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Cleaner air, better lungs

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first_img Read Full Story Reducing air pollution was associated with increased lung function in children ages 11 to 15, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The new findings suggest that it’s important to continue efforts to improve air quality, say two Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health professors who wrote an editorial accompanying the study.“Some have argued that the substantial improvements in air quality over the past 40 years are sufficient to protect public health and that there is little evidence to support more stringent standards,” wrote Douglas Dockery, John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Environmental Epidemiology and chair of the Department of Environmental Health, and James Ware, Frederick Mosteller Professor of Biostatistics and associate dean for clinical and translational science. “However, the current report and other studies suggest that further improvement in air quality may have beneficial public health effects.”In a March 4, 2015 New York Times article, Dockery noted, “If there is an opportunity to improve air quality, we should think about those types of improvements to benefit our kids.”last_img read more

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Study classifies depression risk factor as contagious

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first_imgThings that are contagious: laughter, yawning, sneezing, the common cold. And now somewhere on that list you’ll find cognitive vulnerability. A recent study by Notre Dame psychology professor Gerald Haeffel, published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, found that a risk factor for depression known as ‘cognitive vulnerability’ can be passed from one individual to another. Haeffel said cognitive vulnerability is essentially a style of thinking about events and personal reflection, not to be confused with the mood of depression itself. Cognitive vulnerability can be a powerful predictor of future depressive episodes, he said. “To give an example, say two people both fail a test here. The college student who is at risk for depression will think, ‘This means I’m stupid, or worthless, I’m never going to get into grad school now,’ and when they’re sad, they just focus on this,” Haeffel said. “They’re stuck on ‘I feel so sad, why do I feel so miserable, what’s wrong with me?’ That’s the person who’s at risk for depression.” Haeffel said.   “Whereas another student who gets the same failing grade might think ‘I didn’t work hard enough, I’ll work harder on the next one. I’ll catch up, I’ll be fine, I’ll still get into grad school,’” he said.  “And when they feel sad, they go and play basketball or go play a sport or do whatever. That person’s not at risk for depression.” Haeffel said conventional wisdom in the psychology field has held that cognitive vulnerability in individuals remains relatively stable throughout life, past adolescence. “We thought that there were going to be times when it might change. These would be times during major life transitions, times when you go into a new social environment where you’re surrounded by new people who have all new ways of thinking,” Haeffel said. “We thought that [in these times] it might rub off and actually be contagious.” To investigate this hypothesis, Haeffel said he and Jennifer Hames, a 2009 graduate of Notre Dame, conducted a study on 103 pairs of randomly assigned freshman roommates at the University. Haeffel surveyed the students on the two aspects of cognitive vulnerability – event interpretation and self-reflection – when the freshmen first arrived, three months later, and at the end of the academic year, six months later. Haeffel found that those who had a roommate with a negative way of thinking about the world caught some of that style and became more negative in their own thinking. At the final survey, those who had their cognitive vulnerability adversely influenced were at a significantly greater risk for depression. “This is the first study to show that these can change more easily than you thought,” Haeffel said. “In three months, we saw changes in vulnerability that then actually meant something for future depressive symptoms.” Haeffel emphasized that these findings on the relative malleability of cognitive vulnerability have implications in treatment of depression. He said those suffering from the disorder could benefit greatly from a treatment such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on how individuals think about events and themselves. “If people are struggling with depression, we always hear on the news that the best treatments are medication,” Haeffel said. “But this therapy is as effective as medication and it’s time-limited so you don’t have to take it your whole life. It also has a relapse-prevention effect, unlike medication. “You learn the skills and it keeps you safe from depression in the future, which tends to be highly recurrent.” Contact Henry Gens at [email protected]last_img read more

