Scheduled Seward Highway Closures Canceled Due To Extreme Weather

first_imgSeward Highway drivers should expect intermittent road closures and flagging operations at mile 68.7, the Turnagain Pass area, throughout the night due to flooding. The road closures were scheduled to start this evening, Oct. 24, to replace culverts under the road. This work will now take place next spring. Original Story: http://www.radiokenai.us/reminder-overnight-closures-on-the-seward-highway-start-today/ Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Due to extreme weather on the Seward Highway, scheduled road closures for mile 84.6 and 86.1 has been cancelled according a release from the Department of Transportation.  Workers will be pumping water across the road, so both lanes need to be closed for the work. For updates, visit 511.Alaska.gov.last_img read more

Alitas Christoph Waltz sets aside acting techniques for FX blockbusters

first_imgAlita: Battle Angel is packed with cutting-edge visual effects, which means everybody involved had to be on top of their game — and that goes for the actors too, according to Christoph Waltz.Oscar-winning actor Waltz plays a cybernetics expert who nurtures a young cyborg in Iron City, a dystopian future metropolis ruled over by a distant elite floating high above in the sky. It’s an action-packed sci-fi extravaganza laced with political themes about inequality. Filmmakers Waltz trained as an actor in Vienna and New York in the 1970s, studying method acting with legendary teachers Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler. According to Waltz, Strasberg admitted teaching acting was a way of making money, and so Waltz doesn’t romanticise thespian techniques — especially when there’s thousands of dollars at stake during a shoot. With hundreds of technicians and crews standing by, Waltz emphasises that actors have to be focused and prepared.Alita was developed by legendary director James Cameron, who Waltz calls the éminence grise of sci-fi action. But Cameron was busy with the planned Avatar sequels, so Robert Rodriguez took over. Waltz describes how the pair complemented each other with their different styles.Alita: Battle Angel is released in the UK on 6 February and the US on 14 February.Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports.Movie Magic: The secrets behind the scenes of your favorite films and filmmakers.  3:46 Alita: Battle Angel’s Christoph Waltz reveals why acting… Post a comment TV and Movies 0 Now playing: Watch this: Tags Share your voicelast_img read more

Land Rovers new Defender was potentially leaked again

first_img Checking the tech in the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover… 2018 Range Rover Velar: Effortless SUV elegance on- and off-road Post a comment 2:21 34 Photos 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport packs on the updates Now, we don’t know much in the way of details about the new Defender, but it looks to be a wildly different animal than the beloved off-roader that it’s replacing. For some people, namely the ones who couldn’t abide by the fix-on-a-fix crudeness of the original, that’s probably a good thing. For others, that rough charm was what made them fall in love with arguably Land Rover’s most iconic shape.When asked for confirmation as to whether this was indeed the new Defender, Land Rover’s representatives said only, “Land Rover is aware of an unofficial image in circulation. Through the development of any new vehicle many design options are considered. We will not comment any further at this time.”Land Rover is planning on giving the world its first real look at the new Defender at the Frankfurt motor show this September. Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: SUVs Car Industry Enlarge ImageThis photo was taken by a spy photographer and posted to Twitter by the LandRoverPhotoAlbum account. LandRoverPhotoAlbum via Twitter The way that new Land Rover Defender looks seems to be one of the worst-kept secrets around these days. First Land Rover drives it all over Africa in camo with game wardens, then Lego drops a Technic set and now, according to a report published Thursday by Automotive News, it’s got a dang picture of the thing in the instrument cluster of one of its test cars.The photo in question was snapped by a spy photographer and posted to the LandRoverPhotoAlbum Twitter account. 2019 Land Rover Range Rover P400e review: A hard hybrid to recommend 0 Land Rover More From Roadshow Tags The All-New Defender! Someone managed to sneakily photograph the display cluster of the New Defender.#AllNewDefender #landroverdefender #landroverphotoalbum #landroverevolved #Defender2020 pic.twitter.com/H2TOTCr7u3— landroverphotoalbum (@landroverpa) June 24, 2019 Land Rover 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque review: Style, now with more substancelast_img read more

Court calls Nizam Hazaris MP status legal

first_imgNizam Uddin Hazari. File photoThe High Court on Thursday declared parliament membership of the Awami League’s Nizam Uddin Hazari legal, reports UNB.The single bench of justice Md Abu Zafar Siddique handed down the verdict rejecting the writ petition filed challenging the legality of his parliament membership.On 27 February, the same bench set Thursday for delivering its verdict on completion of the hearing, said Satyaranjon Mandal, lawyer of the petitioner.On 15 January, the single HC bench of justice Farid Ahmed felt embarrassed to hear the petition and sent it to the then acting chief justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah.Later, the acting chief justice assigned justice Md Abu Zafar Siddique for hearing and disposing of the petition.The High Court felt embarrassed for eight times to hear the writ petition and gave split orders once after hearing the pleas.On 6 December last year, an HC bench delivered the dissenting verdicts on the writ petition challenging the legality of AL MP Nizam Uddin Hazari’s parliament membership.Senior judge of the bench justice Md Emdadul Huq declared the election of the Feni-2 constituency MP illegal while junior judge justice FRM Nazmul Ahsan rejected the petition.In 2014, Shakhawat Hossain Bhuiyan, a Jubo League leader of Feni, filed the writ petition with the HC attaching a newspaper report of 10 May 2014, stating that Nizam Uddin Hazari had been awarded 10 years’ imprisonment in an arms case, but had been freed from prison two years and 10 months before his jail term was completed.last_img read more

