The Great Insect Dying: How to save insects and ourselves

first_imgThe entomologists interviewed for this Mongabay series agreed on three major causes for the ongoing and escalating collapse of global insect populations: habitat loss (especially due to agribusiness expansion), climate change and pesticide use. Some added a fourth cause: human overpopulation.Solutions to these problems exist, most agreed, but political commitment, major institutional funding and a large-scale vision are lacking. To combat habitat loss, researchers urge preservation of biodiversity hotspots such as primary rainforest, regeneration of damaged ecosystems, and nature-friendly agriculture.Combatting climate change, scientists agree, requires deep carbon emission cuts along with the establishment of secure, very large conserved areas and corridors encompassing a wide variety of temperate and tropical ecosystems, sometimes designed with preserving specific insect populations in mind.Pesticide use solutions include bans of some toxins and pesticide seed coatings, the education of farmers by scientists rather than by pesticide companies, and importantly, a rethinking of agribusiness practices. The Netherlands’ Delta Plan for Biodiversity Recovery includes some of these elements. In recent months a debate over whether a global insect apocalypse is underway has raged in the mainstream media and among researchers. To assess the range of scientific opinion, Mongabay interviewed 24 entomologists and other scientists working on six continents, in more than a dozen countries, to better determine what we know, what we don’t, and most importantly — what we should do about it. This is part 4 of a four part exclusive series written by Mongabay senior contributor Jeremy Hance. Click on the following links to read part 1, part 2, and part 3.They formed the unlikeliest of survey teams: in 2017, University of Reno entomologist Lee Dyer, graduate student Danielle Salcido, and executives from some of the world’s biggest banks spent a week roughing it at a gathering facilitated by the Earthwatch Institute. The team chatted, laughed, hiked and scrounged the coniferous forests of Arizona’s Chiricahua National Forest hunting for bugs.At night, the researchers gave presentations about the impacts of global warming on insect populations. On the last day, a researcher offered a talk on the value of native plantings around homes — a message that really connected.“They loved that talk; discussion ensued, and they left with excitement to plant native trees in their yards,” says Salcido. But she worries whether this small-scale solution undercut a week’s worth of messaging to get these powerful people to comprehend the links between a rapidly warming world, plummeting insect populations, and the impacts both may have on ecosystems and civilization.“I was disappointed they left thinking we can solve these complicated global issues by planting a tree,” she says. “In their minds ‘doing their part’ was so distilled and small-scale; I realized that when many people are giving honest efforts to do their part, they are naïve [as] to how much change that will bring about.”last_img read more

Ahanmisi goes back-to-back in Obstacle Challenge

first_imgMOST READ Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead Maverick Ahanmisi wins the Obstacle Challenge for the 2nd straight year. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/INQUIRER.jetLUCENA — Maverick Ahanmisi retained his Obstacle Challenge crown Friday in the 2017 PBA All-Star Week at Quezon Convention Center here.The Rain or Shine sophomore easily bested his foes with a flawless final run, setting the standard with 25.8 seconds. No one else was able to close.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Bulacan town gears up for biggest cookie jar LATEST STORIES Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Wildlife rescuers asked to turn over animals to DENR Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Mangosong tapped as favorite in Diamond Supercrosscenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte “It was tough. I was lucky in the final round that I was able to go hard and not make any mistake,” he said. “I had great players behind me to chase my score but I’m just lucky to come out with the win.”San Miguel’s Alex Cabagnot placed second with 26.7 seconds, followed by NLEX’s Emman Monfort at third with 27.1 seconds.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnRJ Jazul, Simon Enciso, and Sol Mercado all advanced to the final round but were unable to dislodge the titlist from his throne.Mon Abundo, Ed Daquioag, Stanley Pringle, LA Revilla, Kris Rosales, and Roi Sumang also were in the field but got the boot in the first round. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going homelast_img read more

Hawksbee and Jacobs daily – Tuesday, April 14

first_imgListen to the best bits from Tuesday’s Hawksbee and Jacobs show.last_img

TEAGHLACH, TEANGA, POLAITÍOCHT AGUS AN tAIRE

first_imgLabhair an tAire Stáit na Gaeltachta, Donnchadh Mac Fhionnlaoich ar na daoine a chuaigh i bhfeidhm air le linn a óige i nGaeltacht Dhún na nGall.D’inis sé chomh maith cad é mar a raibh scoilt sa teaghlach ó thaobh na polaitíochta agus cad é mar a spreag sé le Garrett Fitzgerald nuair a bhí sé ina mhac léinn i mBaile Átha Cliath.Bhí sé ag caint in agallamh ar na mallaibh agus dúirt sé in ainneoin go raibh an teanga faoi bhrú sa Ghaletacht “tá tobar mór Gaeilge ar fud na tire”. “Sin an fáth, ins an Dáil deireanach, gur chuir muid an polasaí seo le chéile agus tá anois mar aidhm ag an rialtas seo é a chur i bhfeidhm.“`Is fearr Gaeilge bhriste ná Béarla cliste’ agus tuigfidh an pobal é sin. Beidh meas ar an iarracht as seo amach, ní ar an chaighdeán atá acu, ach ar an iarracht,” ar seisean.Dúirt sé go raibh a aintín, Máire Nic Fhionnlaoich, a chuaigh sí i bhfeidhm go mór air.“Seanchaí a bhí inti agus chaith Máirtín Ó Cadhain seachtain ins an teach linn sna caogadaí agus ghlac sé síos cuid dena cuid scéalta ar téipeanna agus tháinig leabhar amach anuraidh, ‘Ó Cadhain i dTír Chonaill’. “Chuir Pádraig Ó Baoill amach é agus tá cuid dá cuid scéalta ansin. Agus níos fearr ná sin, tá dlúthdhioscaí dá cuid cainte ansin agus tá sé cosúil le glór ar ais ón tsíoraíocht. Bhí sí an-chineálta agus chuaigh sí i bhfeidhm go mór orm agus ar na deartháireacha eile a bhí sa teach.”Is féidir an t–agallamh a léamh anseo www.beo.ieTEAGHLACH, TEANGA, POLAITÍOCHT AGUS AN tAIRE was last modified: November 16th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Dinny McGinleyDonnchadh Mac Fhionnlaoichlast_img

