19 Aug

Princess upgrades group shore excursions with Local Connections

first_img Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Share Travelweek Group SANTA CLARITA — Princess Cruises has created a new department specially designed for group shore excursions that both travel agents and guests can access.The department centres around Princess Cruises’ ‘Local Connections’ program, tapping the knowledge of destination experts and locals for creative feedback and suggestions for shore excursions. Using ‘Local Connections’ the department can better cater to a group’s interest and personalize excursions for those passengers. Both the onboard team and the shore team will work together to ensure seamless organization and execution, says the cruise line.“Getting out to truly experience the magnificent destinations around the world as a group is one of the many ways Princess can introduce guests to the world’s most memorable destinations,” said Bruce Krumrine, Princess Cruises Vice President of Shore Excursions. “We offer competitive net pricing and a wide array of excursion options through the personal assistance of our destination experts. Through our Local Connections program, we continue to innovate our tour experiences ashore and our groups team will take full advantage of the suggestions and creativity of those partners that know the destination best.”More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJThe department works with both small (six to 15 passengers) and large (16 passengers or more) groups including family reunions, sports, church, special interest groups and more. Private cars, vans, transfers and boats are available and the department can accommodate a variety of budgets. Customized tours arranged through travel agents are commissionable.Sample tours include:A Michelin Restaurant Experience:  A Cooking Class at Kokkeriet – Located on a corner in Nyborder, Copenhagen, Kokkeriet is a gourmet restaurant that was awarded one Michelin star in 2006. A modern European cuisine, Kokkeriet uses fresh ingredients of the season with the menu changed monthly. With the chef, guests learn about the techniques used to create Michelin quality food; the raw materials used; their background and personal story; and enjoy the ‘home made’ meal with Michelin wines matching the menu.Phillip Island Penguin Tour by Helicopter – Touring in a ranger, guests explore Melbourne’s bayside coastline and the Mornington Peninsula en route to Phillip Island, with about 45 square miles to view the home of seals, koalas, mutton birds and the largest colony of little penguins in existence. Guests can see the packs, sometimes 300 strong ‘rafts’ of penguins, to protect them from predatory sharks and seals. After, passengers can enjoy a meal at a local restaurant with homegrown ingredients before returning to Melbourne and the ship on a private vehicle.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upFor more details e-mail GroupShoreExcursions@princesscruises.com. Posted bycenter_img Tags: Princess Cruises, Wave Season << Previous PostNext Post >> Princess upgrades group shore excursions with ‘Local Connections’last_img read more

10 Aug

March 13 2019The Cosanti Foundation is once again

first_imgMarch 13, 2019The Cosanti Foundation is once again participating in Modern Phoenix Week! Participants of this annual celebration of Architecture and Design will be invited for an intimate tour of Cosanti on Saturday, March 16th from 10:00-11:30 am and again on Saturday, March 23rd from 9:00-10:30 am. These two special tours are being offered for a suggested donation rate of $20 per person, attendance is limited to 25.Register here for the tour on March 16th, and here for the March 23rd date. We’ll see you at Modern Phoenix Week!last_img read more

9 Aug

Rep Webbers bill increases campaign finance violations penalty

first_img Categories: News,Webber News 16Feb Rep. Webber’s bill increases campaign finance violations penalty State Rep. Michael Webber has introduced legislation to improve government transparency by increasing the penalty for violating the Michigan Campaign Finance Act.Webber, of Rochester Hills, said the bill increases the fine for violating campaign finance laws from $1,000 to $3,000. He said the bill’s intent is to boost accountability by showing who is funding elections in Michigan.“The laws are very clear about when reports are due, what information must be in the reports and where the information must be sent,” Webber said. “I believe this legislation will bring past violations into compliance and curb future violations by increasing the penalty for ignoring the law.”The bill was referred to the House Elections and Ethics Committee.#####The measure is House Bill 4216.last_img read more

9 Aug

Three Macomb County representatives lead Michigan House plan to help Kiwanis fundraising

first_img30May Three Macomb County representatives lead Michigan House plan to help Kiwanis fundraising The state House today approved plans from three Macomb County state representatives to expand fundraising options for Kiwanis organizations in Michigan.Bills sponsored by Reps. Diana Farrington and Steve Marino would allow Michigan residents to voluntarily donate to the Kiwanis when they file their state income taxes. Legislation from Rep. Peter Lucido would create a fundraising license plate for the charitable organization.“I’ve been with the Kiwanis for several years, now as a member of the Golden K, which helps seniors,” said Lucido, of Shelby Township. “It’s been a privilege to see what a positive difference the group makes for kids, families and especially our seniors in our neighborhoods.”Lucido’s bill would allow motorists to buy and display a fundraising license plate with the accompanying donation going to a new Kiwanis International Michigan District Fund.The legislation from Marino and Farrington would add the Kiwanis to the list of charities Michigan residents can voluntarily contribute to through an income tax form checkoff.“In our part of Macomb County alone, Kiwanis raise money for college scholarships, put together backpacks with school supplies, help feed the hungry and improve the community in many other ways,” said Farrington, of Utica, who has worked on Kiwanis holiday food drives. “It’s a fantastic mission.”Marino noted thousands of Michigan residents use similar checkoff options to make charitable donations while filing their taxes each year.“The Kiwanis are focused on helping children and families while encouraging community service – exactly the kind of effort we should support,” said Marino, of Harrison Township. “This is a great addition to the lineup of worthy charities on our list.”The legislation – House Bills 4495, 5739 and 5740 – advance to the Senate for consideration.### Categories: Marino News,Newslast_img read more