Education dept to bid farewell to waiting lists adopt online declaration of

first_imgKolkata: The state Education department is all set to introduce online procedure for declaration of vacancies and will also do away with the existing system of publication of waiting list.”We have gone through all School Service Commission (SSC) related documents. We are ushering in change in the SSC rules with the aim to have more transparency in the system. The schools would upload their vacancies online and the School Education department would allot teachers accordingly. This system would do away with the role of district inspectors, who presently forward the schools’ vacancy lists to the department,” said state Education minister Partha Chatterjee at the state Assembly, after placing the Budget for School Education and Higher Education department for 2019-20. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataDuring his budget speech, Chatterjee said that his department has proposed a revision in the rules of SSC and Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET) for transparency and fast-tracking of teachers’ recruitment. Chatterjee said in the Assembly that if things go as per plans, the rules will come into effect before the next SSC examination. The proposed revised SSC rule has been sent for Cabinet approval and is expected to be introduced from the next examination onwards. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAccording to the minister, the selection of candidates would be carried out through the process of elimination and the department would publish only the list of selected candidates. “There is no reason for publishing any waiting list,” he told reporters in his chamber later. For a vacancy of 10 teaching posts, the merit list would now include the names of exactly 10 candidates. At present, the names of 14 candidates are published against 10 vacant posts. The minister maintained that his department has already rationalised the teacher-student ratio in Dooars and in three remote islands in Sunderbans. “We will also give protection to in-service teachers,” he added. Chatterjee pointed out that in 2011, there were 1,09,794 primary teachers and in 2019, the figure has gone up to 2,16,381. In the upper primary level, there were 1,16,051 teachers in 2011 and in 2019, there are 1,13,936 teachers, while another 14,000 will be recruited soon. He further said that guest lecturers will get weightage in the College Service Commission examination, if they are eligible under the UGC norms. There are 2,500 guest lecturers that have been recruited by the managing committees of colleges without the state government’s permission. Out of these guest lecturers, 40 percent qualify the UGC eligibility norms.last_img read more

Todd Miller Celestial Tiger Entertainment has stru

first_imgTodd MillerCelestial Tiger Entertainment has struck a raft of OTT deals for its movies, action and horror networks.The Lionsgate and Saban-backed channel operator runs a bouquet of linear nets in the region including Celestial Movies, Celestial Classic Movies,action channel Kix and horror net Thrill.In Hong Kong free-to-air broadcaster TVB has added CCM, Kix and Thrill to its myTV Super streaming service. Consumers will be able to stream the linear nets and watch individual shows on-demand. They will be part of the Action Thriller Movie Entertainment Pack.Another broadcaster launching Celestial nets on its streaming service is FTV in Taiwan. The CCM channel will go out on FTV’s Four Seasons streaming service. Also in Taiwan, OTT operator LiTV will carry CCM.In Singapore Celestial programming will be on the Catchplay SVOD service, which is available through StarHub’s pay TV.“We are moving rapidly to address the growing demand for Over-The-Top services of our channels,” said CTE CEO Todd Miller.“All six of our main channel brands are available as OTT services and these carriage deals are just the beginning of our OTT expansion. We look forward to working with our affiliate partners as well as new platforms to build their OTT offering.”last_img read more

Until this week sex between unmarried people in U

first_imgUntil this week, sex between unmarried people in Utah was technically illegal, a vestige of earlier times. That changed Wednesday, when Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill that decriminalizes sex outside of marriage in the state, spokesperson Anna Lehnardt tells NPR.Utah’s 1973 fornication law designated sex outside of marriage as a class B misdemeanor. The act carried a possible penalty of up to six months in jail or a maximum fine of $1,000. Utah was among only a few states that retained these laws. State Senate Minority Leader Karen Mayne sponsored the bill and tells NPR that it was just a small piece in Utah’s criminal code that needed to be revamped. “You hear all over the U.S. how you have antiquated laws about horses in the streets and all kinds of things, so we wanted to make them modern-day, in the now,” Mayne says.The measure also modifies criminal offenses. State Rep. Paul Ray called the 1973 fornication law unenforceable, according to The Associated Press. But some lawmakers did not want it repealed on moral grounds. “Personally I don’t know if anyone ever worried about this,” Emily Anderson, a senior at the University of Utah and the editor-in-chief of its newspaper, The Daily Utah Chronicle, tells NPR. The fornication law was really just something that people joked about in class and on Twitter, she says. “Basically just like, ‘Oh thank God, I can do this thing I’ve always been doing.’ “The law had not been prosecuted for years, according to a Utah website covering policy. In a 1991 Deseret News report, an unmarried woman was quoted as saying she had “real concrete fear of criminal prosecution” for breaking the fornication law. “I am aware that last year another person in Salt Lake County was criminally prosecuted for such conduct,” she said in a lawsuit filed that year. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

