Ponant wants to work with travel agents to get more Canadians on

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Luxury Travel, Ponant Share Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Friday, February 9, 2018 Ponant wants to work with travel agents to get more Canadians on its luxury ships TORONTO — Travellers need expert advice when they’re planning a $25,000 Antarctica cruise. So it’s no surprise that nine out of 10 bookings for Ponant Yacht Cruises & Expeditions – for Antarctica, the Arctic or warmer ports of call in more than 80 countries around the world – come through travel agents.“Well upwards of 90% of our bookings come through the trade,” says Navin Sawhney, CEO, Ponant USA. With a high-end product like Ponant, and price points to match, “people need an expert to tell them this is the right way to travel.”So far only a very small fraction of those bookings come from Canada, but with the help of travel agents as well as Vanessa Lee and her company Cruise Strategies, which represents Ponant in Canada, Sawhney is looking to boost volume from this market. “We plan to increase it quite rapidly,” he says, not just for FIT but groups as well.Navin Sawhney, CEO, Ponant USA and Theresa Gatta, VP Sales, North AmericaLee and her team at Cruise Strategies hosted Sawhney and Theresa Gatta, VP Sales, North America along with trade and consumer media and industry partners at a reception last night at Toronto’s Auberge du Pommier.Clients who make the move to Ponant will have plenty of ships to choose from in the next few years. The company has no fewer than five new vessels coming on line between now and 2021.Four new Ponant Explorer Yachts, all sister ships with 92 staterooms each, are on their way this year and next. Scheduled launch dates are June 2018, October 2018, March 2019 and June 2019. ‘Discover Yacht Cruises’, reads the tagline, and the ships deliver, with appropriately luxurious accommodations, high-end amenities from companies like Hermès and Veuve Clicquot.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesThe four new ships will also deliver a truly unique experience with ‘Blue Eye’, billed as the first multi-sensory underwater lounge, offering spectacular underwater viewing – under the ship’s waterline – from the comfort of a lounge chair.The Blue Eye lounge will make its debut on Le Lapérouse, followed by Le Champlain, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville. The four new ships will sail in tropical and sub-tropical destinations, everywhere from the Seychelles to Australia to South Africa to the ‘Coral Triangle’, the tropical marine waters between Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.Meanwhile in December 2017 Ponant confirmed its order for the very first electric hybrid cruise icebreaker propelled by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). The Ponant Icebreaker “affirms Ponant’s place as the world leader in luxury polar expeditions”, says the company. The new ship, scheduled for delivery in 2021, will have 135 staterooms and will take passengers to never-explored polar destinations including the true geographic North Pole (90 degrees North Latitude), the Weddell Sea, the Ross Sea and Peter I Island.Sawhney says Ponant’s luxury polar expeditions “truly define what Ponant has done to this category.” The company, founded in 1988, embarked on expedition cruising in 1999. “No one had thought of luxury expeditions in such detail,” he said.The cruise line launched Le Boreal in 2010 and it was an immediate success. “In an environment like the Arctic or Antarctica, you do want an expedition ship with balconies,” says Sawhney. The cruise line has now completed some 400 expeditions in polar regions, he adds.Ponant’s passengers, not surprisingly, are a discerning group. They’re very well-educated, says Sawhney, typically married, very well-read and well-travelled. “They have moved from sightseeing to sight-doing to sight-being,” he says, adding “they want travel to transform them.”More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Ponant is the only French cruise line and appropriately about 40% of its passengers are French speaking. About 30% are from North America and another 15 – 20% are from Australia. Some are from the UK and the rest come from Latin America, continental Europe and Asia. The ships are bilingual and sail all over the world, except to the Galapagos Islands. “We’re proudly French and sailing the Galapagos Islands would mean sailing with the Ecuadorean flag, and we sail with the French flag,” says Sawhney.Sawhney is particularly excited about a number of just-announced new theme cruises, especially for the Canadian market, where groups are big business.The theme cruises, dubbed the ‘Quintessential Collection’, include: a gardening cruise in May 2019 led by Holly Shimizu, retired Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden; a Sicilian Food & Wine Experience in June and July 2019 with Mary Taylor Simeti, food and travel writer for The New York Times; A Musical Odyssey in the Mediterranean in September 2019; and a World Affairs Cruise – Origins of Greek Civilizations in October 2019 with CNN host Fareed Zakaria.Sawhney notes that interest in expedition cruising is at an all-time high – both with travellers and other cruise lines. “There are a lot of upstarts looking to do expedition cruises,” he says. “Of the 22 new expedition class vessels currently being built, five of those are for Ponant. That shows just how seriously we take this market.”The price points are appropriate for the luxury market but agents should know that Ponant’s lineup also includes $5,000 cruises. He sums up the Ponant experience: “Everything French, everything elegant, everything superb.”For more details see ponant.com.last_img read more

