Husky Energy offers apology for largest ever oil spill off Newfoundland coast

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Husky Energy is apologizing for Newfoundland’s largest-ever oil spill last month, which saw 250,000 litres leak into the ocean.The huge spill of oil, water and gas happened while Husky Energy’s SeaRose platform was preparing to restart production during a fierce storm that was, at the time, the most intense in the world.In a statement Monday, the company says it is “deeply sorry” for the incident and is committed to learning from it and putting measures in place “to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”On Friday, Husky submitted its preliminary report on the Nov. 16 spill, stating that it appears that a flowline connector failed near the South White Rose Extension drill centre — about 350 kilometres east of St. John’s.The company says the initial release occurred during the 20 minutes that crews were troubleshooting a drop in flowline pressure, and a retest led to a second release lasting about 15 minutes.  The regulatory board that oversees the province’s offshore activities has said it’s now impossible to clean up the oil spill.Scott Tessier, chief executive of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, said no oil sheens were spotted on the water, meaning the oil has likely broken down to the point that it cannot be cleaned up.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Canadian Tire buying 65store Party City business for 1744 million cash

TORONTO — Canadian Tire Corp. is diversifying with the purchase of 65 Party City stores across Canada for $174.4 million cash.The Toronto-based company says it plans to add stand-alone stores and also make Party City’s products available across 500 Canadian tire retail stores and online at Canadiantire.ca.Party City Holdco Inc. says it will use proceeds from the sale to pay down debt. It will also have a long-term wholesale supply agreement with Canadian Tire through Amscan Inc., beginning with an initial term of 10 years.The deal came as Canadian Tire announced second-quarter results, which included a 14 per cent increase in net income attributable to shareholders.The $177.4-million profit was up from $156.0 million a year earlier, while earnings per diluted share increased 20.5 per cent to $2.87 from $2.38 in last year’s second quarter when more shares were outstanding.Revenue increased 5.9 per cent from last year to $3.67 billion from $3.48 billion, mostly from retailing through multiple banners including Canadian Tire, SportChek, Mark’s and Helly Hansen.Analysts had estimated $3.72 billion of revenue and $187.3 million or $3.01 per share of adjusted earnings, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.Companies in this story: (TSX:CTC.A, TSX:CTC)The Canadian Press read more

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS Lake Chad trees keep deadly drought at bay

UNDP Chad/Jean Damascene HakuzimLake Chad – which originally reached from Chad into Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger – has lost 90 per cent of its surface area due largely to unsustainable water management and climate change.The UN Development Programme project (UNDP) is helping hold back the advance of the Sahara desert and provide the conditions for local people to farm sustainably, boost the availability of food and carry out income-generating activities.Read more here about how the UN is working to reverse the decline of Lake Chad. And, the main UN web page for all climate change coverage, can be found here. read more