More than half of people 58 per cent who receive

first_imgMore than half of people (58 per cent) who receive care and support services in England have seen their quality of life fall in the last year, according to a new survey by a disabled-led expert group.A similar survey carried out last year found 45 per cent said their quality of life had fallen over the previous year.The survey has been carried out by the Independent Living Strategy Group (ILSG) – chaired by the disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell – and published by the charity in Control, and focuses on the impact of cuts to social care on people’s independence and basic human rights.Baroness Campbell (pictured) said the survey proves that increased social care funding is needed to prevent disabled people from an “extreme risk” of harm and help develop a “radically” new system that “positively” supports independence and well-being.The survey has been published in the run-up to the chancellor’s autumn statement later this month.A quarter of those questioned said they had been told by their local authority in the last 12 months that their support packages would be reduced because of cuts or savings*.Baroness Campbell told Disability News Service (DNS): “If we don’t properly invest in our care and support system now, deeper cuts to people’s individual support are inevitable year-on-year, as the population increases.“This lack of investment is already having expensive financial and moral consequences, as our 2016 survey reveals.”Meanwhile, the Health Foundation, The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust concluded in a new report this week that cuts and rising demand will leave adult social care facing a £1.9 billion funding gap next year.And the Local Local Government Ombudsman said in its annual report into adult social care complaints that it had seen a 25 per cent rise in complaints about home care – 65 per cent of which were upheld – as well as a six per cent increase in complaints and enquiries about all areas of adult social care (to 2,969).Baroness Campbell says in the ILSG report that the survey aimed to discover whether the Care Act 2014 – potentially the “most exciting, creative and positive move forward in the history of local authority care and support services” – was “working in practice”.But the group warned that these duties had been imposed on local authorities at a time of “unprecedented cuts to their funding”, with adult social care departments forced into budget savings of 26 per cent over four years, the equivalent of £3.53 billion.A third of respondents (33 per cent) said that their level of choice and control over their support had fallen in the previous year, compared with just under 30 per cent in last year’s survey.And almost two out of five respondents (38 per cent) said they were having to rely more on family and friends for support, while more than a quarter (27 per cent) said they were having to pay more towards the cost of their support.Of the 95 people responding to the survey who previously received money from the Independent Living Fund (ILF), more than two-fifths (41 per cent) said the amount of support they received had fallen since ILF’s closure in June 2015, while nearly a third (32 per cent) said the quality of their day-to-day support had worsened since it closed.Baroness Campbell told DNS: “Our strategy group believes that extra funding is not simply required to prevent older and disabled people from extreme risk, but urgently needed to develop a radically new system which positively supports people’s independence and well-being.“After all, this was supposed to be the central aim of the government’s Care Act, which has yet to deliver.”She said the survey showed that councils were now placing “severe restrictions” on how people can use personal budgets or direct payments.She said: “This is counter to the Care Act’s aim, which is to empower local authorities to give more choice and control over how support is delivered.“They said they have no choice due to the funding shortage.“Shockingly, half of respondents reported that support now is only available for very basic personal care – an indication that people who need support are often condemned to a very limited existence.”The report was released just four days before the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities published a report that concluded that the UK government had committed “grave or systematic violations” of disabled people’s rights, including actions that “have hindered various aspects of their right to live independently and be included in the community” under article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.Baroness Campbell said the survey demonstrated why the government had been found to be “failing miserably” in its responsibilities under article 19 of the convention.About half of ILSG are disabled people, and many represent disabled people’s organisations or user-led grassroots groups, including the Spartacus network, Shaping Our Lives, Inclusion London, Hammersmith and Fulham Coalition Against Cuts, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People and Disability Rights UK.The survey was based on responses from 485 people who have support in England, including people who fund their own care, with the vast majority of the responses coming from service-users under the age of 65.*91 of the 363 survey respondents who answered this question said they had been told their support (or the money available for their support) would be reduced because of cuts or savingslast_img read more

Campaigners from across the country gathered outsi

first_imgCampaigners from across the country gathered outside parliament this week to call for an end to unsafe “shared space” street designs, which risk turning public spaces into “no go zones” for many disabled and older people.The protest (pictured) was organised by the National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFBUK), and attended by members of Transport for All (TfA), and campaigners from Save Our Green Lanes, Enfield Town Residents Association and East Dunbartonshire Visually Impaired People’s Forum.They were joined by Michael Pringle, whose three-year-old son Clinton was killed after he was hit by a vehicle in a shared space scheme while on holiday in Jersey last year.Protesters later delivered a letter to the prime minister at Number 10, which calls for an end to all shared space street developments.Shared space schemes usually remove kerbs and controlled crossings, encouraging vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists to share the same space, but posing greater risks for partially-sighted and blind people, as well as other disabled people, including many of those with mobility impairments, learning difficulties or who are deaf.The NFBUK letter also calls for standard height kerbs and controlled crossings to be retained in all street schemes; an audit of all existing shared space developments, and for them to be made “accessible for all”; and for the current shared space guidance to be replaced with an “inclusive design approach”.TfA member Kasia Kubaszek, a guide dog-user from Hammersmith, west London, who attended this week’s protest, said she wanted an end to spared space developments.On one occasion, she was walking to the Albert Hall along Exhibition Road, a shared space scheme, and had to ask a stranger to walk with her because she felt so frightened.She said: “I felt terrified. I felt as though I was walking in the middle of the road, but I wasn’t.“I don’t think I would do it again unless I really, really had to. At any point, I felt as if a car could drive into me.“Even when I think about it now it makes me feel so anxious.”On another occasion, her guide dog Carrie was walking with her along High Street Kensington – another shared space scheme – and because there was no kerb she led her in front of a car, which fortunately stopped before it hit them.Karl Farrell, from Hackney, north London, who also took part in the protest, and is a member of both NFBUK and TfA, said that shared space areas produced “an unequal contest” between cars and pedestrians, particularly if the pedestrian was blind.He said: “Losing controlled crossings… these crossings are important because you know where you stand with them, you know what your position is, and you proceed to cross when you have the right of way.”But with shared space-type “courtesy crossings”, he often has no idea when to cross, because cars can be very quiet, as are cycles.He said: “In that situation, I might be stepping out into danger.”Earlier this summer, five NFBUK members hand-delivered a letter to the prime minister to ask for an independent inquiry into shared space developments “in order to regain the rights of residents to walk their town streets once again without needing to negotiate right-of-way with drivers of moving vehicles by sight, a task which is impossible for blind and vision-impaired people to carry out”.Catherine Smith, TfA’s campaigns and outreach officer, said: “We’ve heard from countless disabled and older people who are afraid to walk through shared spaces.“The government must act to stop our public spaces from becoming no go zones for disabled and older people.”Last month, the Department for Transport’s draft transport accessibility action plan – which is out for consultation – said the department was working with the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation on a review of shared space and other street design projects, which aims “to provide clarity on how such schemes should be designed and developed”.The action plan says the review should “reinforce to designers that improving inclusivity is not just one of many objectives for a scheme, but must be embedded within the process”.DfT says in the draft plan that it will “consider the need to revise guidance in the light of those recommendations”.last_img read more