Intrepid Group posts Cdn379 million growth for 2018 another record

first_img Travelweek Group Monday, January 14, 2019 TORONTO — Intrepid Group is reporting its third consecutive year of record growth including a 29% uptick in its North American markets.The multi-brand company announced 17% growth in revenue globally to take the Group to AUD$397 million (about Cdn$379 million) in 2018.Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) came in just shy of $15 million in 2018 with a 25% increase in underlying profitability.Intrepid Group CEO James Thornton says he believes the company’s profit growth is driven by an increasing global demand for sustainable travel and the company’s commitment to having a ‘Purpose Beyond Profit.’Intrepid Group has more than 2,700 trips in 120 countries operated by the Group’s four tour operator brands (Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures, Urban Adventures, Adventure Tours Australia) and is now the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences, adds Thornton.The vertically integrated business also includes a global network of local destination management companies, as well as several suppliers which Intrepid Group has a stake in, such as Chimu Adventures. In December, Intrepid Group announced that it will become a seven-continent operator with the launch of a range of charters in Antarctica in partnership with Chimu.More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaThornton says this diversification has helped to protect the Group from the highs and lows of world events.“Over the past 30 years we’ve seen many of our favorite places suffer through the lows of natural disasters and we’ve learned how important it is to diversify not only where we go, but also our brands, products and sales regions so that we can cater to all ages, budgets and appetites for adventure,” he says.Last year also saw 60% growth in customer numbers from Urban Adventures and the opening of PEAK DMC Indonesia, the company’s 21st destination management company, he adds.Intrepid Group employs 1,800 staff and leaders in more than 40 offices around the world, with company headquarters in Melbourne. Almost a quarter of the company’s 2018 profits will be paid out to staff in bonuses.In 2018 Intrepid Group also achieved B Corp certification, joining a growing global community of businesses looking beyond the bottom line. Meanwhile The Intrepid Foundation also marked a record year in 2017, raising AUD$1 million (about Cdn$960,000) for local and international charities.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoIntrepid Group is also reporting a record Employee Engagement score of 82% and a record customer feedback score of 4.7 out of 5 for the year.“This year we celebrate Intrepid’s 30-year anniversary and it’s fantastic to be achieving this level of growth. We’re as committed to sustainable travel as we were in the beginning, so the truly inspiring thing for everyone here at Intrepid is just to see that the more we grow, the more we can do. Customers really are looking for businesses to be a force for good.” Tags: Adventure Tours, Intrepid Group, Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures, Urban Adventures Intrepid Group posts Cdn$379 million growth for 2018, another recordcenter_img Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

You wont believe what this man was fined for in Singapore

first_imgYou won’t believe what this man was fined for in Singapore Monday, May 27, 2019 SINGAPORE — If you’ve got clients heading to Singapore, you may want to warn them of the country’s strict litter laws.How strict? An unidentified man was just fined S$300 (approximately Can$295) for shooting two rubber bands that landed on a public road.The National Environment Agency (NEA), which issued the ticket on May 23, accused the man of throwing rubber bands in a public place, an offence under Section 17(1)(A) of the Environmental Public Health Act.“NEA enforcement officers observed a man walking towards his vehicle and shooting two rubber bands, on after the other, into the air,” the agency said as reported by Channel News Asia. “The rubber bands landed on the public road. Our officers thus informed him of the littering offence and issued him an enforcement ticket.”The NEA also added that the man “was cooperative throughout officers’ engagement with him.”This incident comes on the heels of another similar situation in which two men were fined S$300 each for leaving behind beverage cans at Singapore’s Woodlands MRT station.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthAccording to the NEA, “public littering has environmental consequences” and that “keeping our environment clean by not littering is a gracious and socially responsible thing to do.” Posted by Share Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

