Total Force Fitness and Military Families Learning Network: Family Transitions

first_imgIn this week’s Friday Field Notes, we will continue our exploration of the resources and programming that Military Families Learning Network provides to support Total Force Fitness with our Family Transitions team.Family Transitions and Total Force FitnessSupporting military families through transitions (e.g., PCSing, retirement) requires a holistic approach like that of Total Force Fitness. Accordingly, the programming offered by the Family Transitions team incorporates all eight domains of total force fitness.Social and Psychological Fitness. Family Transitions is one of the MLFN teams producing the Resilience Series, a three-part webinar series aimed at promoting individual, family, and community resilience. Enhancing factors that promote resilience at multiple levels and reducing barriers to resilience supports both social and psychological fitness for military families.If you would like to gather social and psychological fitness for military families experiencing transitions, check out Family Transitions’ Opportunities and Possibilities: Posttraumatic Growth in Research and Practice (Parts one and two), Working Out Loud: Building Networks for Resilience, and Engaging Across Generations (parts one and two) webinars.Physical, Medical and Dental, and Nutritional Fitness. The diagnosis of a chronic illness and the co-occurring lifestyle changes is an important transition for families. In collaboration with Family Development, Military Caregiving, and Nutrition and Wellness, Family Transition produced Chronic Illness: Empowering Families in the Journal, parts one and two provide tools and resources for learning effective interdisciplinary strategies for supporting military families coping with the diagnosis of a chronic illness.Environmental Fitness. In our previous blog post exploring the ways in which Cooperative Extension can support Total Force Fitness, we explored how Outdoor RX can support environmental fitness. Family Transition produced a webinar, Returning Warriors: Using Outdoor Recreations for Restoration and Resilience, with Dr. Keith Tidball, PI for Community Capacity Building, describing the benefits of outdoor recreation for resilience.Spiritual Fitness. Coming soon, Family Transitions will be releasing a series of podcasts with 2018 Virtual Conference Keynote, Dr. Ann Phibbs. A continuation of the discussions from the 2018 Virtual Conference, the podcast will help educate and include resources for service providers to promote diversity and inclusion, a key piece of spiritual fitness.Additional Resources from Family TransitionsFamily Transitions programming aims to provide education and resources for service providers who are supporting military families through transitions. Programming from Family Transitions includes webinars, timely blog posts, podcasts, and videos. Keep up with news from Family Transitions by signing up for their newsletter and follow them on Twitter.last_img read more

10 Lightworks Tutorials for Video Editors

first_img10 free tutorials to get you started in Lightworks, the powerful open-source video editing application!The video editing landscape is changing, and Lightworks has once again entered the ring.  Although Lightworks has been a mainstay app for editing feature films since the 1990’s, it never picked up a wide professional user base like it’s competitors Final Cut Pro, Avid and Premiere.This may be changing though, as Editshare attempts to rejuvenate Lightworks with a planned roadmap for development.  Lightworks is currently only available on Windows but there are Linux and Mac versions planned for release later in 2012.  Download the free lite version or the more full featured Pro version (licensed at $60/year).  For more info on the Lightworks for Windows release see our previous post here.Free Lightworks Video TutorialsFor many editors Lightworks is foreign territory, with a unique user interface and editing workflow.  To address this Editshare recently released a series of free Lightworks video tutorials that cover the basics of working in the application.With Avid’s recent financial woes and some FCP editors still debating which video editing application to transition to, Editshare seems to be making the right moves at the right time.  Check out two of the Lightworks video tutorials below (Creating a Project and Getting Started) or visit the Editshare YouTube channel to view them all.A free (yet powerful) video editing app and free training to start using it…seems like a win-win.Creating a Project in LightworksBasic Editing in Lightworkslast_img read more

