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Website content last updated on Tuesday 2019-09-10
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Digitalgoodsbay | Digital Goods Market Place ECONOMIC CONCEPT: the concept chosen is the effect of monetary policy on interest rates. Monetary policy refers to changes in money supply. FED employs a variety of tools to influence the amount of money that is available with banks to provide as credit. These tools include: Discount rate: It is the rate at which central bank loans money to commercial banks. Federal rate: It is the rate at which banks give loans to each other for very short term. Open market operations: They refer to purchase/sale of government securities which influence the amount of funds available with banks/public to supply as credit. A sale of securities reduces the amount available for credit purposes, while a purchase increases money supply. While each of the above tools has its own limitations and advantages, the discount rate is often taken as a sign of the stance of FED and FOMC on the state of the economy. FOMC is the policy making branch of the FED. It makes the important decisions on interest rates and other monetary policies This is generally the most commonly used tool to deal with economic fluctuations. It is fully in the control of FED and has little lags in implementation. At the core level, it represents the cheapest cost of borrowed funds. All other rates are based on this rate, so it is like a benchmark for all rates of borrowing in the economy. Banks respond quickly to this rates and it is closely monitored by experts and businesses as a mark of the future direction that the economy is expected to take. This is because the decision on this rate is taken after noting all key parameters in the economy. The FOMC that takes all decisions is free from any political interference which makes its views and decisions more credible and sound. The effect of changes in r on money supply can be seen in the IS LM diagram. A rise in money supply causes LM to shift to the right and down. This causes GDP to rise while r falls. This lowering of the cost of funds for investments encourages higher GDP. Ever since the recession hit USA in 2008, FED has adopted an expansionary and liberal monetary stance. It has kept money supply growing so that interest rates are at the lowest levels today. This trend has been followed by most troubled nations today- Japan, UK, European Union, among others. 'On March 29th the average rate on a 30-year mortgage was just 3.57%, not far above the 3.31% reached in November, the lowest since data started to be compiled in 1971'; this is proof that the discount rate acts as the lowest benchmark for all other rates of interest. Some experts point out that easy money can encourage demand leading to inflation. It can also cause stock market/housing bubbles as cheap money is used in these asset, rather than new investments. The intended effects of cheap money include higher investments that spur job creation, and higher incomes. The cause rise in GDP levels and, an improvement in the overall business sentiment. In the recent case of USA this intended effect is not so visible-growth rates of GDP have not really picked up. Recovery has been slow and there are doubts on the efficacy of an easy monetary policy. These doubts must be re-evaluated in the light of past experience. In the Great Depression of 1929, FED was accused of not doing anything, resulting in the economy 'falling' into a severe recession. It was argued that Fed actions could have moderated the harshness of the recession and softened the troubles faced by people. This time FED took no risks and immediately sprung into action. It initiated policy measures to provide for money if needed for investors, businesses and consumers. Term Auction Facility (TAF) was introduced to maintain the low interest rate so as to regulate the credit flow in the money market. A series of Quantitative Easing measures were undertaken, along with as TARP and Operation Twist. Quantitative easing is an expansionary monetary policy wherein central bank prints more money and uses it to buy government security (or treasury securities) from the market. This causes a rise in demand for these securities, reducing the rates of return on them as well increasing the liquidity in the system. The latest in these efforts is the QE 3 measures this implies pumping of $40 billion every month into markets by large-scale purchases of assets. The long run effects of a loose monetary policy will become evident only in the long-run. However, it is obvious that this is a common tool to influence the costs of funds and rates of interest in the economy. Its efficacy is evident in the recovery witnessed in USA in recent times. It does play a role in recovery from a recession though the extent of it contribution is judged only in hind sight in the long run. ARTICLE:
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Jesus IS My Red Pill Site dedicated to encouraging people to get into a personal relationship with and to honor our Lord Jesus Christ by pointing out how cool he was and still is in our present day culture with respect to television, movies, radio, and literature...any kind of media. A chronicle of my personal spiritual experiences, views on today’s Christianity, and personal insights into various passages of books of the Bible, along with long-held-but-possibly-erroneous beliefs held by various denominations of the Christian Church. I also wish to encourage people to get to know how cool the Holy Bible is, how to debate with Christians without losing or feigning interest (to hear them out even and encourage dialogue) and without feeling embarrassed, and to get baptized and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior (if you do, he’ll really surprise you and change your life in many great ways). I also wish to encourage people to read the entire Holy Bible from cover to cover as it was meant to be read...like any other book in the world. I guarantee it has something that will pique your interest, including sex, drugs, encounters with angels or aliens, encounters with the living God, killing, resurrection, polygamy, incest, thievery, wars, battles, cruel tricks used in revenge, rape, whores and prostitution, royalty, drunks, healers, rebels, cults, sorcery, divine curses and divine help, bio-warfare, audio warfare, spirit world, astral world, prophets and prophecies, magicians, soldiers, flogging, abusive spouses, eternal bliss, harmony, and God becoming man, dying at our hands, rising from the dead and offering us eternal salvation, bliss, and life for accepting Jesus as that man, even though we deserve death for not living a holy life like God.
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Jesus IS My Red Pill Site dedicated to encouraging people to get into a personal relationship with and to honor our Lord Jesus Christ by pointing out how cool he was and still is in our present day culture with respect to television, movies, radio, and literature...any kind of media. A chronicle of my personal spiritual experiences, views on today’s Christianity, and personal insights into various passages of books of the Bible, along with long-held-but-possibly-erroneous beliefs held by various denominations of the Christian Church. I also wish to encourage people to get to know how cool the Holy Bible is, how to debate with Christians without losing or feigning interest (to hear them out even and encourage dialogue) and without feeling embarrassed, and to get baptized and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior (if you do, he’ll really surprise you and change your life in many great ways). I also wish to encourage people to read the entire Holy Bible from cover to cover as it was meant to be read...like any other book in the world. I guarantee it has something that will pique your interest, including sex, drugs, encounters with angels or aliens, encounters with the living God, killing, resurrection, polygamy, incest, thievery, wars, battles, cruel tricks used in revenge, rape, whores and prostitution, royalty, drunks, healers, rebels, cults, sorcery, divine curses and divine help, bio-warfare, audio warfare, spirit world, astral world, prophets and prophecies, magicians, soldiers, flogging, abusive spouses, eternal bliss, harmony, and God becoming man, dying at our hands, rising from the dead and offering us eternal salvation, bliss, and life for accepting Jesus as that man, even though we deserve death for not living a holy life like God.
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STEM-Works Blog | Supporting advocates working in their communities to encourage an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in our nation's youth. Supporting advocates working in their communities to encourage an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in our nation's youth.
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PalmCon Due to unforeseen circumstances, the October 12-14, PalmCon Cruise has been canceled, or at least postponed until further notice. There were scheduling conflicts and logistical issues that have forced this decision. Moving forward, Cosmic Times the company behind PalmCon will be bringing their events back to shore and will be making an announcement regarding a new location and date in a few weeks. The Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line will continue with their daily sailings out of the Port of Palm Beach aboard the Grand Classica and the Grand Celebration. This was a difficult decision but was made with everyone’s best interest in mind. If you have already booked your tickets for the PalmCon Cruise, you can get a rebate for the convention charge and are invited to still sail with Bahamas Paradise or can claim a full refund. However we encourage you to sail with the cruise line as they offer a great experience at an incredible price.
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The Ohio Lepidopterists Promoting interest in butterflies, skippers and moths, the Ohio Lepidopterists of Ohio encourage conservation of wildlife, as well as cooperation and understanding among all lepidopterists in appreciation of Lepidoptera.
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Home - ResponSEAble - Protecting the ocean How can we encourage Europeans to take a closer interest in their oceans and to treat them with greater respect and understanding?
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Trailnet Essex | Community Activity Projects | Cycling Centres Trailnet are a community interest company that strives to encourage and support all ages and abilities to become more active.
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Monroe County Cruisers Car Club To encourage the ownership and care of antique, classic, and special interest cars. To organize car shows, cruises, and membership in car clubs.
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LFA Lawson-Fisher Associates P. C. (LFA) has been providing engineering services from its South Bend office to both public and private clients in a variety of engineering service areas for over 45 years. LFA offers a broad range of civil engineering project services principally focused in the areas of water resources, transportation, bridges and structures. We have extensive design and project management experience on a vast array of City and County projects. We have an exceptional level of experience and expertise upon which our prepared plans and recommendations are based. Our superior work across diverse client markets offer cost-effective, innovative solutions to meet the clients’ present and long term needs.  We understand the value of collaboration and realize on complex, larger projects that we will solicit the technical expertise of our project partners. Their particular expertise in certain areas compliments LFA in the interest of providing the best possible services for the client’s needs. LFA has a highly qualified and dedicated team of professionals working together to achieve a common goal of providing high-quality services to our clients as noted by our 94% repeat service record. We partner with our clients to develop long-term relationships, get to know their businesses and objectives and advocate their interest to meet client expectations. We’ve earned our clients trust by providing a consistently high level of professionalism and quality. Constantly striving to offer solutions that are often creative and are always effective. Understanding project constraints, clear lines of communication, and engagement with individual professionals involved in helping define the client’s needs and scope are key tasks for a successful project and outcomes. Constant contact with project partners and regular reports to the client is an essential task. This participative process is a key element to LFA’s success through the design development process. LFA project managers and supporting team in project partners have the technical experience and resources to coordinate the many parallel tasks to deliver the project. LFA designs optimal solutions to bring quality projects to completion safely, on schedule and within budget.
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LFA Lawson-Fisher Associates P. C. (LFA) has been providing engineering services from its South Bend office to both public and private clients in a variety of engineering service areas for over 45 years. LFA offers a broad range of civil engineering project services principally focused in the areas of water resources, transportation, bridges and structures. We have extensive design and project management experience on a vast array of City and County projects. We have an exceptional level of experience and expertise upon which our prepared plans and recommendations are based. Our superior work across diverse client markets offer cost-effective, innovative solutions to meet the clients’ present and long term needs.  We understand the value of collaboration and realize on complex, larger projects that we will solicit the technical expertise of our project partners. Their particular expertise in certain areas compliments LFA in the interest of providing the best possible services for the client’s needs. LFA has a highly qualified and dedicated team of professionals working together to achieve a common goal of providing high-quality services to our clients as noted by our 94% repeat service record. We partner with our clients to develop long-term relationships, get to know their businesses and objectives and advocate their interest to meet client expectations. We’ve earned our clients trust by providing a consistently high level of professionalism and quality. Constantly striving to offer solutions that are often creative and are always effective. Understanding project constraints, clear lines of communication, and engagement with individual professionals involved in helping define the client’s needs and scope are key tasks for a successful project and outcomes. Constant contact with project partners and regular reports to the client is an essential task. This participative process is a key element to LFA’s success through the design development process. LFA project managers and supporting team in project partners have the technical experience and resources to coordinate the many parallel tasks to deliver the project. LFA designs optimal solutions to bring quality projects to completion safely, on schedule and within budget.
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Home - ResponSEAble - Protecting the ocean How can we encourage Europeans to take a closer interest in their oceans and to treat them with greater respect and understanding?
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China Special Needs Adoption | No Hands But Ours No Hands But Ours helps to encourage, equip, and support families adopting special needs children from China with relevant resources and connections.
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Anglican Deaconess Association – a professional organization for Anglican Deaconesses The Mission of the Anglican Deaconess Association is to bring Anglican Deaconesses together in fellowship, education, spiritual support, and worship. Our Purpose is to encourage the growth and proper understanding of the Order of Deaconesses through witness and instruction, offering support and mentoring during the formation process of future Deaconesses, coordinating conferences, educational opportunities, and retreats,…
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Buy a Business in Australia - Small Businesses and Resellers | Saver6 Saver6 offers excellent Marketing Support Services & small businesses for sale that are affordable, effective and will surely match your interest.
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Horseback Riding | Marietta | Sterling Equestrian Center Riding lessons in Marietta, Ga. Sterling Equestrian Center offers lessons designed to interest encourage and train future eventing athletes.
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Home - Ride Yourself Fit, Inc. To promote a healthy lifestyle through cycling. To encourage community and fellowship through cycling, while applyng the fundamental principals of "fun, fitness and fellowship."
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CASHBOX | Make saving a habit CashBox is a digital savings platform that helps everyone “Make saving a habit”. Cashbox was founded as a fun way to encourage a healthy saving habit and help curb excessive spending all on a seamless and easy-to-use interface.
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SINGAPORE MARITIME HERITAGE INTEREST GROUP - Home To share, promote, encourage and support the ​tangible and intangible aspect of Singapore maritime related heritage
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Home Advance the study of music and to foster interest in, promote and advance the artistic, educational, recreational and commercial position of music of all kinds.
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CASHBOX | Make saving a habit CashBox is a digital savings platform that helps everyone “Make saving a habit”. Cashbox was founded as a fun way to encourage a healthy saving habit and help curb excessive spending all on a seamless and easy-to-use interface.
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China Special Needs Adoption | No Hands But Ours No Hands But Ours helps to encourage, equip, and support families adopting special needs children from China with relevant resources and connections.
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Buy a Business in Australia - Small Businesses and Resellers | Saver6 Saver6 offers excellent Marketing Support Services & small businesses for sale that are affordable, effective and will surely match your interest.
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Home Advance the study of music and to foster interest in, promote and advance the artistic, educational, recreational and commercial position of music of all kinds.
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Good Leadership Skills - Character - Integrity - Courage Good leadership skills require good character, integrity, and courage. Some can be improved upon yet others come from within!
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Good Leadership Skills - Character - Integrity - Courage Good leadership skills require good character, integrity, and courage. Some can be improved upon yet others come from within!
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Car Title Loans Online with Quick Cash Approval - TFC Title Loans Car title loans with instant cash approval from TFC Title Loans. We give more money than any other auto title loans lenders. Bad Credit No Problem.
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Car Title Loans Online with Quick Cash Approval - TFC Title Loans Car title loans with instant cash approval from TFC Title Loans. We give more money than any other auto title loans lenders. Bad Credit No Problem.
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Car Title Loans Online with Quick Cash Approval - TFC Title Loans Car title loans with instant cash approval from TFC Title Loans. We give more money than any other auto title loans lenders. Bad Credit No Problem.
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Simple Marquee Example The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) learnt with shock and utter dismay that people are being sold as slaves in Libya. “I salute the people of Zimbabwe for achieving such a great goal without spilling blood or burning buildings. South Africans can learn a lot from this,” Letlhake said.
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Simple Marquee Example The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) learnt with shock and utter dismay that people are being sold as slaves in Libya. “I salute the people of Zimbabwe for achieving such a great goal without spilling blood or burning buildings. South Africans can learn a lot from this,” Letlhake said.
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AQUARIUS, THE MYTHICAL WATER BEARER The word “Aquarian” refers to ideas and minds mixing freely rather as raindrops mix freely after they have made a rain puddle. This fluidity is an aid to creativity, and in the coming age of lasting peace, children will be cultured to be more creative and constructive.
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Kruted Kruted is a free, digital platform on which students can display not only their grades and scores but their talents, hobbies and accomplishments to make the college and scholarship application processes more personal.
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Welcome to the Santa Paula Society of the Arts Founded in June 1968 by a group of artists in Santa Paula who wished to maintain their friendships in the future; to increase their understanding and to improve their work; to encourage artistic growth, interest and art appreciation in all phases of the arts; to offer scholarships and encouragement to talented students; to encourage civic interest, cultural awareness and to increase development of the arts.
