The Washington Post Released Emojis For Every NCAA Tournament Team, And They’re Awesome

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first_imgSome NCAA Tournament emojis.If you’re one of those people who can only communicate on text using emojis, The Washington Post has you covered for March Madness this year. The publication has designed emojis for all 68 NCAA Tournament teams, along with a number for squads that just missed the cut. And to be honest, they did an incredible job. Here are the emojis for the Kentucky Wildcats and the Duke Blue Devils, two of the favorites to win it all this year. They’re fantastic.Kentucky DukeHere’s the entire grid – you can click through to see more. You can also save them to your phone if you open the link in a regular browser.EmojisCollege basketball fans – will you be using them this March?last_img


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first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A special air quality statement that was issued by Environment Canada last Wednesday because of a large amount of smoke in the air remains in effect for all of Northeast B.C. today.Last week, officials with the Ministry of Environment said that at this point, it’s not entirely known where the smoke is coming from.Air quality meteorologist Ralph Adams said that the smoke isn’t coming from any local fires in Northeast B.C., but could possibly be coming from fires burning in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, and even as far away as Scandinavia and Siberia. “The view at the moment is that it’s likely coming from there. It’s likely that this smoke is coming from Eurasia, but at this point, there’s no agreement.” A map of the current fire danger rating in B.C. Photo by BC Wildfire Service. A map of the current fire danger rating in B.C. Photo by BC Wildfire Service. A map of all active wildfires on the BC Wildfire Service website shows that no new major fires have erupted in the B.C. Peace and Fort Nelson regions, where the fire danger rating is currently between very low and moderate.Of the fires that have started in Northeast B.C. recently, most are either in unpopulated areas or are less than ten hectares in size.People with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects.Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk. Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.Be air aware! Check your local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.For more information on current air quality, see: www.bcairquality.ca.Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.last_img read more


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It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for another edition of FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Power Ratings. The least you need to know about how these numbers work: Each team is ranked according to a projection of its strength over the upcoming week — and the upcoming week only — using Real Plus-Minus (RPM) player ratings provided by Jeremias Engelmann and Steve Ilardi. For more details on the ratings, see our introductory rankings post.(Note: These ratings were calculated before news broke that Chicago’s Jimmy Butler would miss three to six weeks with an elbow injury. Butler carried a strong +3.2 RPM rating, so replacing his 26 minutes per game with a replacement-level player would drop the Bulls from 11th place to a tie for 19th with the Pistons. Chicago’s saving grace might be that the average player below Butler on the team’s depth chart is significantly better than replacement level, but there’s no doubt that this news reduces the Bulls’ rating.)Some observations about the rankings this week:The Oklahoma City Thunder climbed more in the rankings from last week than any other team, leaping from No. 13 to No. 6. The biggest reason? The expectation that Kevin Durant will return in some capacity this week, even if in reduced minutes, was worth 1.7 points per 100 possessions to OKC’s overall rating. The ripple effects of Durant’s return extend beyond his own increased minutes. Our playing-time projections also see Dion Waiters (whose extremely negative RPM falls below the replacement level) getting fewer minutes on the wing — a boon of 0.8 points/100 to the Thunder’s rating. More minutes may also go to plus-minus darling Andre Roberson,1Relative to other metrics at least; from his awful 9.9 Player Efficiency Rating (PER), you wouldn’t expect his RPM to be a strong +2.4. and fewer minutes will go to guard D.J. Augustin, an additional 0.6 point boost for OKC’s rating. The mix of very good and very poor players on the Thunder roster makes the team a great case study in how much effect playing-time reshuffling can have on a team’s overall talent rating.The Atlanta Hawks dropped four spots in this week’s rankings, largely because Al Horford (+2.3 RPM rating), Jeff Teague (+1.3), DeMarre Carroll (+1.2) and Pero Antic (+0.8) are all listed as day-to-day in the team’s injury report. Those slight playing-time downgrades gave more minutes to a host of negative RPM players; chief among them are Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore.Joining the Hawks with a four-slot decline this week are the Toronto Raptors. More than half of Toronto’s 1.8 point ratings drop is driven by an injury to Kyle Lowry — and the resulting uptick in playing time for the man behind him on the team’s point guard depth chart, Lou Williams. Williams’s box-score numbers are very good, and Toronto has played much better with him on the court this season. But Real Plus-Minus isn’t convinced despite his great 2014-15 season to date. His long-term predictive RPM is currently -1.9 — with a -3.6 defensive mark — numbers only slightly improved from his -2.0/-3.7 ratings from the end of last season.For all the changes just outside the league’s top tier — in addition to the rise of OKC and declines of Atlanta and Toronto, the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets both moved up a pair of spots — the top four in our rankings stayed constant. This marks the first time that’s been true since we introduced the rankings in mid-January.With Oklahoma City’s gains, the Western Conference playoff picture is all but set. Seven teams have postseason probabilities in excess of 97 percent, and the Thunder don’t sit too far behind, at 92.7 percent. As for the East, it boasts six teams with playoff odds of 99.6 percent or greater, although there’s some drama to be had with six teams battling for the conference’s final two playoff berths. The Indiana Pacers have the inside track for one of the slots, with a 62.7 percent playoff probability, but none of the five teams behind them are any more than 40.2 percent likely to qualify, which ought to bring at least some tension to the final month and a half of the season.Related to the previous point, it’s worth mentioning that the Utah Jazz have a zero percent probability of making the playoffs despite ranking 12th in talent. What happened? Utah’s record has undershot its Pythagorean expectation by three wins, but the team has also improved its talent rating recently (granted, by too little and too late) by jettisoning Enes Kanter and his -2.5 RPM in a three-team trade with Oklahoma City and the Detroit Pistons.Finally, who on earth is Joffrey Lauvergne? Our projections had the French big man down for 2.8 minutes per game for the Denver Nuggets last week, but he ended up averaging 21 minutes per game instead (and even got a starting nod against the Jazz on Friday). Denver might be toning down Lauvergne’s playing time after he shot 38 percent from the floor and posted a -36 plus-minus in that lone start, but his expected role increase — and -4.4 RPM rating — is still enough to help the Nuggets drop by five slots in the rankings. They’re still not New York Knicks bad, but after their mass talent exodus at the trade deadline, the Nuggets now bring up the rear of the non-Knicks/Philadelphia 76ers division of the power rankings. read more


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first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, November 16, 2017 – Nassau – Police have three suspects for a string of crimes – including rape and kidnapping – from the Summer which riled up residents and two of the men are charged and remanded to prison now.Chavez Musgrove, a 22 year old and 26 year old Andrew Parker – both of Blue Hills, Providenciales were arrested and charged in recent weeks for a dozen crimes, all committed in July 2017.The two appeared in court to answer to three (3) counts of kidnapping, two (2) counts of Robbery, three (3) counts of rape, three (3) counts of possession of imitation firearm with intent to cause fear and taking motor vehicle without authority.    Most of the charges were against Musgrove, the youngest of the two.There is a third man arrested, but he is not yet formally arraigned and is being held as a person of interest by Police.#MagneticMediaNews#2menchargedinforJulycrimes Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#2menchargedinforJulycrimes, #magneticmedianewslast_img read more


