A new autisticled taskforce has pledged to addres

first_imgA new autistic-led taskforce has pledged to address the “hypocrisy and injustice” that faces autistic people, and make it easier for them to control their own lives, with the help of a £100,000 grant.The National Autistic Taskforce (NAT) is being funded for two years through the grant from the Shirley Foundation, which was awarded because many of the taskforce’s members had worked as advisers to the National Autism Project (NAP), which is also funded by the foundation.Dame Stephanie Shirley, the foundation’s founder, was so grateful for their work that she provided £100,000 funding for an autistic-led project.The leadership of the new taskforce, and all its founding members, are themselves autistic.The focus of the taskforce will be “to help empower autistic adults, including those with less autonomy and higher support needs, to have a stronger voice in the decisions and direction of their own lives”.It was launched at a House of Lords event this week.In a speech to launch the taskforce, the project leader, the autistic lecturer and consultant Dr Damian Milton (pictured), said that although there have been some improvements in public awareness, educational support, and peer-led community support for autistic people, there were still “many gaps in knowledge and service provision” that can lead to “horrendous consequences”.He said: “Whilst there has been much ‘basic science’ research in the field of autism, good quality research and evidence in terms of support strategies, and how best to help autistic people live fulfilling lives, is far less forthcoming.“In the worst cases, this can lead to ill-informed practices that can exacerbate the difficulties faced by autistic people.“This is all the more pertinent for those who are less able to articulate their needs and advocate for themselves in ‘traditional’ ways.”One of the concerns of the taskforce is that significant numbers of autistic people are being denied their freedom through the application of Deprivation of Liberty rules, with many forced into long stays in assessment and treatment units.Among the taskforce’s tasks will be to examine how autistic people can be given more control over their lives, and how to improve access to independent advocacy services, including support provided by autistic advocates, while it is also likely to focus on the failings of the national care regulators, including the Care Quality Commission.A series of NAT working groups, known as GNATs, will look at key topics such as research, care standards, and effective diagnosis.Non-autistic people are being asked to join the working groups, but all of them will have a majority of autistic members.The aim of the GNATs is to be “productive irritants”, pushing for action on government policies and how they are put into practice.There will also be a new website, AutNav, aimed at autistic people and people with learning difficulties.Although the taskforce is a two-year project, the aim of one of the GNATs is to look at how to make NAT a self-sustaining body.Dinah Murray, a member of the NAT strategy board, and strategy adviser to the taskforce, told Disability News Service: “We are basing our practice on the key autistic strength of atypically strong and pressing interests: we see hypocrisy, injustice, and the failure of the whole legislative infrastructure blatantly before us, in regard to people for whom we have exceptional fellow feeling, and it really fires us up.  “We are also highly solution focussed as part of our autistic dispositions. We want to shake things up and we are not afraid to try.”She said there were “appalling injustices going on” and that they had “the shared expertise, passionate commitment and tough mindedness to drive needed change”.She said there were widespread “negative attitudes and poorly thought out practices”, but “the most gravely abusive treatment is of people with the highest care needs”, such as Connor Sparrowhawk, whose death in 2013 in an NHS care unit led to the Justice for LB campaign.She said autistic people were facing “incarceration, forced drugging, distant re-location, fatal neglect, absent access to communication support, imposed life decisions made without consultation [and] excluded family and friends”.Murray said: “We have sources of deep knowledge in these areas and we have an intensely committed team determined to change things; we are solution focussed, flexible and seeking justice.”She said she believed it was the first time an autistic-led project had been given such significant funding “without specific requirements about how it should be spent”.Murray said the project showed “a shift in the power balance”, and was an example of co-production “based on a history of earned mutual respect”.She said it followed “an acknowledged autistic success” in which she and other autistic members of the taskforce had had enough “common purpose” and “will” to work successfully with the National Autism Project, even though they had originally thought the project was “misconceived”.The National Autism Project aims to provide “authoritative” recommendations on autism research and practice and “raise awareness at government level and among funders” of the benefits of greater investment.A report by the project, published in January, found that the failure to base support for autistic people on the best available evidence came at “an unacceptable human and unsustainable financial cost”.The challenges, it found, were “exacerbated by the limited investment in research to fill the many gaps in that evidence”. Milton told the House of Lords event: “The National Autistic Taskforce is a vital opportunity for the autistic community and its allies to work together to turn the core principles of the National Autism Project into reality.“Namely: personalised actions, choice and control, addressing inequalities, and a life-long perspective.”Dame Stephanie, whose late son was autistic, said: “The National Autistic Taskforce is a hugely exciting project.“It takes us to the next level – a group of independent autistic people determining what they will focus on, who they will bring in and how they will work together.“I’m confident they will have a major impact on how we think about autism as a society.”last_img read more

