014 to 2017, a period of time that captures nearly one year before implementation of the new pathway and 2.5 years after implementation.As pressure builds to increase the value of care, many hospital systems are trying standardized care pathways for many complex conditions, in an effort to decrease care variability, improve outcomes and decrease cost. Previous research has shown the effectiveness of a variety of standardized pathways with wide-ranging goals for spinal fusion procedures, however, most published studies have focused only on the initial success of these pathways. This study is the first to look at the implementation over a period of two-and-a-half years to gauge whether the process and its effectiveness could be maintained long term.The authors attribute physician buy-in across disciplines and strict adherence to pathway processes as key to the success of this model. In addition, the team created standardized educational procedures for onboarding new care providers and implemented standardized electronic order sets for both orthopaedic and anesthesia services to make the pathway easy to maintain with little deviation over time. Lean process mapping at the outset included a broad group of care providers who established a collaborative environment that empowered and engaged the entire team to take ownership over the new process.”We used proven business models for culture change that were critical to the success of this program,” Oetgen says. “We’re proud of the model we have created and think it would work well in other pediatric hospitals with similar patient populations.” Source:https://childrensnational.org/news-and-events/childrens-newsroom/2018/surgical-home-program-for-spinal-fusion-achieves-long-term-success
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 9 2019Dangerous airborne viruses are rendered harmless on-the-fly when exposed to energetic, charged fragments of air molecules, University of Michigan researchers have shown.They hope to one day harness this capability to replace a century-old device: the surgical mask.The U-M engineers have measured the virus-killing speed and effectiveness of non-thermal plasmas–the ionized, or charged, particles that form around electrical discharges such as sparks. A non-thermal plasma reactor was able to inactivate or remove from the airstream 99.9% of a test virus, with the vast majority due to inactivation.Achieving these results in a fraction of a second within a stream of air holds promise for many applications where sterile air supplies are needed.”The most difficult disease transmission route to guard against is airborne because we have relatively little to protect us when we breathe,” said Herek Clack, U-M research associate professor of civil and environmental engineering.To gauge non-thermal plasmas’ effectiveness, researchers pumped a model virus–harmless to humans–into flowing air as it entered a reactor. Inside the reactor, borosilicate glass beads are packed into a cylindrical shape, or bed. The viruses in the air flow through the spaces between the beads, and that’s where they are inactivated.Related StoriesCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatmentVirus employs powerful strategy to inhibit natural killer cell functionScientists discover weakness in common cold virus”In those void spaces, you’re initiating sparks,” Clack said. “By passing through the packed bed, pathogens in the air stream are oxidized by unstable atoms called radicals. What’s left is a virus that has diminished ability to infect cells.”The experiment and its results are published in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics.Notably, during these tests researchers also tracked the amount of viral genome that was present in the air. In this way, Clack and his team were able to determine that more than 99% of the air sterilizing effect was due to inactivating the virus that was present, with the remainder of the effect due to filtering the virus from the air stream.”The results tell us that non-thermal plasma treatment is very effective at inactivating airborne viruses,” said Krista Wigginton, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. “There are limited technologies for air disinfection, so this is an important finding.”This parallel approach–combining filtration and inactivation of airborne pathogens–could provide a more efficient way of providing sterile air than technologies used today, such as filtration and ultraviolet light. Traditional masks operate using only filtration for protection.Ultraviolet irradiation can’t sterilize as quickly, as throughly or as compactly has non-thermal plasma.Clack and his research team have begun testing their reactor on ventilation air streams at a livestock farm near Ann Arbor. Animal agriculture and its vulnerability to contagious livestock diseases such as avian influenza has a demonstrated near-term need for such technologies.Source: https://news.umich.edu/cold-plasma-can-kill-99-9-of-airborne-viruses-u-m-study-shows/