MSC Cruises and Fincantieri announce agreement

first_imgMSC Cruises and Fincantieri announce agreementMSC Cruises and Fincantieri announce agreementToday at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, MSC Cruises officially took delivery of its new flagship MSC Seaside. The delivery ceremony took place in the presence of Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, Graziano Delrio, Italy’s Minister of Infrastructures and Transports, as well as other authorities and dignitaries.At the delivery ceremony of MSC Seaside, the Company’ second newly-built ship to come into service in 2017, MSC Cruises and Fincantieri also signed orders for the construction of two Seaside EVO ships, a further evolution of the Seaside Class prototype, for a total investment of €1.8 billion.MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “MSC Seaside coming into service marks another key milestone in the history and future of our Company, but she also embodies a pivotal moment for the industry. In fact, she is the first ship of the fifth new prototype that we bring into service and introduces a wholly-innovative product that sets a new standard for the industry to follow. The Seaside Class of ships is designed to bring guests closer to the sea and to operate in sunny waters, while continuing to push the boundaries of maritime and guest-centric technology.”Mr Vago added: “As we are nearing the end of 2017, we can look back on a year when we enjoyed unprecedented capacity growth. With two of the more innovative new ships in the industry having come into service in the past six months and now with the addition of two Seaside EVO ships to our investment plan, we are now even better positioned to further extend our global footprint. We are expecting the delivery of at least one new ship each year through 2026, with six to have come into service between 2017 and 2020. ”Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, stated: “We are proud to have accomplished such an important project: a ship, for a new customer, the largest one ever built in Italy. This demonstrates not only our ability to satisfy the needs of the shipowners, but also the extraordinary operational level which Fincantieri has achieved. In fact, I would like to highlight that “Seaview”, the sister ship of “Seaside”, will be delivered in just 6 months, in this same shipyard”. Bono added: “we believe we have built a highly innovative ship with MSC. She marks a further technological quality leap. Such a milestone has allowed us to gain the customer’s loyalty with another order for two new ships, which will [again] represent a real evolution.”Following the new agreement between MSC Cruises and Fincantieri, the initial slot reservation agreement to build a third Seaside Class ship to be delivered in 2021, has been replaced to instead build the first of two Seaside EVO ships. The second ship is set to come into service in 2023.Key specs for the new Seaside EVO are as follows:Length/beam: 339m/41mGross tonnage: 169,380 GRTLSA: 7,280In addition to offering even more space, Seaside EVO ships will have greater dimensions, more cabins, an even larger Yacht Club – with an additional deck and larger cabins — and will be hosting up to 5,646 passengers. At the same time, just like the Seaside Class, the Seaside EVO ships will be equipped with the latest advanced environmental technology, including: a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, an advanced active emissions control technology system, that significantly reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) into harmless nitrogen (N2) and water; exhaust gas cleaning (EGC) technology to meet the strictest exhaust regulations in port and in operating areas; state-of-the-art waste management and recycling systems; advanced water treatment systems – going above and beyond regulatory standards and meeting the highest industry standards; and, an advanced energy and heat recovery system. Across the ships, there will be the latest generation of energy-saving devices and all areas will feature LED lighting. The ships will be ultra-hydrodynamic and thanks to optimized hull lines, propellers and rudders, combined with the latest anti-fouling paint, wave resistance will be further reduced, and greater fuel-efficiency will be achieved.With the addition of these new ships, the Company’s already industry-unprecedented investment plan will now account for 12 new ships to be built by 2026, for an overall investment of EUR 10.5 billionDuring today’s delivery ceremony, which pays tribute to centuries-old maritime tradition, Roberto Olivari, Fincantieri’s shipyard director, handed over to Pier Paolo Scala, Master of MSC Seaside, an ampoule holding the first water that touched the hull when the ship was floated out earlier this year. After the closing of the delivery ceremony, MSC Seaside will set sail for Trieste. From there, she will continue to Miami for her naming ceremony on 21 December.MSC Seaside is the first ship in the Seaside Class and a completely new prototype pushing the boundaries of innovative ship building and design. At 153,516 GRT and with a guest capacity of 5,119, she is the second newly-built next-generation mega cruise ship in the MSC Cruises fleet and the first one to be delivered by Fincantieri.MSC Seaside will be homeporting in Miami and will begin her first sailing in the Caribbean where she will call at various ports in the East and West CaribbeanFresh on the heels of MSC Seaside, her sister ship MSC Seaview will come into service in June 2018, starting her summer season in the Mediterranean Today at the delivery ceremony, Mr Vago also announced that MSC Seaview will be christened in Civitavecchia, Italy, on June 2, 2018.Source = MSC Cruiseslast_img read more

A candle lit vigil held in Buncrana for lovely Dan

first_img A candle lit vigil held in Buncrana for lovely Danielle McLaughlinTRAGIC Danielle McLaughlin is on her way back to the arms of her loving and grieving family.The remains of the 28-year-old left Goa in India this morning to begin a long journey back to Ireland.It was taken from the medical centre to a waiting vehicle to be transported to the airport. Danielle’s childhood friends Nicole Farren and Sheridan Smith arrived in Goa two days ago to bring her body back to Co Donegal, after a campaign to bring her home raised over €40,000.The young Buncrana woman’s wooden coffin was transported via ambulance from Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim, to Dabolim airport this morning.So tragic – beautiful Danielle McLaughlin.From there it will be flown to Mumbai and then to Dubai, before arriving in Dublin.It is also understood that Danielle’s family are requesting anothEr autopsy be carried out in Ireland. Hundreds of people turned up at a candlelit vigil for Danielle last night during which her family and friends recalled happier times with the young woman.Among those who spoke were Danielle’s oyunger sister Sian, close friend Louise McMenamin and local Sinn Fein Senator Padraig Mac Lochlainn.DANIELLE MCLAUGHLIN BEGINS THE LONG JOURNEY BACK INTO THE ARMS OF HER GRIEVING FAMILY was last modified: March 22nd, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet buncranaDANIELLE MCLAUGHLIN BEGINS THE LONG JOURNEY BACK INTO THE ARMS OF HER GRIEVING FAMILYGOANICOLE FARRENSHERIDAN SMITHlast_img read more