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A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… The Employment Tribunal has dealt with almost 60 claims of disability discrimination taken against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by its own staff over a 20-month period, new research has shown.A database on the Employment Tribunal website shows that, since it began publishing its findings in February 2017, it has dealt with 57 cases that include claims of disability discrimination by DWP across England, Scotland and Wales.The website’s database appears to show that DWP (with an estimated 75,000 staff) has the worst record on disability discrimination of any large government department, with 20 cases against the Home Office (which has about 30,000 staff), 32 against the Ministry of Justice (about 70,000 staff) and 29 against HM Revenue and Customs (about 60,000 staff).Of the 57 DWP cases published by the Employment Tribunal, about 30 were eventually withdrawn.But a leading employment discrimination lawyer said that such cases will “almost certainly” have been withdrawn because the two sides had reached a confidential agreement.It is not possible to produce exact numbers, but of the other cases, at least a dozen appear to be either still ongoing or to have resulted in a finding that DWP had discriminated against a disabled employee, with at least six concerning discrimination against staff with mental health conditions.The number of well-founded allegations made by its own disabled staff should prove an embarrassment to ministers, particularly because DWP is responsible for the much-criticised Disability Confident scheme, which aims to help employers recruit and retain disabled employees.DWP claims to be a Disability Confident “Leader”, the highest of the scheme’s three levels.Dr Minh Alexander, a former consultant psychiatrist and NHS whistleblower, who carried out most of the research, said the figures demonstrated the department’s incompetence and showed that it did not understand disability, particularly mental health.She decided to check the tribunal database after hearing how DWP was forcing charities delivering services on its behalf to sign contracts preventing them from attracting “adverse publicity” to the department.She said: “It made sense that if they are were abusing their power in one area, they were abusing their power elsewhere.“I was staggered at the number of claims. Just the sheer number suggests there is likely to be an issue with DWP as an employer. They are not managing their people properly.“It goes to the heart of the agency’s competency. It just implies so much bullying.”David Gillon, a disabled campaigner and one of the most prominent critics of the Disability Confident scheme, said: “Over and above its Disability Confident Leader status, DWP is the very hub of Disability Confident.“Its performance around disability should be an example to every other employer in the country.“Disabled people as its customers have long known this is not the case, with even DWP ministers admitting it has lost our trust; the data from the tribunal service shows that that failure extends to its own employees.”He added: “Disability Confident, even at its most basic level, commits an employer to work with a disabled employee to retain them in employment.“A Disability Confident Leader should leave no stone unturned in seeking to keep disabled people in their jobs. Every one of these cases is an instance where DWP failed to do that.”Gillon also pointed out that the first six months of the cases on the tribunal website were at a time when the government was still charging employees to take cases to tribunal, with fees even higher for discrimination claims.Those fees were ruled to be unlawful by the Supreme Court in July 2017, and were subsequently scrapped, but the government’s own research had already shown that the introduction of fees in 2013 had seen the number of cases received by the tribunal falling from about 60,000 in the year to June 2013 to about 19,000 in the year to September 2015.Gillon said this suggested that even more cases against DWP would have been taken to tribunal if it was not for the fees.Detailed examination of some of the cases in which the tribunal ruled against DWP show at least six of them involved staff members with experience of mental distress.Only last week, ministers hosted a global summit on mental health, where health and social care secretary Matt Hancock asked the question: “Have we done enough to tackle the stigma, prejudice and discrimination that people with mental health conditions endure?”Hancock also announced at the summit in central London that the UK had joined Australia and Canada in launching the Alliance of Champions of Mental Health and Wellbeing.In one case, the tribunal said DWP had produced no “satisfactory evidence” to explain why its Cumbria and Lancashire district had sacked 10 people in 2016 because of “work-related stress”.The former employee, who described to the tribunal that the way he had been treated by DWP had been “intimidating, demoralising and offensive, degrading, humiliating”, was awarded nearly £50,000 in compensation.In another “serious case”, a tribunal judge concluded that DWP’s behaviour was “contrary” to its own “mission statements” on supporting disabled employees in the workplace.A third case in which the tribunal found against DWP involved a work coach with several impairments, including anxiety and depression, who had been working at a Manchester jobcentre.The panel heard that there had been only eight people in her team when there should have been 12.Another case saw the tribunal find that DWP had discriminated against a disabled member of staff with long-term mental ill-health, postnatal depression and arthritis, while a fifth case saw a tribunal find DWP had discriminated against a personal independence payment case manager with long-term depression.A sixth case of disability discrimination involving an employee with a mental health condition saw the tribunal find that DWP had failed to support the staff member “in any meaningful way”, concluding: “She was not given adequate time to recover; her representations about her return to work were not taken into account nor was the point properly medically investigated.”DWP last night (Wednesday) failed to explain why managers in its Cumbria and Lancashire district had dismissed 10 members of staff as a result of work-related stress during 2016.But in a statement, a DWP spokeswoman said: “DWP is absolutely committed to ensuring all staff, including those with disabilities or health conditions, get the support they need to thrive.“The department has a duty of care to its employees and aims to lead by example when it comes to the protection of employees from discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.“It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of disability and all employers should abide by UK law, including discrimination legislation.”DWP also said that the number of tribunal cases was proportionately very small, that it provided a range of mental health support, and had pledged to train another 500 mental health first aiders in 2019-20, taking the total to 700.DWP also claims to have improved the procedures for managing excessive sickness absence by putting employees at the heart of its decision-making, and to have improved its discipline and grievance procedures, while it said it was also working to improve the quality of its internal appeals.DWP said it only dismissed staff after extended sick leave and its occupational health experts had indicated that a return to good health and work was unlikely within a reasonable time period.DWP said it had a comprehensive stress policy and procedures, including a stress self-assessment toolkit and a mental wellbeing toolkit that sign-posts staff to a wide range of support.And it said it provided a comprehensive range of programmes, workshops and e-learning to support wellbeing, mindfulness and resilience in the workplace.last_img read more

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The rail industry is breaching its duties under th

first_imgThe rail industry is breaching its duties under the Equality Act by failing to ensure that vital buttons and other fixtures and fittings on different trains are always positioned in the same location, say disabled trade unionists.Union members called on the Department for Transport (DfT) to ensure that rail companies standardise the positioning of key features on their trains, such as buttons and levers on external and internal doors and door-locking levers on toilet doors.Their failing design policies are acting as a “major barrier” to promoting independent travel for disabled passengers, they said.Delegates at the TUC’s annual Disabled Workers’ Conference in Bournemouth said DfT needed to ensure that its procurement policies led to a standard approach to design across the whole rail network.They also expressed their “disgust” that Great Western Railway (GWR) had been allowed to introduce inaccessible new class 800 intercity express carriages built by Hitachi (pictured).Delegates also backed an amendment from the RMT union that supported the need for a guard on every train, and adequately staffed stations.John Haynes, from the TSSA transport union, said standardisation would “give people confidence” to know where to find buttons, levers and how to open doors.He said: “Accessibility is not just about getting on and off, it’s about having the confidence to travel, to take away the barriers, to give people the right to independence.”He said the new GWR trains only had two accessible toilets, one of them in first class, with the other in a standard class carriage that had no spaces for wheelchair-users.He said: “That is disgraceful in this day and age. Questions need to be asked: how did that design come about?“This motion condemns those people who allowed that train to come into service.”He said this was “a step back 40 years” and was “a disgrace” because wheelchair-users would be forced to travel in the vestibule at the end of the carriage if they wanted access to the accessible toilet.Andy Worth, from Unite, also called for standardised access on all trains, both new and old.He said: “For too many years, the trains we use have had different provision and facilities.“This makes it very difficult and confusing for disabled passengers to have a comfortable journey.“We have been campaigning for standardised access for a long time.“Disabled passengers can get on a train with buttons on the right-hand side and get on another one with buttons on the left-hand side.“We need to continue to make this demand for standardised access across all trains and across all stations.“We need to campaign to make sure DfT makes it a mandatory requirement that all rail stock and stations have standardised access provisions and facilities, including all fixtures and fittings.”Emily Brothers, from the GMB union, said the rail industry had successfully lobbied in the 1990s for a lengthy implementation period for rail access regulations, as part of the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act.She said: “Twenty-odd years later they are still procrastinating and not bringing in carriages, rolling stock that are standardised or accessible, as we have seen with Great Western and Hitachi. That is not acceptable.“It is time for disabled people to be able to freely travel when they need to, to have the support of guards on all trains, to have a way in which they can find access on the train but also to get off the train on any station and get onto another or access the local environment.”A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

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The Touch Furniture Closes Leaving Nearly a Block of Mission St Vacant

first_img 0% After 11 years in business and a move from Valencia to Mission Street, the midcentury furniture store The Touch has closed.The owner’s brother-in-law, who was clearing out the remaining inventory at 2221 Mission St, said a health complication had prompted the owner to close the store.Mission Street between 18th and 19th Street now sports a dense cluster of empty storefronts. The vacancies begin at the corner of 18th and Mission streets with the long-vacant former dollar store on the corner.  There’s also the recently shuttered Goodwill, the former New Starlight Furniture, the now-empty religious reading room,  and the restaurant that was briefly Hapa Ramen and then temporarily Citizen Fox.The space formerly occupied by New Starlight Furniture Tags: Business Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img The Christian Reading Room has been closed for some time now.The space formerly occupied by Hapa Ramen and then Citizen Fox.A notice in the window at a recently closed Goodwill. last_img read more