Cardiff chief reveals why Warnock left and says club are ‘close’ to new manager

first_imgBREAKING: @JimWhite understands that Neil Harris is Cardiff’s number one choice to replace Neil Warnock. Listen → https://t.co/nOCybh8ExD pic.twitter.com/UDkcZaWuej— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) November 12, 2019And, with the paint barely dry since Warnock’s announcement, Dalman has revealed Cardiff are already close to making an appointment. However, he remained tight-lipped when quizzed about revealing a name.“That’s a very long list and it’s very impressive, there are some great names there,” he said in response to the men currently linked with the job.“We are very keen to make an announcement sooner rather than later and we’re almost there.“It wouldn’t be fair to say who, but we’ve got it down to a couple of names now.“Vincent [Tan – club owner] wants to play a key role in this decision and we will proceed accordingly.”Listen back to talkSPORT’s interview with Mehmet Dalman IN FULL above “It is a shared belief that this is the right time for a new voice as we believe this squad of players is more than capable of getting success,” Warnock said in a statement.And Dalman has said he is ‘very sorry’ to see the manager leave, insisting he was not forced out of the club.Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White, the Cardiff chief said: “I’m close to Neil and I’m personally very upset that he has decided to go.“At the end of the day it was Neil’s decision. He felt the timing was right, he felt the club needed a new face, a new leader and he felt this was a good time to do it with the international break.“He’s been a great servant to us and I’m very, very sorry to see him go.”Charlton manager Lee Bowyer and ex-Brighton head coach Chris Hughton have been linked with succeeding Warnock in the hotseat, although talkSPORT understands former Millwall boss Neil Harris is the current favourite. Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman has told talkSPORT it was entirely Neil Warnock’s decision to leave the club and says they are already close to appointing his replacement.Veteran coach Warnock departed his ‘beloved Bluebirds’ on Monday after three years in charge, with the side 14th in the Championship.The 70-year-old was in the final year of his contract in south Wales and had said he would not continue beyond the end of this season, but he has decided to call it a day early. 1center_img Getty Images Neil Warnock says his three years in charge of Cardiff were “some of the best days in my long football career” last_img read more

Addison: Celtic could do to Kilmarnock what Barcelona did to them

first_imgMiles Addison admits he’s worried Celtic could inflict a similar scoreline on Kilmarnock in two weeks’ time after the Scottish champions’ mauling against Barcelona, writes Craig Turnbull.Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar put on a devastating display of attacking football as Celtic opened up their Champions League campaign with a 7-0 loss to the Catalan giants.In contrast, the Hoops have swept all aside in their path on the domestic front, with Rangers the latest to feel the full force of their attacking power after a 5-1 defeat at Celtic Park.And Addison admits they could be on the wrong end of a similar scoreline the Hoops suffered at the hands of Barcelona, at Celtic Park on September 24. “Last night showed that Celtic were way off that standard,” Addison said.“But in saying that we’re at Parkhead in a couple of weeks and some of the boys were saying the scoreline could be similar when we play them.“The standard is different but it is progress for Scottish football that they are in the competition.”He added: “We’re slightly worried because I’m sure they will still be angry from the result.” Tenth-placed Killie have had a testing start to the season after a huge overhaul of players in the summer, and Addison believes some of the youngsters that have arrived at Rugby Park have had their eyes opened to the harsh reality of Premiership football.“It feels like an English changing room now at the minute, there’s not as many Scottish boys,” he said.“If you look at the players that have come up they are all young. It was a difficult pre-season and I think a few of the boys’ eyes are open now.“From last season there is a different vibe in the changing room and I’m not sure if that’s because there has been a big change.“The squad has been improved and I think that sends positive vibes through the club.”last_img read more

The SATURDAY SIX Presents: @bioreconstruct’s Favorite Aerial Photographs (Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Volcano Bay, and more)