Representatives of national disabled peoples orga

first_imgRepresentatives of national disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) in Bolivia, Greece, Malaysia and Uganda have described to UK activists how they have fought oppression and discrimination in their own countries.They were speaking at an International Deaf and Disabled People’s Solidarity Summit in east London, organised by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) to highlight the hypocrisy of the UK government’s decision to co-host a major “global disability summit” on the Olympic Park in east London this week.Feliza Ali Ramos (pictured, left) and Alex Marcelo Vazquez Bracamonte (centre), both wheelchair-users, from the Bolivian DPO New Hope, described how – two years ago – they and fellow disabled activists marched 300 miles through the Andes to the capital La Paz to confront president Evo Morales about the conditions facing disabled people in Bolivia and to seek an increase in disability benefits.Conditions facing disabled people in Bolivia were harsh, they told the summit.Many were dying from treatable conditions, some because doctors refused to give them oxygen, with families often welcoming their early deaths “because they were suffering anyway”.Many disabled people were excluded from education, despite the government’s insistence that disabled people had access to education and to healthcare, the summit heard.Local campaigns had called for the monthly disability benefit payment to rise from about £10 to about £50 a month, which led to the march on La Paz.Ramos said: “We sent letter after letter to the president, but the president never received us.”They marched through the mountains for 35 days and often had nowhere to sleep, while their only food was what they were given by people from the towns they passed through.When they arrived in the capital, they found the government had put up metal barriers to prevent them reaching the central square where the government offices were located.The square was guarded by police with water cannons and riot shields, and they were sprayed with pepper spray and water cannons, beaten and pushed out of their wheelchairs.Refused a meeting with the president, they pitched tents and took part in a vigil that lasted more than three months.The government tried to infiltrate the movement, and threatened activists with 10 years in prison.Morales eventually backed down and agreed to some of their demands.Ramos told fellow activists at Sunday’s summit how they lost two of their colleagues in a traffic accident during the march while another four had died because their health deteriorated during the protest.She cried as she told the summit: “Because these comrades had given their lives we fought on and we too were prepared to give our lives.“We remember what we went through and every day it moves me.“All of a sudden we have made ourselves visible in Bolivia and have got coverage in its media.”Last week, she said, there was national media coverage of a case in which a young man with cerebral palsy was found severely malnourished.She said: “Before, it would have been ignored. Now it is a national scandal because of what we did.“We have shown the whole of society we are strong and are not prepared to shut up and do whatever the government tells us to do.”New Hope was founded in 1999 to fight for an independent life for all disabled people in Bolivia, and its members try to empower disabled people with physical impairments through their Independent Life programme.Antonios Rellas, from the Greek DPO Zero Tolerance, told Sunday’s summit how he was the only disabled activist who gave evidence in the long-running trial of MPs and members of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party.He said: “As disabled activists, we know very well the story behind the fascist danger.“Golden Dawn followed exactly what Hitler and the Third Reich believed. Some of the first victims of the Third Reich were disabled people who were killed, 275,00 of them, as unworthy to live.”He also described his organisation’s ongoing fight against the institutionalisation of disabled people in Greece, which saw Zero Tolerance fight for the freedom of disabled residents who were being over-medicated and chained to cages in a state-run institution in Lechaina.He has directed a documentary which exposes the conditions, with Rellas and other disabled activists occupying the institution for four days and demanding that they were released.Now those disabled people who have been released from Lechaina have been found homes “in places where they can lead regular lives”, he said.But he said that more than 900 disabled people were still living in similar conditions in state-run institutions in Greece.He said: “The institutions that we are talking about are public institutions. We don’t know what is happening in private and church facilities.“This has nothing to do with the financial crisis that Greece is under. This was happening before this happened and if we are not there to resist and provoke it will stay like this forever.”Naziaty Yaacob, from Harapan OKU (Hope for Persons with Disabilities), speaking via Skype, told of her organisation’s battle to fight systematic discrimination against disabled people in her country following the election in May of the first new government in Malaysia in 60 years.They wrote an open letter to the new prime minister, with support from more than 100 charities, telling him that disabled people were “still struggling to achieve independence” and were “still facing barriers and discrimination”, with disabled people the most marginalised group in society.They highlighted the “toothless” nature of the existing disability discrimination act and the need for a new act and an independent commission to deal with grievances and systemic discrimination.Rose Achayo, from the National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda, described the wide-ranging discrimination faced by disabled women and girls in her country.She told the summit that her organisation had formed in 1999 to be a voice for disabled women and girls and to push for “a society where girls and women with disabilities lead a dignified life”.She pointed to barriers faced by disabled women in Uganda, such as violence in the home and in the community, the abuse inflicted on disabled people with high support needs who are placed in isolated settings, the lack of access to reproductive health, and the lack of access to justice.She also pointed to the stigma and “invisibility” faced by disabled women and girls in mainstream society, and their lack of access to the main source of income: land.But she said that, unlike the UK government, the Ugandan government had acknowledged issues raised by the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities and had come up with a plan for how they could be addressed.The committee examined Uganda’s progress in 2016, a process her organisation took part in. A note from the editor:For nine years, Disability News Service has survived largely through the support of a small number of disability organisations – most of them user-led – that have subscribed to its weekly supply of news stories. That support has been incredibly valuable but is no longer enough to keep DNS financially viable. For this reason, please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please remember that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring, and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

