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Pret plans for expansion

first_imgPret A Manger revealed plans to open another 44 stores this year, after new shop openings in 2011 helped boost its profits by 14%.In its annual results, the sandwich chain announced profits were just over £52m, with sales up 15%, last year, to £377.3m.The move to open new stores would create around 550 jobs. However, the firm said 20 of the planned new stores would be overseas.Talking on BBC Breakfast this morning (3 April), Clive Schlee, chief executive, said growth over the past year was down in part to new store openings.The firm opened two stores in Paris, under the Pret name, earlier this year, which have been performing well, and the chain also plans to open a shop in a fourth US city – Boston.He added that the proposed hot food tax would not affect Pret, as it already pays VAT on its soups and toasted sandwiches etc.last_img read more

Futsal: BiH at the start of qualifications will play against Slovakia

first_imgFrom 27 to 31 March, futsal team of BIH will participate at the qualifications tournament for European Championship which will be held in 2014 in Belgium, reports FENA.BiH is in the second group together with Azerbaijan, Slovakia and Norway.In the first match, BiH team will play against Slovakia on 27 March, on 28 March they’ll play against Azerbaijan, and on 30 March against Norway.28 teams will participate in the qualification tournament:First group: Italy, Hungary, Finland, Montenegro;Second group: Azerbaijan, Slovakia, BiH, Norway;Third group: Russia, Romania, Kazakhstan, Latvia;Fourth group: Spain, Croatia, Macedonia, Sweden;Fifth group: Portugal, Serbia, Poland, Greece;Sixth group: the Czech Republic, Belarus, the Netherlands, Georgia;Seventh group: Ukraine, Slovenia, Turkey and England.Winner of the group will directly qualify to European Championship, while second placed and the best third placed team will go to play-offs.last_img read more

Brookdale Community College Welcomes Its First Fulbright Scholar

first_img“We’re excited about having Mariana be a part of the language department because of the opportunities it affords her as a scholar and us as educators,” said William Burns, dean of the college’s Arts and Communications Division.Grassi earned a bachelor’s in education and literature, with a focus on English and Portuguese. She has taught languages in Brazil to children, teens and adults. She also has experience teaching disadvantaged students.In addition to offering academic support, she is teaching weekly lessons about Brazilian culture and is planning to start a Portuguese Club on the Lincroft campus. In order to learn about American culture, she is enrolled in two Brookdale classes, a French class and a conversional English class for non-native speakers.“She is living and experiencing our culture and blending it with her own,” Burns said.The FLTA Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).Host institutions are selected through a competitive application process, said Janice Thomas, director of the Brookdale Community College International Center. “They must demonstrate a commitment to international educational exchange and willingness to mentor and support a young FLTA throughout the scholar’s stay in the United States,” she said.Hosting a Brazilian FLTA is in keeping with Brookdale’s plan to nurture educational partnerships and is an outgrowth of Brookdale’s Brazil initiative begun in the fall 2011, Thomas said.In July, Brookdale signed a protocol of cooperation with Cameos Instituto da Cooperacao e da Lingua that opened the door for exchanges and partnerships with higher educational institutions in Portugal. Under the agreement, Camoes committed to helping Brookdale develop its Portuguese curriculum and Brookdale committed to promoting Portuguese language and culture though classes and programs related to Lusophone cultures.Additional information about Brookdale Community College international education programs and Brookdale initiatives in Brazil is available by contacting the International Education Center, 732-224-2799 or [email protected] LINCROFT – Brookdale Community College is hosting its first Fulbright scholar, Mariana Grassi of Pelotas, Brazil, during the 2013-2014 academic year as part of the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program (FLTA).Grassi, a recent graduate of the Federal University of Pelotas, is providing tutoring and in-class support for students enrolled in Brookdale’s new elementary Portuguese class.Brookdale Community College President Dr. Maureen Murphy, left, welcomes the college’s first Fulbright scholar, Mariana Grassi, right, of Brazil, as Raquel Rosa, adjunct instructor of Portuguese, looks on.last_img read more