first_img# 1 – Parade at Magic KingdomMagic Kingdom on January 13, 2019. (photo by @bioreconstruct)My most favorite aerial, from early this year. It’s as good as any aerial photo published by Walt Disney World.I’m very pleased with this photo. It captures the entire parade, from castle hub to Town Square.I wish I had a story to tell here. It’s just a lucky shot from a charter flight. Sometimes photos just stand beautifully on their own.HONORABLE MENTION – Epcot at NightA beautiful shot of Epcot at night. (photo by @bioreconstruct)It wouldn’t be a SATURDAY SIX unless there was a bonus in the article, so we’ll include this fan favorite.In fact, this nighttime Epcot aerial is one of the most popular photos I’ve taken this year. The backstory behind it begins at top of the new Gran Destino tower in Coronado Springs. The upper floors at Destino have some splendid views of Walt Disney World, and it was surprising how bright the construction lighting was in the nearby Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at night, as seen from Gran Destino Tower. (photo by @bioreconstruct)Now, nighttime flights are incredibly tough to shoot. Focus is much harder in low light, and the aircraft is always moving. However, SW:GE was so brightly lit I figured it would be worth giving it the old college try…and I’m glad I did.The Millennium Falcon at night. (photo by @bioreconstruct)Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was so exciting to see at night! All the cranes and workers made it seem like a busy spaceport. Seen above is the Millennium Falcon with construction lighting. The flight also passed by Epcot, so I tweeted some shots and they were immediately some of the most popular aerials I’ve ever posted.In several ways, the Epcot at night aerial is actually a farewell photo. Major changes start in September for the Innoventions area, and Epcot won’t look like this for much longer.~FIN~Derek here. Talk about some great shots! I want to thank @bioreconstruct again for taking the time out of his busy schedule for this fascinating insight into his world. I say that knowing full well that many years from now I’m going to be informed that Bio never actually existed, and instead was a construct that my brain created which combined the best parts of a dozen bloggers and photographers.So there you have it: @bioreconstruct’s favorite aerials! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following: SATURDAY SIX SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: An in-depth look at theme park photographyThe SATURDAY SIX takes a 3,000 foot view of the Disneyland Resort6 Reasons you need to check out Universal’s VOLCANO BAYSpecial Thanks to The Elite Brandon Glover, the bio-est of all reconstructs @bioreconstruct, the SAT SIX Fun Squad of Parkscope Joe and Nick, hot shot Michael Carelli, and Hermione Granger’s tutor Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. The SAT SIX is inspired each week by goofballs Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde and you Potterheads will  enjoy Meg’s other blog work over at the Central Florida Slug Club.FINAL PLUG! Did you know The 2019 Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando has a special edition of the SATURDAY SIX in it?That’s right, ANOTHER NEW ONE EXCLUSIVE TO THIS EDITION!Finally, someone came up with an actual reason to read a book. ORDER this baby now!This Derek Doodle shows the green army men of Toy Story Land ready to take out a snooping @bioreconstruct # 5 – Guitar Building, Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, FloridaSeminole Hard Rock Casino on May 25, 2018. (photo by @bioreconstruct)A college friend sent a photo he took from a flight at the Ft Lauderdale airport. It showed the guitar shaped room tower under construction at Seminole Hard Rock Casino Hollywood Florida, near the airport. The building was huge, way above the tree line, and very identifiable as a guitar. I needed to see this in person, from the air. Arranged a charter flight.Weather turned out to be worrisome. Luckily, the flight was between waves of a set of coastal storm fronts.Helicopter flight path between the operator and the Casino crossed — guess what — the flight paths of runways at the Ft Lauderdale airport. Yes! Of course. I knew this well, from the photo sent by my friend. So both ways the helicopter needed to orbit in a holding pattern before the Air Traffic Controller gave permission to cross. Well, that’s an experience, crossing in front of runways of a major airport.The guitar structure is almost complete in this photo. It’s an incredible design. The flight circled it twice. On landing I quickly chose some photos and tweeted them minutes before heavy rain plowed through the area.The exterior has since been completed. Grand opening is October 24. # 2 – Millennium Falcon at Disneyland. The Fence!The Millennium Falcon in Disneyland on May 7, 2019. (photo by @bioreconstruct)There’s so much story about this photo of the Millennium Falcon at Disneyland, just weeks before Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opened.Best story of all, is that this photo was the very first published showing a fence around the Millennium Falcon. It surprised us all! (DEREK NOTE: Read more about the Smuggler’s Run fence in the official Do’s and Don’ts of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.)This was a complicated flight to arrange, not to mention being the most expensive helicopter flight I’ve ever done. It almost didn’t happen, too.I had arranged a charter flight. Plan was I would land in LA, get to the operator, fly over Disneyland, then enjoy a day at the park.Los Angeles sometimes has marine layers. Low clouds that come off the cool Pacific, collide with the surrounding mountains, and linger. I was disappointed as the flight from Orlando changed from clear skies over Palm Springs change to solid clouds over the Los Angeles area. As the jet descended to the airport I could see the cloud layer was thin, and hoped the ceiling was 4,000 feet. 3,000 feet is needed to fly over Disneyland.Arrived at the helicopter operator and chatted options. Clouds right at 3,000 feet, can’t fly over Disneyland with that ceiling. Good chance the marine layer would burn away. I then sat in the lobby and watched the sky for hours. Sometimes there would be a break in the clouds, blue sky. However, the ceiling was still too low. The only person who knew I was planning to fly over Disneyland was Derek Burgan, he was following this wait via my Direct Messages in Twitter.Eventually the ceiling raised enough to fly.They started the helicopter, and then I was escorted to board. It was very confusing. They were seating me in back. I normally sit up front where I can aim the camera both to the side and directly ahead. I raised concern, and they pointed out that my door in back had been removed. A doorless flight!You may have read in this article earlier that I bought a harness for a Universal Studios Hollywood flight. This Disneyland flight was 4 days before that flight.I told the escort: I have a harness! Can I get it? We quickly returned to the office, I rummaged through my bag, and wore the harness.I had ridden doorless before. Multiple times on the Bat Copter at the Florida State Fair. (The actual Bat Copter from the 1960’s Batman movie.) However, doorless at 3,000 feet was something! I’m not afraid of heights. However, a few times during the flight I got wide-eyed. I couldn’t believe I was 3,000 feet, open air, above Disneyland. Wow. It also was very windy. Very cold and windy. I had been instructed not to hold my camera outside the door. Really, it wasn’t possible due to the force of the wind from the rotating blades. The downward air velocity made a solid invisible wall the lens would bounce off of.We could see people milling near the ship. A quick guess is it was a cast preview. It turned out that marketing production was in progress. The people milling around are actors. When you see stock video of guests at the Millennium Falcon, and it’s not crowded, and the sky is white, chances are someone you know from this article was taking a photo of the scene 3,000 feet above.As soon as I landed I made quick choices for photos to tweet. Got an Uber to the hotel. Darted to Disneyland. A few hours later began tweeting more from the flight. # 4 – Porsches in the Universal Studios Hollywood BacklotUniversal Studios Hollywood on May 11, 2019. (photo by @bioreconstuct)I’ve visited Universal Studios Hollywood countless times. I used to work several weeks at a time in LA, and used to visit USH and other parks every weekend.USH had its first 5K this year. I thought it would be fun to get same day aerial photos to compare what was seen during the race a few hours earlier.Negotiated a route with a charter helicopter operator. Plan was also fly over Walt Disney Imagineering, Dreamworks