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first_imgFile PhotoThe United States has termed Bangladesh’s 30 December national election “lopsided” saying that it was marred by reported irregularities, including ballot-box stuffing and intimidation of opposition polling agents and voters.The US Department of State in its latest annual report titled ‘Bangladesh Human Rights Report -2018’ states, “Prime minister Sheikh Hasina and her Awami League party won a third consecutive five-year term in an improbably lopsided December parliamentary election that was not considered free and fair, and was marred by reported irregularities, including ballot-box stuffing and intimidation of opposition polling agents and voters.”In the report published on Wednesday, the US Department of State also criticised the obstacles opposition political parties faced last year before the parliamentary election.The report also reads, “During the campaign leading up to the election, there were credible reports of harassment, intimidation, arbitrary arrests, and violence that made it difficult for many opposition candidates and their supporters to meet, hold rallies, and campaign freely.”Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League won an incredible 288 seats in the 300-seat parliament in the 30 December, 2018 election, with opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia in jail on charges her opponents say are politically motivated.Photo: US Embassy in Bangladesh On election observers of the 30 December polls, the report states, “International election monitors were not issued accreditation and visas within the timeframe necessary to conduct a credible international monitoring mission, and only seven of the 22 Election Working Group NGOs were approved to conduct domestic election observation.”The US in the report has said unlawful or political killings, forced disappearances, life-threatening prison conditions, freedom of speech limitations, negative government pressure on and fear of reprisal by press and media, and impunity for security force abuses were the most significant human rights problems in Bangladesh last year.”There were reports of widespread impunity for security force abuses last year, while the Bangladesh government took few measures to investigate and prosecute cases of abuse and killing by security forces,” says the report.It also considered a number of rights issues, such as torture, arbitrary detentions, corruption, trafficking, overly restrictive NGO laws, workers’ rights, use of the worst forms of child labour, and violence against LGBTI persons; unlawful interference into privacy, censorship, site blocking, peaceful assembly and freedom of association; criminal libel; restrictions on freedom of movement, political participation, trade unions.The report said the government neither released statistics on total killings by security personnel nor took comprehensive measures to investigate them. In regards to the security forces’ continued abuses with impunity, it identified lengthy trial procedures, retribution, and police having ties to ruling party men who occupy key positions in law and enforcement agencies.“Reluctance to bring charges against police also perpetuated a climate of impunity,” it adds.In terms of freedom of expression, it said the government sometimes failed to respect the right.”There were significant limitations on freedom of speech with self-censorship persisting due to harassment and fear of reprisal,” the report reads.It also said both print and online independent media were active and expressed a wide variety of views; however, media outlets that criticised the government experienced negative government pressure.It adds, “Civil society said political interference influenced the licensing process, since all television channel licenses granted by the government were for stations supporting the ruling party. There were also incidents of journalists coming under attack by ruling party loyalists and intelligence men.”last_img read more


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first_img X Share Listen Harris Health had a rough year, but it looks a lot better now that it’s over. At the start of the fiscal year that that began last March, board members and executives faced a projected deficit of more than $70 million.“That was the result of what we call ‘the perfect storm,’ explained President and CEO George Masi. “Increased patient volumes, no expansion of Medicaid in Texas — and that had a profound effect on Harris Health — and just the inflationary factors associated with healthcare.”To cope, managers stopped filling vacancies, eliminated raises for most workers, and laid off almost 100 people. The personnel changes alone saved almost $17 million.Masi said it was painful to do: “These were real people, doing real jobs, with real work.”Managers also found savings in pharmacy, laboratory and supply chain costs.Masi says strategic streamlining also helped save money. For example, Harris Health is so overwhelmed with cases that managers had been paying other hospitals to perform certain surgeries on its patients. But it stopped that outsourcing last year, and saved more than $7 million from those contracts.“These are not emergent cases, these are cases like a gallbladder, maybe a hernia repair that could wait, sometimes wait inordinately long times, to be managed,” Masi said.“But we pulled those all back in, and actually just expanded our hours, worked harder, pushed the staff a great deal to get that done, and they did,” he added.  Finally, just a few weeks ago, there was what Masi calls a “February Christmas present” — $14 million more in tax revenues than expected.That eliminated the budget hole, with $1.1 million left over.“It’s like the little train that could,” Masi said. “There are not a whole lot of people who thought we could make up that kind of ground. It was a lot of sacrifice, on the part of a lot of folks associated with the organization, that allowed us to make that margin.”But the pressure isn’t off yet.This fiscal year, Masi faces a new deficit of $8 million. Even if he overcomes that, he’s not able to save and recapitalize for maintenance, new equipment and growth, he said. Too many years in that state are not sustainable, he said, and so he will continue to push Texas politicians to expand Medicaid using federal dollars. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:38last_img read more


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first_img X 00:00 /08:20 Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz/Houston Public MediaHFD Chief Samuel Peña emphasizes that improving fire safety inspections in Houston will entail using a new risk-based model and a modern records management system. Listen Houston’s Fire Chief says he wants to increase ambulance fees. In the audio above we hear from Chief Samuel Peña at a press conference held this morning (July 13), where he says this would be the first hike in six years, aside from adjustments for inflation.We talk with Dr. Cedric Dark, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and Dr. James Langabeer, professor in the UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics, about proposed hikes in ambulance fees and why the chief wants these higher fees. Then, we consider the potential impact this hike could have on Houstonians.center_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Sharelast_img read more


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first_imgA composite image of the Western hemisphere of the Earth. Credit: NASA Three researchers in France have authored “How ocean waves rock the Earth: Two mechanisms explain microseisms with periods 3 to 300 s,” published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The paper attempts to explain the source of Earth’s ringing sound. Could it be because of earthquakes? Scientists were aware that earthquakes could cause the Earth to ring, for days or months. That reason did not fit other instances. Even in the absence of earthquakes, seismologists said in the 1990s, the planet constantly vibrates at very low frequencies, which they could make out with seismic instruments. But why? Call it the mystery of the Noise—this continuous vibration draws scientists to search for explanations. Wired.co.uk brought out some interesting points about the low-frequency sound, which though inaudible to human ears can be detected by seismic instruments. There was a range of thoughts about why. “Theories suggested everything from electromagnetic radiation to earthquakes and secret military operations might be to blame. Although the sound is almost certainly too faint for humans to hear, some people claim to be plagued by a ‘tinnitus’-like noise—including many residents of Bristol in the 70s, who said the sound caused headaches and even nosebleeds.”Nanci Bompey in the AGU GeoSpace blog reviewed the theories which the authors of the recent paper examined. One such theory had to do with ocean waves moving in opposite directions. Colliding waves make weak, “microseismic” waves that add up to a generalized ringing. They used models and found that opposing ocean waves could initiate a kind of seismic waves – those that take 13 seconds or less to complete one oscillation. The theory did not hold up when it came to slower oscillating seismic waves.The researchers then examined the theory that suggests the movement of waves over the bottom of the ocean generates slower oscillating, very long waves. “Long ocean waves can extend all the way down to the seafloor. As they make their way back and forth to the open ocean from the coast, these long waves travel over the bumpy ocean bottom. The pressure of the ocean waves on the seafloor generates seismic waves that cause the Earth to oscillate, said Fabrice Ardhuin, a senior research scientist at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Brest, France, and lead author of the new research.” So one can also point to pressure of these long ocean waves on the sea floor.The authors’ conclusion, said Bompey, was that “instead of one theory explaining all of the microseismic activity, both theories are needed – one to explain the shorter seismic waves and another to explain the longer seismic waves responsible for the Earth’s hum.”Ardhuin said that understanding where the seismic signals were coming from could help researchers look for fainter seismic signals. That, he said, could allow them to better detect faint earthquakes far away from seismic stations or nuclear explosions. Explore further Citation: Source of Earth’s ringing? French team views ocean waves (2015, April 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-source-earth-french-team-views.html More information: Ardhuin, F., Gualtieri, L. and Stutzmann, E. (2015), How ocean waves rock the Earth: Two mechanisms explain microseisms with periods 3 to 300 s. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42: 765–772. DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062782AbstractMicroseismic activity, recorded everywhere on Earth, is largely due to ocean waves. Recent progress has clearly identified sources of microseisms in the most energetic band, with periods from 3 to 10 s. In contrast, the generation of longer-period microseisms has been strongly debated. Two mechanisms have been proposed to explain seismic wave generation: a primary mechanism, by which ocean waves propagating over bottom slopes generate seismic waves, and a secondary mechanism which relies on the nonlinear interaction of ocean waves. Here we show that the primary mechanism explains the average power, frequency distribution, and most of the variability in signals recorded by vertical seismometers, for seismic periods ranging from 13 to 300 s. The secondary mechanism only explains seismic motions with periods shorter than 13 s. Our results build on a quantitative numerical model that gives access to time-varying maps of seismic noise sources.center_img © 2015 Phys.org URI oceanography student uses crashing waves on shorelines to study Earth’s interior Journal information: Geophysical Research Letters 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.last_img read more