Ricky Williams Has The Last Laugh

first_img Subscribe Now Ricky Williams Has The Last Laugh Once the poster child of a stoner athlete, the ex-NFL running back is is making great strides with his cannabis company. Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. Former NFL running back Ricky Williams remembers when his use of marijuana made him an outcast among both his peers and potential business associates.Williams said that people didn’t want to associate with him because of his use of cannabis. “My past kept haunting me,” Williams told the Roll Up Podcast.That’s all changed for the Pro Bowl running back. Now, he’s become an entrepreneur in cannabis with his line of products called Real Wellness by Ricky Williams. According to his website, he is offering “an herbal approach to everyday wellness.”That may sound like the tagline of any number of marijuana brands. But Williams can claim he was far out in front — and in a very public way — on the issue of marijuana and the potential health benefits.Related: 5 Surprising Truths About Canadian Legalization“Most Infamous Stoner Athlete”In a way, Williams’ experience with marijuana personifies the changing attitudes on cannabis. A decade ago, while a star in the NFL, he became the target of both jokes and the NFL’s substance abuse policy for talking openly about using marijuana.That was an unusual stance from such a big star. And at the time, he was one of the biggest. Between 1999 and 2011, playing mostly with the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins, Williams rushed for more than 10,000 yards, including five 1,000-yard seasons.He also was public about his use of marijuana, becoming “America’s most infamous stoner athlete,” according to Sports Illustrated. He failed four drug tests, all for cannabis use, he told the magazine. In 2004, he decided to retire early and spent the year studying holistic medicine at the California College of Ayurveda.He returned to the Dolphins in 2005. However, in 2006, he missed an entire season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.He told Sports Illustrated that those years in the middle of his career cost him about $5 million to $10 million in salary and endorsements. He’s hoping to make that back, and then some.Related: New California Law Makes it Easier to Erase Old Marijuana ConvictionsEarly AdooterWilliams launched Real Wellness earlier this year in California (a native of San Diego, he now lives in Venice Beach). Both medical and recreational marijuana is now legal in the Golden State.  But long before marijuana was the “in” thing, Williams believed in the medicinal value of marijuana. Since leaving the NFL, he ‘s spent his time studying the potential of marijuana for pain management and other conditions.Williams told the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel: “I am known as a professional football player. In the last 14 years, I have been educating myself and training as a healthcare practitioner.”His products include salves, tonics and vape cartridges, which he says are a “modern reintroduction to the healing power of ancient herbs.” The products contain either CBD or THC, or sometimes both.Williams believes there is a huge and growing market for his product. He saw a microcosm of that market in the NFL. Williams said more than half of the players he played within the NFL used marijuana, including quarterbacks and coaches, according to Sports Illustrated.Follow dispensaries.com on Instagram to stay up to date on the latest cannabis news. Next Article Guest Writer Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. October 25, 2018 3 min read –shares Add to Queue dispensaries.com Get 1 Year of Green Entrepreneur for $19.99 Green Entrepreneur provides how-to guides, ideas and expert insights for entrepreneurs looking to start and grow a cannabis business. Image credit: My Mystic Journey LA via Twitter Ganjapreneurlast_img read more