Animation, Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Brothers Studios. When I got the contract I was surprised and thrilled it was going to be a doorless flight. Quickly bought a harness for the camera. That is, a strap connecting the camera at the tripod mount to a chest harness. A harness for flight safety. The reason for a doorless flight is there is no window curvature blurring things; also no reflections. Charter companies there fly for movies and TV all the time. Doorless flying is just routine.The flight was perfect. Nice sunny day, just a few clouds with light shadows adding drama to the lighting.Last location of my charter was Universal Studios Hollywood. I hoped to catch some production. It was a Saturday, who knows? The pilot and I spotted the large number of vehicles in the back lot. Oboy! Production. First thing we thought was it must be some sort of chase scene. However, there were cars throughout the back lot. The city streets. The Western streets. The Little Europe streets. This was odd.We’re flying by fast, no lingering, so we don’t notice details like you can see here. Do you see tour buses? People in lines? Some cars parking, while other cars are arranged for display?It turned out to be a one-day, very large, Porsche enthusiast event. Luftgekuhlt 6. All of these cars seen are Porsche.Wow! This photo and others caught a very unique perspective of a very unique day in the Universal Studios Hollywood back lot. Looking at this photo just makes me smile. I love the tram tour, and know all these facades well.Another thing to spot in this photo is Hill Valley town square from the Back to the Future movies.center_img # 3 – All of EpcotEpcot on May 18, 2019. (photo by @bioreconstruct)You’ve probably seen concept artwork published while Epcot was being built. An overview of all of Epcot. A beautiful painting of Spaceship Earth in foreground, and World Showcase on the horizon around the Lagoon.This photo doesn’t have the same angle as the artwork, but it captures all of Epcot and some of the surrounding resort area. Huge additions over the decades.This photo also has changes in progress, such as the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster, new tram loops, and the upcoming replacement for IllumiNations. Also seen is Riviera Resort along with the Disney Skyliner station located there. At lower right is a recently added water management canal, a new bridge, and a mystery clearing.There’s a lot to spot in this photo. I like this photo because it’s something like aerial photos seen in some of the Imagineering history books. A moment in the history of Walt Disney World. Share This!We’ve said it many times before, but the theme park community is blessed by an abundance of great photographers. While we don’t like to toss around the word “hero” lightly, these talented men and women covering the parks we love are Johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to the debut of new hotels, rides, and  maybe most importantly – cupcakes. A theme park photographer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. (Well, at least here in Florida. Out in California they are more on banker’s hours and don’t even think about asking them to work weekends.)One photographer who stands out – even among this elite crowd – is @bioreconstruct. Taking pictures both on the ground and 3,000 feet in the air, Bio is quite possibly more machine than man. Bio covers all the parks in Central Florida on a seemingly daily basis, while also making frequent trips out to California for Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood updates. Bio is also THE guy you want to be following for amazing updates during any runDisney race. His photos have been seen on websites across the globe (including Croatia) because they give such a unique perspective on the parks we love.For years I have been trying to get Bio to do an article on his favorite aerial photos. I have my favorites (with the overhead view of the entire Disneyland Resort being tops in my book), but what are his favorites? Unfortunately, he politely declined after every request. In fact, he declined so many times that I just stopped asking. Then, out of nowhere, I get a message from Bio. Sent you the article on my favorite aerials. That is Bio in a nutshell.A green army man in Toy Story Land looks out at a helicopter overhead. We can not rule out that this picture is actually @bioreconstruct on the ground taking a photo of @bioreconstruct in the air, as he has been known to break the time/space continuum on several occasions.BIO: Derek Burgan here at TouringPlans asked if I had favorite aerial photos, and if I would share six of them in an article. You may know me as one of Derek’s photo minions. I was reluctant to write an article at first. There are so many good photos to choose from! I also try to stay behind the camera on Twitter. Just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man here. A web slinger, sharing photos with friends. It’s hard for my friends — the real bloggers, like Derek — to be everywhere at all times. So I try to catch stories and changes they would otherwise not be able to report as well.I’ve had a long time interest in aerial and satellite photographs. I’d buy books on the subject and devour them. I would paw through the various online maps. I would study any aerial photo I came across very intensely. Also, anytime a helicopter tour was available – Hoover Dam for example – I would take flight to get my own aerial photos to study.Every so often I would take a helicopter tour of Orlando area attractions. It started back in 1994 when I flew over Disney to make a course overview video for the very first Walt Disney World Marathon. A few years ago a flight over the Volcano Bay construction was especially good, and I began to fly that route regularly. I gradually flew more and more, practically weekly in 2018.It was a lot tougher making the choices than I thought it would be, but here are my six favorite aerial photos and their stories.# 6 – Opening Day of VOLCANO BAYVolcano Bay on May 25, 2017. (photo by @bioreconstruct)I rarely have a plan for flights. It’s very arbitrary, based on weather and hunches that I might see something significant. Volcano Bay had a lot of last minute construction, and I began to fly weekly to see the final changes. Team Member testing of the operating procedures was just days before opening. I flew during the testing, and it was exciting to see people in the water. They were working, but they were also having fun. I was keen on getting opening day photos with actual guests in the water, but also wanted to be in the park on opening day. It was going to be an anything can happen day, with rain a possible factor.How Volcano Bay operated was brand new to everyone. There was no soft opening for guests. Everything about a guest visit is based on the Tapu Tapu electronic wristband, and that itself brought a lot of questions. If I rented a locker, it was tied to my Tapu Tapu, but I wanted to leave the park after the grand opening ceremonies and return later, after the flight. However, Tapu Tapu are returned upon exiting. If I exited the park, what would happen to my locker? Would it be considered open and released to the next person renting? Or would my locker be available to me with a new Tapu Tapu on my return? The park had also reached capacity, was I even going to be allowed to re-enter?Chatted with many Team Members, who assured me the locker was actually tied to my annual pass. Even so, I had doubts that this system was going to work. I left minimal items in the locker, and left the park. I looked at the locker content as some insurance to be able to re-enter while the park was at capacity, as I could just tell the Team Members that I had a need to retrieve personal property.To minimize time away, I traveled by Uber to the helicopter operator. Uber from the CityWalk bus loop eliminated the time walking to/from parking, as well as time needed to get back through the toll plaza and being directed to a spot in the parking garages.Flew the helicopter tour, and got opening day photos. Hopped into another Uber back to CityWalk. While the Uber was in transit I quickly chose some photos to post on Twitter. (DEREK NOTE: Always remember one of the key tenets to theme park blogging is the ability to multi-task. Another tenet is being able to eat enough sugar in one sitting that would  generally kill a large mammal, but we will get to that in another article.)Returned to the park. I had stepped out about 90 minutes. Sure enough, the locker was tied to my new Tapu Tapu. Enjoyed the rest of the day at Volcano Bay, and finished sharing photos afterward.It was a spectacular sunny day on Volcano Bay’s opening. This photo captures the sunshine and the first guests enjoying the park. Look to the lower left of this photo and you can see the opening day stage on the beach.last_img read more