Back To Basics

first_imgYou should never, ever have to go back to basics. If you need to get back to the basics, you’ve done something wrong. Namely, you’ve stopped doing the fundamental things that allow salespeople and sales organizations to succeed.ProspectingIt doesn’t matter how long you’ve been selling you will always need to prospect. You are always going to have to acquire new clients, which means you will forever need to open relationships and create new opportunities. Prospecting is as basic as it gets when it comes to selling.Planning Your WeekPlanning your week on Sunday and getting a running start into the week is a basic of good selling. It’s a good foundation for being productive no matter what you do. Having a list of prospective clients makes prospecting faster and more efficient. Blocking time on your calendar to follow-up with all of your existing prospective clients is also a basic fundamental of good selling. It means you’re working with intention; you’re taking actions on purpose, and you’re not being reactive and allowing the world to work on you. You can only do this effectively if you block time and plan your week ahead of time.Gaining Commitments – ClosingThere will never be a time in sales where it is not necessary for you to ask for commitments. It doesn’t matter how often people suggest that you “never be closing,” or “always be connecting,” or something else that makes them feel better about themselves, asking is part of selling. Closing for the commitments you need helps your buyer come to a decision that moves them forward from their current state to a better future state. You do have to ask for your dream client’s business.Overcoming Objections and Resolving ConcernsYou can never stop learning how to overcome your prospective client’s objections, or more likely, helping them resolve their concerns. Your prospective clients are always going to feel some resistance, some fear, some uncertainty as to whether what you are selling is right for them and whether or not they’ll really get the result they’re buying. Dealing with objections and concerns are a basic part of selling.Back to the BasicsMost of the time when people say they want to get back to basics, it means that they’re no longer doing the fundamentals. Almost always it means they’ve given up prospecting. It likely means that they have ignored their sales process or have not executed what they know to be their best plan for creating and winning an opportunity.Going “back to the basics” means you’re not doing quality work, not following up, not using your time wisely. No matter how exciting a new sales idea, a new sales process, or a new sales methodology might seem, none of them can replace the basics. The basics make up the fundamentals on which you build everything else. You need to adhere to the basics no matter how sophisticated your approach.The best way to never have to get back to basics is to never abandon them in the first place. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

The Business Of Competitive Displacements

first_imgReaching your dream client can be difficult. Creating an opportunity when your dream client is already satisfied and when they have no compelling reason to change feels like mission impossible. You are in the business of competitive displacements.You might be tempted to seek more receptive “prospects” with the idea that you can teach them why they should use your product, your service, or your solution. If your product is new, if it doesn’t already have an existing market, this might be necessary. But if you want to grow a business and increase sales in a mature market, you are in the business of taking business from your competitors.UnqualifiedThere is a reason some companies aren’t using what you sell; they don’t need it. Because a prospect is receptive is no indication that they have a compelling need for your product.  Nor does it mean that you can create a compelling case for them, no matter how good your pitch, and no matter how good your math.The thing about selling to people who don’t buy what you sell is that they don’t buy what you sell. If they had a compelling need, they would already be buying. Some of the most receptive prospective clients you will ever meet will never buy. And some of the least interested prospects you call in will (eventually) spend enormous sums of money with you.Selling the IdeaThe conceptual sale takes longer and rarely produces big numbers. Making the conceptual sale is tough. If someone doesn’t have the belief that they need what you sell, it takes a lot of time to make your case convincingly. That time would be better spent with your dream clients who already understand why they need what you sell and how it benefits them.Avoiding What Is DifficultYou already know who your real targets are, you just wish selling was easier. One of the biggest reasons you want to sell to receptive prospects who don’t already purchase what your company provides is that it is simpler to call on responsive non-prospects then it is to call on unreceptive dream clients who already have a strategic partner that provides what you sell.Truth be told, the coldest dream clients on your list are the most important targets for you to pursue. The longer it takes you to begin calling on them, the longer it will take you to win their business. The sooner you begin to nurture those relationships and persist in your pursuit, the sooner you will have an opportunity. That opportunity will never present itself if you spend your time with unreceptive, unqualified, non-buyers.One final word about competitive displacements. Know that even if you are not aggressively trying to displace your competitors, they are competitively trying to replace you. Make no mistake about it, you are in the business of competitive displacement. Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Nowlast_img read more