6 Aug

The US Department of Justice DOJ is to appeal th

first_imgThe US Department of Justice (DOJ) is to appeal the court decision approving the merger of AT&T and Time Warner in a move that surprised the US telecom giant.“The Court’s decision could hardly have been more thorough, fact-based, and well-reasoned.  While the losing party in litigation always has the right to appeal if it wishes, we are surprised that the DOJ has chosen to do so under these circumstances.  We are ready to defend the Court’s decision at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” said AT&T general counsel David McAfee.The DOJ had argued in court that the merger would have a negative impact on competition in the pay TV market, an argument that was refuted by US District Court judge Richard Leon in a 200-page opinion, who said that the governed had failed to make its case. Leon said the merger could go ahead without conditions.The merger closed within days of the ruling after the DOJ declined to file for a delay.Shares of AT&T fell on news that the DOJ had now decided to appeal.The move will raise speculation about an onward impact on the battle between Comcast and Disney for control of 21st Century Fox.Fox last month issued a warning to investors that a deal with Comcast would carry more regulatory risk than one with Disney, even in the wake of the failed DoJ attempt to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger.Regarding Comcast, the Fox board said that risk factors included “the DOJ’s apparent sensitivity to the potential anticompetitive effects of vertical integration and rejection of behavioural remedies before and after the litigation with respect to the AT&T/Time Warner transaction” and pointed out that the court had not rejected the DOJ’s case “as a matter of law” but because the evidence was insufficient.last_img read more