Sanitary pad project gives poor and rural girls dignity

first_imgMany girls use unhygienic alternatives to sanitary pads, such as newspaper or even sand and leaves, which puts them at a huge risk of infection. And nine million girls aged between 13 and 19 miss a week of school every month, for lack of saitary pads. Project Dignity is an effort to change this (Image: www.subzpads.co.za)Sue Barnes is an extraordinary woman. She has given hope to young girls, she has given them the opportunity to be free, to participate in daily activities, not to feel shamed or embarrassed, and has empowered them – all with a sanitary pad. They have their dignity back, through her initiative, Project Dignity.For many of us, buying sanitary pads is as easy as buying bread and milk. But this is not the case for millions of girls and women in South Africa. They are at a permanent disadvantage as they are forced to stay at home as they are unable to afford this basic necessity. Barnes was named the 2013 Clarins Most Dynamic Woman of the Year earlier this month in Johannesburg. The event, held at Summer Place in Hyde Park, celebrated the ground-breaking intervention that allows girls and young women in townships and rural areas to attend school while they are menstruating.“My youngest daughter, who attends a remedial school due to her dyslexia, came home with appeals from her school for sanitary pads and panties,” says Barnes. “I went to the school to find out what it was all about, and discovered just how many South African girls skip school while menstruating. I immediately thought of my own daughter. If she missed a week per month of school there is no way she would catch up. It’s tragic that anyone in their teen years should be faced with this dilemma.”Girls use unhygienic alternatives to sanitary pads, such as newspaper or even sand and leaves, or sitting on cow patties. Doing this puts them at a huge risk of infection. And, according to Barnes, of nine million girls aged between 13 and 19 years in South Africa, “80% of those were missing a week of school every month… That’s just time you can’t make up and it’s affecting their education.”A pattern maker and designer with a large clothing chain, Barnes has a background in construction, fabrication and quality control. Using these skills, she decided to design something to address the problem, coming up with her sanitary pad packs. At her own cost, Barnes has been producing these packs and delivering them to schoolgirls in KwaZulu-Natal where she lives. “One pack should last a girl her entire high school career,” says Barnes, who believes that finding a solution to this critical issue is her calling.Watch the videoTHE PROCESS OF THE PADBarnes realised that she had unearthed a massive social challenge and that donations of sanitary products would not provide a sustainable solution. It drove her to find a solution. She designed and constructed underwear with a built-in, waterproof yet absorbent gusset that acted as a sanitary towel.“It was fully washable and lasted as long a pair of panties does.” But every time the pad needed to be changed, the underwear would also need to be changed and would need time to dry. Each girl would have to have at least 12 pairs. “I then moved on to a [pair of panties] with a built-in gusset and separate sanitary towel which slipped into the gusset, but I found it very difficult to insert and remove.”After much experimentation and several trial runs, the Subz Panty and Pad evolved. Barnes had created underwear with a clip-on, reusable pad that ensured the girls needed never worry about running out of this essential item.“It is a normal [pair of panties] with press studs and a separate sanitary towel which has clips on it. The [underwear] is mad of 100% cotton knit and the elastic has a standard, non-woven, rubber base so it won’t stretch out of shape. The pad is 100% cotton with an outer hydrophobic layer and inside hydrophilic layer which is absorbent.”Barnes says that the panties are washable and will last three to five years. A pack of three pairs of underwear and nine reusable pads costs R150. The pad is fully washable and has SABS absorbency approval. The Subz Panty and Pad has been endorsed by a gynaecologist and pharmacist.“I know girls are fussy, so I made them out of nice fabric, and they come in all sizes. Initially, I was aiming at helping rural schoolgirls, but all women who menstruate can use them. The added benefit is that they are hugely ecologically friendly.”EDUCATIONWhile handing out Project Dignity’s Subz packs, Barnes also gives the girls a set of education sessions on puberty, menstruation, personal hygiene, sexual health and HIV.Well-known fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee has collaborated with her in developing two interactive aprons for the education sessions, one depicting the puberty process and the other the menstrual cycle. The body parts on the aprons are removable, allowing Barnes to demonstrate the body’s functioning in a very practical way.“The eggs are visible in the ovaries and the fallopian tubes clip on and off for ease of demonstration… The uterus is also removable and through the demonstrations the girls can fully understand the menstrual cycle. These are incredibly practical tools to use, and allow us to drive home the vital facts. Ultimately, the process is just as important to the girls as the Subz packs themselves,” she explains.“A lot of the girls are from child-headed homes and do not have anyone at home to talk to about these crucial issues. Our sessions are very interactive, and Gert-Johan Coetzee’s involvement here has been amazing, in every sense of the word. When a girl asked me once: ‘Where does the blood come from?’ I realised that education on these issues was woefully lacking. If language is a barrier, a teacher or principal translates, but mostly, English is understood,” she says.“The girls are so excited to get help with this as they don’t want to miss school,” she says. “For some, it is the first time they have received panties.”With the aid of corporate and personal donors, Barnes has already been able to distribute 30 000 Subz Panty Pads to girls around the country. Project Dignity has spread to other parts of South Africa, and has been taken to Zanzibar by Margaret Hirsch, the owner of the Project Dignity sponsor, Hirsch’s appliance retailers.MOST DYNAMIC PRIZEIn winning the Clarins award, Barnes received a cash prize of R150 000 and will receive a further R50 000 in 2015 to ensure the sustainability and expansion of the project.“What I do is incredibly rewarding,” she concludes, “providing a sustainable solution and seeing these young girls who can flourish and contribute to the fabric of our society.”last_img read more

