Best of Instagram

first_imgNo question, Disney memories last a lifetime. My first memory of Walt Disney World was around age 5 when my parents, who had been very firm about me NEVER talking to strangers tried to get me to go off with Tweedledee and Tweedledum for a picture, who were two of the strangest strangers I had ever seen!What’s your favorite…or not so favorite… Disney memory? Let me know in the comments.Should this post inspire you to give our Instagram page a follow, I’ll leave the link right here: http://www.instagram.com/touringplans. Share This!Looking for a bit of sunshine for your Monday? These pictures are sure to bring a smile to your face.If you’re new to this series, we post highlights from our Instagram page, along with a top comment or photo featuring YOU, our subscriber.Enjoy!February 24, 2019February 25, 2019February 26, 2019March 1, 2019March 2, 2019March 3, 2019Top Follower of the Week!This week, I couldn’t choose–there were two awesome comments I had to share.last_img

20 years of freedom: reason to celebrate

first_img27 April 2014After many years of white minority rule, on 27 April 1994 South Africans queued for hours to choose a new leadership.Although I was a lot younger when we had our first democratic elections, even back then I was politically aware and fully understood and appreciated what a major event the 1994 election was. I was privileged enough to witness it.While I was not yet old enough to vote, I remember my late father and his friends – who were politically active – overcome with emotion, many of them in tears from casting their votes.For me, 1994, marked the end of apartheid rule and an introduction of a new constitutional order, in which all worked towards a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.It was described as a miracle. Doomsayers and those who wanted us to fail had predicted chaos and civil war. However, none of these things came to pass, and the values of democracy and freedom of our birth still endure today.How far we’ve come since thenTwo decades later, I pause to reflect on how far we have come as a country in realising the ambitions of this young democracy and its constitution.The release of the 20 Year Review report shows a definitive picture of a country that is rapidly changing, a country which has a good story to tell. South Africa, according to the report, has made significant strides in consolidating democracy, rolling out basic service delivery and improving the lives of many, particularly those deliberately excluded by apartheid.In the South Africa of today, elections are commonplace. There is a democratic spirit: we have an active citizenry, a strong civil society movement, a press that is independent, and vocal opposition parties.Since 1994, almost 3 000 new schools have been built, access to clean water has increased to 95%, and access to electricity has increased from just over 50% of households to 86%. The government has also introduced no-fee schools and the National Nutrition Programme.South Africans are now living longer healthier lives due to better access to health care facilities, an increase in health professionals, and the country’s internationally acclaimed HIV treatment programme.Today this is a country that can truly boast that it is a gateway to the continent for the rest of the world.Despite this, some parts of South Africa seem to remain stuck in their racial laagers, still unable to see through the eyes of others. It sometimes still feels like a country struggling to shake off its past.Nonetheless, there is huge optimism and determination to progress, and we are on the right track to making the dream of a truly “rainbow nation” a reality. The South African democracy is still under construction, but its foundations are sound. The national debate is about the edifice we are building on it. From our dying past, our future is becoming.And that for me is reason enough to celebrate – regardless of which political party one follows, and what political ideology one believes in.Looking forward to the next 20 yearsWhile celebrating our achievements, we must also look forward to the next 20 years. If Nelson Mandela’s vision is to be achieved, I am of the firm view that we simply need to work harder, especially in closing the gap between the rich and poor. This is because inequality brings society down, creating the conditions child and women abuse, violent service protests and inflated expectations.Business, labour, civil society, government need to come together as South Africans and decide what needs to be traded to achieve that.I believe the National Development Plan (NDP) is a sound roadmap. The plan outlines the type of society we are striving for in 2030, where no one is hungry, where everyone is able to go to school and further their studies if they wish, where work is available, where everyone is making a contribution because each person has been provided with what they need to reach their full potential.We are a nation, and yes, among us we may fight, argue, criticise, complain and want what we don’t have, but I know of another social structure in which the same things happen – the family.In this way were are as much a family as a nation. We have different beliefs, expectations, goals and aspirations, but at the heart of it all, we love each other and we would be fiercely protective of each other should anyone wish to bully us.This comes shining through in situations where we have the most to lose; just think back to the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the 2010 Soccer World Cup, and the passing of our beloved Madiba. Good or bad, as a nation, as a family, we come together.On Sunday, I personally will be celebrating being part of this big, vibrant and colourful family called South Africa.Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

