Son Heungmin apologises to South Korea teammates

first_imgSon Heung-min believes that his failure to register a shot on target makes South Korea’s 1-0 defeat against Sweden in their World Cup opener “his fault” and has now apologised to his teammatesThe Taegeuk Warriors had a disappointing game at the Nizhny Novgorod on Monday with their closest chance to scoring was when Hwang Hee-chan headed wastefully wide in the closing moments.After a short delay on deciding whether Kim Min-woo’s foul on Viktor Claesson was indeed a penalty call through the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), Andreas Granqvist stepped up and scored the only goal of the game for Sweden after the referee decided that it was indeed a penalty.Throughout the encounter, South Korea struggled to test the Sweden defence with Son taking full responsibility for their ineffectiveness in front of goal.“I’m still disappointed about my performance and feel very, very sorry for my teammates because if we don’t score, it’s my fault, because I need to take the responsibility,” said the 25-year-old, as quoted by The Independent.Victor Lindelof, SwedenEuro 2020 qualifiers round up from group F George Patchias – September 6, 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying Group F saw Scandinavian neighbours Sweden and Norway keep the race for the groups second automatic qualifying spot alive.Spain had already…Son compared the different roles he has at both South Korea and Tottenham.“Of course it is a bit different, because when I play at Tottenham, every player is one of the best players,” he said.“Sometimes, when I play for South Korea, I need to give the pass to the other players and sometimes, it is a bit different than Tottenham.”South Korea will next face Mexico on Saturday at the Rostov-on-Don.last_img read more

Messi will not be joining Ronaldo in Italy says Inter vicepresident

first_imgLionel Messi will not be joining his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the Serie A for the foreseeable future, says Inter Milan vice-president Javier ZanettiThe Barcelona superstar has been linked with a sensational move to Inter for next summer following comments made the club’s principal shirt sponsor Pirelli.The Italian tyre supplier’s CEO, Marco Tronchetti Provera, recently revealed his hope that the club’s owners Suing will make their move soon.“I hope that Suning, once Financial Fair Play will allow it, can make a huge signing. Messi? How can you say no to Messi?” he said earlier this week.But Zanetti has now quashed all rumours linking Inter with a potential move for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.“It’s crazy,” said the Argentine, according to ESPN.“It’s devoid of any truth that we’re going to ask for Messi.”? | Go back over #SUFCInter with our photo gallery? https://t.co/AYLsh9OQlB#InterOnTour #InterPreSeason #ForzaInter ⚫️? pic.twitter.com/fxVa5WiSSr— Inter (@Inter_en) July 24, 2018Maurizio Sarri, JuventusMaurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.Inter already have two very capable strikers in Lautaro Martinez and captain Mauro Icardi, although the latter has been linked with a move away from the San Siro this summer.But Zanetti instead intends to offer Icardi a new contract within the next few weeks.“Icardi’s staying, and as soon as the transfer window closes, we’re going to sit down with him to discuss a renewal,” Zanetti said.“He’s a real captain. He started preseason training a day early and has been there to welcome all of the new arrivals. He’s the first to introduce them to what Inter is all about. He’s a great, great professional. He’s been Inter’s captain for two years and he behaves like a captain. He’s not going to Real Madrid.”The arrival of Argentine attacker Martinez from Racing Avellaneda this summer is something that has greatly pleased Zanetti.Inter’s new no.10 had been linked with both Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid.“As soon as we realised he had not definitely signed for Atletico, we took this opportunity immediately,” Zanetti said.“Lautaro is definitely a player who can do well in Europe.”last_img read more

Alaska House Backtracks On Full Dividend Vote

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska House’s populist vote to pay Alaskans the full amount for their oil-wealth fund checks has been undone. Lawmakers rescinded the vote Friday after debate over Alaska Permanent Fund dividends derailed efforts to pass a state operating budget. Monday’s vote for a fully funded dividend, held during a drawn-out budget debate, split the House majority and spurred minority Republicans to seek bigger budget cuts to win over their members. The size of the oil check was cut roughly in half the last two years amid gridlock over Alaska’s budget deficit.center_img A handful of majority members who supported a full dividend Monday backed undoing that vote Friday. Rather than a full payout, estimated at about $2,650, lawmakers voted for a $1,600 dividend this year.last_img read more

Avengers Endgame 4K Bluray hits stores today for 30

first_img See the best Marvel Avengers cosplay from San Diego Comic-Con 2019 AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! Bring home Marvel Studios’ @Avengers: Endgame on Digital July 30 and Blu-ray August 13: https://t.co/6wVet96bw0 pic.twitter.com/luboLlLCvL— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) June 26, 2019 Share your voice Comments Now playing: Watch this: 30 Photos TVs Blu-ray Players Media Streamers TV and Movies Avengers: Endgame could have been very different Amazon Fire TV Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of merchandise featured on this page.   Getting a disc or digital version with the directors’ commentary and deleted scenes will shed some new light on the movie, even for hardcore Marvel fans.  See Avengers: Endgame (plus bonus features) at AmazonAlso notable for the home release is that Endgame is one of the first movies to support Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on the Movies Anywhere service — at least when viewed on 4K-capable Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast and Android TV hardware on compatible 4K TVs. Those premium HDR video and surround audio features will also be retroactively added to some previous 4K Movies Anywhere releases throughout the summer and fall. See Avengers: Endgame in 4K HDR at Movies AnywhereBefore you plunk down more cash to see it again, however, keep in mind it’s also slated to hit the Disney Plus streaming service on Dec. 11. That online channel arrives in November and will cost $7 per month. Avengers: Endgame takes disc form today. Marvel Studios The humble Blu-ray disc hasn’t been Thanos’d yet. Avengers: Endgame, the biggest movie in the world, hit stores today on Blu-ray, UHD 4K and DVD, joined by a handful of older Marvel films.Avengers: Endgame is now available at most outlets for $22.99 (1080p), $29.99 (UHD 4K Blu-ray). Best Buy has an exclusive SteelBook version for $34.99 — basically, a fancy case — while Target has a version with an exclusive book — Avengers Initiative: The First 10 Years — for the same price.The release of Endgame is accompanied by five other remastered Marvel titles on UHD 4K Blu-ray — Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Thor, and Thor: The Dark World — with more expected soon.See Avengers: Endgame SteelBook Edition at Best BuyThe $20 digital version of Endgame was released earlier this month on sites such as Amazon, iTunes and Vudu. In July, Endgame surpassed Avatar as the highest-grossing movie of all time, thanks in part to a theatrical re-release in recent weeks that included a post-credits scene and Stan Lee tribute. Marvel Thor Amazon Iron Man 3 News • Apple Music is now available on Amazon Fire TV Review • Amazon Fire TV: Affordable Alexa-infused 4K streaming Tags 2:00last_img read more

Recreation in Dhaka not restful or relaxing

first_imgBanana peels and other litter is scattered all over the National Zoo in Mirpur, Dhaka. Shameem Reza took this photo on 29 June.Ibrahim Khalilullah works for a private bank in Dhaka. He visited the national zoo at Mirpur in Dhaka for the first time this June, along with his family, but didn’t find it an appealing place to spend a day off.“It so dirty and smelly,” said the 29-year-old banker, who lives in Mohammadpur of the capital.“Most of the cages are reeking with an unpleasant stench. It’s hard to even breathe around the cages, especially near the tigers, birds and some other animals,” he said.Any visitors to this zoo will agree with Ibrahim the moment they walk through the gates. Banana peels and other litter is scattered all over. A dustbin, spilling over with garbage, greets the visitors at the very entrance.Anyone who wants to spend a few serene and peaceful hours on their weekend, should certainly avoid this place, said Ibrahim.The hassle begins even before entering the zoo. Vendors crowd around the main entrance of the zoo, posing as a nuisance to the visitors.“The vendors harass us, insisting that we buy things like bottled water, peanuts, bananas or other things. We buy things just to get rid of them. Is there no one to take care of this problem?” a fuming visitor Monir from Savar asked.Thirty-eight-year-old Monir Hossain, who works for a private firm, had come to visit the zoo along with his wife and two children for the third time.“The glass windows of snakes’ cages are too dirty to look through. How can the children see the snakes?” he asked.He was happy that there were enough spots to rest when one gets tired from walking around the zoo, but was not satisfied with the quality. “The resting spots are recent additions but these won’t be enough if it rains now,” Monir said, pointing to the darkening sky.“The washrooms are also in a bad shape,” he added.The deputy curator of the zoo Md Nurul Islam does not agree with all these complaints. He said, “The bad smell around the bird cages and the cages of the big cats is an animal smell and you can’t totally remove it.”He said in the more developed countries the bad odour in the zoos was kept at a minimum by feeding the animals in a computerised way and cleaning up immediately after the animal is done with eating.The photo shows a washroom for the visitors of National Botanical Garden in Mirpur, Dhaka. There is no electricity in the washrooms except for one. (Inset: Shabby condition inside a toilet). Shameem Reza took this photo on 29 June.Admitting that the inside of the zoo was unclean and hawkers outside the main entrance were bothersome, Nurul Islam said “We are short of employees at the zoo. We need at least 250 people, but have only around 150 people right now.”“We don’t have the digital facilities. Besides, the budget is also a problem. We get inadequate funds from the ministry,” he said.Monir, however, had a few positive points. “I can enjoy sitting in the shade at least while the children play in the open space.”But his smile recedes when this correspondent asked about the national botanical garden. “There are problems there. Security is a big issue. Besides, it is hardly a place you can take your family to because of all sorts of obscene things going on there.”“I’ve given up visiting the botanical garden after certain embarrassing experiences there,” Monir said.This was reiterated by businessman Md Sohrab Hossain and his wife Farzana Islam Choity, who had come to visit the botanical garden with their five-year-old daughter.“There are so many species of trees, shrubs, plants and herbs, but it is so poorly maintained,” Sohrab said. “The tourism ministry could have earned a lot had it taken care of this wonderful place.”“There’s no electricity in the washrooms except for one,” Sohrab said, disappointed with the recreational facilities in the country.However, there were also people who were not quite so disheartened with things. Momotaz Khanam Koly, a student of Dhaka University, lives in Mirpur 6 and had come to the garden with her friends on 29 June. She said they had been visiting the garden for the last six years but hadn’t faced any such situation. “Maybe, those ‘anti-social’ activities take place deeper in the undergrowth.”“Around 7 or 8 of our security guards have recently retired. Besides, recruitment is on hold. Still, we’ve been trying our best to provide security with 15 to 16 guards,” National Botanical Garden’s forester Abdul Mannan said.Shaheed Zia Shishu Park in Shahbagh, the country’s national amusement park for children, is not much different.Established in 1979, the park’s heyday is a thing of the past, said one of the staff on 5 July.As the park opened at 2:00pm, around 40 to 50 visitors entered the park.Though the park is beset with various problems, it still attracts a fairly good number of visitors, said a ticket salesperson.“We have sold tickets worth of Tk 800,000 and Tk 1 million respectively during the two days of the Eid vacation,” he added.Some of the staff said that certain unscrupulous employees regularly let the visitors enter the park without tickets. The allegation was found true.Two persons standing at the entry gate were asking the visitors to enter without buying tickets. While the entry ticket was worth Tk 15, they were taking Tk 10 themselves.A torn bouncing pad for children at Zia Shishu Park, Dhaka. At least half of the mats of bouncing pads are in a bad shape. Galib Ashraf took this photo on 5 July.The two hurriedly left the scene after being asked why they were selling tickets in person while three ticket counters were already there.Asked if the authorities are aware of such corruption, the park’s manager Md Nuruzzaman said they take action against anyone involved in such misdeeds whenever there are complaints.“We also advise our visitors through loud speakers not to buy tickets from anywhere other than the counters,” he added.Of the total 12 rides, two are currently out of service and the functional rides were not in a good state.A bouncing pad for children, Lompho Jhompho, was risky. At least half of the mats were torn and in a bad shape.Shirin Akhter, a housewife from Shyamoli, said, her three-year-old daughter had been insisting on jumping around on Lompho Jhompho, but she wouldn’t let her. It was not safe.The washrooms of Shishu Park were in a bad condition too. Shubrata Adhikary, a university student, said that the toilets were dirty and smelly. There is hardly any water in toilets, he added.Manager of the park Md Nuruzzaman pointed to acute shortage in staff as the main setback of the park. “Currently we have only 30 to 35 staff members while we need around 90 to give people the best service.”He claimed that the condition of the rides was good enough to attract the visitors. “The park is to be completely renovated with 12 new rides. It will take on a new look as the work is likely to be completed within December,” Nuruzzaman said, with the hope that the park would get a new lease of life after the work is done.Apart from the rides, visitors were drawn to a side of the park where a large Banyan tree stands. A group of young children were climbing the tree and said they come regularly to the park as they enjoyed having fun around the tree.The park remains closed on Sunday. And it is certainly heartening that the park opens its gates from 1:30pm-5:00pm on every Wednesday only for the deprived, poor street children.last_img read more