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Uncommon Sense | Macroeconomic and financial market commentary We are all kinda long "awe" today -aren't we? Wait, better make it "shock and awe" for me. Yeah, even bulls are watching stupefied by now. I have no words to convey my feelings, or thoughts, for what we see in capital markets. A mind-blowing, once-in-a-lifetime experience I thought I would never endure -even after spending the best part of thirty years trading global markets. We are all also short of time, so let's get straight to the point. What on earth is propelling this "Everything bubble" blow-off top, and helping degrade the past bubbles to the child's play category? To follow up on my literary vein (see the previous post), I will paraphrase Ken Follet to try and synthesize the four main pillars of global financial insanity: 1.- The Fed/Central Bank Put and forward guidance. 2.- Debt, and sustained incremental debt growth. 3.- Fiat Money debasement by most CB's (cum laude in 2017). 4.- Financially repressive interest rates. So, we've got four pillars to explain insane behavior by investors. But it gets worse: I do not think we need all four pillars to keep this going. They are formidable pillars, and the excellent architectural design allows for some weakness in some of them at times (provided the rest remain powerful enough). The latest rate rises in the US are a case in point. Markets couldn't care less. We just need two or three of the pillars to work simultaneously -and the induced "nirvana" could go on for long enough to surpass the effects of the time-worn widow maker trade in JGB's. Central Banks have managed to blend absurdity with eternity. We have a planetary, fault tolerant, monetary boom! I will admit to being unable to distribute uneven weightings between them four. Every single one of them implies a policy that is anathema to me, and thus I am incapable of underlining the particular incongruity of any of them. It is evident that Keynes was right when he stated that irrationality could outlast solvency. Some inconsistencies have gone on for decades now: think Japanese sovereign debt ratios to GDP, JGB yields and, of late, a stupendous money base increase up to 90% of GDP (no, no "typo" there, and no kidding either). Add European junk debt prices to the list more recently. Examples abound. Of course, for our well-being and our future as a species, this global economic strategy is just brainless -and grossly negligent. At some point, we will all pay a hefty price for it: the longer it goes on, the higher the price tag. Regrettably, by then it probably won't matter to a bunch of my macro colleagues or me. As I write, I am still nearly entirely stand-by regarding risk-on risk-off positioning, but this situation is unsustainable. For some of us, fear of missing out (FOMO) was never a sentiment to take care of, and, sure enough, I've not only missed out but lost significant money in these last ten months. The latest chain of monthly drains, even with low commitment in my positioning, is small but psychologically unbearable. Keynes did get a couple of things right: failing "unconventionally" is tough on anybody's emotional equilibrium. 1.- The original Greenspan put -and iterations. This term was coined in the late nineties to describe the Fed's reaction to LTCM's demise. In fact, by then it was also factoring in the previous response to the 1987 stock market crash. It was the second time in a row that the Fed bailed the market out. A lot more of the kind was to come later, but we did not know then. Moral hazard is another way to describe what happened -and you can read tons of literature on the subject. The term has evolved and consolidated. Forcefull CB reaction to the tech bubble burst and, seven years later, to the sub-prime excesses, solidified the strategy providing risk-taking investors with a "de facto" riskless trip. Bernanke certainly helped make sure this "fully insured" feeling remained steadfast in the investor's mentality. Then year 2k happened -but the damage was relatively contained to some areas of the markets. 2008 was a different story, a global bust. It took a long time to get investor confidence back after CB's miserably failed to honor that put in 2008/2009. Trust is essential in finance -and you know the saying: once bitten twice shy. But finally, they did it. A couple of forces played a role: Over time, TINA helped investors allow themselves to trust CB's again. You want to "buy" that something will work when you have no alternative to keep your job or need to attain your financial targets (particularly if you need the money). ETF's did their part as well. After all, if you buy the index basket you are buying "the system". You are suppressing the manager/human error risk. If there is no financial system there is no life (or so we think), so we might just as well play along and accept whatever the future may bring for all. Lastly, the powerful CB volatility short (Powell, 2012 Fed minutes reproduced later) rubber-stamped the deal. Risk had been swapped for uncertainty. Uncertainty for the human race was the only consideration weighing against risky investments. Major Investment risk had all but disappeared (selling puts made a lot of sense). The only risk left is systemic uncertainty (I exclude the term risk because risk can be handled mathematically, while uncertainty can not: it is like flipping a coin just once). Regrettably, unlike Rosalind did ("As you like it", William Shakespeare), CB's did not rhetorically question themselves if their desire to remove risk and volatility was "too much of a good thing". Investors don't know, but I am 100% sure they are now terrified (read Dudley's latest speech) at the sight of the current "Frankeinsmarket". A market that eases financial conditions with every "dovish hike". I remember bashing dovish hikes a year ago as an absurd concept tailored to then CB's needs. It is now coming back to haunt them. Once magnificent "Paint drying" descriptions to depict the consequences of QT look as if they will follow the same fate. So what follows? We shall take our evidence as it comes because I'm fed up with trying to anticipate FOMC behavior: you cannot front-run paranoic decisions. But let me suggest that this quote hints at some understanding of the problem by top gun "Jay". I think we are actually at a point of encouraging risk-taking, and that should give us pause. Investors really do understand now that we will be there to prevent serious losses. It is not that it is easy for them to make money but that they have every incentive to take more risk, and they are doing so. Meanwhile, we look like we are blowing a fixed-income duration bubble right across the credit spectrum that will result in big losses when rates come up down the road. You can almost say that that is our strategy. Jerome Powell. Excerpt from the official transcript of the Fed meeting in October 2012 And it does look as if he is aware of what is at stake: When it is time for us (The Fed) to sell, or even to stop buying, the response could be quite strong; there is every reason to expect a strong response. So there are a couple of ways to look at it. It is about $1.2 trillion in sales; you take 60 months, you get about $20 billion a month. That is a very doable thing, it sounds like, in a market where the norm by the middle of next year is $80 billion a month. Another way to look at it, though, is that it's not so much the sale, the duration; it's also unloading our short volatility position. But don't ask me what they are going to do about it. My bet? Nothing substantial, but they are scared by now. I would unwind the volatility short and try to shake the market up. We need ups and downs, extensions and retracements, more extensive intraday ranges and some squeezing of vol shorts now and then. And, no doubts, I would scrap forward guidance and dot plots. We have to go back to those times when if you thought you understood what Greenspan was saying "you were probably wrong". I liked that situation (wow, how I miss those real markets when thinking made a difference). All the same, I think we will need more than that to stop the massive stampede. Not infrequently, success has a bittersweet flavor to it. CBs now have to handle the investor charge for "risk" that they provoked. 2.- Debt and sustained and incremental debt growth.- One chart is worth a thousand words. We are still notoriously indebting ourselves into growth. And we do it "in crescendo" (positive second derivative, with the tangent line below the function graph). We grow because we add to the debt pile and not only do we further indebt, we do not save near enough (the US is nearly savings-less). To add insult to injury, we then use fractional reserve banking and monetary debasement to fund that debt. During the first nine months of 2017, the world added 16 trillion of new debt taking the total to 233 trillion (IIF chart via Business Insider). As a reference, let's remember that world GDP is 78 trillion. The good news is that we are not increasing the debt to GDP thanks to healthy nominal global GDP growth. The bad news is that debt grows 2.5 times as much as nominal GDP. And, not to forget, it is not infrastructure-related or supply-side investment-related debt: we still anticipate future consumption effectively subsidizing aggregate demand. Not only do we subsidize aggregate demand, blurring and softening the line of consequences of inequality, we also use debt to lever up the capital base of our supply side. You hear lots of stories about enterprise leverage above six times EBITDA. I heard of a new one last week. It will be Ok while the going is good. But, if at some point the consumer is forced to delever, we have also compromised the financial health of our NFC's for our next recession. Never mind the inherently unstable banks (tier one ratios of 10 or even 12 are way too low, and fractional reserve banking should be outlawed). They are better off than in the past bubble -but the magnitude of the potential disruption is 2008 many times over. In a depression, they are financially dead. Nobody cares because we assume that the CBs will prevent the next recession forever. For as long as debt thrives, and nobody questions its validity (people accept it will be paid) the show will go on. Debt growth helps generate liquidity, stimulates economic growth, alleviates the consequences of inequality and keeps families afloat. It helps markets and the wealth effect as well increasing demand for common stock and favoring healthy corporate buy-back demand. Great, but, for God's sake, somebody ought to take a look at the long-term consequences! 3.- Monetary debasement of Fiat currencies.- Albert Edwards produced this last chart in his latest London presentation -the Woodstock for bears annual event. I went last year. It shows the amount of printing that has taken place since 2007. And it puts the 2017 hallelujah in context. We are getting better at printing: we nearly beat 2008 figures! Keynesians will say: what's not to like about inflating CB balance sheets if there is no goods and services inflation? Well, not to forget, all reserves generated are high powered money and subject to second round growth using the fractional reserve banking system. That has not been particularly harmful up to now, what has been detrimental is that those funds, unable to creep into the ordinary business cycle, have found their way into financial products. And because positive real interest rates are for most currencies an obsolete concept, they have found their way into risk assets. An enormous percentage of them has been incremental demand for stocks and risky investments. That's not all. Some CBs have gone into overdrive: no need to use the banking system or induce investments by third parties. The SNB and the BOJ directly buy stock against their money base in the secondary market. It's mostly Apple stock and other FAANGS for the SNB -and more subtle and more spread out ETF buying for the BOJ. But the money created out of nothing ends pressuring prices up. On top of that, even if it is not strictly speaking freshly minted money, the almighty Jap public pension fund is switching to equities, and the Norwegian sovereign fund as well. And they are resorting to leverage! Pension funds are also "risking up" to attain impossible return targets. The public sector is a now a prominent bubble blower (and are even bragging about it). What happens if this stops? Nothing, provided the other pillars are still in place. This is a very robust building we are looking at. The rest of the pillars are stable enough. The mother of all bubbles it is. 4.- Financially repressive interest rates.- Bill Gross introduced the concept of financial repression in modern economic literature. I think it can be defined as the use of monetary power by CBs to deprive savers of their legitimate income. What income is legitimate? I think a decent starting point is nominal GDP growth. Or at the very least short-term rates higher than the GDP deflator. Financial repression is key to the bubble. It indecently shoves everybody into risky assets. I am strongly against it (always have been save for exceptional moments when you have to try to keep the market functioning). It is never a good idea to be unfair to a portion of the economic players. They will take their punishment on the chin, but they will not help the economy prosper. Resentment is a nasty feeling with very long "duration". Savers used to be a source of sustainable aggregate demand. And it was a low beta aggregate demand (with low sensitivity to the point of the cycle). We should be careful with aggregate demand preservation. Low rates favor debt growth. We have to stop that asap. Infinite debt is not a nirvana! Low rates favor playing games with the WACC and allow NFC's gearing up. Low rates encourage risky behavior by individuals -when investing and when consuming as well. Interest rates are at their most repressive point since 2007. They've been lower before (in some places) but not against current nominal GDP growth. The Bund is the paradigmatic example. Eurozone nominal GDP growth is roughly 3.5%. Inflation is 1.4%. Growth is 2.1%. Real rates are negative 200 bps (in the shortest end of the curve) and even negative 90 bps for the ten-year Bund. I can't help scratching my head daily. I still don't "get" the rationale behind this policy. Trying to remain sane in an insane environment.- This interesting time in which we are continually debating the burlesque insanity of the ineffable Trump is better than any other to introspectively question oneself thoroughly. Or, why not just blame others? Ought we be concerned instead about the sanity of the rest of the market players and their FOMO syndrome? But, if I opt not to blame anybody else, does that mean I am a genetically engineered subspecies of the permabear? It is in those moments of despair that I find some solace in my reading. And, voilà, here comes no other than Powell, the new supreme God of the Keynesian mount Olympus, quoted above, voicing the same concern. Maybe, only maybe, it is justified that I find minor pricing discrepancies between sectors, asset classes, or individual stocks, so unmotivating. It is uncertainty that's killing me. The elephant in the room is the herd's en masse response to the Central Bank's call for financial risk exposure as the ultimate cure for our economic ails. The Greek 10y bond price is a great example (chart zerohedge). The Argentine 100-year bond is a close second. Labelling my disorder as obsessive-compulsive might be understating things. I toil day and night trying to find some alternative investments with even a pyrrhic return for a euro-based fund (something in the very low positive numbers after fund expenses). I see none. In this last "everything bubble" there is no place to hide. You could avoid Japanese stocks and real estate in 1989, or the 1987 October equity crash (with adequate diversification, interest rate income was good and improving seriously). I did. You could stand aside from the NASDAQ bubble easily. There was no scarcity of alternative playing fields to try and make money. It was harder to bypass the (2000-2008) real estate bubble and its deadly effect on financial markets. I played the run-up in Gold from the lows, the odd trade coming up, and a balanced portfolio to come out more or less satisfactorily (in the black). Then the last quarter of 2008 happened. 2009 looked like a planetary collapse saved "just in time" by the suppression of the "mark to market" rule for bank portfolios -together with a well-justified initial generous dose of QE. But then, and in the years that followed, there were abundant places to make money. The currency arena up to the Shanghai accord was fine. And the rally in bonds was great. In all those instances there was no lack of investment opportunities compatible with a portfolio with low systemic risk. Or, in Hunt's vocabulary, an asset management style with lots of risky trades but low uncertainty was feasible. Correlation coefficients between trades were still manageable. You could be a bubble skeptic and still make money. Not anymore. Today you are faced with an uncertain decision that cannot be supplanted and bypassed by a series of risky decisions with moderate correlation. You are "in" with the CBs, or you are "out". Of course, you can split your portfolio in two, but you cannot proceed with an integrated portfolio approach that uses a series of risky decisions to make money while avoiding systemic risk. An excellent, if somewhat long, post by Ben Hunt (Epsilon Theory. "The three-body problem") explains this. A risky decision is when you have a pretty good sense of the odds and the pay-offs. It lends itself to statistical analysis and econometrics, particularly if it's a decision you will have the opportunity to make multiple times. An uncertain decision is when you don't have a good sense of odds and pay-offs. Here, statistical analysis may very well kill you, particularly if you're not going to get many cracks at the game, or if you don't know how many times you'll get to make a choice. You need game theory to make sense of decisions made under uncertainty. (...) Basis uncertainty is the core problem facing every investor today... There is a non-trivial chance that structural changes in our social worlds of politics and markets have made it impossible to identify predictive/derivative patterns. (...) To make things worse, the colossal CB balance sheets and the infinite elasticity of their size adds a second layer of uncertainty over uncertainty. Ben Hunt again. Henri Poincaré proved that the motion of the three objects, with the exception of a few special starting cases, is non-repeating. This is a chaotic system, meaning that the historical pattern of object positions has ZERO predictive power in figuring out where these objects will be in the future. (...) What we have to accept is that there is an Object 3 that has moved into a position such that its gravity absolutely swamps the impact of Objects 1 and 2. This Object 3, of course, is extraordinary monetary policy, specifically the purchase of $20 TRILLION worth of financial assets by the Big 4 central banks — the Fed, the ECB, the BOJ, and the PBOC. (...) I tried to be a hero and short some obscene valuations. I got crushed. I now stand aside and wait because, we can be heroes, but likely, just for one day. Lovable as they are, heroes never last long. It pays to wait. The four-pillared bubble building boasts robust construction and fault-tolerant functioning. Nevertheless, be sure that all bubbles burst -it just might take a long wait this time around unless something unexpectedly moves in the CB (object 3) space.
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Andy''s Northern Ontario Wildflower home page Andy''s northern Ontario wildflower page has photographs of northern Ontario wildflowers, including a description of the wildflower habitat and elementary identification criteria.
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Consolidated Adjusting - Home If you have experienced a significant loss due to fire, flood, earthquake or other insured peril, we can protect your interest by representing you, the insured, and maximize your financial recovery. Insurance companies will generally offer to pay you what is due to you as they see it. Public Adjusters are your exclusive representatives that work for you, the insured, not for your insurance company. Where to begin... Things you should do What a public adjuster can do for me? Why Consolidated Adjusting? If you have experienced a significant loss due to fire, flood, earthquake or other insured peril, we can protect your interest by representing you, the insured, and maximize your financial recovery. Insurance companies will generally offer to pay you what is due to you as they see it. Public Adjusters are your exclusive representatives that work for you, the insured, not for your insurance company. Where to begin... Things you should do What a public adjuster can do for me? Why Consolidated Adjusting? Frequently Asked Questions 1. Why can’t I hire you after the insurance company has made me an offer? You can, but it may not be in your best interest to wait. You can hire a public adjuster at any point after a loss. However, it can become increasingly more difficult to get the insurance company to revise their claim as more time passes. Also, resolving disputes late in the process can delay resolution of the claim. Remember that the insurance claim’s adjuster, as well as your agent, are representing the insurance company, not just you. 2. How do I know you will earn your fee and secure a settlement greater than what I would get on my own? Unfortunately you don’t, but if you handle the claim on your own, you will never truly know whether you are getting a fair settlement. However, if you spend the time to identify what public adjusters to enhance the policyholder’s recovery and talk to a knowledgeable expert, you will learn how they can increase your recovery. 3. How is your fee paid and when is it paid? Public Adjusters are paid a percentage of the settlement amount. The fee is negotiable and depends upon the size of the loss and the costs incurred to prepare the claim [e.g. antique and fine arts experts, construction consultants, etc.] Public Adjusters are generally paid when the insurance payments are received by the insured. 4. What is the difference between using a public adjuster, an attorney, or simply relying on a contractor to estimate the damages? Public adjusters are licensed by the California Department of Insuance and are hired by the insured to prepare and present their claim. Many attorneys do not specialize in first party property insurance claims, and those that do often charge more than a public adjuster working on a contingency basis. Contractors are not unbiased nor disinterested experts in property damage evaluation, and do not have the wherewithal or the proper licensing to represent the insured as their advocate on all matters related to the claim. Also, if the insurance company has their own adjuster, and cost consultant and/or contractors to bid the repairs, they do not have to accept or recognize an outside contractor as the legitimate representative of the insured. 5. If I hire a public adjusting firm, how do I know what person I will be working with? You don’t, but you should! Some public adjusting firms employ sales representatives to secure new clients who are then passed along to the actual adjusters. With Consolidated Adjusting, Inc. you will be working with the principal, Bill Hedden. 6. How do I know that my file will get the time and attention it requires? Again, you don’t, but you should! The skill-set and time availability of the individual adjuster[s] handling your claim are crucial factors in determining the outcome. To ensure that your file gets the top priority and attention, make sure you are dealing directly with the individual who will handle your claim before you hire the company. Be aware that commissioned sales professionals are often motivated to take on new business regardless of staff availability, and public adjusters who handle a large volume of claims may be forced to limit the time and attention they give to your claim. 7. How many new claims does Consolidated Adjusting, Inc. manage per month and do you conduct business in other parts of the country? I commit myself to only a few new claims per month. I intentionally limit my case load so that I can provide the time and personal attention my clients deserve to effectively service their unique claim challenges. All public adjusters are required to carry an individual California Public Adjuster license and although this allows me to practice throughout the State, I elect to work primarily in the immediate Bay Area. 8. How is Consolidated Adjusting, Inc. different from other public adjusting firms and what makes you a better choice than your competitors? As a small firm dedicated to customer service, I am able to foster long-standing relationships with out clients and guarantee the personal attention that their claim requires during such a difficult process. Powered by a wealth of experience we bring to every claim, I am able to go the extra mile to ensure that claim settlements will meet or exceed expectations. Services REVIEW your insurance policy to determine how best to help you comply with its requirements. WORK COOPERATIVELY with your insurance company adjuster to develop an agreed scope of repair so that an estimate of repair reflects an accurate and thorough understanding of the work to be done to repair or rebuild your damaged property. QUANTIFY ALL COSTS that are covered in your building claim including, but not limited to, code upgrades, design and engineering costs, asbestos and lead abatement, and other costs that may be covered in your policy. DOCUMENT AND PROTECT your claim and policy limits so that your insurance claim proceeds can be used in the most optimal manner possible. This is particularly true when coverage limitation may result in denial of some claim costs. PREPARE AND PRESENT a specific and detailed inventory of your damaged or destroyed personal property, paying particular attention to antiques, collectibles, and business personal property. Some property may be insured under either the building coverage or under your personal property coverage. PRESENT your additional living expenses, loss of rental income and/or fair rental value claims, as well as business income and extra expense claims when commercial claims are involved. MAINTAIN AN ONGOING DIALOGUE, both oral and written, with your insurance company as we navigate the claim from beginning to end. SECURE THE BEST FINANCIAL SETTLEMENT possible under the terms and conditions of your insurance policy while simultaneously ensuring that your claim is documented thoroughly. Where to begin ... You may be in a state of shock, in denial or simply – overwhelmed. Where do I go? What do I need to do first? Having a fire or devastating property loss can be challenging and traumatic. The road that lies ahead of you is uncertain and the terrain unfamiliar. Once the initial shock has passed, you will need to take the first steps toward seeking compensation from your insurance company. The insurance claim process can be confusing, tedious and just plain time-consuming. The job of documenting and negotiating your insurance claim, interviewing contractors and meeting with insurance company representatives is a heavy burden for most people – especially in the aftermath of an emotional trauma. Using the ACTION ITEM CHECKLIST as your guide, your first step is to gather information and organize the tasks at hand. Next, you should call Consolidated Adjusting, Inc. for a free consultation. If you have never suffered a large property loss before, you may be unaware of how a public adjuster can help. A professional like Bill Hedden at CONSOLIDATED ADJUSTING, INC. is uniquely qualified to lead you through the complex process of presenting and resolving your insurance claim and will protect all the rights accorded you by your insurance policy. Things you should do ACTION ITEM CHECKLIST NOTIFY your insurer of the loss. PROTECT THE PROPERTY from additional damage and secure it from entry. OBTAIN a certified coy of your insurance policy, declarations, and all applicable endorsements. DOCUMENT THE DAMAGES [including debris] by videotape and/or photography. PRESERVE THE EVIDENCE of damage and provide your insurer easy access to your property to help expedite the claim process. It is the policyholder’s responsibility to document and prove their loss, not the insurance company’s. REVIEW your insurance policy and/or schedule an initial consultation with an experienced licensed public adjuster at no charge. DO NOT BE IN A RUSH to hire contractors and professionals until you understand how the cost impacts your claim. It is important to spend money carefully to avoid depleting your insurance recovery. REQUEST your insurance company obtain a hazardous material test from a licensed expert to determine whether lead and/or asbestos is present. ARRANGE for mail and landline phone number[s] to be forwarded to your temporary location. MAINTAIN water and temporary electrical services to the property, if possible. The insured is responsible for mitigating further damage to property and landscaping, etc. DO NOT DISPOSE of any damaged property until it is thoroughly inventoried. SAVE ALL RECEIPTS and track expenses that are incurred as a result of the loss [e.g. hotel, food and personal property replacement] KEEP CAREFUL NOTES on conversations with insurance company personnel and their vendors and claim consultants, including dates and content. RESEARCH CAREFULLY before hiring anyone. Consumers are vulnerable to misrepresentations by zealous sales professionals who want you to sign with them now! CONTACT your local tax assessors office to apply for temporary property tax assessment relief. What a public adjuster can do for me? After a large property loss to your home or business, proving your loss and economic damages is your responsibility. What you need to do after a loss is not common knowledge – most policyholders do not experience a large property loss in their lifetime. Your insurance company can assist you in the claim process. However, it is often advisable to have your own professional advocate. An experienced licensed public adjuster can be instrumental in protecting all the policyholder’s rights of recover, as well as documenting the loss in its entirety. Every property insurance claim is unique and each insurance company has its own internal policies and procedures for adjusting a claim. Skilled public adjusters, who know and have worked with insurance company personnel can navigate, direct and streamline the process and act only in your best interest. Public adjusters their established professional relationships to act as your advocate. A seasoned professional should not just level the playing field, bus should create an advantage for the insured – achieving a more favorable outcome. Public adjusting is a specialized profession. Before hiring a public adjusting company, it is crucial to know the person with whom you will be working. Individual skills, professional experience and personal commitment are critical in getting optimal results. If this is your first time dealing with a large property insurance claim and your are considering a licensed Public Adjuster, you should know the right questions to ask before hiring that company or individual. Hiring a public adjuster is hopefully a once in a lifetime experience, so it is crucial to choose wisely. For more information on how to choose a Public Adjuster, visit www.uphelp.org/sponsors/hiringhelp Why Consolidated Adjusting Consolidated Adjusting, Inc. is a small Public Adjusting firm – and I like it that way. I am personally committed to each client relationship. I intentionally limit the number of claims I handle at one time. I do not delegate my responsibilities to others. This way you know your claim is in professional, test proven hands, and I know that I am able to fully devote my skills and talents to your claim. My goal is to save you unnecessary stress and aggravation and deliver a favorable outcome in a timely manner. MY PLEDGE TO YOU: I begin with an appreciation of the unique circumstances of your claim and pay close attention to your individual needs and expectations. I understand and honor the confidence you have placed in us. We strive to earn that trust by meeting and exceeding all your expectations. I encourage ongoing communication with our clients during the claim adjustment process. My goal is to keep you regularly informed on the status of your claim. From start to finish I devote my time and attention to every detail of your claim. I do not delegate the responsibility of preparing your claim. I promise never to put the pursuit of new business before taking proper care of our existing clients. I am available seven days a week to meet with and assist my clients. I understand that the timely and fair resolution of your claim is of the utmost importance.
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Andy''s Northern Ontario Wildflower home page Andy''s northern Ontario wildflower page has photographs of northern Ontario wildflowers, including a description of the wildflower habitat and elementary identification criteria.
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Wardrobe Systems NZ | 30 Years Experience | Boston Wardrobes Boston Wardrobes stocks a wide range of wardrobe interiors, door & accessories, perfect for your wardrobe system. Visit our showroom today!