My Digital Age Journal

first_imgI have always been jealous of people who keep journals. I’ve never maintained that discipline as well as I have wanted to. My handwriting is atrocious, making my written notes useless in the future (to write legibly, I print very slowly). Even though my typing form is ridiculously bad, I can type very fast, typing a couple thousand words an hour. It is legible and useful.To accommodate my need to keep a journal, meeting notes, book notes, my operating principles and work rules, a problem log, and a decision journal, I have moved this work to Airtable (Link to), a web-based relational database. The reason for doing so is because of the search functionality, with fields that serve as the equivalent of tags.Journals are no good unless you can refer to them later. The categorizing of entries and the ability to search for words makes a database with a huge, free-form text field an effective choice, even if it isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as a good journal.Because meeting notes are taken so that they can be reviewed and referred to later, the ability to locate them by date, person, client, or topic is functionality that is built into a database. I’ve started a database recently that I call Dunbar, after Dunbar’s number (the number 145, or the number of real relationships you can maintain, though I believe the outboard brain can help increase that number).I’ve recently added a database for books I have read and the notes I have taken, making it possible to search for a topic or keyword that shows up in any or all of the books whose notes have been captured there. Because I have slowed my reading preferring to go deep instead of wide, note-taking has been crucial to applying what I learn.The most important database I have built is a time tracking database I use to measure my time against my highest priorities. If you have never kept a time log, tracking where you spend (or invest) your time, doing so will provide you with serious insights into how you can improve your results. I’ve done this as a project to make improvements, but now I am doing as more of a diary.The reason we capture information is to use it in the future. What you don’t capture is often lost forever. That includes your thoughts, your feelings, your problems, your decisions, the books you’ve read, and the notes you’ve kept on people that are important to you. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Jat issue, SYL to stir up Haryana budget session

first_imgThe Haryana Assembly’s budget session, starting here on Monday, is likely to be stormy with the Opposition set to train its guns on the BJP government over various issues, including the ongoing Jat stir and the SYL canal.Governor’s address The session will commence with the address of Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, an official spokesman said on Saturday. The budget for 2017-2018 is likely to be presented on March 6 and the session is to continue till March 10, officials sources said.The Jat reservation issue is set to figure prominently in the session as the community members have been agitating for nearly a month in support of their various demands. Besides seeking quota in education and government jobs under the Other Backward Classescategory, their demands include the release of those jailed during last year’s stir, withdrawal of cases and government jobs for the kin of those killed and injured. The INLD and the Congress have come out in support of the Jats this time and have asked the government to meet their demands.SYL issue The Opposition is also set to raise the SYL canal issue. On Thursday, some INLD leaders led by Mr Chautala tried to march into Punjab to dig its portion of the SYL canal. However, the march was foiled by the Punjab Police. The INLD has maintained that the Supreme Court has given the order in favour of Haryana on the SYL and accused the State and Central governments of not doing anything to implement the decision. Besides, both the parties would seek reply on other issues like law and order situation and farmers.last_img read more

One month on, no end in sight to Darjeeling shutdown

first_imgWith seven dead, hundreds injured and public property worth crores set on fire, it has been a long violent month in the Darjeeling hills. On Saturday, the indefinite strike called in Darjeeling and Kalimpong on the demand for the creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland completed a month. Political observers say in the past three decades — since the setting up of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) in 1988 when the Left Front government was in power — the hills have not witnessed such a high pitched movement for a separate State. Rallies and protest marches in the hills, which are witnessing a near total shutdown, have on several occasions turned violent resulting in pitched battles between the Gorkhaland supporters and the police. Even though the Mamata Banerjee government has expressed willingness to hold talks with the political parties in the hills, it has ruled out any division of the State. The political parties in the hills, including the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), have ruled out talks with the State government and are keenly awaiting a call from the Centre. Centre’s silence With no solution in sight, even the Calcutta High Court has questioned the silence of the Centre on the issue. In an order issued by Acting Chief Justice Nisitha Mhatre and Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty on July 14, the Calcutta High Court raised questions on the role of the Centre. “The Central Government, it appears from its affidavit, has not bothered to ensure supply of essential goods to the districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong. This is indeed strange,” the order states. “When there is widespread turmoil and defiance in these two districts, which has been given wide publicity in the media, one wonders why the Central government has not bothered to ensure the supply of essential goods to the people of the two affected districts,” the judgment further adds. The Court asked the Centre to take a proactive stance and directed the deployment of four more CRPF companies.Among the stakeholders in Darjeeling hills, the discontent against the Centre is brewing. “We are dismayed by the silence of the Centre. There are rumblings among the members of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee ( GMCC) that this cannot go on for long,” Munish Tamang, national working president of the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisang, said. Brewing discontentMr. Tamang said more than the Mamata Banerjee government, which had never spoken in favour of Gorkhaland, protests should be directed at the ruling party at the Centre which won two elections in the hills by encouraging the idea of Gorkhaland. According to Mr. Tamang, the people of the hills were willing to endure hardship as long as the movement did not stray from its course. At this moment, there were no voices in the hills asking for an end to the strike. GMCC is a 30-member body comprising representatives of all political parties in the hills and social organisations to take forward the demand for Gorkhaland. Meanwhile, District Magistrate of Darjeeling Joyoshi Dasgupta said that in the district alone, public property worth over ₹7 crore had been destroyed. This included offices, buses, hydel power stations, health centres and panchayat offices and two heritage railway stations of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways.last_img read more