The Dark Side Of Easter Foods Named For Judas Offer Taste Of

first_imgEaster is associated with currant-studded hot-cross buns and chocolatey eggs – foods that symbolize rebirth and renewal. But what about Judas cake? Or Judas beer? Or Judas bread?Judas Iscariot, the archvillain of Christianity who betrayed Jesus with a kiss, has an intriguing range of food and drink named after him – some traditionally consumed in the days leading up to Easter.Some of Judas’ namesake foodstuffs, like the Judas fig, were so christened thanks to dark medieval depictions, while others, like the fiery Judas ketchup and the ultrastrong Judas ale, have more playful contemporary roots. What binds them, though, is their association with blood and death and treachery.“Judas is mentioned 22 times across the four Gospels, but the only parts where he plays a key role are the Last Supper and at the Garden of Gethsemane, where he betrays Christ,” says Peter Stanford, author of Judas: The Most Hated Name in History. “Judas’ name has become easy shorthand for treachery. Take, for instance, the Judas Blond, a popular Belgian beer which my publishers gave me when the book was published. It looks very pale and weak, but it’s actually quite strong, so it’s treacherously hiding its strength.”In his book, Stanford, who is British, points to the popular English Easter confection called simnel cake (from the Latin for “fine flour”), which is sometimes referred to as Judas cake.“It’s a delicious fruit cake with layers of marzipan, and it dates back to the 13th century,” he says. “In the Victorian era, it was decorated with a circle of 11 marzipan balls to represent the apostles, sans Judas, of course. There was a double space left blank where the Judas ball is meant to be.”In recent years, bakers who feel that Judas has been punished enough have begun to boldly place a 12th ball on their simnel cakes. This act has opened them to charges of moral equivalence.But Stanford, who feels Judas has gotten a raw deal, is all approval.“If you read Matthew’s Gospel – and Matthew is the only one who gives us the detail of the 30 pieces of silver – he shows Judas feeling remorseful and going back to the temple to give the money back to the high priests,” Stanford says. “He wants to make atonement, and he is so guilt-ridden that he hangs himself. So he has paid his dues. On a theological level, too, if you believe God is all-powerful and that he sent his son to earth to be killed as part of a divine plan, the fact that Judas betrayed Jesus, unpleasant as it might be, is simply Judas doing God’s work. So, yes, he deserves his marzipan ball.”Others would agree. A few years ago, Peter’s Europa House, an upscale restaurant in Shohola, Pa., introduced an Easter-themed menu with dishes named after the 12 apostles. Along with Matthew’s Mozzarella, Bartholomew’s Surf & Turf and Philip’s Shrimp Cocktail, it has offered patrons a Judas Casserole and Judas’ Chicken.“I included Judas because he was one of the apostles,” says owner Peter Jajcay. “My personal belief is that he was one of the strongest apostles, which is why I didn’t want to leave him out. To be able to betray Jesus you have to be very strong. And, no, I’ve never had any negative feedback from my customers.”The story of Judas’ hanging spawned a pretty Czech Easter bun called the Judas rope. These plaited buns – called Jidáše in the plural – are made with flour, butter, milk and egg yolks, and are traditionally served along with honey for breakfast on Maundy Thursday to commemorate the Last Supper.Even legends about the tree that Judas hanged himself from have become a rich source of Judas namesakes, especially since accounts vary wildly about what kind of tree it was.“According to one popular European invention, it was the fig tree,” says Stanford. “Renaissance paintings of the Last Supper have a standard array of symbolic fruit, such as pomegranates, whose seeds recall the Resurrection; cherries, whose redness mark the blood of Christ that will soon be spilt; and the Judas fig, a foretaste of the traitor’s death.”But another legend has it that Judas hanged himself from an elder tree. Which is why a rubbery, brownish-pinkish, ear-shaped fungus that grows profusely on the live and dead branches of the elder is known as Judas’ Ear.“It’s supposed to be a manifestation of Judas’ unquiet spirit,” says Stanford. Cold and soft, it even has the texture of a human ear. And though it sounds unappealing, it tastes delicious in stir-fry, noodle soup and pad thai.For wine lovers, there’s the Judas Malbec, a rich, ripe and potent red from Mendoza, Argentina, and the mildly fizzy Sangue di Giuda, which translates as “Blood of Judas,” from Italy’s Lombardy region.From a rubbery fungus to an ale that “may tempt you to evil deeds,” foods named after Judas resonate with the dark characteristics of their namesake.“Christianity tends to paint the world in black and white terms, so we shuffle all the bad things onto Judas,” says Stanford. “And though we live in a time where conventional religious belief is fading – many people, for instance, might not be able to tell you the whole Easter story – when it comes to Judas, there’s no confusion. In football, when a player changes teams for a higher fee and appears on the field, there are chants of ‘Judas, Judas.’ When Bob Dylan was called Judas by a fan for abandoning his acoustic guitar for an electric one and thereby betraying folk music, he was absolutely furious. Forty years on, he was still furious about it. He may have overreacted, but it shows that Judas still has the power to wound.”Just ask Paul Hollywood, a judge on The Great British Bake Off (also known as The Great British Baking Show in the U.S.). Last year, when the BBC lost the beloved baking program to its rival, Channel 4, judge Mary Berry and the two pun-loving, blazer-wearing hosts, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, quit out of loyalty to the BBC.But Hollywood chose to stay on. Irate fans labeled him a Judas and accused him of chasing the dough rather than sticking with his mates.It should be noted that despite these angry charges, Hollywood’s recipe for simnel cake still calls for only 11 marzipan balls. Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

Cards Down Hoosiers 52

first_img LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Redshirt freshman Taylor Roby connected on a three-run homer and picked up the save in the circle to help the University of Louisville softball team beat Indiana 5-2 Tuesday evening at Ulmer Stadium. The Cardinals (21-10) will return to ACC play this weekend when they travel to Blacksburg, Va., to take on No. 24/19 Virginia Tech in a three game series. Tara Trainer (18-5) took the loss, giving up four earned runs on five hits and striking out five in 3.0 innings. Lambert led the Hoosiers with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate. Print Friendly Version Louisville tacked on another insurance run in the sixth when junior Caitlin Ferguson doubled, took third on Roby’s groundout and crossed the plate on sophomore Kyra Snyder’s bunt.   Live Stats Story Links Louisville jumped to a 1-0 lead when Funke led off the bottom of the first by taking the first pitch she saw over the fence in right centerfield for her second home run of the season. Photo Gallery Matchup History Watch Live Full Schedule Roster center_img The Cards countered behind Roby’s three-run homer in the third. Hensley reached on a fielder’s choice and freshman Rebecca Chung singled to set up Roby’s towering shot over the left field wall for her second homer of the season. Preview Indiana answered in the second inning with an RBI triple by Taylor Lambert. Louisville 5 – Indiana 2 Grayson Radcliffe’s solo home run in the fourth cut the Hoosiers’ deficit to 4-2. Senior Megan Hensley (9-1) got the win after giving up two earned runs on five hits and striking out three in five innings. Roby struck out one and scattered two hits in 2.0 innings of relief. The Cards used eight hits, including home runs from Roby and junior Celene Funke to power past the Hoosiers (25-10). Next Game: at Virginia Tech 3/29/2019 | 6:00 p.m.last_img read more