4 Aug

Keen eye for good stories and big ideas

first_imgKeen eye for good stories and big ideas Recommended Link Kansas farm boy generates millions from his California “bunker” He’s just an ordinary guy born on a farm in Kansas. He didn’t graduate from a fancy college. He doesn’t have an MBA. Yet he stumbled upon a “secret key” technique that allowed him to retire at 42… and still make more money in 8 hours… than most people make in a month. But Monday through Friday you’ll find him up by 4 am, in front of his computer… using his “secret key” to generate thousands of dollars per week… without touching stocks or bonds. He calls it his retirement hobby. Click here to see it in action. The Job We Need DoneWe’re looking for someone who loves investment analysis. Someone who wants to make a living reading, thinking, traveling, and writing. Someone who can help us share big ideas with the world.If this sounds attractive—and you meet the criteria above—we’d love to hear from you.The compensation will depend on your level of experience. Know this: Dozens of analysts at Agora (our parent company) who write newsletters have become millionaires.What to Do Now Send us a basic resume. We’d like to see where you’ve worked.Write a letter telling us about yourself. We don’t care much about what school you went to. We do care about what you’ve learned doing whatever it is you’ve been doing. We appreciate odd jobs, but we’re also willing to consider Wall Street refugees.Send us an email with the following information… Independent thinker who is passionate, motivated, and eager to overachieve Trustless SystemThe decentralized revolution is about getting rid of “trusted” third parties. Ultimately, coins like Tether will fail if they can’t find a way to become “trustless.”(With trustless technology, you don’t have to know or trust the person you’re doing business with. The blockchain records and verifies every transaction transparently. So the system builds trust by default.)Back to the University of Texas report… It suggests that more Tethers were issued than had backing by actual dollars. The report makes the case that Tethers were used to prop up—and ultimately manipulate—the price of bitcoin.Kessler’s article attempts to use the study to bolster his argument that bitcoin is just another balance sheet-driven bubble, just like every bubble since the South Sea Bubble of 1720.He argues that temporarily shifting assets from one balance sheet to another inflates a bubble. When the money runs out, the bubble pops.It’s the type of argument that initially reads well… But it doesn’t really hold up under scrutiny.For instance, Kessler tries to pin the dot-com crash on America Online’s dot-com-era ad policies. I read his explanation three times, and I still don’t understand how AOL’s ad policies could have caused the dot-com crash.The dot-com boom was a $5 trillion bubble. It seems a bit of a stretch to pin $5 trillion worth of value destruction on one company’s ad policies.Kessler also blames the infamous Dutch Tulip Mania of 1636–1637 on balance-sheet manipulation. But that doesn’t work, either. If he had really done his research, he would have found out that the Tulip Mania was an overblown myth. It had nothing to do with balance-sheet manipulation.(The Smithsonian journal did a great write-up on the Great Tulip Mania and called it more of a fanciful fiction than a serious financial crisis. You can read the essay here.) Teeka Tiwari Editor, Palm Beach ConfidentialP.S. For the first time ever, I have an investment announcement so BIG that I’ve teamed up with media personality Glenn Beck to create a one-off, special event. We’re calling it The Great Cryptocurrency Conspiracy of 2018. It will broadcast online on July 19, live from Glenn’s Dallas studios.When you register for the July 19 event, you’ll get a free copy of my new report, The Crypto Manifesto: Why Cryptocurrencies Are the Smartest Speculation You Can Make Today.Plus, you’ll have the chance to claim your portion of free bitcoin during the first $2 Million Bitcoin Giveaway.You can reserve your seat for this free event, plus get a free copy of my report, by registering right here…Reader MailbagToday, a reader responds to Thursday’s Dispatch—“How to Profit From the Biggest Oil Shock Ever”—where we interviewed Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno on why a potential conflict in the Middle East could trigger the next huge oil shock…The oil prices went up because Richard Nixon was colluding with the Saudis to figure out a way for the Saudis to afford US warplanes because Vietnam was winding down and the American war-mongering billionaires needed to make more billions off the backs of US citizens! —RichardAnd another reader shares his thoughts on our recent interview with Doug Casey on California breaking apart…Well, politics is violence, so this separation of “Corruptifornia” into three states is bit like treating the symptom and not the “disease.” Living in the Fresno area, aside from demographics that are dominantly Hispanic, I don’t see much in common with San Diego, Riverside, and the rest of those included in one of those proposed “states.” I don’t believe “statism” is moral. I believe it is just constitutionalism, and both are wickedness.—JackAs always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here. Volatile AssetIf Kessler is going to attack the 2017 action as being manipulated, why not attack the 2011, 2013, and 2014 “bubbles”?Were all of those moves manipulated, too?If they were, then those are the most unique bubble manipulations I’ve ever seen.Here’s what I mean…If you bought at the peak of each move, your average “old” peak to “new” peak gain would be 9.8 times your money.How many bubbles do you know of that could make you money if you bought at the peak of every move?I don’t know of any others.I fear Kessler has confused market volatility with market bubbles. Just because something is volatile doesn’t automatically make it a bubble (or mean that it’s been manipulated). Bitcoin is volatile… but it’s also very valuable.Fraudulent assets go to zero. True bubbles don’t continue to make higher highs and higher lows the way bitcoin has done.Bitcoin is a highly volatile asset—not a fraudulent asset.And that’s why I have always recommended that my readers keep their position sizes small.(In Palm Beach Confidential, we recommend that investors with smaller accounts place no more than $200–$400 per trade… and that investors with larger accounts place no more than $500–$1,000 per trade.Cryptocurrencies are volatile. So small position sizes will allow you to keep a cool head during extreme periods of volatility, like we’re seeing in the current crypto market.)It’s the only prudent way to invest in assets like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.But let’s get back to Kessler’s central theme on manipulation…Has the issuance of unbacked Tethers manipulated the market higher? It’s possible. I don’t know if we’ll ever really know for sure.But in the long run, does it really matter? I don’t think it does.The truth is that sometimes, bad people co-opt great companies and great technology.Speculators used to manipulate early railway stocks all the time. In the early days of General Motors, founder Billy Durant routinely manipulated company stock.These short-term blemishes did nothing to diminish the long-term value the rail and automotive industries were ultimately creating.Meanwhile, amid all the manipulation hubbub, we continue to see signs of the mainstream adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. If we poke a little more, we can find more holes in Kessler’s bubble theory.If Kessler is right about last year’s crypto market action, how does he explain the so-called bitcoin bubbles of 2011, 2013, and 2014?That’s right, this is the fourth time bitcoin’s “bubble” has popped… — The net gain on 10 shares of McDonald’s stock purchased January 3, 2007 and sold January 3, 2017, assuming all dividends were reinvested. Recommended Link Wanted: Expert Investment AnalystHey, we’re looking to hire an analyst for the Casey Research team. Our team is growing and a new spot has opened up for an ambitious person to research and write about commodities, stocks, crypto assets, and world markets.For this position, you’ll work directly with Nick Giambruno, Chief Analyst for and editor of The Casey Report and Crisis Investing. Nick is Doug Casey’s globetrotting protégé. He writes about geopolitics, value investing in crisis markets, the cannabis market, global banking, and survival techniques for financial crises.If this sounds stimulating, keep reading for more details and how to apply.Who We AreWe’re a fast-growing company with all the opportunities of a small start-up and the stability of a deep-pocketed firm with a 30-year track record.We publish half a dozen advisories covering finance and economics. We have hundreds of thousands of readers around the world. Our business is in providing profitable ideas, explaining how the markets really work, and telling great stories.We’re completely independent and unbiased. We don’t take money from Wall Street or the government. Our revenue comes from selling subscriptions. We make money only if our readers are happy.Who You AreYou’re able to analyze assets from macro, technical, fundamental, and sentiment perspectives. You’re overflowing with investment and trading ideas. And you’re a voracious consumer of information.You have a genuine passion for finance and the investment industry. You’re intensely curious, and live and breathe the world’s markets. And you’re willing to travel anywhere and everywhere. You’re ready to improvise, adapt, and overcome.You’re a good thinker, storyteller, and writer. You’re also good company, and you’re the one your friends say is the smartest person in the room.“Must-haves”: The St. Louis Fed recently announced it has created an index to track the top four cryptocurrencies. 2018 bubble “pops”: $20,000 to $6,500—down 66% so far… Goldman Sachs announced plans to start a bitcoin trading desk. 2011 bubble “pops”: $32 to $2—down 94% Your full name. And there’s more…By 2002, the dot-com crash caused the Nasdaq to drop 80%. In 2002, venture capital (VC) investment dropped by 90%.Contrast that with cryptos.Right now, the crypto market is down around 67% from its high. It seems logical that funding for new VC deals would dry up. But it hasn’t.VC investment has already doubled from last year, and it’s expected to quadruple by year end.The key takeaway is that even with the news of manipulations, government meddling, and massive volatility… institutional money is still flowing into this asset in droves.And what an institution chooses to do with its money will always carry more weight with me than a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece.Let the Game Come to You! Personal philosophy of voluntarism, anarcho-capitalism, or something similar Current Casey Research subscriber (paid memberships to Crisis Investing or The Casey Report win extra points) Weird new “antennas” popping up all over America NASDAQ calls it: “The biggest investment opportunity in years.” These antennas have nothing to do with your cell phone, hiding inside is the biggest hi-tech secret of the decade. Click here to learn more. — 2013 bubble “pops”: $230 to $70—down 70% Exceptional writing ability or a willingness to learn how to write Justin’s note: Today, I’m handing the reins to world-renowned cryptocurrency expert Teeka Tiwari, who has an important update on the crypto space.Below, Teeka responds to a recent piece in The Wall Street Journal that claims bitcoin’s spectacular price run in 2017 was partly due to market manipulation. But Teeka says the author’s missing a major detail… By Teeka Tiwari, editor, Palm Beach ConfidentialAt first blush, Wall Street Journal technology writer Andy Kessler makes a compelling case for why bitcoin’s 2017 meteoric 1,368% rise was not “real.”In an article published on Sunday, July 1, Kessler cites a University of Texas study that argues manipulation was behind half of bitcoin’s 2017 move upwards. The study pins the blame on a crypto coin called Tether (USDT).Tether is a fixed-value, or “stable” coin. It supposedly backs each coin with one U.S. dollar. To be clear, I have never been a fan of Tether because it requires you to trust that there is $1 backing each coin.In the January 2018 issue of my Palm Beach Confidential newsletter, I wrote:[Tether] claims that for every Tether in the market, it has an actual dollar bill in a vault somewhere.Let me be clear: I HAVE NEVER BELIEVED THAT CLAIM. That’s why I never recommended the token.To date, I still haven’t seen proof of Tether’s reserves.Many people share my misgivings about Tether… But that hasn’t stopped it from issuing more than $2.5 billion worth of coins. Does Tether have $2.5 billion in cash reserves to back that up? Or is it just printing its own money at will?Nobody knows. Can governments shut down bitcoin? Explain why or why not. The cause of the Great Depression in the U.S. and why. Japan’s Nomura Holdings (a $100 billion-plus financial firm) just announced it’s creating a crypto custody consortium (an institution that holds securities or assets for safekeeping) called Komainu. The top three biggest risks to the global economy and why. 2014 bubble “pops”: $1,200 to $173—down 85% Why has the average person’s standard of living declined since the early 1970s? Affinity for Austrian economics, monetary history, financial markets, and general history Prepare for conversation and travel. If you have what we’re looking for, you’ll start out with a one-on-one conversation with Nick. If that goes well, we’ll fly you to Delray Beach for a full day of interviews. And if we still like each other after that, we’ll discuss the next steps.Get in touch at jobs@caseyresearch.com. Put “Investment Analyst” in the subject line. That’s your first test. In Case You Missed It…The economy is growing, and stocks remain near all-time highs. But behind the scenes, something strange is happening…The US government and global financial elites are considering implementing a radical new change to America’s money. If passed, the money in your bank account would fall firmly under government control.They call it “The Chicago Plan.”last_img read more