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‘White Robin’ Peaches

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first_img It may be three or four years before you see White Robin peaches at your favorite market, though. Krewer said it takes that long for the new trees to begin bearing fruit in large quantities. Anyone who wants the new trees for commercial or home orchards should order soon. “The Tennessee nurseries that bud and raise the trees don’t have spare trees,” Krewer said. “They bud for the orders they have. So it’s important to order ahead.” Its name sounds like an exotic bird. And “White Robin,” a newly released peach variety, could become a sign of spring in south Georgia, said a University of Georgia scientist. “This new variety is perfect for south Georgia peach orchards,” said Gerard Krewer, an Extension Service horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.UGA, the University of Florida and the U.S. Department of Agriculture jointly named and released the new variety. It was developed at the Attapulgus Research Farm, near the Florida state line in Georgia. Download the .TIF file Krewer said White Robin is a white-fleshed, semifreestone peach with good size (about 2 3/8 inches diameter) and a nice red skin.”This peach has a sweet flavor that’s a little different from yellow peaches,” he said. “It’s hard to describe its exact flavor, but it’s very tasty.” Two of White Robin’s best features are its relatively low chilling requirement and its firmness. Krewer said those features make it an ideal variety for south Georgia and north Florida home or commercial orchards.center_img Download the .TIF file. “White Robin needs only 500 chilling hours (below 45 degrees) to produce a good crop,” he said. “Some of our midstate-grown varieties need 800 or more hours. We often don’t get that many chill hours in south Georgia.” Its firmness is a plus for commercial growers, making White Robin a good shipping peach. Krewer said growers can ship White Robin with little bruising before it gets to mid-Atlantic Coast destinations. Another plus is its early-season ripeness — usually sometime in May. Krewer said this gets Georgia peaches to markets before other white peaches grown farther north. That helps Georgia farmers capture the best prices for their fruit. Tom Beckman, a USDA fruit researcher in Byron, Ga., said White Robin fills a niche in the peach season. “This peach comes in at a time when no other white-fleshed peaches are available,” he said. “It’s really a specialty peach.” Beckman hopes to see growers keep the fruit close to home. Like many other fruits, White Robin is best when tree-ripened. But long shipping distances force growers to pick before the fruit is really ripe. “If growers keep the fruit close, say their local farmers’ market or specialty grocery store, they can leave it on the tree longer,” he said. “That results in riper, and sweeter, peaches.” White Robin peaches were developed mainly for fresh markets. “They’ve got a different flavor than yellow-flesh peaches,” Beckman said. “Krewer and I have tried to describe them, but you just have to taste them to understand.”last_img read more

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Government Evacuates Venezuelan Prison after Fatal Prison Riot

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first_imgBy Dialogo January 29, 2013 An urban prison located in northeastern Venezuela was evacuated on January 27, after a fatal prison riot in which 58 people were killed and dozens were injured according to medical sources, the government informed. Venezuelan penitentiaries are known for unsanitary conditions, overcrowding, and violence, and in several cases they are controlled by heavily armed gangs of prisoners that belong to criminal organizations and constantly generate confrontations between inmates. “The evacuation of convicts in Uribana prison has concluded. Now, we aim at reconstruction,” Minister of Penitentiary Affairs Iris Varela, who has not submitted an official statement yet, said in her Twitter account. “Last group of prisoners found during the first inspection in Uribana!” the minister posted in the social network, and uploaded a photo that showed several inmates with military officers. The minister reported the decision of completely evicting Uribana penitentiary, an operation that was finally carried out “peacefully” in the early morning of January 27, and in which inmates did not resist. “All of them are leaving the premises, without resisting. They are leaving in an orderly way, they wait patiently, then we pat them down, we examine them(…) and we determine which prisons they have to go to,” Varela told state television station VTV in the early morning. Furthermore, she indicated that “a deep inspection” will be performed now on the premises before its reconstruction, and so that prisoners can return. On January 25, an inspection aimed at finding weapons in Uribana caused a group of inmates to start a prison riot. The convicts “attacked National Guard members,” according to the minister’s initial statements. There were 58 victims and 90 injured, who have already been discharged from the Antonio María Pineda Central Hospital, informed Ruy Medina, head of the hospital who was in charge of handling the emergency. On January 25, Venezuelan Vice President Nicolás Maduro ordered an investigation of the prison riot, considered one of the most violent episodes in the history of the country’s penitentiaries in recent decades.last_img read more

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Transform gut-based guesses into data-driven decisions