Researchers find new source for cold ocean water abyssal layer

first_img Journal information: Nature Geoscience Scientists test powerful ocean current off Antarctica Citation: Researchers find new source for cold ocean water abyssal layer (2013, February 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-02-source-cold-ocean-abyssal-layer.html Explore further Intense sea-ice production in the CDP, revealed from satellite data. Credit: Nature Geoscience (2013) doi:10.1038/ngeo1738 AABW is important because as it moves north from its source, it creates ocean currents that have a major impact on global climate. Until now however, scientists have only been able to identify three major sources—not nearly enough to explain the amount of AABW seen in the ocean. In this new research, the team suspected that a different type of source might be at play—one that came about in a polynya (area of open water that can’t freeze over due to rapid wind and water movement), rather than directly offshore of shelf ice. To find out they employed the use of traditional undersea sensors, and less traditionally, sensors attached to the heads of elephant seals.Ocean currents result from AABW due to the way it’s formed. When seawater freezes, much of the salt in the ice is pushed back into the water giving it a very high salinity—and because it’s also very cold, it tends to sink. As it hits the bottom it joins other cold water that slowly seeps toward the edge of the continental shelf, where if falls over into the abyss, rather like an under-the-ocean waterfall. That water falling is what generates the currents that flow north.Researchers had suspected for years that a source for AABW existed somewhere near what they call the Weddell Gyre, but had not been able to find it. In this new research, the team used satellite data to pick a likely polynya, and settled on Cape Darnley. There they sank sensors and studied data supplied by the elephant seal sensors. It was the data from the seals, the researchers report, that showed that areas in which they swam—at times as deep as 1,800 meters—revealed the layer of cold dense water the researchers were looking for—the fourth AABW source.After analyzing the Cape Darnley polynya source, the researchers have concluded that it is likely responsible for 6 to 13 percent of circumpolar AABW totals, which suggests they say, that other similar sources are out there still waiting to be found.center_img (Phys.org)—An international team of ocean researchers has found a fourth source of Antarctic bottom water (AABW)—the very cold, highly saline layer of water that lies at the bottom of the ocean. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the team describes how they discovered the site in the Cape Darnley polynya. More information: Antarctic Bottom Water production by intense sea-ice formation in the Cape Darnley polynya, Nature Geoscience (2013) doi:10.1038/ngeo1738AbstractThe formation of Antarctic Bottom Water—the cold, dense water that occupies the abyssal layer of the global ocean—is a key process in global ocean circulation. This water mass is formed as dense shelf water sinks to depth. Three regions around Antarctica where this process takes place have been previously documented. The presence of another source has been identified in hydrographic and tracer data, although the site of formation is not well constrained. Here we document the formation of dense shelf water in the Cape Darnley polynya (65°–69° E) and its subsequent transformation into bottom water using data from moorings and instrumented elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). Unlike the previously identified sources of Antarctic Bottom Water, which require the presence of an ice shelf or a large storage volume, bottom water production at the Cape Darnley polynya is driven primarily by the flux of salt released by sea-ice formation. We estimate that about 0.3–0.7×106 m3 s−1 of dense shelf water produced by the Cape Darnley polynya is transformed into Antarctic Bottom Water. The transformation of this water mass, which we term Cape Darnley Bottom Water, accounts for 6–13% of the circumpolar total. © 2013 Phys.org 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

The path to perfection Quantum dots in electricallycontrolled cavities yield bright nearly