On Alltop and RSS For The Masses

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting I like Alltop. It is a simple app, so I think Mike Arrington had a valid point there. But it’s effective and it is definitely an easy scan for people looking for social news to read. It won’t satisfy many early adopter types, who will continue to use the likes of Google Reader and Newsgator for ‘heavy lifting’ of RSS feeds. And early adopters will continue to use the likes of Netvibes and Pageflakes for their Alltop-like reading – i.e. when you just want to scan a bunch of your top news sources – because those apps are much more functional and configurable than Alltop. Will Alltop entice mainstream readers to follow blogs and use RSS more? I hope it does, but there is still a psychological factor to overcome in getting mainstream people to read blogs. While some people recognize that blogs are as much a part of the news ecosystem as mainstream media these days, many others still see blogging as a way to let the world know what you had for breakfast. So a service like Alltop is unlikely to change the latter attitude, which is unfortunately the most common one (not helped by mainstream media, which often portrays blogs as superficial social networking sites).RSS for the masses? Not sure I’d go that far, but Alltop is a nice, simple service that you can start pointing your non-geek friends and family to. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… richard macmanus Today Alltop, an aggregator of RSS feeds, launched. It’s a very similar product to one of my daily refreshes, OriginalSignal. Only Alltop covers a much broader range of topics, 40 in total. Alltop’s selection of feeds is savvy and wide-ranging – and I’m not just saying that because ReadWriteWeb is the first feed listed in ‘Social Media‘ (although I am very pleased about that!). The service is being positioned as ‘RSS for the masses’, because it makes it very easy for non-tech people to find new sources to read.Founder Guy Kawasaki described Alltop as “an ‘online magazine rack’ that displays the news from the top publications and blogs.”There have been varying reactions to Alltop. Mike Arrington at TechCrunch wrote that Alltop is “just a big pile of nothing.” I think he was referring to the fact that it is relatively easy to create an app like Alltop – and he referenced the Web 2.0 Workgroup homepage (developed by Fred Oliveira a few years ago) as an example. Others think that Alltop is filling a need, for mainstream people to get into the RSS reading scene. Mick Liubinskas wrote that “I can see my wife and even my dad using it.” Mick said that “they are now both looking for stuff to read and are ready to venture outside of the news sits they know, but they are not quite sure where to start.” Chris Shipley of GuideWireGroup came to a similar conclusion to Mick, noting also that the sourcing of material is an important part of Alltop. Chris said that Alltop is “a collection of the stuff that top bloggers, Twitterers, and social media buffs like to read. It’s not the wisdom of crowds, so much as the wisdom of the most engaged social media advocates.” I agree with Chris that the content selection on Alltop is smart and savvy – these are quality blogs. Certainly Alltop has a much broader set of sources than its inspiration, PopURLs (a collection of popular, but slightly cliched by now, blog and social media sources). Tags:#Product Reviews#web Related Posts last_img read more

Don’t Track Me: Anti-Google Video Plays on Times Square

first_imgfrederic lardinois Tags:#Google#news#NYT#privacy#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Twice an hour, an animated version of Google CEO Eric Schmidt can currently be seen giving away free ice cream to little kids in return for their private information on a 540 square foot screen hovering over New York’s Times Square. The cartoon was produced by a “Inside Google,” a project of the non-partisan Consumer Watchdog group, that wants to draw attention to what it perceives as Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s “lack of regard for our online privacy.”Eric Schmidt is “Out of Control”The reason for this? According to “Inside Google,” Eric Schmidt is “out of control. When questioned about privacy, he has said, ‘If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.’ Recently, he suggested children could change their names when they got older if they wanted to escape what was embarrassing and public in their online lives.” Do Not Track Me ListThe project advocates the creation of a “Do Not Track Me” list, similar to the National Do Not Call Registry that allows users to prevent telemarketers from calling their phones. Inside Google is being supported by the Rose Foundation. It’s worth noting that Google already allows consumers to opt out of personalized advertising and Google Analytics tracking.What do You Think?We can’t help but think that the extreme caricature of Schmidt takes away from the overall message of the video. We’re also not sure that the majority of people walking around on Times Square actually know who Schmidt is.What do you think? Are you worried about Google knowing too much about you? Do you think this video is an effective means of alerting people to the potential privacy issues online? Or is Google being singled out unfairly and the video should really feature Mark Zuckerberg?Tip of the hat to Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land for alerting us to this video. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Workshop on ethics of monkey research earns cheers and boos