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 20 2019An important class of drug used to treat cancer patients could be used to treat brain aneurysms, according to new research published this week.Brain aneurysms are a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall. As blood passes through the weakened blood vessel, blood pressure causes a small area to bulge outwards.They can develop anywhere in the body but are most common in the abdominal aorta (the artery that carries blood away from the heart) and the brain.It’s difficult to estimate exactly how many people are affected by brain aneurysms as they usually cause no symptoms until they rupture, but experts believe it could be anywhere from 1 in 100 to as many as 1 in 20 people.Treatment is difficult, involving complex surgery which is currently only attempted in select cases. In a notable example, Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke suffered from two aneurysms while filming the series, undergoing surgery as a result.Working in collaboration with colleagues at University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, USA, scientists at the University of Sussex may now have found a safer and more efficient possible treatment involving ‘Receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors’; a class of drug currently used to treat cancer.Using sophisticated ‘next generation’ DNA sequencing technologies, teams in Washington lead by Manuel Ferreira, Associated Professor of Neurological Surgery, identified a new genetic basis of a form of brain aneurysm (mutations PDGFRB). This was unexpected, as mutations in this gene have been previously identified in completely different human developmental disorders.Mark O’Driscoll, Professor of Human Molecular Genetics at the Genome Damage and Stability Centre at the University of Sussex, then found that multiple disease-associated mutations in PDGFRB caused a specific abnormality in its encoded protein. This abnormality causes its activity to remain locked in a hyper-active form, referred to as ‘gain-of-function variants’ – in effect, causing the protein to always be ‘turned-on’.Publishing their findings in this months’ edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics, the Sussex team also demonstrated that this abnormal form of the protein can, in some cases, be countered by a drug which is currently used in cancer treatments. This is an extremely exciting discovery which shows how basic lab-derived observations on a genetic level can move into a clinical setting and start making big changes to public healthcare and treatments. Our research focused primarily on understanding the genetic and cellular mechanisms underlying a particular type of aneurysm. By finding a new genetic basis in some patients, we were also able to demonstrate that a known cancer drug could counter this genetic basis in most instances. Understanding the genetics behind diseases like this is crucial in identifying possible treatments and next steps – and that is exactly what our part in this new research has shown. The lead authors and our collaborators on this paper based in the US, are now working on the next stages to test this drug further.Professor O’Driscoll Related StoriesStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerDrug repurposing is not unheard of, and there are already some success stories including the use of thalidomide as a treatment for leprosy as well as a blood cancer called multiple myeloma.Dr Manuel Ferreira, lead author of the report from the University Of Washington School Of Medicine, said: “We are now very close to treating these aneurysm patients with PDGFRB variants with specific receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors”.Source: University of SussexJournal reference:Ferreira, M (2019) Somatic PDGFRB activating variants in fusiform cerebral aneurysms. American Journal of Human Genetics. doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.03.014
This Feb. 12, 2015 file photo shows signage for travel booking site Orbitz outside the building that houses its headquarters, in Chicago. Orbitz says a legacy travel booking platform may have been hacked, potentially exposing the personal information of people that made purchases between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 22, 2017. The company said Tuesday, March 20, 2018, about 880,000 payment cards were impacted. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File) This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Citation: Orbitz says legacy travel site likely hacked, affecting 880K (2018, March 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-orbitz-legacy-platform-hacked.html Orbitz says one of its older websites may have been hacked, potentially exposing the personal information of people who made purchases online between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 22, 2017. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The current Orbitz.com website was not involved in the incident. Orbitz is now owned by Expedia Inc. of Belleview, Washington.Orbitz said Tuesday about 880,000 payment cards were impacted.Data that was likely exposed includes name, address, payment card information, date of birth, phone number, email address and gender. Social Security information was not hacked, however. The company said evidence suggests that an attacker may have accessed information stored on the platform—which was for both consumers and business partners—between Oct. 1, 2017 and Dec. 22, 2017.It said it discovered the data breach March 1.Orbitz is offering those impacted a year of free credit monitoring and identity protection service in countries where available. Orbitz to Go Public, Again