first_img © 2016 Phys.org , Nature Communications Researchers develop ideal single-photon source Figure 1. a, Schematic of the sources: a single semiconductor quantum dot, represented by a red dot, is positioned within 50 nm from the center of the cavity, which consists of a 3 µm pillar connected to a circular frame through 1.3 µm wide waveguides. The top electrical contact is defined on a large mesa adjacent to the circular frame. By applying a bias to the cavity, the wavelength of the emitted photons can be tuned and the charge noise strongly reduced. b, Emission map of the device: the strong signal coming from the quantum dot located at the center of the cavity demonstrates the precise positioning of the quantum dot in the cavity and the enhanced collection efficiency obtained by accelerating the quantum dot spontaneous emission. Credit: Courtesy: Dr. Pascale Senellart. Figure 2. a, Photon correlation histogram measuring the indistinguishability of photons successively emitted by one of the devices. The area of the peak at zero delay allows measuring the photon indistinguishability: it should be zero for fully indistinguishable photons. We test here two configurations: the coalescence of photons with orthogonal polarization (fully distinguishable – blue curve) and the coalescence of photon with the same polarization (red curve). The disappearance of the zero delay peak in the latter case show the near unity indistinguishability of the emitted photons. b, Graph summarizing all the source characteristics as a function of excitation power: brightness (probability of collecting a photon per pulse – red – right scale), autocorrelation function g(2)(0) (characterizing the probability of emitting more than one photon – blue – left bottom scale), indistinguishablity M (purple – left top scale). Credit: Courtesy: Dr. Pascale Senellart. Explore further , Optica , Nature Nanotechnology , Nature Dr. Pascale Senellart and Phys.org discussed the paper, Near-optimal single-photon sources in the solid state, that she and her colleagues published in Nature Photonics, which reports the design and fabrication of the first optoelectronic devices made of quantum dots in electrically controlled cavities that provide bright source generating near-unity indistinguishability and pure single photons. “The ideal single photon source is a device that produces light pulses, each of them containing exactly one, and no more than one, photon. Moreover, all the photons should be identical in spatial shape, wavelength, polarization, and a spectrum that is the Fourier transform of its temporal profile,” Senellart tells Phys.org. “As a result, to obtain near optimal single photon sources in an optoelectronic device, we had to solve many scientific and technological challenges, leading to an achievement that is the result of more than seven years of research.”While quantum dots can be considered artificial atoms that therefore emit photons one by one, she explains, due to the high refractive index of any semiconductor device, most single photons emitted by the quantum dot do not exit the semiconductor and therefore cannot be used. “We solved this problem by coupling the quantum dot to a microcavity in order to engineer the electromagnetic field around the emitter and force it to emit in a well-defined mode of the optical field,” Senellart points out. “To do so, we need to position the quantum dot with nanometer-scale accuracy in the microcavity.”Senellart notes that this is the first challenge that the researchers had to address since targeting the issue of quantum dots growing with random spatial positions. “Our team solved this issue in 20081 by proposing a new technology, in-situ lithography, which allows measuring the quantum dot position optically and drawing a pillar cavity around it. With this technique, we can position a single quantum dot with 50 nm accuracy at the center of a micron-sized pillar.” In these cavities, two distributed Bragg reflectors confine the optical field in the vertical direction, and the contrast of the index of refraction between the air and the semiconductor provides the lateral confinement of the light. “Prior to this technology, the fabrication yield of quantum dot cavity devices was in the 10-4 – but today it is larger than 50%.” The scientists used this technique to demonstrate the fabrication of bright single photon sources in 20132, showing that the device can generate light pulses containing a single photon with a probability of 80% – but while all photons had the same spatial shape and wavelength, they were not perfectly identical. More information: Near-optimal single-photon sources in the solid state, Nature Photonics 10, 340–345 (2016), doi:10.1038/nphoton.2016.23Related:1Controlled light–matter coupling for a single quantum dot embedded in a pillar microcavity using far-field optical lithography, Physical Review Letters 101, 267404 (2008), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.101.2674042Bright solid-state sources of indistinguishable single photons, Nature Communications 4, 1425 (2013), doi:10.1038/ncomms24343Deterministic and electrically tunable bright single-photon source, Nature Communications 5, 3240 (2014), doi:10.1038/ncomms42404On-demand semiconductor single-photon source with near-unity indistinguishability, Nature Nanotechnology 8, 213–217 (2013), doi:10.1038/nnano.2012.2625Coherent control of a solid-state quantum bit with few-photon pulses, arXiv:1512.04725 [quant-ph]6Charge noise and spin noise in a semiconductor quantum device, Nature Physics 9, 570–575 (2013), doi:10.1038/nphys26887Scalable performance in solid-state single-photon sources, Optica 3, 433-440 (2016), doi:10.1364/OPTICA.3.0004338BosonSampling with single-photon Fock states from a bright solid-state source, arXiv:1603.00054 [quant-ph]9Downconversion quantum interface for a single quantum dot spin and 1550-nm single-photon channel,Optics Express Vol. 20, Issue 25, pp. 27510-27519 (2012), doi:10.1364/OE.20.02751010Ultrabright source of entangled photon pairs, Nature 466, 217–220 (08 July 2010), doi:10.1038/nature09148 Citation: The path to perfection: Quantum dots in electrically-controlled cavities yield bright, nearly identical photons (2016, June 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-06-path-quantum-dots-electrically-controlled-cavities.html Journal information: Nature Photonics Optical quantum technologies are based on the interactions of atoms and photons at the single-particle level, and so require sources of single photons that are highly indistinguishable – that is, as identical as possible. Current single-photon sources using semiconductor quantum dots inserted into photonic structures produce photons that are ultrabright but have limited indistinguishability due to charge noise, which results in a fluctuating electric field. Conversely, parametric down conversion sources yield photons that while being highly indistinguishable have very low brightness. Recently, however, scientists at CNRS – Université Paris-Saclay, Marcoussis, France; Université Paris Diderot, Paris, France; University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; and Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Institut Néel, Grenoble, France; have developed devices made of quantum dots in electrically-controlled cavities that provide large numbers of highly indistinguishable photons with strongly reduced charge noise that are 20 times brighter than any source of equal quality. The researchers state that by demonstrating efficient generation of a pure single photon with near-unity indistinguishability, their novel approach promises significant advances in optical quantum technology complexity and scalability. , Physical Review Letters Senellart adds that while removing scattered photons when transmitting light in processed microstructures is typically complicated, in their case this step was straightforward. “Because the quantum dot is inserted in a cavity, the probability of the incident laser light to interact with the quantum dot is actually very high. It turns out that we send only a few photons – that is, less than 10 – on the device to have the quantum dot emitting one photon. This beautiful efficiency, also demonstrated in the excitation process, which we report in another paper5, made this step quite easy.”The devices reported in the paper have a number of implications for future technologies, one being the ability to achieve strongly-reduced charge noise by applying an electrical bias. “Charge noise has been extensively investigated in quantum dot structures,” Senellart says, “especially by Richard Warburton’s group.” Warburton and his team demonstrated that in the best quantum dot samples, the charge noise could take place on a time scale of few microseconds6 – which is actually very good, since the quantum dot emission lifetime is around 1 nanosecond. However, this was no longer the case in etched structures, where a strong charge noise is always measured on very short time scale – less than 1 ns – that prevents the photon from being indistinguishable. “I think the idea we had – that this problem would be solved by applying an electric field – was an important one,” Senellart notes. “The time scale of this charge noise does not only determine the degree of indistinguishability of the photons, it also determines how many indistinguishable photon one can generate with the same device. Therefore, this number will determine the complexity of any quantum computation or simulation scheme one can implement.” Senellart adds that in a follow-up study7 the scientists generated long streams of photons that can contain more than 200 being indistinguishable by more than 88%.In addressing how these de novo devices may lead to new levels of complexity and scalability in optical quantum technologies, Senellart first discusses the historical sources used develop optical quantum technologies. She makes the point that all previous implementations of optical quantum simulation or computing have been implemented using Spontaneous Parametric Down Conversion (SPDC) sources, in which pairs of photons are generated by the nonlinear interaction of a laser on a nonlinear crystal, wherein one photon of the pair is detected to announce the presence of the other photon. This so-called heralded source can present strongly indistinguishable photons, but only at the cost of extremely low brightness. “Indeed, the difficulty here is that the one pulse does not contain a single pair only, but some of the time several pairs,” Senellart explains. “To reduce the probability of having several pairs generated that would degrade the fidelity of a quantum simulation, calculation or the security of a quantum communication, the sources are strongly attenuated, to the point where the probability of having one pair in a pulse is below 1%. Nevertheless, with these sources, the quantum optics community has demonstrated many beautiful proofs of concept of optical quantum technologies, including long-distance teleportation, quantum computing of simple chemical or physical systems, and quantum simulations like BosonSampling.” (A BosonSampling device is a quantum machine expected to perform tasks intractable for a classical computer, yet requiring minimal non-classical resources compared to full-scale quantum computers.) “Yet, the low efficiency of these sources limits the manipulation to low photon numbers: It takes typically hundreds of hours to manipulate three photons, and the measurement time increases exponentially with the number of photons. Obviously, with the possibility to generate more many indistinguishable photons with an efficiency more than one order of magnitude greater than SPDC sources, our devices have the potential to bring optical quantum technologies to a whole new level.”Other potential applications of the newly-demonstrated devices will focus on meeting near-future challenges in optical quantum technologies, including scalability of photonic quantum computers and intermediate quantum computing tasks. “The sources presented here can be used immediately to implement quantum computing and intermediate quantum computing tasks. Actually, very recently – in the first demonstration of the superiority of our new single photon sources – our colleagues in Brisbane made use of such bright indistinguishable quantum dot-based single photon sources to demonstrate a three photon BosonSampling experiment8, where the solid-state multi-photon source was one to two orders-of-magnitude more efficient than downconversion sources, allowing to complete the experiment faster than those performed with SPDC sources. Moreover, this is a first step; we’ll progressively increase the number of manipulated photons, in both quantum simulation and quantum computing tasks.”Another target area is quantum communications transfer rate. “Such bright single photon sources could also drastically change the rate of quantum communication protocols that are currently using attenuated laser sources or SPDC sources. Yet, right now, our sources operate at 930 nm when 1.3 µm or 1.55 µm sources are needed for long distance communications. Our technique can be transferred to the 1.3 µm range, a range at which single photon emission has been successfully demonstrated – in particular by the Toshiba research group – slightly changing the quantum dot material. Reaching the 1.55 µm range will be more challenging using quantum dots, as it appears that the single photon emission is difficult to obtain at this wavelength. Nevertheless, there’s a very promising alternative possibility: the use of a 900 nm bright source, like the one we report here, to perform quantum frequency conversion of the single photons. Such efficient frequency conversion of single photons has recently been demonstrated, for example, in the lab of Prof. Yoshie Yamamoto at Stanford9.”Regarding future research, Senellart says “There are many things to do from this point. On the technology side, we will try to improve our devices by further increasing the source brightness. For that, a new excitation scheme will be implemented to excite the device from the side, as was done by Prof. Valia Voliotis and her colleagues on the Nanostructures and Quantum Systems team at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris and Prof. Glenn Solomon’s group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Applying this technique to our cavities should allow gaining another factor of four on source brightness. In addition, operating at another wavelength would be another important feature for our devices, since as discussed above, this would allow using the source for quantum telecommunication. For example, a shorter wavelength, in the visible/near infrared range, would open new possibilities to interconnect various quantum systems, including ions or atoms through their interaction with photons, as well as applications in quantum imaging and related fields.” The researchers also want to profit from the full potential of these sources and head to high photon number manipulation in, for instance, quantum simulation schemes. “We’re aiming at performing BosonSampling measurements with 20-30 photons, with the objective of testing the extended Church Turing thesis and proving the superiority of a quantum computer over a classical one.” The original Church Turing thesis, based on investigations of Alonzo Church and Alan Turing into computable functions, states that, ignoring resource limitations, a function on the natural numbers is computable by a human being following an algorithm, if and only if it is computable by a Turing machine.Another promising impact on future optical quantum technologies is the generation of entangled photon pairs. “A quantum dot can also generate entangled photon pairs, and in 2010 we demonstrated that we could use the in situ lithography to obtain the brightest source of entangled photon pairs10. That being said, photon indistinguishability needs to be combined with high pair brightness – and this is the next challenge we plan to tackle. Such a device would play an important role in developing quantum relays for long distance communication and quantum computing tasks.”Senellart tells Phys.org that other areas of research might well benefit from their findings, in that devices similar to the one the scientists developed to fabricate single photon sources could also provide nonlinearities at the low photon count scale. This capability could in turn allow the implementation of deterministic quantum gates, a new optical quantum computing paradigm in which reversible quantum logic gates – for example, Toffoli or CNOT (controlled NOT) gates– can simulate irreversible classical logic gates, thereby allowing quantum computers to perform any computation which can be performed by a classical deterministic computer. “Single photons can also be used to probe the mechanical modes of mechanical resonator and develop quantum sensing with macroscopic objects. Other applications,” she concludes, “could benefit from the possibility to have very efficient single photon sources, such as an imaging system with single photon sources that could allow dramatically increased imaging sensitivity. Such technique could have applications in biology where the lower the photon flux, the better for exploring in vivo samples.” “Indeed, for the photons to be fully indistinguishable, the emitter should be highly isolated from any source of decoherence induced by the solid-state environment. However, our study showed that collisions of the carriers with phonons and fluctuation of charges around the quantum dot were the main limitations.” To solve this problem, the scientists added an electrical control to the device3, such that the application of an electric field stabilized the charges around the quantum dot by sweeping out any free charge. This in turn removed the noise. Moreover, she adds, this electrical control allows tuning the quantum dot wavelength – a process that was previously done by increasing temperature at the expense of increasing vibration. “I’d like to underline here that the technology described above is unique worldwide,” Senellart stresses. “Our group is the only one with such full control of all of the quantum dot properties. That is, we control emission wavelength, emission lifetime and coupling to the environment, all in a fully deterministic and scalable way.”Specifically, implementing control of the charge environment for quantum dots in connected pillar cavities, and applying an electric field on a cavity structure optimally coupled to a quantum dot, required significant attention. “We had strong indications back in 2013 that the indistinguishability of our photons was limited by some charge fluctuations around the quantum dot: Even in the highest-quality semiconductors, charges bound to defects fluctuate and create a fluctuating electric field. In the meantime, several colleagues were observing very low charge noise in structures where an electric field was applied to the quantum dot – but this was not combined with a cavity structure.” The challenge, Senellart explains, was to define a metallic contact on a microcavity (which is typically a cylinder with a diameter of 2-3 microns) without covering the pillar’s top surface.”We solved this problem by proposing a new kind of cavity – that is, we showed that we can actually connect the cylinder to a bigger frame using some one-dimensional bridges without modifying too much the confinement of the optical field.” This geometry, which the researchers call connected pillars, allows having the same optical confinement as an isolated pillar while defining the metallic contact far from the pillar itself. Senellart says that the connected pillars geometry was the key to both controlling the quantum wavelength of dot and efficiently collecting its emission3.In demonstrating the efficient generation of a pure single photon with near-unity indistinguishability, Senellart continues, the researchers had one last step – combining high photon extraction efficiency and perfect indistinguishability – which they did by implementing a resonant excitation scheme of the quantum dot. “In 2013, Prof. Chao-Yang Lu’s team in Hefei, China showed that one could obtain photons with 96% indistinguishability by exciting the quantum dot state in a strictly resonant way4. Their result was beautiful, but again, not combined with an efficient extraction of the photons. The experimental challenge here is to suppress the scattered light from the laser and collect only the single photons radiated by the quantum dot.” 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. , Nature Physicslast_img read more

The crypto party is over… Rece

first_imgThe “crypto” party is over… Recently, Bitcoin crashed 69% amidst regulatory fears. And now, governments are taking action. What may be in store in America will come as a surprise to many… One millionaire currency speculator has just released a must-see video outlining the Fed’s likely plan. I recommend you check it out. Because this affects you, even if you’ve never bought crypto. See the video here. — — Jeff ClarkP.S. Next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, I’m holding a one-night-only online training event to ensure you’re prepared for the volatility ahead.We’ll discuss one of my most reliable trading indicators for volatile markets. And I’ll tell you how it could increase your returns by over 1,000%—even in unpredictable times. I’ll also send you a copy of a special report full of my most prized trading tools, just for dropping by.You don’t want to miss this one… Reserve your spot for Wednesday’s event right here.Reader MailbagAre you planning on placing any trades as volatility rises? If so, which sectors are you most interested in today? Let us know here.IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…Critics have called Doug Casey uncaring… Racist… Sexist… Irresponsible…But they’ve never called him wrong…Today, we want to mail you a copy of Doug’s “dangerous” new book, Totally Incorrect Volume 2. If you feel like political correctness is ruining America, this is a must-read… FREE EVENT – ONE NIGHT ONLY: For the First Time, Master Trader Jeff Clark Reveals How to Profit from the Coming Tidal Wave Of Volatility 2018 is the choppiest market in 7 years. We’ve already seen the single-largest one-day point drop in the history of the Dow – and the worst start to an April since 1929. But this is just the beginning… And while the average investor sells their stocks and stays the heck out of the market… this is the type of opportunity where traders get rich. Sign up for this free event, and master trader Jeff Clark will show you how. Details here. Recommended Link Recommended Link Now, understand that extreme conditions can always get even more extreme. The rubber band can always stretch a lot further than you think. But in my 35 years of trading, the rubber band has always snapped back.Think back to the parabolic rally we saw in the stock market in January. The stock market was already overbought just eight trading days into the new year.To me, the situation looked dangerous. So I advised folks to resist the urge to add new positions until we got some downside action to relieve the overbought condition. The S&P 500 was trading around 2800 at the time.But the rubber band kept stretching… The stock market kept pressing higher all the way through the rest of the month. It finally peaked above 2870 on January 29.That day, I wrote this in the Market Minute…The S&P 500 has gone vertical. While we can’t possibly know exactly when the rally will end, the slope of the parabola suggests we’re approaching the exhaustion phase.Also, key technical indicators, like the MACD momentum indicator, closed Friday at the most overbought levels in the 35 years I’ve been involved with the financial markets. Maybe they’re the most overbought levels ever.This is a dangerous environment in which to put new money to work. We can’t know for sure. But it seems to me traders should get a shot at investing at lower prices sometime within the next three months.That’s when the rubber band finally snapped back. Justin’s note: Regular readers know that I read master trader Jeff Clark’s newsletter every morning to see what’s going on in the markets. His recent essays have made one thing very clear: The rest of 2018 will be huge for traders.Below, Jeff explains why… and how you can start taking advantage of this setup, too… By Jeff Clark, editor, Delta ReportThe back half of 2018 could be the best time to be a trader in years…Volatility is back. After an entire year of low volatility and one-way price action, the stock market has been swinging wildly so far in 2018. The Volatility Index (VIX) is 50% higher today than where it was at the start of the year.And that’s a good thing. That’s because higher volatility leads to more extreme conditions. And more extreme conditions means more opportunities to profit.You see, I prefer to trade using a “reversion to the mean” philosophy. I look for extremely overbought or oversold situations and then attempt to profit as conditions revert back to neutral.Think of it as a “rubber band” style of trading. I look for situations where the rubber band is stretched just about as far as possible. Then I bet on it snapping back. Why Crypto Lovers Just Got Scammed It took only about a week for conditions to go from extremely overbought to extremely oversold. That’s when I started buying.I was early. The rubber band continued to stretch to the downside. But, like I said earlier, it always snaps back.Here’s what I wrote in the Market Minute on February 9…The stock market is now back down to where it was the last time I was interested in putting money to work. The selling pressure has shaken out a lot of the “weak hands.”Just to be clear… I don’t expect the market to reverse all of a sudden and immediately rally back to new highs. Rather, the market is likely to chop around in a wide trading range for the next several weeks.But much of the immediate risk has been wrung out of the market. So, for traders who have cash, now is the time to take advantage of the move and buy at depressed prices while everyone else is selling.It’s hard to do, no doubt. It can be gut-wrenching to step up and buy when everyone else is selling.But it’s those gut-wrenching trades that tend to work out the best.So, here’s my point to all of this…We’ve already seen a HUGE increase in volatility so far in 2018. This condition is likely to continue for the rest of the year—at least.This is an opportunity for traders to make a lot of money as the proverbial rubber band stretches and then snaps back multiple times.Best regards and good trading,last_img read more