first_imgThe path to the workshop began in 2014, when PETA blanketed Washington, D.C., with ads alleging that researchers at an NIH lab in Poolesville, Maryland, were subjecting rhesus macaques to cruel experiments by removing them from their mothers at birth and addicting them to alcohol. In response, four members of Congress requested that NIH investigate the lab. In 2015, the agency announced that it had found no major issues, but it decided to phase out the experiments, blaming funding rather than animal rights pressure. At the same time, Congress included language in a 2016 spending bill that asked NIH to “conduct a review of its ethical policies and processes with respect to nonhuman primate research subjects, in consultation with outside experts, to ensure it has appropriate justification for animal research protocols.”That request became yesterday’s workshop. NIH Director Francis Collins kicked off the proceedings, calling it a “very important day” and stating that nonhuman primates “have proven to be exceptionally valuable in biomedical research.” But he also said that the welfare of these animals—more than 100,000 of which currently reside in U.S. labs—was critical. “We need to respect all of the species that contribute so much to our understanding of human health and disease.”A series of speakers then extolled the advances made possible by research involving laboratory monkeys. Nancy Haigwood, director of the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Beaverton, said that some of today’s most powerful HIV drugs, including AZT and tenofovir, were first tested in rhesus macaques, and that the animals will play a critical role in fighting emerging infectious diseases such as Zika and Ebola. “Nonhuman primates will be essential to having a rapid response.”Michael Platt, a neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania, said that because macaques live in social groups like we do, researchers can use them to study disorders like autism. His lab has found that giving the “trust hormone” oxytocin to monkeys improves their social interactions. “They basically use the same neural circuits we do,” he said.Other speakers described their work utilizing monkeys to improve assisted fertility techniques in humans and of stimulating monkey brains with electrodes to study the basis of vision. “Animal models are critical to our scientific understanding of the nervous system,” said William Newsome, a neuroscientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. “Tissue culture does not get depression, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s.”A discussion session that followed was largely dedicated to how researchers can better share their data and whether they should publicize negative results. Still, Larry Carbone, the interim director of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Program at the University of California, San Francisco, brought up some of the first welfare issues in the workshop by stating that lab primates should be housed in more natural environments—with dirt, big spaces, and large social groups—like those seen in some national primate centers. Some attendees agreed, though others said that labs offered more controlled environments.Charles Murry, a pathologist at the University of Washington, Seattle, whose lab uses stem cells to repair induced heart damage in macaques, added that scientists need to do a better job of convincing the public of the importance of animal research. “Our press people tell us not to mention the word ‘monkey,’” he said. “We should be doing more than trying to keep a low profile. That’s the path to the extinction of the whole program.”Ethical issues came more into play in the afternoon. In a session on research oversight, NIH and U.S. Department of Agriculture representatives reiterated that researchers working with nonhuman primates must justify their work and do their best to minimize pain and distress. Other panelists spoke of how to take better care of lab monkeys and how to avoid duplicating research that has already been done.The only real sparks flew during a follow-up discussion session, when Tom Beauchamp, an ethicist at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., brought up laboratory chimpanzees. In 2011, a U.S. National Academy of Medicine report found that—for scientific and ethical reasons—most research on chimps was unnecessary, a move that eventually led NIH to end all of its support for invasive chimpanzee research. Similar issues now confront the use of other nonhuman primates, Beauchamp said. “A lot of people here have been saying that scientific necessity is the key issue. … That’s just the first step. There has to be moral justification as well.”Jeffrey Kahn, a bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and the chair of the chimpanzee report, added that nonhuman primate research should only be conducted if it has to be conducted. “It’s not ethically acceptable to do research that is not necessary. Being ‘necessary’ is not the same as ‘worth doing.’”That led to a debate about just what constituted “necessary” and “moral justification.” Even research that doesn’t have an immediate translation to people—like figuring out how the monkey brain works—is necessary, argued Newsome, because it could eventually lead to significant new knowledge that might improve human health. “It will be a tragedy for the world if we don’t leave room for basic science.” Most attendees seemed to agree, with some stating that not doing research on monkeys was ethically indefensible because humans would suffer down the line.Despite that ethical debate, animal welfare groups said they were upset that science—not welfare—dominated the workshop. Of the 13 speakers, eight make their living working with nonhuman primates. The workshop also only devoted 2 minutes—instead of its scheduled 30 minutes—to public comments. “We are extremely disappointed that no animal protection groups were invited,” wrote Kathleen Conlee, vice president of animal research issues for The Humane Society of the United States in Washington, D.C., in an email to ScienceInsider. “It is clear that NIH has not followed through on what Congress requested, which was to examine ethical policies and processes.”Allyson Bennett in Madison, a spokesperson for Speaking of Research, an international organization that supports the use of animals in scientific labs, says that there was more discussion of ethics than it appeared on the surface. “Ethical considerations are embedded in institutional review and federal oversight,” she says, noting that no work on nonhuman primates can be funded or take place unless it meets strict welfare guidelines. “The workshop absolutely fulfilled its mandate.” Ethics, she says, go beyond animal welfare. “The public is interested in new knowledge and medical progress. That’s a key piece of the ethical justification for this work.”Correction, 9 September 2016, 10:06 a.m.: The photo caption originally identified the monkeys as being located in Bastrop, Texas. They were in fact at an NIH lab. Depending on whom you ask, yesterday’s U.S. government workshop on the state of nonhuman primate research was either a raging success or a complete fiasco. The event, held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, brought together dozens of scientists, veterinarians, and bioethicists to discuss how research on monkeys and related animals is contributing to human medicine and to review the welfare policies that surround this work. But observers differed widely on whether it accomplished what Congress had in mind when it told NIH to hold the event.“It was a great showcase of the importance nonhuman primates have played and continue to play in human health,” says Anne Deschamps, a senior science policy analyst at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Bethesda, one of several scientific organizations that signed onto a white paper released in advance of the meeting that promoted the use of these animals in biomedical research. She contends that research on these animals has been critical for our understanding of HIV and the human brain.But the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), whose lobbying efforts led to the workshop, says the meeting was supposed to determine whether monkeys and their relatives belong in laboratories in the first place. “It was an infomercial for the use of monkeys in experiments,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo in Norfolk, Virginia. “It was a wasted opportunity.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Novak Djokovic defeats Thomaz Bellucci in 2nd round to advance in Rogers Cup