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first_img No peak in sight for evolving bacteria Explore further Escherichia coli. Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH © 2015 Phys.org One of the foundations of evolution is that organisms change due to challenges they face in their environment, as new challenges arise, those adaptations that best suit the situation are favored, leading to an improvement in fitness. Some prior research has suggested that such adaptations would follow a hyperbolic curve—evidence from this long term effort, suggests that a power-law curve might be more accurate, at least in one such case.The LTEE began in 1988 when a team of researchers at the university, led by Richard Lenski, took a single sample of e. coli, separated it into 12 separate identical flasks held in identical environments and then watched and to see how they might evolve over the years. Periodically, samples have been removed and studied with some being put into deep freeze for later study. Over the past 27 years, the bacteria has produced thousands of new generations—one reached 50,000—offering the researchers a unique opportunity to see evolution in action.In comparing the current generations with the thousands that came before them, the team acknowledged that they fully expected that increases in fitness would level off, and perhaps stop altogether because of the unchanging environment in which they lived—there were no new challenges and all of the samples lived almost exactly the same way. The team did note that there were differences in degrees of sustained fitness among samples in the flasks, but they were minor. They also noticed that while the increases in fitness had slowed over the years, it did not appear to be on a course that would show it stopping at any point. Thus, they suggest it appears to follow more of a power-law curve than anything else. For that reason, the researchers have advised that the experiment continue, allowing future researchers to see if the bacteria will offer any other surprises. Citation: Long term study shows bacteria continue to show sustained fitness in unchanging environment (2015, December 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-term-bacteria-sustained-unchanging-environment.htmlcenter_img 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. More information: Richard E. Lenski et al. Sustained fitness gains and variability in fitness trajectories in the long-term evolution experiment with , Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2015). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2292AbstractMany populations live in environments subject to frequent biotic and abiotic changes. Nonetheless, it is interesting to ask whether an evolving population’s mean fitness can increase indefinitely, and potentially without any limit, even in a constant environment. A recent study showed that fitness trajectories of Escherichia coli populations over 50 000 generations were better described by a power-law model than by a hyperbolic model. According to the power-law model, the rate of fitness gain declines over time but fitness has no upper limit, whereas the hyperbolic model implies a hard limit. Here, we examine whether the previously estimated power-law model predicts the fitness trajectory for an additional 10 000 generations. To that end, we conducted more than 1100 new competitive fitness assays. Consistent with the previous study, the power-law model fits the new data better than the hyperbolic model. We also analysed the variability in fitness among populations, finding subtle, but significant, heterogeneity in mean fitness. Some, but not all, of this variation reflects differences in mutation rate that evolved over time. Taken together, our results imply that both adaptation and divergence can continue indefinitely—or at least for a long time—even in a constant environment. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers working on Michigan State University’s Long-Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE) has found that even after nearly thirty years living in an unchanging environment, generations of Escherichia coli continue to show improvements in fitness. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team describes the nature of their long term experiment and their surprise at the continual evolution of the simple bacteria. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society Blast_img read more


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first_imgKolkata: Miscreants tried to extort money from acquaintances of a doctor after hacking his e-mail ID. On November 12 around 4:20 pm, the ID was hacked and a mail was sent. It was found that several people had received thesame mail. The Head of the Department (HOD) of Oncology department at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, Dr Shibashis Bhattacharya alleged that on November 12 he got a phone call from one of his friends claiming that he sent a mail saying he is in danger and in need of Rs 40,000. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeOn hearing this, Bhattacharya suspected his e-mail account was hacked. He immediately rushed to a cyber cafe and changed the password. But that did not help. A few hours later, the same mail was sent to another person close to Bhattacharya. It read: ‘I hope you’re doing okay and this e-mail finds you well. Please where are you at the moment? I’m having such a frustrating ordeal right now and need an urgent favor from you. I’m unavailable over the phone, so I will appreciate if you could email me back as soon as you get this.’ Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedWhen the recipient replied through e-mail he was asked to transfer Rs 40,000 to one bank account. It was also mentioned that Bhattacharya was out of town and the money is urgently needed for a person’s surgery close to him. As he is out of the town, he is asking him to provide the money. Everyone found the matter to be fishy and did not tranfer the money. When Bhattacharya came to know that several people in his circle had received the same mail, he lodged a complaint with Cyber Crime Cell in Lalbazar. “I lodged a complaint with the police. They told me that sleuths are probing in to the matter. Thankfully nobody transferred the money to the account otherwise it would have been a disaster,” said Bhattacharya.last_img read more


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first_img Enroll Now for Free 4 min read August 14, 2013 Peter Drucker once wrote: “because its purpose is to create a customer, the business has two — and only two — functions: marketing and innovation.”These words hold true for any business, including mobile apps. If you’re building a mobile app to become a successful business, you have to do two things right: innovate and reach out to customers effectively for your story to be bought into.There are many deal-breakers, but these six mistakes are a sign your app will have a hard time selling:1. Assuming there is a need.Just how many people start building an app, spending thousands of dollars to create features and functionalities based on a feeling that it’s what their customers want? I’d say, a conservative 99 percent.Most apps fail because entrepreneurs do not validate their product with actual customers who would be willing to pay.If you have an app idea, go out and validate it. Put it out on crowdsourcing platforms to see how many people want it, make a landing page highlighting the benefits of the app and get interested people to give you their email addresses so you can contact them when the app launches, build a prototype and sell it to your potential customers.2. Not putting ease of use first.A wireframe that you draw for your app defines how the app will be experienced. But does that mean it is going to be simple for your customer to use? Probably not.Invest the necessary time into making an app that is insanely simple to use. Think Google for Make thesearch. What is the core concept of your app? What is the core value it intends to offer? Simply laying that out up-front and making it easier for people to experience will make a huge difference to your app’s success.3. Skimping on graphics.If you want people to connect with your app, it needs to be attractive. Colors influence moods, and there’s history and science backing this. Depending on the nature of your app, you can decide on the colors you want your graphics to capture.The aesthetic of your app is a big determinant of whether people love or are turned off by it. For example, Dots, the latest craze in mobile games has done a fantastic job on both usability and design combined.4. Thinking analytics is for analysts.You need to know how your customers are actually using the app, which is often very different from what you expect. Set goals to track how your customers use the app and how engaged they are with certain features.The data you get can define your next move for increasing traction for the app. There are specific analytics softwares available for different types of apps, so don’t make the mistake of implementing the first one you hear about.5. Trying to go global on day one.Trying to build the world’s greatest wall on day one often means failure. To build the world’s greatest wall, you must first perfect the way the first brick is laid then move to the next one and so on and so forth.The same goes for customer acquisition. You need to start small, perfect your product with your local market and make all the mistakes there. Once you’ve done that, you can easily replicate your successes in other cities and countries.You cannot sell your product by sitting in your office. You need to go out, meet your customers and understand first-hand how they experience your product.6. Giving up too soon or holding on for too long.You can’t be pursuing a business that is just not gaining traction. You either need to alter your course, or drop it and move on. Knowing when to do that is the most crucial aspect of any business.When you launch your app, devote at least six months to selling and developing it before you call it a failure. But in those six months, give it all you’ve got, to the extent that you have no regrets looking back.Don’t hold on beyond that. If you cannot gain traction in that time, you probably won’t see success beyond that period. “Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently promoting what’s not working,” writes Derek Sivers in his latest book, Anything You Want.Remember: While your idea itself may be great, it’s not a business until it is executed well. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.last_img read more


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first_img Travelweek Group Share Posted by ‘Fall Only in Cayman’ deals available now for autumn travel Tags: Cayman Islands, Promotionscenter_img TORONTO — The Cayman Islands’ ‘Fall Only in Cayman’ consumer incentive offers deals on accommodation, dive and watersports packages, and attractions and restaurants.The new promotion is available for travel Sept. 1 – Dec. 15, for bookings now through Sept. 30.The Cayman Islands is a four-hour flight from Toronto via direct service with Air Canada or WestJet, or via U.S. carriers and gateways.Resort deals include:Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa: Stay two or three nights and receive a US$100 food and beverage resort credit and a $100 spa credit or stay four or more nights and the fourth night is free.The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman: Fifth nights free.Turtle Nest Inn & Condos: Two can stay in a fully equipped apartment with kitchen for $799 per week (until Oct. 31), rental car included.Sunset House: Receive a day of diving and fifth night free with a minimum five-night diving package.Luxury Cayman Villas: Complimentary welcome dinner for eight guests with fall bookings.The Avalon Condominiums: First time guests receive 15% off.Holiday Inn Resort: Book three nights or more and receive 20% off best flex rates.Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort: Fourth night free with a $50 food and beverage credit.Cayman Condos: Every fifth night is free and kids 17 and under stay for free with a paying adult.More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaAgents are asked to contact resorts directly. Each property has its own individual booking requirements and commissions may apply.Visitors will also receive discounts at attractions and watersports outfitters including: 15% off a Cayman Segway Tours package before Sept. 30; 25% off Sealand Adventure Tours’ wave runner adventure; free gear rental for each two-tank dive with Epic Divers, and 20% off adult and 25% off children’s fares for a three-stop Stingray City snorkel tour with Capt. Marvin’s Watersports.Further discounts include: 15% off a Cayman Islands Boat Rentals charter; purchase a three day, three tank dive package with Brac Scuba Shack Ltd and get the second at 50% off, and 10% off Grand Old House restaurant meals. See caymanislands.ky. Friday, September 2, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