Did you miss last nights Cryptocurrency Ask Me A

first_imgDid you miss last night’s Cryptocurrency “Ask Me Anything” with Teeka?For the first time in ten months, crypto expert Teeka Tiwari went live on camera last night for a cryptocurrency AMA… And we’re re-airing the broadcast for a limited time for anyone who missed it. Teeka can’t give any personalized investment advice, but this is your chance to hear from a man who’s delivered recommendations that reached as high as 1,241%… 2,050%… and even 14,354%. Recommended Link Recommended Link A Mirror ImageTo understand why, let’s look at the last major bear market we had, before the most recent Crypto Winter.That was back in 2013 when bitcoin peaked around $1,200. Then it went on a massive, almost two-year-long bear market.You can see that it went down to about $175 in January 2015. That’s an 85% plunge.But then, we started to see the bottom finally come into place. And in late 2015, we got a massive move up.Now, let’s compare that to a recent chart of bitcoin. You can see the peak in December 2017 in the chart below. And the red circle is where we are now.If you look at the first chart again, in 2015, the selling was finally over. Buyers came in, and they spiked bitcoin up to a level that you hadn’t seen in months.Now look at the second chart. That move up since April is a mirror image of what we saw back in 2015, when the bear market was finally over.But it’s not the only reason I believe prices are headed higher… The article on G4 Tequila production was fantastic. I grew up in Kentucky with a ‘shine-making family. I certainly appreciate the details!– Ralph Justin’s note: The cryptocurrency market is on a tear, and bitcoin is leading the charge – up 110% since April.Yesterday, we turned to world-renowned crypto expert Teeka Tiwari, who told us that this is just the beginning. And that bitcoin won’t be the only winner of the crypto rally. Today, Teeka shares two more reasons why “Crypto Winter” is over… and why the biggest gains are yet to come.If you haven’t yet, now’s the time to take advantage… before it’s too late… By Teeka Tiwari, editor, Palm Beach ConfidentialAfter almost 18 months, “Crypto Winter” appears to be finally loosening its grip over the market.That’s why, on April 10, I sent out an update to my Palm Beach Confidential readers. Here’s what I said…Bitcoin is probably going to go anywhere from $6,000 to $7,000 before it has a little bit of a pullback to kind of consolidate that move. And then, it’ll be off to the races again.And you know as well as I do, anything that’s good for bitcoin is good for the broad market.A lot of the smaller names that we own will move much further than bitcoin will move. So another 30% move higher in bitcoin could be a 300%, 400%, or 500% higher move in some of these smaller names.Since then, bitcoin is up 64%. It’s trading around $8,700 at writing. And the broad crypto market is up 52%.But as I’ll show you in today’s issue, it’s not too late to get in… Good piece, Doug, and one with which I agree totally. Now an old fart over halfway through his eighth decade, I can testify that the economic distortions we’re seeing now are the most extreme in my lifetime, and that includes those in the nightmarish Carter years during which we had both wild inflation and record interest rates. Sadly, when the crap hits the fan it will occur on the Donald’s watch and he’ll get the blame. Just as Herbert Hoover got the blame for the Great Depression, when the real villain was the incompetent and almost cartoonish FDR, who also managed to get us involved in WWII by cutting off all oil and scrap iron supplies to Japan on which it depended heavily. But he got the war he wanted, albeit at the cost of most of our Pacific Fleet and the lives of roughly 2,500 sailors, soldiers, and Marines. Always enjoy your pieces.– JohnAs always, send your comments, questions, and concerns to feedback@caseyresearch.com.Less Than Two Days Left……To claim your 23% discount to the second annual Legacy Investment Summit this September. If you book by Friday, you’ll spend hundreds less than everyone else for the opportunity to meet all your favorite analysts and gurus while soaking up the sun in Southern California.Don’t miss your chance to get the inside scoop on what our editors are excited about in 2019… and learn about more investment opportunities over one weekend than most financial services offer in a year. Go here to grab your deal and book your tickets now… Watch the full broadcast here Teeka Tiwari Editor, Palm Beach ConfidentialJustin’s note: Last night, Teeka went live on camera for the first time this year… and answered all your questions about the crypto market.As part of the Q&A, he took a deep dive into bitcoin and the crypto world… and explained why he’s excited for the second half of 2019.His most important takeaway: If you want to get involved in the crypto space… the time is now.You can watch a replay of the webinar – and learn how to claim a free year of his Palm Beach Confidential research service – right here.Reader MailbagReaders are raving about Strategic Investor editor E.B. Tucker’s recent dispatches from his trip to Mexico, where he toured Mexico City and visited a tequila distillery:Enjoyed the narrative. I have been to Mexico City and stayed at the Four Seasons. I was there to work. Had one day off and went for a walk down Reforma Boulevard. It has a very European feeling. Lovely stores: Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Escada, etc. Had a sandwich at Sanborns. People are very attentive to your needs. Thank you for your enthusiastic column on Mexico.– Julia Click here now for more details I really enjoyed the article. It was nice to deviate from the normal run-of-the-mill to something that was new and different.– JohnAnd our audience is still divided over Doug Casey’s thoughts on the conflict with Iran:You say Iran is a danger to no one. I say, “Baloney!” If Iran is allowed to build nuclear weapons, it is the country most likely to use them. It already supplies munitions and logistics to terrorists, so what would restrain it from providing compact nuclear weapons that could be delivered in a truck or boat? Detonating one in New York Harbor would dwarf 9/11. We can’t allow it to become a nuclear state!– Ira — — URGENT CLIP: Retirees could now see profits on Mondays at 10amClick a few buttons on Friday and have a chance to see profits waiting for you Monday morning at 10am. See for yourself in this 16-second LIVE DEMONSTRATION how easy collecting profits like $8,780, $9,100 and even $15,820 on Monday could be. That’s right! This only takes 16 seconds… but if you want to start this Monday, you must take the right steps today. The Downtrend Is Finally BrokenThe second is that the downtrend bitcoin has been in since last year is finally broken.When you break a long-term downtrend, the overall trend switches from bearish to bullish.And the way you make money from that is by taking advantage of each pullback.The pullbacks we’ve experienced in the last 18 months were making lower lows and lower highs. What will now happen is that when bitcoin prices fall back, they will make higher lows.Now, of course we don’t know that 100% until we see that next wave of selling come in.But if history is any guide, it suggests we are going to break out to a new level, and then come back a little bit. And then, we will see another resurgence of prices.I’ve been waiting for that downtrend line to be broken… and for a major move that indicates that buyers are starting to get impatient. And that’s exactly what we’ve seen take place over the last couple of weeks.Making Sure We’re PreparedDoes this mean we’re never going to have volatility again? No. Of course not.What it does mean is that we will see a series of higher lows and higher highs – the definition of the beginning of a new uptrend.Given the recent surge in volume and interest we’ve seen in cryptos, a shock of good news could completely change the game.Then, it would be like 2017 all over again. And I want to make sure we’re prepared for it.Just remember, you only need to take a small stake for the potential of life-changing gains. So position-size rationally when you’re buying cryptos… and continue to be patient.We are at the very beginning of a new uptrend in crypto prices, and it’s going to be wild. It’s going to be much bigger than what we’ve seen before.Let the Game Come to You!last_img read more