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RNS World School A fully air-conditioned co-educational school commited to world class Education. It is recorded herein as the basic philosophy of the school that the interest of its students will reign supreme at all times and will be sacrosanet in any situation and it is also that the students will be treated as resources of the Nation and will be extended utmost care, affection, interest and respect by one and all, with primary interest to nurture, nourish, preserve, protect, augment and encourage talent and knowledege in any form. One of the key objectives of the trust is to promote educational and allied activities that go towards cultural, spiritual and knowledge upliftment of the new generation.
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The Spider Club | Knowledge drives out fear Up to the end of June most events are free to paid-up Spider Club members. For those who are not paid-up members of The Spider Club we charge R50 per adult and R10 per child 11 years and under with the option of paying R120 PER FAMILY for annual subscription. From 1st July there will be no more compulsory subscriptions but everyone will have to pay to attend field trips and some other events. Some venues will also require an entrance fee which must be paid by each individual. For field trips we will supply vials, magnifiers, plastic pill bottles and some other basic collecting equipment but please bring your own if you have as well as any reference books, a picnic lunch, adequate water, a hat and good walking shoes. The Spider Club of Southern Africa is a non-profit environmental interest group providing a fun, responsible, social learning experience, centered on spiders, their relatives and nature in general. Our aim is to encourage and develop an interest in arachnids, including spiders, scorpions, solifuges, whip-spiders, harvestmen and pseudo-scorpions, and to promote this interest and the study of these animals by all suitable means. Field outings, day visits, arachnid surveys and demonstrations, workshops and exhibits are arranged for members and for the public. A calendar of events is published in the quarterly newsletter, and on this web site. Membership is open to anyone - people interested in joining the club may apply.
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Wardrobe Systems NZ | 30 Years Experience | Boston Wardrobes Boston Wardrobes stocks a wide range of wardrobe interiors, door & accessories, perfect for your wardrobe system. Visit our showroom today!
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Summer Rose Books inspiring young readers. String Gallery Photograhy presents unique greeting cards - Summer Rose Cottage - Summer Rose Children's Books String Gallery Photography Summer Rose Books Teachers, whānau and other educators will be able to use the books to use new words and talk about the topics shown in full colour throughout each book created by Carolyn Collis. By teaching children other languages you give children advantages in starting school. They also develop a lifelong curiosity and interest in reading in later life. By sharing reading with young children you can become part of their success and help build their self-esteem. These resources in learning environments encourage a more inclusive approach to the diversity that is part of Aotearoa. Discovery of new ways of talking about things and taking an interest in other cultures is exciting to learners. The books come in two sizes - the smaller size of 140 x 140mm suitable for little hands, the larger size of 280mm helpful for sharing reading with a group of readers. String Gallery Photography String Gallery captures images of Aotearoa in photography - the beauty of our outdoor spaces, our wonderful wildlife, the fascination we have with objects from our childhood, the interest we have in creating. If you are looking for a way to send a special message write it in a card that will be long enjoyed. Feel assured that you are purchasing recycled paper envelopes , responsibly sourced card and that it is printed and manufactured here in Aotearoa.
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Family Histories of Jamaica | "Exploring your Jamaican family heritage" Welcome to Family History Jamaica This site aims to encourage sharing and exchanging information ranging from tips on how to research family names to ideas on how to identify place names such as located in parishes and district. Information has been gathered from different sources to encourage interest to research into your ancestral line. Information…
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Our Ground - Save Public Open Space News on the disappearance of public greenspace through privatisation schemes: Liverpool is an example of the changes now taking place throughout Britain.
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Leaders Press On Web Site – Discovering the Power of Perseverance Welcome to "Leader's Press On".  A resource on the web dedicated to encourage leaders like you  inspire others, innovate new  solutions and persevere toward new discoveries.   Because of my interest and intrigue in these topics, I wrote a related book on perseverance as it applies to leadership, culture and innovation.  This book was published early summer 2016 and revised and updated in June 2017.  You find the book online at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble.com. Leading a team, building culture, and creating innovation involves knowing how to persevere from the starting line to the finish line, and involves bringing others with you. You can learn to become a better leader, culture creator,  and innovator by understanding the  principles to perseverance.  These principles can be a difference maker for any one of us, whether a pioneer, a creator, a stimulator, or a connector. It's my hope that the thoughts, experiences and stories shared on this site (and in my book) encourage you and others to press on. Also, I would love to hear from you.  What is your story of perseverance? Please take a moment to connect with me by signing up for news and resources and receive my free resource.  There's no cost to sign up (nor do I sell your email address). Also follow me also on twitter (@PaulGustavson).
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tags, tags, hyperlink tags and alt tags. Document-level key phrase factors such as the inclusion of key phrases in the domain and document file name. Competitor benchmarking The first stage of competitor benchmarking is to identify your online competitor types for search traffic. Competitors for particular key phrases are not necessarily your traditional competitors. For example, for a mobile phone retailer, when someone searches for a product, you will be competing for search visibility with these types of websites: Retailers. Network providers. Handset manufacturers. Affiliates and partner sites. Media-owned sites. Blogs and personal sites about mobile phone technology. To assess the extent that search strategy should focus on SEO and PPC (and also to be able to compete with these different types of content providers) it is necessary to assess the relative strength of these sources, as well as the various approaches to SEM they use. Try to identify competitors who have optimized their sites most effectively. Retailers trying to compete on particular product phrases in the organic listings may find that it is very difficult, since handset and network providers will often feature prominently in the natural listings because of their scale (see also Mike Grehan’s „rich-get-richer‟ argument, for explanations on why top Google results can become happily entrenched in their positions). Meanwhile, many media-owned sites and blogs can feature highly in the natural listings, because content is king. This isn’t at all surprising, given the search robots‟ love of text. Retailers tend to display big conversion-friendly images and lists of features / specifications, which may be less attractive content as far as Googlebot is concerned, if more appealing to visitors. With all this in mind, it seems obvious that many retail e-commerce managers favor PPC. More likely, it is about short-term (versus long-term) goals. Or, maybe it is just a case of easy versus difficult. The second stage of competitor analysis is to compare their relative performance. Competitors can be compared in a number of ways using tools that are freely available within the search engines or using paid for software or services. So how can I benchmark performance against competitors? 1. Ranking Position report Compare the relative performance in the natural listings for different keyphrase types, eg generic / qualified. Pay per click (PPC) Pay per click (PPC) is an Internet advertising model used on websites, where advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system. Cost per click (CPC) is the sum paid by an advertiser to search engines and other Internet publishers for a single click on their advertisement which directs one visitor to the advertiser''s website. In contrast to the generalized portal, which seeks to drive a high volume of traffic to one site, PPC implements the so-called affiliate model, that provides purchase opportunities wherever people may be surfing. It does this by offering financial incentives (in the form of a percentage of revenue) to affiliated partner sites. The affiliates provide purchase-point click-through to the merchant. It is a pay-for-performance model: If an affiliate does not generate sales, it represents no cost to the merchant. Variations include banner exchange, pay-per-click, and revenue sharing programs. Websites that utilize PPC ads will display an advertisement when a keyword query matches an advertiser''s keyword list, or when a content site displays relevant content. Such advertisements are called sponsored links or sponsored ads, and appear adjacent to or above organic results on search engine results pages, or anywhere a web developer chooses on a content site. Among PPC providers, Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft ad Center are the three largest network operators, and all three operate under a bid-based model. Cost per click (CPC) varies depending on the search engine and the level of competition for a particular keyword. The PPC advertising model is open to abuse through click fraud, although Google and others have implemented automated systems to guard against abusive clicks by competitors or corrupt web developers. Determining cost per click There are two primary models for determining cost per click: flat-rate and bid-based. In both cases the advertiser must consider the potential value of a click from a given source. This value is based on the type of individual the advertiser is expecting to receive as a visitor to his or her website, and what the advertiser can gain from that visit, usually revenue, both in the short term as well as in the long term. As with other forms of advertising targeting is key, and factors that often play into PPC campaigns include the target''s interest (often defined by a search term they have entered into a search engine, or the content of a page that they are browsing), intent (e.g., to purchase or not), location (for geo targeting), and the day and time that they are browsing. Flat-rate PPC In the flat-rate model, the advertiser and publisher agree upon a fixed amount that will be paid for each click. In many cases the publisher has a rate card that lists the CPC within different areas of their website or network. These various amounts are often related to the content on pages, with content that generally attracts more valuable visitors having a higher CPC than content that attracts less valuable visitors. However, in many cases advertisers can negotiate lower rates, especially when committing to a long-term or high-value contract. The flat-rate model is particularly common to comparison shopping engines, which typically publish rate cards. However, these rates are sometimes minimal, and advertisers can pay more for greater visibility. These sites are usually neatly compartmentalized into product or service categories, allowing a high degree of targeting by advertisers. In many cases, the entire core content of these sites is paid ads Bid-based PPC In the bid-based model, the advertiser signs a contract that allows them to compete against other advertisers in a private auction hosted by a publisher or, more commonly, an advertising network. Each advertiser informs the host of the maximum amount that he or she is willing to pay for a given ad spot (often based on a keyword), usually using online tools to do so. The auction plays out in an automated fashion every time a visitor triggers the ad spot. When the ad spot is part of a search engine results page (SERP), the automated auction takes place whenever a search for the keyword that is being bid upon occurs. All bids for the keyword that target the searcher''s geo-location, the day and time of the search, etc. are then compared and the winner determined. In situations where there are multiple ad spots, a common occurrence on SERPs, there can be multiple winners whose positions on the page are influenced by the amount each has bid. The ad with the highest bid generally shows up first, though additional factors such as ad quality and relevance can sometimes come into play (see Quality Score). In addition to ad spots on SERPs, the major advertising networks allow for contextual ads to be placed on the properties of 3rd-parties with whom they have partnered. These publishers sign up to host ads on behalf of the network. In return, they receive a portion of the ad revenue that the network generates, which can be anywhere from 50% to over 80% of the gross revenue paid by advertisers. These properties are often referred to as a content network and the ads on them as contextual ads because the ad spots are associated with keywords based on the context of the page on which they are found. In general, ads on content networks have a much lower click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate (CR) than ads found on SERPs and consequently are less highly valued. Content network properties can include websites, newsletters, and e-mails. Advertisers pay for each click they receive, with the actual amount paid based on the amount bid. It is common practice amongst auction hosts to charge a winning bidder just slightly more (e.g. one penny) than the next highest bidder or the actual amount bid, whichever is lower. This avoids situations where bidders are constantly adjusting their bids by very small amounts to see if they can still win the auction while paying just a little bit less per click. To maximize success and achieve scale, automated bid management systems can be deployed. These systems can be used directly by the advertiser, though they are more commonly used by advertising agencies that offer PPC bid management as a service. These tools generally allow for bid management at scale, with thousands or even millions of PPC bids controlled by a highly automated system. The system generally sets each bid based on the goal that has been set for it, such as maximize profit, maximize traffic at breakeven, and so forth. The system is usually tied into the advertiser''s website and fed the results of each click, which then allows it to set bids. The effectiveness of these systems is directly related to the quality and quantity of the performance data that they have to work with - low-traffic ads can lead to a scarcity of data problem that renders many bid management tools useless at worst, or inefficient at best. Social media marketing Social media marketing is a recent addition to organizations’ integrated marketing communications plans. Integrated marketing communications is a principle organizations follow to connect with their targeted markets. Integrated marketing communications coordinates the elements of the promotional mix; advertising, personal selling, public relations, publicity, direct marketing, and sales promotion. In the traditional marketing communications model, the content, frequency, timing, and medium of communications by the organization is in collaboration with an external agent, i.e. advertising agencies, marketing research firms, and public relations firms. However, the growth of social media has impacted the way organizations communicate. With the emergence of Web 2.0, the internet provides a set of tools that allow people to build social and business connections, share information and collaborate on projects online. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it is coming from a trusted source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access, opening doors for organizations to increase their brand awareness and facilitate conversations with the customer. Additionally, social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for organizations to implement marketing campaigns. With emergence of services like Twitter, the barrier to entry in social media is greatly reduced. Report from company Sysomos shows that half of the users using Twitter are located outside US demonstrating the global significance of social media marketing. Organizations can receive direct feedback from their customers and targeted markets. Platforms Social media marketing which is known as SMO Social Media Optimization benefits organizations and individuals by providing an additional channel for customer support, a means to gain customer and competitive insight, recruitment and retention of new customers/business partners, and a method of managing their reputation online. Key factors that ensure its success are its relevance to the customer, the value it provides them with and the strength of the foundation on which it is built. A strong foundation serves as a stand or platform in which the organization can centralize its information and direct customers on its recent developments via other social media channels, such as article and press release publications. The most popular platforms include: * Blogs * Delicious * Facebook * Flickr * Hi5 * LinkedIn * MySpace * Reddit * Tagged * Twitter * YouTube * More... Web analytics Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. Web analytics is not just a tool for measuring website traffic but can be used as a tool for business research and market research. Web analytics applications can also help companies measure the results of traditional print advertising campaigns. It helps one to estimate how the traffic to the website changed after the launch of a new advertising campaign. Web analytics provides data on the number of visitors, page views, etc. to gauge the traffic and popularity trends which helps doing the market research. There are two categories of web analytics; off-site and on-site web analytics. Off-site web analytics refers to web measurement and analysis regardless of whether you own or maintain a website. It includes the measurement of a website''s potential audience (opportunity), share of voice (visibility), and buzz (comments) that is happening on the Internet as a whole. On-site web analytics measure a visitor''s journey once on your website. This includes its drivers and conversions; for example, which landing pages encourage people to make a purchase. On-site web analytics measures the performance of your website in a commercial context. This data is typically compared against key performance indicators for performance, and used to improve a web site or marketing campaign''s audience response. Historically, web analytics has referred to on-site visitor measurement. However in recent years this has blurred, mainly because vendors are producing tools that span both categories. On-site web analytics technologies Many different vendors provide on-site web analytics software and services. There are two main technological approaches to collecting the data. The first method, logfile analysis, reads the logfiles in which the web server records all its transactions. The second method, page tagging, uses JavaScript on each page to notify a third-party server when a page is rendered by a web browser. Both collect data that can be processed to produce web traffic reports. In addition other data sources may also be added to augment the data. For example; e-mail response rates, direct mail campaign data, sales and lead information, user performance data such as click heat mapping, or other custom metrics as needed. Key definitions There are no globally agreed definitions within web analytics as the industry bodies have been trying to agree definitions that are useful and definitive for some time. The main bodies who have had input in this area have been Jicwebs(Industry Committee for Web Standards)/ABCe (Auditing Bureau of Circulations electronic, UK and Europe), The WAA (Web Analytics Association, US) and to a lesser extent the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). This does not prevent the following list from being a useful guide, suffering only slightly from ambiguity. Both the WAA and the ABCe provide more definitive lists for those who are declaring their statistics using the metrics defined by either. * Hit - A request for a file from the web server. Available only in log analysis. The number of hits received by a website is frequently cited to assert its popularity, but this number is extremely misleading and dramatically over-estimates popularity. A single web-page typically consists of multiple (often dozens) of discrete files, each of which is counted as a hit as the page is downloaded, so the number of hits is really an arbitrary number more reflective of the complexity of individual pages on the website than the website''s actual popularity. The total number of visitors or page views provides a more realistic and accurate assessment of popularity. * Page view - A request for a file whose type is defined as a page in log analysis. An occurrence of the script being run in page tagging. In log analysis, a single page view may generate multiple hits as all the resources required to view the page (images, .js and .css files) are also requested from the web server. * Visit / Session - A visit is defined as a series of page requests from the same uniquely identified client with a time of no more than 30 minutes between each page request. A session is defined as a series of page requests from the same uniquely identified client with a time of no more than 30 minutes and no requests for pages from other domains intervening between page requests. In other words, a session ends when someone goes to another site, or 30 minutes elapse between page views, whichever comes first. A visit ends only after a 30 minute time delay. If someone leaves a site, then returns within 30 minutes, this will count as one visit but two sessions. In practice, most systems ignore sessions and many analysts use both terms for visits. Because time between pageviews is critical to the definition of visits and sessions, a single page view does not constitute a visit or a session (it is a "bounce"). * First Visit / First Session - A visit from a visitor who has not made any previous visits. * Visitor / Unique Visitor / Unique User - The uniquely identified client generating requests on the web server (log analysis) or viewing pages (page tagging) within a defined time period (i.e. day, week or month). A Unique Visitor counts once within the timescale. A visitor can make multiple visits. Identification is made to the visitor''s computer, not the person, usually via cookie and/or IP+User Agent. Thus the same person visiting from two different computers will count as two Unique Visitors. Increasingly visitors are uniquely identified by Flash LSO''s (Local Shared Object), which are less susceptible to privacy enforcement. * Repeat Visitor - A visitor that has made at least one previous visit. The period between the last and current visit is called visitor regency and is measured in days. * New Visitor - A visitor that has not made any previous visits. This definition creates a certain amount of confusion (see common confusions below), and is sometimes substituted with analysis of first visits. * Impression - An impression is each time an advertisement loads on a user''s screen. Anytime you see a banner, that is an impression. * Singletons - The number of visits where only a single page is viewed. While not a useful metric in and of itself the number of singletons is indicative of various forms of Click fraud as well as being used to calculate bounce rate and in some cases to identify automatons bots). * Bounce Rate - The percentage of visits where the visitor enters and exits at the same page without visiting any other pages on the site in between. * % Exit - The percentage of users who exit from a page. * Visibility time - The time a single page (or a blog, Ad Banner...) is viewed. * Session Duration - Average amount of time that visitors spend on the site each time they visit. This metric can be complicated by the fact that analytics programs can not measure the length of the final page view. * Page View Duration / Time on Page - Average amount of time that visitors spend on each page of the site. As with Session Duration, this metric is complicated by the fact that analytics programs can not measure the length of the final page view unless they record a page close event, such as on Unload(). * Active Time / Engagement Time - Average amount of time that visitors spend actually interacting with content on a web page, based on mouse moves, clicks, hovers and scrolls. Unlike Session Duration and Page View Duration / Time on Page, this metric can accurately measure the length of engagement in the final page view. * Page Depth / Page Views per Session - Page Depth is the average number of page views a visitor consumes before ending their session. It is calculated by dividing total number of page views by total number of sessions and is also called Page Views per Session or PV/Session. * Frequency / Session per Unique - Frequency measures how often visitors come to a website. It is calculated by dividing the total number of sessions (or visits) by the total number of unique visitors. Sometimes it is used to measure the loyalty of your audience. * Click path - the sequence of hyperlinks one or more website visitors follows on a given site. * Click - "refers to a single instance of a user following a hyperlink from one page in a site to another". Some use click analytics to analyze their web sites. * Site Overlay is a technique in which graphical statistics are shown besides each link on the web page. These statistics represent the percentage of clicks on each link. Google Penalty Advice Finding the Causes of a Sudden Drop in Ranking To check for Google penalties with any degree of certainty can be difficult. For example, if your website experiences a sudden reduction in ranking for its main keyword terms it can be caused solely by a Google algorithm change or search results (SERP) update. Google penalty example using Analytics When any algorithm change or Google SERP update is released, there are always winners and losers, and when a sudden drop in rankings is experienced Google penalties are often incorrectly blamed. However, where the traffic reduction from Google non-paid search is very extreme, as pictured left (from Google Analytics data - traffic sources > search engines > Google) then a penalty is much more likely. There are a growing number of Google filters now built into the Google algorithm which aim to detect violations of Google Webmaster Guidelines in order to help maintain the quality of Google''s search results (SERP) for any given query. One such algorithmic filter is thought to have caused the massive drop on Google traffic pictured above. Link Devaluation Effects When considering the cause of a ranking reduction, its worth noting that Google continually applies link devaluation to links from various non-reputable sources that it considers spammers are exploiting to artificially raise the ranking of their sites. Hence continual Google algorithm tweaks are being made in an effort to combat link spam. When link devaluation is applied, as it has with reciprocal links as well as links from many paid link advertisements, low quality web directories and link farms, reductions in Google ranking may occur affecting the recipient site of the links. The severity of ranking reductions is usually synonymous with the website''s reliance on that particular type of linking. There''s no doubt that do-follow blog links and low quality web directory links have also been devalued and that this has lead to reduced website rankings for sites which got a significant number of backlinks or site wide links from do-follow blogs or directories. In addition, backlinks from unrelated theme sites are also experiencing Google devaluation - so if your site heavily relies on these links, then it too may experience a sudden drop in Google rankings. If