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first_imgWant to realize the benefits that come from tapping into a new market?  Look no farther than your onboarding strategy.Strategic onboarding plans are one of the most effective sales strategies for credit unions. It improves engagement, share of wallet, retention and ultimately the entire value of a relationship.  The challenge of an effective onboarding campaign is the relatively short time period credit union staff have to execute.The first 90 days are critical in forming cross-product relationships with your new members.  This is the “honeymoon phase” – the time they are most open to learning about the advantages of all your products, not just the one that brought them through the door.  The key to meeting the challenge of this compressed timeframe is a data-driven, focused approach to get your newest members engaged quickly.There are three distinct phases of an effective onboarding strategy:First 30 Behavior CollectionCross-SellingPerformance MeasuringEach phase has a specific purpose that will leverage the quality of touch points you have with your members.  Every interaction within these phases will work to create trust, building the foundation of a long-term partnership.Phase One: First 30 Behavior Collection This first phase is essentially a study period. That said, you don’t want to simply sit back and watch. Outreach is critically important when a member is brand new.During the first 30 days, you’ll collect the behavioral data of new members. The goal is to use that data to develop an interaction model for the cross-selling stage. Take, for example, a new member who opens a checking account. You’ll collect information on the number and types of debit transactions he initiates within his first month. While simplistic, this data collection is essential to building a model for the next phase.In addition to a good foundation of behavior data, the success of your next phase depends on the interaction you establish in these critical first 30 days. The importance of reaching out to new members to make sure they feel welcome and “at home” with your credit union can’t be overstated. Outreach may include a welcome call via call centers/ credit union representative, direct mail, welcome kit after 10 days, a welcome email introducing your credit union’s brand, vision or initiatives and/or a feedback call at the end of the 30-day period.Phase Two: Cross-Selling During this phase, you’ll identify and promote “next up” products and services. These are the solutions that best match the needs you’ve identified based on your member’s first 30 days.  With a simple statistical model, you can determine not only the best product, but also the appropriate number of touch points for the next 60 days.You’ll also be working to identify triggers – action or activity that signals a member’s readiness to apply or sign up for a new product. A trigger may be, for example, unusual deposit activity in the checking account. You may find this particular trigger signals a need for a savings account or CD. Most predefined triggers can be used in cross-selling for up to 90 days.The cross-selling phase can also be extended to your existing members. This can be especially effective for credit unions that may not have marketed to this audience for a significant length of time.This approach ensures maximum services are sold, which leads to greater revenue while building a loyal base. The cross-selling phase can be divided into two sub-phases:1. Determining Likelihood of ResponseUsing data from the First 30 Behavior Collection phase, such as credit limits, number of transactions, original balance, etc., credit unions can determine the likelihood of each member’s positive response to a sales initiative. This allows marketing teams to categorize members into groups and set appropriate marketing dollars aside for each. Those least likely to respond are marketed to at a different level (if at all) than those who are most likely to respond.2. Identifying the Best Next ProductBy analyzing the order in which products have been purchased by similar members of the credit union, you can predict how your new members will engage. This is known as sequence analysis.For example, if the opening product was a car loan, the next best product might be a checking account, followed by a rewards credit card. In this example, each of the promotional pieces designed to trigger an application would also include marketing of “stickier” products, such as mortgage loans.Phase Three: Performance MeasuringA great strategy is only as good as its results. Measurement is essential to not only understanding what worked and what didn’t; it also helps you recalibrate.If your onboarding strategy has not produced the desired outcomes for a set of members, start by identifying new decision rules. After that, repeat the first two phases of your onboarding strategy.Recalibration is most effective when based on at least 90 days of member engagement data, so don’t give up on your strategy too soon. Give it time to work before determining a re-do is in order.Effective onboarding uses your marketing and sales dollars strategically to create bottom line growth.  But, like so many other areas of your product portfolio, you must understand the triggers and inclinations of your members to introduce them to the best next product.  Without this knowledge, you are simply guessing at the next cross-selling opportunity.  Isn’t it time to turn those gut-based guesses into data-driven decisions with the information right at your fingertips? 35SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Suchit Shah Suchit Shah is the COO of CU Rise Analytics, a Virginia-based CUSO. CU Rise helps credit unions that want to focus their time and resources on the most advantageous strategies … Web: www.cu-rise.com Detailslast_img read more

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How to build a third party cyber risk management program

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first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Modern integrated business processes have dramatically expanded the attack surface of organizations in all industries. Institutions can no longer ignore the risk presented by vendors or other business partners, especially with regulatory bodies pushing for formal risk management of vendors and third parties. Assessing cyber risk adds to this challenge. It is one thing to make sure your organization is ready to deal with evolving threats- it is even more difficult to ensure your third parties are also prepared.So, how can credit unions start evaluating the cyber risk associated with their vendors? More importantly, how can credit unions make this process efficient and cost-effective?Using the right tools and techniques, those in charge of security and risk can drastically reduce third party cyber risk even if it’s not their primary responsibility. Below are four tips on how to save time and money in this process: Tier Your Third PartiesSome of your third parties have access to sensitive data that could compromise your employees and customer base. However, it’s likely that many others only have access to nonsensitive data. Identify your most important third parties and spend the most time assessing their security programs. Most organizations use a three or four-tier system. continue reading »last_img read more

