New Year, New You?

first_imgAs we prepare to bid farewell to another year it is only natural to reflect upon the past twelve months and how they have, or have not, lived up to expectations. If you think back to this time last year when you thought about the year ahead, what were your plans? Your expectations? Your promises to yourself and others? How many of those have been realised? If you can honestly say that they have, then sadly you are in the minority.The majority will look back and barely remember the resolutions they decided upon. No doubt they were all made with the best of intentions but unfortunately New Year resolutions rarely last past January; if they ever get off the ground in the first place. Still, year after year people continue to make promises about changes knowing the improbability of ever seeing them through.New Year resolutions are part of a long standing tradition dating back 4000 years ago when assurances about better conduct were made to pagan gods by the Babylonians at the time of new crops. Over the centuries the dates on which these declarations were made may have changed from March to January and the promises have shifted from the external pagan promises to Roman worshipping of their two headed god Janus, who symbolised looking back at the old year and into the new, onto religious ceremonies and pledges to God, and currently to more internal resolutions many of us set out to follow for ourselves. However, the commonality remains that moving into a New Year promises of changes and improvements are made during celebrations for the coming months.These promises may be either a bit of fun, intentions for real life changing decisions, lame attempts at righting the detrimental ways we are living or quiet, personal determinations we keep to ourselves and slowly work on in private. The reasons may vary, but the sentiments behind them are all the same; to be better, to live healthier, to be happier and to live a more fulfilling life.It may be that you have long decided the futility of making New Year resolutions. If so, at least reconsider your reasons. There is nothing wrong with setting goals; in fact they are a healthy practice on the road to achievement. Goals in the quest for improvement are superlative to both short and long-term planning.The best time to break old habits is at times associated with newness and a new year is certainly that. That fresh start somehow seems easier to embark upon as the dates change and a new routine may be devised to incorporate the reformed practices that have been set out. The key is to be realistic.Whatever your reason or plans, a suggestion for you all; how about this year without dismissing your need for positive change, you allow the main focus to shift to what went right last year? What were your successes? What did you do that produced good outcomes or resulted in good things for those around you? If you can determine what you did that was good, what contributed to your success and how you maintained the positive things in your life, you can make sure you keep doing those things during the year to come.However you intend to celebrate this year, however you intend to move into the new one, take time to consider a few things. Before you highlight all of your faults and claim to be able to fix them all in the coming months, maybe it would be more productive to be honest and recognise your capabilities and willpower and decide on achievable changes that will be beneficial to your physical and mental health. Remember to take account of the good that has passed this year and carry that forward with you into the next. If you are determined to make drastic changes; the best of luck to you. Stay focused and remember why you want to change when the going gets tough. We are usually more capable than we give ourselves credit for.If 2016 was a good year for you, may it continue. If it was a really challenging year then acknowledge the fact that you survived it and you now have the opportunity to start a new one. Putting aside those few things that remain out of our control, this next year will rely heavily on what you make of it. Go into 2017 with a positive, energised attitude that will carry you through.last_img read more

Gift to LAUSD should boost school reform

first_imgThe $50 million gift from Richard and Melanie Lundquist to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s school reform effort could do a lot to jump-start his plans to improve education at two clusters of L.A. schools. Villaraigosa’s plan to take two clusters of failing Los Angeles Unified School District schools will need money. And like many a political effort before this, the donations will come from the men and women of means who care about education. In promising $50 million to the mayor’s school reform effort over 10 years, the Lundquists, who reside on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, have shown themselves to be enormously generous. Richard Lundquist owns Continental Development Corp., which owns more than 4 million square feet of commercial space in California. The Lundquists have also been generous in giving to other causes in the South Bay. Last year, they donated $13 million to Torrance Memorial Medical Center. The $50 million to LAUSD is the largest private donation ever received by the school district. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Of course, there’s no question that creating a support foundation for the mayor’s education campaign will open doors at City Hall. Indeed, Melanie Lundquist, who will head the foundation, will spend a great deal of time at City Hall with the mayor’s education team, figuring out how to best use the funds. Those of us who don’t have $50, let alone $50million, to give wouldn’t even be allowed through the door. That’s just the way of the world. Fortunately, the Lundquists, who are both LAUSD graduates, have little to gain here except the sense of fulfillment that comes from helping to make a difference in the lives of others. Their interest in building an educated citizenry for the region’s economy is certainly welcome. The size of this donation puts the mayor and his team under pressure to achieve major improvements in the schools they will supervise. Only strong leadership can give the children of Los Angeles the quality education they deserve.last_img read more