DONALD VALPREDO CALIFORNIA CUP SPRINT QUOTES

first_imgIGGY PUGLISI, SPIRIT RULES, WINNER: “The break helped us out a ton . . . He was in (the gate) a really short period of time and he really caught a flyer from there. I couldn’t give that up. There were too many fast horses in there, so when I could scoot my way over to San Onofre, I figured I’d at least have a shot at it.Through the stretch: “I could feel that inside horse (San Onofre) really starting to battle back . . . but my horse ran really good. He’s been lights out, a really hard-knocking horse.”MIKE SMITH, SAN ONOFRE, SECOND: “Just got out-run today. I stumbled a little leaving (the gate), which cost me a clear lead, but if I’d have been running, I don’t think it would have bothered him. The horse hasn’t run in a year. The horse that beat me is a good old horse that’s been running all year and is fit. It’s a whole lot different in the morning, especially when they take it to you early. I was really happy with the way he ran, and I think he’ll really move forward off it.” TRAINER QUOTES NOTES: The winning owners are Barbara Accardy, Jeanmarc Murphy and Craig Siedler of San Diego. JOCKEY QUOTEScenter_img PAUL AGUIRRE, SPIRIT RULES, WINNER: “He’s a big horse and whenever he draws outside and he gets near the lead, he’s going to be tough. They may run him down but it’s not going to be because he quits. He’ll give every ounce he has right to the wire.“This Cal-bred program is fantastic. We don’t have a lot of things to hang our hats on these days in horse racing, but the Cal-bred program is really something to be proud of. It’s made this horse have a nice career.”KAREN HEADLEY, SAN ONOFRE, SECOND: “I knew I was going in there a little short. He’s a nice horse, and I knew that he had one more condition.” -30-last_img read more