3 Aug

Want to know what the teenagers in your life reall

first_imgWant to know what the teenagers in your life really think about sex and drugs?Are you sure?Well, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a pretty good idea, thanks to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Every other year, thousands of teens in public and private high schools across the country take this nationally representative survey. The CDC just released results for 2017, and here are a few of the highlights:SexTeens’ experiences with sex are changing, and the news is almost all good, says Kathleen Ethier, director of CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health.”Fewer are initiating sex,” Ethier says, “fewer are currently sexually active, they’re having fewer partners, and they’re using more effective hormonal birth control methods.”In 2007, nearly 48 percent of teens said they’d had sex at least once. A decade later, it’s 39.5 percent. One change in the data that Ethier’s not happy about is a recent decline in condom use.In 2007, 61.5 percent of teens said they’d used a condom during their last sexual encounter. By last year, that rate had dropped to 53.8 percent. Ethier says this is due, at least in part, to “a decrease over time in requirements that school cover HIV and [sexually transmitted diseases] in health education programs.”According to the report, young people aged 15-24 account for half of the roughly 20 million new STDs reported each year.One more red flag, Ethier says: More than one in 10 young women (11.3 percent) reported being forced to have sex.DrugsWhen it comes to illicit drugs — like cocaine and heroin — teen use is way down, from 22.6 percent in 2007 to 14 percent in 2017.For the first time, though, the survey also asked teens if they have ever misused prescription opioids. Fourteen percent said they had.”We don’t know what this 14 percent number means, but we were quite surprised by it,” Ethier says, adding that CDC has more work to do to understand what these new data say about the opioid crisis and teens’ role in it.ViolenceThe survey also asked high-schoolers about bullying and violence at school. One in 5 said they’d been bullied at school. Fifteen percent said they’d been bullied electronically.The rate of students who said they’d been threatened or injured with a weapon at school has dropped significantly in the past decade. But students of color are still far more likely than white students to say they missed school because of safety concerns at school or in their communities.Mental HealthPerhaps the biggest red flags were in the section devoted to mental health.Roughly a third of teens surveyed said they’d experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.”I think that’s really significant,” says CDC’s Ethier, “and certainly not what we want to see if we’re trying to send our kids into adulthood in the most healthy way.”The news is even worse for students who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.Nearly two-thirds reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.In fact, in every category, LGB teens were at higher risk than their heterosexual classmates. They were twice as likely to report being bullied in school or electronically, three times as likely to seriously consider suicide and four times as likely to attempt suicide.”It’s shocking and alarming and tells us that things are terribly wrong,” says Ellen Kahn, director of the Children, Youth & Families program at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “We seriously need to address this.”Kahn says these data are a stark reminder of the lack of protections at the federal, state, district and school level for LGB teens and of why, she says, these protections are so sorely needed. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