you suspect a Google penalty, it first makes sense to check whether any Google algorithm changes have been made which could be the cause of the problem. SEO Forum posts reflecting algorithm changes usually appear on the SEO Chat Forum soon after the effects of any update are felt. That said, if your website suffers sudden and dramatic fall in ranking and no Google algorithm changes have been made, then a Google penalty or filter may be the cause, especially if you have been embarking on activities which might have contravened Google Webmaster Guidelines. The most severe Google penalties lead to total website de-indexing and where the SEO misdemeanour is serious a site ban may be imposed by Google, accompanied by a Page Rank reduction to 0 and a greyed out Google Toolbar Page Rank indication. Google filters are less extreme, but can still be extremely damaging to a company''s profits. Whatever the cause, recovering from a Google penalty or filter is a challenge and our SEO checklist will help identify likely causes and reasons for a sudden reduction in Google ranking or an major drop in SERPS position for your main keywords. Initial Test for a Penalty When a penalty is suspected, start by checking with Google the number of URL''s it has indexed. This can be accomplished by using the site:yourdomainname.com command within a Google search window. If no URL''s are indexed and no backlinks show up when the link:yourdomain.com is entered then there is a high probability of a Google penalty, especially if your site used to be indexed and used to show backlinks. Another indicator of a Google penalty is ceasing to rank for your own company name, where previously your ranked well for your own brand name. The exception to this rule is a new website with few backlinks, which may not be Google indexed since it is still waiting to be crawled. Such websites frequently show no backlinks, but this doesn''t imply they have received a Google penalty! Not all Google penalties result in a loss of Page Rank. For example, various Google filters can be triggered by unnatural irregularities in backlinks (detected by the clever Google algorithm) or by excessive reciprocal link exchange, particularly using similar keyword optimized anchor text in your links. The example (left) shows a typical reduction in website traffic caused by a Google SEO penalty. Another good indication that a site is under penalty is to take a unique paragraph of text from a popular page on the affected site and searching for it in Google. If the page doesn''t come back as #1 and the page is still showing as cached using cache:www.mydomain.com/page.htm, then this is a good indication that a penalty or filter has been placed on the domain. To avoid a Google penalty or SERPS filter, take particular care when embarking on any link building program. In particular, avoid reciprocal link exchange becoming the main-stay of your SEO campaign. If you suspect your website has received a Google penalty, you can contact Google by sending an e-mail to help@google.com to ask for help. They will usually check the spam report queue and offer some form of assistance. Interestingly, in a recent move by Google, web sites which are in clear violation of Google''s webmaster guidelines or terms of service may receive an e-mail from Google advising them to clean up their act, warning of a penalty and website de-indexing. When the breach of Google''s terms (e.g. link spam or hidden text) is removed from the offending site, Google will usually automatically clear the penalty and re-index the site as many so-called penalties are actually ''filters'' triggered by irregularities found by Google''s algorithm. Google Penalty Checklist If your website has suffered a Google penalty, some free SEO advice to help identify the cause and solve the problem is provided below. Once you have identified the cause of the problem, we suggest watching the Google reconsideration tips video to help prepare a successful reconsideration request to Google. For further assistance with Google penalties contact us for professional help. Linking to banned sites Run a test on all outbound links from your site to see if you are linking to any sites which have themselves been Google banned. These will be sites which are Google de-listed and show Page Rank 0 with a greyed out Toolbar Page Rank indicator. Linking to bad neighborhoods Check you are not linking to any bad neighborhoods (neighborhoods - US spelling), link farms or doorway pages. Bad neighborhoods include spam sites and doorway pages, whilst link farms are just pages of links to other sites, with no original or useful content. If in doubt, we recommend quality checking all of your outbound links to external sites using the Bad Neighborhood detection tool. Whilst this SEO tool isn''t perfect, it may spot "problem sites". Another good tip is to do a Google search for the HTML homepage title of sites that you link to. If the sites don''t come up in the top 20 of the Google SERPS, then they are almost certainly low trust domains and linking to them should be avoided. Automated query penalty Google penalties can sometimes be caused by using automated query tools which make use of Google''s API, particularly when such queries are made from the same IP address that hosts your website. These tools break Google''s terms of service (as laid out in their Webmaster Guidelines). Google allows certain automated queries into its database using its analytic tools and when accessing through a registered Google API account. Unauthorized types of automated query can cause problems, particularly when used excessively. Over optimization penalties and Google filters These can be triggered by poor SEO techniques such as aggressive link building using the same keywords in link anchor text. When managing link building campaigns, always vary the link text used and incorporate a variety of different keyword terms. Use a back link anchor text analyzer tool to check back links for sufficient keyword spread. Optimizing for high paying (often abused) keywords like "Viagra" can further elevate risk, so mix in some long tail keywords into the equation. For brand new domains, be sensible and add a few one way back links a week and use deep linking to website internal pages, rather than just homepage link building. Above all, always vary your link anchor text to incorporate different keywords, not variations on the same keyword! There is strong evidence that Google has introduced some new automatic over optimization filters into their algorithm. These seem to have the effect of applying a penalty to a page which has been over optimized for the same keyword by link building. See Google filters for more information or contact KSL Consulting for assistance (fees apply). Website cross linking & link schemes If you run more than one website and the Google penalty hits all sites at the same time, check the interlinking (cross linking) between those sites. Extensive interlinking of websites, particularly if they are on the same C Class IP address (same ISP) can be viewed as "link schemes" by Google, breaking their terms of service. The risks are even higher where site A site wide links to site B and site B site wide links back to site A. In addition, link schemes offering paid link placement in the footer section of webpages (even on high Page Rank pages) are detectable search engine spam and are best avoided. Site-wide links should also be avoided at all costs. The reality is that site wide links do little to increase site visibility in the Google SERPS, nor do they improve Page Rank more than a single link, as Google only counts one link from a site to another. KSL Consulting also believe that Yahoo! now applies a similar policy. There is some evidence that the extensive use of site-wide links can lower website Google trust value, which can subsequently reduce ranking. Duplicate Content problems Whilst duplicate content in its own right is not thought to trigger Google penalties, it can be responsible for the non-indexation of website content and for placing all duplicate web pages into Google''s supplemental index, which results in pages not ranking in the Google SERP. This can result in significant traffic loss to a site, similar to that caused by a penalty. Google will not index duplicate content and any site which utilizes large amounts of content (like news feeds/articles) featured elsewhere on the web will likely suffer as a result. Hidden text or links Remove any hidden text in your content and remove any hidden keywords. Such content may be hidden from view using CSS or alternatively, text may have been coded to be the same colour as the page background, rendering it invisible. These risky SEO techniques often lead to a Google penalty or web site ban and should be removed immediately. The same applies to hidden links, which Matt Cutts has openly stated break their webmaster guidelines. Keyword stuffing (spamming) Remove excessive keyword stuffing in your website content (unnatural repetitions of the same phrase in body text). Always use natural, well written web copywriting techniques. Check for Malware Problems It is worthwhile carrying out a check to see if Google has blacklisted your site as unsafe for browsing. To assess whether this is the case visit www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=mydomain.co.uk, replacing ''mydomain.co.uk'' with your domain. Automated page redirects The use of automated browser re-directs in any of your pages. Meta Refresh and JavaScript automated re-directs often result in Google penalties as the pages using them are perceived to be doorway pages. This technique is especially dangerous if the refresh time is less than 5 seconds. To avoid Google penalties, use a 301 re-direct or Mod Rewrite technique instead of these methods. This involves setting up a .htaccess file on your web server. Link buying or selling Check for any paid links (I.E. buying text links from known link suppliers / companies). There is some evidence that buying links can hurt rankings and this was implied by comments from Matt Cutts (a Google engineer) on his Google SEO blog. Matt states that Google will also devalue links from companies selling text links, such that they offer zero value to the recipient in terms for improving website rankings or Page Rank. More recently, Google applied a Page Rank penalty to known link sellers and many low quality directories. Reciprocal link building campaigns Excessive reciprocal linking may trigger a Google penalty or cause a SERPS filter to be applied when the same or very similar link anchor text is used over and over again and large numbers of reciprocal links are added in a relatively short time. The dangers are made worse by adding reciprocal links to low quality sites or websites which have an unrelated theme. This can lead to a back link over optimization penalty (known as a BLOOP to SEO experts!). a Google Back link Over Optimization Penalty causes a sudden drops in SERPS ranking (often severe). To avoid this problem, reciprocal link exchange should only be used as part of a more sustainable SEO strategy which also builds quality one way links to original website content. Adding reciprocal links to unrelated sites is a risky SEO strategy, as is reciprocal link exchange with low quality websites. To help identify quality link exchange partners we use a simple but effective test - regardless of indicated Page Rank, if you can''t find a website''s homepage in the top 20 of the Google search results (SERPS) when you search for the first 4 words of a site''s full HTML title (shown at the top of the Internet Explorer window) then undertaking reciprocal link exchange with that site may offer few advantages. Don''t forget to check that prospective reciprocal link partners have a similar theme as your homepage too. Paid links on Commercial Directories Some leading online web directories offer paid placement for multiple regions where a link to your website appears on many pages of the directory with keyword optimized anchor text and these links are search engine accessible (I.E. they have no "nofollow" tag). If you have optimized the same keyword elsewhere in your SEO campaign, adding hundreds of links from commercial directories with the same or similar anchor text in a short space of time can cause serious problems. In extreme cases we''ve seen these kinds of directory links trigger a Google filter. Thin Affiliates and "Made for Adsense" sites It''s a well known fact that Google dislikes affiliate sites with thin content and the same applies to "made to Adsense" sites. Always make sure affiliate sites have quality original content if you don''t want to get them filtered out of the search results when someone completes a Google spam report. We have had personal experience of affiliate sites acquiring a Google penalty, so don''t spend time and money on SEO on such sites without the right content. Content Feeds and I-Frames Whilst content feeds (including RSS) are widely used on the web, there is some evidence that pulling in large amounts of duplicate content through such feeds may have an adverse effect on ranking and in extreme cases may trigger a Google penalty. In particular, the use of I-frames to pull in affiliate content should be avoided where possible. Consider the use of banners and text links as an alternative. Same Registrant Domains As Google has access to the WHOIS records for domains and is known to use this information, it is possible that a penalty applied to one website may reduce the ranking of other websites with the same registrant, although most filters only affect one domain. Check Google Webmaster Guidelines Read the Google Webmaster Guidelines and check website compliance in all respects. Since early 2007, Google may alert webmasters via the Google Webmaster Console who they feel might have unknowingly broken their guidelines to advise them that their site has been removed from Google for a set period of time due to breaking one or more of Google''s Webmaster Guidelines. However, blatant spam or significant breaches of Google''s rules will often result in a site being banned, with no Webmaster Console notification. Where notification of a violation of Google''s guidelines is received, it usually encourages the webmaster to correct the problem/s and then submit a Google re-inclusion request (now referred to as a ''reconsideration request'' in Webmaster Tools). From my experience, after this is done the website will usually regain its original ranking in around 14 days, assuming that all violations of Google''s terms and conditions have been resolved. Google Webmaster Tools According to Matt Cutts''s Blog, Google is improving webmaster communication with respect to banned sites and penalties. Google is now informing some (but not all) webmasters the cause of a website ban or penalty, via their excellent new Webmaster Console. In addition, a Google re-inclusion request can be made from the same interface. For this reason, if you''ve been hit by a web site ban or penalty, it is worthwhile signing up for Google Webmaster Tools and uploading an XML Sitemap onto your site and then to check site status in the Google Webmaster Console. This is an easy 15 minute job and may help to identify the cause and fix for the problem! Preparing Your Site for Google Reconsideration Google recently prepared a Google reconsideration video tutorial on how to create a good reconsideration request, including tips on what Google look for when assessing the reinclusion of any website. The video tutorial is presented by actual members of Google''s reconsideration team and is very helpful to any webmaster looking to successfully prepare a reconsideration request. Google SERP Filters There is clear evidence that over-optimizing a single keyword through adding too many back links and site-wide links can result in triggering a Google filter whereby the recipient page of these links no longer ranks in the organic SERP for the keyword being optimized. Affected page/s appear to still be Google indexed and cached. The Google Trust Rank of the website may be slightly affected leading to a ranking reduction for other keywords. Interestingly though, affected websites can retain ranking for other long tail keywords which have not been over optimized, particularly on pages which have not been subject to aggressive link building, but may have one or two decent natural links. One other fact worth noting is that affected pages seem to have high keyword density to the point of being over-optimized. In some cases changes to increase page keyword density for the problem keyword may have been made shortly prior to the Google filter being applied. In the cases observed, the websites still rank for their company name and pages still show in the Google index (using the site:domain.com command). However, picking a sentence of text from the affected page and searching for it in Google yielded no results. It is therefore fair to assume that the filtered page was all but removed from the index as far as its ability to rank - even for long-tail keywords, although it still showed as being Google cached (cache:domain.com/page). To assess whether your website is affected by a Google SERP filter, do a site-wide back link anchor text analysis using Majestic SEO (free) or a paid SEO tool like SEO Moz Links cape and check the spread of keywords used in links to your page look natural. Check your keyword density too excluding Meta tags. Google is tightening up on link spam in a big way; be warned! Check for a Total Google Website Ban If you''ve used unethical black hat SEO techniques your website could be Google banned and consequently totally de-indexed. If your site no longer shows any pages indexed when the site: www.yourdomain.com command is used in Google (and it was previously indexed), then your site may have received the most extreme form of penalty - a total Google ban. Check for possible causes using the free SEO advice contained in our penalty checklist above. Google Penalty Recovery Strategy Recovering from a Google penalty normally involves fixing the cause of the problem and then waiting for Google to remove any over optimization penalties or SERPS filters. To fully recover Google ranking may take around 2-3 months after all website problems are corrected, although we have seen penalty recovery in a matter of weeks following full and thorough resolution of the Google Webmaster Guidelines infringements. The Google algorithm can automatically remove penalties if the affected website is still Google indexed. To check whether a particular website is still Google indexed, refer to our Google indexing page. If your website has been Google de-indexed and lost Page Rank, then you will need to make a Google re-inclusion request. Where the reason for the penalty is clear, it helps to provide details of any changes you''ve made to correct violations of the Google Webmaster Guidelines. The best recovery strategy from any Google penalty is to thoroughly familiarize yourself with Google Webmaster Guidelines and also check the SEO Chat Forum for threads surrounding any recent Google algorithm changes and to evaluate recent changes made to your website prior to the sudden drop in Google ranking. Don''t forget to check your link building strategy as poor SEO often causes Google penalties. Start by removing any reciprocal links to low quality websites, or sites having no relevance to your website theme. Preparing for a Google Re-Inclusion (Reconsideration) Request We recommend you start by watching the Google reconsideration tips video. If your site has been de-indexed due to a Google penalty, correct the problem and then apply to be re-included in the Google index by submitting a Google re-inclusion request from your Webmaster Tools account. More information about this is provided in Google Webmaster Help. Google refer to this process as making a "reconsideration request" which is now submitted from your Webmaster Tools login. How long does site reconsideration take? By submitting a reconsideration request to Google you enter the queue for the manual review process whereby your site is manually checked for violations of Google''s Webmaster Guidelines. This can take several weeks. At the end of the process, an Inbox message is usually sent to the Webmaster to confirm that the reconsideration has been processed. This will be visible by logging into Webmaster Tools and then checking your Inbox under ''Messages''. Gorilla Marketing (Viral Marketing) Viral marketing and viral advertising are buzzwords referring to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of virus or computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet. Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or even text messages. The goal of marketers interested in creating successful viral marketing programs is to identify individuals with high Social Networking Potential (SNP) and create viral messages that appeal to this segment of the population and have a high probability of being taken by another competitor. The term "viral marketing" has also been used pejoratively to refer to stealth marketing campaigns—the unscrupulous use of astronautics on-line combined with under market advertising in shopping centres to create the impression of spontaneous word of mouth enthusiasm. Viral marketing is a imitation which is by using social media and other channels of communication spreading the planned content aiming to reach the most efficient and friendly manner to the target audience. Briefly, the idea spread from person to person. Email Marketing E-mail marketing is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fund-raising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every e-mail sent to a potential or current customer could be considered e-mail marketing. However, the term is usually used to refer to: * sending e-mails with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business, * sending e-mails with the purpose of acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, * adding advertisements to e-mails sent by other companies to their customers, and * Sending e-mails over the Internet, as e-mail did and does exist outside the Internet (e.g., network e-mail and FIDO).
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Orillia Fine Arts Association - Home President’s Message November 2018 It is with great pleasure that I take on the role of president for OFAA. Having met the new board assembled for the first time a week ago, it is clear we have a dynamic group that is full of ambition and ideas. Last year’s president, Robyn Rennie and her board inspired change where needed and strove to address the needs of the association. Robyn’s fondness of the association and its members is evident. I am honoured to follow in her footsteps and, together with the new board, carry the torch to further the mission of revitalizing OFAA. I would like to thank last year’s board and acknowledge those who are retiring from their positions: Past President- Sandy Atkinson President - Robyn Rennie Vice - President(s) Elaine Bremer and Mike Bailey Treasurer- Susan Rudoler Secretary – Anne Knegt Exhibits – Jesse Strong Membership – Patricia Beecham Media – Jesse Strong Communications – Anne Knegt Refreshments – Judith Sophie Your new board: Past President – Robyn Rennie President – Raune-lea Marshall Vice – President Julie Grimaldi Treasurer – Cindy Ness Secretary – Lynn Stokes Exhibits – returning, Jesse Strong Membership – Patricia Beecham (for the interim) we are looking to fill this position from the members. Media – Patti Agapi Communications – Stephanie Stanton New Venues – Marlene Bulas Refreshments – Antoinette (Toni) Shaw This new year is shaping up to be another great one. As your new board, we plan to continue to offer fun and informative meetings with plenty of hands-on activities. We’re on the hunt for new venues to help you display and sell your work and we are continuing our work to increase our membership. We are also looking for ways to enhance the vision and mission of OFAA. In her honour, the Mary Rose Fund will continue on. For those who are interested, a yard sale is planned again for the spring. This is just a small taste of what is to come. I encourage you to keep tabs on our Facebook page to learn from Media (Patti) about all the events coming your way. We welcome your input and encourage you to reach out to us with any ideas you think might be of interest to our members. On a personal note, I’ve only called Orillia home for a short time and I am looking forward to getting to know you all and growing friendships along the way. Cheers! Raune-Lea Marshall
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Orillia Fine Arts Association - Home President’s Message November 2018 It is with great pleasure that I take on the role of president for OFAA. Having met the new board assembled for the first time a week ago, it is clear we have a dynamic group that is full of ambition and ideas. Last year’s president, Robyn Rennie and her board inspired change where needed and strove to address the needs of the association. Robyn’s fondness of the association and its members is evident. I am honoured to follow in her footsteps and, together with the new board, carry the torch to further the mission of revitalizing OFAA. I would like to thank last year’s board and acknowledge those who are retiring from their positions: Past President- Sandy Atkinson President - Robyn Rennie Vice - President(s) Elaine Bremer and Mike Bailey Treasurer- Susan Rudoler Secretary – Anne Knegt Exhibits – Jesse Strong Membership – Patricia Beecham Media – Jesse Strong Communications – Anne Knegt Refreshments – Judith Sophie Your new board: Past President – Robyn Rennie President – Raune-lea Marshall Vice – President Julie Grimaldi Treasurer – Cindy Ness Secretary – Lynn Stokes Exhibits – returning, Jesse Strong Membership – Patricia Beecham (for the interim) we are looking to fill this position from the members. Media – Patti Agapi Communications – Stephanie Stanton New Venues – Marlene Bulas Refreshments – Antoinette (Toni) Shaw This new year is shaping up to be another great one. As your new board, we plan to continue to offer fun and informative meetings with plenty of hands-on activities. We’re on the hunt for new venues to help you display and sell your work and we are continuing our work to increase our membership. We are also looking for ways to enhance the vision and mission of OFAA. In her honour, the Mary Rose Fund will continue on. For those who are interested, a yard sale is planned again for the spring. This is just a small taste of what is to come. I encourage you to keep tabs on our Facebook page to learn from Media (Patti) about all the events coming your way. We welcome your input and encourage you to reach out to us with any ideas you think might be of interest to our members. On a personal note, I’ve only called Orillia home for a short time and I am looking forward to getting to know you all and growing friendships along the way. Cheers! Raune-Lea Marshall
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Family Histories of Jamaica | "Exploring your Jamaican family heritage" Welcome to Family History Jamaica This site aims to encourage sharing and exchanging information ranging from tips on how to research family names to ideas on how to identify place names such as located in parishes and district. Information has been gathered from different sources to encourage interest to research into your ancestral line. Information…
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Leaders Press On Web Site – Discovering the Power of Perseverance Welcome to "Leader's Press On".  A resource on the web dedicated to encourage leaders like you  inspire others, innovate new  solutions and persevere toward new discoveries.   Because of my interest and intrigue in these topics, I wrote a related book on perseverance as it applies to leadership, culture and innovation.  This book was published early summer 2016 and revised and updated in June 2017.  You find the book online at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble.com. Leading a team, building culture, and creating innovation involves knowing how to persevere from the starting line to the finish line, and involves bringing others with you. You can learn to become a better leader, culture creator,  and innovator by understanding the  principles to perseverance.  These principles can be a difference maker for any one of us, whether a pioneer, a creator, a stimulator, or a connector. It's my hope that the thoughts, experiences and stories shared on this site (and in my book) encourage you and others to press on. Also, I would love to hear from you.  What is your story of perseverance? Please take a moment to connect with me by signing up for news and resources and receive my free resource.  There's no cost to sign up (nor do I sell your email address). Also follow me also on twitter (@PaulGustavson).