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Governor Wolf Orders Flags At Half-Staff in Honor of Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance

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first_img Flag Order,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today ordered all United States and Pennsylvania flags at the Capitol Complex and at Commonwealth facilities statewide lowered to half- staff on Friday, September 11 in honor of Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance.Today Governor Wolf spoke at the Flight 93 memorial:“What happened in New York City, Washington D.C., and here in Shanksville on this day fourteen years ago changed our world.“We will never forget what happened on Flight 93 and the passengers and crew who made a huge difference in the course of our history. The terrible tragedy that would have taken place had Flight 93 gone where the hijackers wanted it to go must continue to haunt us.“The actions of the passengers and crew of Flight 93 taught us that we are – each one of us – capable of doing remarkably selfless and heroic things.“What they did saved countless lives. And what they did told us all a great deal about the potential nobility that lies within each of us.“Today, we remember what they did on September 11, 2001. And we will be forever grateful. Thank you.”All Pennsylvanians are invited to participate in this tribute.# # # Governor Wolf Orders Flags At Half-Staff in Honor of Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance September 11, 2015center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Weekly Update: Improving Health Care Solutions for Pennsylvanians, Highlighting Economic and Workforce Development Initiatives, Announcing New Jobs

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first_imgWeekly Update: Improving Health Care Solutions for Pennsylvanians, Highlighting Economic and Workforce Development Initiatives, Announcing New Jobs November 09, 2017 Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Reminder to all Pennsylvanians that it’s not just a safety precaution to stop for school buses, it’s the law — and one that keeps our kids safe, particularly as the days grow darker. https://t.co/881TvVKQuC— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) November 8, 2017center_img The Blog,  Weekly Update Ensuring that Pennsylvanians have affordable and quality health care is a top priority for Governor Wolf. This week, the governor reminded Pennsylvanians that open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is happening now until December 15.On Thursday, Governor Wolf spoke at the Geisinger National Health Symposium to highlight health care issues that affect the commonwealth and the solutions that are improving the wellbeing of Pennsylvanians. The governor detailed his administration’s work to combat the opioid epidemic, Pennsylvania’s process of legalizing medical marijuana, and the state’s current work to finalize Community HealthChoices for seniors.Last week, the Wolf Administration launched the Medical Marijuana Patient and Caregiver Registry. On Wednesday, Governor Wolf announced that 3,800 patients and more than 200 caregivers have registered for the medical marijuana program in the week since the registry was launched.On Monday, Governor Wolf announced the expansion of Highwood USA in Hazelton, a move that will create 58 new jobs in the area, On Friday, the governor participated in “A Conversation with the Governor” hosted by the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. Governor Wolf highlighted his administration’s accomplishments supporting economic development and workforce training.“We’ve worked hard to make Pennsylvania a better place to build and grow a business, a better place to get a thorough and efficient education, a better place to live and work, a better place to grow old, and a better place to grow your family,” said Governor Wolf. “I am incredibly proud of these accomplishments, which will make a difference for people and communities across Pennsylvania, and I am also proud of the work we’ve done to support our local businesses and to strengthen our regional economies.Governor Wolf’s Week, November 5 – November 11, 2017Monday, 11/6/17Governor Wolf Orders Flags at Half-Staff to Honor the Victims of the Shooting in Sutherland Springs, TexasGovernor Wolf Reminds Pennsylvanians of Affordable Care Act Open EnrollmentGovernor Wolf Announces Expansion of Highwood USA, Creation of 58 New JobsTuesday, 11/7/17Governor Wolf Reminds Consumers of Availability of Federal Funding for the Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP)Governor Wolf Statement on PSP Corporal Shot in Northampton CountyWednesday, 11/8/17Wolf Administration Wins Federal Grant for Corrections and Parole Crisis Intervention TrainingGovernor Wolf Announces Medical Marijuana Program Patient Registry Reaches 3,800 in First WeekThursday, 11/9/17Governor Wolf Urges Meehan and Kelly to Vote No on Disastrous GOP Tax PlanGovernor Wolf Discusses Addressing the State’s Opioid Epidemic, Improving Health Care at National Health SymposiumWolf Administration Teams with PUC and Utilities to Highlight Efforts to Grow Veterans in the Utility WorkforceGovernor Wolf Participates in “A Conversation with the Governor” at Greater Scranton Chamber of CommerceHighlights from TwitterStates need Washington to be an ally in fighting this epidemic — the lives of too many Pennsylvanians are at stake. Thank you @SenBobCasey for standing up for the PA families battling this crisis. https://t.co/OYvvL0di7K— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) November 8, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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The damage pornography did to a six-year-old child