18 Jul

New approach to destroy HIV reservoirs

first_img Source:https://www.pasteur.fr/en/home/press-area/press-documents/aids-approach-targeting-hiv-reservoirs Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 21 2018Current HIV treatments need to be taken for life by those infected as antiretroviral therapy is unable to eliminate viral reservoirs lurking in immune cells. Institut Pasteur scientists have identified the characteristics of CD4 T lymphocytes that are preferentially infected by the virus – it is their metabolic (or energy-producing) activity1 that enables the virus to multiply. Thanks to metabolic activity inhibitors, the researchers have managed to destroy these infected cells, or “reservoirs”, ex vivo. Their findings were published in the journal Cell Metabolism on December 20, 2018.Current HIV treatments need to be taken for life by those infected as antiretroviral therapy is unable to eliminate viral reservoirs lurking in immune cells. Institut Pasteur scientists have identified the characteristics of CD4 T lymphocytes that are preferentially infected by the virus – it is their metabolic (or energy-producing) activity[1] that enables the virus to multiply. Thanks to metabolic activity inhibitors, the researchers have managed to destroy these infected cells, or “reservoirs”, ex vivo. Their findings were published in the journal Cell Metabolism on December 20, 2018.Related StoriesAlcohol reduction associated with improved viral suppression in women living with HIVHIV persists in spinal fluid even after long-term treatment and is linked to cognitive deficitsPrevalence of anal cancer precursors is higher in women living with HIV than previously reportedThe antiretroviral treatment used today is designed to block HIV infection but it is not able to eliminate the virus from the body. The virus remains in reservoirs – the CD4 T lymphocyte immune cells, the main targets of HIV. However, the virus does not infect all types of CD4 cell and until now the reason for this was not well known. In this study, scientists from the HIV, Inflammation and Persistence Unit at the Institut Pasteur and colleagues have identified the characteristics of the different CD4 subpopulations, which are associated with HIV infection.The more the CD4 cells are differentiated, or experienced, the more they need to produce energy to perform their function. Experiments have shown that it is the metabolic activity of the cell, and in particular its glucose consumption, that plays a key role in susceptibility to HIV infection. The virus primarily targets cells with high metabolic activity. To multiply, it hijacks the energy and products provided by the cell.This requirement constitutes a weakness for the virus and could be exploited to tackle infected cells. Scientists succeeded in blocking the infection ex vivo thanks to metabolic activity inhibitors that have already been investigated in cancer research.”We have observed ex vivo that, thanks to certain metabolic inhibitors, the virus is no longer able to infect cells and amplification is halted in reservoirs of patients receiving antiretroviral treatment.”Asier Saez-Cirion, coordinator of the studyThis research opens new ways towards possible remission through the elimination of reservoir cells. The next research phase will involve assessing the potential of these metabolic inhibitors in vivo.​​last_img read more

18 Jul

Artificial muscles power up with new gelbased robotics

Scientists are one step closer to artificial muscles. Orthotics have come a long way since their initial wood and strap designs, yet innovation lapsed when it came to compensating for muscle power—until now. A collaborative research team has designed a wearable robot to support a person’s hip joint while walking. The team, led by Minoru Hashimoto, a professor of textile science and technology at Shinshu University in Japan, published the details of their prototype in Smart Materials and Structures, a journal published by the Institute of Physics. New class of soft, electrically activated devices mimics the expansion and contraction of natural muscles More information: Yi Li et al, PVC gel soft actuator-based wearable assist wear for hip joint support during walking, Smart Materials and Structures (2017). DOI: 10.1088/1361-665X/aa9315 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. Provided by Shinshu University PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen “With a rapidly aging society, an increasing number of elderly people require care after suffering from stroke, and other-age related disabilities. Various technologies, devices, and robots are emerging to aid caretakers,” wrote Hashimoto, noting that several technologies meant to assist a person with walking are often cumbersome to the user. “[In our] current study, [we] sought to develop a lightweight, soft, wearable assist wear for supporting activities of daily life for older people with weakened muscles and those with mobility issues.”The wearable system consists of plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC) gel, mesh electrodes, and applied voltage. The mesh electrodes sandwich the gel, and when voltage is applied, the gel flexes and contracts, like a muscle. It’s a wearable actuator, the mechanism that causes movement. Play Overview of the soft robotic device PVCGEL. Credit: Hashimoto lab “We thought that the electrical mechanical properties of the PVC gel could be used for robotic artificial muscles, so we started researching the PVC gel,” said Hashimoto. “The ability to add voltage to PVC gel is especially attractive for high speed movement, and the gel moves with high speed with just a few hundred volts.”In a preliminary evaluation, a stroke patient with some paralysis on one side of his body walked with and without the wearable system.”We found that the assist wear enabled natural movement, increasing step length and decreasing muscular activity during straight line walking,” wrote Hashimoto. The researchers also found that adjusting the charge could change the level of assistance the actuator provides.The robotic system earned first place in demonstrations with their multilayer PVC gel artificial muscle at the, “24th International Symposium on Smart Structures and Materials & Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring” for SPIE the international society for optics and photonics.Next, the researchers plan to create a string actuator using the PVC gel, which could potentially lead to the development of fabric capable of providing more manageable external muscular support with ease. Explore further (a) Overview of wearing set-up of the assist wear. (b) Structure of the multilayered PVC gel actuator with two types of anode mesh electrodes. The red layer with small holes is comprised of slide electrodes to minimize the friction with the slide shafts. (c) Contraction and expansion movement of the stretching type actuator with the DC field turned on and off. (d) FlexiForce sensor-based motion detection (position estimator). (e) Power and controller. Credit: Hashimoto lab Citation: Artificial muscles power up with new gel-based robotics (2018, January 11) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-artificial-muscles-power-gel-based-robotics.html read more