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April 2019 Roar of the Crowd

first_imgIf you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. Leave them blank to get signed up. This Week in Texas(Weekly)The best stories from Texas Monthly Enter your email address Subscribe Sign UpI agree to the terms and conditions. Subscribe now, or to get 10 days of free access, sign up with your email. Cancel anytime. You’ve read your last free article Sign up for free access Why am I seeing this? Hope you enjoyed your free ride. To get back in the saddle, subscribe!center_img Editor’s Desk(Monthly)A message from the editors at Texas Monthly When I think about all the things I truly love about Texas, there y’all are, hangin’ like a hair in a biscuit.Joe Kimbrough, AustinEditors’ note: Upon receipt of Kimbrough’s letter, the editorial department wrestled with the true meaning of “Hangin’ like a hair in a biscuit.” “He really doesn’t like us,” opined one editor. Said another, “Maybe he meant to say, ‘There y’all are, hangin’ on like a hair on a biscuit.’ In other words, ‘Stay the course!’ ” Even a fact-checker couldn’t crack the code: “The further down this hole I go, the less I know.” In the end, we returned to the source. Says Kimbrough: “Apologies to those it may have offended, but rest assured it was meant as a sincere compliment, akin to determination or tenacity. In a more literal sense, the question as to whether it would even be a problem is directly related to how good the biscuit is. No sense wastin’ a good biscuit.” The State of Texas(Daily)A daily digest of Texas news, plus the latest from Texas Monthly Already a subscriber? Login or link your subscription. Last Name First Name We publish reader letters in every issue of Texas Monthly. Below is feedback for our February 2019 collector’s issue. Have something to tell us? You can write to us here.Double-dipping The February issue [“Love Letters to Texas,” Special Collector’s Issue] had a double whammy for me: “Tex-Mex 101” [August 2003] and “Conversations With a Grasshopper” [March 2004]. The food described by Patricia Sharpe is exactly what I have been trying to explain to the many misguided people who think queso is a gourmet dish unto itself and deep-fried chipotle-flavored asparagus is a delicacy. Additionally, S. C. Gwynne’s beautifully worded article on being alone in Big Bend was a pleasure to read. Thank you to both.Kay McBrayer, San Marcos Loved your story on Tex-Mex. Do you remember Casita Jorges, which I guess has morphed into [Austin Tex-Mex chain] Maudie’s? I went to the University of Texas from 1976 to 1979 and started out with Jorge in his first small place on East Sixth, when he was in the kitchen. He was a terrific guy, and we became friends. I was from Pittsburgh, and he loved that, and when I came into his place he would yell out in his accent, “Hey, Peetsbugh! Come eat!” He invited me over to his family’s home for certain holidays, and it was lovely. That was how I, being from the North, learned about Tex-Mex, chili on the enchiladas, queso, and no cilantro! When I graduated and moved to New York City in 1979, I would call him and he would freeze some of his food and FedEx it to me! I was in Austin recently for the first time in a long time and went to Maudie’s and had those enchiladas, which they do credit to him, and it almost made me cry with memory and delight!Joel Peresman, New York Dear JohnNo doubt I am late to the party, but I just wanted to add my thanks to others you have surely received for your inclusion of “The Will of God” [December 2015] in February’s issue of some of your greatest hits. John Spong’s fine tribute to his father is the only article I have ever clipped and saved from Texas Monthly in over twenty years of reading it, and it was great to see it included in full.Margaret Rogers, DallasTen-gallon Mouths Regarding Anne Dingus’s “Colorful Texas Sayings” [December 1994]: I have a list of sayings that I have collected through the years, and after reading the many listed in the February issue, I am going to add to my list. I might add my personal favorites. Charity: “Don’t thump a free melon.” Sloth: “Poor planning on your part doesn’t make it an emergency on my part.”Tony Willis, Texas City Never Miss a StorySign up for Texas Monthly’s State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily.last_img read more

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Was Apollo 11 a Beginning or an End