Reflecting on the Evolution of Retail Security

first_imgEDITOR’S NOTE: Paul Jones, LPC, is the new director of asset protection and risk management at CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. The 25-year retail veteran started his career at Jordan Marsh and Mervyns before moving into management roles at Luxottica Retail, Sunglass Hut, and Limited Brands where he was senior vice president of LP and global security. Jones also led the loss prevention functions at the Retail Industry Leaders Association as well as at eBay. Most recently he was COO for Turning Point Justice before moving to CKE. Jones has long been active in the industry as an original member of the LP Magazine editorial board and founding member of the Loss Prevention Foundation.EDITOR: You recently took a position with CKE Restaurants. Tell us who CKE is and what brands they represent.JONES: CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. owns two brands in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. We are headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, just outside Nashville with more than 3,900 restaurant locations in 42 states and in 28 countries.- Sponsor – EDITOR: Didn’t CKE start in Southern California?JONES: That’s correct. CKE’s founder, Carl Karcher, began his entrepreneurial venture in Los Angeles in 1941 with hot dog stands and quickly grew the business. By 1945, the Karcher family had opened the first Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Anaheim. The restaurants steadily spread throughout the West Coast in the post-World War II growth of the American highway system. A couple of years ago, the company made a strategic decision to move the California corporate offices in Anaheim and Carpinteria along with the St. Louis, Missouri, office to Tennessee.EDITOR: Carl’s Jr. is predominately still on the West Coast, correct?JONES: In the United States, Hardee’s restaurants are predominately east of the Mississippi and Carl’s Jr. on the west, but the brand recognition for the Happy Star is nationwide. Both Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s pride themselves on providing great customer service and innovative menu options while still maintaining their charbroiled burger roots.EDITOR: You were most recently the COO of an LP industry solution provider. What enticed you to make the move back to the retail side with CKE?JONES: Well, a couple things. First and foremost, my heart is in retail loss prevention and always has been. While I had great learnings as a solution provider and have newfound respect and admiration for those in the solution-provider space, I had a desire to get back into retail. As I worked with my network, the opportunity at CKE was presented to me as a group that was looking to change and transform their company. They were looking for a leader of asset protection and risk management that could help them with that transformation.I had the pleasure of interviewing with our chief operating officer, Tom Brennan, and we really clicked. I was very excited about the type of change the whole executive leadership team at CKE envisioned. It reminded me of my early Sunglass Hut days when I was part of that company’s dramatic change. Today that company is still a vibrant, successful retailer as part of Luxottica Group. The CKE Leadership Team is committed to driving our global business forward, running a great QSR business, and having a global footprint to make this a very profitable company.EDITOR: What areas of responsibility do you have?JONES: Today I have asset protection, safety, and risk management. The QSR world is a little different from regular retail. Safety in our world is not only reviewing accidents to get to the root cause and figuring out solutions but also actually getting into the pipeline of how we build our restaurants, the type of equipment we use, developing new equipment when what’s out there isn’t working, and creating processes that will further enhance our safety culture.Then we have a compliance function behind that, so as new products or solutions are introduced, we train and educate our employees to ensure they are working safely. In the QSR space, safety issues can be a bigger hit to the P&L than actual shrink loss.EDITOR: Thus far, what have you found to be the major challenges and issues?JONES: Currently, we have a unique challenge because we have an existing team running the business that’s in place in California that we’re replacing. So we almost have two jobs: one to develop a new team, new protocols, and new methods and procedures to attack losses and safety and risk, but at the same time managing the existing team. It’s pretty unique to some of the transformations that I’ve done in the past.If you think about it, it takes a certain type of care and motivation for those associates who need to continue to drive the business forward while knowing that they are transitioning out of the company. But I’ve got to tell you, the team that we have in place in Anaheim has really stepped up to the challenge. They’ve been ultimate professionals in helping us build a new team in Franklin and making sure that they hold the business together with true integrity and honor in order to leave us with a better process and a better team.EDITOR: Are you currently hiring your own team?JONES: That’s my second-biggest focus. How do you hire a team of ten in a period of sixty days and get them trained within ninety days while not missing a beat with your current business? We’re in that process now of recruiting talent. Incidentally, I was able to find all our asset protection people using LPjobs.com.It’s been really rewarding to take a new group of people—some with QSR experience, some with none—and onboard them very quickly knowing that we’re in this challenge learning the QSR space, because it is a different space.EDITOR: Is your team going to be situated across the company in regional locations?JONES: No, we went to a centralized model as I have done in past companies. When I started looking at the challenges and what the future looks like, it made sense to centralize the team and fly them out when we need them in the field. We’re moving to a telephone-interviewing model and high-prevention model—how we prevent incidents so that we’re not taking cases but really mining the data to go after only ones that are most meaningful. We’ve spent the last ninety days putting all the data sets together so that we fully understand all the drivers and triggers of profit loss, risk loss, and accident causes throughout the business.EDITOR: Explain that a bit more.JONES: We’ve done a ton of work to make sure that we understand the historical data to allow us to plan for the future. Part of the plan on the asset protection side is speaking to the field team in a way that they really understand what their losses are because today they don’t fully understand that. What we’ve done is come up with simple risk models—one, two, three, four, five—and input into risk models their food loss, accident cost, coupons, voids, and cash loss. What we see, as we all know the 80/20 rule, we can focus the field team on where we need better training, where we could maybe use more staffing, and where we could use investigations. In the past, they didn’t have the ability or the tools to be data-centric, whereas today we’re building those metrics so that we can move forward.EDITOR: Talk about some of the technology solutions that you already have or that you plan to implement.JONES: We’ve done just basic data mining using some internal tools, taking all the disparate databases in the company from audit scores to past cases to food loss to voids to chargebacks to turnover rates and building risk models with that. In the past, CKE looked at those things separately, but as we know as practitioners, we gain a lot more insights putting them together and looking at that total picture.We found it necessary to break out Carl’s Jr. as a separate entity from Hardee’s when doing that type of data analysis because the shrink problems, food loss problems, safety problems are different in both locations. There are drivers, for instance, on food loss in a Hardee’s environment that’s being driven by certain products, mainly biscuits and the way we do buns. In the Carl’s Jr. environment, it’s not as centric for breakfast, so there’s less food loss as it relates to those items.EDITOR: Risk management is not always an area most LP executives manage directly. How have you handled that