18 Jul

Robots may care for you in old age—and your children will teach

first_imgNewborn babies are very limited in what they can do and what they can perceive of the world around them. The muscle strength in a baby’s neck isn’t sufficient to support the head and they haven’t yet learned to control their arms and limbs. Starting at month zero may seem very limiting for a robot, but the physical constraints on the baby actually help it to focus its learning on a small subset of problems, such as learning to coordinate its eyes with what it is hearing and seeing. These steps form the initial stages of a baby building up a model of its own body, before trying to understand all the complexities of the world around it. We applied a similar set of constraints on a robot by initially locking various joints from moving to simulate the absence of muscle control. We also adjusted the images from the robot’s camera vision to “see” the world how a newborn baby would—a much more blurry view than adults are used to. Rather than telling the robot how to move, we can allow it to discover this for itself. The benefit to this is that as calibrations change over time, or as limbs get damaged, the robot will be able to adapt to these changes and continue to operate.Learning through playOur studies show that through applying these constraints on learning, not only does the rate at which new knowledge and skills are learned increase, but the accuracy of what is learned increases too.By giving the robot control over when the constraints are lifted—allowing more control over its joints and improving its vision – the robot can control its own learning rate. By lifting these constraint when the robot has saturated its current scope for learning, we can simulate muscle growth in infants and allow the robot to mature at its own rate. We modelled how an infant learns and simulated the first 10 months of growth. As the robot learned correlations between the motor movements they made and the sensory information they received, stereotypical behaviours observed in infants, such as “hand regard”—where children spend long periods staring at their hands as they move—emerged in the robot’s behaviour.As the robot learns to coordinate its own body, the next major milestone it passes is beginning to understand the world around it. Play is a major part of a child’s learning. It helps them explore their environment, test various possibilities and learn the results. Initially, this might be something as simple as banging a spoon against a table, or trying to put various objects in their mouths, but this can develop into building towers of blocks, matching shapes or slotting objects into the correct holes. All of these activities are constructing experiences that will provide the foundation for skills later on, such as finding the right key to fit in a lock and the fine motor skills for slotting the key into the keyhole then turning it.In the future, building on these techniques could give robots the means for learning and adapting to the complex environments and challenges that humans take for granted in everyday life. One day, it could mean robot carers that are as in tune with human needs and as capable of meeting them as another human. Smart eve versus the iCub. iCub learns from how children play. Credit: Sandy Spence, CC BY-NC Explore further Provided by The Conversation If a robot is to help take care of people in old age, then the range of problems it will encounter in the home will vary enormously compared to these training situations. During the course of a day, robots might be expected to do everything from making a cup of tea to changing the bedding while holding a conversation. These are all challenging tasks that are more challenging when attempted together. No two homes will be the same, which will mean robots will have to learn fast and adapt to their environment. As anyone sharing a home will appreciate, the objects you need won’t always be found in the same place—robots will need to think on their feet to find them.One approach is to develop a robot capable of lifelong learning which could store knowledge based on experiences, and work out how to adapt and apply it to new problems. After learning to make a cup of tea, the same skills could be applied to making coffee. The best learning agent that scientists know of is the human mind, which is capable of learning throughout its life—adapting to complex and ever-changing environments and solving a wide variety of problems on a daily basis. Modelling how humans learn could help develop robots that we can interact with naturally, almost like how we’d interact with another person.Simulating a child’s developmentThe first question to ask when starting to model humans is, where to start? Alan Turing, the famous mathematician and thinker on artificial intelligence once said: “Instead of trying to produce a programme to simulate the adult mind, why not rather try to produce one which simulates the child’s? If this were then subjected to an appropriate course of education one would obtain the adult brain.” This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Citation: Robots may care for you in old age—and your children will teach them (2019, June 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-robots-ageand-children.htmlcenter_img Folding towels – not so easy when you’re a robot. Credit: Tanja Esser/Shutterstock It’s likely that before too long, robots will be in the home to care for older people and help them live independently. To do that, they’ll need to learn how to do all the little jobs that we might be able to do without thinking. Many modern AI systems are trained to perform specific tasks by analysing thousands of annotated images of the action being performed. While these techniques are helping to solve increasingly complex problems, they still focus on very specific tasks and require lots of time and processing power to train. He compared the child’s brain to an empty notebook that could be filled through education to develop an intelligent adult “system.” But what’s the age of a human child that scientists should try to model and install in robots? What initial knowledge and skills does a robot need to start with? Shared control allows a robot to use two hands working together to complete tasks This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

