first_img Late Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman and former Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Mark Grace are among the six members of the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame’s 2018 induction class.The hall announced the inductees on Wednesday.Tillman and Grace are joined by former Brophy College Prep swimmer Gary Hall Jr., long-time Arizona Wildcats softball head coach Mike Candrea, Xavier College Prepartory athletic director and golf coach Sister Lynn Winsor, and former Chaparral softball coach Jeff Oscarson. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact In 22 years coaching at Chaparral, Oscarson won five softball state titles. He retired in 2003 with a 450-122-3 record.A 1970 draft pick by the Chicago Cubs out of Saguaro High School, Oscarson opted to play baseball in college and won two national titles for Mesa Community College before transferring to Arizona State, where he played in 1973-74.All of the inductees to the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame must fit one of three requirements: they are a native of Arizona, are immediately recognized as an Arizonan or have made at least two significant contributions to the athletics community in the state. 5 Comments   Share   At Arizona State, Tillman, the 2017 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, led the Sun Devils to the Rose Bowl. He graduated from ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business and was selected in the seventh round by the Arizona Cardinals in 1998, quickly becoming a starting safety to break the franchise record with 224 tackles in 2000.Tillman turned down a contract offer from the Cardinals in 2002 and enlisted in the Army. He was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004.Related LinksLittle but memories remain of Cardinals training camp in FlagstaffD-backs GM Mike Hazen proving to be a game-changer for the franchiseCardinals notebook: Outdoor practice and Chandler Jones’ sled destructionD-backs’ Hazen walks tightrope in trades; Shelby Miller not written offGrace played for the Diamondbacks from 2001-03, winning the 2001 World Series with Arizona and now does game analysis for the team on FOX Sports Arizona.After attending Brophy, Hall swam for the United States Olympic team in 1996, 2000 and 2004, winning 10 medals, including five gold.Candrea is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I softball history and has brought eight national championships and 22 Women’s College World Series appearances to Tucson. He has been named the NCAA Coach of the Year four times and has also coached the United States to a gold medal in 2004 and silver in 2008.Winsor began at Xavier in 1974 and has since won 35 6A/Division I girls golf titles. Over that time, Xavier has recorded a 457-25 record (.948 winning percentage), and more than half of her golfers have earned college scholarships.center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires (AP Photo/Roy Dabner, File)last_img read more

first_imgSweden’s Kinnevik has completed the completed the distribution of its shares in Modern Times Group to its shareholders, signaling its exit from ownership of the media company.Kinnevik has distributed a total of 13,503,856 MTG Class B shares to its shareholders. This total includes 4,461,691 MTG Class B shares that have been recently reclassified from MTG Class A shares.Kinnevik took the decision to distribute its shares in MTG earlier this year after the merger deal between  between mobile telecoms player Tele2 and cable operator Com Hem, when Kinnevik agreed to effect pro-competitive measures , if required, to complete the deal.Kinnevik has participated in the European Commission’s merger control procedure to identify measures that would enable merger clearance. By distributing all of Kinnevik’s shares in MTG, Kinnevik said it would both ensure clearance of the merger of Tele2 and Com Hem, and deliver an extraordinary dividend to Kinnevik’s shareholders.The distribution means that Kinnevik’s shareholders will become direct shareholders in MTG and Nordic Entertainment Group following the split of MTG into two parts that is expected to be completed during the second half of 2018.last_img read more

first_img We have been accused at times – rightfully so – of being largely focused on the trials and tribulations of the newfound political economy. Given its place as one of the biggest contributing factors to the performance of the investment markets these days, it makes sense. However, there is one area of the economy that continues to grow, largely unabated by the foolish risk-taking of investment banks and the constant flow of bailouts and “easing” – it’s the technology sector. This week, I had a chance to sit down with Doug Casey to get his thoughts on a subject that has long been near and dear to him as an investor and as a person, starting with the most talked about tech story of the past month, Facebook. Louis James: Doug, with a market capitalization surging to almost $100 billion on the IPO of a website company, subsequent 50% haircut wiping out billions of retail investors’ dollars, and now a rugby-style pile-on of lawsuits, I’m sure you have some thoughts on the Facebook fiasco. Care to share? Doug: Sure. Problems were rather predictable, from a number of points of view. First was the market valuation approaching $100 billion; that was a completely arbitrary number, based a ridiculously high P/E ratio, close to 100:1. It’s true that a billion dollars isn’t what it used to be, but it’s still a lot of money. It tells me that there’s still way too much optimism in the stock market in general. It’s a new world since 2008; and it’s absolutely nothing like the late ’90s, when the Internet/telecom/tech bubble was inflated. People are, ironically, living in the past while they think they’re investing in a technology of the future. Apparently the majority of those who piled in at up to $45 per share were retail investors. I’m not opposed to buying IPOs; sometimes they’re deliberately underpriced – in good part so the underwriter can be a hero to its clients and build a good reputation for successful offerings. But a gigantic offering, at a rich price, when the ducks are quacking? Include me out. I like deals that relatively few people are interested in or have even heard about. Of course that approach kept me out of Google, as well. But you have to play the odds. In fact, there are very few stocks I want to own today. The financial sector is entirely too big as a proportion of the economy, and people are still way too interested in “the market” – especially as the world sinks deeper into the Greater Depression. The name of the game today shouldn’t be trying to scalp a few dollars by selling some tech stock to a greater fool. It’s about preserving capital. L: No evidence of “market capitulation” on that IPO – the volume was so fast and furious it crashed the Nasdaq trading system, and lots of people never got their orders filled. Doug: Lucky for them. The shares have gone from that $45 high to a low – so far – of $25.52. That’s a 43% haircut in just a few days. L: Sounds like a junior mining stock. Doug: [Laughs] It does. But at least a mining company can offer a lottery ticket for life-changing gains. When you buy into something with a $100 billion market cap, you’re most likely just providing liquidity for early investors who’ve already made 100:1, or even 1,000:1, on their money. I’m sorry to see people lose money in the market. Theoretically, investors are providing capital for new businesses