first_imgIreland is famous all over the world for its one hundred thousand welcomes (Céad Míle Fáilte) and now JCI Donegal is on the hunt for Donegal’s Friendliest Business. Do you know a business that makes you smile every time you use their service?If you do, don’t keep it a secret, nominate them for the JCI Donegal Friendly Business Awards Competition. We all need to support local businesses to ensure they have a future.The JCI Donegal Friendly Business Awards seeks to recognise the important role played by small businesses in the continuous development and improvement of our economy and local communities.The competition aims to award businesses that go the extra mile and provide an outstanding service to their customers and their community at large.It is particularly important in this economic environment to highlight businesses that don’t allow their standards to slip and continue to provide quality services. Emma Boylan President of JCI Donegal says, “With the current pinch in the economy it is so important for businesses to be able to set themselves apart from their competitors.“The businesses who go that little bit further will survive and thrive when the economy picks up.The Friendliest Business in Donegal will be judged on the following criteria: Customer Care, Consumer Choice, Disability Access, Digital Experience, Eco-Friendliness and Shop Layout and Design.These six categories are the foundations of a business that has the customer at the center of their business.The closing date for nominations is 31 July 2014. More information about the project can be found at: JCI Donegal on Facebook. To nominate a business please contact Kerry O Donnell, by email at with the details of the business and why you think they should be crowned as JCI Ireland’s Friendly Business for 2014.ARE YOU DONEGAL’S FRIENDLIEST BUSINESS? was last modified: July 11th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare 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:BusinessdonegalFeaturesFriendliestJCInewslast_img read more

Un-reality TV

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! HOPING to recruit new deputies, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department wants to give TV viewers an inside look at the department – albeit a censored view. County supervisors have agreed to Sheriff Lee Baca’s plan to allow the department to be the basis of two new “reality” TV shows, but with certain caveats. For starters, the county is insisting that all material that doesn’t make the final cut be wiped out within seven days. That way, if anyone should ever try to sue the department, they won’t be able to subpoena the tapes of what really happened. Amusingly, this comes at the same the Los Angeles Police Department is trying to get cameras installed in its cars, based on the theory that such evidence could help cops in legal cases. So while the LAPD thinks video footage would be exculpatory, the county seems to think it would be damning. That’s telling. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The county is also insisting that any material that makes the department look bad get dumped from the final broadcast. Viewers will only see what county censors approve – that is, un-reality TV.last_img read more

National Forests in North Carolina to temporarily close some roads ahead of Hurricane Florence

first_imgThe U.S. Forest Service, Forest Supervisor, having closely tracked the forecast models of Hurricane Florence, has decided to temporarily close National Forest roads, today, Thursday September 13th at noon.The Forest Service will close gates on roads listed below to protect public safety. We strongly request that, due to expected wind and rainfall, the public not use trails or general forest areas. Emergency response times will be longer than usual if an incident or medical emergency were to occur.The health, safety, and well-being of the public and visitors to our National Forests is of our number one priority. Roads will be evaluated for health and safety and reopened as conditions allow following the storm passage.The following sites will close as listed until cleared and deemed safe:Pisgah National ForestGrandfather Ranger DistrictFS 4096- Carroll Creek RoadFS 482- Curtis Creek RoadFS 197- Raven Cliff RoadFS 228- Steeles Creek RoadFS 99- Table Rock Road Paved SectionFS 4071- Thunderhole RoadAppalachian Ranger DistrictFS 74- Big IvyFS 278- Flat Top (Both ends)FS 467- Hurricane GapFS 467A- Rich MountainFS 465- Hickey ForkFS 113- Mill RidgeFS 3549- CataloocheePisgah Ranger DistrictFS 477- Avery CreekFS 1206- Yellow GapFS 5000- Wash Creek RdFS 479- Bent Creek RdFS 475B- HeadwatersFS 140- CourthouseFS 97- LickstoneTR#101-Investor Gap TRFS 475- Davidson River RoadFS 471- Cathys Creek RdNantahala National Forest Tusquittee Ranger DistrictFS 340- Fires CreekFS 423- Tatham Gap RDFS 440- Tuni RDFS 351- Nelson Ridge RdFS 307- Beech Creek RDFS 85- Panthertop RDCheoah Ranger DistrictFS 340- Big Fat (Slick Rock)FS 407- Farley CoveFS 423- Tatham GapFS 81- SanteetlaFS 75- SnowbirdFS 2586- Long Hungry BranchUwharrie National ForestFS 6507- Beaver Dam RoadFS 6720- West Polly BranchFS 6652- Polly PlaceFS 6653- Cattail BranchFS 518- River RoadFS 6756- Yates Placelast_img read more