Grenfell firefighter defends stay put policy and says lack of numbers at

The stay-put policy was not abandoned until 2.47 am, a decision which some survivors say cost the lives of their family members.Mr Dowden will continue his evidence on Wednesday. When asked if at 1.19am he considered evacuating, Mr Dowden said he had not, adding: “Things were rapidly developing and it was a very dynamic situation and I was feeling uncomfortable and at that point I wasn’t aware of what was happening internally”.When asked if he considered what he might do if the fire got out of control he replied: “I can’t recall a point of that conscious thinking, but that doesn’t mean to say that I didn’t or I did, but I think that this was the point where I was starting to become very consumed in terms of what was happening in front of me.“I think that the way that it was increasing and developing that I have never seen anything like that before and it was almost that I was consumed by that in terms of the sensory overload and because of the way that it was I do have some blanks and it is very difficult to recall certain parts of that incident.” He said that he had first realised that the exterior of the building was alight by 01.19 and had continued to increase appliances.This  was despite the fact that Chris Secrett, the manager of the crew who had initially gone in to tackle the fridge fire in flat 16, calling for the response to “to slow down because the fire was now out”.   “For me at that moment in time to facilitate and change a stay-put policy into a full evacuation is impossible, I didn’t have the resources, we are looking at 20 floors above the fire floor with just six fire crews in attendance. One central staircase. It is not something I have experienced as an incident commander before.” He told the hearing at Holborn Bars in central London: “Split second decision making is based on previous knowledge. I had no previous knowledge on how that building was reacting. I had nothing to fall back on, no default in terms of my own previous knowledge of how that building was reacting. At that moment in time I did feel uncomfortable, out of my comfort zone, because I didn’t have any previous experience to fall back on.” The firefighter in charge of tackling the Grenfell inferno has defended the controversial ‘stay-put’ advice for the first time, arguing it would have been “impossible” to evacuate the tower block.Michael Dowden, a watch manager, agreed that someone more senior should have been in charge and admitted that he cannot recall considering abandoning the policy or ordering an evacuation because he was “consumed” by events and suffering “sensory overload”. But Mr Dowden, who was the incident commander for the first hour, insisted that in hindsight even at 1.24am, just two minutes before the flames reached the top and experts say stay-put had failed, he did not have the resources to evacuate.He broke down in tears and had to take a break from the public inquiry after video footage was played showing flames spreading up the side of the block as members of the public cried: “Get out of the tower”.Families and experts fear that the continuation of the stay put policy could have contributed to the fact that 72 people lost their lives because of the fire.Mr Dowden told the hearing: “I think that it is important to clarify around that sort of time (01.24) I only had six fire appliances in attendance and from my understanding at that time most of them were consumed in terms of the breathing apparatus resource at the bridgehead. However, despite putting in that request at 01.12 Mr Dowden was left in charge till 1.57 as Andy Walton, who was on his way to relieve him, was delayed because he was “having difficulty finding a route to the incident due to the amount of road closures in the area”. By the time Mr Walton took over there were 25 pumps in attendance. After 10 engines were ordered an Assistant Commissioner should normally take charge, and Mr Dowden said when he made this call at 01.24 he had “expected that there would be a senior officer very soon”. He admitted that these were not thoughts that he had had at the time but were “reflective”, adding: “I was reacting in a way that I thought was best in all my experience.”Mr Dowden had been with the first crews to arrive on the scene around five minutes after the first 999 call at 00.54am on June 14 last year.As watch manager he took on the role of incident commander, and quickly began ordering more fire engines to attend when he saw that the flames were licking out the side of the building.The inquiry heard that London Fire Brigade policy states that as soon as it becomes a fire which requires six engines to fight it a Station Manager, a rank above, should take control. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

CiDRA wins Cerro Vanguardia flow contract in Argentina

first_imgCiDRA Minerals Processing was awarded a contract for the installation of three flowmeters at AngloGold Ashanti’s Cerro Vanguardia mine in Patagonia, Argentina. CiDRA’s SONARtrac systems were chosen by Cerro Vanguardia after a series of performance tests and flowmeter comparisons, and ultimately, the sonar systems were chosen for their reliability and ease of installation, CIDRA says. Two of the SONARtrac systems are now installed on the overflow lines from the mill and secondary thickener; while the third meter is awaiting installation on the milling hydrocyclone feed line.Cerro Vanguardia is a gold and silver mine located northwest of Puerto San Julian in the province of Santa Cruz. AngloGold Ashanti has a 92.5% interest in the mine with the province of Santa Cruz holding the remaining 7.5%. Cerro Vanguardia consists of multiple small open pits with high stripping ratios. The orebodies comprise a series of hydrothermal vein deposits containing vast quantities of silver, which is produced as a byproduct.CiDRA’s SONARtrac systems are non-invasive, which allowed the customer quick installation without any process interruption, and provide the high reliability, performance, and maintenance-free operation the customer required. CiDRA’s SONARtrac flow technology is a new class of industrial flowmeter, utilizing measurement principles that are distinct from all other flowmeter technologies operating in the mining industry. As well, SONARtrac systems demonstrate very stable output and superior levels of performance in the presence of highly variable fluid properties.last_img read more