and technologies. They’re doing that instead of consuming wealth and frittering away capital on high living. I’d like to see them richly rewarded, which would encourage more people to do the same thing. But people who blindly gamble on a trade they don’t understand deserve their losses. Of course, since we’re talking billions of dollars, the “fairness police” are sure to put this thing under a microscope. And naturally, hordes of ambulance-chasers are coming out of the woodwork to collect their fees helping people waste time and money suing each other. The result will be more people who are permanently turned off of investing. And likely lots of new rules and regulations. We’re in a major bear market. The bad news is that lots of nasty things will happen to take the market lower, toward an ultimate bottom. The good news is that eventually a real bottom will be reached, and it will be possible to buy great companies unbelievably cheaply. However, there’s more bad news, namely that the bottom is likely quite a while down the road… In the meantime, the busybodies, losers, and goons who populate the “Swindlers Encouragement Commission” will have a field day. Their counterproductive rules serve only to enrich lawyers and create a false sense of security for naïve investors – as we discussed at some length in our conversation on insider trading. It’s all part and parcel of an investment climate – and more importantly a moral climate – in which the public thinks someone should pay them if they gamble and lose. It’s more writing on the wall: the America that once was has been replaced by the “United State,” inhabited by herds of obedient, reality-TV-educated inmates who take no responsibility for their own actions. Things are going to get worse before they get better. L: Will it get better, Doug? You keep saying it’s going to be worse than even you think it is – and I know you have a pretty fertile imagination. You say you’re glad you have quiet, out-of-the way places to go to when the stock market really crashes, inflation sets in with a vengeance, and the middle class gets thoroughly wiped out. When the riots start, you want to be watching on your widescreen TV, not through your front window. That’s scary enough, but if it’s going to be even worse than you think it will be, what makes you think things will get better – at least in a timeframe of any use to us? How do you know things won’t go “Mad Max” on us, leading to a new dark age? Doug: Well, if the climate-change hysterics get their way, we could see a new Dark Age – or a Dark & Cold Age, since candles put carbon into the atmosphere. Starting a fire could become a capital crime. L: That’s not encouraging. I thought you were an optimist? Doug: I am. I don’t expect a new Dark Age, but neither did the Romans in the early 5th century. Everything and anything is possible, both on the upside and the downside – you don’t live long and prosper by ignoring unsavory possibilities. We’ve become accustomed, as a civilization, to rapid improvements in science, technology, and our general standard of living for roughly the last 200 years, since the start of the Industrial Revolution. It seems like a long time from one perspective. But it’s only about eight generations, or the overlapping lives of two really old people. If you take a longer view, since biologically modern humans evolved perhaps 200,000 years ago, you see that progress was very slow. Maybe 100,000 years went by between the ability to make fire and the invention of the bow. Then maybe another 80,000 to the invention of pottery. Maybe advances in technology are subject to periods of punctuated equilibrium, as are the evolution of species. Maybe the last 200 years of rapid progress are slowing down. It seems to me there were rapid advances in every area for that time – electricity, aircraft, telephony, atomic energy, and literally a thousand other things resulting from the systemization of science. Other than in computers, though, things seem to have slowed down over the last 50 years. I wonder if we’re not just advancing past breakthroughs more than making new ones. Living off of past inertia… I really don’t know if that’s an accurate view; I’m just considering possibilities. L: So why are you an optimist, then? Doug: Well, for one thing, as we discussed in our previous conversation on technology, I think it’s a very important fact that there are more scientists and engineers alive now than there have been in all of history combined. That’s an extraordinarily positive thing. But looking at the trivia many of them are working on, I don’t get the impression there are that many Edisons, Teslas, and Einsteins out there. Let me put that in context… there are probably more, simply because it’s a standard distribution, and there are more people. But maybe conditions aren’t as conducive to their blossoming as was the case 100 years ago, and making the most of their abilities is harder in some ways – although it’s easier in others, like the things made possible with the Internet. In other words, it seems to me most geniuses in the past were entrepreneurs, working in their basements and garages. Today it seems most go to work for big corporations, or especially the government; those aren’t environments conducive to game-changing breakthroughs. A lot of the science today seems to require multibillion-dollar investments; it seems to consume capital, as opposed to creating capital. For instance, NASA resembles the post office more and more every day. On the other hand you’ve got Burt Rutan’s and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. But capital has to be available to fund things like that. And the losses people have incurred in Facebook and a protracted bear market may be a disincentive to put that capital together. Plus, the actions of governments – which are largely approved of by their subjects – all over the world are very destructive of capital, even if we don’t get World War III. L: Where do you expect these trends to take us? Doug: The two areas where it seems the most progress is being made are biotech – including medicine – and computers, in which I include robotics. In medicine, rapid progress is being made on previously incurable diseases like cancer. I’ve heard credible arguments that completely effective cures – not just treatments, but cures – for various cancers may be as little as 10 years away. And it’s not just curing diseases, but understanding and prolonging life expectancy. As things stand, if we can prevent or cure all diseases, disorders, infections, and so forth, various factors point to a “natural” human life expectancy of about 120 years. But researchers already have lab rats growing new legs, vat-grown organs, and maybe the keys to slowing or stopping various aging processes altogether. L: Wait – what happens if the Baby Boomers all get another 100 years of relatively good health? Doug: Good question. The average age of death keeps rising – it’s something like 78 now – although the ultimate age remains about 120. The key is to extend the ultimate age while reversing the aging process. There’s no point in being one of Jonathan Swift’s Struldbrugs. This is why “estate planning” for smart 50- to 60-somethings should not be focused on dispersing accumulated capital to younger generations, but keeping capital productive and growing for many decades to come. Anyone not already suffering from a specific, terminal condition that gives them a life expectancy of fewer than 10 years should have more than a 10- or 20-year financial plan. You want a plan that will allow you