Talwars refuse remuneration for providing dental services, say authorities

first_img Jail Superintendent Dadhiram Maurya added that the amount would have been Rs 49,500.The Talwars have been attending to patients since November 2013, when they were put behind bars.Jail doctor Sunil Tyagi has said the Talwars have assured the authorities that they would visit the prison every 15 days to conduct check-ups on inmates.The Allahabad High Court in its verdict said neither the circumstances nor the evidence were enough to hold them guilty. Dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar have refused remuneration for their services to patients inside Dasna Jail, where they have been incarcerated since 2013 in connection with the Aarushi-Hemraj double murder case, jail officials said.The Talwars, who were acquitted by the Allahabad High Court on October 12 on charges of murdering their daughter Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj, are likely to be released in the afternoon.Also Read What the Allahabad High Court said while acquitting the Talwars Talwar couple likely to be released from Dasna jail on October 16  According to jail authorities, there has been a sudden rush of patients who are in a “hurry” to get their treatment done from them, the authorities said.The Talwars, waiting to walk out out of jail, perhaps to be virtually caged again inside the unrelenting media spotlight, have “refused to accept the remuneration” for the services rendered, said a jail official.Also Readlast_img read more

HC stays non-bailable warrant against AAP leader Sukhpal Khaira

first_imgThe Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday stayed the non-bailable warrant issued by Fazilka’s trial court against the Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly and senior Aam Aadmi Party Sukhpal Singh Khaira.Mr. Khaira had approached the High Court after non-bailable warrant was issued against him in a 2015 case of heroin smuggling as an accused by the court of Additional Sessions Judge Fazilka. Summons were issued after a lawyer had filed an application in the court of Additional Session Judge Sandeep Singh Joshan under section 319.In his petition, Mr. Khaira had challenged issuing of nob-bailable warrant, saying summoning him in a two-year-old case was politically motivated.While the High Court has stayed the operation of non-bailable warrant, it has allowed the proceedings of the trial court to continue. The matter is now listed for November 9, 2017.last_img read more

BJP leader lands in trouble as picture holding an AK-47 rifle goes viral

first_imgA leader of Jammu and Kashmir BJP unit landed in trouble after a photograph depicting him with an AK-47 Rifle went viral on social media, following which the party distanced itself from him.“He is not an active member of the party,” state BJP unit president Sat Sharma said.Ashish Sareen yesterday shared a photograph on his facebook account posing with an AK-47 rifle, which drew brickbats from netizens, while some demanded strong action against him. The photo was later deleted from his account. In his defence, Mr. Sareen said the two-month old picture was taken at a house in Srinagar and that the rifle in question belonged to a personal security officer (PSO) of his colleague.“The picture was uploaded by my brother and I apologise for it,” he said. The BJP state president Mr. Sharma said Mr. Sareen has not been an active member of the party since he took over the reins of the organisation two years ago.“The law must take its own course,” Mr. Sharma said reacting to the picture. Mr. Sareen, on his Facebook account, described himself as the vice-president of the BJP and the former state vice-president of the Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha. His profile picture shows him with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while in the cover picture he could be seen with Home Minister Rajnath Singh.Also, Mr. Sareen’s recent video shows him attempting to unfurl the National flag in Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar along with the Shiv Sena activists early this month.last_img read more