New shaft enlargement solution from Herrenknecht collaboration

first_imgA new “next generation” of shaft enlargement machines for shaft boring using the pilot borehole is now available to the market. The Shaft Boring Machine for Shaft Enlargement (SBE) was developed by Herrenknecht in close collaboration with a joint-venture between Thyssen Schachtbau GmbH and Murray & Roberts Cementation. These two mining services and technology groups had approached Herrenknecht with the aim of applying V-Mole technology to the next high-performance generation of shaft enlargement.With the newly developed shaft enlargement machine, Herrenknecht offers a modern version of shaft boring machines that “complies with the highest standards of efficiency, safety and reliability.” With this new generation machine, shaft boring diameters of up to 9.5 m can be realised under optimum conditions in hard rock. The machine concept allows significantly higher sinking speeds compared to earlier shaft boring generations. It is robustly designed to handle the tough working conditions found in sinking of shafts. Qualified personnel can easily operate the system.The SBE basically works like modern hard rock TBMs, but vertically. Advance and primary shaft lining are carried out simultaneously. With the help of laterally extendable hydraulic cylinders the 15 m high and 350 t machine braces itself before every drilling stroke in the shaft steadying the machine, allowing the thrust cylinders to push the rotating cutterhead against the borehole floor. Hydraulic cylinders ensure precise vertical alignment of the shaft boring machine to the target axis. This is constantly transmitted to the machine operator by a laser aiming device.The rotating anchor platform is located on the drilling deck above the cutterhead. From there anchors and steel mesh can be put in place by two powerful hydraulic drill rigs. If required, a shotcrete unit on the shaft boring machine secures the shaft wall immediately after exposure of the rock outcrop. The machine operator controls all operations safely and conveniently from the interior of the machine.The sinking of a shaft with the new SBE occurs in three phases:– First a pilot hole is created from the top downwards, which sets the vertical target axis– Once at the bottom, workers in the cavern replace the drill bit with a reamer, which then enlarges the pilot hole from bottom to top until the pilot borehole diameter is reached. The muck is continuously loaded at the foot of the borehole and transported away– Thereafter, the shaft boring machine enlarges the pilot borehole from top to bottom to the final diameter and installs the primary lining of the shaft in parallel. The shaft depth is only limited by the technically feasible length of the pilot boreholelast_img read more

23 signs that youre a Galway sports fan

first_img23. You regard your hurlers as fashion icons with their choice of footwearPic: INPHO22. You know the Galway media lads – Murphy from Milltown and Frehill from Kiltormer – can play a bit of ball21. You point out the first step on route to becoming a Galway footballer is to enrol at St Jarlath’sPic: INPHO/Donall Farmer20. You reckon you could take Paul Hession in a 100m sprintPic: INPHO/Morgan Treacy19. You know Pat Comer’s documentary ‘A Year Til Sunday’ off by heart at this stageYouTube: Conor Ryan18. You’ve been frozen watching games at the Sportsground more times than you care to rememberPic: INPHO/Dan Sheridan17. But you always see passion by the bucket load from the Connacht lads in actionPic: INPHO/Dan Sheridan16. You’ve had Tuam’s finest musical act play at your club’s dinner dancehttp://www.goldenplec.com/15. You’ve offered up vigils in the hope that Michael Meehan can stay fitPic: INPHO/Mike Shaughnessy14. You’ve seen Joe Canning produce tekkers like this since he was playing U10 for PortumnaYouTube: jdtvideo13. You have tried and you have failed to combat playing on a windy day at Pearse StadiumPic: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan12. You become a sailing enthusiast any time the Volvo Ocean Race swings by Galway BayPic: INPHO/IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race11. You’re adamant Galway were wronged in the Keady Affair in 1989 Pic: INPHO10. You love the fact that no one showed more emotion than a Galway man when Katie Taylor won Gold in LondonYouTube: rte9. You think this flick by Kevin Broderick leads to the greatest hurling point of all timeYouTube: stvincentsgaa8. And the greatest football point of all time is all about Michael Donnellan’s run from deepYouTube: KilkennyFootball7. You study the form carefully in Ballybrit at the end of every JulyPic: INPHO/Morgan Treacy6. This is where you venture for your pre-match and post-match carbsratemyarea.com5. If his Christian name is ‘Joe’ and his surname begins with ‘C’, then chances are he’s been your favourite Galway hurler at some stageJoe ConnollyPic: INPHO/James CrombieJoe CooneyPic: INPHO/Billy SticklandJoe CanningPic: INPHO/Billy Stickland4. You’ve ran into famous faces over the years in Terryland ParkPic: INPHO/Mike Shaughnessy3. You know the greatest legend in Irish rugby is this manPic: INPHO/Patrick BolgerPic: INPHO/Billy Stickland2. You thank Mayo people for the loan of this man for a few yearsPic: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan1. And this speech and song from 1980 by the two Joe’s still brings a tear to the eyeYouTube: sceilig22 signs you’re a sports fan from Limerick21 signs you’re a sports fan from Clare21 signs you’re a sports fan from Tipperary21 signs you’re a sports fan from Waterford16 signs you’re a sports fan from Cork19 signs you’re a sports fan from Kerrylast_img read more