to buy the technology to live to 200, with a better body than you now have. But that possibility will be available only to those who can afford it, at least to begin with. No one knows what life will be like on this world in 100 years, and by then we should have colonized other worlds where things could be even more different, so such plans can’t be too detailed. But you only have a chance of finding out if you have the capital to buy the technology to make it possible. L: Sounds like a lot of money. Doug: I’m not a planner by nature. My approach to life has always been that when I come to a fork in the road, I take it. But the accumulation of personal capital is important because it offers vastly more possibilities than does being poor. Money is not hard to come by; you only need find goods and services to provide other people. Vision is hard to come by. It’s because most people’s vision is limited by the culture they grew up in and their own negative attitudes that money is hard for them to accumulate. You know very well that most investors, for example, don’t have what it takes to be successful speculators – that’s why there will always be fantastic profits for those with the independence of mind to be true contrarians and hence successful speculators. L: Okay, well, that sounds more optimistic. But what about the dark side of advanced medical and biological technologies – bioweapons, for example? Doug: Utopia is not an option, at least on this planet. Sure, The Andromeda Strain could wipe us all out tomorrow. Barring that, however, the trend in medicine and biotech is definitely skewed towards longer, healthier lives for most people. L: And the other trend, in computers and robotics – are you as optimistic there? Doug: To be honest, it’s harder to be purely optimistic about this one. Powerful new technologies that lend themselves to abuse are already being deployed, and I don’t just mean weapons, as in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove – which is one of the best movies ever made. And I don’t mean things as obvious as video cameras on every street corner, as in V for Vendetta – another of my all-time favorites. I’m thinking about the swarms of drones that are already taking to the air above our heads – not to mention all the stuff that surely exists but is not public knowledge yet. On the other hand, the fact that single individuals can take on whole governments – as participants in the Anonymous group have done – shows that it’s far from a foregone conclusion that we’re headed for the world of 1984, where Big Brother is watching all of us all the time. The technology that could enable that is certainly on the way, but the hacks and technologies to foil universal surveillance is also certainly on the way. More than any specific nightmare technology or scenario, like “Skynet” taking over, what concerns me is that during the Great Enlightenment and ensuing Industrial Age, scientists and inventors were almost entirely private individuals, working for profit or at least their personal interest. Now, Big Government has led to an age of Government Science, which is a very dangerous thing. And the worst part is that a lot of the best and brightest are going to work for the government or for government-funded projects, which is practically the same thing. This is giving the state access to brainpower and creativity. And, as I pointed out in my articles on why sociopaths are always and inevitably drawn to government. Combine these things and you get a really nasty combination. That is frightening. L: Not sounding optimistic again… Doug: I said that sub-trends like this make it harder – not impossible – to be optimistic. Overall the longest trend of them all is The Ascent of Man – and that’s extremely bullish for us all. L: Hm. Well, back to Facebook. I have to say, we did warn people to stay away from that IPO in our technology letter. Doug: Yes, we did. I was tempted to short it myself, actually. But there’s something more interesting than just the IPO disaster to think about regarding Facebook. I saw Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg interviewed on the Charlie Rose show, and several things stood out for me. Now, I actually have a Facebook account, though I don’t use it for anything. I got it some years ago, when someone suggested it would be a good way to find old friends, but mostly it’s complete strangers who “friend” me… although, on the bright side, about 90% seem to be other anarchocapitalist libertarians. On the dark side, it will be one-stop shopping for the bad guys when they use Facebook to round up the usual suspects. The problem is that I don’t know my Facebook friends well enough to want to get to know them, given that there are only 24 hours in a day. And I wouldn’t dream of posting anything other than utter trivia about my personal life there. But I understand that others do use Facebook extensively, even to the degree of it being their primary way of communicating with their friends and family. It seems entirely too impersonal to appeal to me anyway. L: I have a Facebook account as well, which I use largely for one-way communication, sharing a bit of my adventures with my readers – stuff they find interesting, but for which there’s no room in the newsletter. Doug: That sounds like a fairly rational use. This technology does, however, seem to be changing the way people communicate and interact. One thing Zuckerberg said in the interview was that if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world – and gaining. Now, Facebook could be out of business in a year, for all I know and care, superseded by the next online phenomenon – hopefully one that’s not a direct pipeline into the NSA and every other dangerous government agency out there. But whatever comes next, the Internet is still connecting people along lines of their choosing, rather than by accident of birth, and without regard to national boundaries – or even language barriers, for that matter. Things like Facebook are basically giant engines for creating phyles, and that, as we’ve discussed, is what I think the social organization is evolving toward. We can see it happening. Virtual communities are forming, solidifying, and becoming more important to many of their members than nationality, race, or even religion. The future is taking shape right on our screens. The question is where this will ultimately lead… Once talking about technology, it is easy to continue on the subject for a long time… understandable, given the sheer number of breakthrough developments of the past few years. After all, it was only five years ago that the first iPhone was released… two years ago for the iPad. All of this development also presents a remarkable set of opportunities for investors. It’s the reason that Doug has long championed having a technology-investing division. For the past three years, that division has been headed by Alex Daley. He and his team have posted an incredible track record in that brief period – including a very accurate call on the direction of the Facebook IPO. Part of their success lies in understanding that behind every amazing advance are great minds – minds that are so valuable to tech companies that they are willing to fight to get the best and brightest on their team. By Doug Casey, Casey Researchlast_img read more