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first_imgStuff co.nz 7 February 2016Walker, who is now a respected director of sex education programmes for young people in Australia, warns that there are children whose brains are being rewired by their exposure to porn, whose whole understanding of sex is porn, and who think it is OK to be abusive to women.To facilitate an open conversation between parents and primary school children about explicit images they may have seen, Walker has written a book called Not For Kids! which will be launched at the UNSW Pornography and Harms To Children and Young People seminar on Tuesday.“I know what it’s like as a six-year-old to see stuff and think I’m going to get in trouble if I talk about it,” Walker said.“We already have a generation of kids who view degrading violent sex as the norm – devoid of connection, intimacy and love. If somebody doesn’t speak out soon we are staring down the barrel of tomorrow’s sex offenders and a barrage of intimate partner violence.”The Senate is currently holding an inquiry into the harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet.Australian Childhood Foundation chief executive Dr Joe Tucci​ said the easy accessibility of graphic pornography is “creating a generation of children that has a range of problems with sexual behaviour”.Tucci, who will also speak at the UNSW seminar, said children as young as six are being exposed to online porn, either by accident, as part of a grooming process, or by friends or older siblings. “They are too young to understand what it means,” he said.READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/life/76656458/the-damage-pornography-did-to-a-sixyearold-childlast_img read more

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Sixty-three teachers complete ICT training workshop

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first_img Share 106 Views   one comment Share Tweet Sharecenter_img EducationLocalNewsPrimarySecondary Sixty-three teachers complete ICT training workshop by: – July 20, 2012 Participants of the workshop. Over sixty educators are better prepared to impart knowledge on information communication technology to their students having successfully completed a workshop organized by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development.Four Canadian teachers; Bev Knutson Shaw, Shelley Friesen, Darlene Hubber, and Joni Turville as well as Dominican Corazon Durand facilitated this two week workshop for sixty three (63) educators.The teachers were encouraged by Senior Planning Officer in the Ministry of Education, Ted Serrant to use the tools which they were exposed in the workshop to make the learning experience for their students a “fun” one. “I am sure that your students will look forward to what you have learnt in the coming weeks and our prayer is that we will begin to see some of the tools that you’ve used, or been exposed to, over those two weeks, used in your classroom”.He implored them further that the information and skills which they received could be beneficial in their “personal and also professional development”.Serrant noted however, that in order for the teachers to “really rip the benefits” of the workshop experience, it is imperative that they “continue to explore” ICT tools.“Find a computer wherever you can find one; if you can afford, buy one, there are a number of them in public places around here. It is essential that you find those computers, those other tools and that you continue what you have learnt, that you actually utilize what you have learnt, because as you learn you become more comfortable, and you also develop and appreciate the power and capacity of those tools for working smartly, but also becoming proficient as its use”.Chief Education Officer, Stephenson Hyacinth, complimented the teachers for their commitment towards the teaching profession and their excellence in teaching.“We need to be proud of our teachers in Dominica. After having gone through a challenging year, a year of ups and downs, many things that happened during the year that you did not really expect, the unforeseen circumstances that you had to deal with, and when you are given some vacation you’re asked that you need to attend an ICT workshop. Some of you I guess may have frowned, some of you may have said again, but nevertheless you showed your commitment to the teaching service of Dominica by attending this workshop for the past two weeks and I need to compliment you for your great effort”.He stated further that their participation in the workshop demonstrates their “commitment to teaching, commitment to the children of Dominica, commitment to building an education system that is characterized by excellence”. According to Hyacinth, these workshops are part of the Ministry of Education’s vision that every child can succeed.“We in the Ministry of Education have adopted the vision that every child can succeed and workshops like these help us to achieve that vision, because I am certain that the things you have learnt here will impact upon teaching and learning processes at our schools in the new school year”. One of the Canadian facilitators also complimented the teachers for their ability to use limited resources to teach their students.[nggallery id= 204] Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring!last_img read more

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