Evolution As Catch-All Explanation

first_imgIn the scientific institutions and the media, Evolution is the default explanation for everything in nature (and as Small opined, even for human manufacturing and economics).  Most of the time Evolution doesn’t require justification or evidence.  It is applied in broad, sweeping generalities from the authorities.  The explanations are pronounced dogmatically as if to be accepted on faith by the common people.  In a sense, then, Evolution (with a capital E) plays the same role as gods and goddesses in ancient cultures.Silly, silly, silly.  These people only get away with saying such things because we are not laughing loud enough.  Look at them.  They worship cartoony idols (King Charles, Popeye, Yoda and Tinker Bell) that have magical powers.  They say things that not only make no sense, they plagiarize design words and contradict their own core beliefs.  They justify humans’ worst character flaws as artifacts of an animal past.  Get out on the yellow brick road and sing We’re off the shame the Wizard, the blunderful Wizard of Flaws (see lyrics in the 09/05/2008 commentary) as you accomplish your mission to expose charlatanry and bring science back to the real world.(Visited 36 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 If you were taught a precise definition of neo-Darwinism in school, it doesn’t seem to matter to many evolutionists in the media.  In practice, the word “Evolution” seems to act as a catch-all category for explaining anything and everything – whether or not random mutation and natural selection were involved.  Some purpose and design can even be tossed into the mix as long as Evolution is the hero of the story.  Here are some recent examples of how Evolution is employed to explain whatever:Evolution the tool user:  “Evolution has a ‘toolkit’ and when it needs to do a particular job, such as see light, it uses the same toolkit again and again.”  These are the words of Margaret McFall-Ngai [U of Wisconsin-Madison] in Science Daily, explaining why squid can sense light through their light-emitting organs.  The article explained that “molecular machinery” is involved – tangible evidence not of design, but that Evolution has been at work with its toolkit.Guppy race:  Evolution is slow and gradual – except when it is fast and furious.  “What’s the secret to surviving during times of environmental change?” asked Science Daily.  “Evolve…quickly.”  (This sounds like a version of the bumper sticker, “Evolve or perish.”)  Guppies in Trinidad have apparently altered their reproductive habits in just eight years when transplanted to different streams – one with more predators, one with fewer.  How this constitutes evolution when the reproductive apparatus was the same before and after was not explained, but “fitness differences” were defined in terms of survival rate (see 10/30/2002, “Fitness for Dummies”).  Surprisingly, after 150 years of Darwinism, “This is one of only a few studies to look at adaptation and survival in a wild population,” the article said.Spanish hominid:  Evolution got the credit for a fossil monkey with “modern New Scientist) – something that might make Europeans feel superior once again as being in the forefront of human evolution.Mosquitos vs. turtles:  Who will win the evolutionary arms race in the Galapagos?  The mosquitos or the giant tortoises?  Science Daily seems alarmed about the danger to the long-time residents that are so popular with tourists: “Mosquito Evolution Spells Trouble For Galapagos Wildlife,” the article announced.  It said that an “ancient” mosquito population came to the islands 200,000 years ago and has recently developed a taste for tortoise blood.  Park officials are very concerned that diseases that could be introduced by tourists could spread to the island inhabitants, so they are taking precautions by spraying the interiors of planes arriving on the islands.  “It is absolutely vital that these control measures are maintained and carried out rigorously, otherwise the consequences could be very serious indeed,” a scientist said.  He did not explain why there should be a cause for concern, since all of the inhabitants of the islands supposedly evolved according to a well-known evolutionary dogma: the founder principle (see 05/08/2002 and 02/10/2009, bullet 4).  Are they ranking the organisms according to some arbitrary rule?  Are they claiming that human beings have some special stewardship responsibility over the animal kingdom?Saved by the junk:  Functional “junk DNA” has been an argument against evolution, but they have found a way to turn it into an argument for evolution.  PhysOrg printed a story that now claims junk DNA is vital to an animal’s survival – and therefore its evolution – because it allows an organism to adapt quickly.  Tandem repeats (once a category of junk DNA) have been found to influence the activity of neighboring genes.  