Overnight rain chokes Kolkata

first_imgTransport in Kolkata came to a near standstill on Thursday after bouts of heavy showers overnight led to waterlogging in several parts of the city. There were severe signalling disruptions in the metro service as well. The India Meteorological Department website on Thursday showed a record of 26.6 mm of rainfall as opposed to a normal rainfall of 9.9 mm around the time in Gangetic West Bengal, with Kolkata experiencing 36.6 mm rainfall while normal rainfall is in the region of 8.7 mm.Consistent rainfallWhile places such as Siliguri, Darjeeling, Bankura, Birbhum, Purulia and Hoogly are experiencing consistent rainfall with minor waterlogging, it was acute in Howrah and North 24 Parganas.Within Kolkata, commuters had a harrowing time in the heavy-traffic regions of Eastern-Metropolitan Bypass and the Taratala-Majerhat stretch of Diamond-Harbour Road, as well as in Salt Lake Sector V, Rajarhat New Town, Dum Dum Park, Park Street, Rajabazar and Amherst Street. The continuous rain that caused waterlogging inconvenienced office-goers and students with traffic snarls delaying their movement.A few city schools declared a holiday because of heavy rainfall and irregular transport services.“Most districts of West Bengal will receive light to moderate rainfall in the next 72 hours. Coastal districts, including Kolkata, shall witness heavy rainfall at isolated places. We urge all those who intend to travel to take adequate measures before stepping out,” a Regional Meteorological Centre officer told The Hindu.last_img read more

West Bengal intellectuals to protest exclusion of Indians from NRC

first_imgA section of intellectuals and prominent civil society members considered close to the Trinamool Congress would take to the streets here in protest against the alleged exclusion of Indian citizens from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. The announcement was made by a group of painters, poets and academics here on Friday.“We condemn the exclusion of genuine Indians from the NRC. We are considering not only protests but also a visit to Assam,” Shuvaprasanna, painter, told presspersons. He accused the BJP of being ignorant of Bengali sentiments, and said the group would announce its future course of action within 15 days.Subodh Sarkar, poet, described the situation in Assam following the publication of the draft NRC as “worse than that in Gujarat during the 2002 riots”.“I don’t support infiltration. But removal of Indian citizens from the NRC on flimsy grounds is unacceptable. We condemn such inhuman and illegal acts,” Mr. Sarkar said. He lauded Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s stand on the issue. Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, novelist, said that though infiltration in Assam was a “cause of concern in West Bengal”, it was wrong to remove Indian citizens from the NRC and label them as infiltrators. He did not attend the media conference but issued a written statement.Kalyan Rudra, river scientist and West Bengal Pollution Control Board Chairperson, described the NRC operations as “suspicious”.last_img read more

Two persons, who tested positive for Zika, die in M.P.

first_imgTwo persons, who tested positive for the Zika virus, died over the past 10 days in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal district, officials said on Tuesday, as the number people suffering from the disease mounted to 109 in the State. The deceased — an 18-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman — were suffering from the virus and other “serious” diseases. Therefore, it cannot be said they died due to Zika, they clarified. “We cannot say these deaths were due to the Zika virus as both the deceased suffered from multiple serious ailments, besides having tested (positive) for Zika,” a senior Health Ministry official said. The virus has infected 109 people, out of which 34 are pregnant women, the officials said. On November 5, an 18-year-old man died due to septic shock. He was suffering from dengue and encephalitis with brain herniation, besides being tested positive for the Zika virus, they said. In the second case, the 23-year-old woman, who also died due to septic shock, was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, besides the virus. She died in the first week of November, the officials said. Both the deaths were reported from the Bhopal district, the officials added.Over a 100 people have tested positive for the Zika virus in seven districts of the State. These include 44 cases from Bhopal, 20 from Sehore, 29 from Vidisha, two each from Sagar and Hoshangabad, and one each from Narsinghpur and Raisen.last_img read more

Tripura gets ₹85-crore mega food park

first_imgTripura on Wednesday received its first major investment after the BJP-led government came to power last year, with the inauguration of a ₹85-crore food park that is expected to generate employment for around 30,000 people, officials said. The food park is the 18th of its kind in the country and has been set up at Tulakona, near Agartala. Inaugurating the food park, Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said it would provide infrastructural facilities for food processing and allied industries along with the value chain from the farm market and centralised processing centres. Ms. Jyoti said in 2011, the Centre had given permission to open this mega food park in Tripura, but the previous Left Front government did not take any initiative. CM Biplab Kumar Deb said, “The project would generate direct and indirect employment for about 30,000 people in food processing, agriculture, etc.”last_img read more