Official Verdi completes €25m move to Napoli

first_imgSimone Verdi has completed his move to Napoli from Bologna for a reported €25m transfer fee in a five-year deal, reports Football-ItaliaThe Italy international had an impressive 2017/18 season and scored 10 goals with a further 10 assists to help steer Bologna clear of the relegation zone in the Serie A.Verdi’s impressive displays for the I Rossoblu attracted the interest of many clubs and he was reportedly close to joining Napoli in the January transfer window before ultimately deciding to remain with Bologna for the remainder of the campaign.Mario BalotelliCorini tells Balotelli to “raise his game” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 According to the Brescia coach, Mario Balotelli “needs to raise his game if he wants to face Juventus” as his team is set to host Bologna.The Italian versatile forward had a medical at Rome’s Villa Stuart clinic before later visiting Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis’ Filmauro offices to finalise his deal.The 25-year-old is understood to have agreed on a five-year deal with the Light Blues and becomes Carlo Ancelotti’s first signing since replacing the ousted Maurizio Sarri last month.Napoli finished the Serie A in second-place last season after a season-long battle with Juventus.last_img read more

Tonight is DR deadline tens of thousands of Haitians may have to

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:dominican republic, haitians, living, migrants 69 Haitians apprehended in Exuma Recommended for you Six Haitian men rescued; boat sank Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppPhoto by Fox NewsProvidenciales, 08 Jul 2015 – The deadline for hundreds of thousands of Haitians living in the Dominican Republic looms tonight and if these individuals cannot prove they are legally resident in the DR, they will have to cross that border back to Haiti. A new law in the DR has denied citizenship rights even to the children of Haitian migrants who were born on the Dominican side of Hispaniola. An NPR report says ‘now people identified as Haitians must apply for residency permits or risk being bussed across the border that divides that island.’ It is said that only 300 of 250,000 who applied for that permit from the DR government have received it. Some international media report that over 17,000 Haitians have returned home voluntarily since the controversial law was passed; some of them bussed home by the Dominican Government. Yahoo news points out that one challenge has been that despite the most valiant of efforts to get legal in the DR before tonight’s deadlines, ‘documents slow to arrive from Haiti and Dominican registration offices overwhelmed by the crowds of applicants, (have left) more than 180,000 people unregistered…” The DR has been slammed and shunned for its actions, but Dominican President Danilo Medina said his country will not stand for being labeled ‘xenophobic or racist’; he maintains the program actually benefits thousands of Haitians. Others say this situation could provoke a new humanitarian disaster in fragile Haiti, still struggling to recover from its 2010 earthquake and a subsequent cholera outbreak.It is believed there were half a million Haitians living in the DR without the new proper documents once that law was passed in 2013. More Haitians captured in Eleutheralast_img read more

India is second largest steelmaker ahead of Japan but behind China

first_imgWorld Steel Association’s report: India crude steel production risesReuters FileIndia has overtaken Japan to become the second-largest steelmaker in the world. China remains the world leader, while India held the number three slot for three years till 2017.According to World Steel Association’s crude steel production report, China’s production for February was 64.9 million tonnes (Mt), an increase of 5.9 percent from February last year. Japan produced 8.3 Mt of crude steel in February, down 0.5 percent on February last year.South Korea’s crude steel production for February was 5.4 Mt, down 2.1 percent from February last year.World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 131.8 Mt in February — a 3.5 percent increase when compared last year, the report noted.In February, India recorded 3.4 percent rise in production to 8.4 Mt, while Japan’s recorded negative growth.Japan produced more than India in all preceding months but the production gap between Japan and India was narrowing in the past few years. Japan produced 104.7 Mt steel in 2017 compared to India’s 101.4 Mt. In 2015, India had overtaken the US to become the world’s third-largest steel producer.In the EU, Italy’s crude steel production for February was 2.1 Mt, up by 4.5 percent from February 2017. France produced 1.3 Mt and Spain produced 1.1 Mt in February, an increase of 0.4 percent. Turkey’s crude steel production was 3 Mt, up by 8.7 percent. The US produced 6.4 Mt, a 0.4 percent increase over February 2017. Brazil’s output was 2.7 Mt. Capacity utilization ratio of the world steel industry was 73.3 percent.The worldsteel is a large industry association in the world and the steel members represent approximately 85 percent of the world’s steel production, including over 160 steel producers with 9 of the 10 largest steel companies, national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes.The monthly crude steel capacity utilization ratio is calculated based on crude steel production information available at worldsteel, and OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) capacity estimates.last_img read more

