Participant are advised to be at Melvin Sports Centre at least an hour before Race Start time, the race start at Meeting House Street at 10.30am.The 5km Fun Run will leave the Meeting House Street Strabane 10.45am (new route) with the race concluding at Melvin Athletics Track, Strabane.Participants are welcome back to Melvin after the event for a special prize giving reception.Anyone planning a journey through Strabane or Lifford on Sunday should avoid the following routes due to road closures and heed traffic warnings in and around the town centre.Traffic Diversions will be in place at Townsend Street to accommodate the Race Start with a One Way Traffic System in place at Ballindrait Lifford, traffic diversions on Woodend Road and diversions in place to the A5.Spectators should note that following the race start at Meeting House Street, the route will continue along Dock Street, Railway Street, Urney Road, Main Street, Bridge Street, Bradley Way, A5, Lifford Road, Ballindrat (Lifford), Lifford Road, A5, Park Road, Spruce Road, Woodend Road, Derry Road, Abercorn Square, Bridge Street, Melvin Road, finishing at Melvin Athletics Track.The 5K route leaves from Meeting House Street, following two laps along Market Street, Derry Road, Canal Street, Dock Street, Railway Street, Branch Road, Main Street, finishing at Melvin Athletic Track via Melvin Road on the second lap.Participants can collect their Race Pack from Melvin Sports Complex Strabane on Friday 12th May 6pm – 9pm, Saturday 13th May 9.30am -12.30pm and Sunday 14th May Sunday morning 8.30am and 9.30am.Motorists are warned that traffic delays are expected in and around the route from 9.30am -1.30am.Pedestrian restrictions will also be in place at the path from Ballycolman estate via Melvin Sports Complex with access limited to accommodate the event.Car ParkingThere will be no parking available at Melvin Sports Complex on Race Day. Anyone travelling to the race start is advised to access parking at the dedicated Half Marathon / 5K Car Park in Dock Street Car Park.Shuttle Buses will be in place to transport participants to and from Melvin Sports Complex before and after the event.Please note that Mill Street Car Park is only available for parishioners of the Church of the Immaculate Conception.Runners are advised that there will be no runners registered on the morning of the race.For more information on the race please go to www.derrystrabane.com/halfmarathonBUMPER FIELD SET FOR STRABANE LIFFORD HALF MARATHON AND 5K RUN was last modified: May 8th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: “The Strabane Lifford Half Marathon and 5k has once again attracted a huge field of runners from both sides of the border and beyond, continuing its reputation as one of the biggest cross border events on the athletics calendar,” she said.“The race attracts runners of all levels and whether you are aiming to beat your personal best, place in one of the categories or simply get to the finish line it promises to be an experience to remember.“Support along the route can make a big difference to the runners’ efforts, particularly at testing times of the race, so I would encourage as many people as possible to come out and give their vocal support to help energise the entrants.“Good luck to all the runners in both races, I hope you enjoy your experience and reach your personal goals.” THOUSANDS of runners and spectators will converge on Strabane this Sunday, May 14, for one of the most popular events on the local athletics calendar.The Strabane Lifford Half Marathon and 5k is back for a fourth successive year and is set to attract a record field of 2,000 runners.While registrations for the Half Marathon have closed, places remain available for the 5k event and interested runners can secure their place online at www.derrystrabane.com/halfmarathon until Thursday 11th May at 12noon.Speaking ahead of the event, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, wished the runners luck and urged as many people as possible to come out and support their efforts on Sunday morning. ShareTweet BUMPER FIELD SET FOR STRABANE LIFFORD HALF MARATHON AND 5K RUN
In This Issue. * Yellen doesn’t see a stock market bubble.. * Markets aren’t buying what Yellen is saying. * A very light world data day. * Richard Russell on our Friday! And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Is It Friday Already? Good day. And a Happy Friday to one and all! Who’s sneaking around the streets of the city, smiling at everybody she see’s? Everyone knows it’s Wendy! Well, we have a different kind of Wendy down here and it’s called Windy! But it’s warm, and that’s what I care about most! Thanks to all who sent me notes about the critter problem and my car! I stayed up way too late last night, watching the Thursday night College game between Clemson and Georgia Tech. Entertaining game I must say! Entertaining is not what I would call yesterday question and answer session with Janet Yellen and Congress. Oh brother! I have to say, yesterday, I told you that I didn’t understand why the markets hadn’t backed off their brazen attitudes about tapering beginning soon. Well, if they didn’t back off from the previous day, they surely (who’s Shirley?) will have done so, after he comments yesterday, right? Well, unfortunately, the answer is they backed off just a little bit. What amount of proof do they need? Yellen basically told the lawmakers yesterday that she saw no problem extending QE or even expanding it! Proving once again that once a Fed Head becomes the Fed Chair, they lose their vision, Yellen proclaimed that, “I don’t see at this point, in major sectors of asset prices, misalignments.” OK, that’s Central Bank parlance for: I don’t see a stock market bubble. Of course Big Al Greenspan didn’t the Tech Bubble, and Big Ben Bernanke didn’t see the Housing Bubble. Yes, when your Fed Chairperson says, “It’s important that we do what we can do to promote a very strong recovery. I’m important not to remove support, especially when the recovery is fragile and the tools available to monetary policy, should the economy falter, are limited given that short-term interest rates are at zero.” OK. There’s nothing in what she said yesterday that says, “I’m hell-bent to Taper”!!!!! Nothing absolutely nothing, say it again! But, still the dollar is holding the hammer. Albeit the hammer is not swinging any longer at the currencies and metals, as they attempt to gather their legs, which had been cut from under them, and run to the rally tracks! And still. I see headline news stories on the Bloomberg titled: “Dollar Rises From Lowest in Week on Bets Fed Will Taper”. Are you kidding me? Oh well, sometimes the markets have to be have a good blow to the head with a baseball bat for them to get the message! Because to me, the message from Yellen yesterday rang loud and clear! So, where did I put that baseball bat? So, like I said, the currencies are attempting to gather their legs under them, so they can run to the rally tracks. The euro is 1.3450 today, so at least the single unit is looking better as we end the week. Wait!, Chuck, did you say end the week? Why, self, I did just that! WOW! Where did the week go? Geez Louise, I just don’t like it when I get to “get away” and the time flies by! I guess what they always said about “time flies when you’re having fun” holds true! Well, we’re one day closer to the end of November. Which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. And the closer we get to the end of the year, the closer the deadline for the Debt Ceiling resolution becomes. Last year, we began the year knowing that the Debt Ceiling would be toppled in 2013. At the beginning of the year, I thought it would be by late summer, early fall.. But then along came the new Treasury Sec. and his “extraordinary measures” to keep the Gov’t going longer without surpassing the Debt Ceiling. It’s all accounting tricks, folks, but just to keep the conversation going here, the Debt Ceiling wasn’t met until October. And then we just delayed the inevitable, which is to raise the Debt Ceiling. Can you believe that soon, we’ll be having these discussions about the Debt Ceiling again? The bestselling author and analyst, James Rickards, was talking on Bloomberg TV yesterday about how the Currency Wars are playing out right before us, but could take up to 10 years to come to the end, which to him is a complete collapse of the monetary system we now use. And then we reintroduce Gold backed currencies. I always find that reading or listening to James Rickards to be enlightening, but I’m not completely behind this idea of a complete collapse. Instead I believe that the Chinese will rise to power, take over the reserve currency status from the dollar, back their currency with Gold, which will then put pressure on other countries to do the same, otherwise everyone will want the Gold backed renminbi! So, we get to the same ending, of Gold backed currencies, but we go different routes to get there. Either way, the dollar leads the currencies down the slippery slope, and loses its reserve status, which is something that I don’t think most Americans have any idea what they could be like. Think. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery.. (sure hope Jr. Sample and Buck Owens don’t mind me borrowing that!) I talked about how the Canadian dollar / loonie was being resilient earlier this week, and today we should see some data that might boost the loonie and get it out of the mud it’s been stuck in all week. October Manufacturing Sales is expected to be a good strong print today. I continue to like what I see in Canada. I do have a Canadian reader who rips me in emails, every time I say something nice about the loonie or the Canadian economy. He thinks that 92-cents (it’s currently 95-cents) is more likely where the loonie deserves to be. And I say, “92-cents is still 25-cents higher than where the loonie stood 11 years ago!” The Aussie dollar (A$) and New Zealand dollar / kiwi are looking better as we end the week. It’s been a nasty month so far for these two. I have to laugh because Australia is having a Debt Ceiling debate right now. But the amount in question is just A$100 Billion. (I say that as if 100 Billion is chump change, and I don’t mean to!) The House passes a bill to lift the Debt Ceiling $500 Billion, and the Senate sends it back marking it down to A$400 Billion, and the House plans to resend it back to the Senate as an increase of A$ 500 Billion . Sounds like a circus game to me. Moving North, the Chinese are still waiting to hear the details of the Third Plenum that ended earlier this week. It was announced last night that China is going to ease their 1-child policy. They will allow couples to have two children, if one of the parents is an only child. There were some other announcements like abolishing a form of detention without trial. So, while the new policy toward their One-Child Policy still isn’t the best, It’s better than before, and shows that the Chinese