Elon Musk Asks Judge to Toss Pedo Guy Defamation Lawsuit

first_img Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Elon Musk is hoping to end the U.S. lawsuit over his “pedo guy” statements against British cave diver Vernon Unsworth before it gets started. His attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that his insults weren’t serious and thus were protected free speech in the U.S. This was just a “schoolyard spat,” Musk’s attorneys said. They contended that Twitter was a place where you could “expect to read opinions, not facts,” and thus that no one could realistically assume Musk was telling the truth.Unsworth’s attorney rejected the claims in a statement to The Guardian. The argument would “effectively doom all lawsuits” over defamation, and that Musk’s dismissal points were “novel but inaccurate.”Related: What’s Happening on The Entrepreneur Index Right NowIt’s not clear how the judge will respond to the dismissal request, although it might not work in Musk’s favor. While he did apologize for his initial “pedo guy” remark in July, he undercut that in August when he told BuzzFeed News reporter that Unsworth was a “child rapist.” For that matter, Musk ran into trouble with the SEC precisely because he used Twitter to make a serious claim about taking Tesla private. Don’t be surprised if the case moves forward to its initial hearing on April 1st. The Tesla executive says it was just a ‘schoolyard spat.’ Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Next Article Jon Fingas Elon Musk Add to Queue December 28, 2018 This story originally appeared on Engadget Image credit: Robyn Beck | Pool via Engadget Elon Musk Asks Judge to Toss ‘Pedo Guy’ Defamation Lawsuit Enroll Now for $5 –shares 2 min readlast_img read more

Marketing Magic Monopoly Maker Hides Real Money in Games Special Edition

first_img Marketing Magic: Monopoly Maker Hides Real Money in Game’s Special Edition Apply Now » Next Article Hasbro is taking a page out of the Willy Wonka marketing playbook. In honor of Monopoly’s 80th anniversary, French players of the eminent board game will have a chance to win actual cash hidden in sets of the game.Eighty boxes out of 30,000 different games will have varying amounts of cash ranging between about $170 and $342. Meanwhile, the big winner will get a box that has every piece of Monopoly money replaced will real euros, adding up to about $23,200.Related: This ‘Exploding Kittens’ Card Game Is Blowing Up on KickstarterWhile certainly not enough to buy a railroad or an ocean-front property, it’s still a fairly substantial chunk of change. Florence Gaillaird, Hasbro France’s brand manager, told the AFP that the bills were delivered to the local packing center with a supreme amount of secrecy.Of course, Monopoly isn’t the first brand to take a “golden ticket” approach. In 2010, Nestle, which owns the Wonka name, put prizes in its Exceptionals candy bars. Two years later, in a slightly more off-putting move, the candy company put GPS trackers in Kit Kats to award 12,000 euros to winners in Ireland and the UK. Monopoly is available in 114 countries and 43 languages.  Related: ‘Game Guru’ of Candy Crush Saga Leaves King Digital to Found New Gaming Startup Nina Zipkin 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List February 3, 2015 –sharescenter_img Entrepreneur Staff Marketing Add to Queue Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. 2 min read The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue.last_img read more

Vitamin C supplementation for pregnant smokers may reduce harm to infants lungs

first_imgAlthough vitamin C supplementation may protect to some extent the lungs of babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy, those children will still be at greater risk for obesity, behavioral disorders and other serious health issues.”Dr. McEvoy Smoking during pregnancy reflects the highly addictive nature of nicotine that disproportionately affects the most vulnerable populations. Finding a way to help infants exposed to smoking and nicotine in utero recognizes the unique dangers posed by a highly advertised, addictive product and the lifetime effects on offspring who did not choose to be exposed.”Dr. McEvoy, lead study author and professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University In “Oral Vitamin C (500 mg/day) to Pregnant Smokers Improves Infant Airway Function at 3 Months: A Randomized Trial,” Cindy T. McEvoy, MD, MCR, and her co-authors report that at three months of age, the infants whose mothers took 500 mg of vitamin C in addition to their prenatal vitamin had significantly better forced expiratory flows (FEFs). FEFs measure how fast air can be exhaled from the lung and are an important measure of lung function because they can detect airway obstruction.The researchers also discovered an association between the infant FEFs and a genetic variant some of the mothers possessed that appeared to amplify the negative impact of nicotine on the babies before they were born. Other studies have linked this genetic factor, specifically for the α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, to increased risk of lung cancer and obstructive lung disease. Dec 11 2018Helping Mothers Quit Smoking Should Still Be Primary GoalVitamin C may reduce the harm done to lungs in infants born to mothers who smoke during their pregnancy, according to a randomized, controlled trial published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.center_img In a previous study, the authors had shown that 72 hours after birth, babies of mothers who smoked had better lung function if their mothers were randomized to vitamin C (500 mg/day) during their pregnancies compared to those born to mothers who smoked and were randomized to placebo.  That study used passive methods to measure lung function, and the authors note that FEFs provide a more direct assessment of airway function and are similar to methods used to diagnose lung disease in adults and older children.Related StoriesNew target identified for treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosisDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesNew drug provides hope for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophyIn the current study, 251 pregnant women who smoked were randomly assigned at 13 to 23 weeks of gestation to either receive vitamin C (125 women) or a placebo (126 women).  Smoking was defined as having had one or more cigarettes in the last week. All participants received smoking cessation counseling throughout the study, and about 10 percent of the women quit smoking during the study.The researchers wrote that study results support the hypothesis that oxidative stress caused by cigarette smoking reduces the amount of ascorbic acid, a component of vitamin C, available to the body. At the time they enrolled in the study, the women had lower levels of ascorbic acid than have been reported among women who do not smoke. Those levels rose in study participants who received vitamin C to become comparable to women who do not smoke.Infants in this study will continue to be followed to track their lung function and respiratory outcomes. The authors believe that future trials of vitamin C supplementation in pregnant smokers should determine whether the benefits are greater if the supplementation starts earlier and continues post-natally in the babies themselves.Summing up the findings of the current study, Dr. McEvoy said that a relatively low dosage of vitamin C may present “a safe and inexpensive intervention that has the potential to help lung health of millions of infants worldwide.”However, she added, helping mothers quit smoking should remain the primary goal for health professionals and public health officials. Source:http://www.thoracic.org/last_img read more