Qantas plans for Cathay Hong Kong codeshare hit turbulence

first_imgPhoto: Cathay Pacific An application by Qantas to codeshare with Cathay Pacific on routes between Hong Kong and Australia faces further scrutiny from Australian authorities.The International Air Services Commission has written to the Flying Kangaroo seeking more information on its application to codeshare and asking the Australian carrier to address the ministerial criteria relating to competition, tourism and trade.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has also indicated it plans to make a submission on the application once it receives more information from the carrier.IASC officials want Qantas to respond to concerns raised by Virgin Australia in a submission lodged earlier this week that the codeshare would be detrimental to travelers and increase the market power of the two airlines.Virgin said in its application that Qantas and Cathay currently dominated the Hong Kong route, holding a combined frequency share of 88 percent and a combined seat capacity share of 90 percent.READ: Virgin opposes Qantas-Cathay codeshare It argued the Qantas application did not provide enough information for interested parties such as itself and the competition watchdog to properly assess and comment on the application.“Notwithstanding the paucity of information in Qantas’ application, any strengthening of the cooperation with Cathay Pacific is likely to increase the market power that the two carriers individually and collectively hold on the Hong Kong route,’’ the Virgin application said,“This would inevitably diminish the competitive forces in the market and may lead to higher airfares and reduced choices for customers, with corresponding implications for Australian tourism andIn a letter released Friday, IASC chair Ian Douglas asked Qantas to provide details on how the proposed codeshare would achieve the IASC Act objective of enhancing the welfare of Australians by promoting economic efficiency through competition in the provision of international air services.He said this should result in increased responsiveness by airlines to the needs of consumers, including an increased range of choices and benefits;  growth in Australian tourism and trade; and the maintenance of Australian carriers capable of competing effectively with airlines of foreign countries.The letter asked Qantas to specify the city-pairs on which it proposed to codeshare with Cathay and provide passenger numbers and market share for each as well as yield and load factors.Virgin calculated that in the 12 months ending October 2018, both airlines recorded passenger load factors exceeding 80 percent and together carried 92 percent of all passengers traveling between Australia and Hong Kong.Qantas said it would be responding to the request for more information.last_img read more

The Future of Mobile Social Networks: 4 Promising Services

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Features#mobile#Product Reviews#social networks#web Has the Future of Mobile Social Networks Arrived?With so much to offer, it’s not hard to envision mobile social networks taking off on the coattails of the social web. Brightkite is already seeing a steady climb, Groovr could become the best mobile social network for finding out what’s going on in town, and Fon11 may see its moment of fame well before the 3G iPhone hits. Has the future arrived? We’ll leave that for you to decide, while we sit and wait anxiously for more. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…center_img corvida 1 Fon11 Developed by MoBlast Technologies, Fon11 could become the hottest mobile social network for the iPhone. With a nice UI (of course) and great features like the ability to see just how far away your contacts are from you, availability status messages, visibility settings and more, it seems Fon11 has a lot more to offer than the rest of the pack. Fon11 has already been ported to Android and Nokia Web Runtime with development plans in the works for J2ME and Windows Mobile platforms. While GPS remains an issue through no fault of Moblast, we’ve been assured that there are many strategies in development to find a resolution. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Recently we discussed some of the problems plaguing mobile social networks. These problems include location, marketing strategies and compatibility issues. Our readers also contributed their thoughts on hardware compatibility and GPS. While no network is perfect, in this post we profile some of the key players in the market. Here’s a look at four mobile social networks that may have what it takes.Brightkite We’ve already profile Brightkite as a winning mobile social network in the arena. Brightkite allows for your network of friends to keep track of where others may be at any moment. Since no GPS is required, users can send updates to the service via text messaging or email, to update their profile with location updates, pictures, and notes. With a host of privacy settings to prevent any form of stalking, Twitter users are increasingly using the network to update friends with status locations sent to their Twitter streams. Brightkite may be one of the best mobile networks to use, especially when going to a conference or big event in town.Update: We’ve got 100 Brightkite invites for you. Just leave us your info below. (Remember, OpenID users, email might not be displayed so make sure you let us know what it is).Zyb Taking a different approach from Brightkite, Zyb aims to be a mobile contact organizer for your social network. While we already have our address books for this, Zyb looks to provide a way for you to backup and synchronize your contacts online. You can store your phone numbers, calendar and texts, manage this information online, and transfer your information to a new phone if there ever comes a time. You can also use Zyb to find out who has you in their phones as a contact and even discover friends of friends. Think of Zyb as an expansion on your Facebook pictures and contacts only more mobile.GroovrGroovr is your mobile network’s night out on the town. Post a picture, message, or video to your Groovr profile and have it sent to all your friends too. Instant chat? Groovr’s got you covered. However, some of these features are redundant. Can’t we already send messages, pictures, and videos to our friends without a third party? The only feature we found remotely unique is a city’s Explore page on Groovr. All of your posted items are sent to the corresponding cities Explore page. Here’s a peek at San Francisco on Groovr:last_img read more