Combat veterans from the Vietnamera through the w

first_imgCombat veterans from the Vietnam-era through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan often turn to Vet Center counselors for help with post-traumatic stress or depression. And some of these counselors are themselves feeling stress – in part, they say, because of what they’re calling unrealistic productivity requirements.Ted Blickwedel, 63, is a Marine Corps veteran living in Smithfield, R.I. And recently, when he was working as a clinical social worker at his local Vet Center in nearby Warwick, he began to think about suicide.”I didn’t sit around and ruminate about how I’m going to go about taking my own life or anything,” he says, “but nonetheless, it was just this sense that I didn’t want to be here anymore.”Blickwedel says his rising sense of hopelessness about his job began a couple of years ago, when the Department of Veterans Affairs changed the way it measured counselor productivity. Instead of asking counselors to track what percentage of their time they spend with clients, the VA asked counselors to meet a minimum headcount.Blickwedel says his focus began to shift.”I’d be in session, trying to engage someone, but being more worried about getting them out the door to do notes to get the next person in on the hour, every hour,” he says.Blickwedel says if a veteran with PTSD needed an extra-long session, he’d spend more time with that veteran and see fewer clients. That would have consequences.”I simply wouldn’t have met the visit count,” Blickwedel says, “and then I would have to complete a performance improvement plan and if this would have continued and if there weren’t any adequate improvements being made, then eventually my job could have been on the line.”The VA wants counselors to have 25 visits each week to be “fully successful.” The VA says that should take about 17 hours. To achieve the “excellent” rating, counselors must log even more visits per week.The problem is that even by the VA’s own analysis, the average visit takes 77 minutes. That’s 32 hours.”That doesn’t leave adequate time to get all your administrative duties done,” says Blickwedel, “with your progress notes, your treatment plans, assessments, with staffing, consultation with other providers that are working with the veteran.”Many of the dozen Vet Center employees interviewed for this story say they worked extra hours, often without compensation, to keep up. Some say they went on medication to manage the stress. Others lost weight. And when they suffered, they say, so did services.A reasonable standard, says the VAMike Fisher, chief officer of all the VA’s Vet Centers, supports the current requirements.”When we talk about accounting for 25 encounters in a week, I think that’s reasonable given that the vast majority of our staff are already doing that,” he says.He says those who don’t make the numbers simply have to create a plan to boost them.”That plan can include increased outreach. It can include, ‘I’m going to try as a clinician this one type of group.’ There is complete flexibility in that,” he says.Group sessions can boost a counselor’s visit count, since each member of the group is counted individually. But getting enough groups can be tricky, says Rick Stouffer, a Vet Center counselor from Knoxville, Tennessee.”It would be nice to have a full caseload of clients, but I have no control over how many clients I have,” he says.Stouffer says sometimes clients don’t show up for appointments, which can hurt productivity.Demand for Vet Center services varies by locations. Some are simply busier than others, but the standards are mostly uniform.There has been no formal survey of how Vet Center social workers feel about these requirements. Ted Blickwedel tried to conduct one by email. The VA told him to stop, and when he didn’t, it cut off his email access. The VA says he was using his email in an unprofessional manner. Blickwedel disputes the idea that he acted unprofessionally.Blickwedel has chosen to retire rather than work under these requirements, which he says need to be reduced to a reasonable level.”That’s number one,” he says. “Number two: there needs to be more hiring at higher echelons of people in managerial and leadership positions that have clinical backgrounds so they can make common-sense clinical decisions.”And only then, Blickwedel says, can Vet Center employees stop worrying about metrics and focus more on their clients. Copyright 2018 New Hampshire Public Radio. To see more, visit New Hampshire Public Radio.last_img read more

In some parts of the country people are learning t

first_imgIn some parts of the country people are learning their drinking water contains pollution from a group of chemicals called Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). These chemicals have been linked to illnesses, including cancer. But a lot of questions remain including how exactly they affect people’s health and in what doses.These chemicals have been around for decades but the issue gained urgency in recent years as water suppliers tested for and found PFAS pollution as part of an Environmental Protection Agency program.The EPA is working on a plan to manage PFAS but members of Congress are pushing the EPA to move faster. A few states already have established strict new standards to limit the compounds in drinking water. And in some places, such as the Philadelphia suburbs, PFAS pollution has become an issue in mid-term election races.As scientists and policy-makers work to limit human exposure to the compounds here are a few key points that are worth knowing.1. PFAS chemicals are useful but may be dangerous PFAS chemicals are good at repelling oil and water. That makes them useful in a lot of products including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, pizza boxes, water-repellent fabrics and fire-fighting foam.It’s difficult to pin down exactly how harmful these chemicals are because research is limited. There was a big health study involving one form of PFAS in the Mid-Ohio Valley. From that and other studies scientists are comfortable saying certain diseases are linked to PFAS exposure but they won’t be more definitive than that.”PFAS chemicals have been linked to a wide range of health effects, including cancer, low birth weight, thyroid disease, elevated cholesterol and effects on the immune system,” says Laurel Schaider, research scientist at Silent Spring Institute.Manufacturers have agreed to stop using two forms of PFAS in the U.S. These chemicals take a long time to break down in the environment, which is why they remain a problem now. And Schaider says newer forms of PFAS chemicals are still being used, though some people believe they are safer because they remain in the environment and in our bodies for shorter periods.2. PFAS pollution affects communities around the countryIn some communities PFAS pollution may be known by another name if a specific compound is to blame for problems there. Some of the most common are PFOS, PFOA and Gen-X. PFAS is the overall name for this group of several thousand chemicals.Among the places with PFAS pollution is Michigan where the some residents were warned not to drink the water for a month. In New Hampshire there are concerns a landfill may be polluting water. A case in New York came to regulators’ attention after a resident tested his own water. And in North Carolina high levels of a PFAS chemical were found in drinking water downstream from a manufacturing plant.A map of contaminated sites and communities where PFAS has been detected in drinking water has been compiled by Northeastern University and Environmental Working Group.Lawsuits have been filed against companies believed to be responsible for the pollution. For example, Minnesota sued 3M over PFAS pollution and settled for $850 million in February 20183. State and federal agencies are responding but not fast enough for criticsThe EPA requires most water utilities to test for a list of PFAS chemicals. In 2016 the agency lowered a non-binding health advisory limit for some PFAS compounds to 70 parts per trillion (ppt). That’s about 70 grains of sand in an Olympic-size swimming pool, says Christopher Crockett, chief environmental officer for the water utility Aqua America.But environmentalists argue that a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study indicates the numbers should be much lower. A few states have set lower standards on their own.The EPA is working on a plan to manage PFAS chemicals and expects to release it by the end of this year.”We need actions to come out of those plans that lead to clear direction for water suppliers,” says Crockett. He wants to know what level of PFAS chemicals in water is safe and when should his company install filters to remove the chemicals.The Department of Defense also has a big role to play in cleaning up PFAS pollution. The agency uses fire-fighting foam for training at air bases around the country. In places like Pennsylvania PFAS chemicals from that foam have made their way into local drinking water.4. You can take steps to protect yourself When utility company Aqua America learns it needs to treat water polluted with PFAS it installs big carbon filters. If you’re worried about this issue and want to be extra cautious, you can essentially do the same in your home.Christopher Crockett with Aqua says filters on refrigerators that dispense water or pitchers with carbon filters work pretty well—just make sure you change the filters regularly as manufacturers recommend.If you want to also limit exposure from taking showers or brushing your teeth then a whole-house filtration system might be necessary. When asked if he filters his water, Crockett says he does not. He’s comfortable that water under the current EPA health advisory level of 70 ppt is safe to drink.Water is not the only concern though. Laurel Schaider with Silent Spring Institute says it could make sense to avoid things like fast food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags that can have PFAS chemicals in them. The problem is you never know which ones to avoid because there are no labeling requirements.The state of Washington will eventually ban PFAS use for food packaging and fire-fighting foam.Finally, eating a lot of fish also can be a concern in some places. New Jersey is among states that have warned people to limit how much fish they eat from certain bodies of water Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

A company is facing three separate investigations

first_imgA company is facing three separate investigations after a wheelchair-user discovered that the reception desk of the hotel he was staying in was left unstaffed every night.Mahmood Qureshi only made the discovery after he had already spent a night in a wheelchair-accessible room at the Knighton Hotel (pictured) in Knighton, on the Welsh-English border.On his first night at the hotel – where he was staying during a visit to an international draughts competition – he booked an agency care worker to arrive at 9.30am, but she agreed to arrive earlier on the second morning.When he checked with the hotel staff that they would let her in at 6.30am the next morning, he was told that would not be possible because there were no staff at the front desk between midnight and 7am.Qureshi, who lives in Bradford, pointed out to hotel staff that he had high support needs and was staying with an older friend who was also disabled. If there was a fire, he said, he could be trapped in his room on the first floor.He said: “It was very dangerous. We were on the first floor, and there were… steps going down to reception.“Basically, we would be left to defend ourselves if there was a fire. I would have panicked, I wouldn’t have known what to do.”Following his two-day stay last October, he complained to Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, which has launched an investigation into the hotel’s fire safety procedures.The hotel is also being investigated by trading standards, and by Visit Wales, the Welsh government’s tourism team.A Welsh government spokeswoman said: “These allegations are very concerning.  “Visit Wales is in contact with the owners and hoping that these issues can be resolved quickly.”Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said there was an “ongoing investigation” into the concerns raised by Qureshi.And a spokesman for Powys council’s trading standards department confirmed that it was also carrying out an investigation into Qureshi’s concerns.Rowena Williams, director and owner of Rural Retreats and Leisure, which runs the Knighton Hotel and several other hotels in England and Wales, said Qureshi’s complaints were “completely unfounded” and “completely fictional with completely inaccurate information”.She said the hotel had a duty manager “on site”, but she confirmed that the hotel did not have a night porter and so the front desk was not staffed overnight.Her husband, Paul, said the hotel had a “sleepover manager” while “the building is manned 24 hours per day seven days per week”.He said: “In the event that a guest requires assistance out of hours, they just dial 0 from their room or the hotel number if they are not in the room, the call is then put straight through to the duty manager who is on for that evening. “This is common practice and is explained to all of our guests and is also outlined in the guest information booklet contained within each bedroom.”But he admitted: “It is true that we have been asked to modify our risk assessment and procedures but this is all that was requested following an inspection that was carried out on 13 November by the fire service.”Rowena Williams said that all the rooms had fire doors and that “the 20 stepped staircase [is] wheelchair compliant” [with wide enough steps to allow a wheelchair to sit on it] while a “risk assessment shows there is no serious risk”. She said: “The hotel is not being investigated by trading standards at all.  This is complete fabrication.”She added: “The fire brigade have raised no major issues but minor issues that have been dealt with as a matter of course.”last_img read more