Report tallies U.S. shutdown costs

first_img“Furloughed four out of five Nobel Prize-winning researchers currently employed by the Federal government. Three of the Laureates who were furloughed work at NIST, performing cutting edge research in physics that could have broad commercial applicability in areas such as advanced communications, cyber secu­rity, and computing. The fourth furloughed Laureate works at NASA on the new, much more capable, successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.” “Put on hold most Federal government support for new basic research, due to furloughs of 98 percent of NSF employees, nearly three quarters of the NIH, and two thirds of the CDC. For example, no new NSF grants or grant continua­tions were issued during the shutdown; on average, NSF issues about 765 grants and continuations in a two-week period.” “Cut back flu season surveillance and monitoring, as well as other public health monitoring. CDC cut back its annual flu vaccination campaign for a peri­od of time and suspended its weekly “Flu View” report, leaving local public health authorities without access to complete national flu season data for two weeks. CDC staff also discontinued analysis of surveillance and molecular epi­demiologic data to identify clusters of linked Hepatitis and Tuberculosis cases that cross State or local jurisdictional boundaries.” “Delayed efforts to combat invasive species that are endangering Great Lakes fisheries. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists were unable com­plete field-testing of a technology to prevent the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The window of opportunity to field test this technology was missed, due to cooling water temperatures, and testing will now be delayed for six months. Work was also delayed on other invasive species projects, includ­ing research on the spread of dangerous Africanized honeybees in the South­west, invasive grass species involved in intensifying wildfires, and white-nose bat syndrome impacting bats in national parks.” “Prevented the USGS from gathering and processing data on natural disas­ters. The USGS lost an opportunity to gather information on damage caused by the Colorado floods, including landslides, debris flows, and other activities. The loss of these data significantly reduces the ability of scientists and disaster re­sponse professionals to learn from these extreme events. The shutdown also im­pacted the capacity of the USGS to deliver information to states on potential pol­lution caused by record flooding in the South Platte River Basin.” “… NASA and NSF had to cancel their Antarctic-launched long-duration space science research missions for the year because NSF cannot reopen facilities in time to get research balloons off on schedule. The balloons are used as a platform for space science research into phenomenon such as cosmic rays and the Big Bang.” A new report from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget fills in a few more details on how last month’s 16-day U.S. government shutdown affected research. The 27-page tally of the shutdown’s costs, released yesterday, concludes that that disruption cost the government at least $2 billion in lost productivity and helped nudge up the nation’s unemployment rate.A few science-related excerpts (bold, italics, and underlining from the report):“During the 16-day shutdown, Federal government employees were furloughed for a combined total of 6.6 million days,” including 16,000 days at the National Science Foundation and 192,000 days at NASA.The shutdown:Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) “Stopped the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s operations at its facilities in Charlottesville, VA, Greenbank, WV, and Socorro, New Mexico, as well as 10 Very Long Baseline Array sites across the United States. During the shutdown, no new observations were made at these facilities, jeopardizing on­going projects, especially research requiring continuous data. Approximately 500 hours of observing time was lost at Green Bank Observatory; almost half of which was high frequency observing time that is seasonal and cannot be resched­uled. Over 600 hours of observing time were lost at the Very Large Array and Very Long Baseline Array.” Prevented the enrollment of patients in NIH Clinical Center studies. Alt­hough the hospital remained open for patients already enrolled in studies, NIH could not enroll new patients into current studies or start new studies during the shutdown, except for patients with life-threatening or urgent medical problems. During the shutdown, NIH admitted 25 patients, who had a life threatening or ur­gent medical problem, but seven clinical protocols that were scheduled to begin during the period of the shutdown were delayed. “Prevented access to state of the art instruments at NIST [the National Institutes of Standards and Technology] that researchers from the private sector and academia rely on. For example, access was denied to the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), impacting researchers from academia and industry who had scheduled experiments months in advance. Ap­proximately 70 experiments scheduled at the NCNR months in advance could not be performed. The financial loss due to lost beamtime was approximately $2 mil­lion.” Disrupted operations at the nation’s nuclear weapons laboratories. “Restoring normal operations at the National Nuclear Security Admin­istration can take more than a week and labs and plants are likely to have lost at least three weeks of mission work, or about 6 percent of the year’s productivity, due to the shutdown.”last_img read more