Louisville MBB Postgame Notes vs Michigan State

first_img With Tuesday’s result, Louisville takes a 6-5 lead in the all-time series with Michigan State, which dates to 1957. Louisville is 3-0 all-time at home against Michigan State. The Cardinals have a 59-45 record all-time against current members of the Big Ten Conference. Louisville is 3-2 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, including 1-1 against Michigan State.TEAM NOTES Louisville is 135-21 all-time at the KFC Yum! Center, which is in its ninth season as the home for the Cardinals. The Cardinals have won 69 of their last 72 non-conference games at the KFC Yum! Center spanning the last nine seasons. Louisville has won 50 straight home games in the month of November spanning the last 28 years, including a perfect 37-0 record in the KFC Yum! Center. With tonight’s win against Michigan State and last Friday’s loss to Marquette, the Cardinals played back-to-back overtime games for the first time since 2004 when they suffered a 66-61 loss at No. 17 Cincinnati on Feb. 21 and dropped a 60-58 decision to DePaul on Feb. 25. The 41 free throw attempts on Tuesday night marked the second highest total of the season for the Cardinals, who are averaging 35.5 free throw attempts per game through the first six contests this season. The Cardinals attempted a season-high 29 three-pointers, one more than they shot against Tennessee. Louisville’s 10 three-point baskets on Tuesday stand as the second highest total of the season. The Cardinals finished with just 10 turnovers (in 45 minutes), the second lowest total of the season. Louisville matched a season-high registering four blocked shots for the second straight game. The Cardinals moved to 1-1 this season when being outrebounded after the Spartans finished with a 47-30 edge on the glass. Jordan Nwora registered his sixth double-figure scoring performance in as many games this season as the sophomore had 14 points in Tuesday’s win. Dwayne Sutton registered his highest scoring outing of the season with Tuesday’s 13-point performance. Ryan McMahon led the Cardinals with a career-high 24 points, including seven points in overtime. After entering the game averaging 40.6 points per contest from its bench, Louisville nearly matched that with Tuesday’s 37 points.PLAYER NOTES Nwora matched a career high with his six made free throws while setting a career high with his nine free throw attempts. Tuesday’s game marked the 15th career double-figures scoring outing for Nwora. Nwora’s nine rebounds on Tuesday rank as the second highest total of his career. Nwora has finished with seven or more rebounds in five of six games this season. The 38 minutes played for Nwora on Tuesday are a season high. Louisville’s 17-rebound deficit is its largest in a victory since being outrebounded 50-22 in a 78-76 win at Connecticut on Feb. 28, 2010. Tuesday’s game marked Louisville’s fifth largest negative rebounding margin in a win in the past 45 seasons. McMahon’s previous scoring high was 15 points achieved on three different occasions. The junior also set career highs in free throws made and attempted finishing 12-for-13 at the line. McMahon was 4-for-7 on three-pointers registering season highs in both categories. Tuesday’s performance marked McMahon’s first double-figure scoring performance this season and the eighth of his collegiate career. Cunningham equaled a season high with his five made field goals. The graduate transfer dished out a season high five assists. Cunningham equaled a season high playing 35 minutes for the second straight game. Christen Cunningham had 13 points on Tuesday, his second straight double-figures scoring game. Story Links Sutton has five double-figure scoring games in his two seasons with the Cardinals. Sutton equaled a season high with his six rebounds, achieved for the third time. He finished with five rebounds in the other three games this season. SERIES NOTES Malik Williams played a season high 29 minutes on Tuesday surpassing his previous high of 17 minutes against Southern.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Using sugar molecules to make cotton material glow