first_imgAn international committee of disabled human rights experts have delivered a series of withering attacks on the UK government over its failure to implement the UN disability convention.Following a two-day public examination of the UK’s progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the committee said it was “deeply concerned” that the UK government still believed it was a “champion of human rights”.The committee’s chair, Theresia Degener (pictured), from Germany, told the UK government’s delegation that its cuts to social security and other support for disabled people had caused “a human catastrophe”, which was “totally neglecting the vulnerable situation people with disabilities find themselves in”.Stig Langvad, the committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) member who is leading the UK examination, said the government had failed to demonstrate its commitment to the convention.He said the government had failed to answer many questions put to it by the committee over the two days, and that it had “become evident that the committee has a very different perception of how human rights should be understood and implemented” than the UK government.He called on the UK to develop a “concrete strategy which is sufficiently funded” to “fully acknowledge and implement the convention”.Langvad said the committee was “deeply concerned” about the government’s refusal to recognise the findings and recommendations of the committee’s earlier inquiry, which concluded last November that there had been “grave and systematic violations” of three key parts of the convention.He said: “We expect the state party to take the appropriate measures to address the recommendations of our inquiry report.”Langvad added: “I could provide a long list of examples where the state party doesn’t live up to the convention. Unfortunately, the time is too limited.”Coomaravel Pyaneandee, a vice-chair of the committee, had earlier told the UK delegation: “I want to see you coming back as world leader, which at the moment I am afraid you’re not, but disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) from whom I draw inspiration are in fact the world leaders in your country.”Many representatives of DPOs – including Inclusion London, the Alliance for Inclusive Education, Disabled People Against Cuts, Equal Lives, Black Triangle, Disability Rights UK, Inclusion Scotland and Disability Wales – had travelled to Geneva for the public examination, and had provided detailed evidence to Pyaneandee and the committee members on the government’s failings.Karen Jochelson, the head of the Office for Disability Issues, who led the UK delegation, insisted that the UK was “determined to remain a global lead in disability issues”.She said that UK laws provided “a strong framework for ensuring and progressing the rights of disabled people” although there was “more still to be done in all aspects of society and life” to progressively realise the convention.At the start of the two-day examination, Jochelson had delivered a statement from the minister for disabled people, Penny Mordaunt, in which she claimed that the UK had been “a global leader in driving forward disability rights and promoting inclusion” and that it could even be a “catalyst” to “help our international partners achieve more on this agenda”.A representative of the Department for Work and Pensions told the committee that the government “takes very seriously its duty to protect the most vulnerable people”, and added: “We stand by the reforms to the UK benefit system.”Jochelson ended by saying that it was “right that the UK is scrutinised carefully and we have welcomed this” and that this reflected Mordaunt’s pledge that the UK would “continue to progress disabled people’s rights and consult with disabled people on government policy and public services”.Two of the key issues that were raised several times by committee members were disabled people’s right to independent living and the treatment of people in secure mental health settings (see separate stories).Among other issues address by the committee were the discrimination faced by disabled people when accessing healthcare; the government’s plans to increase the number of disabled people in employment; and the disability pay gap.It also examined disabled people’s engagement in democracy; the fall in the number of disabled children in mainstream education and the failure to move towards a fully inclusive education system; parents with learning difficulties who have had their children taken away from them; and disabled people who have lost their benefits in the move from disability living allowance to personal independence payment.last_img read more

first_imgA disabled peer has told the House of Lords that plans for a major “restoration and renewal” of the Houses of Parliament must ensure a “step change” in the provision of disability access in a building that can be “extremely unwelcoming” to disabled people.Baroness [Sal] Brinton, president of the Liberal Democrats and a wheelchair-user herself, said the newly-restored palace “will have failed” if it was not “truly accessible” to all disabled people.She said that the building itself – and a “wider, unconscious cultural attitude” – can make the Houses of Parliament “extremely unwelcoming to disabled parliamentarians, staff and visitors”.Members of the House of Lords were discussing long-delayed plans to renovate the Palace of Westminster, which will eventually see MPs and peers move out and work in separate buildings nearby in Westminster – probably soon after 2025 – while a major programme of repairs takes place over a number of years.Last week, MPs voted to approve the plan, and this week peers agreed to this “full and timely decant” to nearby buildings while the work takes place, and that the renovation should ensure “full access for people with disabilities”.Problems include major fire risks, pipes and cables “decades past their lifespan”, and a “huge amount of asbestos” in the building – which is a royal palace and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – according to the Tory leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park.Baroness Brinton (pictured) said that MPs and peers who use wheelchairs do not have the same “rights and experience” as their non-disabled colleagues.She said: “A parliamentarian in a wheelchair cannot sit with their party or group in either the Commons or the Lords.“Our Lords’ mobility bench behind the clerks in front of the cross benches, has three spaces, so when five or six of us want to speak we cannot stay in our place for the rest of the debate.“Worse, if the chamber is full, we cannot even manoeuvre around after speaking to let another colleague move in.