British Library Digitizes the Hellenic World

first_imgFor other online manuscript collections, read our earlier post on the topic. And this time, my dear scroll beetles, if you have something to add, don’t hole up in your academic chat rooms muttering. Pop on down to the comments section and de-dumbify us. We’re all ears. Via A Blog About History. Tags:#E-Books#international#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… In an ongoing project to put its whole collection of Greek manuscripts online, the British Library has just announced that 280 volumes are now available on its Digitised Manuscript website. Free to anyone, not just scholars, the current digital collection contains over a quarter of the library’s collection, including 1,000 manuscripts, more than 3,000 papyri and a collection of early Greek printing.We’ve reported before on the importance of the online world as a gateway to information that has been, for one reason or another, horded before. As important a collection as the British Library’s, and as important a culture as the Hellenic, materially increases the store of important knowledge freely available. Cambridge Classics professor (and A Don’s Life blogger) Mary Beard told Reuters much the same thing. “This is exactly what we have all hoped for from new technology, but so rarely get. It opens up a precious resource to anyone — from the specialist to the curious — anywhere in the world, for free.”Amen, sister. The British Library is a leader in scholarly digitization and the sophistication and ease of use of their viewer is a result of that dedication. It provides easy-to-consult content information, manuscript ID and the ability to switch between single-page, open-book and folio views. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts curt hopkins 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Three arrests after violent Boone County assault

first_imgThree men have been arrested after an attack and robbery that left one person unconscious in downtown Columbia.Police say Kyle Johnson, 23; Emory Montie, 23; and Alexander Nolan, 19, are behind the assault on Seventh Street near Cherry at about 2 a.m. Sunday.One of the two victims was hit a bunch of times, and had to go to the hospital for what authorities call extensive injuries. A necklace was stolen too.The three suspects were booked into jail early Wednesday.last_img

