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Refrigerants, Naturally! wins Roy Award

first_imgThe Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) announced March 24 that the 2011 Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership will be given to Refrigerants, Naturally!, an alliance of corporations substituting environmentally harmful fluorinated gases (“F-gases,” such as CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs) with natural refrigerants in their commercial refrigeration installations. Natural refrigerants are climate- and ozone-friendly gases that exist naturally in the biosphere such as ammonia, carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons.The award is presented every two years to celebrate an outstanding public-private partnership project that enhances environmental quality through the use of novel and creative approaches. It will be presented to the recipients at an HKS event later this spring.Refrigerants, Naturally! brings together four high-profile private companies — Coca-Cola Company, McDonald’s, Unilever, and PepsiCo — and two international environmental organizations — Greenpeace and the United Nations Environment Programme — to combat climate change and ozone layer depletion by developing natural refrigeration technologies that are safe, reliable, affordable, and energy efficient.For more information on Refrigerants, Naturally! and the award.last_img read more


Data Analytics and Cloud Native Apps: Essential for Digital Transformation

first_imgToday’s customers interact with businesses like never before.   Whether they’re on online or using a mobile app, customers have come to expect services that are always available, with real-time updates based on changing dynamics and intelligent interactions.   If you deliver anything less, you run the risk of losing customers to competitors, who are more than willing to cater to these expectations. Applications are the new face of how businesses interact, engage, win and maintain their customers.So, how can businesses better understand what their customers really want?Businesses of all kinds are using data analytics to better understand demand, predict expectations and tailor products and services to meet the ever changing demands of customers.  By using large quantities of data and tapping into external data sources, organizations can uncover hidden patterns and insights that reveal new and even disruptive business models.   If applications are the new face of business, data analytics are the insights that can reveal new opportunities for better engaging with customers through intelligent data-driven applications.Pairing data analytics with cloud native app development offers the potential to take the customer experience and your business to new levels.   Cloud native apps are built on the concept of a continuous delivery of micro-services, allowing updates to be made quickly and often, for constant refinement of the customer experience.   It’s the winning combination that high performing businesses in industries of all kinds are embracing to provide enhanced customer experiences – something made clear by our recently released Digital Transformation Index.There’s virtually an app for anything – mobile banking, insurance, airline flights, train services, navigation, music and even wine just to name a few. For example, mobile banking apps allow customers to snap a picture of a check and deposit into their account eliminating the need to drive to the bank- perfect for the busy schedules of todays’ consumers. Insurance apps allow policy holders to get quotes, view and report claims in minutes – making the whole process faster and easier than ever before. Another app allows consumers to take a picture of a wine label and rate the wine. It rolls up the ratings from all users to score the wines and generates recommendations for other wines with similar characteristics. Another app that’s very helpful when driving is an interactive traffic and navigation app that tracks your route and allows drivers to share accident, road hazards and speed traps in near real-time to better navigate increasingly congested roads and highways.These apps and literally thousands like them – are at the forefront of the evolution of workloads that are driving the future of data analytics. Whether your business has been around for years or relatively new, together cloud-native apps and analytical insights can help you reach customers like never before and build brand loyalty for continued growth.As customers use these apps, more data is generated about how they use them and their buying patterns. Even greater value can be derived when this data is applied back into the analytics process to enrich intelligent applications and provide even greater insights.   This virtuous cycle where organizations are gathering the right data, feeding it into analytical models in context and taking action on those insights, provides the ideal process for gaining a competitive advantage and transforming your organization into a digital driven business. The faster organizations can move through this cycle enhances their ability to identify and monetize new business opportunities for attracting new and maintaining existing customers like never before.Dell EMC feels so strongly about this combination of analytics and apps that we’ve recently announced Analytic Insights Module.   It’s been engineered to combine self-service data analytics with cloud-native application development into a single cloud platform.   Learn more about Analytic Insights Module and how it can help your business.last_img read more


New Study Finds Wearing Masks Are The Best Way To Reduce COVID-19 Spread

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Photo: PexelsNEW YORK – Masks seem to be the most effective way to reduce person-to-person spread of COVID-19, according to a new study published Thursday.Researchers in Texas and California looked at infection rates in Italy and New York before and after face masks became mandatory.Both places saw a slower spread of the virus once those measures were in place.The study found that wearing a mask prevented more than 7,800 infections in Italy between April 6 and May 9. In New York, masks prevented more than 6,600 infections between April 17 and May 9.Scientists say face coverings block aerosols and droplets to prevent airborne transmissions of the virus.Although social distancing, isolation, and hand sanitizing can minimize contact transmission, they don’t protect against airborne transmission.last_img read more