This means they “may allow organisms to tune the activity of genes to match changing environments – a vital principle for survival in the endless evolutionary race.”  Researchers explained, “If this was the real world, only cells with the repeats would be able to swiftly adapt to changes, thereby beating their repeat-less counterparts in the game of evolution.  Their junk DNA saved their lives.”  They did not say who is playing the game or who wrote the game in the first place.Animorals:  Animals can tell right from wrong, claimed The Telegraph.  “Until recently, humans were thought to be the only species to experience complex emotions and have a sense of morality,” the article by Richard Gray said.  “But Prof Marc Bekoff, an ecologist at University of Colorado, Boulder, believes that morals are ‘hard-wired’ into the brains of all mammals and provide the ‘social glue’ that allow often aggressive and competitive animals to live together in groups.”  Gray did not explain what the moral standard was by which to judge moral behavior, nor why social glue is a good thing.  Some aggressive and competitive animals are loners.  If morality is hard-wired, is it really morality?  Who is the judge?Say what?  One article on Science Daily claim that a genetic change to the language-related FOXP2 gene in mice to make them mimic the human form of the gene speaks “volumes about our evolutionary past” (Note: the mice do not talk; they just squeak a little differently.)  Presumably, “Those differences offer a window into the evolution of speech and language capacity in the human brain.”  The scientists involved admitted that “Currently, one can only speculate about the role these effects may have played during human evolution.”  But then, another Science Daily four days earlier had announced, “More Genetic Differences Between Mice And Humans Than Previously Thought.”  It further claimed that some of the newly-analyzed mouse genes are “evolving at an unusually rapid pace, probably as a result of an evolutionary ‘arms race’ among mice and their reproductive cells.”Small talk on cars:  Evolution even applies to car companies.  That’s the point Meredith Small tried to make on Live Science.  Her article, “How Evolution Could Sink (or Save) GM,” contained the following statement, reminiscent of Rockefeller-era social Darwinism: “It would seem that the country should act as a collative [sic; collective?] and care about this,” (i.e., the bankruptcy of General Motors).  “But the reality is that capitalism is like evolution by natural selection, and natural selection can be a harsh reality.”  Taking the edge off, she launched into a discussion about group selection as a possible offset to the ruthlessness of natural selection.  But group selection, she said, doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.  Why should we care about the job losses of people we don’t even know?  She quoted Bobbi Lowe (U of Michigan) who believes “humans are not well designed to operate” by caring for distant members of our species.  We only care about close kin, because that was “critical in our ancestral past when humans lived in small groups,” she explained.  “We also don’t plan well for the future because our hominid history was marked by uncontrollable, unpredictable environments.”  This seems to ignore the many people (and birds and squirrels and ants) who are good long-term planners.  Giving Lowe the mike, Small continued,“We evolved to strive for resources and seldom, if ever, found ourselves evolutionarily ‘rewarded’ for conscious restraint,” Lowe has written.  Instead, she claims, humans are designed by evolution to work well on the short-term, and forget about the more global view on conserving anything because we just can’t do it.”That seems a pretty broad-brush characterization of the human race.  It also raises the question of how evolution could “design” anything.  Meredith Small failed to distinguish between human design and blind forces of nature, so for the above quotes and the following, she wins a well-deserved SEQOTW prize: There are many forces of evolution, but natural selection, biologists feel, is the most important.  It works like this: All sorts of variation is produced (think SUV, compacts, vans, and sedans) and then the environment (think free market) selects for some and ignores others.  The ignored ones are dropped out of the gene pool (think showroom floor or metal recycling plant), and too bad for them.    In this biological (or economic) system, only the best adapted survive.  So what if evolution is presented with something more sleek, in cool colors, or with tinted windows – if it takes too much energy (gas) to use, it will be selected against.    Natural selection operates on individuals, or individual automobiles companies because not all of them are going bankrupt, and that affects the future of the total gene pool, or automobile business.  That’s how biological life, and capitalist economies, have been shaped over generations.last_img read more