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first_img Thursday, January 18, 2018 Busabout boasts 80% growth in 2018 trade bookings; gets ready to offer USA product in 2019 Posted by Travelweek Group TORONTO — Busabout hosted a fun trivia evening in Toronto last night, during which the company shared news of exciting developments with its travel agent partners. According to Busabout, agents are largely responsible for an 80% increase in bookings for 2018, a year that will include new itineraries, price reductions and FAM incentives.Even more exciting was news that the company will soon offer USA product for the first time starting in 2019, which will complement its existing Europe and Asia offerings.Busabout offers clients complete autonomy on their trip, allowing them to do Europe their way, with a unique hop-on, hop-off network that links up 47 European destinations across 15 countries. A similar Busabout system also exists in South East Asia aimed at independent travellers who want the ultimate in flexibility, freedom and value. They then have the ability to decide where to visit and for how long, creating their own adventure.Canadian bookings for 2018 departures are up 80%, while overall sales are up 103%, undoubtedly due to the hard work of regional team members Damien Bennett, Vice-President of Sales in North America, and Adam Bubowsky, National Sales Manager.“Agents don’t have a massive amount of products they can use for FIT. We are a great option because we allow all the flexibility of FIT, but you also get the social, guided and safety elements of more traditional tours, so we really are the best of both worlds,” says Bubowsky. “We really try to get agents to focus on the value that Busabout can add for their clients.”Busabout has some serious savings to consider for 2018 travel, with many price reductions announced. For example, the two-week pass for Europe is down 8% in price, while the one-month pass is down 20%. Also on offer for Asia is the Unlimited Pass, where for $5,999 clients can travel once on all Busabout Asia trips within a three-month period. Finally, the Early Booking Deals booking incentive has been extended until the end of January where an additional 15% savings in possible.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJTo incentivize agents, Busabout is offering a spot on the All-Star Greece FAM with all expenses paid, including flights. The trip will include both a mainland itinerary as well as island hopping. The top two selling agents from the region will be invited, plus another three wildcards.“We don’t hold anything back on this FAM and it is a ton of fun,” says Bennett. “The agents love it because it’s a multi-region FAM, so it’s not just Canadians with Canadians, but you get to experience the Busabout product, the Busabout way, which is with people from all over the world having a good time.”The company recently announced that it will be entering the USA market in 2019, offering a similar hop-on-hop-off bus network for independent travellers who are looking for flexibility. No details on destinations, routes or pricing have been announced at this time.“85% of our product operates in Europe, which is where we started, then South East Asia, and now we are planning to move into the U.S. in 2019,” says Bennett. “This will be a brand new destination for us, and again this is market driven. We have customers who have done Europe then Asia, they love the product, love the brand, love the way we operate, and they are looking for more so we are expanding our destinations.”New winter ski itineraries will also be on offer for the 2018-19 ski season.Other highlights from the new 2018-19 program include:NEW 2-day Croatian Adventure: A much sought-after itinerary with travellers, this trip visits the iconic Plitvice National Park and its spectacular waterfalls, as well as Krka National Park where visitors are able to swim amongst the waterfalls. As these magnificent sites are difficult to visit independently, Busabout takes out all the hassle.NEW Ultimate Eastern Adventure (+ Eastern Highlights and Eastern Trail): This incredible 15-day itinerary explores not only the highlights of Eastern Europe, but some truly off-the-beaten-path gems across Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia.NEW Ski Festivals – Above & Below Ski Adventure and Rise Festival: For the 2018/19 winter season, Busabout is offering the ultimate freestyle Winter Adventures – passengers can ski down the pristine slopes of the French Alps, party in mountain bars and check out those incredible views.NEW Hop-On Hop-Off destinations: Bologna, Austrian Alps, Zakopane, Evora, Santiago de Compostela; now featuring 47 destinations in 15 countries across Europe.5-day Southern Thailand Adventure – Embrace the heat, swim in jungle rivers and explore the everchanging culture and landscapes of Thailand. Busabout guests will stay on floating riverside bungalows, visit a sustainable elephant sanctuary, explore Bangkok’s off-the-beaten track sights such as Chinatown, discover the incredible Wat Arun and Wat Pho temples and spend lazy days on the beach.6-day Southern Vietnam Adventure – Gain insight into the daily life of this previously war-torn country. Now including an overnight train from Hoi An to Nha Trang, meaning Busabout travellers gain a whole extra day in Hoi An, making sure there is enough time to enjoy this amazing UNESCO town and all the intoxicating street food it has to offer.10-day Thai Island Hopper – Gorging on curries, dancing until dawn and chilling out on amazing beaches, travellers should be ready for the perfect balance of party and relaxation. This year, Busabout has built in twin-share accommodation into this island-hopping trip, with the option to upgrade to hotel and resort stays. Not only that, they are taking travellers to islands with fewer crowds, visiting the next big thing in the Thai Islands, the hidden gem, Koh Lanta.24-day Vietnam and Cambodia Adventure – Ready to fall in love with traditions, tastes and temples? In 2018 guests will gain two extra nights in Phnom Penh before they move onto a countryside bike tour in Battambang, visiting several local homes throughout the Cambodian village to learn about the livelihoods of the community.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthFor more information, visit busabout.com.center_img Share Tags: Busabout << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


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first_img VANCOUVER — Emerald Waterways has opened Mekong River bookings for the 2020-2021 season ahead of the highly anticipated debut of its new Star-Ship, Emerald Harmony.With the 2019-2020 season nearly sold out, the company is encouraging guests to book the following season early through an early booking incentive: those who book a sailing of 12 days or more will receive free roundtrip airfare to Asia when booked by Aug. 31, 2019. Guests booking the eight-day sailing will receive $500 off the price of the cruise, while all guests who book by May 31 will receive an additional $150 savings per person.With only 84 guests in 42 staterooms and suites, Emerald Harmony, whose debut is just a few months away, will offer an intimate, upscale sailing experience on the Mekong. There will be 32, 273 square-foot Panorama Balcony Suites with drop-down windows; four 398 square-foot Grand Balcony Suites; and two 450 square-foot Owner’s Suites with wraparound terraces with private hot tubs.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsThe ship will also boast a pool, an Asian-themed Horizon Bar & Lounge, a 2:1 guest-to-crew ration, and locally-inspired cuisine at Reflections Restaurant. But perhaps its most innovative feature is its design; unlike most Mekong ships, the Emerald Harmony is built to allow access to the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. This means guests will disembark in the centre of the action rather than needing to be coached in from outside the city.Emerald Waterways will offer four itineraries on the Emerald Harmony: the eight-day ‘Majestic Mekong Cruise’, sailing between Prek’kdam and Ho Chi Minh City; the 13-day ‘Majestic Mekong Discovery Cruise; sailing between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap; the 17-day ‘Treasures & Temples of Vietnam & Cambodia’ river cruise and tour with stops in Hanoi and Halong Bay; and the 21-day ‘Grand Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia’ river cruise and tour, featuring stops in Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Hue and Siem Reap.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoCruise fares include all transfers, all port charges, all onboard (and some on-shore) meals; unlimited specialty tea and coffee, wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, bottled water in cabins replenished daily, continental breakfast, pre-dinner canapes and after-dinner treats served in the top suites, complimentary Wi-Fi onboard, most shore excursions, and all onboard and excursion gratuities. On touring days, hotel accommodations, internal flights and transfers are also included.Part of Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Waterways’ eight Star-Ships offer river sailings in Europe and on the Mekong, as well as the MS Rossia along the Volga River in Russia, the Adriatic Princess and Adriatic Pearl yachts in Croatia, and the MS Hamees on the Nile.For more information go to emeraldwaterways.ca. Posted by Share Books open on Emerald Waterway’s 2020-2021 season on the Mekong Tags: Emerald Waterways, Mekong Rivercenter_img Tuesday, April 16, 2019 Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