Canola Bounces Back

first_imgIn the year-to-year gamble with their crops, farmers win some and lose some. But theyalways learn something.”I’d say this was a terrible year for growing canola,” said John Woodruff, anagronomist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. “But we’ve gotten a lot of newinformation about how the crop reacts under certain weather conditions in Georgia.”Woodruff, farmers and other UGA specialists and researchers teamed up to learn aboutgrowing canola. After more than five years of research, Georgia farmers have planted thecrop commercially for about six years.Farmers grow canola for its valuable seeds, which are crushed for their oil. Pricesthis year have topped $6 per bushel, and Woodruff expects prices to rise slightly into1997.Light in color and flavor, canola oil is very low in saturated fats and ischolesterol-free. Many people now prefer it for cooking.Canola meal, left after the seeds are crushed for oil, provides an excellent proteinsource for livestock.”People around the world are virtually standing in lineto buy this crop,” Woodruff said. “We’re working to help Georgia farmers fill that market.”Woodruff figures Georgia farmers could plant up to 200,000 acres to canola. Evenfiguring conservatively, that could mean nearly $50 million to the state economy everyyear.This year, though, that figure will be much less.Unusually cold weather in December, February and March damaged canola across the state.The crop was particularly hard-hit between Statesboro and Augusta.Woodruff said many farmers lost their crops in a hard December freeze, and many whosefields survived then thought their crop was gone after early March brought another deepfreeze.”In most of the damaged fields, we estimated losses at20 percent to 60 percent,” he said. “But we saw some fields with damage or lossof 90 percent or more.”Some farmers decided to harrow up their fields and plant another high-value crop. Corn,small grains and cotton were all bringing high prices, and many farmers chose to plantthem.But since canola is fairly new to the Southeast, farmers and researchers weren’t sure how or if it couldrecover from such damage. As it turns out, much of the canola wasn’t killed. It just froze down to the ground. Certain varieties storefood in the plant’s roots and use it to recover from severe damage, Woodruff said.A”We’re seeing plants now that produced axillary stems at the base of theplant,” he said. “Those stems then grew, flowered and are now producingharvestable seeds.”The plants recovered well enough to produce 20 to 35 bushels per acre (40 percent to 80percent of a normal yield). The unusually cool March and April, Woodruff said, helped theplants rebound.”This year taught us a lot about canola,” Woodruff said. “The more we learn, the morewe have to base sound management and financial decisions on in the future.”In the year-to-year gamble with their crops, farmers win some and lose some. But theyalways learn something.”I’d say this was a terrible year for growing canola,” said John Woodruff, anagronomist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. “But we’ve gotten a lot of newinformation about how the crop reacts under certain weather conditions in Georgia.”Woodruff, farmers and other UGA specialists and researchers teamed up to learn aboutgrowing canola. After more than five years of research, Georgia farmers have planted thecrop commercially for about six years.Farmers grow canola for its valuable seeds, which are crushed for their oil. Pricesthis year have topped $6 per bushel, and Woodruff expects prices to rise slightly into1997.Light in color and flavor, canola oil is very low in saturated fats and ischolesterol-free. Many people now prefer it for cooking.Canola meal, left after the seeds are crushed for oil, provides an excellent proteinsource for livestock.”People around the world are virtually standing in lineto buy this crop,” Woodruff said. “We’re working to help Georgia farmers fill that market.”Woodruff figures Georgia farmers could plant up to 200,000 acres to canola. Evenfiguring conservatively, that could mean nearly $50 million to the state economy everyyear.This year, though, that figure will be much less.Unusually cold weather in December, February and March damaged canola across the state.The crop was particularly hard-hit between Statesboro and Augusta.Woodruff said many farmers lost their crops in a hard December freeze, and many whosefields survived then thought their crop was gone after early March brought another deepfreeze.”In most of the damaged fields, we estimated losses at20 percent to 60 percent,” he said. “But we saw some fields with damage or lossof 90 percent or more.”Some farmers decided to harrow up their fields and plant another high-value crop. Corn,small grains and cotton were all bringing high prices, and many farmers chose to plantthem.But since canola is fairly new to the Southeast, farmers and researchers weren’t sure how or if it couldrecover from such damage. As it turns out, much of the canola wasn’t killed. It just froze down to the ground. Certain varieties storefood in the plant’s roots and use it to recover from severe damage, Woodruff said.A”We’re seeing plants now that produced axillary stems at the base of theplant,” he said. “Those stems then grew, flowered and are now producingharvestable seeds.”The plants recovered well enough to produce 20 to 35 bushels per acre (40 percent to 80percent of a normal yield). The unusually cool March and April, Woodruff said, helped theplants rebound.”This year taught us a lot about canola,” Woodruff said. “The more we learn, the morewe have to base sound management and financial decisions on in the future.”last_img read more