Analysis: South Africa’s Performance in UNDP Human Development Report 2015

first_imgThe United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2015 Human Development IndexPresents the 2014 Human Development Index (HDI – values and ranks) for 188 countries and UN-recognized territories.South Africa ranks 116th out of 188. With an HDI value of 0.666 for 2014, South Africa is in the medium human development category.Steady increase in HDI value since 1990, moving up 7.2% from 0.621 in 1990 to 0.666 in 2014.South Africans today enjoy a longer, healthier life, have better access to education and a more decent living standard.Table: SA’s HDI trends based on consistent time series data and new goalposts 2010(2011 HDR)20112012(2013 HDR)2013(2014 HDR)2014(*2015 HDR)Rank123 (/187)123 (/187)121 (/186)118 (/187)116[1](/188)HDI Value0.6430.6510.6590.663+0.666Life expectancy at birth54.555.556.356.9+57.4Expected years of schooling13.513.513.613.6+13.6Mean years of schooling9.69.79.99.9+9.9GNI per capita (2011 PPP$)11,83311,97712,04112,134+12,122       1. BackgroundThe 2015 UNDP Human Development Report (HDR) focuses on the instrinsic relationship between work and human development. The Report defines work not only as employment, but as a means to contribute to the public good, reduce inequality, secure livelihoods and empower individuals.The 2015 HDR presents the 2014 Human Development Index (HDI – values and ranks) for 188 countries and UN-recognized territories.South Africa ranks 116th out of 188. With an HDI value of 0.666 for 2014, SA is in the medium human development category.As noted in previous years, the country has seen a steady increase in its HDI value since 1990, moving up 7.2% from 0.621 in 1990 to 0.666 in 2014.The National Development Plan (NDP) identifies human development as a critical part of inclusive growth and acknowledges its inadequate improvement in relation to education, health and safety. South Africa has a good story developing, indicated by the steady improvement of its Human Development Index (HDI) score over the last years.Table 1 below shows the comparability across years for South Africa, presenting trends using consistent data.[i]Table 1: Trends in South Africa’s HDI, 1990–2014Human Development Index (HDI)HDI rankAverage annual HDI growthHDI rankCountryValueChange(%)199020002010201120122013201420132009–20141990–20002000–20102010–20141990–2014116South Africa0,6210,6320,6430,6510,6590,6630,66611740,170,180,870,29Table 1 illustrates, among others, SA’s HDI average annual value increase of approximately 0.29% from 1990 to 2014. The rank is shared with El Salvador and Viet Nam.South Africa has made several gradual, yet significant strides over the past few years not only in its overall HDI ranking as mentioned above, but also in other areas. Between 2010 and 2014, Life Expectancy at Birth increased by 2.9 years; Expected Years of Schooling increased by 0.1 years[i] and Mean Years of Schooling increased by 0,3 years. Gross National Income (GNI) per capita also increased by 11.8% in this same period (See Table 2 below)Table 2: SA’s HDI trends based on consistent time series data and new goalposts  2010(2011 HDR)20112012(2013 HDR)2013(2014 HDR)2014(*2015 HDR)Rank123 (/187)123 (/187)121 (/186)118 (/187)116[i](/188)HDI Value0.6430.6510.6590.6630.666 éLife expectancy at birth54.555.556.356.957.4 éExpected years of schooling13.513.513.613.613.6 éMean years of schooling9.69.79.99.99.9 éGNI per capita (2011 PPP$)11,83311,97712,04112,13412,122 éSource: 2015 HDR 2. South Africa’s Progress Relative to Other Developing CountriesCompared to other countries in the medium human development category, SA’s HDI of 0.666 is above average (0.63). The country’s performance is even more impressive when compared to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, which has an average HDI score of 0.518.Based on population size, SA is closest to Namibia and Congo, which have HDIs ranked 126th and 136th, respectively.Table 3: SA’s