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first_img Dan Steinhart Managing Editor of The Casey Report Dear Reader, Casey Research Chief Economist Bud Conrad joins us today to analyze what’s behind gold’s recent weak performance. As is his specialty, Bud dug deep into the data to figure out exactly what’s happening in the gold futures market—who’s buying, who’s selling, and why. Read on to learn what he discovered about this controversial topic.last_img


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first_imgIn This Issue. * .8% of the 2.6% GDP was ACA. * Currencies try again to rally. * China to widen trading band? * Yellow means go faster! And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. 4th QTR U.S. GDP Disappoints! Good Day!…  And a Marvelous Monday to you!  And Welcome to February!  Pitchers and catchers report in a couple of weeks. ? The Beatles greet me this morning with She Loves You. Admit it, you love that song, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, did you watch the Super Bowl last night? I tried. But I was in one of those “spells”, and I actually threw in the towel with 5 minutes remaining. As I had told you, and became quite obvious, I really didn’t care who won the game, and I dislike both teams. When I wrote that a couple of weeks ago, I had a Seahawks fan rip me and say that he hoped the Rams left St. Louis that I deserved that. Whoa there partner! Them’s fightin’ words! Well, looky there! The first estimate of 4th QTR GDP here in the U.S. printed at 2.6% last Friday! WOW! What a drop from the trumped up 5% 3rd QTR print.  But, the kicker here folks, is that if you recall, the 3rd QTR didn’t start out at 5%, in fact the previous estimate before the final revision was 3.9%… So, there will be a couple more “revisions” before we finally put to bed the 4th QTR GDP, and by the time we do so, it will be very stale data.  And I’m sure that the book cookers will do their best to meet the President’s call for a strong 4th QTR GDP.  But for now, 2.6% is a HUGE drop from 5%, and to me, it probably represents pretty close to what it should be.  I had told you last Friday morning that I thought if the beans were all counted correctly before “adjustments” 4th QTR GDP would print below 3%…  So, now that it did print below 3%, my mind is racing with all the questions about how many “adjustments” were made just to get it to 2.6%?  And is this the beginning of the problems that I’ve been talking about for the economy without stimulus? And according to John Williams over at shadowstats.com, at least .8% of that 2.6% was a result of the ACA.  So, not only did we stuff the ballot box of GDP reports last year by adding R&D, and other stuff to the calc, but we also added ACA. And the fun never stops boys and girls! Fun? You call this fun, Chuck? Well, not actually, I was being facetious. Oh, I see now, said the blind man as he spit into the wind, it’s all coming back to me now. So, when the 4th QTR GDP report printed on Friday, all the rate hike campers b’d and moaned, and it appeared that they had left their rate hike cake out in the rain. and I don’t think I can take it, because it took so long to bake it, and I’ll never have that recipe again.  And for those of you thinking I’ve lost my mind. quoting lyrics by Donna Summer, I’m not. I go back to the original. Richard Harris. So, there!   But, the rate hike campers took their bats and balls and went home, leaving the dollar to deal with everything on its own. And when the dollar has its accessories stripped away, it doesn’t look so good. on a funny note, I had a friend, send me a YouTube of an old guy singing a song called: I don’t look good naked anymore. That’s the song for the dollar folks! But the biggest surprise on Friday came when the price of Oil started rallying, and when the day finished the price of Oil had risen to above $50, a more than $5 move in one day! All the stories that attempted to explain this move pointed to the number of Oil rigs that had closed up the previous week which showed that the number of operating rigs was at a 3 -year low now, as the rig count dropped 7% the previous week.  I’ve been told by people associated with Oil in some capacity that this rig count isn’t that big a deal, but I’ve got to say that it has to have something to do with production, because has rigs close, they certainly aren’t producing any longer!  I don’t know where this will go, folks, but to me, it appears to be the beginning of the end. So, the currencies are attempting to rally this morning. The euro is up ½-cent, the Aussie dollar is up about 1/3rd of a cent, and so on.. But Gold is down again this morning sitting on a $7 loss right now. I’ve got some more on physical Gold in Asia later this morning, so I won’t spoil your appetite for that now, except to say the buying, producing and hoarding of Gold in the East just keeps gaining momentum. Other stuff that’s dropping includes Treasury yields. The “bond boys”  sure didn’t like the color of the GDP report last Friday, and said so by dropping yields. The yield on the 10-year Treasury is 1.67%, just to point out on point on the yield curve.. 1.67%, that’s less than even the stupid CPI says inflation is running. So. there you go. back up the truck, buy some 10-year Treasuries and start out in the red. And if yields rise anytime in the next 10-years, you’ll remain in the red. OOOOHHHH, Daddy, can I have some, please, I’ll be a good boy, I’ll go to church, and open the car door for mom, please, oh please? Greece is attempting to mend the bridges they burned during the election process. The Prime Minister and Finance Minister will be touring Europe and having meetings with key people in an attempt to gain support for their plans to come up with a new deal for creditors. Well the PM and FM had better arrive bearing gifts, because they really ticked off the countries that have lent them money the past few years. So, this is what it’s like. Someone in your family borrows money from you.  And they agree to the repayment terms, but then things get tight, and they no longer want to honor those repayment terms, so they go about talking bad about them to all their friends and it all gets back to you. And then the family member comes back to you, all nicey-nicey,  wanting to talk about a new deal.  If I were an European Central Bank (ECB) or Bundesbank (German Central Bank) member, I would tell the PM & FM to go to hello operator, give me number 9, if you don’t connect me, I’ll kick you in the behind the refrigerator was a piece of glass, and so on. I think you get the picture! Speaking of debts.I found this in my weekend reading. The White House will be seeking $561 billion from Congress to run the Pentagon in 2016 – its largest budget ever. However, a research and advocacy director told RT that the budget is closer to $1 trillion, and has been for several administrations. And why wouldn’t we believe what the advocates say? It was just 10 days ago that the President called for an end to “mindless austerity” and called for a surge in government spending, and then actually asked Congress to end the sequestration agreed upon four years ago.   I wondered why this request was made at the time that it was, and now I know! In addition, riddle me this Batman. The U.S. says that their deficit last year was only $560-something Billion. But if you look at the U.S. Debt Clock, it shows that in that same period (actually 13 months) we added $1 Trillion to the National Debt. So, how do they do that? How does $560 Billion turn into $1 Trillion? Oh, that’s right, how could I forget? There are all those “off budget” things that get accounted for in a different room, that’s all smoky, and the accountants all wear green shaded visors, and sleeve protectors, and the adding machine tape is running all over the floor. That’s how! But doesn’t that just tick you off just a bit? They throw a ticker-tape parade in celebration that the Budget Deficit last year wasn’t $1 Trillion, the dollar rallies, and people dance in the street, but in reality, it was the same-o, same-o. But Shhhhhh,  we don’t want to wake up the baby. Well, take me away from this discussion before I begin to yell at the walls, and here in the condo that would not be good for the other people in the condo! Well, the latest IMF Futures Position report from the previous week printed on Friday. And the extreme long position of dollars saw a reduction of 15,000 contracts, but still is quite large at 375,000.  However, the non-dollar currencies remained all with net short positions, which leads me to believe that dollar positions were being sold to buy Gold. But that was the previous week, and not last week, it will be interesting to see the positions report this week for last week when Gold slipped once again. One of the really disappointing currencies in the last 10 days has been the Swiss franc. After going on a moon shot after the franc was untied from the euro, the franc has lost ground on what seems like a daily basis. I guess the “safe haven” status for the franc has either lost luster or, the markets are feeling like everything in the world is copasetic.  