“Even worse, the Commons does not even have a mobility bench.”She also pointed out that there was just one space for wheelchair-users in the Commons public gallery, and no wheelchair spaces for peers who want to observe proceedings in the Commons.She said that wheelchair-users often have to travel double the distance around the building, because most routes include steps, which means wheelchair-users often miss votes because there are so few lifts large enough for them to use.Baroness Brinton also revealed that wheelchair-users are not able to access parts of the corridors used by ministers in the House of Commons.She pointed out that there are no self-opening doors in the building, and that some of the accessible toilets are “too small, cluttered with bins, and the red alarm cords are often in the wrong place and tied up, which makes their use impossible”.She also said that many of the ramps in the building have “no wheelchair” signs placed on them because they are too steep for wheelchair-users to use.Another disabled peer, the former Conservative minister Lord Blencathra, said: “I could add a whole chapter of horrors and, indeed, humiliations about the difficulties of getting around this place in a wheelchair.” The Liberal Democrat disabled peer Lord Addington said: “We have to get on and do this because we have a duty of care to everybody who works here and to the building.”He said he believed that moving peers and MPs out of the building should take place sooner than 2025.The disabled Labour peer, Lord [David] Blunkett, said he was pleased that the motion they were debating “recognises the importance of accessibility for visitors with disabilities and special needs, although that is also true of those working in the Palace of Westminster and will be in the future”.Another Labour peer, Lord Carter of Coles, said access to the building for disabled people was “a disgrace and we should correct it”.He added: “We should create a building that represents our values and, more importantly, our aspirations.”Baroness Doocey, a Liberal Democrat, said the renovations should “go much further than the minimum standards” on access.She said: “We should make it as easy as possible for every member of the public, regardless of their disability, to come to parliament and, crucially, to feel happy and comfortable when they come here.”Labour’s Baroness Smith of Basildon, shadow leader of the Lords, added: “We have an opportunity to ensure that parliament abides by the laws that we pass but do not follow regarding disability.”A Conservative peer, Baroness Bloomfield, told the debate that, after touring the basement of the building last week, she was “amazed that health and safety regulations allow any of us to occupy any part of this estate at any time.“The threat of a catastrophic failure in this parliament reflects the hideous possibility that a fire within this building, which has the same ventilation construction as the Mackintosh building in Glasgow and the same risks that attach to that system, could indeed cause major damage, potential death and the destruction of historic art and documents on a quite grotesque scale.”Baroness Evans assured Baroness Brinton and other peers who had raised the need to address access issues that “a major element of the proposed works will include significantly improving disabled access in the palace, which does not currently meet modern standards”.And she said that Baroness Brinton had “rightly raised some important issues which need to be looked at”.last_img read more

first_imgHe was one of the great characters of Rugby League and is perhaps best remembered for his amazing efforts to keep alive the Huyton club and its later reincarnations as Runcorn Highfield, Highfield and Prescot Panthers.The ball playing prop forward had few equals in the 1960s and 1970s.He played for Leigh in three separate spells and in total made 154 appearances for the club. In his career he played an incredible 559 games and also represented Lancashire County. His other clubs included Oldham, Wigan and Workington Town.The son of former Saints forward Bill, who played for his hometown club in the 1930s, Geoff took over the running of the family farm, Holme Farm which was situated just behind the Eddington End at Knowsley Road.As a result Geoff was often referred to as ‘Piggy’ Fletcher in Rugby League circles.Geoff played a starring role in the well known YTV documentary ‘Another Bloody Sunday’ in 1980 which focused on Doncaster’s struggles.The game against Geoff’s Huyton side at Tattersfield formed a cornerstone of the documentary with hitherto unknown access to the dressing rooms and behind the scenes as Doncaster tried to end a long losing run against fellow strugglers Huyton.Doncaster’s victory and the contribution of their prop forward, the late Tony Banham, was the highlight of the programme but Fletcher played a starring role as well with his passionate efforts to inspire his Huyton team. The documentary can still be viewed on YouTube and is required watching for any Rugby League fan.Geoff started his professional career at Leigh in the early 1960s after playing for Thatto Heath and Pilikngton Recs and winning county and international honours in the amateur game. Former Saints and GB captain Alan Prescott was the Leigh coach at the time and saw the potential in the teenager who, at 6ft 2 and 16 stone was already an imposing physical figure.Geoff made his debut against St Helens at Hilton Park in a Western Championship game in September 1962. Leigh had lost each of their opening seven games of the season but the game still attracted a crowd of 10,369 as Saints won 20-10.In August 1965, Geoff was transferred to Oldham where he played 111 games over the course of the next four seasons, playing for the Roughyeds in two losing Lancashire Cup Finals. He also missed out on a Great Britain cap as Oldham were involved in a cup replay and he chose to play for his club instead.He was then transferred to Wigan, making his debut against Blackpool in August 1969. During his time at Central Park he missed out on a Challenge Cup Final appearance due to a broken elbow, won a Lancashire Cup winner’s medal in 1971 and was a member of the Wigan side defeated by Saints in the 1971 Championship final. In all he made 140 appearances for Wigan.By the time he came back to Leigh for a second spell in August 1972 he was an experienced and durable forward whose skills were undiminished. He played a leading role in Leigh’s Floodlit Trophy success over Widnes later that year, Aussie Graeme Lawson’s try from Derek Clarke’s grubber kick securing a hard-fought 5-0 win at Central Park.His stay at Hilton Park this time was relatively brief and in November 1973 he went back to Wigan before returning to Leigh in January 1975. He played his final Leigh game against Castleford at Hilton Park in January 1977, nearly 15 years after his debut, having now combined his playing career with a stint as A team coach.From there he went to Workington Town for a short spell before joining Huyton as player-coach in August 1977. At Alt Park he quickly assumed all the major roles, as player-coach, groundsman and club official including a long stint as Chairman alongside a few other stalwarts who fought a long and ultimately unavailing battle to keep Rugby League alive on Merseyside.Huyton finally quit Alt Park in 1984, driven out by the vandals and spent several years at Canal Street Runcorn playing as Runcorn Highfield. They then became Highfield, playing at Houghton Road in St Helens, sharing with the town’s soccer team before the club’s long history (which had begun as Wigan Highfield who had entered the Rugby League in 1922) came to a close as Prescot Panthers at Hope Street. Throughout it all Geoff Fletcher was the driving force of the club, his spirit and love for the game indomitable.Geoff played 133 games for Huyton and its successors, his last in November 1985 when he had come out of retirement, over 23 years after his professional debut. He stayed with the club until Prescot Panthers’ demise after the 1997 season.Geoff’s dedication to the game was recognised by the Rugby League Writers Association and he won their inaugural merit award in 1981. Looking back on his career he described his greatest triumph as keeping Rugby League alive at Huyton. “I wouldn’t have changed them for the world,” he said. “I have been paid for doing something I love. I have enjoyed it very much and I still enjoy it.”Many thanks to Mike Latham at Leigh Centurions for the use of this obituary.last_img read more