Study explores impact of voice disorders ad listener strategies on speech intelligibility

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 16 2019″Fly heading two three zero, runway two seven left, cleared for takeoff.” Air traffic controllers are among the 25 to 45 percent of the workforce in the United States who use their voices professionally. It is imperative for their listeners to understand what they are communicating. Air traffic controllers, teachers and university professors have a high prevalence of voice disorders referred to as “dysphonia.” Other professions also are at risk including clergy, attorneys, counselors and performers.Voice disorders are not just a problem for these professions. In fact, 1 in 13 American adults reported a voice problem in the past year. Only a minority of them got treatment, further perpetuating the overall problem. Voice disorders are a common occurrence for many people throughout their lifetime. Although it is well understood how voice disorders impact the speaker, there is little research on how voice disorders impact the listener.Researchers from Florida Atlantic University and Towson University conducted a study to determine if there are differences in speech intelligibility (ability of a listener to recover a speaker’s message) in healthy voices compared to those who have voice disorders such as breathiness, hoarseness, loss of voice or a “croaky” voice. They also wanted to know if using listener “strategies” such as paying close attention to the words or using other words to try to figure out the message would increase speech intelligibility. To date, no studies have investigated if listener strategies improve intelligibility scores in speakers with voice disorders.In addition, the researchers wanted to explore if the listener’s overall impression of a person’s speech or voice quality would impact how they rate speech intelligibility. Speakers with voice disorders are judged more negatively than speakers without voice disorders. The researchers constructed the study to include information to help identify which voice qualities may be at play during a reduction of intelligible speech. A speaker’s intelligibility is impacted not only by the abilities of the speaker, but also by the listening environment and skills employed by the listener. Moreover, listeners receive less salient information to process when they are listening to a person with a voice disorder.”Connie K. Porcaro, Ph.D., first author and an associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in FAU’s College of Education Results of the study, published in the Journal of Voice, show that overall, speakers with voice disorders demonstrated a tenfold increase in the number of speech intelligibility errors compared to speakers with healthy voices. In addition to significant differences in the number of errors between healthy speakers and those with voice disorders, listeners also had significantly more overall errors on content words (listener transcribed “cat” for “dog”) than articles (listener transcribed “the” for “a”) with voice type.Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchCertain vowels were impacted more than others and noise and lack of harmonic components increased as the severity of perceived voice disorders increased. Seventy-eight percent of the variance associated with intelligibility errors by listeners was due to the presence or absence of voice disorders.The researchers also discovered that the use of listener strategies did not improve speech intelligibility scores and did not increase the number of words correctly transcribed by listeners. Of interest, no matter what strategies listeners were asked to use, the majority of them reported the use of “context” to better understand the speakers and the unintelligible words.Finally, the researchers explored the results of the voice quality ratings and found that speakers with a “breathiness” quality in voice ranging from moderate to severe had a greater number of speech intelligibility errors. Breathiness was the most predictive factor (41 percent) of the variance of speech intelligibility errors. Studies have shown that student auditory comprehension in the classroom is reduced when teachers have voice disorders, which has a negative impact during classroom learning. People with voice disorders may need to take special care to ensure that their listeners understand their intended message and should assess their communicative situations and make appropriate modifications as needed. For example, using gestures or reducing background noise could be useful strategies to improve accuracy and the ability to be understood.”Connie K. Porcaro Source:Florida Atlantic UniversityJournal reference:Porcaro,C.K.et al. (2019) Effect of Dysphonia and Cognitive-Perceptual Listener Strategies on Speech Intelligibility. Journal of Voice. doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2019.03.013last_img read more

New study sheds light on the role of vitamin D in muscle

first_imgRelated StoriesVitamin D metabolite may stop mechanism by which cancer cells become drug-resistantVitamin D and estrogen can prevent heart disease, stroke, and diabetes in womenVitamin D supplement does not prevent type 2 diabetes in adults at high risk, study findsProfessor Gunton says that, compared to a previous study she conducted that looked at mice missing vitamin D receptors across their whole body, this new study has highlighted some important differences.”We found that mice missing muscle cell vitamin D receptors had normal body size but less muscle mass and more fat mass.”In terms of choosing to run on a wheel in their cage, the mice had shorter running distance and slower speed. These might contribute to the lower muscle mass and increase in fat.In terms of muscle strength, these mice also had a significantly decreased grip strength from a very early age.”While more research is needed, Professor Gunton says that these results suggest that maintaining normal vitamin D signaling in muscle is important for preserving muscle bulk and function.”These findings also have the potential to open up avenues to pursue new therapies that target muscle cell vitamin D receptors. These therapies could help to address or prevent age-related sarcopenia (degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass) and other disorders related to muscle function.” Source:Westmead Institute for Medical Research For a long time, we have known that vitamin D deficiency is associated with muscle weakness and greater risk of falls and fractures. However, whether vitamin D played a direct role in muscle wasn’t known.We show that vitamin D receptor is present in low levels in normal muscle, and our study found that deleting muscle cell vitamin D receptors had important effects on muscle function.” Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 26 2019A recent study conducted at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research has shed light on the role of vitamin D in muscle cells. The study looked at the role of vitamin D in muscles in mice, and showed that vitamin D signaling (how cells communicate with one another) is needed for normal muscle size and strength.Researchers found that mice missing the vitamin D receptor only in myocytes (muscle cells) had smaller muscles, and they were less strong. They also had significantly decreased running speed and didn’t run as far as mice with normal vitamin D action.Lead researcher, Professor Jenny Gunton says:last_img read more