It’s been a long time since I used that word, copasetic. My friend, Preston, who was the drummer in our band that traveled the country, used to say that word for everything. Hey Preston, want to stop and get a soda? Hey, it’s copasetic. would be the answer, and his answer to just about everything, so you can see why it’s been a while since I used it! HA! But seriously. what’s up with the markets anyway? Have they gone soft on us? Well, actually I think they have, they have fallen into the trap that the Central Banks set for them, and now the markets are afraid of the Central Banks and their ability to move markets against them. Central Banks rule the world! Can you see them wringing their hands together, and laughing that Doctor Evil laugh, and repeating, We rule the world, we rule the world?   The Chinese renminbi / yuan saw a weakening overnight by the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC).  I was doing some reading this past weekend. By the way, I’m reading a new book, titled:  Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.  I’m only about 1/3rd of my way through the book, but brother let me tell you, it’s good stuff! And a true story to boot!  OK.. back to our regularly scheduled programming.  The stuff I was also reading was about China, and the next steps for the renminbi. And of all the things that were talked about, the only one I saw that made sense was the widening of the trading band for the renminbi, which currently stands at +/-2%…  The band was last widened from +/-1% in March 2014. and before that it was April 2012 that the band was widened from +/-.5%, and before that 2007 when they widened it from +/-.3%..  So, I think it would be the next step.  Of course, widening the band doesn’t turn all the green lights on for renminbi appreciation. notice it does say + or –  and in 2014, it was a case of both! But that doesn’t take away from the plans for the renminbi going forward, which I still maintain is taking away the reserve status from the dollar, and propelling the renminbi to such status. Just to be fair and balanced. James Rickards, doesn’t agree with that idea, and instead he has called for a collapse of the Financial system, at which time countries will created a new Gold backed currency.  As crazy as I sound sometimes, and have been called gloom and doom, I can’t get myself to be that gloom and doom. The U.S. Data Cupboard today, has two of my faves data prints. Personal Income & Spending from December. We’ll also see the ISM Manufacturing Data for January.. Recall that the December ISM index number was weaker than it had been in November, and was a surprise to the markets. So, saying that, I come to the realization that “they” can’t let that happen again! And Gold. Well, I promised you something above on Physical Gold and so here we go! This is from Bullionstar.com and of course is the research of Koos Jansen. “As I wrote last time on data from the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), in week 2 of 2015 withdrawals from the vaults of the SGE (that equal Chinese wholesale demand) came in extremely high at 70 tonnes; the third highest amount ever. In week 3 (January 19 – 23), though, the Chinese withdrew even more at 71 tonnes, up 0.89 % w/w, and a new third highest amount ever. Year to date 202 tonnes have been withdrawn from the SGE vaults, up 15 % y/y. Like last week, this was happening while the price of gold was rising sharply, staggering numbers. It’s still a mystery why mainstream media are not tracking weekly SGE withdrawals. I’ve read all over the news that Russia’s central bank has added 152 tonnes of gold in total to its reserves in 2014. In perspective, this is approximately the same amount of gold China has imported in the first three weeks of 2015. In my post China Continues To Drain Global Gold Inventory I have, once again, pointed out that import numbers derived from SGE withdrawals are for 95 % covered by export from the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong and the US. These countries disclose only non-monetary gold trade, which support my assumption PBOC purchases are an invisible side show from public gold trade numbers and SGE withdrawals.” Alrighty then. Now it’s time to go to the For What’s It’s Worth section for today. And today, I have something from my daily perusals of zerohedge.com, and can be read there in its entirety by clicking here: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-30/what-happens-when-markets-realize  To set this up, it’s Charles Plosser, head of the Philly Fed speaking, pay close attention here folks.. “One of the things I’ve tried to argue is look, if we believe that monetary policy is doing what we say it’s doing and depressing real interest rates and goosing the economy and we’re in some sense distorting what might be the normal market outcomes at some point, we’re going to have to stop doing it. At some point the pressure is going to be too great. The market forces are going to overwhelm us. We’re not going to be able to hold the line anymore. And then you get that rapid snap back in premiums as the market realizes that central banks can’t do this forever. And that’s going to cause volatility and disruption.” Chuck again. WOW! A Fed member actually talking about how the Fed has distorted normal market outcomes! For once you get to hear from a Fed member, and not just me, talking and ranting about this stuff, and to this point sounding like the boy who cried wolf. To recap. The 4th QTR GDP first reading was just 2.6%, well below the expectations for a +3% print. And .8% of that 2.6% came from the ACA, so the fun just keeps coming for us!  The currencies tried to rally on the weaker GDP report, but fizzled out on Friday, and they have picked up the attempt to rally again this morning. Greece leaders are touring Europe in attempt to repair the bridges they burned during the election process.  Chuck questions the accounting of the Budget Deficit, and Gold gets sold again. what’s going on? Before I go to the currency roundup today, I wanted to take a minute, and talk about the loss of a baseball legend. Well, they laid to rest one of the top 100 ball players of the last 100 years on Saturday. RIP Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub. I really only saw Ernie Banks play ball at the end of his career, but my dad used to tell me about his ability, which was always a strong sign of respect when someone praised a ball player on a different team than the Cardinals, and add to that a Cub!  He was always recognized by that great smile, and his slogan, “let’s play two”.  I had a Cub fan send me a note last week when it was announced that Ernie Banks had died, and he asked me if I was such a diehard Cardinals fan that I couldn’t bring myself to talk about the passing of Ernie Banks.  WOW, I thought. I don’t think that would ever get in the way, and this is to prove it!  My friend, and retirement guru, Dennis Miller, is a lifelong Cub fan, and he tells me that Ernie Banks the Stan Musial of Chicago. Now that’s high praise!  So, RIP Mr. Cub. Currencies today 2/1/15.: American Style: A$ .7795, kiwi .7275, C$ .7885, euro 1.1340, sterling 1.5015, Swiss $1.0750, . European Style: rand 11.5755, krone 7.7540, SEK 8.2725, forint 274.20, zloty 3.6875, koruna 24.5005, RUB 69.23, yen 117.60, sing 1.3525, HKD 7.7540, INR 61.79, China 6.1385, pesos 14.94, BRL 2.6770, Dollar Index 94.76, Oil $50.06, 10-year 1.67%, Silver $17.15, Platinum $1,230.50, Palladium $777.30, and Gold. $1,272.14 That’s it for today. Quite full-o-words this morning, eh? Well, I was down and out in Beverly Hills most of the weekend, but got a good night’s sleep last night, so all is back to normal this morning! YAHOO! Little Feat is playing: Dixie Chicken on the iPod right now. Love to sing along with that song! Our Blues won in Washington D.C. yesterday, and I got to watch the game! NBC Sports Network aired the game, and just by chance I found that channel that I didn’t know I had! The TV Guide on the TV only goes to channel 98, but this channel was 730!  I guess it pays to just keep clicking “next” until the end, eh? The Blues have picked up where they left off before the All-Star Game break, and that included them playing their best hockey of the year! Let’s hope they don’t peek too soon, like they normally do! I did face time with my grandson, Braden the other day. He cracks me up. I taught him last year, that green is go, red is stop and yellow means “go faster”! And he told Kathy that the other day, as the light turned yellow as she was driving through the intersection. “Mimi, yellow means go faster!”  HA! Hey! Isn’t that my job as his grandfather, to teach him things? Cracks me UP!  Well, we had a plethora of birthdays last week, I hope everyone had a grand day.  And with that, I need to get going. I have a very important date! (not really, but the sun is out!)  I hope you have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler Managing Director EverBank Global Marketslast_img read more