HDI indicators for 2014 relative to selected countries & groupsHDI rankCountryHDI valueLife expectancy at birthExpected years of schoolingMean years of schoolingGNI per capita (PPP US$)63Mauritius0.77774.415.68.5$ 17,470108Egypt0.69071.113.56.6$ 10,512116South Africa 0.66657.413.69.9$ 12,122126Namibia 0.62864.811.36.2$ 9,418136Congo 0.59162.311.16.1$ 6,012140Ghana 0.57961.411.57.0$ 3,852145Kenya 0.54861.611.06.3$ 2,762152Nigeria 0.51452.89.05.9$ 5,341—Sub-Saharan Africa 0.51858.59.65.2$ 3,363—Medium HDI 0.63068.611.86.2$ 6,353Source: Briefing Notes for countries on the 2015 Human Development Report  Table 3 shows that South Africa performs fairly well compared to other big players on the continent, e.g. Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, outranking all three. That said, Mauritius has made significant strides in its development. Starting from a slightly lower HDI score than South Africa in 1990 (0.619), the country has progressed significantly to become the highest ranking African country on the Index.Table 4: SA’s HDI indicators relative to BRICSRankCountryHDI valueLife expectancyat birthExpected Years of SchoolingMean Years of SchoolingGNI per capita (PPP US$)50Russian Federation0.79870.114.712.0$ 22.61775Brazil0.75574.515.27.7$ 15,17590China0.72775.813.17.5$ 12,547116South Africa0.66657.413.69.9$ 12,122130India0.60968.011.75.4$ 5,497Source: Briefing Notes for countries on the 2015 Human Development Report The table above indicates South Africa performs strongly on several indicators, namely the Mean Years of Schooling (coming second only to Russia) and its GNI (it comes in a close third to Russia and China). Although the country has performed weakly in the Rank indicator when compared with its BRIC counterparts, this should not deflect from its overall improvements in score over the past five years.3. ConclusionAs in the previous HDR, South Africa only has 1.3% of the total population living in severe poverty. Figures for Namibia and Congo, identified as its most “comparable” African counterparts, are much higher, with 13.4% and 12.4% of the population living in severe poverty, attesting to the fact that South Africans today enjoy a longer, healthier life, have better access to education and a more decent living standard.   Brand South Africa’s Research Notes, Research Reports and Web Analyses communicate findings from Brand South Africa research, related panel discussions and analyses of global performance indices. The publications are intended to elicit comments, contribute to debate, and inform stakeholders about trends and issues that impact on South Africa’s reputation and overall competitiveness.Views expressed in Research Notes, Reports and Analyses are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of Brand South Africa, or the Government of the Republic of South Africa. Every precaution is taken to ensure the accuracy of information. However, Brand South Africa shall not be liable to any person for inaccurate information or opinions contained herein.Contacts Dr Petrus de Kock – General Manager Research – [email protected] Judy Smith-Höhn- Research Manager – [email protected] Leigh-Gail Petersen – Researcher – [email protected]:[i] Note that because national and international agencies continually improve their data series, the data — including the HDI values and ranks — presented in the Human Development Report are not comparable to those published in earlier editions.[ii] The improvements in the Schooling categories are particularly impressive when considering the longer term improvements in this area. Between 1980 and 2014, Expected Years of Schooling increased by 2.2 years and Mean Years of Schooling by 5 years.[iii] There is an inconsistency with the ranking on the UNDP website. The pdf reports rank SA at 116, as does the online HDI ranking overview, while a click on the link to South Africa country website overview puts SA at 117th. Brand SA has contacted UNDP to clarify.last_img read more