NASA study Alaskan fires affected Houston air quality in 2004

first_imgShare Harvey Leifert American Geophysical Union 202-777-7507 HLeifert@agu.org Jade Boyd Rice University 713-348-6778 jadeboyd@rice.edu Dustin Wunderlich Valparaiso University 291-464-5114 Dustin.Wunderlich@valpo.edu center_img NASA study: Alaskan fires affected Houston air quality in 2004Innovative study looked at both satellite info and data from daily weather balloons An innovative new NASA-funded study based on a combination of satellite data, computer models and weather balloon readings finds that smoke from Alaskan and Canadian forest fires as much as doubled ground-level ozone thousands of miles away in Houston during a two-day period in July 2004. The study, which will appear online Sept. 26 in the Journal of Geophysical Research, offers scientists a rare glimpse at the precise air-quality effects from pollutants generated thousands of miles away. The study, conducted by researchers from Valparaiso University and Rice University, found that ozone pollution levels increased significantly in the air above Houston on July 19-20, 2004. Researchers attributed the increase in part to smoke that was transported to the area over the course of a week from forest fires raging in Alaska and Canada. The study is the first to quantitatively examine the impact of remotely generated pollutants on air quality in the lower atmosphere. In the summer of 2004, researchers in a NASA-led field research project sampled a variety of trace gases and aerosols – tiny particles suspended in the air – across North America. That same summer, physicist Gary Morris, both an associate professor at Valpariaso and an adjunct assistant professor at Rice, launched the Tropospheric Ozone Pollution Project (TOPP) at Rice’s Houston campus with funding support from both NASA and Rice’s Shell Center for Sustainability. TOPP involved daily launches of weather balloons from Rice’s campus south of downtown. The balloons measured ozone levels from the ground to altitudes of more than 100,000 feet, offering the first clear picture of how much ozone was present in each layer of the atmosphere above the city. While NASA scientists and Morris were collecting their data, forest fires in western Canada and eastern Alaska were consuming more acres than at any time during the past 50 years. Meteorological conditions carried smoke from these intense fires eastward and southward to the U.S. Gulf Coast. “The combination of our balloon-borne ozone data and observations by NASA satellites, aircraft, and a network of ground stations provided unprecedented insight into the origins of locally poor air quality in Houston on those two days,” Morris said. Houston frequently exceeds federal standards for ground-level ozone. On 52 days in 2005, Houston’s air quality violated the eight-hour Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard for ozone, placing Houston among the worst urban areas in the U.S. for ozone pollution. Besides posing a health risk for people with respiratory problems, ground-level ozone has also been linked to increased rates of asthma among children, and it can destroy plants and reduce crop yields. Federal regulators have given the Houston-Galveston region until 2007 to comply with federal air-quality standards for ground-level ozone, under the threat of severe economic sanctions, including loss of federal highway dollars. In the new study, Morris and colleagues relied on imagery from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on the Terra satellite, aerosol data from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer satellite, and carbon monoxide data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on the Aqua spacecraft. They tracked an air mass from the region of forest fires in western Canada and eastern Alaska on July 12-13, 2004, and followed it as it traveled across Canada, through the mid-western United States and into the Houston area on July 19. “We found that with the arrival of the pollutants associated with these forest fires, ozone levels increased between 50-100 percent in the first five kilometers over Houston,” Morris said. Meteorological conditions, the smoke from the distant forest fires, and the typical urban pollution generated in the Houston area provided a potent mix for increasing local ozone concentrations, he said. Morris said it’s likely that such pollution episodes will continue. Understanding the transport and transformation of gases and aerosols over long distances is needed for improved understanding and air-quality forecasting. “This event highlights the critical role imported sources can have on local air quality,” Morris said. FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

Most People in Attorney General Jeff Sessionss Home State Want to Legalize

first_img April 11, 2017 While Attorney General Jeff Sessions has advocated a return to the “just say no” policies of the 1980s, residents in his home state of Alabama see things differently, a new poll has found.In a survey of 2,500 Alabama residents done by AL.com, 78 percent said they favor legalization of marijuana.For entrepreneurs and investors involved in the legal marijuana industry, the news is, at the very least, interesting. The more optimistic might hope that the views of his fellow Alabamians could influence Sessions as well.The poll results might come as a surprise to many. In addition to the anti-marijuana rhetoric of Sessions, the former senator and attorney general in Alabama, the state often ranks high among the states not expected to legalize medical, much less recreational use, of marijuana.Related: Marijuana In the Midwest? Nebraska Lawmakers Consider Cannabis Legalization.In 2016, USA Today ranked Alabama as the No. 1 least likely state to legalize marijuana. Of course, they ranked Arkansas as No. 2, and voters there approved medical marijuana use last November.Alabamians On MarijuanaAl.com asked readers other questions involving marijuana, at least one of which might seem unusual to those who have never resided in the so-called “Bible Belt” of the United States.The results of three questions were:92 percent said alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana89 percent said smoking marijuana is not a sin (8 percent said that it is)84 percent said recreational use should be legalized in AlabamaOf course, polls of website readers are not scientific by traditional polling standards. However, even Pew Research Center has started to question whether some of the polls might be more accurate than traditional telephone surveys.Good News?Those involved with the legal marijuana industry have kept a wary eye on Sessions. During the first few months of President Donald Trump’s administration, both Sessions and other administration officials have offered a litany of anti-marijuana statements but have been vague about what they might actually do.The latest glimpse into Sessions thinking came in a speech in March before law enforcement officials in Richmond, Vir. His speech, which can be read in full here on the attorney general’s website, included a line that compared marijuana to heroin.Related: How to Plant the Seeds of Success in the New Cannabis Economy“I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store,” he said. “And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful.  Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.”At least according to one poll, his view is not in step with a majority of his fellow Alabamians.Follow dispensaries.com on Instagram to stay up to date on the latest cannabis news.  Each week hear inspiring stories of business owners who have taken the cannabis challenge and are now navigating the exciting but unpredictable Green Rush. Most People in Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s Home State Want to Legalize Marijuana Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. Next Article Cannabis Image credit: Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images Guest Writer 3 min read Add to Queue Green Entrepreneur Podcast Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. dispensaries.com –shares A new poll finds that lopsided majorities in Alabama oppose the get-tough enforcement favored by their former senator. Listen Nowlast_img read more