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The Johnson Letters | Life Lessons From One Generation To The Next To Speed Up And Enhance Your Chances of Success If you want to accomplish anything in life, getting clarity on what is your end goal is critical to successfully achieving that thing. It doesn't matter what area of life you're talking about—work, health, marriage, finances, etc. If you want to accomplish something significant, you have to get clear on what you actually want to achieve—and parenting is no different. However, there are two major problems for most parents on this issue. The first is that they often don't have a clear goal at all. Go ahead. Just ask ten parents, "What's your goal for raising up your kids?" and see what answers you get. Most of them will say something like, "That's an interesting question. I guess my goal is to be a good parent." When you follow up and say, "Okay, but what's your goal? How will you know if you're successful?" Most will then say, "I guess I'm not sure I really have a goal." Or they'll try to make up something on the spot which you can quickly sniff out. The second problem you'll encounter is that those parents who do have an answer often confuse their vision for their kids with the goal of parenting (and in our case, the goal of Christian parenting). You might hear them say things like … My goal is to raise up a smart (meaning, straight A) student so they can go to a good college and get a good job someday My goal is to raise up an entrepreneur who will someday create jobs for other people My goal is to raise up a star athlete who will play football someday at my alma mater My goal is to raise up a musician who will be famous someday and tour the world My goal is to raise up a … (you get the idea) Now, there's nothing wrong with having visions for what you want your children to do. If you hope they'll be a star athlete or mathlete. If you hope they'll be a programmer or an engineer. If you hope they'll be a renaissance person or a straight A student. If you hope they'll be a musician or an artist. If you hope they'll love a specific course of study or a specific sport. If you hope they'll be a missionary or go on missions trips. Those are all good visions. But none of them should be your goal. In fact, one of the most important lessons you can ever learn about parenting is learning to let your children be who God created them to be. And that means that they often (okay, frequently :-) won't want to do or be what you want them to do or be … and that's okay. So, what should be the goal of Christian parenting? Well, there's not one perfect answer to the question but this is how I frame it. The goal of Christian parenting is to raise up … I. Positive The number one ingredient to success in any endeavor is attitude. The old adage that success is 15% skill and 85% attitude is pretty accurate. You can see this play out every week in athletic contests. You take two individuals or two teams with the same relative skill and put them on a field or court and the one who loses will almost always say something like, "I just didn't believe as much as they did. I was nervous. I doubted myself. On the big plays I choked. Etc." Attitude makes the biggest difference. So, if the number one thing that allows anyone to succeed at anything is their attitude, if you want to give your kids the best leg up in life, then you'll want to make it one of your goals to help them become positive. This doesn't mean you can't discipline or correct them (that's point three below) but you want to make the overarching experience for your kids one that encourages them. Be liberal with your praise. Never shame them. Treat them with respect. Give them great experiences. Keep them away from negative people and negative environments (yes, you can limit their exposure to negative people including family members—there is no rule you have to spend X amount of time with negative relatives Y number of times per year). At the same time, confidence and that sense of being positive is cultivated by winning a lot. So, help them win. Help them find activities that they enjoy and are good at and then provide them with the resources they need to successfully complete those activities. Help them break tasks down and celebrate each win vs. waiting until the end before they feel good. And help them keep reminders of all their wins. Create a success journal or success wall. You can even make up medals and trophies. Surround them with the sense that they have what it takes to win and you'll do a great job of raising up a child who has a positive outlook on life. II. Faith-Walking As a Christian parent, few things are more important than this. First, you want to pray that your children come to faith early in life and secondly, that they live their life by faith. The Christian life is "by faith from first to last." So, what can you do to enhance the probability that your children will choose faith and then walk by faith? Well, here are a few ideas. Model it - Children reproduce what they see. If they see that your faith matters to you. If they see that you read your Bible. If they see that you pray. If they see that when something goes wrong or you want something, you ask God first. If they see that you go to church and serve, etc. You'll have the best chance of them "catching" your faith. Pray for them - Start praying before your kids are born and then never stop—and one of those early prayers should be for your kids to come to faith early in life. Pray for it daily until they make a decision to follow Jesus. Then keep praying for them to live each day by faith. Your praying for them will be critical to who they become. Walk by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit - As you probably know, the Christian life is impossible to live on your own. You need God to help you live in a way that honors Him. So, make a decision every day to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to trust that God will live His life through you. Take faith risks - Share with your kids some of the things you're trusting God for and that you don't just live your life based on what you can do. If you do those four things (along with praying for them to come to faith early in life) you'll have a high probability of raising up a faith-walking child. Note: faith-walking also means that your faith and theirs isn't just a Sunday kind of faith but a seven day a week kind of faith. III. Morally-Responsible Children As parents, there are so many important things that you will model and choose to do. For example, how you parent will teach your kids about God. How you parent will teach your kids about how to obey God. How you parent will teach your children about how to choose between right and wrong. How you parent will teach your children about personal responsibility, etc. And I'm collating all of these ideas under this phrase of raising up "morally-responsible" children. It is not the government's job or the school's job or even the church's job to teach your children to be morally-responsible—it's your job. All of the others can help, but ultimately, God puts the responsibility on your shoulders to raise up a child who will walk in obedience to His commands. So, own it. This is where discipline and correction come in. I'll write a Johnson Letter someday about the difference between punishment and discipline but the simple difference is that punishment is about the past and discipline is about the future. Discipline is about training your child to make good choices—to know that there's a right and a wrong and if you do wrong, there are negative consequences (and if you do right there are positive consequences). While it's often easier to just let your kids get away with something, that should not be your motivation (nor should making them pay for something they did that was wrong). If your goal is to raise up a morally-responsible child then consistency is key. If you say, "If you lie to us then X will happen," and they lie, then X must happen. It doesn't matter if you understand why. It doesn't matter if their lie was cute or ingenious, you have to be consistent. Why? Because your goal is to raise up a morally-responsible child. Consistency will increase that probability. Inconsistency will decrease it. Note: and this is critical. Consistency in discipline needs to start as soon as your child begins to assert their will ("I want to do what I want to do my way not your way"), which usually starts at about nine months of age. If you start discipline at this point (not punishment), you'll avoid the terrible twos. If you wait until your children are two, well good luck :-). IV. Who Love God When Jesus was asked the question, "What's the most important commandment?" how did he respond? Exactly. He said, "Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength." If that's the great commandment and your goal as a Christian parent is to raise up a child who will obey God, doesn't it seem like this would be a good place to start? Absolutely! I hope you've noticed above that I keep saying that the goal of Christian parenting is NOT to raise up a smart kid or a doctor or an athlete or an artist or a millionaire, etc. None of those things are bad but not every child will have an IQ of 143. Not every child will have the interest or genetics to be a great athlete. Not every child will be an entrepreneur. But every child can grow up to love God. And if you help your children do that, you can feel good that you did your job as a Christian parent. Now, when we're talking about loving God, we're not just talking about an emotional connection (i.e. "I love God."). Loving God is first and foremost about obedience. The way you know someone loves God, is by how obedient they are. You can also know if someone loves God by how they use their money (we always give to what or whom we love. So if a child doesn't want to give financially to God but wants to spend every penny they have on themselves then there's a problem). You can also see if your child loves God by their desire to spend time reading and studying His Word. If you love someone, you want to spend time with them. And finally, you can easily see if your child loves God by whether they want to serve Him in some capacity. So, if you want to be a great parent, make part of your responsibility creating environments and opportunities for your children to learn how to love God. Take them to church with you. Talk about God in your daily life. Pray with them. Read your Bible with them. Talk about your giving with them. Teach them about tithing with their first dollar, etc. Help them fall in love with God and you'll be a great parent. V. Love People As you know, the second half of the great commandment says, "Love your neighbor as yourself." So, how can you help your children love people? Well, here are a few ideas. Model It - Since children reproduce what they see, make sure you model loving people. Put the needs of others above your own - in other words, demonstrate that love isn't about selfishness but sacrifice (note: this doesn't mean you don't ever take care of you. Remember, the commandment says, "Love your neighbor as yourself." But there ought to be regular examples of you putting other people's needs above your own). Give generously to others - give your best to others, not your leftovers. Even simple things like paying for other people or buying something special that you cook for dinner for your guests can make a difference. When they ask why you can tell them, "It's all about love." Make time for other people - time is one of our most precious resources. When you give someone your time, you're giving them a gift. Help your children understand this principle that making time for others is a tangible way of saying, "I love you." Serve together with them - look for opportunities where you can serve together, not separately. For example, get them to help make a Thanksgiving dinner basket with you and then deliver it to a needy family. Or get them to serve with you at a church function, etc. And when you talk with them, remind them that you're doing this as a tangible way to say, "We love you." If you had to choose between having a child who loved people but wasn't super successful vs. one who was super successful but didn't care for people, I hope you'd choose the former, not the later. Though, just to be clear, these are not mutually exclusive. Having an incredibly successful child who loves people would be a great option as well. However, the point is that while the world might think that having a child who's super successful is the sign that you've done a great job as a parent, I disagree. Raising up a child who loves God and loves people is the best sign that someone has done a great job as a parent (though, as you probably know, every child has their own will and sometimes, even if you do all the right things, a child will choose to follow a different path). Like proverbs, the Johnson Letters are about what's most probably true. In other words, if you do the above, you will, in general, have the greatest probability of raising up a child who will love God and love people (realizing that there are no guarantees in life). However, in general, if you raise your kids to love other people, they'll usually follow in those footsteps. VI. And Who Want to Make a Difference With Their Lives for The King of Kings If you were to answer the question, "Why are we on planet earth?" what would your answer be? Apart from "To glorify/honor/love God" what would you say? The simplest answer I know of is, "To serve others." The right answer is not "To make a lot of money," or "To be famous," or "To become a world leader," or "To use up scare world resources and die." You and I exist to serve one another and to make a difference in one another's lives. How we serve and where we serve, those are all different for each of us—but the idea of serving others for the purpose of making a difference is why we're here on planet earth. And, as Christ-followers, that purpose should go one step further to include making a difference for the King of Kings. So, as a parent, as you're guiding your children through toddlerhood into childhood and then adolescence one of the top agenda items that ought to be at the forefront of your brain should be, "I want to train my children to value serving other people and to wanting to make a difference with their lives for the King of Kings." Help them to get past just living for today and help them see their part in what God's doing in the world. Help them to see that God wants to use their eyes, ears, hands, feet, words, etc. to make a difference in other people's lives. Help them see that they're a part of something bigger than just them. And help them to catch a vision for doing something great for God and for other people. If you do that, you'll be a great parent. So, to sum everything up, if you want to be a great parent, I'd encourage you to use the following rubric as your guide. Your job as a Christian parent is "to raise up positive, faith-walking, morally-responsible children who love God, love people and who want to make a difference with their lives for the King of Kings." Write that phrase down someplace. Memorize it. Practice it. And pray through it often (both for you and for them). Personally, I started praying through that statement before Chelsea and Brooke were born. I prayed it over and over again as they were growing up. And now I'm praying it for our grandkids and for the generations yet to come. If you want to be a great parent, I'd encourage you to do the same. By definition, not every child can become the best in the world at something. But every child can be a positive, faith-walking morally-responsible child who loves God, loves people and who wants to make a difference with their lives for the King of Kings. And if you do that as a parent, you can feel very good about the job you've done. To your accelerated success!
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Telescope Hub | Welcome to the Telescope Hub - for independent and best telescope reviews. Are you looking for the best telescope? Well I have to say that when we are talking about telescopes, more money means you can buy more telescope! So there has to be a limit applied somewhere, and for me, I can show you some awesome astronomical capability with telescopes around the 200 mm aperture range, whilst still fitting into most people's budget. I always like to recommend the Orion and Celestron brands the best, but you don't have to worry about which is the weakest - simple thing is they are all good. If you want to step up to another level, go for a 200 mm version. Each of the different brands offer the same functionality, the only points of difference are in the quality of the accessories, so you should be aware of what accessories come included in the deal, or whether you can afford to buy the top quality extras on top of the purchase price. For example, look for a 6 X 30 site finder (or even larger if you afford it), choose Plossl eyepieces wherever possible, and select Pyrex instead of plate glass mirrors. Okay so let's look at some of the various offerings for the Best Telescope on the market, in no particular order. 1. Orion 8945 SkyQuest XT8 Reflector Telescope The Orion SkyQuest XT8 Reflector Telescope offers some of the biggest optics and easy to use features in a simple and neat package that would have to be about the best value for money out there. Whilst it is one of the most reasonable Dobsonian mounted telescopes on the market, this device is worthy of your attention simply because of the huge aperture and optical magnification, as well as the compact nature of this instrument. Make no mistake, it is still a large piece of finely manufactured equipment, but the viewing options are simply stunning. Well, the Orion XT8 is not just great value for money, but actually gives anyone from a beginner to a budding enthusiast with the magnification to reach beyond the level of interest from the near sky objects to outer reaches of the universe and beyond. This telescope features a professional level parabolic mirror housed in a sturdy steel optical tube, and a package designed for optical brightness and clear distinct imagery. This upgraded model of the workhorse Orion XT8 has been designed as the deluxe version of the popular 200 mm telescope and is loaded with top-notch feature enhancements and upgraded accessories to enhance your visual experience. Don't forget the additional items that are included in this deal. You also get a 2 inch dual speed Crayford focusing tool, as well as upgraded accessories including a 28mm DeepView eyepiece, a 10mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece, a Safety Film Solar Filter, the EZ Finder II reflex sight, and collimation cap and more. Click Here to read our in depth review of the Orion XT8 Reflector Telescope. Click Here to read more about the Orion XT8 Reflector Telescope at Amazon. 2. Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope The Orion SpaceProbe 130ST is a real surprise package, with fantastic viewing and clear images. You can expect to easily pick up views of Venus with its crescent disk, Saturn is easily recognizable by its spectacular ring formations, and you will also be able to see Jupiter. Better still if you are careful with your focus you be able to see the moons of Saturn, the moons and cloud patterns of Jupiter, and maybe even the fabled red spot. This telescope really is fantastic value for money with such great optical performance. What else can you expect to see with this telescope? This 130 mm aperture reflector telescope gathers a brilliant field of view for bright images of the Moon and the planets but in addition, it will provide you images of deeper sky object such as some of the brighter galaxies, nebulae, and even distant glimpses of star clusters and more. The SpaceProbe 130ST EQ consists of 24 inch long optical tube design which makes it a versatile telescope for the whole family, and children will love the stunning images of the night sky. The sturdy equatorial telescope mount and adjustable tripod features fine manual adjustment for tracking and focusing on celestial objects. The easy to assemble instrument is portable and convenient to use anywhere from you own backyard, to your favourite viewing location. To maximise your viewing pleasure, the Orion SpaceProbe 130ST comes with two Sirius Plossl eyepieces (25mm and 10mm), a very handy 6x30 finder scope, and the manual rack and pinion adjustable tracking unit to keep you in the picture! Click Here to read our in depth review of the ORION 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope 3. Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerised Telescope The Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerised Telescope is a high precision optical instrument and the automatic sky mapping software makes this a very simple telescope to operate. The most impressive feature of the Celestron Telescopes is the wonderful SkyAlign technology which gives you the ability to completely automate your astronomical experience. With SkyAlign you won't need a star chart, compass or even a finder scope to align the telescope. With the power of automation all you need to do is enter the date and time. The computer takes over, and with a very rough aim, you point it at three bright objects, and the telescope is ready. SkyAlign is completely automatic and you can select any target object from the database, and the telescope will do everything for you, from aiming, to tracking and ensuring a sharp focus on the object no matter how fast it tracks across the sky, or how long you want to maintain your attention. What else do you get with the Celestron NexStar 130SLT Telescope: 130 mm aperture reflector telescope with Newtonian Optics Focal length = 650 mm 9mm eyepiece Motorized Altazimuth mount Computerized target selection and tracking with massive object database SkyAlign allows you to align on any 3 bright celestial objects Click here to read more about the Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope. 4. Celestron NexStar 4 SE Telescope The Celestron NexStar 4 SE Reflector telescope delivers great views of the Moon, the planets, and bright deep space objects. This fantastic telescope provides a brilliant construction based on the Cassegrain optical design, which offers you with the magnifying power of a telescope with a 50 inch long focal length, but compressed into a 13 inch optical reflector tube. The Celestron NexStar 4 SE is the most compact and portable telescope in Celestron's NexStar SE series, yet offers superior optical performance. The wide aperture of 100 mm makes for truly stunning magnification and bright, clear images. But despite these attractive features, the Celestron NexStar 4 SE offers still more to the budding or experienced astronomer due to the magnificent advantage offered by the computerised alignment and tracking system on which this telescope is based. The patented SkyAlign computer technology is coupled to a motorized alt-azimuth mounting platform, which is fully automated by computer technology and takes all the hard work out of aligning and tracking the telescope. The Celestron NexStar 4 SE Reflector telescope comes with standard equipment such as a 25mm E-Lux plossl eyepiece with a magnification of 53 times, enough to see the Lunar surface features, the rings of Saturn and the major cloud formations of Jupiter. If you choose, it is easy to add optional eyepieces to zoom in for even better details, but as equipped, this telescope has more than adequate magnification for a 100 mm telescope to get you started. For further details - click here to read our in depth review. Click here to read more about the Celestron NexStar 4 SE Computerized Telescope 5. Celestron NexStar 6 SE Computerised Telescope The Celestron NexStar 6 SE Reflector telescope is the next beauty in the Celestron range of reflector telescopes. These telescopes look great and and also give you great performance. The NexStar 6 SE is Celestron's latest Schmidt – Cassegrain telescope design, providing 1.5 metres of focal length in a much shorter optical tube. With an aperture of 150 mm this telescope offers brilliant clear images using superior optical components coated with high transmission coatings. This device is powerful yet portable, coming in at a total compact package of less than 15 kg in weight. The reason I like to recommend the Celestron NexStar telescopes is that they all come equipped with the fantastic automated SkyAlign technology for simple alignment and tracking functions. This computerised telescope is so simple to use, that you will never again be caught fumbling in the dark, or losing focus on your target. The Celestron NexStar 6 SE is controlled by a easy to use hand remote control panel which means you can operated the telescope with hands off the actual instrument, which eliminates the risk of bumping, wobbling or otherwise disturbing the sensitive instrumentation which can spoil your viewing pleasure. Click Here to read more about where you can buy the Celestron NexStar 6 SE Reflector telescope. 