Bridge in Italy had unusual design required constant work Update

first_imgA view of the evacuated houses built under the remains part of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge, in Genoa, northern Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. A bridge on a main highway linking Italy with France collapsed in the Italian port city of Genoa during a sudden, violent storm, sending vehicles plunging 90 meters (nearly 300 feet) into a heap of rubble below. (AP Photo/Nicola Marfisi) Safety codes can lead to over-built bridges, higher building costs 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. But Brencich, who warned two years ago that the design of the bridge was a failure, said the structure should have been destroyed rather than be subjected to more repairs.The Genoa bridge, along with the two similar bridges in Libya and Venezuela, have deteriorated at “unimaginable speeds,” Brencich told Sky News Italian television station Wednesday. “Since this bridge was under constant maintenance, the time had come to consider a replacement for the bridge.”The Italian CNR civil engineering society said structures as old as the Morandi Bridge had surpassed their lifespans. It called for an ambitious plan to repair or replace tens of thousands of Italian bridges and viaducts built in the 1950s and 1960s, citing a series of collapses in recent years, not all fatal.The collapse of a freeway bridge in Minneapolis in 2007 drew similar alarm bells about aging infrastructure in the U.S.The Interstate 35W bridge, whose collapse into the Mississippi river killed 13 people, was also built in the 1960s, though federal investigators ultimately concluded that poor maintenance wasn’t the main cause of the disaster. Instead, they pointed to a design defect, saying crucial gusset plates that held the beams together were only half as thick as they should have been.Since then, there has been a push to improve bridge designs and make changes to the way they are inspected.A more recent fatal collapse involved a newly constructed pedestrian bridge in Florida. U.S. investigators have said they are looking at the emergence of cracks in the structure before the collapse of the bridge near Florida International University, which killed six people.Matteo Pozzi, an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, said the bridge in Italy “was known to have problems,” as evidenced by the upcoming upgrades. But he said older bridges can often be sustained with maintenance and repairs—and collapses are rare.”It’s still a challenge to predict exactly when, or if, a bridge will collapse,” Pozzi said. “Overall, we are doing a good job because a failure of this kind is rare. But we are trying to improve the ways in which we understand and monitor these bridges.”Of the bridge’s design, Hawkins said the concrete encasement improves the anchorage of the cables but “in a marine environment there can be a buildup of chloride in the concrete and that can lead to cable corrosion.” He said any broken cables would have to be examined to determine whether that was the case in the Morandi bridge.The bridge in Venezuela, which is much larger and spans Lake Maracaibo, also has had mishaps. In 1979, corrosion caused the rupture of one of the concrete-encased cables, forcing a complicated effort to replace it.Pozzi said use of concrete-encased cables for bridges was considered a “pioneering technique” at the time but it was never widely adopted and came to be considered problematic.However, he said there are many bridges around the world whose original technology has been abandoned, and he cautioned against concluding that any are in danger of collapse.More often, it means “there is a maintenance cost,” he said. “The question is for how long and in what way.” Citation: Bridge in Italy had unusual design, required constant work (Update) (2018, August 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-italy-collapse-difficulties-aging-bridges.html The Morandi Bridge was severed in its midsection during a heavy downpour Tuesday. Government officials initially said 39 people were killed but revised the death toll to 38 on Thursday. Italian prosecutors focused their investigation into possible design flaws or inadequate maintenance of the bridge that opened in 1967.Engineering experts said the disaster points to the challenges of maintaining any aging bridge, regardless of its design.”What the general public does not comprehend is that bridges have been traditionally designed in the past for a life span of 50 years,” said Neil Hawkins, a professor emeritus of engineering at the University of Illinois, who specializes in reinforced and prestressed concrete design. “The environment in which the bridge exists can have a major effect on how much it can last beyond that 50-year design life span.”The structure is a cable stayed bridge designed by Italian engineer Riccardo Morandi, who died in 1989. Among its unusual features were its concrete-encased stay cables, which Morandi used in several of his bridge designs instead of the more common steel cables. There are two similar bridges in the world, in Libya and Venezuela.Experts have said a number of factors could have contributed to the collapse, including wear and tear from weather and traffic that surpassed what the bridge was originally built to sustain.”Genoa is a port city so that there can be marine effects and also it is a major industrial center so that there can be air pollution that impairs the concrete,” Hawkins said in an e-mail. “Whether any of these effects, or other major deficiencies in the foundations, were present I have no knowledge. But all can contribute to a bridge failure.”Antonio Brencich, a professor of construction at the University of Genoa, said the design lent itself to swift corrosion and the bridge was in constant need of maintenance.Most recently, a 20 million-euro ($22.7 million) project to upgrade the bridge’s safety had been approved before its collapse, with public bids to be submitted by September. According to the business daily Il Sole 24 Ore, the improvement work involved two weight-bearing columns that support the bridge—including one that collapsed Tuesday. Explore further The bridge that collapsed in the Italian port city of Genoa was considered a feat of engineering innovation when it was built five decades ago, but it came to require constant maintenance over the years. Its design is now being investigated as a possible contributor to its stunning collapse. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Zuckerberg promises a privacyfriendly Facebook sort of Update