Kickout Flashing: Often Overlooked and Under Appreciated

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img We were building a new deck on the back of a house when we had to break for a couple days because of heavy rain. When we returned, the client asked us about a puzzling problem that two roofers had been unable to solve. Occasionally, after a day of rain, the garage floor had a puddle of water that seemed to weep out from the bottom of the back wall where the garage joined the rest of the house. I had a sense after looking in the back of the garage that the leak was at the first piece of step flashing where the garage eave joined the main house wall.I had to remove only two pieces of lap siding where the drip edge on the garage roof met the house wall to see the saturated and decaying plywood sheathing. And the damage only got worse as we removed more clapboards and housewrap further down the wall. When the 25-year-old house was built, the first piece of step flashing was installed against the wall and the housewrap was installed over it, which makes sense for every other piece of step flashing—lap the water-resistive barrier (WRB) over the wall leg of the flashing, shingle style. But the first piece of step flashing in cases where the main body of the wall continues beyond the eave of a lower roof needs to be turned away from the wall, and the WRB has to be sliced so it covers the wall leg of the step flashing and goes behind the turned out leg.We removed the siding on both the back wall of the garage and the adjoining wall of the house. The water damage was more severe and wider lower down on the wall. The insulation was saturated, the outer… last_img read more

Why Twitter’s IPO Doesn’t Change Anything

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos owen thomas Related Posts Twitter has filed papers to take the company public. This changes everything, right?Wrong.It’s a momentous milestone for the six-year-old message-broadcasting company, to be sure, and a credit to the steady leadership of CEO Dick Costolo, who followed two of the company’s founders in that role. But for users and developers, the IPO doesn’t mean much.Change Is Good—But Simplicity Is BetterAs a product, Twitter won’t change much following a public stock offering. The 140-character format of a tweet is set in stone, though Twitter has figured out clever ways to associate images, videos, and other forms of media with these short posts. Recent changes, like a more intelligent display of tweets sent as replies in the form of a conversation, seem more like obvious tweaks than big changes.And while Twitter has grown more sophisticated in selling advertisements, ads on Twitter come in the form of tweets, albeit more prominently displayed, which keeps things simple. Where Twitter will improve its advertising products is in how they’re targeted to particular users—for example, in conjunction with live events and television shows.The Platform Is Already Locked DownAh, but won’t Twitter crack down on developers after an IPO, as it looks for new ways to make money? Well, that’s already happened.While third-party apps for reading tweets face severe restrictions, developers are relatively free to build apps that send content into the Twittersphere. Analytics toolmakers also are making a mint.Some developers may still be unhappy that Twitter won’t let them create the apps they’re dreaming of, but the boundaries are better defined than they were in Twitter’s early days, giving less grounds for complaint.Twitter Will Keep Snapping Up StartupsRight before it revealed its SEC filing, Twitter announced it had bought online-advertising startup MoPub in an all-stock deal. It’s been on an acquisition spree for a while, buying up startups like Vine, the short-video broadcasting service, and Crashlytics, maker of tools for mobile-app developers.Between the cash Twitter has raised from investors and the high valuation placed on its privately traded shares, it already has the financial firepower to buy startups to expand its business and its pool of talent. An IPO will accelerate that trend, but it won’t change its direction.Investors Will Get RichTwitter’s venture-capital investors, like Union Square Ventures and Charles River Ventures, will profit enormously from an IPO (and from their patience in not selling). But it’s their job to make money for their own investors—pension funds and other large institutions that need to diversify their investment portfolios. While it’s great that VC firms are making money, it doesn’t really change much for the rest of us.Twitter Will Stay IndependentAs a publicly traded company, Twitter has a better chance of staying independent. But it got too big to buy a while ago, based on the valuation its private investors have assigned to it.Over the years, Facebook and Google made stabs at buying Twitter; there were talks with others, like Yahoo, that never went particularly far. That was billions of dollars ago. At this point, it’s too hard for Twitter to sell. Its private valuation is estimated at between $10 billion and $14 billion; it will likely be worth more than that as a public company.At the same time, that’s way too much money for any public company answerable to its shareholders to spend on an acquisition, given the state of Twitter’s advertising revenues. (Estimates vary in the range of $300 million to $600 million this year; we know that to file confidentially with the SEC as an emerging-growth company, Twitter’s annual revenues must be less than $1 billion.) If Twitter will sell, it must first grow into the valuation eager investors want to assign to it.What Will ChangeThe one factor that’s hardest for Costolo and the rest of Twitter’s executives to manage will be its people. AllThingsD reports that some Twitter employees recently received new stock grants to keep them at the company well past an IPO.Some engineers, product managers, and salespeople who enjoy the wild ride of a startup simply won’t want to stay at a company of the size a publicly traded Twitter will inevitably become. Were Twitter to find some way to delay its stock-market debut, they would likely leave anyway, as Twitter grew; that’s been happening for some time, even as Twitter hires employees by the hundreds.One thing to watch is Twitter’s defense of its users’ free speech against regulators and spies. The departure of longtime general counsel Alexander Macgillivray was disturbing to some, though he wrote that he “couldn’t be happier” with his replacement, Vijaya Gadde.If a public Twitter wavers in defense of its users against government agencies, employees could rapidly grow disillusioned. And that, in turn, could weaken the company’s growth.The good news is that going public may be the best defense Twitter has against such pressure. Acquired by a larger entity, Twitter might fold to protect some other aspect of the parent company’s business. As long as those who buy Twitter’s stock understand the legal risks it faces in championing free speech around the globe, little should change just because Twitter acquires a ticker symbol.Lead photo of Twitter CEO Dick Costolo by Madeleine Weiss for ReadWrite Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…center_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Alexander Macgillivray#Dick Costolo#IPO#twitter#Twitter IPO A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