first_imgThis Week in Texas(Weekly)The best stories from Texas Monthly Sign UpI agree to the terms and conditions. Editor’s Desk(Monthly)A message from the editors at Texas Monthly If you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. Leave them blank to get signed up. Apollo 11 was immediately celebrated as a signal human achievement. Greeting Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins after they returned to Earth, President Richard Nixon said, “This is the greatest week in the history of the world since the Creation!” And in the decades since, the moon landing has only grown in reputation. NASA has called it humanity’s “single greatest technological achievement of all time,” and polling has shown a steady increase in the public’s belief that the space program was worth its high cost. Pop culture touchstones like The Right Stuff and Apollo 13 have celebrated the courage and resourcefulness of the original astronauts and the genius of the engineers and scientists who powered them into the heavens. Watch oversaturated 1960s footage of one of those mighty Saturn V rockets erupting off the ground and try not to swoon.   But as the moon landing’s fiftieth anniversary nears, new books and documentaries have arrived to remind us that our great American space epic was not, in fact, a frictionless succession of missions accomplished and ticker-tape parades. Even the most hagiographic offerings have moments that serve as correctives to our rose-tinted public memory. Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11, by the Dallas writer James Donovan, is a largely familiar tale, a greatest-hits retelling of the Space Age from Sputnik to the moon landing. Donovan thrills at the celebrity of the Mercury Seven; mourns the deaths of Apollo 1 crew Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee; and, in the book’s best section, delivers a bravura ticktock of Apollo 11, with the Mission Control pencil pushers watching anxiously through thick clouds of cigarette smoke as Armstrong, a flyboy with the composure of a Zen monk, improvises a landing on the lunar surface before offering the world his inscrutable “One small step for man” koan.But Shoot for the Moon isn’t all hero worship. Throughout the book, Donovan sprinkles in reminders that the public’s ambivalence about the quest to put astronauts on the moon continued long after Kennedy’s speech to Congress. Four years later, in 1965, Gallup found that only 39 percent of Americans thought the U.S. should do everything possible to beat the Soviet Union to the moon. Dwight Eisenhower had dismissed the need for a robust manned spaceflight program in the fifties, and he spent his post-presidency grumbling about the Apollo program, calling it “a mad effort to win a stunt race.” As Douglas Brinkley’s new history, American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race, makes clear, Eisenhower was far from alone.Brinkley, a Rice University professor, focuses on the birth of the moon shot, taking us back a century earlier to show its roots in fantasy. French novelist Jules Verne imagined, in 1865, that the first lunar mission would involve three American astronauts launched from Florida, and American rocket innovator Robert Goddard announced, in 1920, that he had received applications from nine men who wanted to ride one of his ships to the moon. But Brinkley also notes that making a serious attempt to reach the moon was far from inevitable.During the presidential campaign, Kennedy had hammered the Eisenhower administration for falling behind the Soviet Union in the space race, but in his early months in office, “Kennedy had adopted much the same cautious position toward space as his predecessor,” Brinkley writes. “Rather than focusing on headline-grabbing space launches, Kennedy was looking elsewhere for measurable accomplishment.”Even after issuing his moon shot challenge, the young president expressed doubts and offered inconsistent rationales for why it was worth it. In his famous 1962 speech at Rice University, Kennedy rallied a crowd of 40,000 by promising that “new hopes for knowledge and peace” would come from exploring the moon and beyond. Two months later, in a private conversation with NASA administrator James Webb, the president declared himself “not that interested in space” and said that “the only justification” for the Apollo program’s lavish expenditures was “to beat [the Soviets].” Then Kennedy seemed to waffle on the idea that the moon shot was a geopolitical competition. In September 1963 he proposed in a speech to the UN General Assembly that the U.S. and Soviet Union join together for a binational moon mission. When that proposal led nowhere, the president once more adopted a hawkish pose. On the afternoon of November 22, 1963, he was scheduled to discuss the Apollo program with the Dallas Citizens Council and tell them that “the United States of America has no intent of finishing second in space.” Last Name Never Miss a StorySign up for Texas Monthly’s State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily. The State of Texas(Daily)A daily digest of Texas news, plus the latest from Texas Monthly NASA, too, has developed something of a global consciousness. The agency may be best known today for its unmanned exploration of the solar system and the Hubble Space Telescope’s photographs of distant galaxies and black holes, but NASA also closely monitors the earth. It was a NASA scientist, James Hansen, who spurred global awareness of climate change with his dramatic 1988 testimony to Congress, and the agency’s Earth Science division has used a global network of satellites to track our planet’s changing atmospheric conditions. Even now, under the direct control of a White House that has sought to undermine climate science, the agency remains clear-eyed. NASA’s website documents the warming of Earth’s oceans, the shrinking of our ice sheets, and the growing prevalence of extreme weather events. The agency has no doubt about the cause: “most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century.”If the Apollo program’s great achievement was to demonstrate that with enough money, courage, and scientific know-how we can do what seems impossible, then perhaps its example can help us tackle the great challenge that NASA sees bearing down on our planet right now. This would, in fact, be in keeping with Apollo’s history.Toward the end of Chasing the Moon, Stone shows archival footage of the Apollo 11 crew’s worldwide goodwill tour. The astronauts have suddenly become international heroes, and everywhere they go, adoring throngs greet them. At press conferences, reporters ask Armstrong and Aldrin how it felt to be there. They often struggle with the answer, but in Stone’s film, we watch the habitually taciturn Armstrong respond to one such question with poetry.“As we looked up from the surface of the moon  we could see above us the planet Earth, and it was very small, but it was very beautiful,” Armstrong says to the crowd of foreign reporters. “And it looked like an oasis in the heavens. And we thought it was very important, at that point, for us and men everywhere to save that planet, as a beautiful oasis that we together can enjoy, for all the future.”  The plan seemed preposterous. John F. Kennedy was just 43 years old, and he’d been president of the United States for just four months—a rough four months. So far, his attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro had ended in quick and utter disaster at the Bay of Pigs, and the Soviet Union had beaten the U.S. to outer space, launching cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into orbit and bringing him home onto the Russian steppe. Now here was Kennedy, on the afternoon of May 25, 1961, in front of a joint session of Congress, offering up what his national security adviser, McGeorge Bundy, had referred to as a “grandstand play.”“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth,” Kennedy said.Congress greeted Kennedy’s cri de coeur with a smattering of applause. The president’s longtime speechwriter, Ted Sorensen, thought Kennedy sensed that “the audience was skeptical if not hostile.” A Gallup poll taken a week before the speech found that only 33 percent of Americans thought the nation should spend an estimated $40 billion to land a man on the moon. (The final bill ended up being $25 billion allocated over the course of a decade, about $180 billion in today’s dollars.)Fiscal conservatives fumed. “We’re going to go broke with this nonsense!” remarked the president’s own father, former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Joseph Kennedy. Scientists thought Kennedy’s proposed time span was fanciful. The Austrian theoretical physicist Hans Thirring told U.S. News and World Report, “I am quite sure it will not be done within the next 10 years, and I think it very likely not to happen within the next 30 years or 40 years.” And social reformers would come to see the Apollo program as a drain on needed resources. Whitney Young, president of the National Urban League, noted that America could “lift every poor person in the country above the official poverty standard” for a fraction of the cost of putting two men on the moon.   But on July 16, 1969, five and a half months before the end of the decade, a million people packed the beaches and highways of the Atlantic coast of Central Florida to watch the launch of Apollo 11. That morning, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins had woken up long before dawn and eaten the traditional NASA pre-mission breakfast of steak and eggs. As 9:32 a.m. approached, the three astronauts were sitting in their cramped command module atop a 363-foot, three-stage Saturn V rocket, going through their final preparations before countdown. Television viewers in 33 different countries watched as the Saturn V’s five engines reached their maximum thrust of 7.6 million pounds, lurching the spaceship into the air. For the next four days, the world kept following the mission’s progress as the crew flew 230,000 miles, entered the moon’s orbit, and finally touched down on the dusty lunar surface. “Houston, Tranquility Base here,” Armstrong reported back to Earth. “The Eagle has landed.” Brinkley argues that Kennedy’s death ensured that the moon shot would have enough funding to meet its before-the-decade-is-out deadline. Delaying or canceling the program became politically untenable. “From 1964 to 1969,” Brinkley writes, “whenever Congress considered gutting the Apollo programs, [President] Johnson evoked the martyred JFK with don’t-you-dare political mastery.”Hundreds of spectators—many of whom had camped out the night before—wait for the launch of Apollo 11 at Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969.NASAWhen the Apollo 11 crew landed safely back on Earth, the idea that the mission was only the start of the Space Age was widely held. In just over a decade, NASA had built three different generations of spaceships, blasted humans into orbit, sent astronauts outside their vehicles to “walk” in the void of space, and finally orchestrated the dizzying spectacle of the moon landing. The Wright brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk had spurred decades of innovations that had forever changed the nature of war, travel, and trade on planet Earth. The space program seemed to offer the possibility of similarly radical results. “I thought at the time it was the beginning of something,” says the former Mission Control technician Poppy Northcutt during the close of Chasing the Moon, director Robert Stone’s gorgeous, often bittersweet documentary on the space race, which premieres on PBS’s American Experience in early July. “I thought it was the beginning of moving out to other planets.” Instead, in January 1970, NASA announced it would be shrinking its workforce by 50,000 over the next eighteen months. The agency’s budget, which reached a high of 4.4 percent of federal spending in 1966, dipped under 1 percent by 1975 and is now half a percent of the total. Over the past three decades, presidents George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have all announced bold goals for human space exploration, with planned return trips to the moon, landings on asteroids, and voyages to Mars. None of these ambitions have come anywhere close to being realized. This past March, Vice President Mike Pence declared that NASA would send astronauts back to the moon by the end of 2024 “by any means necessary.” Don’t bet on it. Since the retirement of the space shuttle, in 2011, the United States hasn’t even had the capacity to launch humans into orbit, much less embark on a far more difficult and costly moon mission. The pronouncements of private space moguls have been no more reliable. SpaceX founder Elon Musk said in 2017 that he would land humans on Mars and lay the foundation for a colony there in 2024, but the spaceship that would actually take those first settlers there is still a far-off concept. SpaceX was slated to begin ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station in 2015 as part of a NASA contract. It has yet to launch its first manned mission. Virgin Galactic, founded by the British billionaire Richard Branson, began selling $200,000 tickets to space in 2004. In the fifteen years since, the company has flown a grand total of zero customers, and four people have died during testing. In the epilogue of Shoot for the Moon, Donovan asserts, “A new spirit of space exploration is in the air,” but if there is a new spirit, it’s mostly wishful thinking. The astrophysicist and television host Neil deGrasse Tyson offers a more believable assessment of the state of manned space exploration in his 2012 book Space Chronicles. “Unless we have a reprise of the geopolitical circumstances that dislodged $200 billion for space travel from taxpayers’ wallets in the 1960s,” Tyson writes, “I will remain unconvinced that we will ever send Homo sapiens anywhere beyond low Earth orbit.” So was Eisenhower right? Was Apollo a stunt? Did all those billions give us the world’s greatest photo op—Neil, Buzz, and an American flag on the surface of the moon—a propaganda victory over the Russians, and nothing else? As a kickoff to a new Age of Exploration, Apollo was certainly a dud. No human being has left low Earth orbit since 1972, much less set foot on another celestial body.Apollo defenders point to scientific and technological discoveries to justify the program. As Brinkley writes in American Moonshot, Apollo “teed up the technology-based economy the United States enjoys today,” leading to innovations in everything from computing to lightweight materials and meteorological forecasting. But these were all spin-off technologies that could have been developed for far less than $180 billion. The key engineering feats that powered the moon mission, the Saturn V rocket, in particular, did not spur the creation of bigger and better successors. In Space Chronicles, Tyson notes that “unlike . . . the first airplane or the first desktop computer—artifacts that make us all chuckle when we see them today—the first rocket to the Moon, the Saturn V, elicits awe, even reverence.” The last of those rockets, lying inert at a few museums, including Houston’s Johnson Space Center, stand like Gothic cathedrals. We stare and wonder how a culture ever marshaled the time, resources, and expertise to create something so intricate and grand.Still, Apollo has had psychic benefits that are hard to quantify. It is now our most potent national myth. The word “moon shot” has come to signify a go-for-broke effort to do the impossible. The phrase “If we can put a man on the moon, then—” starts many sentences asserting that seemingly intractable problems may not, in fact, be so intractable. And, unlike the Manhattan Project, a grand American project that resulted in the prospect of nuclear annihilation, Apollo 11 was the realization of an ancient and benign dream.After returning from space, a number of astronauts have talked about how the experience shifted their perspective on Earth, a phenomenon called the overview effect. Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell famously said, “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it.” Enter your email address First Namelast_img read more