U.S. and Cuba Take Tentative Steps Toward Greater Marine Science Collaboration

first_imgAfter more than a year of preparation—and some last-minute visa hiccups—scientists and policymakers from the United States and Cuba met yesterday to discuss ways the two estranged nations can better collaborate on marine science and conservation.“We are neighbors,” says marine scientist David Guggenheim, president of the nonprofit organization Ocean Doctor and one of the pivotal players in organizing yesterday’s meeting in Washington, D.C. “Neighbors don’t always get along, but when something happens in your neighborhood, you have to find a way to rise up and work together.”Guggenheim has spent the past 14 years doing research in Cuba, which has not had formal diplomatic relations with the United States for some 50 years and is the subject of a U.S. trade embargo. Despite that breach, scientific research in the waters shared by the two countries has been one of the few areas of quiet cooperation. “We’ve worked for years without the U.S. government at the table,” Guggenheim says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In 2010, however, the Cuban government reached out to U.S. officials with the idea of forging a more formal agreement that would help facilitate collaboration in marine science. Yesterday’s meeting, which included Cuban and American scientists, government officials, a U.S. senator, and congressional staff, marks a step toward that goal, Guggenheim says. “[We] are on to the next page,” he says.At the meeting, which was hosted by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D–RI), a vocal advocate for ocean science, participants heard briefings on ongoing projects and discussed future possibilities. One topic: drafting a new bilateral agreement that would declare that working together is a priority for marine science and conservation, that it is in both countries’ national interests to do so, and that they will commit themselves to facilitating collaboration. A key part of the declaration would be aimed at making it easier for U.S. scientists to obtain licenses for their work from the U.S. government, which must approve cooperation with Cuba, and to make it easier for people and scientific equipment to move between the two nations.“Getting scientific equipment to Cuba is very challenging because of the embargo, but also because Cuba is on the [U.S.] list of terrorist nations,” Guggenheim says. Now, U.S. researchers obtain permission for a temporary export of equipment through the U.S. Department of Commerce and are expected to bring back all of their equipment—a task that can be problematic for items like disposable tracking tags placed on fish.Whitehouse will take the lead in drafting the declaration, Guggenheim says. Any deal is likely to ultimately need approval from the White House, sources say, perhaps through an executive order issued by the president, and a sign-off from senior officials at several departments.The group is also looking to set the stage for collaborative projects, including a proposal for an ocean “peace park,” such as the one established by Jordan and Israel in the Red Sea, or an international network of connected marine protected areas. Guggenheim also believes that having an agreement in place will make it easier to procure funding for projects in Cuba from philanthropic donors. And it could pave the way for an international exchange program to educate kids about marine science. “What we’ve tried to do is use marine science as a form of diplomacy,” Guggenheim says.The meeting came amid other signs of growing marine science links between the United States and Cuba. Late last week, the U.S. State Department invited Dr. Fabián Pina Amargós, director of Cuba’s Center for Coastal Ecosystems Research, to participate in a high-profile “Our Ocean” conference that Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting in June. According to Guggenheim, the invitation represents the first time a Cuban has been invited to such a U.S.-hosted event.As if to underscore the challenges facing U.S.-Cuba collaboration, yesterday’s meeting was supposed to have been held on 8 May—but had to be rescheduled after bureaucratic tangles prevented two Cuban researchers from receiving timely travel visas.last_img read more

Chimps Best Humans at Game Theory

first_imgAs tough as it is to admit, chimpanzees are just better at some things than humans are. Scientists have previously revealed that our closest ape cousins beat us handily at short-term memory skills. Now, researchers report that chimps are also better than humans in simple contests based on game theory—a form of mathematics that deals with figuring out the best strategy when faced with a competitive situation. In the current study, published this week in Scientific Reports, chimpanzees at the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute in Japan played a hide-and-seek computer game (as in the photo above; video here). Undergraduate students and West African villagers also competed separately; no speaking was allowed. Both human and ape gamesters sat facing away from each other; their job was to predict their opponent’s move. Chimpanzee winners were rewarded with apple cubes, while humans were given money. Game theorists have determined that there’s a limit to how often the game can be won—even if both players are making the best possible strategic moves. That limit is called the Nash equilibrium, after the Nobel Prize–winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. The chimpanzees trumped the humans. They learned the game faster than their human counterparts and performed in line with the Nash equilibrium—hitting the theoretical benchmark. Chimpanzees, the researchers say, may be particularly good at the game because of their excellent short-term memories and talents for pattern recognition and rapid visual assessment. In the wild, the apes are also highly competitive, vying for dominance. Humans, on the other hand, are more cooperative.last_img read more