first_imgDigital camera image from in vitro cotton model after incorporation of exogenous molecules with new functionalities. Credit: Filipe Natalio Microscopic image of the cotton fibers after incorporation of the fluorescent exogenous molecule. This image was taken under a binocular under UV light showing the fluorescent fibers. Credit: Filipe Natalio Play Time lapse movie of the in vitro cotton model showing the development of fibers and integration of the fluorescent molecule. The time lapse movie was taken for 20 days with 1 image per hour. This video is shown under UV light to trace the fate of the fluorescent molecule. Credit: Filipe Natalio Explore further More information: Filipe Natalio et al. Biological fabrication of cellulose fibers with tailored properties, Science (2017). DOI: 10.1126/science.aan5830AbstractCotton is a promising basis for wearable smart textiles. Current approaches that rely on fiber coatings suffer from function loss during wear. We present an approach that allows biological incorporation of exogenous molecules into cotton fibers to tailor the material’s functionality. In vitro model cultures of upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) are incubated with 6-carboxyfluorescein–glucose and dysprosium–1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid–glucose, where the glucose moiety acts as a carrier capable of traveling from the vascular connection to the outermost cell layer of the ovule epidermis, becoming incorporated into the cellulose fibers. This yields fibers with unnatural properties such as fluorescence or magnetism. Combining biological systems with the appropriate molecular design offers numerous possibilities to grow functional composite materials and implements a material-farming concept. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Image that shows a cotton fruit and different colors to show that we can provide functionalities to the cotton. Credit: Filipe Natalio Citation: Using sugar molecules to make cotton material glow (2017, September 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-09-sugar-molecules-cotton-material.html Wiping out bacteria with nanoparticle-cotton fibers Play Time lapse movie of the in vitro cotton model showing the development of fibers and integration of the fluorescent molecule. The time lapse movie was taken for 20 days with 1 image per hour. This video is shown under normal light. Credit: Filipe Natalio The team reports that they spent a significant amount of time testing the resulting cotton fibers to prove that the molecules were, indeed, inside the fiber cells and not just coating them—an important factor, because it means the molecules will not be carried away when the fabric is washed.Besides the coolness factor, the process offers the possibility of adding other features to wearable materials. To demonstrate, the researchers used the same process to introduce a magnetic molecule instead of one with fluorescent properties, and created cotton cloth with magnetic properties. Magnetism in cloth, the group notes, could possibly be useful for storing data from electronic devices. They note that the process could also be used with other materials made from plants such as bamboo or flax.center_img As scientists continue to look for ways to create wearable electronic products, some unique ideas have emerged. One of them is adding material to the water used by a growing cotton plant to endow it with desirable properties. In this new effort, the researchers found that by combining two molecules, one that is naturally carried by plants to its cells and another that causes fluorescence, they could produce plant fibers with fluorescent properties. That fiber could then be used the same way it has for thousands of years, to make cloth. In this case, cloth that glows under a fluorescent light.In practice, the researchers grew cotton plants in water, then harvested their ovules, which is the part of the plant that makes the fibers. They cultured the ovules separately and eventually fed them water doctored with the desired molecules. After 20 days, the cotton was harvested and tested. The researchers found that approximately 5 percent of the molecules had made their way to the fibers—enough to make them glow green when exposed to fluorescent light. Journal information: Science PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Microscopic image of the cotton fibers after incorporation of the fluorescent exogenous molecule. This image was taken under a binocular under UV light showing the fluorescent fibers. Credit: Filipe Natalio © 2017 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Germany, Israel and Austria has developed a process for imbuing cotton fibers with material that glows under fluorescent light. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their process, how well it works and other applications under which it might prove useful. Image that shows a cotton fruit and different colors to show that we can provide functionalities to the cotton. Credit: Filipe Natalio 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.last_img read more