6. Orion 10018 SkyQuest XT8i IntelliScope Dobsonian Telescope So now we move up another level to the 200 mm aperture size, and to explore what additional magnification and capability is available when we step up to the next level. The Orion SkyQuest XT8i Intelliscope Computerized Telescope provides the magnification power of a 203 mm diameter aperture and combines it with the intelligence of computerized tracking technology. The standard Orion 200 mm reflector optics have been upgraded and combined with the IntelliScope Computerized Object Locator, to make it easier than ever to enjoy the best astronomical delights. The amateur stargazer can easily pinpoint the location of almost any desired object in the universe, and sit back and let the computer control guide the telescope completely by remote control. It's like having your own personal tour guide to the stars, the planets, and deeper sky objects that you previously only dreamed about. The optical tube houses a 203 mm parabolic reflector mirror and rests upon the sturdy Dobsonian mounting base. Once again, not only does the telescope make it easy for you to align on the target, the friction control and spring less mounting base provide you with the smoothest tracking motion and always keep the telescope in perfect, steady balance. The IntelliScope Computerized Object Locator includes more than 14,000 galactic objects and the database is included with the telescope and provided for the user to make it easy to get up and running. All you need to do is select the target you wish to locate from the database, then simply direct the telescope onto the target, by simply looking at the directions on the remote control. The automatic drive then controls the telescope motion until the target is centered in the telescope lens. Now that makes life for astronomers very easy! Read our in depth review to find out more about the Orion SkyQuest XT8i Intelliscope Reflector telescope. Wait - there's one more! 7. Orion 8946 SkyQuest XT10 Classic Dobsonian Telescope And now we have the Big Dob! The 254 mm diameter aperture on this big Orion XT10 Telescope will blow you away. Check our full review of the Orion XT1o Dobsonian Telescope. With the Orion XT10, you get a lot of telescope for your money, not to mention the incredible power and magnification it offers! For as little as $630 you can own this telescope and take advantage of the fantastic clarity and intensity, and you will be amazed at how clear the images of celestial objects like planets, galaxies, and nebulae will appear right in front of you! We recommend you click here to look at the Orion XT10 at the Amazon store. The Orion XT10 is Simple to Use What type of Telescope should I buy? First question: What type of Telescope should I buy? Let's try to make this an objective answer, but as with any subject, and in particular it seems, the nature of telescopes the answer to the basic question of "What telescope should I buy?" is very subjective and there is no simple answer. I will endeavour to start from the perspective of a beginner and take you through a growth process whereby you develop your skills in a logical sequence and don't break your bank (or your back!) before you develop a deep interest and love for this incredible hobby. You will find a lot of commentary about the use of binoculars as an alternative to purchasing a telescope, and some of this is well intentioned, but seriously – if you want to become an astronomer, you will need a telescope! Having said that, a decent pair of binoculars can be used to line up your more important equipment, and can certainly form a part of your astronomy tool kit. Not so long ago choosing a telescope was an easy decision as there wasn't as much choice as there is now. You could very easily purchase a small refractor telescope with say a 60 mm aperture, and have plenty of fun doing it that way. Maybe you could afford to upgrade to a 150 mm design of a more complex nature. But if you maintained the fervor, you could really aspire to a 200 mm Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope, but this was generally at great expense and only for the deadly serious astronomer. Luckily for all of us, whether young or old, new to astronomy or reasonably experienced - it is very different in the telescope world these days. Let's try to keep this as simple as possible and stick to the facts. Simple Facts about Telescopes A good refractor telescope will generally provide you the best in terms of optical superiority. A good Reflector Telescope will generally cost less to set up than the other types of telescopes. The Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes generally offer the best of both worlds. Most astronomers will choose a Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope as their primary instrument. As a rough guide, the Newtonian reflector telescopes used to be the best choice of instrument for the amateur sky watcher. As technology advanced, astronomers were attracted to the lightweight Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope as the various designs provide better and better features. Likewise, better technology revived the design of refractor telescopes, in terms of optical clarity and cost effective production. Nowadays all of the different types of telescopes are available to the amateur astronomer, so embrace the diversity and find the design that suits you best. Which is the Best Telescope for Beginners? 100mm reflector telescopes are excellent for beginners. For less than $500, you can have a telescope that has a reasonably large aperture size and is relatively portable. If you decide to go for a refractor telescope, start in the range of an 80mm diameter telescope, but be aware that you should invest in a good stable mount in order to improve the viewing quality. As a common sense rule, don't expect to buy a decent telescope for less than $100 or so. Even telescopes found at the Scientific retail shop may fall under this category, despite the best of intentions to encourage newcomers to astronomy. These telescopes are basically only good for playing with, and are not helpful if you are trying to be serious. Find a reputable telescope brand with proper optical components, and generally go with scientific telescopes. For all of the perfectionists out there - don't worry! If you are struggling to make a decision, rest assured that you can find a high quality instrument these days for a relatively modest cost that will certainly give you a kick start in astronomy, and you can always upgrade in the future. What telescope should I upgrade to? Taking it to the next level Many astronomers end up buying and using more than one telescope, so if you have a beginner telescope, don't assume that you have to do a straight upgrade, whatever you have now does not have to dictate your next purchase. Don't get too worried if your first choice doesn't measure up straight away, you just might end up with a bigger telescope that compliments your first purchase. If you're interested in developing your skills in astronomy, you might like to investigate acquiring a "spotting scope". The purpose of a spotting scope is to plan your viewing schedule on a given evening, and to work out your angles and set up. With a simple and inexpensive spotting scope you can save a lot of heavier manipulation of your primary telescope. I always recommend that you consider an upgrade to a Newtonian Telescope. They're the most comfortable to use of the three designs. The eyepiece is nearly always at a convenient height. Refractors are the worst in this regard because the eyepiece is at the bottom of the instrument, and hence trying to look straight up with a refractor telescope means you have to get underneath it to look up, which can be an uncomfortable proposition. So just to put some context around this discussion, I will try to compare like for like, but this is probably best taken as a tongue in cheek guide. As a general rule, a 200mm Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope is relatively affordable and portable. On the other hand, a 200 mm reflector telescope could be a bit of a handful, especially for a beginner, and you could end up looking at a lot of black sky (this is not fun). Finally how about upgrading your favorite refractor telescope up to a 200 mm refractor telescope? Don't take this assumption for granted, because even if you can find one, you'll probably need to convert part of your house into an observatory! This could be a good or bad thing depending on your circumstances… Recommendation for Best Telescope If I had to recommend one telescope manufacturer, it would be the Orion Brand of reflector telescopes. The XT6 / XT8 model telescopes come complete as shown blow, and simply sit on the ground. There is no need to purchase any additional mount or tripod. These telescopes weigh less than 20 kgs and stand about 4-5 feet high, and therefore should not cause too much trouble in terms of portability. The biggest problem I have found is that if your machine is too large or too heavy, you just won't use it often enough. I always recommend the Orion XT8, but I will say that all of the Orion telescopes are good. If you're feeling ambitious, choose the mighty 200 mm Orion XT8, if you are on a budget, choose the smaller XT6 version. Click here to look closer at the Orion XT8 Reflector Review A great all round telescope: Orion's XT8 Save
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New Mexico PTA | every child. one voice. The Land of Enchantment PTA Scholarship to attend National PTA Convention 2019 SPONSORED BY MOUNTAIN AMERICA CREDIT UNION In order to support the professional development of local PTA leaders and to identify and encourage individuals to aspire to higher levels in PTA, the Land of Enchantment PTA offers an all-expense paid trip to the National PTA Annual Convention. Winners are expected to serve NMPTA in a committee/Board capacity for one year. 2018-2019 Winner: Brook Bassan, North Star Elementary PTA She will attend the 2019 National PTA Convention and Expo in Columbus, Ohio – June 20-23, 2019 The Land of Enchantment PTA Education Scholarships SPONSORED BY MOUNTAIN AMERICA CREDIT UNION In keeping with the New Mexico PTA's mission to initiate, support, enrich, and advocate for the critical role of adult involvement in the education and life experiences of children throughout the state of New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment PTA Scholarships, sponsored by Mountain America Credit Union, are offered in 3 categories: A graduating high school senior with a history of advocating for others in their school or community. An educator who best exemplifies the intent of at least one of the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships to better serve their school community. A parent or guardian who has a history of advocating for others in their student's school or in their community and demonstrates personal qualities, such as perseverance, initiative, and a willingness to work hard. 2018-2019 High School Senior Winner: Allison Baker, La Cueva High School PTSA 2018-2019 High School Senior Winner: Hannah Jenson, La Cueva High School PTSA 2018-2019 Educator Winner: Jacqueline Gomez-Aragon, Sierra Vista Elementary PTA Congratulations Spring Membership Challenge Winners! From January through March, NMPTA held their Spring Membership Challenge. Three cash prizes were given away. $500 was awarded to ONE PTA that had the largest percentage of growth from their highest past three year's membership year. Congratulations to Sunset View Elementary PTA! Their 2019 membership grew 109% over their 2018 membership! Here's what they had to say about their success: We had an amazing PTA Board this past year and we all worked really worked hard to increase PTA membership. We learned that a great incentive for us was we promoted membership during the Meet the Teacher event before the start of the school year. We had tables set up outside where parents were waiting, handed out some free popcorn and just tried to be inviting and welcoming. We also sold the T-shirts that the kids need for school field trips and offered a bundle price of $20 for both membership and a shirt. We also promoted that membership does not mean that they are signing up to volunteer but simply supporting what we do and supporting their school. $300 was awarded in a drawing for ONE PTA who had at least 10% growth over July 1- December 30th 2018 combined membership numbers. Congratulations to North Star Elementary PTA! Their membership on March 31, 2019 was a 36% growth over their membership on December 31, 2018! Here's what they had to say about their success: Being a new PTA mom, I did tell a lot of my new mom friends how much fun I was having, and that I have met some awesome people being involved in PTA. So they joined to be part of the awesomeness. A lot of it is word of mouth. We did have our big meeting discussing next year's programs, and a lot of parents wanted to be a part of voting decisions so they joined at that time as well. I'm hoping next year we have even more participation. I'm getting the word out for July 1st Memberships now. $200 was awarded in a drawing for a PTA that was chartered after July 1, 2016 for the highest percentage of growth from their highest previous year's membership numbers. Congratulations to Inez Elementary PTA! This PTA, who was charted in 2017, had a membership growth of 15% in 2019 over 2018! Register Today!! NMPTA 104th Annual State ConventionCelebrating 104 Years of Family Engagement and AdvocacyMay 3 and 4, 2019 Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid Hotel 5151 San Francisco Rd., NEAlbuquerque, NM 87109505-821-3333 Have you registered for the New Mexico PTA Convention? Who: New Mexico PTA 104th Annual Convention What: An opportunity to attend workshops to strengthen the PTA Leader in You! Participate in goal setting for your PTA. Attend a Bullying panel discussion focusing on what bullying looks like and what tools we can equip our student with. Meet with Exhibitors to learn about programs and projects that can benefit Your PTA. When: May 3rd 8:30am – 5:00pm Convention. Exhibitor Showcase and Reflections Celebration 5:00-7:00pm. All food is included. May 4th 8:00am – 4:00pm Convention. All food is included. Where: Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid North Why: PTA leaders from across the state come together to share ideas, learn new ways of running their PTA (we don't have to do it the way it's always been done) and meet with State Leaders, National PTA representatives and New Mexico PTA Board members. You are not in this alone!! New Mexico PTA has the resources and tools to help you advocate for and support the students at your school. Come join us and be a part of the 104th Annual State Convention. Our theme this year is "Mission: Possible!". Please remember that the registration fee is an appropriate use of school parent engagement funds (talk to your Principal) and PTA funds. Follow this link to register: ONLINE REGISTRATION. We look forward to meeting you on May 3rd! Click HERE for more information. Use the following links for Award Nomination/Scholarship forms: NMPTA Proud! Awards Nomination Form Land Of Enchantment Student Scholarship Application Land of Enchantment Educator Scholarship Land of Enchantment Parent/Guardian Scholarship National PTA Convention Scholarship Mary Lou Anderson ArtsEd Grant The Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant is open– apply now!For 50 years, the National PTA Reflections arts program has furthered the goals of the program founder, Mary Lou Anderson. Mary Lou Anderson believed in the power and importance of the arts and dreamed that Reflections would leave a lasting impact on children across the country – and it has! Reflections has helped millions of students explore their own thoughts, feelings and ideas, develop artistic literacy, increase confidence and find a love for learning that will help them become more successful in school and in life. National PTA is happy to continue Mary Lou Anderson's vision of Reflections through the Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant. This grant opportunity provides local PTAs the opportunity to match grant dollars with that of school and community partners to accomplish innovative arts education projects. Click here for more information. NMPTA Officer Nominations for 2019-2021 Terms The NMPTA Nominating Committee would like to thank everyone who applied for Executive Committee board positions for the 2019-2021 term. We are proud to announce the slate that will be voted on at the State Convention May 3-4, 2019.**President Elect- VACANTVP for Membership- Tami Baker**VP for Leadership-VACANTVP for Legislation and Advocacy- Renata WitteVP for Finance-Allyson PierceFinancial Officer-Brook Bassan**Secretary- VACANT**If you are interested in one of the vacant positions, please contact the Nominating Committee as soon as possible for more information. Nominating.committee@newmexicopta.org Per the New Mexico PTA bylaws Article X Nominations and Election Section 1 Nominating Committee letter g:g. Nominations for all elected officers may be made from the floor with the following provisions: the nominee has provided written consent to serve if elected and; the nominee's name and written consent to serve was received by the State Office at least 10 days before the start of the convention. New Mexico PTA is hiring a part-time Office Manager New Mexico PTA is hiring a part-time Office Manager for the office located in Albuquerque, NM. The Office Manager works a 25 hour work week and must be available during business hours, 8:30am - 1:30pm Monday - Friday. Training will be provided. The ideal candidate will have an office administration background with strong computer skills. The applicant must be a self-starter and be able to work independently. Salary is $8.95 an hour. Please include a letter of interest with the application. Send the letter of interest and completed application to nmpta@newmexicopta.org or via US mail to:NMPTA, PO Box 14706, Albuquerque, NM 87191. Applications will be acknowledged as received. Please submit the completed application by Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 5:00pm for email or postmarked no later than December 10, 2018. For questions, please email nmpta@newmexicopta.org or call 505-881-0712. Congratulations to Capitan PTA! They have earned the distinction of National PTA School of Excellence for 2018-2020! For more information on how your PTA can do the same, visit . New Mexico PTA Convention 2018 from New Mexico PTA on Vimeo. Congratulations to our New Mexico PTA Reflections Winners! After judging hundreds of entries across the state, New Mexico PTA has named the 2018-2019 Reflections winners! Students from kindergarten through 12th grade participate in this national art contest, creating entries in six categories, all relating to a provided theme. This year's theme is "Heroes Around Me." Student artwork will be on display at the annual NMPTA Convention on May 3 at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid. Congratulations to these 17 New Mexico students whose artwork has advanced to the National PTA round of judging! Congratulations to Adobe Acres & Double Eagle PTAs! On February 28 any PTA that was in compliance was entered into a drawing for $200! Double Eagle PTA was the lucky winner! Also, in February, any compliant unit that submitted five new members was entered into a drawing for free Extra Value Meals from McDonald's for their Board of Directors. Adobe Acres will be enjoying those coupons!
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Mycological Society of Toronto The Mycological Society of Toronto is a non-profit, volunteer-managed association of amateur mycologists and others with an interest in wild mushrooms and other fungi, based in Toronto, Canada. Our goal is to stimulate public interest in and appreciation of fungi and their role in nature, and we encourage activities that explore the ecological role of fungi and support the conservation of wild mushrooms. Members'' interests are wide ranging in areas related to fungi, including mushroom identification, photography, cooking and mushroom cultivation.
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Thomas Jefferson Personality Character and Public Life Website that offers a scholarly academic look at Thomas Jefferson Personality Character and Public Life.
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Scotland's International Marine Conference 2019 / February 20 - 21 12:00 PM #seasthefuture Conference Proceedings now online! Scotland's vision is for clean, healthy, safe, productive and diverse seas that are managed to meet the long term needs of nature and people. This is only achievable through strong national action and international cooperation. Scotland’s International Marine Conference 2019 focussed on current national and international actions to protect the marine environment. Through discussion we identified emerging threats to our seas and considered what new measures are required to protect the marine environment for future generations. Day 1 The first day focussed on the wider marine environment. Day 1/Session 1 - International Ocean Governance The health of our oceans is vital for our survival. Its continued protection requires international collaboration at all levels. This session highlighted how the implementation and adoption of a variety of international instruments and networks can ensure the future protection and sustainable use of the marine environment. Day 1/Session 2 - Clean and Healthy Seas Clean and healthy seas are essential in order to protect biodiversity, and ensure that the marine environment can be used sustainably and be enjoyed by all. This session considered current and emerging threats to the marine environment and how they can be prevented, eliminated or managed. Day 1/Session 3 - Biologically Diverse Seas The waters around Scotland and the wider North East Atlantic are some of the most biologically diverse seas in the world. Many of the deep-sea species and habitats here are endemic to the region, and are protected by national and international legislation. This session considered the status of these species and habitats, and what management actions are being taken to protect them. Day 1/Session 4 - Productive and Sustainably Used Seas The marine environment supports a number of key industries. Ensuring that these industries, and the species and habitats that support them, are sustainably managed is key to maximising their growth and contribution to the Scottish economy. This session considered how marine industries are sustainably managed and supported, including through sectoral and integrated management and marine spatial planning. Day 1/Session 5 - Climate Change Climate change is the biggest global challenge facing our environment. Resulting changes in temperature and ocean acidification hold severe implications for the marine environment and biodiversity. We are only just beginning to understand that the marine environment has the potential to tackle climate change through the capture of carbon, known as blue carbon. This session considered how resilience of biodiversity can be improved, and how developing our understanding of blue carbon could make a difference. Day 2 The second day focussed on the impact of marine litter, and potential solutions to address this global problem. Day 2 (AM)/Session 1 - Promoting Behaviour Change Changing consumer behaviours is key to tackling marine pollution and there are a variety of levers that can affect these as well as information campaigns and education. This session considered how we can work together to promote behaviour change through a range of interventions, and the effectiveness of these methods. Day 2 (AM)/Session 2 - Marine Sector Litter Approximately 20% of marine litter originates from the marine sector itself. This session considered the scale of different marine sector industries’ contributions to marine litter, and the associated policies, legislation, initiatives and projects which aim to reduce their impact. Day 2 (AM)/Session 3 - Marine Litter Sinks Marine litter sinks are areas that suffer from a disproportionate level of marine litter as a result of prevailing winds and water currents. This session gave an overview of the extent of the challenge marine litter sinks pose both in Scotland and internationally. Drawing on the experience of science, policy, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and communities, it considered actions to identify and clear up these areas of accumulated litter and look at emerging methods to tackle this problem. Day 2 (AM)/Session 4 - Citizen Science Improving our understanding of marine litter requires considerable data collection, and this is not limited to researchers. Individuals, communities and groups are collecting valuable data which is being used to inform robust scientific conclusions. This session looked at examples of citizen science projects, covering citizen recruitment and data collection through to project outputs and impact. Day 2 (AM)/Session 5 - Microplastic & Microfibres Microplastics, including microfibres, come from a number of sources and accumulate in the marine environment and the animals which feed there. The diversity of microplastic pollution sources makes them particularly hard to tackle, from car tyre wear to paint This session took a closer look at microplastics; how their levels are being monitored and at the damage they may cause to our environment. It looked at work being undertaken to tackle microplastic pollution at source, and reviewed what changes can be made on a personal and national scale to try to address this issue. Day 2 (AM)/Session 6 - Marine Spatial Planning Challenge The ‘Maritime Spatial Planning Challenge’ is a table top strategy game designed for those with an interest in ecosystem based Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and the sustainable growth of marine and maritime sectors (known as Blue Growth). The game is intended to be used as a tool to engage people with the concepts and processes involved in Maritime Spatial Planning, and has been developed for use as an innovative tool for stakeholder engagement in marine planning in Scotland. Day 2 (AM)/Session 7 - Stemming The Flow Of Plastics; The Circular Economy In an effort to consider our relationship overall with plastic, this session looked at some of the work taking place across Scotland to challenge our reliance on plastic, encouraging individuals and businesses to minimise waste and ensure that any waste produced is being properly disposed of. Day 2 (PM)/Session 1 - Innovation This session showcased examples of innovative technology - both being developed and already in use - to reduce marine litter. This included examples which remove litter directly from the water, prevent waste from reaching the water, make the most of debris washed up from the sea, and the development of alternative products which are environmentally friendly. This session also looked at the processes and levers in place to help get ideas get off the ground. Day 2 (PM)/Session 2 - International Working Marine litter is a global problem, and solutions therefore require international working. This session described marine litter policy and legislation in a European and International context. It’s an opportunity to share best practice and discuss the benefits and realities of co-ordinated work across countries. Day 2 (PM)/Session 3 - Community Action Everyone has a role to play in tackling marine litter. This session empowered individuals to make changes close to home and take action at a community level. Speakers shared learning and success stories of how they have driven positive change on their doorsteps. This was also be an opportunity for groups to provide guidance and advice to drive projects, including accessing funding. Day 2 (PM)/Session 4 - Pre-production Plastics (Nurdles) Due to the amount of ways it can be used, plastic has become an integral part of modern life. However before plastic can be converted into specific products, it must first be transported to converter facilities in powder, flake or pellet form. Leaks can occur throughout the supply chain and they happen globally, making it difficult to identify the source once pellets have reached the sea. There is no feasible method for removing nurdles from our seas at present; as such efforts must concentrate on preventing leaks in the first place. This session took a look at the efforts being taken by the plastics industry to minimise plastic spills, both within the UK and across Europe. Day 2 (PM)/Session 5 - Sewage Related Debris Sewage-related debris is one of the most prevalent forms of marine litter. This session discussed actions to tackle it, including behaviour change projects and alternative products that consumers can use to minimise the amount of litter accumulating in our sewer systems. It also discussed changes being implemented to minimise the likelihood of this debris subsequently ending up at sea. Day 2 (PM)/Session 6 - Young People's Workshop and Panel This session was aimed at young people aged 11-26. The workshop explored how young people are working to support marine conservation and tackle marine litter, and identified ways to encourage other young people to participate. At the end of the session, participants had the opportunity to ask the experts questions about what we're doing for our marine environment. Day 2 (PM)/Session 7 - Marine Spatial Planning Challenge The ‘Maritime Spatial Planning Challenge’ is a table top strategy game designed for those with an interest in ecosystem based Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and the sustainable growth of marine and maritime sectors (known as Blue Growth). The game is intended to be used as a tool to engage people with the concepts and processes involved in Maritime Spatial Planning, and has been developed for use as an innovative tool for stakeholder engagement in marine planning in Scotland.