responsibility?JONES: One of the reasons this job was very appealing to me is I’ve never managed the risk management function. I’ve managed safety but not risk. So I was excited to be able to learn a new discipline. I had several industry friends help me prepare for that. Leo Anguiano spent several days with me talking about how to think about risk. Maurice Edwards spent time with me discussing risk and total cost of risk. I appreciate that people were very generous with their time.Also, internally we recruited a solid risk management professional, and over the last four months I’ve spent a lot of time digging into understanding risk, the cost of risk, how to manage risk, how to do things maybe differently. We’ve found that we can use some technology solves into our risk pipeline to reduce costs. For one, we’re implementing a traveler care nurse line with Travelers Insurance. So instead of filling out forms and having an adjustor call our injured employees, crew members will be able to get on the phone with a nurse the minute an accident happens. Companies that use this approach find a reduction of 20 to 30 percent in their cost.Calling other people in the QSR space, asking what they’re doing, and then looking at our approach and adjusting it, I’ve found to be pretty exciting because there’s some simple fixes that we’re doing that should save us hundreds of thousands of dollars.EDITOR: Over the next twelve to eighteen months, how will you measure your success?JONES: I think from the asset protection side, it will be, has this smaller team performed at the level of the past team or above? Have we reduced losses to the company? Have we been true business partners, and have we helped the field organization make their restaurants more profitable?On the risk management side, it will be, what is the cost of risk and have we reduced it? A lot of that will be helped by our broker, Marsh, who has several QSR restaurants in their portfolio, who can help us answer, what is the total cost of an accident for worker’s comp and slips, trips, and falls? And are we at or above that? We’re starting to put quarterly measurements into place now to try to find that out because we haven’t done that historically here. Our quarterly metrics will tell us, for this same store subset, are we better or worse per total cost, per accidents per 100,000 employees, and how long has a claim stayed open? We are very aggressively working with our provider to go after the claims reviews and making decisions quickly on whether we settle or whether we move forward and litigate the claim.Again, these are new learnings for me. I’ve got to say there are at least a half dozen QSR peers that have taken my calls and helped educate me on their programs. I’m taking the nuggets I get from each of them and working them into the program that we have.EDITOR: Are more of the issues employee claims as opposed to customer claims?JONES: The biggest loss issues in the QSR risk space are employee claims. Those accidents tend to be the more egregious accidents. But slips, trips, and falls in QSR can also be a nightmare. So we’re working on a lot of things. What are best methods for keeping floors clean and keeping them from being wet? Do we have the right mops in place? Do we have the right signage in place? Are we using the right utensils in the back? Are we cleaning our fryers the right way? Do we have the personal protection equipment on? Are people wearing the right shoes? All that is audited by a third party for us, and our safety manager follows up with stores with low scores to make sure they are retrained.EDITOR: What role are you playing today with the franchisees?JONES: Today we’re a support role only. When they call and need something, we help them. The goal is as soon as our program is fully up and running, we will look at an approach for supporting our franchisees to help them be the most profitable they can be. I envision determining what are the best methods and sharing what we do. We certainly don’t tell franchisees how to run their business, but we can give them our best practices.Secondly, we have to establish a dialogue with the franchisees, which has not been part of our historic process. For example, I speak almost weekly with Tracey French at Boddie-Noell, one of our largest Hardee’s franchisees, to both learn what he’s dealing with and exchange different ideas that we’re considering. There are areas that we can collaborate and vendors that have more experience in the QSR environment.For instance, both Boddie-Noell and CKE just put in Vector Security. To us it’s a great solution, it’s the right price, and they totally understand this type of business. We both separately, without actually knowing it, have implemented ThinkLP. For us, ThinkLP will be a loss prevention portal that will handle risk management, safety, asset protection, crisis management, and will help us follow up with the field compliance piece. It will handle accident reporting and risk management paperwork, and we’re considering setting up a module that will help handle HR and maybe even legal.EDITOR: So over the next year or so, a whole lot of things will likely change in terms of your relations with the franchises.JONES: That’s right. Again, my boss, the COO Tom Brennan, his sole goal is to ensure that his team, including us, are finding ways to help the restaurants and the franchisees be more profitable. So if I take that as my headline, I have got to build a path to help us get there. And again, it’s a different relationship because you can’t force your ideas on them, but you certainly can say, “Here’s what’s worked for us and for others, and here are solution providers that we can recommend and stand behind that you might want to think about.” We think there are a number of things that we can do to help franchisees around the globe be more profitable.EDITOR: I’m confident you will make that happen, Paul. Let’s turn to some of your other unique roles in the industry. You had a great run with eBay. Tell us about that.JONES: What a great experience eBay was for me. When I was leaving RILA (the Retail Industry Leaders Association) and looking to get back into the industry, eBay offered me the opportunity to talk to them. I was a little suspicious because I knew that their site had stolen goods and believed at that time that they seemed to be resistant to taking care of that. But as I talked to them and met with individuals there, it became clear to me that the entire eBay retail problem centered around a lack of trust and communication. I looked the folks at eBay in the eyes and believed that they really, truly wanted to fix the problem. So I joined knowing that there was nowhere to go but up with the relationship. I started with just one focus-to try to bring eBay and retailers together. So in a quick period of time, I was able to show key people in eBay that there were stolen goods on the site and that we could use data to try to pinpoint that.EDITOR: How did you do that?JONES: One of my first hires was a programmer. I asked him to get me all the pawnshops on eBay who were selling baby formula, Crest Whitestrips, and diabetic test strips. There were hundreds of them on eBay. And from that point on we were able to drill into it to find out that they didn’t have a clear supply chain, that they were actually buying product from people committing crimes, and we were starting to address some of those sellers on our site. That gained instant credibility with the senior team at eBay, and I became very trustful that eBay wanted to fix those problems.As I went around the world getting onboarded with eBay, I found out that we had something like sixty people who manually processed subpoenas. It seemed very odd to me that we were doing this manually through faxes given eBay was one of the largest technology companies in the world. So we came up with an approach to automate the process, so law enforcement would go through the web to give us their subpoenas. We would pull the data automatically. We built a system that does this, which works very well today in multiple languages.We took the payroll that we saved from that and hired asset protection managers. We started looking at not only stolen goods but also counterfeiting, exploitation of children, and money laundering on the PayPal side. We built reporting and mechanisms to not only identify those crimes but also actually go after some of those criminals. From forgeries in art and autographs to clearly stolen