first_img Bre Pettis, co-founder of MakerBot Industries Photo courtesy of the company –shares Starting a Business Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article Rosalind Resnick December 6, 2010 4 min read MakerBot: Building a Cult Following for 3-D Printer Kits Add to Queue With a shock of gray hair, oversized glasses and a messianic zeal for the future, Bre Pettis looks more like the host of a sci-fi movie channel than chief executive officer of a small manufacturing company in a gritty Brooklyn neighborhood of bricks and brownstone. But Pettis, a 38-year-old former Seattle art teacher, is a man on a mission to put his company’s manufacturing kits on every desktop so users can build their own 3-D printers to create colorful plastic models of objects that they design or download from the web.”I’ll be on the subway, and people will ask me what it is, and I’ll tell them it’s a teleporter [from Star Trek], and they’ll believe me,” says Pettis, co-founder of MakerBot Industries, LLC, a Brooklyn company that makes open-source kits for 3-D printers. “The trouble is that, when I tell people it’s a 3-D printer, they look at me the same way. We still have a lot of education to do.” Crafting a business on creative do-it-yourselfers. A 3-D printer is a machine that can turn a three-dimensional computer model into a physical object. The printer identifies cross-sectional slices of the image and then lays down slice upon slice of plastic material to create a physical prototype. Engineers, architects and a range of other professionals, as well as hobbyists, use them to make models of their designs.Launched in January 2009, Pettis’s company has used blogging, social media and word-of-mouth to develop a cult following among geeks and do-it-yourselfers around the world. It puts its blueprints for the kit on the web for anyone to share, tweak or copy. With manufacturing kits that retail for less than $1,000 a pop, MakerBot’s nearly 3,000 initial orders have generated enough revenue to cover the company’s overhead, pay its 22 employees’ salaries, and turn a small profit for Pettis and his two co-founders, Zach Hoeken Smith and Adam Mayer. “Having a company be profitable in 42 days is stupid,” says Pettis with his characteristic humor. He has been surprised by his company’s rapid profitability. “We’ve just been able to strike a chord with a certain niche of [early adopter] consumers.” While such growth may be impressive for a company built on $75,000 in friends-and-family money, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the $1 billion-a-year market for 3-D printers and scanners used by large corporations. In an interview, Pettis shared his vision for MakerBot. Edited excerpts follow.Q: How were you able to create such buzz around your product?A: We have a long-term habit of sharing everything we’ve learned with the Internet. The friends you make and the reputation you build from your work can really bootstrap the process of getting the word out.Q: How did MakerBot develop its cult following and round up the first early adopters?A: We drink a lot of caffeine, work long days and always strive for improvement. Also, we have fun. We expected to sell 10 MakerBots a month when we started and so we made 20 kits and figured we would sell 10 and have 10 on the shelves for the second month of sales. We launched the MakerBot and blogged about it, told everyone we knew and within a few days, we’d sold all 20. That’s when I started camping out in front of the laser cutter for weeks on end [to build more].Q: The 3-D printer has been around in corporations and manufacturing for a long time. Are people going to be buying MakerBots the same way they buy iPods?A: We’re in this wonderful time that’s really similar to the dawn of the personal computer. [Back in the day,] nobody thought there needed to be more than 10 computers in the world. You and I both have computers more powerful than that in our pockets. When the Apple 1 came out, it was a kit. It was a circuit board and you had to add your own keyword, monitor and case. A lot of big companies got started with this DIY kind of mentality. Q: How big do you think this could potentially get?A: Right now, people who buy [our machines] are tinkering moms and dads, teachers, students — engineering students, in particular. We’ve shipped 30 to addresses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology alone. Most people we sell to are ready to live in the future, who want to own the means of production and feel empowered to make things themselves. MakerBot 3-D printer Photo  courtesy of the company Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now »last_img read more

first_img Reuters Toy-Robot Maker Raises Millions in Second Funding Round 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. –shares Next Article Enroll Now for $5 Robots 2 min readcenter_img Image credit: Shutterstock Add to Queue Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand July 29, 2016 Wonder Workshop Inc., which makes toy robots that teach kids how to code, said it raised $20 million in its second round of funding and was looking to expand into new markets, especially China.The San Mateo, California-based company, founded in 2012, makes two kinds of robots — Dot and Dash — compatible with iOS and Android devices, and can be controlled through mobile apps.Children can teach the robots actions, from moving around in a room to playing tunes on a xylophone, by writing simple commands or codes.Chief Executive and co-founder Vikas Gupta hit upon the idea to start Wonder Workshop during a six-month sabbatical he took shortly after his daughter.”I wanted to find the solution that will engage children aged 5-10, meet them at their cognitive and motor skills,” Vikas Gupta told Reuters.Gupta worked with a team of inventors and co-founder Saurabh Gupta to create the robots. Vikas and Saurabh Gupta are not related.Vikas Gupta also founded virtual currency platform operator Jambool in 2006. He sold the company to Google in 2010.Wonder Workshop, which has already raised $15.9 million from investors including Madrona Venture Group, Maven Ventures, WI Harper Group and others, said the latest round of financing was led by WI Harper and Idea Bulb Ventures, along with Learn Capital and TCL.Wonder Workshop was speaking with several retail partners in China, including China’s No.2 e-commerce company, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.”In China, we see parents very passionate about their kids’ education and we have already seen a lot of after-school learning centers import our robots,” Vikas Gupta said.Wonder Workshop has sold robots to more than 7,000 elementary schools around the world and expects to reach another 8,000 schools this year.The company has sold 140,000 robots in the last 18 months through its website, Apple stores, Best Buy Co Inc., Target Corp. and Toys R Us stores.(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Sayantani Ghosh) This story originally appeared on Reuterslast_img read more