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GEORGE WASHINGTON AND HIS LEGACY: MYTHS, SYMBOLS, AND REALITY Website that offers a scholarly academic look at George Washington and his legacy, myths, symbols and reality.
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My Celebrity & I | Celebrity News, Lifestyle, Entertainment Sport and Gossip... Tony Pulis' side were denied a place in the play-offs after looking destined to fight for an English top-flight spot John Obi Mikel has admitted that Middlesbrough fell short of his expectation of an automatic Premier League promotion or a Championship playoff spot. The Nigeria midfielder joined the Teesside outf
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Scotland's International Marine Conference 2019 / February 20 - 21 12:00 PM #seasthefuture Conference Proceedings now online! Scotland's vision is for clean, healthy, safe, productive and diverse seas that are managed to meet the long term needs of nature and people. This is only achievable through strong national action and international cooperation. Scotland’s International Marine Conference 2019 focussed on current national and international actions to protect the marine environment. Through discussion we identified emerging threats to our seas and considered what new measures are required to protect the marine environment for future generations. Day 1 The first day focussed on the wider marine environment. Day 1/Session 1 - International Ocean Governance The health of our oceans is vital for our survival. Its continued protection requires international collaboration at all levels. This session highlighted how the implementation and adoption of a variety of international instruments and networks can ensure the future protection and sustainable use of the marine environment. Day 1/Session 2 - Clean and Healthy Seas Clean and healthy seas are essential in order to protect biodiversity, and ensure that the marine environment can be used sustainably and be enjoyed by all. This session considered current and emerging threats to the marine environment and how they can be prevented, eliminated or managed. Day 1/Session 3 - Biologically Diverse Seas The waters around Scotland and the wider North East Atlantic are some of the most biologically diverse seas in the world. Many of the deep-sea species and habitats here are endemic to the region, and are protected by national and international legislation. This session considered the status of these species and habitats, and what management actions are being taken to protect them. Day 1/Session 4 - Productive and Sustainably Used Seas The marine environment supports a number of key industries. Ensuring that these industries, and the species and habitats that support them, are sustainably managed is key to maximising their growth and contribution to the Scottish economy. This session considered how marine industries are sustainably managed and supported, including through sectoral and integrated management and marine spatial planning. Day 1/Session 5 - Climate Change Climate change is the biggest global challenge facing our environment. Resulting changes in temperature and ocean acidification hold severe implications for the marine environment and biodiversity. We are only just beginning to understand that the marine environment has the potential to tackle climate change through the capture of carbon, known as blue carbon. This session considered how resilience of biodiversity can be improved, and how developing our understanding of blue carbon could make a difference. Day 2 The second day focussed on the impact of marine litter, and potential solutions to address this global problem. Day 2 (AM)/Session 1 - Promoting Behaviour Change Changing consumer behaviours is key to tackling marine pollution and there are a variety of levers that can affect these as well as information campaigns and education. This session considered how we can work together to promote behaviour change through a range of interventions, and the effectiveness of these methods. Day 2 (AM)/Session 2 - Marine Sector Litter Approximately 20% of marine litter originates from the marine sector itself. This session considered the scale of different marine sector industries’ contributions to marine litter, and the associated policies, legislation, initiatives and projects which aim to reduce their impact. Day 2 (AM)/Session 3 - Marine Litter Sinks Marine litter sinks are areas that suffer from a disproportionate level of marine litter as a result of prevailing winds and water currents. This session gave an overview of the extent of the challenge marine litter sinks pose both in Scotland and internationally. Drawing on the experience of science, policy, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and communities, it considered actions to identify and clear up these areas of accumulated litter and look at emerging methods to tackle this problem. Day 2 (AM)/Session 4 - Citizen Science Improving our understanding of marine litter requires considerable data collection, and this is not limited to researchers. Individuals, communities and groups are collecting valuable data which is being used to inform robust scientific conclusions. This session looked at examples of citizen science projects, covering citizen recruitment and data collection through to project outputs and impact. Day 2 (AM)/Session 5 - Microplastic & Microfibres Microplastics, including microfibres, come from a number of sources and accumulate in the marine environment and the animals which feed there. The diversity of microplastic pollution sources makes them particularly hard to tackle, from car tyre wear to paint This session took a closer look at microplastics; how their levels are being monitored and at the damage they may cause to our environment. It looked at work being undertaken to tackle microplastic pollution at source, and reviewed what changes can be made on a personal and national scale to try to address this issue. Day 2 (AM)/Session 6 - Marine Spatial Planning Challenge The ‘Maritime Spatial Planning Challenge’ is a table top strategy game designed for those with an interest in ecosystem based Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and the sustainable growth of marine and maritime sectors (known as Blue Growth). The game is intended to be used as a tool to engage people with the concepts and processes involved in Maritime Spatial Planning, and has been developed for use as an innovative tool for stakeholder engagement in marine planning in Scotland. Day 2 (AM)/Session 7 - Stemming The Flow Of Plastics; The Circular Economy In an effort to consider our relationship overall with plastic, this session looked at some of the work taking place across Scotland to challenge our reliance on plastic, encouraging individuals and businesses to minimise waste and ensure that any waste produced is being properly disposed of. Day 2 (PM)/Session 1 - Innovation This session showcased examples of innovative technology - both being developed and already in use - to reduce marine litter. This included examples which remove litter directly from the water, prevent waste from reaching the water, make the most of debris washed up from the sea, and the development of alternative products which are environmentally friendly. This session also looked at the processes and levers in place to help get ideas get off the ground. Day 2 (PM)/Session 2 - International Working Marine litter is a global problem, and solutions therefore require international working. This session described marine litter policy and legislation in a European and International context. It’s an opportunity to share best practice and discuss the benefits and realities of co-ordinated work across countries. Day 2 (PM)/Session 3 - Community Action Everyone has a role to play in tackling marine litter. This session empowered individuals to make changes close to home and take action at a community level. Speakers shared learning and success stories of how they have driven positive change on their doorsteps. This was also be an opportunity for groups to provide guidance and advice to drive projects, including accessing funding. Day 2 (PM)/Session 4 - Pre-production Plastics (Nurdles) Due to the amount of ways it can be used, plastic has become an integral part of modern life. However before plastic can be converted into specific products, it must first be transported to converter facilities in powder, flake or pellet form. Leaks can occur throughout the supply chain and they happen globally, making it difficult to identify the source once pellets have reached the sea. There is no feasible method for removing nurdles from our seas at present; as such efforts must concentrate on preventing leaks in the first place. This session took a look at the efforts being taken by the plastics industry to minimise plastic spills, both within the UK and across Europe. Day 2 (PM)/Session 5 - Sewage Related Debris Sewage-related debris is one of the most prevalent forms of marine litter. This session discussed actions to tackle it, including behaviour change projects and alternative products that consumers can use to minimise the amount of litter accumulating in our sewer systems. It also discussed changes being implemented to minimise the likelihood of this debris subsequently ending up at sea. Day 2 (PM)/Session 6 - Young People's Workshop and Panel This session was aimed at young people aged 11-26. The workshop explored how young people are working to support marine conservation and tackle marine litter, and identified ways to encourage other young people to participate. At the end of the session, participants had the opportunity to ask the experts questions about what we're doing for our marine environment. Day 2 (PM)/Session 7 - Marine Spatial Planning Challenge The ‘Maritime Spatial Planning Challenge’ is a table top strategy game designed for those with an interest in ecosystem based Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and the sustainable growth of marine and maritime sectors (known as Blue Growth). The game is intended to be used as a tool to engage people with the concepts and processes involved in Maritime Spatial Planning, and has been developed for use as an innovative tool for stakeholder engagement in marine planning in Scotland.
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Educational and Inspiring News Articles for Students | Articles Hub Articles Hub publishing platform is a treasure trove of interesting news articles for students. Find the most relevant content concerning higher education in one place.
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Mycological Society of Toronto The Mycological Society of Toronto is a non-profit, volunteer-managed association of amateur mycologists and others with an interest in wild mushrooms and other fungi, based in Toronto, Canada. Our goal is to stimulate public interest in and appreciation of fungi and their role in nature, and we encourage activities that explore the ecological role of fungi and support the conservation of wild mushrooms. Members'' interests are wide ranging in areas related to fungi, including mushroom identification, photography, cooking and mushroom cultivation.
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Sonya Curran Physioworks Moycullen Sports & Spinal Clinic I am Sonya Curran known as Sonya the Physio my phone number is 091 556700 I have a post grad. Dip in Musculoskeletal therapy (Manipulative therapy) 1995 from La Trobe University Melbourne. I have an extensive background in musculoskeletal outpatients, neurology and rehabilitation. I find these areas complement each other very well when dealing with a daily case load of cervical (neck) and lumbar (back) problems in my practice. Prior to commencing my own private practice in the 1990''s I was employed as a senior physiotherapist in outpatients and was sole in charge at a rehabilitation unit that specialized in treating car accidents, workplace traumas and head injuries. The physiotherapist’s role was to optimize the patient’s abilities to gain the maximum outcome possible – ideally a return to work and independent living. I have been in private practice since 1993 both in Ireland and in Australia were I was involved in providing the physiotherapy for workers compensation insurance schemes. I have always had a special interest in spinal problems especially neck and lumbar pain and this is clearly evident in my CPD Portfolio. I use my specific musculoskeletal training to enhance the hands on treatment I provide to patients using effective evidence based treatments and exercise regimes. Some of the techniques I would incorporate into a treatment might be Mulligan nags and snags, Mckenzie regime, Maitland mobilizations, Travell and Simons trigger point therapy, myofacial release, ME, neuromeningeal butler mobilization, STR, Gwen Jull neck protocols. Another area of particular interest is musculoskeletal imbalance and how injured people can develop compensatory mechanisms leading to secondary problems. My emphasis in treating is not only to identify structural problems and address with appropriate hands on modalities but also to encourage patient compliance with home exercises in order to maintain and further improve their condition and empower the patient with self help.
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Play Soccer | Play Simple | Adult and Youth teams Year round program. Development (Training, Camps, Clinics, League). Lifelong relationship (Club, Members, Families). Players (Adult, Youth) Potomac, Urbana (soon), Maryland
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E-wallet software - ewallet script php - bitcoin script clone - Banking Script Accounting Software Script, Bitcoin Script php, Financial Banking Software, Payment Gateway script, Paypal clone script, Paypal clone script php
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North American Buddhist Alliance North American Buddhist Alliance shares Dharma resources across Buddhist traditions.We aim to foster supportive networks.We encourage collaboration, communication, and interaction among Buddhists and Buddhist groups.We publicize, sponsor, or coordinate initiatives and activities of interest through NABA’s interactive website and NABA News.
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IP Breakdown | A Legal Blog by Aaron | Sanders, PLLC Who, What, Why AND Where One of the peculiar features of the U.S. legal system is that, while certain fields are governed exclusively by federal law—i.e., law that applies everywhere in the U.S.—others are governed exclusively by state law. That means, obviously, that there are fifty sets of laws governing a given subject, including some of the heavy-hitters, like contract law. And it get's worse. Sometimes federal law coexists with state law. Sometimes federal law tries to push aside state law but doesn't quite succeed. And sometimes state laws try to push up through federal law, with mixed success. Oh, and sometimes federal courts can hear state cases, but the two court systems use different procedures! You can see why law students spend a significant fraction of their time on various aspects of this "federalism." quotidian But I'm here to talk about a relatively simple aspect of having 50 different sets of laws for the same thing. What happens when the people involved are from different states, and the states' laws are significantly different? The Right to Work Where You Want This issues comes up in two different ways in the fairly recent case, General Electric Co. v. Uptake Technologies, Inc.. The basic facts reveal a very common type of dispute. Some of the defendants used to work for General Electric or its subsidiaries ("GE") on some technology involving "connect[ing] heavy industrial equipment to cloud-based software and analytics," and yadda yadda yadda. Over time, they were recruited by Uptake Technologies (also a defendant), which was working on similar technology. When they were initially hired by GE, they promised not maintain certain information confidential, and they promised not to solicit other GE employees if they left. But (GE alleges) those that were recruited first by Uptake helped Uptake recruit the others, which would violate the anti-solicitation provision. But wait! Several of these individual defendants are residents of California. And California law won't enforce non-solicitation provisions! California believes that letting workers take their knowledge and talent wherever they want is most encourage that knowledge and talent to be applied most effectively. Something about free markets. But wait again! GE is headquartered in New York City, or maybe Boston, Massachusetts, or maybe even Fairfield, Connecticut, depending on the date and how you look at it. And in each of those states, non-solicitation provisions are OK, so long as they're "reasonable." How do you tell which law applies to a contract when the contracting parties are in different states? It turns out that's a really, really hard question! And there can only be one law governing a contract (normally). The general rule is the governing law is the law of the "state of contracting," which was developed back before fax machines, when the parties probably met face-to-face to negotiate and execute the contract. But it has almost no application today, when negotiations are carried out by phone or email and the contract can be signed in different states. Fortunately, we don't have to guess. The contracts each had a provision specifying that New York law applied. So, end of story. Sorry to get you excited. Except that's not the end of the story. When you choose the governing law in a contract, a court can override that in favor of another state's law under the right circumstances. But, wait—where does that rule come from? It has to come from somewhere. There's no federal law governing what to do when two state laws conflict, as you might very reasonably expect. No, the source of the law governing conflicts of laws is…state law. New York's? California's? No—it would be the law of the state where the lawsuit was filed, which in this case is… Illinois! So, we're applying Illinois law to figure out whether to apply New York or California law. Illinois law says that it'll go with the chosen law (New York) unless it would be contrary to the "fundamental policy" of the law of another state with an interest in the case (California). Obviously, "fundamental policy" has to be more than just the existence of law that would lead to a contrary result. It's 100% the case that California greatly values employees' right to change jobs frictionlessly. Anyone who has conducted business in California knows this is a key—dare I say, fundamental—feature of California business. Dozen of reported court decisions back this up. And, yet, the court here found that, at least as applied to non-solicitation decisions, this was not a fundamental policy of California. That was because there is a stray mid-level appellate decision from 1985 kind of, sort of suggesting that maybe sometimes a non-solicitation provision might be OK under the right circumstances. The court recognized that this old decision has been well and truly overruled and generally regarded as a mistake. But its existence put enough doubt in the court's mind about California's commitment to employees' freedom of mobility that it's not quite fundamental enough to override the parties' choice of New York law, under Illinois law. Got that? This is an unusual case. Normally, it's a mug's game to try to guess which state's law will benefit you more in case of a breach of the contract. Usually, you don't know until it's been breached, and it's not worth paying your lawyer to guess at every possible breach and compare laws. Besides, even though there are 50 state laws, there's a lot of overlap, since most of them arise from the same legal foundations. Fate and the Law: Inevitable Disclosures We're not done yet. While the individual defendants were focused on attacking the New York choice-of-law provision, they were also attacking GE's claims for misappropriation of trade secrets. Now, at this stage, all we have is the complaint, and trade secret claims awkward to plead. On the one hand, a defendant has a right to know what it's accused of doing, and that includes knowing what alleged trade secrets it allegedly misappropriated (and how). On the other hand, complaints are public documents, and exposing a trade secret to the public is the equivalent of exposing a vampire to sunlight. Courts are slowly reaching a consensus that all the plaintiff needs to do in the complaint is describe generally the trade secrets at issue, with enough detail that the defendant has a pretty good idea what they are but not enough detail that the public can figure them out. This works on the theory that, if the defendant really did misappropriate the trade secrets, it'll recognize the trade secrets with enough hints. GE had another problem pleading its trade secrets claim. Sure, you don't have to detail the trade secrets, but you do need to say which defendants misappropriated which trade secrets. It's not a test, but GE can probably take reasonable guesses about which defendants have done what. GE argued it didn't have to get that specific because, under the doctrine of "inevitable disclosure," it doesn't matter whether a given defendant has yet to misappropriate a trade secret, only that such misappropriation will eventually happen. Thus, all of the individual defendants have effectively misappropriated all of the trade secrets, because they're alleged to all be on the verge of doing so. Inevitable disclosure is one of the most divisive concepts in intellectual property law. It's almost the exact opposite of California's right employee mobility. Taken to an extreme, once you've been exposed to a certain level of your employer's trade secrets, you can never work for a competitor in the same capacity. It was briefly in vogue in the 1990's, but courts have generally shied away from it since then, and many courts have been downright hostile to it. But guess where it the 1990's vogue for inevitable disclosure started? Illinois. The court ruled that Illinois law applied to GE's trade secrets claim. But not because the court happened to be in Illinois. But because Uptake is based in Illinois. Which is also probably why the lawsuit was brought in Illinois, but jurisdiction (judicial power over a defendant) is different from choice of law (which law applies to a given legal question). Defendants can rarely avoid application of their own state's laws! What about those choice-of-law provisions? Wouldn't New York law apply? Maybe! It would depend on the language of those provisions. Typically, choice-of-law provisions are drafted to apply only to the contract, e.g., "New York law shall govern the construction and enforcement of this contract." But rarely, it's broader, e.g., "New York law shall govern this contract and the parties' relationship for all matter related to the subject matter of this contract." In this case, the choice-of-law provision was of the more typical, narrow type. So, to conclude, Illinois law provides that New York law governs the contact claims, despite California's deep fundamental policy, and that Illinois law governs the trade secret claims, despite the New York choice-of-law provision. Thanks for reading!
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Marcel Van Association | Celebrating the life of Marcel Van We place ourselves under the protection of Our Lady and the tutelage of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. The aim of the Marcel Van Association is to help increase interest in the life and writings of Marcel Van and to encourage the practice of the Little Way of Spirituality, introduced to Van by Saint Thérèse. We look forward to the day, always…
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Pacific Western Region | UUA.org Pacific Western Region staff encourage our congregations to take a deep interest in each other; to consider best practices together; to model spiritual leadership with one another; and to share their stories of doubt, risk and transformation. By cultivating connections among our...
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Elgin Model Railway Club | Modelfair Exhibition Description" content="Elgin Model Railway Club was formed in 1987 to promote and encourage general interest in any aspect connected with railways and
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Casual Band Blogger - We Blog About Bands Well, the name says it all. We blog about bands. Our goal is to encourage and mentor young people to pursue their interest in music and music media, by giving them opportunities to represent the site as both writers, photographers and general industry folk.