Do RoboAdvisors Have a Place in Insurance

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global May 14, 2017 8 min read When my co-founder and I were fleshing out the foundation of PolicyGenius, we knew our goal was to bring the insurance-buying process — from education to shopping to application — to the modern online consumer. The question was, “How do we do this?” And as we spoke to consumers about their decision journeys, we realized that the answer wasn’t new. It had been around for 30 years.Time after time, unprompted, we’d get asked why there wasn’t something like TurboTax for insurance.TurboTax helped pioneer robo-advice in household finances by offering expert-level guidance without requiring a face-to-face appointment with a specialist. It showed that it could be done for a complex financial process (there isn’t anything more complicated than filing your taxes, is there?) and now robo-advisors are taking over the investing world thanks to the likes of Tradeking, Wealthfront, Betterment, and more.Related: 11 Ways to Make Money While You SleepSo the people we wanted to reach wanted TurboTax for insurance: something where they could go through the insurance shopping process — the whole process — online, getting guidance that they could follow at their own pace.Here’s what we learned by building it.You can’t be just an aggregator.You can find and compare insurance policies on PolicyGenius, so it’s tempting to describe the process as like “Kayak, but for insurance.” But unlike travel aggregators, we don’t just gather a bunch of deals and show them side-by-side on the screen. We can’t. Insurance is more complicated than flights, so we have to do more.When you go on vacation you buy your plane ticket, go on the trip, post the pictures to Facebook, and go back to your life. Insurance, especially life insurance, is more expensive, longer-term, and more complex. Choosing the wrong flight means you have to wake up early or have no legroom, but messing up your insurance policy has real consequences. That’s why we emphasize education and decision support.We built a resource center with content that explains different concepts, terms, and scenarios. During the application process, we explain why we’re asking for each piece of information. And with our Insurance Checkup, we show you not only what sort of protection you need, but why you need it.For a lot of people, shopping online for insurance means plugging your personal information into a form and waiting to get called by a horde of salespeople. That’s not a good experience. Customers don’t want to just be added to a call list. They’re trying to protect the wellbeing of themselves and their family; being little more than a stepping stone for a salesperson to get closer to their quota isn’t reassuring. Instead, we gave people a full shopping experience: go from research to application at your own pace, and only give up your contact information when you’re ready to take the next step in completing your application.Related: How to Start a Business With (Almost) No MoneyAnd insurance isn’t something that people think about all the time. That means you have a limited window to reach (and keep) them. How do you make the most of that time? By giving them all of the information and tools they need to go through the whole process upfront without needing to jump through hoops. In other words, don’t waste their time. Showing them the opportunity and value of life insurance through educational content and an easy-to-use process gives users the confidence that they can buy a policy without hassle and benefit from it for years to come.People will do more than you think they will.It’s easy to write off digital experiences as only being appealing for Millennials. And even though Millennials make up half of our customer base, that means that half of our users are from older, more affluent segments – and yet they still use and enjoy our digital experience. Remember, they’ve lived most of their lives in a world where TurboTax is the way millions of people do their taxes. They’re not new to this.Where do you integrate robo-advice? Wherever you can in the funnel – which, as it turns out, is every step.For example, we customize content and advice so that we’re giving customers relevant information. Even though the advice is “robo” that doesn’t mean it’s impersonal. If you can translate the type of advice a human insurance agent would deliver in the “kitchen table conversation” into an algorithm, then you can deliver tailored advice in a self-service, automated fashion. That’s what our Insurance Checkup does: in five minutes customers can find out exactly what type of coverage they need based on their financial situation.It doesn’t stop there, though. We provide instant, accurate, automated quotes with advanced underwriting techniques; at the evaluation stage, we’ve built plain-English content and decision-support features that answer the most important questions insurance shoppers have; our insurer report cards highlight all the ratings and customer “moments of truth” essential for the purchasing decision. Step by step, we make learning about, applying for, and purchasing insurance easy and self-directed.And what happens when you put robo-advisor tools in place in the funnel? More than you’d think.Related: Habits of the World’s Wealthiest People (Infographic)Our customers spend a lot of time on the research and decision-making steps of the process because we’ve given them personalized content to dig through. They answer a lot of high-friction questions to get accurate quotes (more questions than a typical UX/UI designer would think is possible) and spend upwards of 10 minutes on our site per transaction. There’s only a few days between when they begin the process and when they finish their application, and a vast majority of our users do finish their application once they start – enough that we’ve seen 20% month-over-month growth when the rest of the life insurance industry has stayed relatively flat. We’ve done this by enabling people to buy life insurance the way they want to: with plenty of advice, on their own terms, instantly.Robo-advice isn’t a one-size-fits-all tool.We aren’t all suited for robo-advice just yet. Whether it’s because we’re concerned about the security implications of entering all of our financial information online or we just like having an expert sit down with us and answer questions in real life, an agent works better for some people.Although we’ve been able to reach across generational gaps at PolicyGenius, studies show that older generations (sorry 35 year olds, you’re an “older generation” now) are more likely to prefer a face-to-face experience at some point, while younger people are more comfortable with a fully online process – according to an AXA survey 34% of Millennials want to interact with their insurer solely online, and 8% don’t want to interact with them at all.But it’s not just an age thing. Whether or not people want to apply for life insurance online depends on their needs and their do-it-yourself orientation; where they fall on that spectrum dictates where you can fit robo-advisor tools into the process to make their experience as seamless as possible.On one end, you have someone with simple needs — they just want a pretty straightforward life insurance policy, for instance — and they’re comfortable going through it themselves; you can automate every step of the process, from education all the way through to checkout. They don’t have to talk to a single person if they don’t want to.Then you get to people who want to do it on their own but need an agent due to their financial situation: high net worth consumers with complicated estate planning needs are probably better served with a personal advisor at some point in the process.The inverse of the latter customer is the consumer who wants (more than needs) an agent but it may not be feasible for them to be supported every step of the way because it’s not cost-effective for the agent to handle every step of the process for them. For these customers, you can complement their journey with robo-advisor tools — let them go through as much as they can on their own and having an agent step in only when necessary so the agent doesn’t have to invest too much in time or resources for a simple policy.And finally, at the other end of our spectrum, there’s the traditional agent model for anyone who doesn’t want to go through the process alone or has complicated needs that an experienced professional can help with. 69% of respondents to a recent Allianz survey said they don’t trust advice found online, so they’d rather work with an agent than a robo-advisor — so there’s still a market out there for them.The life insurance industry has been around for a long time. We’re not going to revolutionize it overnight. We don’t have to, and we don’t want to — it’s a large, complex industry, and a lot of people still find value in the way it currently works. But we shouldn’t fight the tools and technology that are available to us, and implementing robo-advisors is one of the incremental changes we can put in place to make buying life insurance easier for everyone.  Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