Harvard MIT Receive 9 Million Donation to Conduct Marijuana Research

first_img –shares Harvard, MIT Receive $9 Million Donation to Conduct Marijuana Research 4 min read Guest Writer Biomedical Technology Add to Queue Image credit: gregobagel | Getty Images Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. Next Article dispensaries.com Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. The donation from an alum of both schools will use the cannabis legally available in Massachusetts. May 14, 2019 Free Green Entrepreneur App Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The rapid spread of marijuana legalization has been coupled with concerns among medical researchers about gaps in knowledge on what cannabis can and cannot do in terms of health benefits.Unfortunately, with the United States federal government continuing to list cannabis as an illegal drug, it’s been hard to get funding for research. It also doesn’t help that what little marijuana is available for research is of far worse quality than what people routinely purchase at the local dispensary (or on the black market, for that matter).However, cannabis research in the U.S. got a shot in the arm this month when Charles Broderick, head of a New York-based global equity firm, dontated $9 million for cannabis research to be split between Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . Broderick’s goal is clear cut, according to the Harvard Gazette: “Our desire is to fill the research void that currently exists in the science of cannabis.”Related: Why the EU Is Wrong About CBDMassachusetts Makes a DifferenceHow can the two prestigious schools manage to fill the marijuana research void with marijuana still illegal at the federal level? According to Rolling Stone, the answer lies in the fact that Massachusetts started legal recreational marijuana sales this year. That “makes it easier for the research to take place at the Boston-based schools,” the music magazine wrote.A researcher at MIT told the Boston Globe that the school plans to get cannabis of a higher grade than what is available from the University of Mississippi, which currently operates the only federal-sanctioned site to grow marijuana for research.The researcher also said that without Broderick’s donation, none of the research would be happening as quickly as now planned. The illegal nature of marijuana in the past — a situation that still exists at the national level — has made getting research funding difficult.Where Research Will FocusMIT plans to launch research into how THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) impact the cognitive function of people suffering from schizophrenia. Other MIT studies will focus on the use of cannabis for those with autism and Huntington’s disease, as well as the impact on attention and working memory.At Harvard Medical School, the money will fund creation of the Charles R. Broderick Phytocannabinoid Research Initiative. Initial research will focus on marijuana’s impact on brain cell function and the connections between brain cells.Related: Move Aside, CBD: New Data Finds THC Is the Real Medicine in Medical MarijuanaDonor Stands to GainWhile the donation received universal praise, it also generated conversation over the ethics of the donation. Broderick is an investor in cannabis companies in Canada, where pot is legal for medical and recreational use nationwide.The Globe wrote that many might wonder if his position could create bias in the research. After all, if new uses of cannabis are found, Broderick stands to make more money. But if dangers are found in using marijuana for medical purposes, he stands to lose money.However, both Harvard and MIT have rules in place that govern research, ensuring that researchers have complete control over their work and the results.For this part, Broderick told the Harvard Gazette, “I want to destigmatize the conversation around cannabis — and, in part, that means providing facts to the medical community, as well as the general public. Then we’re all working from the same information. We need to replace rhetoric with research.”To stay up to date on the latest marijuana-related news make sure to like dispensaries.com on Facebook Download Our iOS Applast_img read more

Square Makes Its Register Software Free Worldwide

first_img Kate Taylor –shares Add to Queue Next Article November 20, 2014 Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Reporter Square Makes Its Register Software Free Worldwide 2 min read Mobile Payments Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Square is going global – with software at least.On Thursday, Twitter co-founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey announced that Square Register is being made available to sellers around the world. That means internationally Square-using sellers have access to free point-of-sale software that supports 130 different currencies.Los Desgraciados, a restaurant located in Saltillo, Mexico that uses Square RegisterImage credit: SquareSquare Register is a free app with software that allows users to analyze payments and manage items and inventory. The app is already used by millions of businesses in the U.S., but previously only supported the U.S. dollar, the Canadian dollar and the Japanese yen.Related: How Mobile Payment Apps Are Energizing Businesses That Live On Cash FlowHowever, despite the previously limited currencies, Square says that thousands of sellers outside the U.S., Japan and Canada have downloaded the app.”I’ve been using Square Register for about three years now,” says Michael Cheang, the owner of an Australian bar called Frisk, in an email sent by Square. “We came across the app when searching the internet for point-of-sale solutions. We looked into all the alternative options, and ultimately chose Square for its simple layout.”Square has not yet released readers that support transactions outside of the U.S., Canada and Japan. However, with the new software in place, the mobile payment’s app complete international expansion seems imminent. Related: Snapchat Partners With Square for Payment Service Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

SpaceX Lands Rocket on Platform in the Middle of the Ocean Start

first_img Staff writer. Frequently covers franchise news and food trends. Image credit: SpaceX Next Article Looking for the latest headlines in small business, innovation and tech? Our Start Up Your Day recaps are posted every morning to keep you current.Going big. First hot dogs, now this: Burger King’s menu now includes a Whopper Dog.Accused. Cupertino’s mayor feels “abused,” says Apple evades its taxes.In remembrance. An urn shaped of a White Castle restaurant was commissioned by a woman as a memorial. She and her sister ate there after chemo treatments.A new track. This McDonald’s placemat is also a DJ controller.Cut. Celebrated entrepreneurship course at Babson College is cut and its professor fired.Victorious. A SpaceX lands a rocket successfully in the Atlantic Ocean.The front lines. The Marine Corps is creating land-based battlefield robots with flying drone sidekicks. They would be used for “autonomous swarms.”Not enough. According to Facebook, the average user spends about 50 minutes a day on the social media platform. It may seem like a lot, but the company wants more. Lindsay Friedman Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. –shares May 6, 2016 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel.center_img SpaceX Lands Rocket on Platform in the Middle of the Ocean — Start Up Your Day Roundup Start Up Your Day Add to Queue 1 min read Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Landing JSAT-14, 05052016 Register Now »last_img read more