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first_img — – ALERT: A Massive Run On Gold Could Start As Soon As This Week Take out a calendar and circle the NEXT 7 days… That’s because there’s new evidence that indicates a massive run on gold could take place as soon as this week. And, by the time this bombshell hits, it may be too late for you. That’s why gold expert and author of The New Case For Gold Jim Rickards dropped everything to issue an urgent warning. Click here for the urgent facts on this fast-moving gold story. The War on Cash As I mentioned above, governments around the world are pushing negative interest rates and threatening to ban cash. A negative interest rate is when a government or bank charges you to hold your money in a bond or account. It’s like a second tax on money you have already earned. I know it sounds crazy, but this is happening all over the world. More than 20 countries have already implemented negative rates. And the United States has been flirting with the idea, too. To sidestep these negative rates, citizens in countries affected by them have been hoarding their cash. For instance, in Japan, one of the hottest-selling items in the country has been safes. People are using them to store their cash at home rather than a bank. If the U.S. Federal Reserve goes forward with negative rates, buying a safe to hoard your cash won’t be enough to protect your money. That’s because negative interest rates will be accompanied by the other government policy I’ve told you about… the War on Cash. These two forces could wreck your retirement plans if you don’t take action right now. You see, the government knows that if it institutes negative interest rates, people will begin to hoard their cash, just like in Japan. After all, why would anyone pay to put their money in a bank? For negative interest rates to really work, though, the government needs to ban cash. Not all cash at first, but at least large denominations to start. For example, in February 2016, European Union central bank head Mario Draghi pushed to ban the 500 euro note. The very next day, he was supported by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who then called for an end to the U.S. $100 bill. If large denomination notes are banned or removed from circulation, it would be difficult to hoard money in your home. Imagine trying to store $100,000 worth of savings in $1, $5, or $10 bills. You’d need a bank vault. But there’s a better way… An alternative way to “hide” your money from negative interest rates… If you want to protect your money, you’ll need to find investments that maintain the privacy and portability of cash… but aren’t hurt by low or negative interest rates. And digital currencies do just that. Consider this… $1 million in $20 bills would weigh over 100 pounds. That would require a massive carrying case to move around. On the other hand, $1 million in digital currencies can be carried in a flash drive. That’s because your money is in digital form. Now, some investors may opt to buy gold to shelter their wealth from negative rates or a cash ban. And I do recommend owning some gold. It’s the safest and most secure way to protect the value of your money… but it’s not very convenient. Although gold is a good store of wealth, you can’t just break off a piece of gold and anonymously go buy something with it. When you’re ready to buy something, you’ll need to convert your gold into some other form of currency. And like cash, our favorite digital currency is liquid. It is accepted by more than 100,000 merchants as payment, including Overstock, Cisco, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and Microsoft. And best yet, when you use digital currencies, you remain anonymous. So, your financial privacy will be secure. What to Do Next The War on Cash and negative interest rates are radical and insane measures. They are also huge threats to your financial security… But you can protect your wealth from these government policies by sheltering a small portion in digital currencies. Not only will digital currencies insulate you from negative interest rates… they’re primed to go higher. Especially now that the halving is complete. Regards, Teeka Tiwari Editor, The Palm Beach Letter P.S. My team and I have put in hundreds of man-hours looking for the best ways to buy digital currencies… especially now that the halving has been underway. After extensive research, we’ve put together a presentation with the simple steps you should take to cash in on these huge price moves coming in the next few months. To learn which three digital currencies I’m recommending—and how to buy them—watch my new presentation. You’re missing out… Janice L. posted, “Jeff’s comments are enlightening and intriguing.” And Walt P. called our first video “very interesting, succinct, and well done. I’m looking forward to the next session.” Clyde simply posted, “Give me more.” They’re all talking about a FREE online training event with tech investing expert Jeff Brown that’s happening right now. Don’t miss another day… Click here to register now.center_img Editor’s note: Today, instead of our usual market commentary, we’re sharing a recent essay that’s been extremely popular with Agora readers. It comes from Palm Beach Letter editor and former hedge fund manager Teeka Tiwari. Right now, Teeka’s readers are profiting from what he believes is one of the biggest and most important trends in the market right now: digital currencies. As you’ll see, the sector has a huge tailwind at its back right now. And as Teeka explains, it’s not too late to join in… For the past three months, I’ve been pounding the table about digital currencies. They’ve been some of our most popular plays. Now you may be wondering whether digital currencies are really money at all. Here’s the truth about money: It can be anything. Take the U.S. dollar. There’s nothing backing it up—we went off the gold standard in 1971. So, the dollar really is… just a promise… an “act of faith.” A digital currency is no different. It’s simply internet-based money. And like any other medium of exchange, many people around the world have decided it is money. They believe they’ll be able to use digital currencies in the future to buy stuff. That alone makes it have value. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me tell you what’s driving up digital currency prices (like any other currency, the digital currency market fluctuates). These Two Forces Are Driving up Digital Currency Prices When we initially recommended the digital currencies, we wrote they were some of the best alternative investments you could make to protect yourself from low/negative interest rates and the War on Cash. So far, our thesis has been spot on… At the beginning of the year, the Federal Reserve indicated it would raise rates four times. And as recently as last month, at least two rate hikes were on the table. But with the poor May U.S. jobs report and June’s Brexit (the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union), those rate hikes are now off the table. In fact, the odds of a rate cut are now higher than those for a rate hike. Brexit and negative interest rates are pushing investors into chaos hedges such as gold and digital currencies. [“Chaos hedges” are protection from times of turbulence.] The day after the Brexit vote, gold was up 5.5%, and our main digital currency recommendation was up 3%. But those jumps are just the beginning… Why You Need to Act Now On July 10th, one of the biggest events in the history of digital currencies took place. The last time this event happened, it ignited a 12-month bull market—the biggest rally ever in the history of these alternative investments. Some digital currencies soared as high as 10,284%. By comparison, it took the S&P 500 nearly 50 years to hand investors gains that big. This extremely rare event is called the “halving.” It’s a process digital currencies use to prevent inflation. And it’s only happened once before. Now, reading that, you might wonder: “But if July 10th has already passed, haven’t the biggest gains already come and gone?” Not in the slightest. In fact, I’m convinced this is only the beginning of a much longer-term trend… Even bigger gains are in store. Have a look… Here’s why this rare event is so important… and should send digital currencies prices much higher over the next few months… Recommended Links As you can see from the chart above, the previous halving was much more than a one-day event. Prices for our favorite digital currency had already moved up over 100% in the six months before the halving. Six months after the last halving in November 2013, prices were up 918%. A year after the halving, prices were up an astonishing 8,476%! So, if you can manage to get in during the short window immediately after the halving, you can still capture the big gains from this rare event. Now, our first digital currency isn’t the only one that will get a boost from the halving, though. Our other two plays should ride this tailwind, too. Although I expect the halving to boost digital currency prices, potential price appreciation isn’t the only reason you need to own these currencies. They can be a safe haven for your wealth. Let me explain…last_img read more