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 1 2019Eating disorders — anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or hyperphagia — usually appear in adolescence and often leave young patients and their families helpless. These disorders, whose prevalence is increasing, raise the question of early detection. Today, researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), Switzerland, with colleagues from the University of North Carolina in the United States, provide new elements that would allow to identify, long before the critical period of adolescence, children who are more likely to be affected by these serious disorders. Indeed, their findings reveal that an abnormally high or low weight from the age of two significantly increases the risk of eating disorders. These results, which can be read in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, should alert paediatricians to this important public health issue.What are commonly referred to as eating disorders include all pathologies related to eating: food denied in the case of anorexia nervosa or food that young people absorb in very large quantities, very quickly and without control in bulimia nervosa or binge eating. While these disorders are initially classified as psychiatric conditions, more and more studies tend to show that multiple biological and environmental factors are also at stake. “Whatever the origin of these disorders, it is essential to strengthen their prevention and early detection, and therefore to identify risk factors that are visible from an early age,” warns Nadia Micali, Professor at the UNIGE Faculty of Medicine and Head of the HUG Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, who directed this reserach.Warning signs from an early age?To identify possible common causes of eating disorders, the researchers analysed data from 1,502 participants in a large British longitudinal study that followed parents and their children over more than twenty years: their weight was measured regularly from birth to 12 years of age; at 14, 16 and 18 years of age they were then assessed for eating disorders. “Our results show that a significant difference in weight in very young children indicates an increased risk of eating disorders,” says Professor Zeynep Yilmaz of the University of North Carolina, the first author of this study. “Thus, a low body mass index (BMI) — about 0.5 points BMI compared to the average — as early as age 2 for boys and 4 for girls – is a risk factor for the development of anorexia nervosa in adolescents, just as excessive BMI from mid childhood would be a risk factor for the further development of other eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa.”Related StoriesStudy: Causes of anorexia are likely metabolic and psychologicalAnorexia may be as much a metabolic disorder as it is a psychiatric one, say scientistsNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished children”Until now, we have had very little guidance on how to identify children who might be at increased risk for developing eating disorders later in adolescence,” explains Professor Cynthia Bulik, an expert on eating disorders at the University of North Carolina. “By looking at growth records of thousands of children across time, we saw early warning profiles that could signal children at risk. Clinically, this means that paediatricians should be alert for children who fall off and stay below the growth curve throughout childhood. This could be an early warning sign of risk for anorexia nervosa. The same holds for children who exceed and remain above the growth curve—only their risk is increased for the other eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.”Metabolic dysregulation at work?Although eating disorders are essentially psychiatric in nature, the study highlights the need to also examine metabolic risk factors in addition to psychological, sociocultural and environmental components.”The differences in childhood body weight of adolescents who later developed eating disorders started to emerge at a very early age —way too early to be caused by social pressures to be thin or dieting. A more likely explanation is that underlying metabolic factors that are driven by genetics, could predispose these individuals to weight dysregulation. This aligns with our other genetic work that has highlighted a metabolic component to anorexia nervosa.” says Professor Micali, who concludes: “Our results also highlight the multi-factorial composition of eating disorders, as well as the need to develop early detection tools that could be used as part of routine checks by all paediatricians.” Indeed, the earlier the problem is identified, the better it can be managed, especially if support is provided to the family as a whole, rather than just the individual.Source: read more

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 25 2019Picking what book to read isn’t the only choice families now make at story time – they must also decide between the print or electronic version.But traditional print books may have an edge over e-books when it comes to quality time shared between parents and their children, a new study suggests.The research, led by University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and involving 37 parent-toddler pairs, found that parents and children verbalized and interacted less with e-books than with print books. The findings appear in journal Pediatrics, which is published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.”Shared reading promotes children’s language development, literacy and bonding with parents. We wanted to learn how electronics might change this experience,” says lead author Tiffany Munzer, M.D., a fellow in developmental behavioral pediatrics at Mott.”We found that when parents and children read print books, they talked more frequently and the quality of their interactions were better.”The parent-toddler pairs in the study used three book formats: print books, basic electronic books on a tablet and enhanced e-books featuring additions like sound effects and animation. With e-books, not only did the pairs interact less but parents tended to talk less about the story and more about the technology itself. Sometimes this included instructions about the device, such as telling children not to push buttons or change the volume.Munzer notes that many of the interactions shared between parents and young children while reading may appear subtle but actually go a long way in promoting healthy child development.For example, parents may point to a picture of an animal in the middle of a story and ask their child “what does a duck say?”Or, parents may relate part of a story to something the child has experienced with comments like “Remember when we went to the beach?” Reading time also lends itself to open-ended questions, such as asking children what they thought of the book or characters.Related StoriesRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeResearch reveals genetic cause of deadly digestive disease in childrenMunzer says these practices, involving comments and questions that go beyond content, are believed to promote child expressive language, engagement, and literacy.”Parents strengthen their children’s ability to acquire knowledge by relating new content to their children’s lived experiences,” Munzer says. “Research tells us that parent-led conversations is especially important for toddlers because they learn and retain new information better from in-person interactions than from digital media.”However, such practices occurred less frequently with electronic books, with parents asking fewer simple questions and commenting less about the storyline compared with print books.The study suggests that electronic book enhancements were likely interfering with parents’ ability to engage in parent-guided conversation during reading.Munzer adds that nonverbal interactions, including warmth, closeness and enthusiasm during reading time also create positive associations with reading that will likely stick with children as they get older.Authors recommend that future studies examine specific aspects of tablet-book design that support parent-child interaction. Parents who do choose to read electronic books with toddlers should also consider engaging as they would with the print version and minimize focus on elements of the technology itself.”Reading together is not only a cherished family ritual in many homes but one of the most important developmental activities parents can engage in with their children,” says senior author Jenny Radesky, M.D., developmental behavioral pediatrician at Mott.”Our findings suggest that print books elicit a higher quality parent-toddler reading experience compared with e-books. Pediatricians may wish to continue encouraging parents to read print books with their kids, especially for toddlers and young children who still need support from their parents to learn from any form of media.” Source: read more