“Super” Lice

first_imgAs if starting the new school year wasn’t stressful enough, a recent study found that Georgia is now home to insecticide-resistant head lice. With headlines that use terms like “mutant”or “super” lice, parents might think that these lice have come from outer space or a secret government laboratory. Not so, says University of Georgia entomologist Nancy Hinkle. Insecticide resistance has been a problem for years. This study, released at an American Chemical Society meeting earlier this month, identified the lice in 37 states. Hinkle believes they may be more widespread than that. “Depending on which heads you look at, you are probably going to find resistant lice in all of the states,” Hinkle said. “I don’t think we can say how prevalent they are at this point. But whether it’s 30 percent of the lice out there or 90 percent, they’re out there.” The good news is that even “super” lice are treatable and, while lice infestations can be psychosocially traumatic, they’re not actually dangerous. It’s important for parents to remember lice are common and don’t reflect on you or your child’s hygiene, she said. Not-so-“super” liceWhat has made these lice so “super” is that they’ve developed a resistance to permethrin, the active ingredient in lice treatments like Nix or Elimite. For about 25 years, permethrin products have been the gold standard for treating head lice. When introduced, the permethrin products worked nearly every time on every head and had an exceptionally low toxicity to humans and pets, Hinkle said. “Permethrin has been used a lot,” she said. “When it first came out, it worked 100 percent of the time. When something works well, everyone uses it, and that’s always how resistance develops.” Over time, only the lice that survived the permethrin treatments went on to reproduce, so lice populations on the whole became more resistant. This is a problem with insecticides across the board, and it’s one reason why UGA entomologists have to keep working to find safe ways to control common insect pests, Hinkle said. Until the next tried-and-true lice-busting method is developed, Hinkle recommends parents help their kids avoid lice. Ask students to refrain from sharing hats, headphones, brushes and other items that come in close contact with their hair. If students do contract lice, parents should start treatment with permethrin products and then follow up with manual removal, removing louse and louse eggs with a nit comb. Hinkle stresses that it’s important to follow the instructions on the package for treatment to be effective and safe. Even when using permethrin, parents have to manually comb and remove lice eggs from their child’s head because no product kills lice eggs. The only difference with the insecticide-resistant lice is that parents may also find live lice when they are removing the eggs, she said. “I would start by following the directions on a permethrin product, then I would follow up every three or four days with manual removal,” Hinkle said. “Manual removal is tedious, but it’s always effective. The big challenge here is getting a child to sit down for 45 minutes so you can comb through his or her hair with a nit comb.” “Your best investment in fighting lice may actually be a new DVD or streaming video to keep your child entertained while you comb,” she said. For more information about avoiding and treating lice, visit extension.uga.eduand search “lice.”last_img read more


C & S to move headquarters out of Vermont

first_imgC & S Wholesale Grocers, based in Brattleboro, announced April 1 that it would move its headquarters to a campus-like setting in Keene, NH, by the end of 2003, taking with it 300 employees.C & S is the third largest wholesale grocer in the country and expects sales to reach $9.5 billion in 2002. It is also the largest Vermont-based company and ranked 20th by Forbes for privately held companies in the country. On Vermont Business Magazine’s Vermont 100+, C & S has been the largest Vermont-based company for over a decade, and the first to ever reach $1 billion in annual sales, accomplished in 1995.Vermont state development officials, along with local business leaders, had put together a package of tax incentives and offered to re-develop the closed Book Press, but the town of Keene also had incentives of its own, as well as the state of New Hampshire’s more desirable tax structure. The New Hampshire corporate tax, in this case, would be lower than Vermont’s even with the incentives, according to Vermont officials, and New Hampshire does not have a personal income, which is important in attracting and retaining workers.In the end C & S said, in a prepared statement, that the larger piece of land in the Black Brook Corporate Park made the option to move there more attractive.Company CEO Rick Cohen said, “C & S has outgrown its present headquarters. The construction of a new facility in Keene will greatly help us to continue to grow our business, attract additional employees, and provide our expanding corporate workforce with a first-class work environment.”On the Vermont side, state and local officials were disappointed, but pointed out that the existing warehouse and about 500 employees will remain in Vermont.The relationship between C & S has been strained at times, especially in the early 1990s when C & S applied for an Act 250 permit to build another Brattleboro warehouse. They met stiff local resistance and the case has become an icon for those who oppose or want to change the law. C & S eventually won a permit, but never built the warehouse, saying the restrictions that came with the permit were too onerous. They went on to build in North Hatfield, MA.The vast bulk of C & S’s business exists down the East Coast into the Mid-Atlantic states. The company’s business plan was to do the warehousing and distribution for supermarket chains, which the chains found cheaper than doing it themselves. C & S innovated “self-managed” warehouse teams to make the process more efficient on their end, and has managed to keep unions out.C & S was founded in 1918 in Worcester, MA, by Cohen’s grandfather. It moved to Brattleboro in 1981 to take advantage of the interstate system.last_img read more