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SAINTS began life at Langtree Park with a 3810 wi

first_imgSAINTS began life at Langtree Park with a 38-10 win over Salford.But it didn’t go all to plan as they had to come back from 10 points down to break their opponent’s resilience.Tries from Jodie Broughton and Ashley Gibson gave Salford a deserved lead.Royce Simmons’ men had a lot of possession yet only had a solitary try to show for their endeavours.The Reds on the other hand attacked with purpose and looked dangerous on every set.Saints started the second half in the ascendency and made that pressure tell through James Roby and Francis Meli.Two from Andy Dixon sandwiched a sweet Jon Wilkin score and ensured Saints are two from two this season.Simmons said in midweek he was prepared to rotate his squad to make sure all his players get valuable game time earlier in the season.So Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook was left out of the side for the return of Tony Puletua, whilst Ade Gardner came in for the injured Jamie Foster.Familiar looking names on the Salford teamsheet included Matty Ashurst and Matty Smith.It was an emotional start to the match with a parade of legends, ribbon cutting and Tom Van Vollenhoven bringing out the match ball.And it was nearly the perfect start from Saints as Salford struggled to get out of their own half and on the return, Tommy Makinson was just held up on his back.Salford then forced a drop out and from the resultant pressure Jodie Broughton plunged over in the corner thanks to a fine pass from Joel Moon. Daniel Holdsworth hitting the post with his conversion.Sia Soliola almost replied with a typical bulldozing run but the ball was lost over the line.Salford then hit Saints again on 25 minutes.The ball was kept alive and the City Reds got two on one on the right, chipped ahead and Ashley Gibson cleaned up.Soliola was awarded a try via benefit of the doubt and then Lee Gaskell was inches away.But moments later Hohaia produced a neat kick through for Makinson to touch down – but he was pulled back for the knock on.Salford then went straight up the end of the field and Gibson found himself held up on his back – thanks to a superb double tackle from Hohaia and Dixon.Saints knocked on the door early in the second half but Wheeler was just in touch as the ball was pushed right.But on their next set they got the try their pressure deserved. Another chip through and this time Roby put down under pressure.Makinson levelling matters.With their tails up Saints came good once again, carving open the Salford defence and using some great last play handling skills to give Meli a fine score – his 111st in 171 appearances.Lomax and Gaskell both involved.Dixon popped up next for his second in two matches and then Jon Wilkin got his Testimonial season off to a great start.Makinson adding his fourth.And then Soliola fed Dixon for his second – all off the great work from Lee Gaskell who flew down the pitch to set up Saints’ field position.Anthony Laffranchi pushed through at the end and that brought up 38 unanswered points for the home side and ended a satisfying, emotional and historic night at Langtree Park.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Soliola, Roby, Meli, Dixon (2), Wilkin, LaffranchiGoals: Makinson (5 from 7)Salford:Tries: Broughton, GibsonGoals: Holdsworth (1 from 2)Penalties:Saints: 7Salford: 5HT: 4-10FT: 38-10REF: Richard SilverwoodATT: 15537Teams:Saints:6. Lance Hohaia; 21. Tommy Makinson, 17. Gary Wheeler, 5. Francis Meli, 2. Ade Gardner; 20. Lee Gaskell, 7. Jonny Lomax; 11. Tony Puletua, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 13. Chris Flannery, 4. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin.Subs: 8. Josh Perry, 16. Paul Clough, 19. Andrew Dixon, 24. Nathan Ashe.Salford:1. Luke Patten; 2. Jodie Broughton, 18. Ashley Gibson, 4. Joel Moon, 5. Danny Williams; 6. Daniel Holdsworth, 7. Matty Smith; 12. Shannan McPherson, 24. Stuart Howarth, 20. Ben Gledhill, 16. Luke Adamson, 11. Matty Ashurst, 13. Stephen Wild.Subs: 8. Lee Jewitt, 14. Chris Nero, 15. Adam Sidlow, 23. Garath Owen.A short audio match report of this game can be downloaded here.last_img read more

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RUGBY League World Cup 2013 announced today that t