are willing to change. We’ll see more of these “changes” in the future folks.. Yes, it’s a slow news day, when Chuck is writing about China’s One-Child Policy! I knew that’s what you were thinking! HA! Did you see here in the U.S. that Federal Student Loans surpassed $1 Trillion? The quarterly student loan balance has increased every quarter for the past 10 years! The problem with that is delinquency rate is soaring. Yes, the delinquency rate is at an all-time high at 11.83%! I saw this on zerohedge.com and thought to myself.. When did this get so out of hand? Ahhh, now I remember, and I won’t go there for it serves no purpose to discuss. Gold is down a bit this morning, after adding to its price yesterday. I received a note from our metals trader, Tim Smith, yesterday, explaining the premiums or fabrication fees on Silver Coins. they’ve increased again. And I thought to myself that this is a result of the physical demand. And then lo and behold, I find this article on the WSJ about how sales of the U.S. Mint’s American Eagle Silver Coins have passed 2012 levels. According to the WSJ article, “investors are snapping up silver coins at a breakneck pace. This leads me to believe that these investors demanding Silver Coins, not only see the opportunity to purchase Silver at a much cheaper price, but that these coins would be more easily used in times of dollar collapse. You wouldn’t want to use that Gold 1 ounce coin to buy a loaf of bread! So, this all makes abundant sense to me, and understand why Silver Coin sales are already at 39.17 million ounces this year, VS 33.74 million ounces sold in 2012! There’s not much in the way of data to look at today in the U.S. As I told you yesterday, Industrial Production is on the docket without its running partner Capacity Utilization. Next week, we’ll get into some meat from the data cupboard, as Retail Sales will print! But that’s next week. Today’s data docket will be light, so I really don’t expect too much movement in the currencies and metals today, given that the Yellen talks are over, and the data cupboard gets emptied out. Before I head to the Big Finish today, from Jimmy Kimmel. “We have music tonight from The Killers. It’s our second night with them. They were here last night too. I guess that makes them Serial Killers.” For What It’s Worth. I found a snippet from my one of my fave writers, Richard Russell on the Kingworld.com site yesterday that sums things up nicely. here’s Richard Russell. “The Dow crept up higher, moving ever closer to the melt-up that I’ve been predicting. Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal carried a front-page story about retail buyers coming optimistically into the market again. I expect the retail entrance to the market to reach flood tide buy-in sometime within the next year. At the same time, distribution levels are increasing providing evidence that institutions are leaving this market. The latest count is six distribution days on the NASDAQ and four on the S&P 500. Thus I believe we are approaching an historic period where funds travel from institutional hands to the retail public. The gold base continues to enlarge, and pessimism toward gold is comparable to that which you see at a bear market bottom. In the meantime, bullion creeps imperceptibly higher. China is clearly on a new path which will result in a bulging population and a pull-back on its imports. The big picture for the US is “under-inflation” and underemployment. Neither suggests a taper in QE.” To recap. Yellen doesn’t see a stock market bubble, and will continue to stimulate the economy. Chuck doesn’t understand why the markets are still so brazen about their calls for tapering to begin soon, after Yellen was very clear yesterday. The dollar still holds the hammer, although it’s not getting swung right now, as the currencies attempt to get their legs under them to run to the rally tracks. A slow news stories day and little in the way of data, should lead to a quiet end of the week. Currencies today 11/15/13. American Style: A$ .9325, kiwi .8295, C$ .9555, euro 1.3460, sterling 1.6070, Swiss $1.0905, . European style: rand 10.2215, krone 6.1340, SEK 6.65, forint 221.85, zloty 3.1105, koruna 20.1855, RUB 32.68, yen 100.30, sing 1.2475, HKD 7.7535, INR 63.12, China 6.1315, pesos 12.98, BRL 2.3145, Dollar Index 81.02, Oil $93.84, 10-year 2.72%, Silver $20.64, Platinum $1,441.35, Palladium $736.78, and Gold. $1,281.70. And it’s Friday once again, so here’s your link to check out the U.S. Debt Clock, click here: http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html That’s it for today. It took me so long to write what I did write today, for I searched and searched for market moving news for a long time. Longer than usual I might add! Things are heating up in Washington D.C., eh? I try to stay out of all that, and just observe it. But in the old days I would have commented on it by now. Glad those days are bygone! We just received the sad news that our little Christine’s dad passed away last night. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. and right after I write that, the Byrds’ song: Turn, Turn, Turn is playing on the IPod, very apropos, eh? I’m going to get out of your hair for today and the week now. I hope you can find a way to make this a Fantastico Friday. Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837
“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” —Murray Rothbard Import controls, asset seizures, money printing, and phony government statistics are no way to generate prosperity. These very policies are making Argentina destitute. Yet the country’s favorite son, Pope Francis, blames capitalism for the chasm between rich and poor. The heavy-handed kleptocracy in Argentina is anything but capitalism. But “trickle-down theories” that assume the free market will bring economic growth to all have the pontiff annoyed. He says the facts don’t confirm such outcomes, and that trusting the free market “expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power.” Paying no attention to what is going on in his home country, he prefers the heavy hand of government. Getting to Know the New Pope Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis) is Time magazine’s Person of the Year. To make his year even better, his favorite soccer team—Argentina’s San Lorenzo—won its first title since 2007. “What joy!” he exclaimed after hearing the news. The new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics is the first non-European pope of the modern era, the first from Latin America, the first Jesuit, and the first to assume the name Francis. But this pope seems to be a normal guy, hanging with his peeps and rooting for his favorite team. Popes don’t possess any divine knowledge. Mr. Bergoglio got the job for pragmatic reasons. The Vatican has been poorly run in the last few years, engulfed by banking scandals and internal squabbles. Worldwide, payouts to the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the church’s key employees have ravaged the church’s finances. Selecting an outsider from Catholicism’s growth continent for pope makes perfect sense. Latin America has nearly half a billion followers, and its population should continue to grow much faster than Europe’s. Bergoglio served as archbishop of Buenos Aires. As a cardinal, he clashed with the government of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over gay marriage and free distribution of contraceptives. He should have protested her economic policies instead. Argentina ranks #160 (eight spots behind Haiti!) in the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, landing it firmly in the “repressed” category. Argentinian inflation is a crippling 26.8%, though the government insists its only 10.5%. That disconnect between what the Argentinian government claims and what’s actually happening is a running theme. Independent estimates say 28% of Argentinians live in poverty, while the government claims that number is only 6%. It’s clear that economically, life in Argentina is not so good. However, Pope Francis sees no evil in his homeland, and instead focuses his ire on capitalism. Economic Ignorance I mentioned earlier that the pope doesn’t possess any divine knowledge. When it comes to economics, it appears he doesn’t have any knowledge at all. The pope says an economy of inequality kills, and “thou shall not kill.” He says laws of competition and survival of the fittest put people out of work “without any means of escape.” This presumes that goods and services come from thin air, when in fact it takes labor to create these products. Consumers determine which goods and services are successful and which are not. The economy isn’t akin to, say, the Catholic religion, with masters from on high dictating what people should think and how they should act. Individuals in the marketplace have unique wants and desires. Entrepreneurs forecast what consumers will want, how much, and for what price. The successful ones make money, the unsuccessful go broke. Either way, consumers benefit from this competition the pope is so incensed over. The pope believes that markets put the environment at risk. Has he never studied the environmental degradation wrought by communist regimes? Rich societies value the environment more highly than poor ones, simply because they can afford to. Francis implies that market forces prevent states, “charged with vigilance for the common good” from exercising control. Thankfully, to some degree, he has that right. Marketplace innovations help keep us slightly ahead of the state’s thuggery. Then, laughably, he writes about debt and interest keeping “citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power.” That’s true as far as it goes, but he fails to recognize that it’s not the free market forcing debt upon people. Governments around the world are burdening generations of citizens with debt that they can never hope to repay. None is worse than Bergoglio’s home country Argentina. The inequality Pope Francis frets about, he says, leads to “inordinate consumerism” and ultimately to violence. The perpetrators of this violence will not be at fault, says the pope, “because the socioeconomic system is unjust at its root.” Au contraire: nothing is fairer than a system of voluntary exchanges. That’s what laissez faire capitalism is. Government intervention destroys this fairness by creating rules to take from one group to give to another. Rush Limbaugh called Pope Francis a Marxist, to which the pontiff replied, “Marxist ideology is wrong,” but that he knows some nice Marxists. He went on: “The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger [but] nothing ever comes out for the poor.” Your Excellency, it’s good when the glass gets bigger. A bigger glass is what we’re after. But it can only grow if the government allows it to. Taxation and regulation keep the glass small and government’s hand big. If nothing trickles down, it’s because it trickled into the government’s pockets.