Is social media still relevant for credit unions?

first_imgOver the last year there’s been a lot of talk about social media. Between scandals around privacy at Facebook and the rise of TikTok, there’s a lot to take in on this subject. So here’s where we stand…Social Media Remains a Popular ActivityAccording to Statista, “in 2019, 79 percent of the population in the United States had a social networking profile, representing a two percent increase from the 77 percent usage reach in the previous year.” But does just having a social profile really mean people are active on those networks?In fact, people are using these profiles. Broadband Search reports that “In 2018, the average time spent on social networking was projected as 144 minutes per day, an increase of 1 hour a day, or 62.5% over 2012.”So despite the move by some to want more privacy online, the overall draw to social media remains high.And with Americans spending an average of 6 hours and 31 minutes on the internet each day, we know they have to be doing SOMETHING there, so banks and credit unions need to take notice.Branch Transaction Volumes Continue to Trend DOWNMost of us have heard the statistics about branch traffic moving down. The widely accepted number is that transactions have declined by more than 45% since 1992. But that is what’s already happened. We need to make decisions for the future based on what else is left to come.According to Jeffry Pilcher of the Financial Brand, “Consumer visits to retail bank branches are set to drop 36% between 2017 and 2022.” He goes on to explain that “mobile transactions [are] rising 121% in the same period, as customers increasingly shift to accessing their banking information via apps and secure, responsive sites on their mobile devices.”Does this mean branches are irrelevant? Absolutely not! But retail banking branches will need to compliment a robust digital growth strategy in order to remain impactful. And this strategy needs to keep mobile experience in the forefront.With this shift to more mobile transactions, it’s worth noting that users will use desktop versions of websites less and less. All very important indicators of where banks and credit unions need to be focusing… on a Mobile FIRST strategy.Mobile First + Social Relationship Building is the Winning StrategySo as mobile usage increases, and social media adoption also continues to climb, it makes logical sense that financial institutions need to be present when people are on their phones, and this will need to involve being helpful and friendly on platforms where people are browsing (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.), and then having solid content and robust mobile versions of your website and mobile banking apps.Gone are the days of creating a beautiful website for desktop, and then simply scaling it down for smaller devices. Instead banks and credit unions will need to be more intentional with their digital approach. Your mobile app and website should have more succinct content with very clear calls to action and a menu that is concise and intuitive.Mobile experiences should connect seamlessly with smart phone capabilities and navigation should not send you from one window or app to another unnecessarily. The user’s mobile experience is just as important as the content they will see, and load times are KEY if you want to keep a user from bouncing to the next option in their search results!Well-Designed Ads and Helpful Content will Continue to Win OutAny social media strategy for a financial institution should include several key elements. First, you will need to focus your paid ads on boosting early stage or awareness types of content. As this is the best way to provide value to users while not interrupting their experience with overly sales-oriented offers or posts. Share blogs around how to budget or saving for a major life event rather than promoting special rates or promotions.In addition to early stage content, keep in mind that social is still all about relationship building and serving your members or customers. So, institutions need to first think of being USEFUL to followers in as many ways as possible. THEN, you can slowly relate these posts or interactions back to your business services, but only when it is appropriate, natural and logical. You have to remain authentic or users will know you’re only in it for selfish reasons.At the end of the day, the popular social platforms will change, but how to successfully reach customers on them will not. Being genuine and meaningfully engaged will ALWAYS be the keys to positive business growth in the end. But these efforts take time, so not having staff devoted to cultivating relationships online will have a negative impact over the long term.For more information on social media and digital marketing for banks and credit unions visit the FI GROW blog or Contact Us today. 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Meredith Olmstead Meredith Olmstead is the CEO and Founder of FI GROW Solutions, which provides Digital Marketing & Sales services to Community Financial Institutions. With experience working with FIs in markets of … Web: www.figrow.com Detailslast_img read more