How Not to Sell Your Drill

first_imgYour pitch might explain how your drill is different, the different results it produces and why you chose to design your drill the way you did. But it won’t be enough to sell your drill.How Your Drill Is DifferentYour drill might be faster than your competitor’s drill. It might be smaller and lighter. It might have more power. It might last longer than any other drill on the market. It might work in climates where other drills fail. Your drill might use less power, and it might be easier to operate.Your drill might be a one-of-a-kind marvel of modern engineering and design.How Your Drill Produces Different ResultsYour drill might produce more holes of different sizes than any other drill. It might produce holes that are so finely crafted that the holes from other drills simply cannot compare. And maybe the drill you sell can punch holes through substances that other drills just can’t penetrate.Your drill might produce dramatically different holes.Why You Make the Best Drill EverThe owner of your company may have struggled with other drills and decided to build a better one to help other people make better holes. His father may have been a carpenter, and he may have always dreamed of easing his father’s burden at work. It may be your company’s mission to elevate the craft of woodworking by creating the finest tools on Earth.The reason you make such a fine drill might speak to the highest values. But none of this is enough to sell your fabulous drill.Why Does Your Client Need HolesYour drill has no value unless someone needs holes. In your case, your drill has no value unless someone needs holes of the highest quality. None of the features, benefits, or values above matter otherwise.Your first job is to find someone who really needs holes, or to teach someone why one of their greatest strategic needs is holes. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Maternal Undernutrition and Adolescent Girls

first_imgPosted on December 22, 2010June 20, 2017By: Emily Puckart, Program Associate, MHTFClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)During the recent Woodrow Wilson International Center policy dialogue on maternal undernutrition both speakers highlighted the importance of including adolescent girls as targets and beneficiaries of maternal nutrition programs. After all, around the world girls under the age of 18 may be married as well as mothers. If they are not mothers already, reaching out to adolescent girls ensures that they will have necessary nutrition information and tools they need before they even become pregnant.Bhavishya Alliance is a Mumbai based multi-sector partnership with a focus on reducing undernutrition in Maharashtra, India. The Girls Gaining Ground (GGG) program is Bhavishya Alliance’s pilot nutrition and health intervention which focuses on adolescent girls as future mothers. GGG combines a strong focus on maternal nutrition and health along with a girl’s empowerment component, benefiting groups of girls in some of the most underserved tribal communities in Maharashtra state.The program itself focuses heavily on nutrition and health information, as well as giving girls the knowledge to access government health services. This includes information in accessing services such as iron supplements and access to facilities when giving birth. The groups take part in community mapping exercises which identify health and nutrition services near their communities.Local women serve as role-models and facilitators for each of the GGG groups, leading the curriculum on reproductive and sexual health, the importance of iron supplements, dispelling myths relating to foods during pregnancy, and the importance of delayed marriage and pregnancy for health. Storytelling, local songs and myths are emphasized in order for the curriculum to make an impact in the lives of the girls. For example, girls may enact plays, where the lead character, an adolescent girl, dies in childbirth after an early marriage and a difficult, unattended pregnancy.There is a special emphasis in the program on preparing girls nutritionally to become mothers. Facilitators chart hemoglobin levels and iron supplement intake and girls enrolled in the program use food diaries to record and discuss their daily intake of food. Where illiteracy is a challenge, facilitators use the girls’ verbal history to take down the diary. Along with a focus on quantity, facilitators use the colors of the Indian flag (green, orange and white) to ask girls and their families to diversify their food intake using locally available food sources. Some NGOs have supplemented the GGG program with seed distribution for families to start agricultural plots for food to be consumed within the family, rather than exported for sale outside the community.This innovative and exciting program may provide a model for other maternal nutrition programs that recognize the importance of including adolescent girls as beneficiaries of maternal nutrition programs.This is the third post by Emily Puckart on “Maternal Undernutrion: Evidence, Links, and Solutions.” Read the first and second.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more