Dear Reader, I do not have health insurance. This is a problem, but not for the reasons you think. I am not one of the admirable few who disobeyed the “Affordable” Care Act by electing to self-insure and pay the resultant penalty rather than purchase a conforming policy. I would have taken that route if I were single; since the steepest healthcare bill I’ve ever racked up was an $800 ER fee to pop my dislocated pinky back into place after a basketball mishap, paying almost that much each month in premiums makes zero sense. But I’m not single. I’m one half of a marital unit, and because my wife visits several specialty doctors per year, we need health insurance. We’re trying to get it. We mail a fat monthly check to Vermont Health Connect (VHC), just like the gub’mint said to. But we’ve received nothing in return. No ID cards. No policy info. Not even a “Thanks for the money, suckers.” Maybe the check got lost in the mail, you say? Nope. VHC cashed it and emailed us another bill for February. That VHC cashed the check tells me that, in theory, we do have health insurance. But theoretical health insurance gets you about as far as a theoretical plane ticket. My wife has picked up two prescriptions in the past month, and in both instances the pharmacist was unmoved by her insistence that we do indeed have insurance. So she paid full price for the prescriptions. I hate to think of the predicament this puts people with real health problems in. What’s more, the complexity of maintaining our health insurance plan has multiplied tenfold since Obamacare kicked in. It used to be maintenance-free; our employers paid for our coverage behind the scenes, and we never had to handle a bill. Apparently, something about that process was too complicated for the government to administer, so we’ve regressed back to prehistoric methods. Now each month, VHC emails me a notice that my bill is due. They don’t email me the bill itself; that would be too simple. They only notify me that my bill is somewhere in cyberspace. So I have to log on to their medieval website and navigate through a maze of counterintuitive, ever-changing links to find the bill. I then print it out, write a paper check, put them both in an envelope, and drive to the mailbox. You know, kind of how we used to do things before the Internet. Total amount of time wasted each month? At least forty-five minutes. Just to recap, health insurance now costs more, is much more onerous to administer, and so far, at least for my family, is unusable. Not exactly the healthcare nirvana that Barack promised. End of Rant No one likes a rant, so I’ll quit mine here by ending with a query: How’s Obamacare going in your state? Tell us any stories, good or bad, in the comments section below. Today’s missive is jam-packed with good stuff, including one more article than usual, so let’s get to it. First up, in an effort to examine the signs that it might be time to move yourself or at least some of your money outside your home country, Doug French explores the desperate measures governments have taken when they’re headed toward bankruptcy. It’s not pretty. After that, Dennis Miller has a thorough explanation of bonds for the layman. Then we’ll wrap up with David Galland’s thoughts on the secret to success in Casey Gems.
Shirley Avedon, 90, had never been a cannabis user. But carpal tunnel syndrome, which sends shooting pains into both of her hands, and an aversion to conventional steroid and surgical treatments are prompting her to consider some new options.”It’s very painful; sometimes I can’t even open my hand,” Avedon says.So for the second time in two months, she has climbed aboard a bus that provides seniors at the Laguna Woods Village retirement community in Orange County, Calif., with a free shuttle to a nearby marijuana dispensary.The retired manager of an oncology office says she’s seeking the same relief she saw cancer patients get from smoking marijuana 25 years ago.”At that time (marijuana) wasn’t legal, so they used to get it off their children,” she says with a laugh. “It was fantastic what it did for them.”Avedon doesn’t want to get high from anything she uses. So on her first trip, she picked up a topical cream that was sold as a pain reliever. It contained cannabidiol, or CBD, but was formulated without THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient.”It helped a little,” she says. “Now I’m going back for the second time hoping they have something better.”As more states legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use — 30 states plus the District of Columbia to date — the cannabis industry is booming. Among the fastest growing group of users: people over 50, with especially steep increases among those 65 and older. And some dispensaries are tailoring their pitches to seniors like Avedon who are seeking alternative treatments for their aches, pains and other medical conditions. On this particular morning, about 35 seniors climb on board the free shuttle — paid for by a licensed cannabis dispensary in Santa Ana called Bud and Bloom. After about a half-hour drive, the large white bus pulls up to the parking lot of the dispensary.About half the seniors on board today are repeat customers; the other half are cannabis newbies who’ve never tried it before, says Kandice Hawes, director of community outreach for Bud and Bloom.”Not everybody is coming to be a customer,” Hawes says. “A lot are just coming to be educated.”Among them, Layla Sabet, 72, a first-timer seeking relief from back pain that she says keeps her awake at night.”I’m taking so much medication to sleep and still I can’t sleep,” she says. “So I’m trying it for the back pain and the sleep.” Hawes invites the seniors into a large room with chairs and a table set up with free sandwiches and drinks. As they eat, she begins the presentation that focuses on the potential benefits of cannabis as a reliever of anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain and the various ways people can consume it.Several vendors on site also take turns speaking to the group about the goods they sell. Then, the seniors are invited into the dispensary where they’re able to buy everything from old-school rolled joints and high-tech vaporizer pens to liquid sublingual tinctures, topical creams and an assortment of sweet, cannabis-infused edibles.Jim Lebowitz, 75, is a return customer who suffers pain from back surgery two years ago.He prefers to eat his cannabis.”I got chocolate and I got gummies,” he tells a visitor. “Never had the chocolate before, but I’ve had the gummies and they worked pretty good.””Gummies” are cannabis-infused chewy candies. His contain both the CBD and THC, two active ingredients in marijuana.Derek Tauchman rings up sales at one of several Bud and Bloom registers in the dispensary. He says fear of getting high is the biggest concern expressed by senior consumers, who make up the bulk of the dispensary’s new business.”What they don’t realize is there’s so many different ways to medicate now that you don’t have to actually get high to relieve all your aches and pains,” he says.Despite such enthusiasm, marijuana isn’t well-researched, says Dr. David Reuben, Archstone professor of medicine and geriatrics at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.While cannabis is legal both medically and recreationally in California, it remains a schedule 1 substance – meaning it’s illegal under federal law. And that makes it harder to study.The limited research that exists suggests that marijuana may be helpful in treating pain and nausea, according to a research overview published last year by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Less conclusive research points to it helping with sleep problems and anxiety.Reuben says he sees a growing number of patients interested in using it for things like anxiety, chronic pain and depression.”I am, in general, fairly supportive of this because these are conditions (for which) there aren’t good alternatives,” he says.But Reuben cautions his patients that products bought at marijuana dispensaries aren’t FDA regulated, as are prescription drugs. That means dose and consistency can vary.”There’s still so much left to learn about how to package, how to ensure quality and standards,” he says. “So the question is how to make sure the people are getting high-quality product and then testing its effectiveness.”And there are risks associated with cannabis use, too, says Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, who directs the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.”When you have an industry that does nothing but blanket our society with messages about the medicinal value of marijuana, people get the idea this is a safe substance to use. And that’s not true,” she says.Side effects can include increased heart rate, nausea and vomiting, and with long-term use, there’s a potential for addiction, some studies say. Research suggests that between 9 and 30 percent of those who use marijuana may develop some degree of marijuana use disorder.Still, Reuben says, if it gets patients off more addictive and potentially dangerous prescription drugs — like opioids — all the better.Jim Levy, 71, suffers a pinched nerve that shoots pain down both his legs. He uses a topical cream and ingests cannabis gelatin capsules and lozenges.”I have no way to measure, but I’d say it gets rid of 90 percent of the pain,” says Levy, who — like other seniors here — pays for these products out-of-pocket as Medicare doesn’t cover cannabis.”I got something they say is wonderful and I hope it works,” says Avedon. “It’s a cream.”The price tag: $90. Avedon says that if it helps ease the carpal tunnel pain she suffers, it’ll be worth it.”It’s better than having surgery,” she says.Precautions to keep in mindThough marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, it’s legal in some form in 30 states and the District of Columbia. And a growing number of Americans are considering trying it for health reasons. For people who are, doctors advise the following cautions.Talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor you’re thinking about trying medical marijuana. Although he or she may have some concerns, most doctors won’t judge you for seeking out alternative treatments.Make sure your prescriber is aware of all the medications you take. Marijuana might have dangerous interactions with prescription medications, particularly medicines that can be sedating, says Dr. Benjamin Han, a geriatrician at New York University School of Medicine who studies marijuana use in the elderly.Watch out for dosing. Older adults metabolize drugs differently than young people. If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, try the lowest possible dose first to avoid feeling intoxicated. And be especially careful with edibles.They can have very concentrated doses that don’t take effect right away.Elderly people are also more sensitive to side effects. If you start to feel unwell, talk to your doctor right away. “When you’re older, you’re more vulnerable to the side effects of everything,” Han says. “I’m cautious about everything.”Look for licensed providers. In some states like California, licensed dispensaries must test for contaminants. Be especially careful with marijuana bought illegally. “If you’re just buying marijuana down the street … you don’t really know what’s in that,” says Dr. Joshua Briscoe, a palliative care doctor at Duke University School of Medicine who has studied the use of marijuana for pain and nausea in older patients. “Buyer beware.”Bottom line: the research on medical marijuana is limited. There’s even less we know about marijuana use in older people. Proceed with caution.This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes NPR and Kaiser Health News.Jenny Gold and Mara Gordon contributed to this report. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Richard Lawler YouTube Shooting Suspect Had Been Angry Over Filtering and Demonetization Nasim Aghdam’s father told a reporter he’d called police about her anger at the company. –shares This story originally appeared on Engadget Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List YouTube Image credit: Josh Edelson via Getty Images 3 min read YouTube’s headquarters office is seen with police activity during an active shooter situation in San Bruno, California. Next Article Apply Now » San Bruno police identified the shooter at YouTube’s HQ as Nasim Aghdam, a 39-year-old woman from San Diego, and said there is no evidence she knew the victims or that they were specifically targeted. While the sources have not confirmed a reason behind the attack, now that her name is known we’ve found a number of videos from her posted on YouTube and other sites saying that she was a vegan athlete and animal rights activist.The suspected shooter in today’s YouTube incident has been identified. Please see press release for details – https://t.co/Xvr2l9bB9s pic.twitter.com/NEBoX3WWK5— San Bruno Police (@SanBrunoPolice) April 4, 2018 In several videos posted over the last year or so, she angrily spoke about the company’s policies, saying they were filtering her videos so they wouldn’t get any more views, and she was upset over demonetization. It appears the channels have now been completely removed by YouTube, citing policy violations.On her website, she wrote: “There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!””BE AWARE! Dictatorship exists in all countries but with different tactics! They only care forpersonal short term profits & do anything to reach their goals even by fooling simple-minded people,hiding the truth, manipulating science & everything, putting public mental & physical health at risk,abusing non-human animals, polluting environment, destroying family values, promoting materialism &sexual degeneration in the name of freedom,….. & turning people into programmed robots!’Make the lie big, Make it simple, Keep saying it, And eventually they will believe it’Hitler… There is no free speech in real world & you will be suppressed for telling the truth that is notsupported by the system. Videos of targeted users are filtered & merely relegated, so that people canhardly see their videos!”.There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site,your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!”CBS2 News reporter Tina Patel spoke to Aghdam’s father, who said he told police of her anger with YouTube after they called him and said that after being missing for a few days, she’d been found in her car in Mountain View. The network also said Aghdam asked for the male victim by name before the shooting started. Buzzfeed heard from Mountain View police in an email that officers found a woman by that name asleep in her vehicle in a parking lot there Tuesday morning. The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. April 4, 2018
Reuters Ponies and Princesses: Hasbro Launches Charm Offensive for Girls This story originally appeared on Reuters Having captivated boys with its Star Wars figures, Hasbro Inc. is turning to Disney Princesses and the launch of its first animated movie to arrest a five-quarter slump in sales of its toys for girls.The second-biggest U.S. toymaker has begun selling dolls from the popular Disney movies Frozen and Cinderella after wresting the lucrative license from its larger rival, Mattel Inc.Hasbro will also launch My Little Pony toys throughout this year, Chief Executive Brian Goldner told Reuters, as it aims to create a buzz ahead of the 2017 release of a movie voiced by Emily Blunt and Emmy award-winning Kristin Chenoweth.It’s a strategy that worked well for Hasbro in the run-up to the December 2015 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”Getting it on the shelves early allows Hasbro to maximize the window in which it can sell,” said Neil Saunders, chief executive of research firm Conlumino.Of Hasbro’s four distinct product categories, toys for girls have long been a weak spot. In a fourth quarter that delivered the company’s biggest revenue growth in nearly five years, sales of toys for girls fell 17 percent.Toys for boys accounted for 40 percent of Hasbro’s revenue last year. The contribution from toys for girls — its third-largest category, behind games — fell to just 18 percent in 2015 from 24 percent a year earlier.A merger with Mattel, bringing Barbie into its world, might be one way to solve Hasbro’s girl problems. Bloomberg reported this month that the two companies had held inconclusive talks about a potential merger.Goldner, in an interview with Reuters, declined to comment on the report. Instead, he focused on Hasbro’s plans to twin merchandise with movies.Goldner, CEO since 2008, is no stranger to the screen, having brokered deals with several major studios for movies based on Hasbro’s best-known brands. He worked as an executive producer on the blockbuster Transformers series.My Little Pony: The Movie is the debut animation production of Hasbro’s in-house film unit, Allspark Pictures, and will follow the adventures of Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie and the other brightly colored ponies of Equestria.Among the new toys slated for release are a purple dragon, Spike, and a winged foal, Baby Flurry Heart.Speaking to Reuters, Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of toys and sporting goods review website TTPM, described the new dolls as having “a really modern, slick, cool look.”While analysts expect the ponies to sell well, a more immediate impact should be felt from the Walt Disney Co. license, which includes dolls based on the hit movie Frozen.Leaving Barbie behind in fourth place, dolls based on Frozen princesses Elsa and Anna were second only to Star Wars on the “Top Ranked Properties of 2015″ list compiled by NPD Group, a retail research firm.”These products are already on shelves in the U.S. and rolling out internationally,” said Goldner. “Shipments are now ramping up and early consumer indications are positive.”Stephanie Wissink, analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co., said she expected the license to earn Hasbro about $250 million this year and a further $375 million in 2017.With most analysts expecting sales of Star Wars toys to be flat this year, toys for girls should contribute a larger share of Hasbro’s revenue. A forecast from KeyBanc Capital Markets, for example, has the proportion rebounding above 20 percent in 2016.The average forecast of 12 analysts covering Hasbro is for 2016 revenue of $4.7 billion, which would represent a 5.6 percent increase — the biggest, year-on-year, since 2011. Hasbro has not provided its own forecast.Over the past two years, Hasbro’s shares have risen by more than a third while Mattel’s have fallen about 10 percent.(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Siddharth Cavale; Editing by Robin Paxton) Add to Queue Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Disney Frozen Toys; Games Register Now » 4 min read Image credit: Disney February 25, 2016 Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article –shares
–shares This story originally appeared on Reuters 2 min read Chinese Automaker Plans Self-Driving, Electric Car by 2020 Enroll Now for $5 Self-Driving Cars Reuters July 12, 2016 Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Next Article An automotive venture backed by China tech giant Tencent aims to launch an electric self-driving car before 2020, entering a crowded field dominated by US-based Tesla, the chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday.Future Mobility, backed by Tencent and Hon Hai Precision Industries, is one of an expanding field of China-backed ventures that aim to take on Tesla Motors Inc. as green energy car sales boom in China.Although the venture sought to produce premium cars like Tesla, it would attempt a different strategy from the US company that began with relatively limited production and focuses on a single model at a time, CEO Carsten Breitfeld said in an interview.”Right from the beginning we define the platform, right from the beginning we define the production process to be mass production and right from the beginning we think of more than one model, a family of models, defined from this platform,” Breitfeld said, defining mass production as 250,000 to 400,000 cars annually.The company was in the midst of closing its Series A round of funding, which also included dealership chain China Harmony New Energy Auto, Breitfeld said.He declined to give financial terms of the first round or name other potential investors that the company was in talks with, although he said the leadership team would also have partial ownership.While Future Mobility intended to jump directly to fully self-driving cars, drivers would only be able to turn on full autonomy in a pilot city at first, later expanding to other geographies.The company would draw from the same battery technology made by a short list of suppliers that most automakers use but aimed to better rivals with more efficient battery management software.Breaking outFuture Mobility is not the first upstart automaker to make bold pronouncements. Chinese-invested Atieva aims to launch an electric car by 2018.LeEco says its proposed smart electric cars will eventually be free, making money on in-car content and other services.Even Tesla now aims to produce 500,000 cars annually by 2018.But Future Mobility stands out from its competitors for poaching its leadership away from big-name tech and autos companies.Breitfeld formerly led the BMW i series electric car division and brought the core team with him to the new venture, with others joining from Tesla, Alphabet’s Google and Daimler’s Mercedes.(Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Stephen Coates) Image credit: Reuters | Kyung-Hoon 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. Add to Queue