goods to someone scamming the system by buying stuff but not paying for it, we had different approaches across the globe for all of that.We made a real dent in crime, and within a couple years, as you guys highlighted in the magazine, instead of pointing fingers, retailers and eBay were working together to solve the problems as a joint collaborative team. I’m hearing that they’re still doing great things with the retailers, which is really good.EDITOR: After eBay, you moved to the solution-provider world as COO of Turning Point Justice. What did you learn from that experience?JONES: At eBay, I had spent 80 percent of my time on the road. Moving to the solution-provider side was a big risk for me, but one of the real positives was it allowed me to work within two miles of where I lived. I had met Lohra Miller, the former district attorney of Salt Lake City, who talked to me about her technology project and her vision for helping the criminal justice world with petty crimes by educating offenders as opposed to having them arrested. It’s something I have always believed in. She advised me that she was a partner with the National Association for Shoplift Prevention (NASP), who I had been associated with for twenty years. Frank Johns and I rolled out one of the first retail pilots of NASP’s offender education program in Los Angeles twenty years ago. Given this technology startup was paired with a very reputable group of people that I knew were passionate about fixing shoplifting and helping retailers, I thought Turning Point Justice (TPJ) was a good fit for me.When I say that TPJ was a true startup, I really mean that. For the first six months we had a small office with plastic tables, using our own cellphones, and holding meetings in hotel lobbies to try to get sales and make things happen. I worked hard to get some key retailers to give us a chance and build our sales, and we did quite well with that. We were able to put operating disciplines in place to make sure we had good purchasing, that we had the right product. We were able to always continually adjust our technology product to make sure that we were in line with both legal and statutory requirements, whether it be district, state, or county.I really enjoyed the entrepreneurship. As you know, one day you’re doing HR work, the next day you’re recruiting, the next day you’re packing boxes and shipping stuff, or you’re on the phone with your retail counterpart. Some days that’s good, and some days you’re scratching your head saying, “What did I accomplish today?” as you’re driving to the mailbox to drop off shipments. It was a great experience for me to help build that company and put an infrastructure in place.EDITOR: You’ve also had one other very important industry involvement as one of the founding members of the Loss Prevention Foundation and are currently on its board of directors and executive committee. Why have you remained so actively involved in the Foundation?JONES: I remember sitting in a room talking about why our industry didn’t have an organization that was committed to developing the professionalism of the loss prevention industry. We all knew that there were many great leaders of loss prevention that you could put against any senior operator, and they could run the business as well as the next person. But how do we make sure that we didn’t lose the new generation of LP people coming in? I think that concern really inspired me to be part of the LP Foundation, to help be a beacon out there for loss prevention people coming in.I get a real kick out of going on LinkedIn and seeing these new loss prevention professionals so proud that they passed the LPC. And I just am proud to see that so many of these people that have gone through LPQ and LPC have gone on to be leaders in our business. I can testify that certification is not just something where you sign your name, pay the money, and get credentials. It’s a course that truly puts a framework around what it is that we should do as practitioners.I’m also proud that we have stayed on course and never strayed from our mission. It isn’t about making money or prestige. It’s about taking care of this profession and making sure that it continually grows, that it’s professional, and that it’s taking on new challenges. I know we have a number of new offerings coming out from the foundation, and I’m very excited about them.EDITOR: You deserve a lot of credit for where the foundation has grown today. If you could, reflect back on the last twenty years of what you’ve seen in the loss prevention industry and give us your thoughts on where we have been, where we are, and where we are going.JONES: I can say ten to fifteen years ago, we were all about driving numbers, hoping shrink would come along with it. Sometimes we had data, but most often we were going on instinct. As technology evolved and we had exception reporting, we learned how to use data to start driving decisions. In fact, what I saw in my career is that we in loss prevention did it better than the operators. We took the time to make sure that data drove decisions, and then we developed the solutions around what the data told us. We developed programs, built training, and awareness behind that, and then we saw our shrink get fixed.When you take that approach to allow data to drive the decisions, and you make the investment in getting the right people who are very smart, you’ll have a great solution. I hope to get people sitting around me that are smarter than I am and very diverse in their thinking. I’ve seen a number of times in our industry where retailers make an easy decision to put an operator to run a loss prevention organization. More often than not, it hasn’t worked out so well. It reminds me that an LP executive brings a unique discipline to the table with the understanding of how to put together what the data tells you with how to build a program and pull the levers to make sure that you are driving your shrink down, at the same time impacting your sales in a positive way and keeping people safe.Loss prevention professionals really are great leaders who add more and more value to their companies. If you look back to the aftermath of 9/11, most of us took on crisis management roles. As the world changed, we had to learn what to do about workplace violence and organized retail crime. Now we’re managing programs for active shooter. Some are starting to take on data-security roles and looking at cyber crime. And now risk management.Today as we move to a total cost of loss strategy, I think it helps us build a better return on investment. I believe most LP practitioners have always taken into consideration what the total cost of loss is, but now there is framing around it that creates a more powerful message to speak to the corporate business leaders.I really can’t think of another industry with professionals who add value and impact their company as much-an industry where a high percentage of people are willing to take phone calls, share a program, and give you their advice. That, to me, has made this a phenomenal industry to be part of. 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Knowledge Engineering: The AI Supercharging Ingredient

first_imgKnowledge Engineering is the ability of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to emulate the reasoning, judgment and behavior of an expert in a particular field. Knowledge Engineering algorithms represent the distilled knowledge and wisdom of humans. Knowledge Engineering rewrites human knowledge in terms of data structures, semantic models and heuristics. Examples of knowledge engineering are expert systems. Forrester Research wrote that “while ML (Machine Learning) is exceptional at analyzing data to create models that make predictions, recognize patterns, and automate decisions, it lacks human reasoning capabilities. In 2019, enterprise AI mavericks will rediscover knowledge engineering and digital decisioning platforms to extract and encode inferencing rules and build knowledge graphs from their expert employees and customers. ML’s strength is data. Knowledge engineering’s strength is human wisdom. Used together, enterprises can dramatically accelerate the development of AI applications.”center_img Stephane Nappo, Chief Information Security Officer at OVH, said that “turning technical brute force into real artificial intelligence requires a deeper understanding of human thinking based on knowledge engineering and reasoning mechanisms.”last_img read more