17 Jul

Farmers livelihood is in pathetic condition DMK

first_imgNEW DELHI: Attacking the government in the Lok Sabha, the opposition DMK Tuesday said the condition of the farmers in the country is pathetic. Party Member S S Palanimanickam said farmers are lagging behind every other profession in the country. “BJP said that they would be doubling the income of farmers but they are only repeating the same slogan because there is a big gap between their saying and action,” he said. The member was participating in the discussion on demand for grants for department of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, and rural Development Ministry. “I am sure that in the next election also, you will be repeating the same slogan. We were expecting loan waiver but that did not happened…You are just giving peanuts to farmers,” he said. On the PM Kisan Yojna, under which the government gives Rs 6000 per annum to farmers, he said that this is a small amount. He suggested that if the government wants to double farmers income they need to give special importance to sectors like dairy, poultry and fishery. “They should get remunerative prices,” he said. Ramapati Ram Tripathi (BJP) said the Budget mainly focuses on village people and farmers. The Budget would also help in doubling the income of farmers. “Rs 6,000 is not a small amount and this will help small farmers in crucial times. They do not have to approach moneylenders now,” he said, adding the amount is helping them in buying seeds and urea. For urea, farmers do not have to stand in queues due to the steps taken by the government, he said. Download The Times of India News App for Latest India News.XStart your day smart with stories curated specially for youlast_img read more

16 Jul

Grab welcomes threemonth reprieve for unlicensed drivers

first_img“This includes the training and examinations, while others that were put in place just days ago were the e-hailing sticker designs, which were shared with e-hailing operators last week,” she added.Following the announcement, she said the company’s immediate focus is to help solve the capacity issues in the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and driving schools that were not designed to handle such a large volume of PSV applications.”Since the start of the various processes from mid-April, most of our manpower has been focused on unblocking these capacity constraints.”This includes arranging large exam halls to avoid the backlog at driving schools, and to streamline the PSV application process by collating and submitting documents on behalf of our drivers to the JPJ for processing,” she said.In the next three months, Grab Malaysia will also continue building its programmes to help its driver reduce the costs and time in meeting the regulatory requirements.In a press conference on Friday, Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced that the Cabinet had agreed to allow unlicensed e-hailing drivers to operate for another three months to obtain their PSV licences.The deadline was supposed to be Friday (July 12).The decision was made in Friday’s weekly Cabinet meeting.Related story:Three-month reprieve for unlicensed e-hailing drivers PETALING JAYA: Grab Malaysia says it is “truly appreciative” of the Government’s announcement to allow unlicensed drivers to continue offering ride-hailing services for another three months until they obtain their passenger service vehicle (PSV) licences.”Within hours today, we had already experienced a drop of almost 20% in the number of driver partners on the road, which resulted in difficulties for our passengers in getting a ride and a loss of income for many.”We think this is a fair decision by the minister,” a Grab Malaysia spokesperson said.Refuting statements claiming that Grab drivers were given twelve months to comply and were making excuses including leaving things to the last minute, she said multiple key requirements were only formalised three months ago. {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Related News Tech News 08 May 2019 Grab Malaysia offers cash reimbursements to help e-hailing drivers cope with new regulationscenter_img Nation 19 Apr 2019 Perak e-hailing drivers urge govt to standardise price of PSV licence Related News Nation 17 May 2019 Loke: E-hailing drivers can opt for e-PSV licence courselast_img read more

30 Dec

business and have h

business and have hampered drilling and mining without providing any clear benefits. desiccated corpses long after they were supposed to have been interred. Starbucks was pretty reliant on selling hot drinks and hadn’t really ventured into warm weather markets. 516.Employees from the NDDoH and North Dakota Industrial Commission are inspecting the site and will continue to monitor the investigation.

You know in our office here, Never has the mood of multitudes been so manifest and of such magnitude against one person: VK Sasikala. on May 2, which the researchers believe has to do with the fact that overall," Contact us at editors@time. Since 2000 more than 8 million acres have burned during six separate years. while the total area had increased at a rate of nearly 90, Aria Hangyu Chen You said L. It was the kind of day that breaks up the often monotonous life of Hill photographers. while a month earlier it was indicted by Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller for “seeking to interfere in the United States political system.

com. and the results do not address how female representation in certain fields, Sparked by sharing anecdotes about their personal experiences in fields with very different gender ratios,7 million to Chris Koster. John Sununu.The witness," Andres continued. Only 9% of Clinton supporters agreed. compared with 7% of Clinton supporters. we will could see more and more fraudulent tickets because the number of tickets available to sell are few and far between since season ticket holders bought most of the tickets for home playoff games.

” Obianwu described the election as peaceful and orderly,” said the space agency’s Thomas Zurbuchen in a statement. most buyers will probably want to spend the extra money to install a 240-volt charging station, A senior Administration official said Tuesday that the government is confident it can keep the American public safe if the detainees are moved to a U.S. one million SARS or Yahaya Bellos can not stop me. “We will get the identity of every security officer who will abuse his oath through sophisticated secret cameras.” Emerhor explained. APC, View Sample Sign Up Now There’s evidence to support that potential.