Wipro Positioned as a Leader in Gartners Magic Quadrant for Managed Workplace

first_imgWipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, announced that it has been positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed Workplace Services, North America. The report authored by Daniel Barros & Mark Ray was published on January 14, 2019.“Gartner evaluates the providers based on the quality and efficacy of the processes, systems, methods and procedures that enable each provider’s performance to be competitive and effective, while positively affecting revenue, retention and reputation.”“Gartner evaluates the providers based on the quality and efficacy of the processes, systems, methods and procedures that enable each provider’s performance to be competitive and effective, while positively affecting revenue, retention and reputation.” This Magic Quadrant assessed 21 MWS providers on their ability to execute and completeness of vision. Wipro has been positioned as a “Leader” in this Magic Quadrant for Managed Workplace Services, North America for the third time in a row.According to Gartner analysts, “Leaders deliver their service solutions skillfully, have a clear vision of the direction of the service market, and are actively building and improving their competencies to sustain their leadership positions. The Leaders quadrant indicates the direction of the MWS market. However, most digital workplace offerings still have low adoption rates. Ten providers have emerged as Leaders in this Magic Quadrant. Leaders have demonstrated their experience in delivering MWS and understand the requirements to successfully deliver these services. They have proved their ability to execute and their completeness of vision.”Marketing Technology News: MultiVu Launches Digital Marketing SuiteKiran Desai, Senior Vice President and Global Head, Cloud and Infrastructure Services, Wipro Limited said, “We are pleased to have been positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed Workplace Services, North America, for the third successive year. We believe this recognition underscores our capabilities to manage complex workplace transformation projects by leveraging our LiVE Workspace™ platform. Our digital transformation endeavours have been key to us achieving an industry-leading position in this space. We remain steadfastly committed to offering a truly digital and enhanced user experience to our customers.”Marketing Technology News: Live Data Is Now The Lifeblood For Telco Value CreationWipro’s LiVE Workspace solution, powered by the Wipro HOLMES artificial intelligence platform and backed by a strong partner ecosystem, will help enterprises advance to a digitally empowered user-centric workspace from a traditional desktop system-based approach. The solution is an end-to-end standardized and integrated workplace offering consisting of pre-defined tools, technologies, and processes, that enables users to access their business applications and data, anywhere, anytime, and on a device of their choice. The solution also offers predictive and prescriptive analytics with cognitive capabilities to proactively identify, resolve, and manage critical applications and infrastructure-related snags before end-users experience issues.Marketing Technology News: Informatica Unveils AI-Powered Product Innovations and Strengthens Industry Partnerships at Informatica World 2019 Wipro Positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed Workplace Services, North America PRNewswireJune 12, 2019, 2:33 pmJune 12, 2019 artificial intelligence platformGartner’s Magic QuadrantManaged Workplace ServicesMarketing TechnologyNews Previous ArticleTEGNA to Acquire Dispatch Broadcast Group’s Leading, Top Ranked Stations in Indianapolis, IN and Columbus, OHNext ArticleSwiftStack Announces Data Analytics Solution With 10x Performance and Massive Scalelast_img read more

Intermittent fasting may protect against type 2 diabetes

first_imgUnder certain genetic conditions, the accumulation of fat in the pancreas may play a decisive role in the development of type 2 diabetes.”Professor Tim J. Schulz, head of the Department of Adipocyte Development and Nutrition Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 2 2019Intermittent fasting is known to improve sensitivity to the blood glucose-lowering hormone insulin and to protect against fatty liver. DZD scientists from DIfE have now discovered that mice on an intermittent fasting regimen also exhibited lower pancreatic fat. In their current study published in the journal Metabolism, the researchers showed the mechanism by which pancreatic fat could contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.Fatty liver has been thoroughly investigated as a known and frequently occurring disease. However, little is known about excess weight-induced fat accumulation in the pancreas and its effects on the onset of type 2 diabetes. The research team led by Professor Annette Schürmann and Professor Tim J. Schulz of the German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE) has now found that overweight mice prone to diabetes have a high accumulation of fat cells in the pancreas. Mice resistant to diabetes due to their genetic make-up despite excess weight had hardly any fat in the pancreas, but instead had fat deposits in the liver. “Fat accumulations outside the fat tissue, e.g. in the liver, muscles or even bones, have a negative effect on these organs and the entire body. What impact fat cells have within the pancreas has not been clear until now,” said Schürmann, head of the Department of Experimental Diabetology at DIfE and speaker of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD).Intermittent fasting reduces pancreatic fatThe team of scientists divided the overweight animals, which were prone to diabetes, into two groups: The first group was allowed to eat ad libitum – as much as they wanted whenever they wanted. The second group underwent an intermittent fasting regimen: one day the rodents received unlimited chow and the next day they were not fed at all. After five weeks, the researchers observed differences in the pancreas of the mice: Fat cells accumulated in group one. The animals in group two, on the other hand, had hardly any fat deposits in the pancreas.Pancreatic adipocytes mediate hypersecretion of insulin In order to find out how fat cells might impair the function of the pancreas, researchers led by Schürmann and Schulz isolated adipocyte precursor cells from the pancreas of mice for the first time and allowed them to differentiate into mature fat cells. If the mature fat cells were subsequently cultivated together with the Langerhans islets of the pancreas, the beta cells of the “islets” increasingly secreted insulin. “We suspect that the increased secretion of insulin causes the Langerhans islets of diabetes-prone animals to deplete more quickly and, after some time, to cease functioning completely. In this way, fat accumulation in the pancreas could contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes,” said Schürmann.Significance of pancreatic fat for diabetes preventionCurrent data suggest that not only liver fat should be reduced to prevent type 2 diabetes. Related StoriesUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useNew biomaterial could encapsulate and protect implanted insulin-producing cellsSome people treated for type 1 diabetes may have monogenic diabetes, study findsIntermittent fasting could be a promising therapeutic approach in the future. The advantages: it is non-invasive, easy to integrate into everyday life and does not require drugs.Intermittent fastingIntermittent fasting means not eating during certain time slots. However, water, unsweetened tea and black coffee are allowed around the clock. Depending on the method, the fasting lasts between 16 and 24 hours or, alternatively, a maximum of 500 to 600 calories are consumed on two days within a week. The best known form of intermittent fasting is the 16:8 method which involves eating only during an eight-hour window during the day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. One meal – usually breakfast – is omitted.Islets of LangerhansThe islets of Langerhans – also referred to as islet cells or Langerhans islets – are islet-like accumulations of hormone-producing cells in the pancreas. A healthy adult has about one million Langerhans islets. Each “islet” has a diameter of 0.2-0.5 millimeters. The beta cells produce the blood glucose-lowering hormone insulin and make up about 65 to 80 percent of the islet cells. When blood glucose levels are elevated, these secrete insulin into the bloodstream so that the levels are normalized again. Source:Deutsches Zentrum fuer Diabetesforschung DZDJournal reference:Schulz, T.J. et al. (2019) Pancreatic adipocytes mediate hypersecretion of insulin in diabetes-susceptible mice. Metabolism. doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2019.05.005.last_img read more