Madison Logic Unveils New Data Cloud to Accelerate ABM for B2B Organizations Globally PRNewswireMay 6, 2019, 7:42 pmMay 6, 2019 ABMAccount-Based MarketingcrmMarketing TechnologyML Data CloudNews Previous ArticleMedia.net Donates Code To IAB Tech Lab To Promote Open Transparent MarketplacesNext ArticlePersistent Systems Joins Siemens’ MindSphere Partner Program to Bring Industrial IoT Solutions to Market B2B Marketing Teams Can Convert Their Best Accounts More Swiftly With New Cutting-Edge Data ArchitectureMadison Logic, the leading global account-based marketing (ABM) platform, announces the launch of the ML Data Cloud, powering cutting-edge ABM to accelerate your pipeline and convert your best accounts faster. With state-of-the-art architecture, rich data, and a robust data gateway, the ML Data Cloud leverages data from over 20 first- and third-party sources, enabling advanced hyper-targeting based on account engagement, cross-channel performance insights, and Journey Acceleration™ across the entire customer lifecycle. This new solution leverages advanced machine learning to provide continuous optimization and marketing insights.“The intelligent application of data at scale has become critical to driving marketing efficiency and accelerating growth. However, the complexity of analyzing and employing this data has grown as well,” said Ajay Sathyanath, CTO of Madison Logic. “The ML Data Cloud was designed to provide a scalable and powerful platform that helps B2B marketers harness intricate analytics with ease and apply them in a way to meet their ROI goals. Through the application of machine learning and AI, the ML Data Cloud transforms the way our clients think about their marketing and sales strategies.””The ML Data Cloud is already helping companies across multiple verticals, accelerate revenue”, says Sathyanath. “It provides all the core capabilities needed to build and sustain a winning cross-channel ABM strategy.”Marketing Technology News: DirectLync Shakes Up Small Business Marketing with New Digital Marketing Platform“As we realign the way we use data to prospect into top accounts, Sailpoint appreciates partnering with Madison Logic to apply advanced data and technology strategies to our ABM campaigns. Using the ML Data Cloud’s capabilities, we can include an unprecedented amount of data in our initiatives,” said Laura Hamilton, Vice President of Demand Generation at Sailpoint. “This allows us to make all of our ABM efforts more relevant to both sales and marketing as we use the ML Data Cloud with true business intelligence to spearhead all of our outreach.The ML Data Cloud powers Madison Logic’s Platform including its Journey Acceleration™ capabilities through advanced hyper-targeting, channel optimization, deep account-based engagement, and attribution insights.Marketing Technology News: Video Conferencing Equipment Supplier, IVCi, Lists and Explains How Small Businesses Can Benefit from Video ConferencingJourney Acceleration: Automatically engage prospective accounts with the most effective media and content programs to accelerate pipeline. By integrating with marketing automation and CRM platforms marketers can target both existing opportunities and clients, leveraging multiple data sources through a unified platform to prioritize accounts based on intent, technographic, firmographic, audience, engagement, and other filters to then feed buying committees the most relevant content to keep them moving down the pipeline.By exposing the who, what, where, and when of a buyer and customer’s journey, the ML Data Cloud. enables clients to use advanced customization of content based on audiences and channels.Enhanced account-based insights allow marketers to not only track a campaign’s progress and see who engages with what content, it enables them to discover which tactics, accounts, and content are driving the most impact on sales revenue.Marketing Technology News: Tray.io Raises $37 Million Series B Funding to Usher in the Era of The Automated Enterprise
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 26 2018A study published in the journal Cell shows that the gut microbiota has the ability to affect how cells respond to insulin, and can thus contribute to type 2 diabetes. The findings demonstrate an hereto unknown pathological mechanism.During recent years, the gut microbiota has been associated with health and several disease conditions. However, only a few studies have investigated whether an altered gut microbiota can directly affect disease.Scientists at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, are now showing that the gut microbiota of people with treatment-naïve type 2 diabetes can be linked to a different metabolism of the amino acid histidine, which is mainly derived from the diet.This in turn leads to the formation of imidazole propionate, a substance that impairs the cells’ ability to respond to insulin. Reducing the amount of bacterial-produced imidazole propionate could therefore be a new way of treating patients with type 2 diabetes.Dietary changes beneficial”This substance does not cause all type 2 diabetes, but our working hypothesis is that there are subpopulations of patients who might benefit from changing their diet or altering their gut microbiota to reduce the levels of imidazole propionate,” says Fredrik Bäckhed, Professor of Molecular Medicine with a research focus on the role of gut microbiota in metabolism.The latest study included analysis of various substances in the blood vessel that goes from the intestine to the liver. The researchers then identified an elevated concentration of the substance imidazole propionate in patients with type 2 diabetes.Using fecal samples, it was also possible to show that the microbiota of people with type 2 diabetes produced imidazole propionate when histidine was added. This mechanism was not found in the diabetes-free control subjects.Related StoriesMothers with gestational diabetes transferring harmful ‘forever chemicals’ to their fetusNew biomaterial could encapsulate and protect implanted insulin-producing cellsUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useThe study comprised 5 patients with type 2 diabetes and 10 diabetes-free control subjects. The findings were then confirmed in a larger study involving 649 people.The Gothenburg scientists then proceeded to investigate the effect of imidazole propionate on sugar metabolism, and found that the molecule affected a signaling pathway previously linked to metabolic-related diseases by directly activating a specific protein, p38gamma.Both diagnosis and treatmentThese findings provide answers to questions about the nature of the underlying mechanisms. These, according to Bäckhed, often remain unanswered in studies of how gut bacteria are associated with, for example, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.As Director of the Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research at Sahlgrenska Academy, he sees the translational research environment as a key to the results now being presented.The combination of basic and clinical research paves the way for identification of bacteria-induced mechanisms and simultaneously, through further studies, stratify patient populations and identifying new more personalized forms of treatment.”Our findings show clearly how important the interaction between gut microbiota and diet is to understand our metabolism in health and disease. The result also shows that gut bacteria from different individuals can lead to the production of completely different substances that may have very specific effects in the body,” says Bäckhed. Source:https://sahlgrenska.gu.se/english/research/news-events/news-article//gut-microbiota-products-can-favor-diabetes.cid1590683
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 9 2018Purdue University researchers have invented a new smart drainage device to help patients with glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the world, as they try to save their eyesight.Glaucoma can be treated only with medications or surgical implants, both of which offer varying degrees of success in helping to improve sight and to relieve pressure buildup inside the eye. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 3 million Americans have glaucoma.Implantable glaucoma drainage devices have grown in popularity over the past years, but only half of the devices are still operational after five years because microorganisms accumulate on the device during and after implantation. This problem is known as biofouling.Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyIT Faces the Digital Pathology Data TsunamiLiving with advanced breast cancer”We created a new drainage device that combats this problem of buildup by using advances in microtechnology,” said Hyowon “Hugh” Lee, an assistant professor in Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and a researcher at the Birck Nanotechnology Center, who led the research team. “It is able to clear itself of harmful bio-buildup. This is a giant leap toward personalized medicine.”The Purdue glaucoma drainage device is built with microactuators that vibrate when a magnetic field is introduced. The vibrations shake loose the biomaterials that have built up in the tube.”We can introduce the magnetic field from outside the body at any time to essentially give the device a refresh,” Lee said. “Our on-demand technology allows for a more reliable, safe and effective implant for treating glaucoma.”The Purdue technology is published in the latest issue of Microsystems and Nanoengineering. Another unique aspect of the Purdue device is its ability to vary flow resistance, which allows the drainage technology to customize treatment for each patient at different stages of glaucoma with varying degrees of pressure buildup inside the eye.Other members of the Purdue research team include Arezoo Ardekani, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Simon John from the Jackson Laboratory.The work aligns with Purdue’s Giant Leaps celebration, acknowledging the university’s global advancements in health as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. This is one of the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.Researchers are working with the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization to patent the technology. They are looking for partners to license it. Source:https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2018/Q4/purdues-giant-leap-toward-personalized-medicine-helps-eyes-drain-themselves-for-glaucoma-patients.html
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 13 2018A team of scientists from the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and Korea University (Republic of Korea) obtained cobalt and cobalt-iron nanosprings with unique combined magnetic properties and long-lasting elasticity that may be used to develop nanorobots, nanosensors, new types of memory, and targeted drug delivery agents (specifically, for anticancer therapy). The article was published in Nanoscale.Nanosprings are unusual objects that were discovered several years ago. Their magnetic properties have not been studied before, partially because it is difficult to obtain the structures of such a small scale. The nanospring wire is around 50 nm in diameter, which corresponds to a chain of only 200 atoms.”In the course of our experiments we obtained cobalt and cobal-iron nanosprings and studied their magnetic properties in detail for the first time,” says Alexander Samardak, Associate professor of the Department of Computer Systems, School of Natural Sciences, FEFU.Related StoriesNew genetic marker linked to higher risk of premenopausal breast cancerLean manufacturing methods spur innovations in the testing of drug delivery devicesDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this August”Apparently, these chiral nano-objects show different magnetisation reversal processes comparing to cylinder-shaped nanowires under the action of an external magnetic fields. This property may be used for their efficient control including magnetic field-driven movement.”According to the scientists, the mechanical properties of nanosprings are practically identical to those of macro-springs, which opens a range of possibilities for their use in nanotechnologies.”Nanosprings are unique objects with peculiar physical properties. This provides for their possible use in new data storage devices, nanoelectromechanical systems, and in biomedicine. Materials like this can be used to create nanomotors, protein molecules express testing systems, transportation capsules for molecular compounds, and many other useful devices,” comments Alexey Ognev, Head of the Laboratory of Film Technologies at the Department of Physics of Low-Dimensional Structures, School of Natural Sciences, FEFU.The work was carried out within the framework of the ‘Materials’ priority science project implemented by FEFU. The team worked on the basis of the Laboratory of Film Technologies in collaboration with the Prof. Young Keun Kim’s group from Korea University, as well as young scientists from the School of Natural Sciences, FEFU – postgraduate student Aleksei Samardak and Associate professor Alexander Davydenko.The ‘Materials’ priority science project of the Far Eastern Federal University unites gifted young physicists, chemists, biologists, and specialists in material studies. They have already developed a new type of optical ceramics for ground and space optical connection, a heat-resisting material with record-setting melting temperature, and a number of other prospective projects.Source: https://www.dvfu.ru/en/