first_imgIn this April 11, 2018, file photo Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses while testifying before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Zuckerberg laid out a new “privacy-focused” vision for social networking on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) As part of his effort to make amends, Zuckerberg plans to stitch together its Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram messaging services so users will be able to contact each other across all of the apps.The multiyear plan calls for all of these apps to be encrypted so no one but senders and recipients can see the contents of messages. WhatsApp already has that security feature, but Facebook’s other messaging apps don’t.Zuckerberg likened it to being able to be in a living room behind a closed front door, and not having to worry about anyone eavesdropping. Meanwhile, Facebook and the Instagram photo app would still operate more like a town square where people can openly share whatever they want.While Zuckerberg positions the messaging integration as a privacy move, Facebook also sees commercial opportunity in the shift. “If you think about your life, you probably spend more time communicating privately than publicly,” he told the AP. “The overall opportunity here is a lot larger than what we have built in terms of Facebook and Instagram.”Critics have raised another possible motive—the threat of antitrust crackdowns. Integration could make it much more difficult, if not impossible, to later separate out and spin off Instagram and WhatsApp as separate companies. In effect, the Facebook co-founder and CEO promised to transform a service known for devouring the personal information shared by its users. Going forward, he said, it will emphasize giving people more ways to communicate in truly private fashion, with their intimate thoughts and pictures shielded by encryption in ways that Facebook itself can’t read.But Zuckerberg didn’t suggest any changes to Facebook’s core newsfeed-and-groups-based service, or to Instagram’s social network, currently the fastest growing part of the company. Facebook pulls in gargantuan profits by selling ads targeted with the information it amasses on its users and others they know.”It’s not that I think the more public tools will go away,” Zuckerberg said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. “All indications that Facebook and Instagram will continue growing and be increasingly important.”Critics aren’t convinced Zuckerberg is truly committed to meaningful change.”This does nothing to address the ad targeting and information collection about individuals,” said Jen King, director of consumer privacy at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. “It’s great for your relationship with other people. It doesn’t do anything for your relationship with Facebook itself.”Zuckerberg laid out his vision in a Wednesday blog post , following a rocky two-year battering over revelations about its leaky privacy controls. That included the sharing of personal information from as many as 87 million users with a political data-mining firm that worked for the 2016 Trump campaign. 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. Since the 2016 election, Facebook has also taken flak for the way Russian agents used its service to target U.S. voters with divisive messages and being a conduit for political misinformation. Zuckerberg faced two days of congressional interrogation over these and other subjects last April; he acknowledged and apologized for Facebook’s privacy breakdowns in the past.Since then, Facebook has suffered other privacy lapses that have amplified the calls for regulations that would hold companies more accountable when they improperly expose their users’ information. Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook will start to emphasize new privacy-shielding messaging services, a shift apparently intended to blunt both criticism of the company’s data handling and potential antitrust action. Mark Zuckerberg talks privacy, accidentally disses Facebook Portal “I see that as the goal of this entire thing,” said Blake Reid, a University of Colorado law professor who specializes in technology and policy. He said Facebook could tell antitrust authorities that WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger are tied so tightly together that it couldn’t unwind them.Combining the three services also lets Facebook build more complete data profiles on all of its users. Already, businesses can already target Facebook and Instagram users with the same ad campaign, and ads are likely coming to WhatsApp eventually.And users are more likely to stay within Facebook’s properties if they can easily message their friends across different services, rather than having to switch between Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. That could help Facebook compete with messaging services from Apple, Google and others.As part of the process, Zuckerberg said Facebook will meet with privacy experts, law enforcement officials concerned about the new encryption making it impossible to uncover illegal activity being discussed on the messaging service and government officials.Creating more ways for Facebook’s more than 2 billion users to keep things private could undermine the company’s business model, which depends on the ability to learn about the things people like and then sell ads tied to those interests.In his interview with the AP, Zuckerberg said he isn’t currently worried about denting Facebook’s profits with the increased emphasis on privacy.”How this affects the business down the line, we’ll see,” Zuckerberg said. “But if we do a good job in serving the need that people have, then there will certainly be an opportunity” to make even money. © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. In this Jan. 9, 2019, file photo, a man checks his phone inside Facebook’s new 130,000-square-foot offices, which occupy the top three floors of a 10-story Cambridge, Mass. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out a new “privacy-focused” vision for social networking on Wednesday, March 6. He is promising to transform Facebook from a company known for devouring the personal information shared by its users to one that gives people more ways to communicate in truly private fashion, with their intimate thoughts and pictures shielded by encryption in ways that Facebook itself can’t read. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) Explore further In this May 1, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8, Facebook’s developer conference in San Jose, Calif. Zuckerberg laid out a new “privacy-focused” vision for social networking on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) Citation: Zuckerberg promises a privacy-friendly Facebook, sort of (Update) (2019, March 6) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-facebook-ceo-hell-privacy.htmllast_img read more