A FirstGeneration American Entrepreneur Reflects on the Immigration Proposal That Would Have

first_img Apply Now » Next Article 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Guest Writer –shares Recently, President Trump said he supports a Senate bill to curb legal immigration to the United States. The legislation, a revised version of an immigration-reform bill introduced in February, would give priority to high-skilled, English-speaking immigrants.For me, the news hit especially close to home.My parents landed in the United States in the early 1960s. Like hundreds of thousands from Cuba, they did so to escape the heavy-handed regime of Fidel Castro. With little money and no formal education but a few life-learned skills under their belts, they survived in a strange land where they did not speak the language and knew only a few family members.Related: 4 Reasons Why Immigrants Are Essential for EntrepreneurshipThey moved to an area of New Jersey where other Cubans had fled, and they banded together with other Spanish speakers. Eventually, they met, married and raised four children on modest means and a backbreaking work ethic.While Dad spoke broken English at best when he arrived. Mom spoke none. As a young boy I remember people giving her the stink eye or poor customer service while she tried her hardest to convey what she needed. Some told her, “If you’re in America, speak English.”These comments sometimes made her cry but never broke her spirit. Her inability to speak English was in no way a reflection of her character or work ethic, nor was it a political statement or a lack of love for her new country. Mom believed strongly in the American dream and was determined to see it come to fruition for herself and her family.Early on, Mom was a cleaning lady. She recently retired as a senior manager overseeing major projects and a staff of more than 70. Today, I’m proud to say that she is a competent English speaker. Though sometimes when she tries to pronounce certain words we kids get a good laugh, Mom faced her challenges head on and carved out a decent life for her family.Related: The Immigrant Entrepreneurs Behind Major American Companies (Infographic)Mom’s bilingual skills came in handy as she climbed the career ladder to eventually oversee a crew of cleaners. They, like her, came to this country with “low skills” and unable to speak the dominant language.My parents are the immigrants many of Trump’s supporters would like to ban from entering this country. Mom and Dad may have been stopped at the border if this bill been law when they fled Cuba for freedom. Because of my parent’s resilience and perseverance, their American children now have a much easier life.I was able to attend Parsons, one of the country’s foremost design schools. From there, I had a two-decade career as a designer for some of the world’s most successful luxury brands. A few years ago, after a trip my partner and I took around the world, I launched Bixbee, a backpack and accessories company for kids.Because of my own family’s struggles and their belief that an education helps pave the way to big dreams, it was important to create a company that gives back. Since our launch, we’ve donated tens of thousands of backpacks to kids in the United States and around the world. Providing kids in need with an opportunity for an education is my way of helping them achieve their own dreams and part of the American dream my parents taught us to believe in.Related: Here’s How to Fix the H-1B Visa Program to Drive Startup GrowthMine is one story of millions. America was, after all, built on the trials and triumphs of immigrations, many of whom were unable to speak English and came to this country with little more than an unshakable work ethic. It’s in our national DNA and has made this country so great from its beginning.I’ll be the first to admit that our current system is far from perfect. But in the course of trying to fix it, let’s not forget that most who cross our borders are more than just workers. They are liberty-loving risk takers who, like my parents, came here to create a better life for themselves and their families.As Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Neither race nor place of birth should affect their chances.” A First-Generation American Entrepreneur Reflects on the Immigration Proposal That Would Have Barred His Parents Luis Manuel Garcia Mom and Dad had no skills and didn’t speak English but achieved the American dream by working tirelessly. Pending legislation would bar people like them now. 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Add to Queue Co-Founder & CEO at Bixbee August 7, 2017 Image credit: Science Source | Getty Images The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. American Dreamlast_img read more

OkCupid Founder If You Use the Internet Youre the Subject of Hundreds

first_img Laura Entis Register Now » Next Article Privacy Concerns OkCupid Founder: ‘If You Use the Internet, You’re the Subject of Hundreds of Experiments’ Guest Writer Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. 4 min readcenter_img July 29, 2014 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Last month, Facebook revealed that it had manipulated the content in the new feeds of more than 600,000 people to see whether or not the changes would affect people’s emotional state.If you weren’t actively pissed off, chances are you at least found the study – which attempted to manipulate mood by altering the number of positive or negative posts a person would see – creepy. Turns out, most people resent feeling like a lab rat (the clinical language of the study, published in The Proceedings Of The National Academy of Sciences, didn’t help on this count).That’s a shame, says OkCupid co-founder and president Christian Rudder, because if you use the Internet you are going to be the unwitting subject of hundreds of a wide range of experiments. “That’s how websites work,” he wrote in a blog post published Monday.Related: Facebook Basically Shrugs Off User Outrage Over ‘Emotional’ ExperimentFacebook’s tepid defense of its ’emotions’ study was that it was an attempt to improve “user experience.” Rudder goes a step further, arguing that any website that wants to improve its functionality needs to run experiments on its user base. “Most ideas are bad,” he wrote. “Even good ideas could be better. Experiments are how you sort all this out.”Putting his money where his mouth is, Rudder revealed in the blog post that OkCupid has been running experiments on its users for years. In light of the recent Facebook debacle, he chose to publicize the details from “a few of the more interesting” ones (which means this is likely the tip of the iceberg as far as the whole OkCupid-experiments-on-its-users thing goes).In one test, all profile pictures on the site were hidden, which led users to interact more frequently and reveal more details about themselves. In another, profile text was obscured to see how much an individual’s looks impacted his or her perceived personality (turns out, looks matter a lot). And in the third, the dating site informed users that their compatibility rating with other users was either better or worse than the site’s algorithm actually predicted. While these results are mildly interesting, what’s really fascinating is the casual, almost blasé way Rudder delivers the news that not only has his site been experimenting with uninformed users for years, but most other sites are doing the same exact thing.Related: Mushy Marketing Ploy: Pizza Hut Joins OKCupidWhile all three experiments exemplify how easy it is for sites like OkCupid or Facebook (which have a trove of data on users’ personalities, habits, likes and dislikes) to manipulate responses, the third is probably the best example.In that experiment, OkCupid altered the compatibility scores for potential daters, taking pairs of bad matches (an actual 30 percent match) and telling them they were a great match (a 90 match). The research found that if a potential dater was told another user was a good match, he or she was slightly more likely to initiate a message exchange even if the recipient was, in reality, a poor match according to the site’s compatibility metrics.Doctored compatibility ratings seem like as blatant a manipulation as Facebook’s tweaked news feeds, but so far, the public backlash over OkCupid’s experimentation appears far more subdued than it was over Facebook’s.Related: Mozilla’s CEO Resigns in Wake of Criticism Over Stance on Gay MarriageThere lots of possible explanations for this, including the fact that OkCupid didn’t publish its results in a scientific journal, the study was more “legitimately useful to users,” the tone was “self-deprecating” rather than clinical and that OkCupid, as a niche service, is less scary than omnipresent Facebook.That’s not the real issue, though. The real issue is Rudder’s argument that if you use the Internet you are, by default, the subject of a host of experiments. Companies don’t need to get your explicit approval (they just have to sneak a line into their terms and services agreement), and there is no committee that distinguishes between an ethical experiment and an unethical one that has the potential to inflict real damage. Which means morally dubious experiments like Facebook’s probably happen all the time, we just rarely find out about them because companies aren’t obligated to publish their results.If you don’t like it, Rudder is essentially saying, get off the Internet. Despite his “self-deprecating” tone, it’s a troubling message.Related: Tell Us: Will Facebook’s Unethical User Experiment Make You Quit? –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Add to Queuelast_img read more

Japanese Truck Driver Playing Pokémon Go Kills Pedestrian

first_img Flowers are laid near the scene where a passer-by was killed after being hit by a driver playing ‘Pokemon Go’ while driving in Tokushima, Japan. Next Article The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Add to Queue This story originally appeared on Reuters Pokémon –shares August 25, 2016 2 min read Japanese Truck Driver Playing Pokémon Go Kills Pedestrian A Japanese truck driver playing Pokémon Go while driving hit two women, killing one and injuring the other, in Japan’s first death related to the Nintendo Co. craze.The driver said he had been distracted by the game after his arrest for negligent driving following the accident on Wednesday evening, a spokesman for the Tokushima prefectural police said.”The driver is still in custody. No decision has been made yet on whether to proceed with a prosecution,” he addedA spokesman for Niantic Inc., which developed Pokémon Go jointly with Nintendo affiliate Pokémon Company, said the company had added a pop-up to the Pokémon Go screen when it detected an increase in speed asking for confirmation the user was not driving.He didn’t say whether the developer would take further steps to guard against accidents.A spokesman for Nintendo offered condolences to the family of the dead woman.”Pokémon Company and Niantic endeavor to create an environment where people can play the game safely and we will continue to do that,” he added when asked whether the company would take any new measures to guard against accidents.The popularity of augmented-reality Pokémon Go around the world has generated crowds of people in parks and other public places as user search for monsters, but has also been blamed for injuries and robberies of distracted users.Signs at parks and other places in Japan have asked users to avoid creating a nuisance.Pokémon incidents elsewhere have spurned warnings from authorities for users to play responsibly.In Taiwan on Sunday Pokémon Go monster hunters caused a stampede in Taipei blocking streets in the capital. Police there have increased fines on scooter riders found playing the game in traffic.News reports in July claimed that a Guatemalan teenager was the first Pokémon fatality after he was shot breaking into a house while playing the game.Also in July, Pokémon Go players were robbed of their smartphones at gunpoint in a north London park in Britain, while four teens in Missouri in the U.S. used the game to target around a dozen people into armed robberies.(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Nick Macfie) Image credit: Kyodo via Reuters Reuters Apply Now »last_img read more

Oral steroid use in patients with inflammatory diseases increases risk of infection

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 24 2019Oral steroid use in patients with the inflammatory diseases polymyalgia rheumatica and/or giant cell arteritis significantly increased the risk of infection, and the risk increased with higher doses, found a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).In a large study of almost 40 000 adult patients with polymyalgia rheumatica or giant cell arteritis in England, researchers found higher absolute risks of infection when patients were taking oral steroids than when they were not taking them. The mean age of patients in the study was 73 years. Steroids included prednisolone, prednisone, hydrocortisone and cortisone. The risk of infection increased with higher doses and was elevated even with low daily doses of less than 5 mg of prednisolone. In periods with prescribed medication, patients’ risk was 50% higher than when it was not prescribed. Increases in risk ranged from 48% for fungal to 70% for bacterial infections.”Dr. Mar Pujades-Rodriguez, Leeds Institute of Data Analytics, at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, with coauthors Related StoriesRetina can restructure itself following gene therapyNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellNANOLIVE‘s novel CX-A defines a new standard for live cell imaging in 96 well plates for continuous organelle monitoring in cell populationsMore than half of patients (22 234, 56%) had infections during 138 412 person-years of follow up, with the most common infections being lower respiratory tract infections (27%), conjunctivitis (9%) and shingles (7%). More than one-quarter (27%) of patients were admitted to hospital and 7% died within a week of diagnosis of infection.”Patients and clinicians should be educated about the risk of infection, need for symptom identification, prompt treatment, timely vaccination and documentation of history of chronic infection (e.g. herpes zoster),” write the authors.They suggest that estimates of dose-response (i.e., the magnitude of risk related to steroid dosing) can be useful for policy-makers in assessing new glucocorticoid-sparing drugs for patients with these inflammatory diseases.”Incidence of infections associated with oral glucocorticoid dose in people diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica or giant cell arteritis: a cohort study in England” is published June 24, 2019. Source:CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)last_img read more