She also stated that while the oral glucose test is more “cumbersome” to carry out, it does give “more of an idea of the physiology of the patient.”The findings of the study were presented at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, and Chang Villacreses explained that the “results indicated that the prevalence of diabetes and normal glucose tolerance defined solely by A1c is highly unreliable, with a significant tendency for underestimation of the prevalence of diabetes and overestimation of normal glucose tolerance.”She advises that: “Based on our findings, A1c should not be solely used to determine the prevalence of diabetes,” and, “It should be used in conjunction with the oral glucose test for increased accuracy.”However, the American Diabetes Association believes that the fasting blood sugar test, A1c and the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) are “appropriate for diagnostic testing.”Dr. William Cefalu, the chief scientific, medical, and mission officer of the American Diabetes Association elaborated.“While the issue of using the A1c test vs. OGTT as the primary diagnostic tool for type 2 diabetes has also been the subject of professional debate for a number of years, this retrospective analysis does not change the American Diabetes Association’s recommendations and confirms multiple prior observations and studies.”Additionally, Dr. Joel Zonszein, Director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City said, “A1c has been approved for the diagnosis and management of diabetes. It’s a very practical test, but it’s not perfect. A random A1c test gives us enough information to diagnose diabetes. It’s a good tool.”He also said that no test for diabetes is perfect, emphasizing that it isn’t about which test is better than the other. He explained that each test gives medical professionals “different information”.SourceThe results of the study were presented at ENDO 2019: A1c test misses many cases of diabetes. By Lois Zoppi, BAMar 26 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Research has found that many cases of diabetes are missed when the hemoglobin A1c blood test is used solely to diagnose the disease.Kateryna Novikova | ShutterstockStatistics published by Diabetes UK state that more than five million people in the UK will be living with diabetes by 2025, and in the last 20 years, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled. Author of the study Maria Mercedes Chang Villacreses describes diabetes as a “global epidemic.”There are two types of diabetes: type 1, and type 2. Type 1 is caused by the immune system destroying insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. There are a number of causes that contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. A very common risk factor for type 2 diabetes is a family history of the condition, but other risk factors include obesity, poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and increased age.There are three types of blood test used to diagnose diabetes. Fasting and random blood tests are used to measure the blood sugar levels at a particular point in time.The A1c test provides the average blood glucose levels over two to three months but does not include a period of fasting before the test. There is also an oral glucose tolerance test that is carried out after an eight-hour fasting period, which is commonly used to diagnose gestational diabetes.Now, a new study carried out by lead researcher Maria Mercedes Chang Villacreses, M.D., of City of Hope’s Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute in Duarte, California, has found that the A1c test missed the diabetes diagnosis in 73 percent of the 9,000 people included in her study.Participants in the study were all over the age of 20 and did not have a diabetes diagnosis. They were given an A1c test and an oral glucose tolerance test so the researchers could then compare the results.Chang Villacreses found that the “A1c test said these people had normal glucose levels when they didn’t.” The A1c test is known to produce differing results in black and Hispanic communities, and anemia and other blood disorders can also affect the results produced by the A1c test.However, researchers of this new study have not identified the specific reason for the stark difference in diagnostic results between the different tests. Since the incorporation of A1c in 2010, it’s been relied on more and more for its convenience because patients don’t have to fast. But it’s not a perfect test.”Maria Mercedes Chang Villacreses, First Author If you have a patient where you have risk factors for diabetes or you have a high suspicion of diabetes, you should go ahead and do the [glucose tolerance test]. If you rely only on A1c, you may miss an opportunity to intervene earlier.”Maria Mercedes Chang Villacreses, First Author
Source:https://www.luriechildrens.org/ Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 17 2019In the first study to evaluate inhaler technique in children hospitalized for asthma – the group at highest risk for complications and death from asthma – researchers found that nearly half of participants demonstrated improper inhaler use, which means they routinely were not taking in the full dose of medication. Adolescents most commonly displayed critical errors in inhaler technique. They also often skipped using a spacer, which is a device that is recommended for use with an inhaler to help the right amount of asthma medication reach the lungs. Findings were published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeResearch team receives federal grant to study obesity in children with spina bifida”We know that asthma can be well managed in the majority of patients and using your inhaler correctly is key factor to managing asthma,” says lead author Waheeda Samady, MD, hospitalist at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Improper inhaler technique can contribute to children having uncontrolled asthma and needing to come to the hospital for their asthma. Our study suggests that as healthcare providers we can do a better job showing patients and families the correct inhaler and spacer technique, and checking it frequently to ensure they master it.”Out of 113 study participants, 2-16 years of age, 42 percent missed at least one critical step in their inhaler technique. Researchers found that 18 percent did not use a spacer device with their inhaler, and that these patients were mostly older.”We see that our adolescent patients, who are transitioning to independent medication management, still need close monitoring to make sure they use their inhaler and spacer appropriately to achieve optimal asthma control,” says Dr. Samady. “Teens may feel that using a spacer is only for younger children, but using a spacer is recommended for adults as well.”Previous studies have shown that adding a spacer device to an inhaler increases the amount of asthma medication a person takes in from 34 percent to 83 percent.”Children with asthma can lead full lives if they receive the right medication at the appropriate dose, which is why correct inhaler technique is so crucial,” says Dr. Samady.
Hospital staffers, who sometimes congregate by patient rooms when volunteers perform, seem to benefit, too. Hedrick said when she hears a volunteer playing the piano in the Plaza Level Lobby, “I will always stay there a few minutes longer.”Related StoriesChaos in the house and asthma in children – the connectionExperts release scientific statement on predicting survival for cardiac arrest survivorsMosquito surveillance in Madagascar reveals new insight into malaria transmission”It helps me to slow down, to regroup and to become more centered and grounded, which helps me to be more present for my patients,” she said.The performers also find the experience rewarding. Take, for example, Gregory Eichelzer, RN, MSN, who sang professionally before going into nursing. His credits include performing in the musical Evita with a company that toured Europe.These days Eichelzer, a nursing educator in the Ruth and Harry Roman Emergency Department, makes his musical appearances at patients’ bedsides. He finds it gratifying to give patients “something that really brings them joy, and to see them just relax and have a sense of spiritual healing and psychological healing.”O’Donovan, the harpist who provided support to Woolf, started volunteering in 2003. She is an accomplished musician who played with major symphony orchestras in London. Yet she emphasized that, to volunteer, “you don’t have to be a professional [musician] and you don’t have to have a big repertoire.”She said the intention of each performer is key. Patients “sense immediately that you have ahavah,” O’Donovan said, defining the Hebrew word as “the love of your fellow man.”O’Donovan said her volunteer work is spurred by the Jewish commandment to visit the sick. “To visit the sick with a harp is even better,” she said.Daniel Oberman, who plays piano in the Plaza Level Lobby, said he didn’t realize how profoundly he would be affected when he started volunteering about six months ago.Oberman described a recent instance when an elderly, ailing man came to the lobby and sat right by him while he was playing. “He closed his eyes and he sat there for about 10 minutes and he just sort of got swept away with it. It made me feel really good that I was able to give him some peace.” Source:Cedars-Sinai Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 17 2019On the worst day of her life, Rebecca Woolf found comfort in the most unexpected way. As her husband lay dying in his hospital bed, the sound of a harp wafted in.Intrigued, Woolf went into the hallway to chat briefly with the harpist, Una O’Donovan. “I told her that her being there felt like a gift,” Woolf said, explaining that she believed her husband was somehow saying goodbye through the music.Then, as Woolf wrote in a post she put on Instagram, O’Donovan hugged her, cried with her and “took my hand.” Then, O’Donovan “played us two songs in his room. They were the most beautiful songs I had ever heard.”That experience last October is a touching example of work by volunteers with Cedars-Sinai’s Music for Healing program. The long-running program — which currently is looking for new volunteer performers from the community — dispatches musicians and singers to perform for patients and their loved ones. Most perform in patients’ rooms, but others play the piano in the Plaza Level Lobby.Research has found that listening to music provides many medical benefits, according to Rebecca Hedrick, MD, associate director of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, which provides psychiatric care to patients throughout the medical center. Benefits include reduced levels of anxiety, blood pressure and muscle tension. Some studies also show that music helps manage pain, improves mood and shortens hospital stays. What’s more, for patients, even if your family is around, there’s still a sense of isolation and loneliness, and music taps into a lot of our positive memories throughout our lives. It can evoke positive memories that can make the stressful stay of a hospital much more manageable.”Rebecca Hedrick, MD, associate director of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