first_imgRUGBY League World Cup 2013 announced today that the England v Ireland game at Huddersfield is the first game to sell out. Organisers are confident that the tournament will be the best attended Rugby League World Cup ever.Since the Super League and NRL Grand Finals, interest in RLWC2013 has grown massively with ticket sales rising day by day as the tournament rolls out the final stages of its marketing strategy. RLWC2013 Tournament Director Nigel Wood said: “The immediate pre-tournament period was always seen as crucial to the success of RLWC2013 and I am delighted that our marketing team have succeeded in getting the tournament talked about everywhere and in every medium.“More than 35,000 people are visiting the RLWC2013 website every day, and we have had to disappoint some people as, quite frankly, certain category tickets are simply sold out.”In addition to the sell out at Huddersfield, fans have also been clamouring for tickets at other venues.There are no seating tickets left  at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington where New Zealand take on Samoa, nor the Workington games where Scotland take on Tonga and Italy.In addition the Main Stand is completely sold out at Rochdale where Fiji play Ireland.And at Langtree Park, where Australia take on Fiji on November 2, tickets are going well.Wood added: “It’s not just the smaller venues that are going well. The three flag ship, premium, events are well on the way to setting new records.“The event at Cardiff is really one not to be missed. An amazing Opening Ceremony is followed by arguably the biggest game in international Rugby League when England take on Australia and co-hosts Wales play a fascinating-looking Italy team. All this under the closed roof of the Millennium Stadium points to an extraordinary opening day for this tournament.“The Rugby League World Cup Final also continues to attract huge numbers. 60,000 tickets have now gone for the event at Old Trafford on November 30 as it also heads for a sell-out. We have already had to open up new parts of Wembley for the double header semi-final.”RLWC2013 Marketing Manager Mark Foster added: “Fans are catching World Cup fever and the level of interest in the England team has been enormous as Huddersfield shows. The good news is fans can still get great value for money tickets to see them at their games in Cardiff and Hull.“Fans can also get to many other fantastic games across the country. I’d say to both Rugby League fans and lovers of great sport: The best players in the world are coming to play in your back yard. Be there and be part of it.”To make sure you’ll #bethere buy now at www.rlwc2013.com/tickets or call the 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.last_img read more

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But more importantly it was a chance to put the ra

first_imgBut more importantly it was a chance to put the rather scratchy performance in the South of France behind them and start to play with a degree of confidence.This they did in style with an eight try 40-12 demolition of the Wolves at a fleeingly cold Ruskin Drive on Sunday.Watched by Head Coach Justin Holbrook, the Saints got off to the best of starts with Tom Nisbet going one better than his counterpart Sean Croston by scoring in the left corner.Croston was inches away from converting Jack Welsby’s neat grubber in the opposite corner but on the next set, aided by a couple of penalties, Nisbet took Welsby’s floated miss pass to open the scoring in the corner.The best try of the afternoon was ruled out for a dubious forward pass. Callum Hazzard’s great short pass put Elliott Jenkins through and he put Cameron Brown on a 50 metre sprint to the sticks before the intervention from the touch judge.Undaunted the Saints pack, led by Alex Eckley and Jorge Lewtas, continued to pound the visitors and it was Hazzard who again broke the line sending Chris Follin on a 30 metre run. His quick play the ball gained another penalty which, when taken quickly, gave Welsby the chance to dummy his way over. Hazzard was finally close enough to negotiate the swirling wind and convert the score.There was still time enough for the Saints right side to butcher a try before the interval.Within five minutes of the restart all of the first half dominance was wiped out as the Wolves strolled in for two converted tries which gave them all the confidence in the world to bring the fight to the Saints.The Saints needed to re-boot and get back to first half basics which is exactly what they did.Ten minutes in, aided by three penalties on the trot, quick hands saw Josh Simm go over down the left and the Wolves were teetering.A few minutes later and the bubble burst as Chris Follin, having his best game for a while, ran a great line to score by the posts.On the hour wonderful goal line desperation from Jenkins and Simm saved a certain try by holding their much bigger opponent up over the line.As the time went on the Saints superior possession in both halves finally took its toll on the Wolves as they conceded three tries in the final quarter of an hour.Firstly, hooker Paul Nash spotted a gap close to the line and nipped over for a smartly taken try.Then Cam Brown ran 50 metres to the line to finish off a smartly taken interception from the hugely impressive Jorge Lewtas. Despite being roared on from the side lines the big prop took the sensible option looking for the speedster outside.The Saints’ eighth and final try fittingly saw full back Welsby chime into the line for his brace. As he had done numerous times, he ghosted through the line before sublimely standing up the fullback with a delightful in and out move beating him to the line.Two matches in to a long campaign no-one is going to get carried away but there were huge positives to take away from today’s victory.Elliott Jenkins showed maturity and a fine degree of deft handling controlling the middle along with hookers Nash and Brandon O’Neill.Welsby chiming into the line was a constant thorn in the Wolves side.Alex Eckley and the resurgent Follin took the line forward but the stand out players exhibiting newfound discipline combined with the usual powerful running, Jorge Lewtas and a leadership and eye for a gap, Callum Hazzard.Match Summary:Saints U19s:Tries: Sean Croston (7), Tom Nisbett (18), Jack Welsby (29 & 73), Josh Simm (50), Chris Follin (57), Paul Nash (65), Cameron Brown (69). Goals: Callum Hazzard 4 from 7, Tom Nisbett 0 from 1.Warrington U19s:Tries: Jack Wright (42), Joe Edge (45). Goals: Joe Edge 2 from 2.Half Time: 14-0 Full Time: 40-12Teams:Saints: 1. Jack Welsby; 5. Sean Croston, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Josh Simm, 2. Tom Nisbett; 6. Jake Wingfield, 7. Elliott Jenkins; 8. Alex Eckley, 9. Paul Nash, 10. Jorge Lewtas, 11. Chris Follin, 12. Sam Royle, 13. Callum Hazzard. Subs: 14. Brandon O’Neill, 15. Joe Sharratt, 16. Christian Kellett, 17. Matty Foster.Warrington: 1. Joe Edge; 2. Liam Brinksman, 3. Liam Jones, 4. Lewis Hall, 5. Henry Collins; 6. Riley Dean, 7. Ritchie Westwood; 8. Jacob Chamberlain, 9. Brad Pinder, 20. Jack Wilson, 11. Cole Oakley, 12. Fynn Stanley, 13. Ellis Robson. Subs: 14. Elliott Windley, 15. Jack Wright, 16. Taylor Brown, 17. Eribe Doro.last_img read more

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STOP THE BLEED Responders offer aid advice to help save a life

first_imgLELAND, NC (WWAY) — It’s a program to prepare for the worst. The Leland Police Department held a course Wednesday morning called “Stop The Bleed”.Emergency responders say the only thing more tragic than a death is a death that could have been prevented. At Leland Town Hall, people from the community came out to learn how to control bleeding and provide first aid until emergency responders arrive.- Advertisement – “It doesn’t take long for someone to bleed to death, literally. So we can save countless lives just by knowing what to do in that situation,” trauma nurse coordinator Carmen Traitor said.Nurses and police taught people how to use tourniquets and gauze for anything from an accident in the kitchen, to a car accident, to a mass shooting.“I recommend it for everybody if they want to take this class and I think that they should just cause like in today’s society, with all the current events going on, it’s just…overall I think it can make you a more productive citizen to have this knowledge,” participant Rusty Albertson said.Related Article: Crash in Brunswick County backs up traffic on US 17The class also taught that even if you don’t have a tourniquet or gauze, applying pressure to a wound can still help save a life.“If there was a situation where you were to come up on the scene of an accident or you were unfortunate to be involved in a mass shooting, you could literally save that person’s life next to you, just by having this training,” Traitor said.According to the Stop the Bleed campaign, death from traumatic bleeding can occur in less than five minutes and 35% of pre-hospital deaths are due to blood loss.last_img read more