first_imgReddit is expanding into Ireland—the company’s co-founder Alexis Ohanian (C) is seen here before ringing the Nasdaq closing bell from the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center on August 15, 2018 in San Francisco Social media firm Reddit said on Monday it will open an office in Dublin later this year, part of international expansion plans after raising $300 million in new funding. Tencent investment in Reddit sparks censorship worry 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. “Reddit is currently planning to open an office in Dublin in 2019 and we are actively recruiting to build out our team,” a company spokesman said in a statement.The announcement comes less than two weeks after it confirmed the $300 million (260 million euros) funding round, which values the US-based website at $3 billion (2.6 billion euros).Chinese tech titan Tencent, American venture capitalists Andreessen Horowitz and the investment funds Fidelity and Sequoia were among those backing Reddit.The platform, co-founded by Alexis Ohanian, the husband of tennis superstar Serena Williams, is popular for its more than 138,000 user-moderated communities.The size and function of the new Dublin office is unclear, but company recruiters were advertising for an “anti-evil operations specialist” in the Irish capital.The “policy enforcement” role would entail reviewing “reported content” and acting on “sensitive issues” on the site—which has faced scandals over hosting controversial content.Reddit—which boasts 330 million monthly users—follows the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Google in opening a base in Dublin.Ireland has become a popular choice for international companies with its high-speed internet connectivity to Europe and America, low corporate tax rates and English-speaking population.center_img © 2019 AFP Citation: Reddit to open Dublin office this year (2019, February 25) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Explore furtherlast_img read more

first_imgAugust 01, 2018 Published on politics SHARE Making a point Congress leader Anand Sharma speaks in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday   –  PTI Assamcenter_img COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL BJP, Opposition lock horns over Amit Shah’s speech No business, except the Question Hour, took place in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday too as the Opposition demanded an apology from BJP President Amit Shah that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was not courageous to implement the Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC).When the House met in the morning, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu invited Shah to complete his speech and said Shah could not complete his speech on Tuesday. Deputy leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma objected to this invitation and demanded that Shah must apologise before starting his speech. Sharma said Shah insulted former prime minister in his speech and it cannot be accepted. “I have heard your appeal and I am going through it,” Naidu assured Sharma. However, many Opposition members were supporting Sharma and Naidu adjourned the House till 12 pm.The Question Hour went smoothly and for the second time in recent history, the Rajya Sabha considered 12 questions, which were answered by ministers on the floor of the House. When the House met after lunch at 2 pm, it was the turn of the Trinamool Congress to object to Shah’s speech. Senior TMC MP Sukhendu Shekhar Roy said there is no provision in the rule book that a member can continue his speech on another day. “If any member who is so called upon does not speak, he shall not be entitled except with the permission of the Chair. Here, in this case, one honourable member has already spoken. How can he speak twice? There is no provision in the rules,” Roy argued. The Chairman turned down Roy’s plea and the TMC members stormed to the well protesting it. “Are we at the mercy of one party?” Naidu asked.Shah claimed that his speech caused “so much fear” and he is ready to let go the opportunity. “I know why they do not want me to speak,” he said. Naidu subsequently asked Home Minister Rajnath Singh to reply to the debate started on Tuesday. However, disruptions continued and Singh could not make a statement. “As some of the members do not want the debate to continue and are not willing to hear the reply of the Home Minister, I would like to thank the Home Minister for continuously coming here for three days,” Naidu.BJP flays TMC, congressThe BJP, on its part, accused the Trinamool Congress and the Congress of “murdering democracy” by not letting Shah speak on the NRC in Parliament.Another side bar to this confrontation, largely between the BJP and the TMC whose chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that the NRC will lead to a “civil war”, was the prospect of Shah holding a rally in Kolkata on August 11. While some reports suggested that the requisite permission for the rally would not be given by the local authorities, Shah dared Mamata by saying, “I am going. Let them arrest me.”Meanwhile, the BJP underlined the “undemocratic and condemnable” behaviour exhibited by the TMC and the Congress in the Rajya Sabha.“Today in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress and the TMC murdered democracy. During the debate on NRC, Amit Shah was invited to participate. Even before he rose to speak Anand Sharma of the Congress objected. He misled the House about the BJP President’s remarks on former PMs. That is not what Amit Shah said. He said Rajiv Gandhi signed the Assam Accord and NRC is the soul of the Accord. He said the Congress did not have the courage to implement the NRC but the BJP did,” said HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar.‘NRC is a global issue’Mamata Banerjee said the NRC is created in such a manner that every voter who does not vote for the BJP will lose his or her citizenship. She said the issue is a “global” issue and can cause damage in India’s relationship with Bangladesh. “The NRC will destroy relationship between India and Bangladesh. Out of 40 lakh people whose names are not in the list of NRC, only one per cent could be illegal infiltrators. But the BJP is trying to show that all those not included (in NRC) are infiltrators,” she said.The CPI(M) said the utterance of Shah claiming that all 40 lakh people excluded in this draft NRC are ‘illegal migrants’ is causing widespread apprehension. “All the complaints regarding non-inclusion must be thoroughly and seriously examined and corrected. The time limit for claims on inclusion of names must be extended to allow people to file their complaints. Only then the final NRC should be published. No Indian should be excluded,” the party’s Polit Bureau said in a statement. COMMENTSlast_img read more