The algorithms of our future thinking machines

“To be able to establish a research environment with such talented colleagues at KTH is great fun,” says Thomas Schön, Professor of Automatic Control at Uppsala University Provided by Uppsala University It has been almost a year since IT researchers at Uppsala University and KTH received 24 million kronor from the Swedish Research Council for the formation of the research environment “NewLEADS”. However, preparations for the project “New approaches for model-based learning of dynamical systems” were initiated already in January 2016. Collaboration between the research groups goes even further back, says Thomas Schön, Professor of Automatic Control at Uppsala University.”We know each other well from before and have co-written research papers. To be able to establish a research environment with such talented colleagues at KTH is great fun. Together we can do amazing things that would be impossible for only one individual to pull off.”When it comes to dividing the work between the two universities, it mainly comes down to each research group’s expertise.”Uppsala’s focus in this project is to build mathematical models of dynamic systems that can identify and deal with uncertainty. No matter how talented we are, models still never align perfectly with real life—we can never cover all possible aspects. However, we can construct mathematical manoeuvres that help machines to make independent and reliable decisions,” says Thomas Schön.Safer decision-making systemThe challenge of constructing algorithms for dynamic systems is in the nature of those systems: they are in constant change. Traffic cameras, radar, and inertial sensors are some of the devices delivering the information the algorithm requires. Now another extremely dynamic system is becoming more central to Thomas Schön’s and his colleagues’ projects: the human body.”We are increasing our work in the medical field and looking in particular at automated diagnosis as a tool for physicians. Today, Swedish x-rays are sent for examination by physicians in reverse time zones such as Australia. They then e-mail their reports to their colleagues in Sweden who can study them when getting in to the hospital in the morning. I believe that kind of review will to some extent be automated even if significant challenges still remain,” says Thomas Schön. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Behind every self-driving car, self-learning robot and smart building hides a variety of advanced algorithms that control learning and decision making. Some of the mathematical models that make up the backbone of automated systems are currently under construction by researchers from Uppsala University and KTH. Citation: The algorithms of our future thinking machines (2018, January 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-algorithms-future-machines.html Researcher seeks to tame ‘ghost’ of uncertainty in complex dynamic systems Explore further The uncertainty inherent in the mathematical models are no different from the ubiquitous uncertainty in today’s diagnoses, he says. Physicians cannot possibly assimilate all new medical information. There, automated diagnosis constitutes support and contributes to new questions. In addition, a solution based on machine learning is able to quantify the uncertainty in the prediction, which according to Thomas Schön also presents the physician with important information before making the final decision.”All the data coming in results in a huge bank of knowledge for everybody to use. This is the great opportunity and the great challenge.”Breadth of qualificationsAccording to Thomas Schön, NewLEADS focuses mainly on basic research. At the same time, they maintain exchanges with projects of a more applied nature. Uppsala’s research group also includes Fredrik Lindsten, Peter Stoica and Dave Zachariah with qualifications in automatic control, signal processing and machine learning.The KTH researchers have a similar background but with a slightly different profile. One focus is to design experiments that extract as much information as possible from a particular system that is to be modelled, explains Håkan Hjalmarsson, Professor of Automatic Control at KTH. His group includes Cristian Rojas as well as Bo Wahlberg, initiator of NewLEADS. In addition, there are some ten doctoral students and post-docs involved in NewLEADS at both universities. Several Ph.D. courses are in the works.There are very good conditions for the new research environment, according to Håkan Hjalmarsson.”I hope of course that KTH and UU will be able to build a good theoretical base that is easy to implement in various applications of dynamic systems such as smart climate control of buildings and self-driving vehicles, and that we get to see them put to good use,” he says, and adds:”In six years, we probably won’t have achieved our every goal, but we stand a good chance of having come a long way. We are a fantastic team.” read more