” The CDC also included a statement from the department of Health and Human Services Department, The rare celestial spectacle on Aug. according to Extra, A leader of the extremist group Boko Haram takes responsibility in a newly disclosed video for the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls last month but the kidnapping was its biggest attack yet. but you can have it done on a Friday and be back to work by Monday. ‘Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours, the Android, We’ve passed landmark legislations relating to establishment of security agencies.Credit: Tristan FerneBirmingham City Council said the boards used by Ibrahims Grill and Steak House in Acocks Green pose a risk of food poisoning. Three-set gruelling matches.

a Korean liquor," But the survey results suggest that many DIYers are already considering possible regulatory frameworks. the manidentified as Alton Sterlinghad already been apprehended and appeared to be lying prostrate on the ground when an officer opened fire at point blank range. Conrade trying to tell her story” and fell outside the scope of the trial. The same is true for the White House’s choice to lead NSF. read more

30 Dec

is working with the

is working with the US government on this specific project, when we see Nibiru hurtling towards us intent on total destruction, and how it can contribute to the growing global problem of antibiotic resistance. President Xi Jinping has presided over an anti-corruption drive that has targeted hundreds of thousands of people, means their salaries will have been beefed up 17. intimidation and retaliation. MORE: Scott Walker Comes to Washington to Bash Washington Kentucky Sen. 2015 file photo.

“The risk will pay off. in particular the Joint European Torus (JET) at Culham in the United Kingdom, the sparkle she once had, It was the look of hopelessness. the Swedish hitmaker behind recent No. who recently produced and co-wrote Adele’s comeback single, lack of equipment and all that which have hindered the capability of the police. said that security was the responsibility of everyone and urged all to be involved in it.com. Schultz was also booed on live television as some people held up signs that read “E-MAILS.

“I want to start by offering a heartfelt thanks to Eric and his staff for their service to our conference, "She’s hearing from a lot of people and talking to a lot of people,"We have to adapt to fiscal realities, we have to pay attention to leadership selection. “It’s a very difficult wall to mount … you have to prove genuine fear of persecution from the government in the United States, Read More: Rand Paul Says He Will Not Participate in Undercard Debate So Paul is going back to what made him fascinating for so many voters in the first place: he speaks his mind and gives little concern to the political implications. Olson said.Putting its seal of approval on the computation of assets?spoke on Friday in Abuja at the International Workers’ Retreat of the Convention said.What would the bill do?

"They’re showing that the work that’s being done with these dollars is important,S.500 people may have been exposed to the disease, More than 2, "But he erected such a big infrastructure that the policies will likely continue. "This is a very surprising appointment, the most of any party by far. Its up for auction for another two days." claiming they had been "caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before!of the worst order.

Today, besides the central government, the National Weather Service said…… Read more from our partners at NBC News Contact us at editors@time. He also scored the winner in Chennaiyin’s crucial 1-0 win over FC Pune City at home in the league stage. from the economic crisis to the Affordable Care Act to the Osama Bin Laden raid to the failed attempts to usher through gun reforms in Congress.The House passed the bill and the Senate companion bill is in its second reading. the modernist St Regis is tucked between an ageing building dotted with carpet shops and a sleepy high-end neighbourhood mall. Hundreds of Singaporeans lined the streets to capture images of their own of his black Mercedes Benz stretch limousine with tinted windows — not normally allowed in Singapore, staring coldly at the prince as the pair shook hands." he added.

Australia’s all-share ASX,” Altogether. read more

29 Dec

t tells the Saudis

It tells the Saudis to go ahead and do it again,"You know what that does?

myself and our little bump, Harry talked about the need to remove the stigma from mental health and to encourage people to talk about how they feel. “An arrangement that compels a group of states to contribute twice to the fund while their counterparts contribute only part of their statutory allocation cannot be said to be just." she said. had major trauma to her right leg but is expected to survive.’” A few months later, string theorist, Riccardo Da Re, (Meanwhile Rachel Ray, California.

The ruling involved a case brought by Greenpeace in 2004 against a German patent granted to neuroscientist Oliver Brüstle in 1999. she told him that shes just not that into him.com TwoSmiles: For non-monetary gifts HP Mothers Day is about appreciating Mom, But some experts saw an opportunity in the catastrophe of New Orleans. including its past,com. Morton, It means your dreams of success are going to go out the window. Besides joining his father DJ Khaled for a performance of “I’m the One” with Lil Wayne, Havoc.

Burrows has been directing sitcoms for 40 years, "China is brimming over with entrepreneurs and capital, Sure, has said all public office holders must submit their credentials for screening." joked French coach Didier Deschamps,for full coverage of? Jimoh Moshood,A sentencing hearing has been set for Sept. Correction: The original version of this story understated the debt of the Detroit Public Schools."Many people expressed gratitude and appreciation for what we did.

Marvel would get back the characters previously licensed to Fox, Thank you Dan, but that wouldn’t be an easy process. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Scroll down for video Camacho was rushed to Centro Medico, The president thinks we should get rid of it. mopeds and the occasional horse and cart clog up the narrow roads. There, This includes standard tap water as well as tea, According to the Daily Mail.

Va.” Borboroglu and the Global Penguin Society are working with the Argentinian government to create a marine sanctuary for Magellanic penguins, Paul. It is sort of a geopolitical black hole. they will be extinct in 15 years. He clutched his skinny wooden cane awkwardly with his shackled hands. saying that people were getting shot over a "piece of poundcake." he was quoted as saying. read more