H5N1 virus continues to strike humans, poultry

first_imgJan 12, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – A flurry of H5N1 avian influenza activity continued today with reports of another confirmed human case and several suspected cases in Indonesia, along with poultry outbreaks of probable H5N1 in Nigeria and Japan.Indonesia’s health ministry confirmed a case in a 22-year-old woman from Banten province who fell ill Jan 3, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today. Investigators found reports of chicken deaths near the woman’s home in the days before she became ill, the agency said.The woman is Indonesia’s third confirmed case-patient this year. A 14-year-old boy and a 37-year-old woman from Tangerang, west of Jakarta, died of the disease this week. Indonesia has had 77 confirmed cases and 59 deaths, by the WHO’s count. Worldwide, the tally is 265 cases with 159 deaths.A Jakarta television station reported the death of a 27-year-old woman from suspected avian flu in Jakarta’s Persahabatan Hospital, according to an item in the Jakarta Post today. In addition, the newspaper—citing a radio news report—said three teenagers were admitted to the hospital with suspected H5N1 cases today.Yesterday the father and son of the 37-year-old Indonesian woman who died of avian flu were reported to be hospitalized with suspicious symptoms, but no new information about them was available today.In Nigeria, avian flu outbreaks were reported in two states, prompting the culling of 25,000 chickens and pigeons.Veterinary officials culled more than 20,000 chickens on a farm in the northwestern state of Sokoto, which had no previous outbreaks, a Reuters report said. In the northern state of Katsina, 5,000 infected chickens and pigeons on three farms were culled, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).Agriculture Commissioner Ali Hussein Dutsin-Ma said all the evidence in the Katsina outbreak pointed to avian flu, though the disease had not yet been confirmed by lab testing, AFP reported.Japan this week had its first suspected outbreak of H5N1 in 3 years, according to Reuters. About 2,400 chickens died on a farm in the Miyazaki area in southwestern Japan over the past 3 days. Initial tests pointed to H5N1, the story said.The recent reports suggest that this year’s pattern of H5N1 activity may echo the past 3 years, with human cases increasing in the northern hemisphere winter. Human cases in 2004 peaked in January, and in the past 2 years they peaked in March, according to a chart published by Eurosurveillance Weekly in December.Dr. Keiji Fukuda, coordinator of the WHO’s global influenza program, told Reuters, “It really looks like this has a kind of seasonal pattern that increases in winter months in the northern hemisphere.”Fukuda added that health officials’ concern about the threat of a flu pandemic remains high. “It’s not that these new cases increase it; our concerns have been high all along,” he said.He also said there was no evidence of any person-to-person transmission of the H5N1 virus in the recent cases, Reuters reported.See also:Jan 12 WHO statement on Indonesian casehttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2007_01_12/en/index.htmlEurosurveillance Weekly report with chart of human H5N1 cases by monthhttp://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=3098last_img read more


Landslide, floods from monsoon rains kill at least 41 in India, Nepal

first_imgTopics : In the western Indian state of Gujarat, 14 people have died in the last two days in various incidents related to heavy rains and flooding, said officials at the State Emergency Response Centre.Rains in Gujarat are 10% higher than the long-period average, according to the local government. The state’s desert area of Kutch received rainfall that was 3-1/2 times higher than the average.More heavy to very heavy rains are expected in several parts of the state over the next two days, according to the India Meteorological Department.In Odisha state to the east, floods have killed at least 17 people in the past week, displaced thousands and affected more than half a million people, officials said. A landslide and floods caused by heavy rains have killed at least 41 people in Nepal and India in the past week, officials said on Monday, as the annual monsoon season enters its final stretch after claiming hundreds of lives in South Asia.Ten people, including four children, were killed after a landslide buried five houses in remote west Nepal on Sunday, a Home Ministry official said.At least 269 people have died in mostly mountainous Nepal this year in landslides and floods, while another 76 people are missing. The monsoon season that began around June in South Asia ends in September.center_img Hundreds have died in the northeastern state of Assam and neighboring Bangladesh this monsoon.last_img read more


Remarks by Governor Wolf at Prison Population Reduction Announcement

first_imgRemarks by Governor Wolf at Prison Population Reduction Announcement SHARE Email Facebook Twitter January 19, 2016 Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Criminal Justice Reform,  Prison Reform,  Public Safety,  Remarks,  Videos Harrisburg Community Corrections CenterHarrisburg, PAlast_img