BJP, Congress turn party backrooms into digital election war rooms

first_img7 Safdarjung Road In this privileged part of the Capital, you can actually hear the birds chirping. The daisies are out in riotous colours and a man in the garden is sweeping the dead leaves with rhythmic artistry. Inside BJP General Secretary Pramod Mahajan’s white picket-fenced home are two sheds,,7 Safdarjung RoadIn this privileged part of the Capital, you can actually hear the birds chirping. The daisies are out in riotous colours and a man in the garden is sweeping the dead leaves with rhythmic artistry. Inside BJP General Secretary Pramod Mahajan’s white picket-fenced home are two sheds, where the smell of wood is still fresh, the marble floor still unstained and posters urging people not to smoke and not to litter are still politely attached to the softboards.Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the PMO Sudheendra Kulkarni sits in one room, Ajay Singh, former adviser in Mahajan’s IT ministry, sits in another. Mukul Agarwal is the floor manager. He mans the room from where emails and SMSes are sent out-the party has a database of 25 lakh and 15,000 respectively for this. Having designed the “look” for L.K. Advani’s Bharat Uday Yatra, Anil Rawat and Sandeep Babbar are finalising the slogan for ads in papers in Uttar Pradesh: “Desh sambhala, pradesh savarenge(We have handled the country, now we’ll do the same for the state).”BACKROOM BUOYS: Pramod Mahajan with his think tankIn an adjoining shed, five people sit, monitoring news channels for 14 hours every day, painstakingly filling out forms, mentioning the date and time of every “negative” story. It is clear that the BJP, once a party that symbolised the bucolic, has leapfrogged into the digital age, with its backroom boys, in their kurtis and Italian shoes, as far removed from Rajiv Gandhi’s old-chums gang as bhailog are from babalog.But they can use the accoutrements of power equally well. The Samsung monitor by Singh’s new leather armchair beams a remix of A.B. Vajpayee’s poem set to Bharat Bala’s stirring Vande Mataram. Another touch of the keyboard reveals the Mission 2004 website, a product of the BJP media centre, run by Rawat and Babbar-both professionals who have worked with ad agencies. Mahajan is in Lucknow, conducting a meeting with the Uttar Pradesh BJP unit, but the giant martial machine works well into the night. Most of the “boys” have been camping here for almost two days, taking a break only to tuck into the meals, served in plastic trays, and to sip coffee at the dispenser outside. Representatives from various ad agencies are lounging about: there are two people from Percept, one from Crayons, an agency which handles much of BJP advertising, and others are expected from Grey Worldwide, Euro RSCG, Ascent and TBWA Anthem.Singh, an IITian and Cornell University graduate, strides into the conference room where the competing artworks are on display. “Make sure it’s ready when Pramodji comes,” is his terse instruction. Which one will win: Waqt hamara hai or Congress ko saaf karo, mauka hai insaaf karo? When Mahajan breezes in, it is clear who the decision-maker is. Mahajan is the ultimate spinmeister: he had planned an ad with all the party’s women politicians for International Women’s Day. He dropped the idea when he realised most newspapers would be closed on Holi. He had booked spots even on Ten Sports during the cricket series before the Election Commission code was enforced. Nothing unsettles him-perhaps it is the old Hindi film songs he watches every morning on TV while on his treadmill. Or perhaps it is the baby’s laughter which announces a call on his cell phone.Team Mahajan, many of them veterans of the much smaller Campaign 1999, may well have the last laugh. But much needs to be done. Singh is in a meeting with Arun Jain, who commandeered 10,000 phone lines for the Kaun Banega Crorepati phone-ins. They are discussing how to make the prime minister’s one-minute phone call interactive. They have worked out an SMS which will download the BJP logo, ringtone, and even a Vajpayee wallpaper onto the mobile phone screen. Singh beams proudly: “See, this is a new, technology-savvy voter. We have to reach out to him but Atalji is there,” he says, gesturing with both hands in the air. “His job is not to ask for votes. His role is to lead the nation to a better tomorrow.” And Singh’s job is to make sure he gets there.99 South AvenueThere is nothing to announce the frenetic activity inside this nondescript flat, which till the election hurly burly began, was better known as party spokesman Salman Khurshid’s office. Now it is War Room I. Here work is on at a hectic pace. Jairam Ramesh, who many Congressmen grumble has staged a one-man coup, has opened his Fujitsu Lifebook, plugged in his travel speaker which is playing a Simon and Garfunkel song. Three other volunteers, all of them professionals who are on leave from their organisations and want to remain anonymous, are working on computers-one of them is building the, which will connect party workers in 600 districts, while another is working on the website to “expose” the India Shining fraud.In another room, longtime Congress worker M. Shamim Akhtar is playing a video which has married footage of Rajiv Gandhi with the tearful song from Shaheed, “Ab tumhare hawale watan saathiyon”. Another video urges voters not to cast “ek galat vote jo desh ko apahij bana dega (a wrong vote which will disable the nation)”. “We have a history. The BJP has only hype. We have a heart, they don’t,” says Akhtar. Jairam Ramesh inside one of the Congress war roomsRamesh, in between attending a call on the cell which is connected only to the closed user group (the election management group) and directing Akhtar to handle a crisis at the AICC office, is even more vocal. In an ironic role reversal, having been the first to discover gizmos in 1986, the Congress is keen to show its common touch and its swadeshi moorings.Khurshid, Ramesh’s whirlwind comrade-in-arms, completes the nerve centre. It’s where ideas are generated, strategies mapped out, slogans discussed with the ad agency Leo Burnett, and posters stored. Right now, Khurshid is away at a debate in a studio of the 24X7 news channel which the Congress treats as its own. Every evening, War Room I goes to meet War Room II, where the election management group meets. That’s 80 Lodi Estate, the unoccupied home of Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. It also serves as an office for the Perfect Relations staff. They too monitor TV channels-the only difference is, there is one notebook for five people-and prepare press clippings.At 99 South Avenue, there is no super slickness-the tea is milky sweet and comes in chipped cups. Biscuits are bought on the spot with loose change. Cigarettes are smoked freely. Whether it is the London School of Economics-educated Yusuf Ansari or Aijaz Ilmi, owner of the Urdu paper Siyasat Jadeed, young politicians keep dropping in, with reports from the field. Ansari is just back from Aurangabad where 400 Shiv Sena workers joined the Congress, while Ilmi has moved with his son from Bangalore for the next three months. For them, the battle is just beginning.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more