More seniors are dying in falls Doctors could do more to reduce

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 27 2019Older adults worried about falling typically receive general advice: Take an exercise class. Get your vision checked. Stop taking medications for sleep. Install grab bars in the bathroom.A new study suggests that sort of advice hasn’t proved to be very effective: Nearly three times more adults age 75 and older died from falls in 2016 than in 2000, according to a recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.In 2016, 25,189 people in this age group died from falls, compared with 8,613 in 2000.  The rate of fatal falls for adults 75 and older more than doubled during this period, from 51.6 per 100,000 people in 2000 to 122.2 per 100,000 people in 2016, the report found.What’s needed to check this alarming trend, experts suggest, is a more personalized approach to preventing falls, more involvement by medical practitioners and better ways to motivate older adults to take action.Elizabeth Burns, a co-author of the report and health scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said it’s not yet clear why fatal falls are increasing. Older adults are probably more vulnerable because they’re living longer with conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease and taking more brain-altering medications such as opioids, she noted.By 2030, the CDC projects, 49 million older adults will fall each year, resulting in 12 million injuries and more than $100 billion in health-related spending.The steep increase in fatal falls is “definitely upsetting,” especially given national, state and local efforts to prevent these accidents, said Kathleen Cameron, senior director of the Center for Health Aging at the National Council on Aging.Since 2012, the CDC has tried to turn the situation around by encouraging physicians to adopt evidence-based fall prevention practices. But doctors still are not doing enough to help older patients, Burns said.She cites evidence from two studies. In one, published in 2016, researchers found that fewer than half of seniors who were considered high risk — people who’d fallen repeatedly or sought medical attention for falls — received a comprehensive fall risk assessment, as recommended by the CDC and the American Geriatrics Society.These assessments evaluate a person’s gait, lower-body muscle strength, balance, medication use, problems with their feet, blood pressure when rising from a sitting position, vision, vitamin D levels and home environment.In another study, published last year, Burns found that physicians and nurse practitioners routinely failed to review older adults’ medications (about 40% didn’t do so), recommend exercise (48% didn’t) or refer people to a vision specialist (about 62% didn’t) when advising older patients about falls.Physicians’ involvement is important because older adults tend to take their doctors’ advice seriously, said Emily Nabors, program manager of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence at the University of Southern California.Also, seniors tend to underestimate their chance of falling.”It’s very easy for people to look at a list of things that they should be concerned about and think, ‘That doesn’t apply to me. I walk just fine. I don’t have trouble with my balance,'” said Dorothy Baker, a research scientist at Yale School of Medicine and executive director of the Connecticut Collaboration for Fall Prevention.What’s the alternative to giving seniors a laundry list of things to do and hope they pay attention? We asked experts around the country for suggestions:Get a fall risk assessment. Doctors should ask older adults three questions about falls: Have you fallen in the past year? Do you feel unsteady when walking or standing? And are you afraid of falling?If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you’re probably a good candidate for a comprehensive fall risk evaluation.Dr. Muriel Gillick, a geriatrician at Harvard Medical School, believes older patients and their families should “clamor” for these assessments. “Tell your doctor, ‘We’re really worried about falls. Can you do this kind of evaluation?'” she said.When you join Medicare, you become eligible for a “Welcome to Medicare” prevention visit, during which doctors should evaluate your chance of falling. (This is a brief screen, not a thorough examination.) Subsequently, seniors are eligible each year for a Medicare annual wellness visit, which offers another chance for a physician to assess your fall risk.If your doctor doesn’t offer these services, ask for a referral to another medical practice, said Leslie Allison, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. Physical therapists can provide an in-depth review of walking, muscle strength and balance, she noted.The CDC’s “Stay Independent” brochure lists 12 fall-related considerations for those interested in doing a self-assessment. Pay attention to the last one, about depression, which alters attention, slows responses and is often overlooked in discussions about falls.Get a personalized plan. A fall assessment should identify risk factors that are specific to you as well as ways to address them.”The goal is to come up with personalized recommendations, which older adults are far more likely to take up than generic non-tailored approaches,” said Elizabeth Phelan, a researcher of falls and associate professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Washington.Related StoriesTop four things seniors need to know to have a safe and healthy summerFive ways to help keep senior citizens safe during summerSocial Security error jeopardizes Medicare coverage for 250,000 seniorsTake programs that address balance, for example. Some are designed for older adults who are frail, some for those who are active, and still others for those in between. “If a senior goes to a program that doesn’t meet her needs, it’s not going to work out,” said Mindy Renfro, associate professor of physical therapy at Touro University Nevada.The single most important intervention is exercise — but not just any kind. Notably, simply walking — the type of exercise most older adults get — won’t help unless seniors have previously been sedentary. “If you’re walking, by all means, don’t stop: It’s good for general health and well-being,” Phelan said. “But to prevent falls, you need to focus on strength and balance.”Exercise such as tai chi or the Otago Exercise Program could improve strength and balance, advises Cameron of the National Council on Aging. She suggested asking an area agency on aging, senior center, YMCA or YWCA about classes. The center also has formed fall prevention coalitions in 43 states. Look for one near you here.A national directory of resources that can help older adults make home modifications is being expanded through a new program led by USC’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. Occupational therapists can evaluate homes and suggest changes to reduce your chance of falling. Ask your physician for a referral.Your doctor’s guidance will be needed to review medications that can contribute to falls. Using three or more psychotropic medications such as opioids, antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines (such as Valium) and “Z” drugs for sleep (such as Ambien) puts seniors at substantial risk, said Dr. Donovan Maust, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School.Be careful during transitions. Older adults coming home from the hospital or starting new medications should be especially careful about falling, because they may be weak, deconditioned, exhausted and disoriented.A new paper from researchers at the University of Michigan and Yale University highlights this risk. They looked at 1.2 million older adults readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged in 2013 and 2014. Fall-related injuries were the third most common reason for readmissions.In other studies, Geoffrey Hoffman, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, has asked seniors and caregivers about their experiences during discharge planning. None remembered receiving information about falls or being advised that they might be at risk.Hospital staffers should discuss fall prevention before older patients leave the hospital, Hoffman said, calling it “a time when it’s critical to intervene on fall risk.”Consider the message. In research studies and focus groups, older adults report they don’t like negative messages surrounding falls such as “You can hurt yourself badly or die if you don’t watch out.””Telling older adults what they need to do to be safe feels patronizing to many people and raises their hackles,” Hoffman said.Instead, seniors respond better to messages such as “taking these steps is going to help you stay independent,” Burns of the CDC said.We’re eager to hear from readers about questions you’d like answered, problems you’ve been having with your care and advice you need in dealing with the health care system. Visit khn.org/columnists to submit your requests or tips. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

Amazon wants to get Alexa into your car

first_imgThe floor of the sprawling Los Angeles Auto Show is filled with fancy vehicles showing off their ultra-flashy, state-of-the-art infotainment systems, with giant screens that drivers really shouldn’t be looking at while driving. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further (c)2018 USA TodayDistributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. (But come on, you know they do.)Inside the car, “it makes more sense to use voice,” says Ned Curic, the vice-president of Amazon’s Alexa Auto division. “You want to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, so using your voice makes more sense.”To that end, Amazon is looking to bring to bring the Alexa personal assistant to autos to help drivers with important tools like mapping and music navigation and to help find the nearest gas station and the like.Curic came to the Auto Show this week to make a pitch to automakers and third-party vendors.He’s not alone. Apple, via its CarPlay system, and Google, with Android Auto, have been targeting the lucrative car market for several years, with the features available as part of step-up packages at the time of car purchases or as stand-alone accessories on sale (for around $250-$500, plus installation) at auto and electronics shops.Amazon will have its own, non-visual device for the car, Echo Auto, available in 2019. It currently sells for $24.99 as a pre-order now, but will be bumped up to $49.99 when it launches. At his presentation, Curic showed slides of car hacks Amazon discovered online, where car owners brought the entry level, compact Echo Dot speaker into the car, hooked it up to the cigarette lighter for power, used the internet signal from their smartphones and got Alexa playing music and offering information.”We realized there was something there,” he said, and got to work on its own device.The end goal is to have manufacturers embed Alexa into the dash entertainment, so that it’s totally seamless, he said.”Connected to a smartphone is one way,” he says. “Our future is all about having Alexa embedded directly into the car, so you don’t have to buy a device. It’s there, it’s integrated, you don’t have to do much, just engage with Alexa.”Audi has a new electric car for 2019, the ($75,000) e-tron, that will do just that, and BMW will add Alexa functionality to all new BMWs produced from March 2018 on beginning next year.Curic hopes to make more announcements in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.Meanwhile, there are several stand-alone products that currently bring Alexa into the car without hacks. They include:—Roav Smartcharge F2: Touts the ability to charge your phone and use it to bring hands-free phone calling and entertainment into the car, via Alexa. It plugs into the cigarette lighter for power and has two USB ports for phones to bring you music and Alexa commands. But fine print alert: The Amazon listing for the $26.74 unit notes that it won’t work with several models by Audi, Honda, Toyota, Dodge, VW, Hyundai, Mazda and Nissan.—Garmin Speak is a $49.99 device that rests on the windshield and connects to the smartphone and the Garmin Speak app. The app directs Alexa to connect to music services like Pandora, offer navigation through Garmin maps and weather information.—Muse Auto Alexa Voice Assistant is a similar $49.99 device that connects to your smartphone to bring in Alexa commands.James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research, says Amazon is in for a challenge getting to automakers, since Apple and Google have been at it for so long, and bring something to table—smartphone devices they make that can be easily connected to the car to connect to the entertainment systems.”Amazon doesn’t have that,” he says.The bigger question, he says, is which personal assistant consumers would want to live with in the car—Siri, Google Assistant or Alexa.While Apple says Siri is the most used personal assistant, producing over 1 billion daily queries, “Alexa blows Siri away in terms of minutes spent,” he says. “Fewer people use Alexa, but they spend more time with it.”center_img Alexa, send up breakfast: Amazon launches Echo for hotels Citation: Amazon wants to get Alexa into your car (2018, November 30) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-amazon-alexa-car.html 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