500-million-year-old creature was on the way to evolving jaws

first_imgFossils unearthed in southwestern Canada in 2012 are providing new insights into one of the world’s oldest known vertebrates, as well as the evolution of their jaws. The creature, dubbed Metaspriggina walcotti (artist’s reconstruction above), was previously known only from two very fragmentary fossils discovered almost a century ago and first described in 1993. Of the hundred or so new specimens taken from several sites boasting rocks between 500 million and 515 million years old, the largest are about 6 centimeters long (thumb-sized) but the body proportions of some incomplete fossils hint that the creatures might have grown somewhat larger. The most complete and best preserved fossils include impressions of eyes, muscle groups, and the supports for gills, the researchers report online today in Nature. Analyses haven’t yet noted any remnants of fins, but the eyes of this active swimmer were large and prominent. A small but sharp-edged circular area in each eye hints that the eyes of these ancient fish included a lens, a relatively modern feature for its era. More significant, though, are details of the curved structures supporting the creature’s gills. The arrangement of these paired structures foreshadows that seen in fish that evolved much later, and the slightly thicker dimensions of the foremost pair of gill supports may reveal the first steps in the evolution of jaws. Detailed analyses place Metaspriggina near the base of the vertebrate family tree and certainly among the earliest fish, the team suggests.last_img read more

Gene turns mosquito into vampire

first_imgOut of the millions of species of insects, only about a hundred suck human blood. Now, scientists say they’ve figured out how one mosquito became a vampire: a gene that makes it particularly sensitive to human odor.This is one of the few situations in which researchers have pinned down a gene underlying a complex behavior, and their results may point the way to thwarting this potentially deadly insect. “The more we can understand about how mosquitoes sense human odors, the better we will be at designing repellents and baits,” says Carolyn McBride, the evolutionary neurobiologist at Princeton University who led the work.Curious about how insects developed a taste for humans, McBride focused her efforts on the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which has spread worldwide. The insect, which passes on the dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya viruses, lives side by side with a very close relative along the coast of Kenya. The relative—known as A. aegypti formosus, or “forest form” of A. aegypti—buzzes through forests, doesn’t attack humans, and lays its eggs in water in tree holes and rock pools. The domestic form, A. aegypti aegypti, meanwhile, thrives in homes, laying eggs in water containers. The domestic and forest forms can interbreed, but for the most part they avoid each other.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)McBride confirmed another intriguing difference between the two insects. When she and colleagues brought them back to the lab, they found that the forest mosquito preferred to dine on guinea pigs, whereas its domestic cousin liked humans.The team compared the activity of all the genes in the antennae of the two forms. There were many differences and one gene that was much more active in the domestic mosquito: Or4, which codes for an odor receptor. The researchers plugged Or4 into fruit fly nerve cells that lack the Or4 receptor and tested which odors the nerve cell could pick up on that it couldn’t before. The strongest response was to an odor molecule called sulcatone, McBride and her colleagues report online today in Nature. Many organisms release sulcatone, but humans reek of it, producing four times the amount the researchers found in live chickens or in horse, cow, and sheep hair. In guinea pigs, this odor was undetectable.When the scientists took at closer look at the Or4 gene, they found that its sequence varied in the two types of Kenyan mosquitoes. The gene comes in seven different versions, three of which predominate in the human-biters. Thus, human-biting mosquitoes have distinct versions of the gene and make a lot more of its odor-sensing protein than do the forest mosquitoes.”The paper is well designed, and the experiments lead us nicely from demonstrable behavioral differences right the way through to the identification of a gene which may be associated with such differences,” says James Logan, an entomologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who was not involved with the work.“To present such a convincing case for a single gene being the causative factor is rare,” adds Jeffrey Powell, an evolutionary geneticist at Yale University, who was not involved with the work. Although there are likely to be other factors involved in human preference, “it seems the one identified is a, if not the, major factor,” he says.According to Logan, A. aegypti is not controlled by bed nets or insecticides, yet spreads serious diseases such as dengue fever. The work, he says, “could have important implications for mosquito control measures in the future,” for example in helping develop new baits or repellents.last_img read more