South African internet and entertainment group Naspers raised $9.8 billion selling two percent of its hugely-profitable stake in Chinese technology giant Tencent © 2018 AFP Naspers’ investment in Tencent has been “one of the greatest venture-capital investments ever”, according to Bloomberg News.It said the stake in Tencent that Naspers bought for $32 million in 2001 was valued at $175 billion on Thursday.Naspers, Tencent’s biggest investor, vowed to not sell any more shares for three years.”These funds will be utilised to reinforce Naspers’ balance sheet and invested over time in Naspers’ development businesses,” the Cape Town-based company said in a statement.Shenzhen-based Tencent has risen rapidly as China embraced the internet, with the company’s fortunes boosted by its WeChat social media platform.WeChat crossed the one-billion users mark after the Chinese New Year in February. South African internet and entertainment group Naspers on Friday raised $9.8 billion (7.8 billion euros) selling two percent of its hugely-profitable stake in Chinese technology giant Tencent. Explore further 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. Citation: South Africa’s Naspers cashes in $10bn Tencent stake (2018, March 23) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-south-africa-naspers-cashes-10bn.html China’s Tencent to take stake in Ubisoft games maker
Citation: Foxconn factory jobs touted by Trump will not come to pass (2019, January 30) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-foxconn-focus-massive-wisconsin.html Explore further Foxconn says no changes planned for Wisconsin project Electronics giant Foxconn reversed course and announced Wednesday that the huge Wisconsin plant that was supposed to bring a bounty of blue-collar factory jobs back to the Midwest—and was lured with billions in tax incentives—will instead be primarily a research and development center staffed by scientists and engineers. The move was decried in some quarters as a case of bait-and-switch by the Taiwan-based company, which originally planned to build high-tech liquid crystal display screens in a project President Donald Trump had proudly pointed to as a sign of a resurgence in American manufacturing.In a statement, Foxconn said it remains committed to Wisconsin and the creation of 13,000 jobs as promised. But because the global market environment that existed when the $10 billion project was announced in 2017 has shifted, “this has necessitated the adjustment of plans for all projects.””This news is devastating for the taxpayers of Wisconsin,” said Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, a Democrat. “We were promised manufacturing jobs. We were promised state-of-the-art LCD production. … And now, it appears Foxconn is living up to their failed track record in the U.S.—leaving another state and community high and dry.”Economic development officials and other supporters of the project urged patience, saying Foxconn still plans to invest what it promised. The White House had no immediate comment.Foxconn, a major supplier to Apple, is the world’s largest contract maker of electronics.Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn’s CEO, was quoted as telling Reuters that it is scaling back and possibly shelving plans to build display screens in Wisconsin because “we can’t compete.”Woo said that instead of a factory, Foxconn wants to create a “technology hub,” with about three-quarters of the jobs in research and development and design. Those jobs typically go to college graduates. The plant is under construction and scheduled to open in 2020.Marc Levine, senior fellow and founding director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Center of Economic Development, called it “one enormous bait-and-switch.” And he scoffed at the idea that Foxconn, known for manufacturing, could transform into a research and development giant.”That’s simply not what Foxconn is,” Levine said in an email. “So the notion that there will be 13,000 research jobs at Foxconn is highly, highly unlikely.”The company initially billed the massive 20 million-square-foot (1.86 million-square-meter) Wisconsin complex as its first North American manufacturing site for the next generation of display panels to be used in a wide variety of products, including large-screen TVs, self-driving cars, notebooks and other monitors. Wisconsin state and local governments promised roughly $4 billion to Foxconn, the richest incentive package in state history and the biggest pledged by a state to a foreign corporation in U.S. history. Foxconn was required to invest $10 billion and create 13,000 jobs to get the full incentives.It had already fallen short last year, hiring 178 full-time employees rather than the 260 targeted, and failed to earn a state tax credit worth up to $9.5 million.Former Gov. Scott Walker, the Republican who brokered the deal, emphasized in a tweet Wednesday that Foxconn earns tax credits only for actual investment and job creation. “No jobs/investment? No credits. Period,” Walker tweeted.Republican legislative leaders who pushed the project blamed new Democratic Gov. Tony Evers for Foxconn’s change in plans. They said he had created an air of economic uncertainty by supporting elimination of a manufacturing tax credit program.Evers was critical of Foxconn in the campaign against Walker but did not pledge to undo the deal. His top aide Joel Brennan said that the administration was surprised by the news from Foxconn. He did not address the accusations Evers was to blame.Democratic critics said the incentives promised to Foxconn were too rich, and they questioned whether the company would ever fulfill its promises.The president of Wisconsin’s Technology Council, Tom Still, said he is not surprised Foxconn wants to change course since televisions are becoming less expensive and iPhone sales are declining.Still, whose group nurtures technology in Wisconsin, said Foxconn can succeed if the plant becomes more research-oriented because its areas of interest match up with Wisconsin’s strengths, such as robotics, medical imaging and industrial imaging.Last summer, Trump highlighted his economic policies at a groundbreaking event for the Foxconn complex.”Made in the USA: It’s all happening and it’s happening very, very quickly,” the president said in June after visiting the Foxconn site. “Today we’re seeing the results of the pro-America agenda.” In this June 28, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump, center, along with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, left, and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou participate in a groundbreaking event for the new Foxconn facility in Mt. Pleasant, Wis. Foxconn Technology Group said Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019 it is shifting the focus of its planned $10 billion Wisconsin campus away from blue-collar manufacturing to a research hub, while insisting it remains committed to creating 13,000 jobs as promised. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 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.
Technology and innovation transform the ways that we interact with governments, purchase products and manage our health and lives. This turmoil affects cities, where the accelerating digitalization of our economy has opened the door for more technologies. It has also created the space to design utopian projects that profile the ways technology can be used to improve the quality of urban life. Urban planners, technology companies and developers are increasingly looking for ways to improve our lives and make our systems more efficient. If we continue to live as we have, polluting and making our air increasingly toxic, we may have to develop solutions like indoor tracks for dog-walking, à la the Jetsons. But is that what we aspire to become? Utopian purposeUtopias are imagined as an ideal place or community. This is a difficult goal to achieve as evidenced by initiatives such as Brasília, Levittown, Celebration, Songdo, Eko-Atlantic and Sidewalk Labs Toronto.We haven’t figured out how to make utopian environments work for people. We have a long road ahead to make improvements that will both preserve the environment and improve our quality of life.In his forthcoming book chapter in Innovative Solutions for Creating Sustainable Cities (Cambridge Scholars, UK), intelligent community expert John Jung explains that utopian initiatives are diverting our attention away from the challenges of urbanization, such as poverty and housing security.Utopian design attemptsUtopian projects have faced much criticism, including not being able to scale up. Some pilot projects have been reported as inauthentic, as untrustworthy or flawed in design. True solutions need a community-engaged design process that promotes inclusion and avoids elitism or exacerbating existing problems. Brasília: Promoting sprawlAmong the early examples of utopian cities in the digital era there is the uniquely-planned city of Brasília, now a designated UNESCO world heritage site, developed as a political effort to bring a vast new country together. Modern government structures and highways were designed to efficiently move automobiles and people around the capital. However, post-construction literature suggests that the design failed due to lack of accessible and affordable housing for its workers and flawed execution, which among other things promoted sprawl.Modern suburbiaLevittown, Reston and Celebration were all privately funded modern suburban developments in the U.S. The developments had noble intent and showcased the efficiencies of prefabrication, but they were also judged to have significant faults, including “exclusion, segregation and persecution.” Smart city SongdoSongdo, in South Korea, is touted by some as the perfect example of a smart sustainable city. Every aspect of life is controlled by networked computers from climate control to communications. Yet it is having difficulty attracting businesses and residents. Designed for 300,000, only a third of the residential development is occupied, and there are very few businesses. However, Songdo has also been called a lonely city and a transparent city where it is difficult to get to know neighbours and too much communication is happening on the internet. 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. Cohousing is an inclusive approach to smart, sustainable cities 1950s newsreel about the building of suburbia in Levittown. Eko-Atlantic: Devastating floodsEko-Atlantic and Smart City Lagos in Nigeria is a six-million square metre waterfront reclamation project with a vision to become Africa’s financial centre. The development is expected to house a population of 250,000 inhabitants and another 150,000 commuters. According to its critics, the project has lacked transparency and has largely built housing for the wealthy. Its most significant flaw, the breakwater, proposed to withstand winds and waves from the Atlantic Ocean, has since pushed waves into neighbouring parts of Lagos, resulting in deadly floods. Sidewalk Toronto: Data and privacy concernsSidewalk Toronto, a project of Alphabet (Google), is planning to install various technologies to enhance efficiency and quality of life in a new waterfront neighbourhood. Extensive amounts of data will inform city planning and development processes, but the proposed collection and use of data is at issue. Critics claim that the original agreement between Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs has been too vague, especially in creating a precedent-setting framework around the use, ownership and application of the data. The lessons coming out of this project will benefit many other cities, but the pushback by local citizens to the data privacy concerns are very real and need to be resolved. Intelligent communitiesUrban areas need to plan intelligently for the use of smart devices, leadership in social and disruptive innovations and change management processes. It is important to note that future visions of modern society need increasing amounts of broadband to be deployed equitably.Solutions that are holistic, that engage people and are sustainable economically, environmentally, socially, culturally and ethically. We need to find urban designs that work for existing neighbourhoods, infilling so that cities are financially sustainable and provide sustainable mobility systems and more green space. At the same, our cities need to provide opportunities for greater self sufficiency and self-management practices, such as growing food and generating energy. The better cities of the future may not be utopian, but they need to be intelligent designs achieved through collaboration and inclusion to address cultural and technological change. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Explore further France 24: What remains of the utopia of Brasília? At the turn of the 20th century, the Garden City Movement, attempted to develop a utopian social ecosystem where people and nature would coexist in harmony. This influenced suburban planning, which deliberately left space for parks, farms and other green spaces. Later, Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of Broadacre City proposed that we use technological tools to better our lives, diversify land use, integrate organic architecture and innovative neighbourhoods. These ideas gave rise to popular new systems such as the gig economy, innovative work environments, sustainable mobility options and green buildings. Citation: Smart cities: The promises and failures of utopian technological planning (2019, April 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-smart-cities-failures-utopian-technological.html Provided by The Conversation
Provided by Singapore University of Technology and Design 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. Illustration of centralization in Blockchain Mining. Several major mining pools dominate the process. The remaining resources are scattered among ‘Oceanic Miners.’ Credit: SUTD Citation: Researchers demystify centralization in cryptocurrency mining (2019, May 15) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-demystify-centralization-cryptocurrency.html To participate in the blockchain consensus mechanisms, prospective network nodes—also called miners—need to provide proof of some costly resource. This resource may be computational power in protocols with proof of work mechanisms or cryptocurrency coins in proof of stake mechanisms.An integral assumption in the security philosophy of public blockchains is that the network of mining nodes remains sufficiently decentralized and distributed. In the extreme case, sufficiently means that no single entity holds 50 percent or more of the resources, but in practice, much more decentralization may be desired to safeguard the underlying protocol.However, available data demonstrates that mining resources are much more centralized than originally thought, leading essentially to a reinvention of our current banking system instead of the intended decentralized digital currency of the future (Figure 1).Assistant Professor Georgios Piliouras of Singapore University of Technology and Design and his collaborators developed a novel approach to untangle the centralization phenomena in blockchain mining. They employed the rich economic theory of Oceanic Games, originally devised by the 2012 Nobel Laureate in Economics, Loyd S. Shapley.The application of this theory in the currently evolving blockchain ecosystem unveiled incentives both for active and for newly entering miners to merge and act as single entities. These observations provide an alternative justification of the observed centralization and concentration of power in the mining process of major cryptocurrencies. Contrary to common perceptions, they amount to the existence of a negative feedback loop in terms of decentralization as a core ingredient in public blockchain philosophy and reveal the need for further research in this direction. Explore further Bots exploiting blockchains for profit Blockchain technology has been considered as the most revolutionizing invention since the internet. Due to its immutable nature and the associated security and privacy benefits, it has attracted the attention of banks, governments, technology corporations, as well as venture capital.
Explore further Facebook considering its own bitcoin for payments 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. Yet this space remains attractive to those seeking to undermine US financial hegemony. Iran and Russia are both looking at launching state-backed cryptocurrencies, in response to US threats to disconnect them from the SWIFT payments system. This would enable these countries to join other blockchain-based payment networks, with the potential to steadily weaken the international payments system. Other threats to global finance from cryptocurrencies abound. Services making it easier to conceal their movement, such as cryptocurrency tumblers, are said to be enabling fraudulent activities. There is growing evidence that cryptocurrencies are financing terrorism; while they are supposedly also vulnerable to rogue states – the UN recently accused North Korea of stealing US$571m (£441m) from five cryptocurrency exchanges in Asia. When you combine these concerns with the steady shift of cryptocurrencies towards the mainstream, it makes many observers very nervous: cryptocurrencies still represent well below 1% of global trading, but they are growing fast. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which oversees international banking, recently warned that cryptocurrencies were a risk to global financial stability, and advised banks to look at their direct and indirect exposure and protect themselves. Standard settingCryptocurrency regulation remains a very grey area. These assets are traded on two types of platforms, known as centralised and decentralised.Centralised exchanges such as Coinbase or Robinhood, in which cryptocurrencies are only ever held by a middle man who transacts with buyers and sellers using traditional currencies, vary in regulation from country to country. Decentralised exchanges such as Block DX, in which traders sell cryptocurrencies directly between one another, tend to be unregulated. These comprise a much smaller proportion of trading, and are harder to control – not least because much of the activity occurs on the dark net. The Financial Actions Task Force (FATF), the global standard setter against financial crime, is working towards global regulation of cryptocurrences on centralised exchanges. It recently met with industry representatives from around the world as part of a consultation to finalise global standards. This will inform proposals for regulation due to be announced by the FATF in June.One major aspect is Regulatory Technology (RegTech), which refers to technology that makes it possible to identify cryptocurrency activities such as the identities of traders doing transactions on blockchains. It will be interesting to see what the FATF has to say next month about the adoption of a RegTech global standard, which many would argue is crucial to making cryptocurrencies more transparent. On many other regulatory issues, the world remains a patchwork. France, for example, is looking at banning cryptocurrencies known as privacy coins, which are designed to make it particularly difficult to trace their owners. Ireland has amended its Anti-Money Laundering Bill to include cryptocurrencies, while the UK is moving in a similar direction – going beyond the existing relevant EU regulations. Japan, seen as a world leader on crypto regulation, is introducing new rules capping the amount that traders can borrow from exchanges to trade cryptocurrencies. Mexico and Canada are also looking at regulating cryptocurrency exchanges. The US, meanwhile, recently issued a clarification of the status of cryptocurrencies issued through initial coin offerings. Germany is planning to regulate these, too. These moves are welcome but hardly sufficient in global terms. A single country can impose tough standards on its cryptocurrency exchanges, but when transactions involve another exchange located in another country with no regulation, there’s nothing the domestic authorities in the first country can do to track payments once they have been transferred. Equally, you don’t have to go too far to find holes in the system: the EU regulations on money laundering don’t cater for tumbler services, for instance. Bringing enough countries onboard to make a major difference is not going to be straightforward, particularly with so much acrimony between Russia, China and the West at present. For global regulation to be far-reaching, it would also need to include the entire system – including decentralised exchanges, but they appear to be too problematic to focus on at the moment. All the same, there is clearly a growing desire to take the wildness out of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. These technologies are only going to become more mainstream; and the greater their share of the global economy, the greater their threat to the system as a whole. At least as far as centralised exchanges are concerned, the days of cryptocurrencies ruled by romantic buccaneers and pirates are slowly coming to an end. Provided by The Conversation This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. The high seas are getting lower. Credit: dianemeise The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what is perhaps the most profound development since the birth of cryptocurrencies through the launch of bitcoin a decade ago. Citation: Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control (2019, May 16) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-cryptocurrencies-mainstream-global.html JP Morgan Chase has been leading the way, having announced JPM Coin earlier this year, the first cryptocurrency issued by a big international bank. When trials begin in the coming months, each JPM Coin will be redeemable for one US dollar, protecting this cryptocurrency from the volatility characteristic of the likes of bitcoin. One of the main reasons for JP Morgan launching these coins is to offer large corporate clients a way of making international payments in real time. This could gradually replace the current global interbank funds transfer network known as SWIFT, whose wire transfer payments can sometimes take a whole business day to settle. A few weeks later, the IMF and World Bank jointly announced the launch of Learning Coin, a private blockchain and quasi-cryptocurrency designed to help them better understand the technology. Facebook, too, was reported to be interested in launching a cryptocurrency.Meanwhile, financial firm 20|30 became the first company to IPO using blockchains on a mainstream regulated trading platform, when it floated on the London Stock Exchange with shares in the form of “equity tokens” similar to a cryptocurrency.It is all a far cry from the rationale for creating bitcoins and blockchains in the first place: to decentralise finance away from the dollar-dominated system of fiat currencies and to gradually render financial institutions obsolete. Good, bad and ugly