first_imgWorld number one Novak Djokovic kicked off his bid for a fourth Canadian crown with a 6-3 7-6(4) second round win over a stubborn Thomaz Bellucci at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday.Bellucci, with just one win in five visits to Canada and coming off a first-round loss at Washington, appeared to be the perfect opponent for Djokovic to launch his buildup to the U.S. Open but provided a stiff test for the Serb.”Match could have gone either way, honestly, especially in the second set,” Djokovic told reporters after battling Bellucci for an hour and 50 minutes. “But we both had our chances to break. We got to the tiebreak, which I thought was fair, then it was anybody’s game.Also read: Sania Mirza’s name approved for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award “It’s the first hard-court match for me from Miami earlier this year in March. It takes a little bit of time to get into the rhythm, get into the groove.”The top seed in Canada for the fifth straight year, Djokovic saved all three break points he faced in a tight opening set.The Serb, who narrowly missed out on a fourth Canada title last year after losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final, also saved two break points in the second as the set went to a tie break, which he quickly took control of and took 7-4 to register his 250th world tour Masters 1000 match win.Only three players have beaten Djokovic in 2015 — Ivo Karlovic, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka.advertisementIn first-round action, Tsonga opened his title defence with a 6-4 6-4 win over Croatian teenager Borna Coric in a rain-interrupted match that began on Monday.Czech Lukas Rosol upset South African 12th seed Kevin Anderson 7-6(2) 7-6(4) while Bulgarian 14th seed Grigor Dimitrov, a semi-finalist last year, advanced 6-4 7-5 against Ukrainian qualifier Alexandr Dologopolov.Belgian 13th seed David Goffin beat American Steve Johnson 6-2 6-2, leaving John Isner to carry the United States flag into the second round, the 16th seed blasting 23 aces past Germany’s Benjamin Becker in a 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3 win.last_img read more