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Boater dies after vessel capsizes south of Topsail Island

first_img Sellers says three men were on a 19-foot fishing vessel at the time. He says the vessel was attempting to make a turn near the breakers and was flipped by a wave. Two men were able to sit atop the flipped boat, but the third could not make it out of the water.Sellers says eventually the wind and surf grounded the boat and two of the men were able to get out in waist deep water. The men tried to administer aid to the third until Pender EMS made it on scene. Sellers says the victim was pronounced dead upon arrival of first responders.“No one to my knowledge had life jackets on,” said Sellers.Related Article: More step up and collect donations for local Coast Guard membersSellers says a cause of death is still being determined and at this time he is not certain if the victim drowned or not.The Coast Guard also responded out of Wrightsville Beach and located the boat grounded with the men on shore. PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is investigating a deadly boating accident off of Lea Island and Topsail Island that happened Sunday.Senior Wildlife Resources Officer David Sellers tells us the accident happened around 11:00 a.m. off of the inlet between Lea Island and Topsail Island. He says one man died and two others were treated for hypothermia.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Police name victims shot during argument in Houston Moore

first_img The duo had non-life threatening injuries, according to WPD.Police say the investigation is still ongoing.Anyone with information is asked to use Text-a-Tip or call (910) 343-3609. Police and deputies respond to shooting near Houston Moore on March 27, 2019 (Photo: Kate Cornell/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police has released the identities of the two men who were shot in the Houston Moore housing community earlier this week.Police say Quadarrius Cotton, 21, and Shameek Robinson, 23 were shot during an argument Wednesday afternoon.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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North Carolina homeowners face Hurricane Matthew funds deadline

first_img That’s the last chance for eligible single-family homeowners to apply for aid through the state’s Hurricane Matthew Community Development Block Grant funding. The program reimburses work completed on substantially damaged homes.Homeowners who want to apply should call 2-1-1 during business hours this week to schedule an appointment at the nearest application center.The state’s ReBuild NC program is available for people whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Matthew, or both Hurricanes Matthew and Florence. The state is still waiting for news on funding for homes hit only by Hurricane Florence.Related Article: North Carolina pecan season to be short, but sweet(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Many local residents remember the devastating flooding impacts from Hurricane Matthew. (Photo: WWAY) RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina officials say a deadline is looming for homeowners who suffered damage in a 2016 hurricane.The application deadline for a Hurricane Matthew housing recovery program is Friday.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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A Round of Applause for Adobes Creative Cloud

first_imgAdvertisement Ride the Adobe roller coaster? It’s when you buy Adobe Creative Suite 2, skip CS3, and get CS4. Or, skip CS4 also and spring for CS5. Now, you have so many new features that you wind up behind the curve.With Creative Cloud, for $49.99 a month, you’re always up-to-date. The system was unveiled in April and since then, new components have been added.Everything is included in the $2,599 master collection, plus free websites and other cloud-only services including Muse, a fascinating Web development tool. – Advertisement – an added incentive, anyone who has a copy of any Adobe product from CS3 or higher can get a year of these programs for $29.99 a month through August. Students will always have access to the $29.99 deal.While I would love this to be $9 a month forever, Adobe’s products have never been cheap and they tend to be for professional users rather than casual users. Some people will never touch Illustrator and will only want Photoshop, so access to the master collection is a waste of money for them.Therefore, Photoshop will be available for $19.99 a month, although this deal is difficult to locate on the Adobe website.With the Creative Cloud, Adobe thinks it can both make more money in the long run and satisfy its users.As much as I hate to admit it, I agree with the company on this.To begin, these programs are not in the cloud. If you need to use InDesign, you must download it from the cloud and install it on your computer for good, upgrading only when a new version comes out.You run it natively and the cloud keeps a synced version of your files. You download all the components as you need them and should not have to repeat the process except when downloading to a second machine, which is allowed for the same user. MoreThe only difference between this code and the standalone code is that this code calls home every month to make sure you are paying your bill. You should have seen this mechanism coming once software vendors began using authentication codes.Overall, this will make the products cheaper for the serious users and it will bring in new users who are forced to use old code because they cannot afford $2,600 for the full package.Would this convert someone who uses the budget Photoshop Elements? I doubt it, but it is quite tempting for the Photoshop-only user who might want to use programs like Lightroom, Illustrator, or the font packages.I was recently briefed on this new package and was thoroughly impressed with the hands-on experience. As I play with some of the new components, I’ll report on the most interesting. In the meantime, I have no qualms about recommending this product. It’s a winner.Source:PC MAGlast_img read more

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Russia To ban Bitcoin by 2015

first_imgAdvertisement According to reorts of Russian news organization Russia Today (RT), Russia will pass a Bitcoin ban within the next year, and it could happen as soon as the current parliament session.The information came through the Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev Moscow:“We will discuss this law in the current session of parliament, and possibly even pass it then, or at the very latest by spring next year. We are currently dealing with comments from the law enforcement agencies, about the specifics of legal measures, and we will take their remarks into account. But the overall concept of the law is set in stone.” – Advertisement – The overall idea of the ban is to thwart the potential use of the currency in funding terrorism, buying illicit goods and rendering illicit services and money laundering.If the ban goes through, It will make Russia the 3rd country to officially attempt a Bitcoin ban, the others being Ecuador and Bolivia.Ecuador is looking at creating its own digital currency, along with Mexico, and this merits the ban as the copy would rather not compete with the original in the future. It would appear competition and any nation’s “sovereign currency” do not go together, as far as governments is concerned.Source: cryptocoins newslast_img read more

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Facebook removes feeling fat emoticon

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook has removed  the”Feeling Fat” emoticon from its list of emoji in the wake of an online petition against the emoticon.Catherine Weingarten, who started the petition with global movement Endangered Bodies last March 10, said more than 16,000 people signed the Change.org campaign.She said the petition got a response from Facebook. “In other words, we won!” she said.“We’ve heard from our community that listing ‘feeling fat’ as an option for status updates could reinforce negative body image, particularly for people struggling with eating disorders. So we’re going to remove ‘feeling fat’ from the list of options,” it said.“We’ll continue to listen to feedback as we think about ways to help people express themselves on Facebook,” it added. – Advertisement – Weingarten and Endangered Bodies said she chanced on a friend’s status set to “feeling fat,” accompanied by an emoji with chubby cheeks and a double chin. Although the emoji was supposed to be funny, seeing this status made her feel angry.“As someone who has struggled with and overcome disordered eating, I know what it’s like to ‘feel’ fat. I have spent years of my life consumed with negative thoughts about my body, and far too many days starving myself in an effort to lose weight. But even worse than the skipped meals and the hours spent obsessing in front of the mirror was the fear of what others thought about me and my body,” she said.“Fat is not a feeling. Fat is a natural part of our bodies, no matter their weight. And all bodies deserve to be respected and cared for,” she said.Via GMA Networklast_img read more