More than 60000 people flee Nicaragua crisis UN

first_imgThose seeking asylum in Costa Rica include “students, former public officials, opposition figures, journalists, doctors, human rights defenders and farmers,” the agency added.Government talks with the opposition aimed at easing the crisis broke up last week without agreement on political reform in the crisis-torn country.Ortega’s leftist government has said it remains committed to breaking the impasse through dialogue.The United States and European Union have threatened Ortega with sanctions, while the opposition has demanded the release of all those detained during protests.This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5% Club. If only 5 percent of our readers donated at least $5 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments More than 60,000 people have fled the crisis in Nicaragua over the past year, the UN said Tuesday, with neighboring Costa Rica bearing the brunt of the refugee flow.The central American country has been gripped by a year of political unrest since months of street protests erupted last April against President Daniel Ortega’s government, leaving more than 325 people dead.The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said that an estimated 62,000 people had fled to neighboring countries — 55,000 of them to Costa Rica.People “have resorted to irregular crossings to avoid detection, often walking for hours through difficult terrain, exposed to heat, humidity and the risk of malaria,” UNHCR said in a statement. Want stories like this delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to the Tico Times newslettercenter_img Related posts:As Nicaragua elections approach, banned opposition decries Ortega’s budding dictatorship Protesters gather at Nicaraguan embassy in San José to rally against Ortega regime Freed Nicaraguan prisoner tells of torture In San José, Nicaraguans march in memory and call for justicelast_img read more

Visit USA recognised for efforts by US Ambassador

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W The United States Ambassador to Australia, Jeff Bleich, presented an official Certificate of Appreciation to the Visit USA Organisation (Australia) for their dedication and commitment to promote tourism to the United States, at an event in Sydney to mark Visit USA Week.Mr Bleich said the number of Australian visitors to the US was “remarkable”, hitting the one million visitor milestone and staying longer in the country than ever before.Visit USA Australia President Geoffrey Hutton has described 2011 as “the most amazing year for the USA” from the local market.  “They are also the only international tourists to visit more than two states,” Mr Hutton concluded.Also revealed on the day was Brand USA (formerly called the Corporation for Travel Promotion), the public private partnership formed to promote America.  Expected to visit Australia later this year to invest in the local market, Brand USA will match dollar for dollar spending from local companies. Visit USA recognised for efforts by US Ambassadorlast_img read more