Tag: 上海419论坛

first_imgBy Justin Spittler and Joe Withrow Ray Dalio just bet $1.1 billion against Italy. Specifically, he shorted (bet against) five Italian banks and one insurance company last quarter. And he did so to the tune of $770 million. Dalio also bet $311 million against Italy’s largest utility company. This is a big deal. You see, Dalio is one of the world’s most respected investors. He manages $160 billion at Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund.• But Dalio didn’t reach the top of Wall Street by accident… He got there because he can spot massive threats and opportunities long before other people do. For example, Dalio predicted the U.S. housing bubble would burst in 2007. Not only that, he said the crash would spread to the banking sector. At the time, many people thought this was a crazy idea. But Dalio was right. That year, the U.S. banking sector imploded. This triggered the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The average U.S. stock plummeted 57% over the next two years.• In short, it pays to watch what Dalio’s doing… So in a minute, I’ll tell you why Dalio made this giant bet. I’ll also show how you, too, can profit from Italy’s problems. But you first need to understand what those problems are…Italy’s banking system is a ticking time bomb. Its banks are sitting on $356 billion worth of non-performing loans (NPLs). These are loans borrowers have stopped paying. They’re considered “sour loans” because banks often don’t end up collecting them. They take huge losses instead. Recommended Link Recommended Link VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED What this “super investor” reveals for the first time ever on camera about where he gets his best investment ideas from will shock you… — 3 Marijuana Stocks to Buy Right Now Canada is set to vote on a new nationwide law that will set off the biggest event in the history of marijuana. The Canadian pot market will explode from $400 million to $8 billion. And new marijuana millionaires will be minted. If you missed out on the first marijuana boom, when penny pot stocks delivered peak gains of 7,820%… 6,233%… and 3,986%… often in months… This is your second and final chance. Don’t miss out again. Discover the 3 companies that will dominate the marijuana market. To give you a sense of how serious this is, consider this: NPLs make up 18% of all loans issued by Italian banks. For perspective, NPLs accounted for 5.3% of all loans issued by U.S. banks at the height of the Great Recession.As if that weren’t enough, these sour loans are valued at around 20% of Italy’s annual economic output. It’s an incredibly fragile situation, to say the least.• European regulators are now scrambling to prevent a banking crisis… The Italian government, for one, has pledged to bail out the banking system if necessary. This is when the government gives banks money to keep them from crashing. Taxpayers end up footing the bill. The European Central Bank (ECB) is also trying to help. On October 3, it announced plans to impose strict capital requirements for European banks. In short, it wants Italian banks to set aside billions of euros to cover losses from NPLs.• These regulations are intended to shore up Italy’s fragile banking system… They were supposed to make people feel safer. But that’s not what happened. Instead, the ECB rattled investors’ nerves. In fact, Italian bank stocks plummeted on the news.➢ Since the start of October, the FTSE Italia All-Share Banks Index is down 5%.➢ UniCredit, Italy’s largest bank, has fallen 6%.➢ UBI Banca, another major Italian bank, has plunged 11%.➢ And BPER Banca is down 15%. These are staggering declines for such a short period. Still, you might not be worried about this. And that’s because most U.S. investors don’t own any Italian banking stocks. But you must realize something… • Italy’s not the only European country drowning in bad debt… German and French banks together have around $272 billion worth of bad loans on their books. And Europe as a whole has about $1 trillion worth of NPLs. In other words, a banking crisis in Italy could spread across Europe like the black plague. If that happens, European bank stocks won’t just tumble. They’ll go down in flames. So, lighten up on European bank stocks if you own any. You should also buy gold if you haven’t already.• That’s because gold is the ultimate safe-haven asset… It’s preserved wealth for centuries, through history’s most violent financial crises. And that’s why Dalio thinks every investor should keep between 5% and 10% of their money in gold. And those who don’t own gold? Well, Dalio thinks they’re clueless. He said in 2015: If you don’t own gold, you know neither history nor economics. But Dalio doesn’t just encourage investors to own gold. He buys it with his own fund’s money. In fact, Bridgewater bought more than $100 million worth of SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) and the iShares Gold Trust (IAU) during the second quarter. These are the world’s largest gold funds. They’re easy ways to gain exposure to gold. But that doesn’t make them the best.• If you really want to protect your wealth, I recommend that you own physical gold… This is gold that you can hold in your hand. It’s one of our core recommendations here at Casey Research. It’s a much more secure way to own gold than GLD, IAU, or any other “paper gold” fund.If you’ve never bought physical gold before, check out our Gold Investor’s Guide. It tells you everything you need to know about buying and owning physical gold. Click here to grab your copy.Regards,Justin Spittler and Joe Withrow October 18, 2017 P.S. In anticipation of the 2017 New Orleans Conference, Doug Casey recently sat down with Rick Rule to discuss the current state of the gold market and the opportunities in mining stocks. You can listen to the discussion here. If you’re interested in attending the conference (October 25–28), it’s still not too late to sign up. You’ll hear more from Doug as well as some of the top minds in the resource business. This year, there will also be a special event for Casey Research subscribers that you won’t want to miss. For more details and how you can join, click here. Be sure to use the code FREEGOLDCLUB to get free Gold Club access ($189 value). — You Don’t Want to Miss This… From November 6–10, Doug Casey, Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno, and Casey Report editor E.B. Tucker will gather together with a group of close friends at one of the most unique places in the world: Doug’s world-class residential community in Argentina—La Estancia de Cafayate. As a reader of the Dispatch, we’d like to invite you to join. This is not an investment conference—far from it. It’s friends gathering at a place built for like-minded people. There’ll be great steaks, locally produced wine, and probably a few too many Cuban cigars. We’ll discuss what’s going on in the world, and what’s around the bend. This is a unique chance to spend a few days with great people in one of the world’s most beautiful settings. If you haven’t seen the high desert of Argentina, please consider joining us.Keep in mind, space is limited and spots are filling up quickly. So if you’re interested, don’t wait to sign up. To get more details, just send us an email using this link. We hope to see you at La Estancia de Cafayate November 6–10.last_img read more


Tag: 上海419论坛

first_imgSo far, the federal government has given more than half a million dollars to assist local tornado victims in Guilford and Rockingham Counties.It’s been nearly two months since an EF-2 tornado ripped through Greensboro, destroying homes, businesses and schools. One person was killed. The storm also ravaged communities in Rockingham County. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1,169 people in Guilford County have registered for federal assistance. In Rockingham County the number is 90. Roger Ingram with FEMA says the money will help victims get a fresh start.“It will help a person with rental assistance and repairs to their homes. It can help with furniture, automobile repair and other items,” says Ingram. “It’s extremely important that they talk with their insurance company and find out exactly what coverage they will get from them. Once they’ve settled with their insurance company, if they are underinsured or uninsured, they can come back to FEMA with their settlement letter and there may be other assistance available for that individual.”FEMA also partners with the U.S. Small Business Administration to help people recover from disaster situations. The agency offers low interest rate loans. SBA officials say as of this week, they’ve approved more than $400,000 to help individuals and local business owners affected by the storm.“We have received 741 home referrals from FEMA and 143 business referrals,” says A.J. Velazquez, a public affairs specialist with the Small Business Administration Office of Disaster Assistance.FEMA officials say individuals shouldn’t wait to apply for federal aid. The registration deadline for that is July 9th.Ingram says victims can receive help with the process and SBA loan application at the Disaster Recovery Center located on Maple Street in Greensboro.Follow WFDD’s Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_newslast_img read more


Tag: 上海419论坛

first_imgEditor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017 and has been republished with updates. For Rosh Hashana, more than 350 members of Uganda’s Namutumba Synagogue dressed in white, chanted their prayers and feasted on a slaughtered cow to mark the beginning of a new Jewish year last week.”We are so happy that we entered the new year with such joy and happiness,” said Namutumba’s spiritual leader Shadrach Mugoya Levi by telephone from Uganda.It hasn’t always been easy for Levi or his community; in fact many years there was almost nothing eat because of drought. But this year the rains have been plentiful. There was ample food for the new year celebration and for dinner on Tuesday, before the 25-hour-long Yom Kippur fast that begins at sundown.That’s not always been the case. There have been many times that Levi began the fast on an empty stomach. And a day without food didn’t seem that different from any other day.Levi, the 28-year-old spiritual leader of the synagogue, had a tough childhood. Orphaned at age 7, he raised three younger brothers as well as a sister who later died. Days with just one small meal, or sometimes no food at all, were routine. The nearest water well was a three-hour walk from the home of the relatives they lived with after their parents died. They harvested food by hand from small plots of maize, potatoes, rice, cassava and millet. Lack of rain meant lack of food.But this year there will be rice, potatoes and porridge made from corn to eat before the fast — and more corn porridge when it’s time to break the fast.This Jewish high holiday season, Levi feels more prepared to lead the services than in past years. He returned home in July after a year in Israel, where he deepened his knowledge of Judaism and Hebrew. Now, he is sharing customs and prayers with his community, including the daily confessional prayers said leading up to Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.The community is quite isolated from most of the Jewish world, Levi said. It is one of several in Uganda established nearly a century ago when thousands of citizens followed in the footsteps of a military general, Semei Kakungulu, who as a young boy was converted to Christianity by a missionary and who then was inspired to take on Jewish customs after reading about Moses in the Bible.Uganda’s Jews are known as Abayudaya, meaning “people of Judah” in the local Luganda language. Levi grew up observing the Sabbath — no electricity and no driving, for example — although he admits it was easy to comply with those traditions in a village without power or cars. Eventually he studied Hebrew and Jewish texts under the country’s chief rabbi, Gershom Sizomu, who had been ordained by the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.As for Levi personally, this year is also much different than last because he will spend the holiday with his wife and sons, who were not granted visas to join him in Israel last year except for a short visit. Israel does not fully recognize the Abayudaya communities as Jewish.”It’s so good to have them back, and them to have me back,” he said. He has described his time in Israel as a sacrifice he made in order to learn more to help his community back in Uganda.And even though fasting can be difficult, he is looking forward to the ritual: “Fasting gives me an opportunity for empathy,” he said. “And when I think of others and their problems, I really want to help.”Sara Toth Stub is a Jerusalem-based journalist. You can follow her work @saratothstub. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more