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The Three Major Pillars of A successful Social Media Strategy

first_imgLake Victoria Serena recently engaged social media users on Twitter and Facebook when they launched their Golf Resort. Image Credit: NinnoJackJr Advertisement Depending on how you define the term strategy, the fact is that there must be key pillars that make it successful. I always love to take the simplest meaning of every word. As a social media and blogging expert, I will define strategy as an approach to a system, mechanism and selected methods. The phenomenon of Social Media remains mysterious to many individuals and business entities as a result they all find it difficult to set up successful strategies. Thank God you are reading this post and this is going to be part of that info that will turn your Social Media strategy from a C-class strategy to an A-class strategy. There is no rocket science involved here because your Success is going to depend on how you place and prioritize the Place, People and Purpose.[related-posts]If you want to build a house that will last from one generation to another, then you have to intentionally set up a hard, smart and solid foundation. Similarly, businesses that are looking in the direction of building a thick skin social media success need to understand how to design organizational goals, objectives, short term, long term targets around place, people and purpose.Place/Platform The place where you establish your presence matters a lot. You cannot afford building your organization on a sinking ground. As a business entity, the choice of the platform on which to establish your social media presence is very fundamental. Various social media platforms are more suitable for some businesses and unsuitable for others.  For example, Hotels, restaurants and fashion businesses are more suitable for Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest but not LinkedIn. For the business to be able to identify a viable and suitable platform that will improve your Returns on Investment (ROI), its crucial to fully understand which platform best supports your industry. You can tell or make a choice of platforms by bench marking on other brands and organizations in your industry that have registered success on certain platforms and then be able to make an informed choice. Do not make a mistake of establishing your brand on every platform because you will soon become inconsistent on all and your business will slowly but steadily start sinking. – Advertisement – People Many people I engage with always find it amusing when I tell them the number one rule of Social Media. You are dealing with People who are Human not Robots. Humans have feelings, attitudes, passion, loyalty and without doubt social class status. Once you establish your business on Social Media never forget the number one social rule. Your strategy should be able to guide to always find out the type of people you are targeting and where exactly they are in terms of Social platforms. Consider the following factors, sex, age, region and Social Class status.  Sharing, feedback, Likes and ability to form relationships before selling is what makes your social media strategy more human and attractive to many social web lovers.Purpose The question your Social Media strategy should answer is “Why are you on social media?” Depending on your answer just ensure the reason correctly rhymes with your overall objectives and goals. Sundry businesses get lost between customer care, marketing, corporate social responsibility and campaign publicity. The fact is besides the core objectives of your strategy, social media can always act as a supportive tool so as to be able to achieve your objectives as a business. Ensure to always cross check your Social Media operations and activities to confirm that you do not disappear within the noise on different social platforms.last_img read more

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg BottleFeeds His Adorable 4 month old Baby Girl

first_imgFacebook CEO and Co-Founder, Mark Zuckerberg feeding her adorable beautiful girl, Maxima Zuckerberg. Image Credit: Mark Zuckerbergs official Facebook Page Advertisement Facebook Inc. CEO and Co-Founder, Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t seem to mind doing things for his adorable 4-month old Max. On Thursday he posted a photo of himself bottle feeding her, quoting on his Facebook Official Page saying, “Most Important meetings of the day.” along with the hashtag #LeanInTogether.Most important meeting of the day. #LeanInTogetherPosted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, March 24, 2016As of Friday morning, 1.2 million people had either liked or used one of Facebook’s new Reactions to show what they thought of  Mark’s photo. The post had also been shared more than 14,400 times and comment on over 18,240 times. – Advertisement – Quoc Pham, among the 18,240 people that commented, said, “Mark Zuckerberg I completely agree that any meeting that involves your children are important. Right now one of my kids is in the PICU right now potentially with cancer, and spending every moment with her is worth it.”Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, who started the #LeanIn movement, wrote in an earlier post on Thursday that #LeanInTogether ” celebrates the important role men play in creating an equal world.”#LeanInTogether is a nod to the female empowerment movement launched by Sheryl Sandberg (pictured with Zuckerberg), Facebook’s chief operative officer. She celebrated eight years at the company earlier this month. Image Credit: Mark Zuckerberg’s Official Facebook Page“Reaching equality is not just good for women — it is good for men as well,” she said. “Children with active fathers are healthier, happier, and more successful. Men who are 50/50 partners have stronger marriages.”Lean In Together aims to show men out there what they can really do to help their partners, daughters and colleagues to succeed in life.Mark, who took two months paternity leave after Max was born last year in November 30th, has shared awesome photos showing his involvement with his daughter, including everything from dressing her up to changing a diaper and taking her to get vaccinated to taking her for a swim.In Pictures, anti-clockwise: 1. Max’s first swim with dad earlier this years. 2. Mark changing Max’s diaper shortly after her birth. 3. Marks takes a nap with Max. 4. Mark takes Max to the doctor’s for some vaccines. (Image Credit: Mark Zuckerberg’s Official Facebook Page)On Sandberg’s 8th year at Facebook Inc., the CEO wrote on his Facebook Page saying, “Today we’re celebrating Sheryl‘s 8 year anniversary at Facebook — or what we lovingly call a “faceversary”“Sheryl, you’ve done so much to grow our community, our business and our culture these past 8 years, and to help me grow as a person. I can’t imagine being on this journey to connect the world without you.” He adds.Today we’re celebrating Sheryl’s 8 year anniversary at Facebook — or what we lovingly call a “faceversary”.Sheryl,…Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, March 23, 2016[related-posts]last_img read more

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Jumia Market Uganda Announces Plans for the Unprecedented Black Friday Deals Launching

first_imgCountry Manager at Jumia Market Uganda – Martin Srna during the Jumia Market media gathering at their offices, on Wednesday 9th November, 2016. Advertisement Jumia Market Uganda on Wednesday announced the launch of Black Friday this November, giving Ugandans access to more deals than ever before.Exclusive deals and discounts of up to 70% will be revealed across all product categories including electronics, appliances and fashion – and for the first time, Jumia Market is offering Black Friday discounts for a 5 day period. Selected discounts will launch from Monday 21st to 25th November.Last year, Jumia Market’s Black Friday broke records by attracting 17x more orders than on a normal day and 4x more traffic. Jumia Market Uganda’s Country Manager, Martin Srna aims to surpass customers’ expectations with exclusive deals this year. – Advertisement – “We understand that consumers in Uganda have faced a rough year economically. With customer satisfaction as our top priority, Black Friday will last 5 days to give even more people the opportunity to shop for discounts. With the support of our official Black Friday partners – MTN, NTV and Capital FM – we have planned a shopping event that our customers will love,” Martin said during the launch.Jumia Market Black Friday to kick off from 21st to 25th November, 2016.Jumia Market is advising all consumers to research their favorite products in advance, and place them on their wish list to prepare for the discounts. For convenience, you can receive your order at your home or office – or at the pickup station in downtown Kampala.Jumia Market will continue to post updates on its social media platforms to keep fans informed about all things to do with Jumia Market Black Friday.last_img read more

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STARTERS ORDERS Wednesday 13 March

first_imgBET NOW starsports.bet or 08000 521 321 Welcome to Starters Orders. Star Sports update with our key market movers for the day and sign up specials.Wednesday 13 March1.30 CheltenhamEasy Game 14/1 > 11/12.25 HuntingdonJohnny Yuma 7/1 > 13/53.45 HuntingdonShanroe Tic Tec 9/2 > 13/85.30 CheltenhamAsk For Glory 12/1 > 5/1LIVE FOOTBALLUEFA Champions League Last-16 2nd Leg20:00 BT Sport 32/9 Barcelona11/1 Lyon6/1 DRAWUEFA Champions League Last-16 2nd Leg20:00 BT Sport 2 / BT Sport 4K UHD23/20 Bayern Munich5/2 Liverpool12/5 DRAWSTAR PROMOTIONSlast_img read more

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