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plymouth historical society « Plymouth, Connecticut The Plymouth Historical Society is a membership supported, not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting local and American history. We make Plymouth's rich heritage come alive! Mission Statement: To encourage interest and pride in the history of Plymouth and its surrounding areas. To discover, obtain, preserve and interpret artifacts of local significance. To share information with schools,…
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plymouth historical society « Plymouth, Connecticut The Plymouth Historical Society is a membership supported, not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting local and American history. We make Plymouth's rich heritage come alive! Mission Statement: To encourage interest and pride in the history of Plymouth and its surrounding areas. To discover, obtain, preserve and interpret artifacts of local significance. To share information with schools,…
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TxtMania | The Philippines, a group of over 7,000 islands with combined land area encompassing 300,000 square kilometres, grew into a nation under more than three centuries of Spanish conquest and 42 years of American rule. It is the first country outside the New World that closely witnessed the United States' rise to power following the 1898 Spanish-American War. Situated 800 kilometres southeast of mainland Asia, the archipelago, named after King Philip II of Spain, was discovered in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan, the same explorer who had discovered the Pacific Ocean in search of the so-called "Spice Islands" and is now widely considered the first navigator to have cruised around the planet. Ironically, the Filipinos, after having been subdued for centuries by foreign colonizers as a result of Magellan's voyage, would emerge as the best seafarers in the world, manning a third of all international vessels today. Some 7.8 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and Filipino migrants would help rebuild cities in many countries and bring back over US$10 billion in annual remittances to their families in the Philippines. The country's geographical location and long exposure to foreign influences has placed the Philippines on a unique cultural base in Asia. It is now the only predominantly Catholic country in the region, with 70 million out of its total population of 85 million (as of 2005) confessing to be Catholic. There are also large numbers of Protestants and Born-Again Christians in the country while the Muslim population is concentrated in southern Mindanao. Early Trade The first inhabitants of the Philippines were the Negritos who traveled from mainland Asia over a land bridge that is now underwater. Migrants from other Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia later followed and established a Malayan culture that flourished before the Spaniards came. Chinese and Arab merchants helped establish markets at the community level. A sultanate system, first established in the southern island of Sulu in the 14th century, is believed to have reached the islands of Luzon and Visayas, giving way to the rise of the Islamic faith. The Spaniards would later drive the Muslims to the south and establish Catholicism as the main religion in the north and central parts of the country. Local villages, known as barangay, traded agricultural and fishery products with each other. The Igorot tribe in Northern Luzon carved the marvellous Banaue Rice Terraces from the mountains, a proof of their advanced agriculture technology. Communities near the shore exchanged goods with Chinese and Arab merchants, who came aboard large ships. These communities traded slaves, gold, beeswax, betel nuts, pearls, and shells for porcelain, silk, iron, tin and semi-precious stones. The Philippine islands were a part of an extensive trade route used by Chinese merchants as early as the 10th century. By the time Magellan arrived in the islands, regular trade and cultural contact between Chinese traders and local chieftains were firmly instituted. Many Chinese merchants settled in the country and shared their crafts with the natives. Some historians claim that an Italian Franciscan priest, named Father Odorico, was actually the first European to have reached the Philippines in 1324 when his ship bound for China took refuge from a storm in Bolinao Island in northern part of Luzon. Aside from the Banaue Rice Terraces in the Cordillera Mountains, early settlers did not leave any giant monument, and this is what makes conservative historians doubt the existence of the rich kingdoms in the country hundreds of years ago. However, it cannot be denied that early Filipinos were learned individuals who expressed their beliefs and sentiments in rich languages. According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), there are actually 78 language groupings and over 500 dialects in the Philippines. Feudal Society Magellan, who claimed the archipelago for Spain in 1521, died in a battle with a group of local warriors led by Lapu Lapu at Mactan Island. It was Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, in the fourth Spanish expedition, who named the territory as Filipinas after the heir to the Spanish throne in 1543. In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi led an expedition to colonize the islands and by 1571, most parts of the archipelago came under Spanish rule. The Spaniards established the colonial government first in Cebu in 1565 and then in Manila in 1571. Historians claim that University of San Carlos in Cebu and University of Sto. Tomas in Manila are the oldest universities teaching European type of education in Asia. Jesuit and Dominican priests established the two institutions. Under Spanish rule, Catholicism became the dominant religion. Catholic friars not only lorded over the congregations; they enjoyed vast political and economic influence, which they eventually used to repress Filipino peasants' uprisings in the largely feudal Philippine society at that time. The Spaniards also quelled a number of rebellions instigated by the Chinese migrants. The friars distributed lands to Spanish families, who later comprised the landowning class. To perpetuate their economic interests, this class would also rise to become the political elite that would remain in power to this day. This gave way to the hacienda system in the Philippines, where cacique or landowners managed large tracts of lands tilled by peasant workers. Under the system, farmers were supposed to receive half of the harvest, but they usually ended up with much less because they had to pay for large interests on debt incurred from the cacique. This would be later corrected with a system of land reform, which, however, remains to be fully implemented to this day. Galleon Trade The Manila-Acapulco galleon trade became the major trading system between Asia and the Americas for nearly two centuries. Manila became a transhipment point of American silver to China. It was through this trade that the first Chinese silk and porcelain reached the shores of the New World. There were unverified claims that Filipinos helped build the city of Los Angeles in America. The Chinese and Filipinos would later become the two largest Asian migrant groups in the United States. Coconut became the country's top agricultural product, because of Spain's huge need for charcoaled coconut shells used for the caulking of the galleons. In 1642, the colonial government issued an edict requiring each Filipino to plant 200 coconut trees all over the country. By 1910, coconut exports would account for a fifth of total Philippine exports and to this day, coconut oil remains the country's top agricultural shipment. The Galleon Trade lasted for about 200 years until 1815. It is during this period that rice and tropical fruits from the Philippines such as mango and banana made their way to Latin America. Beginning 1750, Spanish priests encouraged the development of plantations to grow abaca (hemp), tobacco, coffee and sugar. Sugar barons from the Visayas would later emerge as among the richest clans in the country. From 1762 to 1764, the British briefly captured Manila during the Seven Years War. The treaty of Paris ended the British occupation and returned the colony to the hands of their original colonial masters. Plantation Crops In 1781, the Spanish governor established the tobacco monopoly in the Philippines, which would become a major source of revenue for the colonial government. From 1820 to 1870, the Philippines would be transformed to an agricultural export economy. Located on the oceanic trading routes connecting Asia to other parts of the world, the Philippines became a transhipment point of merchandise goods from all over Southeast Asia on their way to Europe. The Philippines exported plantation crops such as sugar, abaca, other fibres, tobacco, coffee, and coconut products to China, Spain, United States, United Kingdom and British East Indies. In return, it imported textiles and rice. Historians claim that Spain administered the Philippine affairs through Mexico. Spanish administrators in the country were actually reporting to the Viceroyalty of Mexico. After Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, Madrid directly governed its only Asian colony and even allowed rich Filipinos to study in Europe. The Spanish rule gave way to the rise of a small but highly powerful elite class, which to this day, controls most of the Philippine economy. The elite families, which own large plantations, were able to send their children to Europe for education. Foreign Investors Investors from Spain, Germany, Britain and other European countries laid the groundwork for utility companies in steam navigation, cable, telegraphy, railroads and electricity in the country. They also invested heavily in rice and sugar milling, textile and banking. The local elite developed the brewing industry, which would become one of the most profitable sectors in the economy. Although the educated Filipinos who studied in Europe shunned the use of force to topple the colonial government, their writings provoked nationalist sentiments among young men, who eventually formed a revolutionary movement against Spain. In 1896, the war between Spanish and Filipino soldiers escalated following the death of novelist Jose Rizal and rebel leader Andres Bonifacio. Emilio Aguinaldo, the new leader of the revolutionary forces, forged a pact with US Commodore George Dewey in Hong Kong to defeat the Spanish army. American Colony The Americans entered the scene because of its conflict with Spain over Cuba. With the outbreak of the Spanish-American war in the Pacific, the Philippines had to be taken by the US, lest other European countries such as Britain, France and Germany would fight for their next Southeast Asian colony. On June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo, first backed by American forces, declared the independence of Kawit, Cavite, the seat of the revolutionary Filipino government at that time, from Spanish rule. The Americans took possession of Manila on August 13, 1898. While armed clashes with Spanish forces continued in other parts of the country, the Americans and the Spaniards were negotiating for the purchase of the Philippines for US$20 million. In the Treaty of Paris in 1898, Spain ceded the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam to the US. Filipinos felt insulted at the fact that their country has been passed from one colonial master to another for only US$20 million. When the US, which had not conquered any country before, made known its intention to succeed Spain as the next colonizer of the Philippines, Aguinaldo and his men waged a revolutionary resistance that ended with his capture in March 1901. The American soldiers easily subdued the remaining factions of rebellion with the help of their powerful weapons and their divide-and-conquer tactic. As an archipelago of 7,000 islands, the Philippines is home to different ethnic groups which do not speak the same language. The national government's attempt to declare Tagalog (spoken in Central and Southern Luzon including Metro Manila) as the national language would not easily win the support of other regions. The Philippine-American war took the lives of 4,234 American and 16,000 Filipino soldiers. The death toll was much higher on the civilian population, with as high as 200,000 casualties. Although local resistance persisted until 1903, the US ended its military rule on July 4, 1901. American Way Under American civilian rule, the Philippines was introduced to US-type of education, Protestant religion, and later to the concept of democracy. Placed under US control were most parts of the country, except in the southern portion of Mindanao where Muslim rebels held strong resistance. William Howard Taft, the 27th US president, was the first American Civil Governor in the Philippines. Taft was praised for establishing a civil service system, creating a national legislature, suppressing prices, upgrading health standards, and sponsoring land reform and road building in the country. In 1907, the First Philippine Assembly composed of educated and rich Filipinos with vast landholdings. Manuel L. Quezon, who represented the Philippines in the US Congress, lobbied for the passage of the Jones Law, which in 1916 abolished the Philippine Assembly to give way for a bicameral legislature made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. With the passage of the Tydings-McDuffie Act in 1934, Filipinos had their first taste of self-rule through the Philippine Commonwealth, a transitional government designed to prepare the Filipinos over a ten-year period for independence. By 1935, the Commonwealth was in place with Quezon as its first president. The Philippines also approved a new constitution in the same year. The United States is credited for helping establish the Republic of the Philippines, the first democratic government in Asia. Economically, the Philippines was ahead of its Asian neighbours, who were still subjects of European colonial powers before the war. Japanese Invasion In December 1941, the Japanese Imperial Army invaded the Philippines and drove the Commonwealth Government from Manila. While Quezon continued to head the government-in-exile until his death in New York in August 1944, the Japanese forces handpicked Jose P. Laurel, a graduate of Yale University and Tokyo International University, to head a new government under their control. The Philippines was dragged into the war because of Japan's military ambition to become the dominant force in Asia and the Pacific. Japan wanted to be the leader of an economic zone in East Asia, which would be the source of its raw materials. The US presence in the Philippines, known for its strategic location in Southeast Asia, was the largest threat to the Japanese forces, following the destruction of the American Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. While the American forces were regrouping in the United States, Filipino soldiers formed a guerrilla organization called Hukbalahap (People's Anti-Japanese Army). Some 30,000 guerrillas at that time engaged the Japanese army in intermittent clashes. The Hukbalahap would later adopt the communist ideology and rule in the countryside. Meanwhile, Sergio Osmeña replaced Quezon as the head of the government-in-exile and joined General Douglas MacArthur in the liberation of Manila. General MacArthur returned to the Philippines via the island province of Leyte, along with 174,000 army and navy servicemen on October 20, 1944. The liberation of Manila took almost 20 days from February 3 to 23, 1945 and the fierce battle destroyed much of the city, with its ruins now often compared to the ruins of Warsaw, Poland in Europe. The Japanese army, however, continued to fight in the provinces, until September 2, 1945 when General Yamashita, the Tiger of Malaya who was believed to have hidden vast amount of treasures during the war, surrendered in Baguio City. It is estimated that the battle of Manila cost the lives of 1 million Filipinos, 300,000 Japanese and 60,000 Americans. The intensity of the US-Japan war would force the former to drop an atomic bomb in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and in Nagasaki three days later. US Bases By February 1945, Osmeña restored the Commonwealth in the Philippines but it was only on July 4, 1946 that the US granted the Philippines its independence, coinciding with the celebration of the Independence Day in America. However, US military bases would remain in the country for the next 45 years. On March 14, 1947, Manila and Washington signed the Treaty of General Relation, which provided the US to construct military bases for a lease period of 99 years. In 1959, the agreement was amended to shorten the lease period until 1991, after which both sides were to renegotiate the contract. When the US sought a ten-year extension of the lease period in 1991, the Philippine Senate, led by Senate President Jovito Salonga, rejected the proposal in a historic casting of vote on September 16, ending US military bases in the country. With newfound freedom in 1946, Filipinos elected Manuel A. Roxas, leader of the Liberal Party and one of the seven members of the Constitutional Convention who drafted the 1935 Constitution, as the first president of the independent republic in April 1946. His presidency was focused on rebuilding the cities and municipalities torn by the war, redistributing lands as wealthy landowners returned to reclaim their estates, and confronting the Hukbalahap, which by this time was tagged as a socialist-communist organization. The economy grew at a rapid pace, immediately after the war. Special Treatment Close economic ties between Manila and Washington continued after the war on the back of agreements providing for preferential tariffs for American exports and special treatment for US investors in the Philippines. In the 1946 Philippine Trade Act, the Americans were granted duty-free access to the Philippine market and special rights to exploit the country's natural resources. Because of the Trade Act, the Philippines suffered a huge trade deficit with the influx of American imports. In 1949, the Philippine government was forced to impose import controls, after getting the consent of Washington. Roxas' two-year presidency ended with his death, following a heart attack while delivering a speech at Clark Air Force Base in Pampanga province in April 1948. Vice president Elpidio Quirino succeeded Roxas as president and defeated Jose P. Laurel to keep his post in the 1949 presidential race. It was during Quirino's term that the Minimum Wage Law was enacted and the Central Bank was established to stabilize the peso and consumer prices. The country's gross national product grew by an average of 7.7 percent annually in the early 1960s, on the back of the double-digit increase in the manufacturing sector. In the 1953 presidential election, Ramon Magsaysay, who had served as defense secretary under the Quirino administration, won by a landslide. The charismatic Magsaysay initiated peace talks with the Hukbalahap, which would later evolve into a communist organization. He became popular for opening the gates of Malacanang Palace to ordinary people. He died in a plane crash on Mount Manunggal in Cebu in March 1957, which to this day remains a mystery to many Filipinos. While the standard of living in the Philippines was below that of the Western World, the country was often cited as the second richest economy in Asia, after Japan in the 1960s. However, ill-advised economic policies, poor governance and rapid population growth in the country would allow other Asian economies such as Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and China not only to catch up with but to leave the Philippines behind in the race towards industrialization. Filipino First Vice President Carlos P. Garcia assumed the country's top government post following the death of Magsaysay. Garcia was known for his First Filipino Policy and Austerity Program, which put the interests of Filipinos ahead those of foreigners. Under his austerity measures, he encouraged temperate spending, which resulted in less imports and more exports. His nationalist policies, however, perpetuated the business interests of the ruling elite in the country and did not encourage local businesses to be competitive. Garcia lost to his vice-president in the 1961 presidential poll. Protectionist policies allowed local manufacturers to control the economy from 1949 to 1962, discouraging them from becoming competitive. Diosdado Macapagal, father of incumbent President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was the president from 1961 to 1965. Before he became president, he authored the land reform program as a legislator and was vice-president to Garcia. As president, Macapagal began a five-year socio-economic program by removing imports control and liberalizing foreign exchange. It was Macapagal who declared June 12 as the national Independence Day. In 1962, the Macapagal administration began devaluing the peso by half to around 3.90 to the US dollar. Macapagal initiated a shift in investments from the light industries to chemicals, steel and industrial equipment. He was also one of the proponents of the MAPHILINDO, a trade bloc of three South East Asian countries – the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia. This bloc later expanded to what is now the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). By 1965, foreign capital was present in nearly a third of the country's capital stock. Martial Law Ferdinand Marcos, the Senate president, defeated Macapagal in the presidential election to become the country's tenth president in November 1965. A close ally of the United States, Marcos launched military campaigns against the insurgents including the communist Hukbalahap and Moro rebels in Mindanao. In August 1967, Manila hosted a summit that led to the creation of the ASEAN. With his reelection in 1969, Marcos had to contend with worsening civil strife. An ideologist named Jose Ma. Sison founded the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26, 1968. It was during the same year that University of the Philippines Nur Misuari founded the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the armed wing of Islamic resistance movement. In June 1971, the government convened the Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution. Ironically, Marcos declared Martial Law on September 21, 1972, following a series of bombings in Metro Manila, He abolished Congress, curtailed freedom of the press, imposed curfews, ordered the arrest of his political enemies, prohibited labour unions, and controlled the economy with the help of his cronies. Although his wife Imelda was credited for building some of the country's finest monuments, she was criticized for personal extravagance, a form of which was maintaining a collection of 3,000 pairs of shoes. Green Revolution The so-called green revolution in the early 1970s, which introduced new farming technologies, enabled the Philippines to export rice to its neighbours. The International Rice Research Institute was established in Los Banos town, Laguna province where Thai, Vietnamese and other Asian researchers trained to develop their own rice production. Thailand would later become the world's largest rice exporter and the Philippines one of the largest rice importers. With the introduction of new farming technologies, the Philippines became heavily dependent on importer fertilizers, which are mostly fuel-based. The increase in world crude oil prices also pushed prices of fertilizers, to the detriment of Filipino farmers trying to adopt the modern technologies. Chinese Tycoons On June 9, 1975, the Marcos administration signed a joint communiqué with Communist China to restore official diplomatic relations. The Communiqué recognized that "there is but one China, of which Taiwan is an integral part. In return, China vowed not to interfere in the internal affairs of the Philippines and refrained from providing any substantial support to the Communist Party of the Philippines, the largest insurgent group in the country. The largest success story in the Philippines actually involved Chinese merchants who left China in pursuit of business opportunities abroad. Unlike rich American investors, Chinese migrants came to the Philippines with little money but large determination that the country's democratic society would help them become rich. True enough, they found goldmine in the Philippines. Today, the richest individuals in the Philippines have Chinese names, including billionaires such as Lucio Tan, Henry Sy, John Gokongwei, and George Ty. Together, they are the largest group of investors in the Philippines and control most of the largest companies in the country. Overseas Workers Under Martial Law, one man other than Marcos would singularly define labour relations in the Philippines and the role of the Filipino workers in the world. Labour Minister Blas Ople, a former journalist, authored the Labor Code on November 1, 1974 and launched the overseas employment program in 1976, which would send young and talented Filipinos who could not find work at home to other countries for dollar-earning jobs. Ople obtained the permission of Marcos to deploy thousands of Filipino workers overseas to meet the growing need of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates for skilled workers and the rising demand for Filipino seamen in flag-of-convenience vessels. Hesitant at first, Marcos later conceded to the proposal, if only to tame the growing militancy building among the hearts of the young and intelligent Filipinos who could not find job opportunities in their own land. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) were established to intensify recruitment of Filipino workers. This would make the Philippines the third largest destination of dollar remittances in the world, next to the more populous countries of India and Mexico. The Marcos administration also tried to court foreign investors, by committing guarantees against nationalization and imposing restrictions on trade-union activity. However, the blatant record of human rights abuses by the military under his administration was a big turnoff among foreigners. Under Martial law, the military and the police killed, abused, or arrested at least 10,000 Filipinos, including some of the brightest students and intellectuals. Many had disappeared without a trace. While Marcos lifted martial law on January 17, 1981 in time for the visit of Pope John Paul II to Manila in February, he maintained most of his powers as a dictator. Benigno Aquino, an opposition senator living in asylum in the US, decided to return to Manila in 1983. His death, from assassins' bullets at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport, sparked adverse sentiments against the Marcos administration. Bankruptcy As the economy stagnated under the Marcos administration because of a mix of bad economic policies, corruption and uncontrolled population growth, the government had to resort to foreign borrowing to finance the fiscal deficit. In October 1983, the Central Bank notified its creditors about its plan to default payment on debt amounting to US$24.6 billion. With the growing loss of confidence by the business community, the peso depreciated by as much as 21 percent in 1983. The gross domestic product shrank by 6.8 percent in 1984 and by 3.8 percent in 1985. Emboldened by Marcos' dipping popularity, the opposition gathered around Aquino's widow, Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, who would later challenge Marcos in the 1986 snap presidential election. When Batasang Pambansa (National Assembly) declared Marcos the winner amid allegations of widespread electoral fraud, protesters, buoyed by Manila archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, trooped to the streets. Following the defection of Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Armed Forces vice chief Fidel Ramos from Marcos, protesters began converging along EDSA near Ortigas Avenue, which would culminate in the ouster of Marcos from Malacanang Palace on February 25, 1986. The media called the bloodless uprising as the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution - something that political groups would later thought could be replicated time and again. Democratic Rule After Marcos, his family and his cronies fled from the Philippines, Aquino became president, organized a new government, freed the political prisoners and tried to restore democratic rule in the country. In February 1987, her government approved a new Constitution, which would later be subjected to heated debates over its restrictive provisions on foreign participation in the economy. The 1987 Constitution restored the presidential system of government with a bicameral legislature composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives and an independent judiciary headed by the Supreme Court chief justice. To avoid a replication of Marcos' excesses, the Constitution limited the president's stay in office to one six-year term. It also created the autonomous regions of Muslim Mindanao and Cordillera and put agrarian reform as the cornerstone of the government's plan for social transformation. A renegade faction in the Philippine military launched a series of coup attempts against the Aquino presidency. Perception of political instability dampened economic activities and refrained the economy from matching the large strides taken by its Asian neighbors in the 1980s and 1990s. By this time, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand have overtaken the Philippines in the race towards industrialization. The Arroyo administration, while taking pride of having restored democracy, failed to bring the economy on track towards industrialization, and one of the factors singled out was the president's political inexperience and lack of consistency in pushing for economic reforms. In the 1992 presidential election, Aquino endorsed the candidacy of her chosen successor – Defense Secretary Fidel Ramos. In June 1991, Mount Pinatubo's powerful eruption sent tons of ashes around the planet's atmosphere. Subsequent lava/lahar flow buried several towns in Central Luzon and jolted the economy. The natural tragedy also forced American soldiers at Clark Field and Subic Bay to withdraw from their bases earlier than stipulated. The US turned over to the Philippine government the two bases with total assets amounting to US$1.3 billion. The Philippine government later transformed the two bases into special economic zones. Liberalisation In 1992, Fidel Ramos was elected President. He began his term amid an energy crisis, which plunged the country literally into darkness. This he was able to resolve by inviting foreign investors to take part in the so-called build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme, where they would serve as independent power producers (IPPs) enjoying a lot of incentives and guaranteed market. While it brought light to Filipino households, the scheme would later translate to high electricity rates. In 1995, the Ramos administration also had to contend with a rice shortage, as a result of low agricultural production and poorly managed importation program. Since then, the government has authorised the National Food Authority (NFA) to import rice at will in order to prepare for any shortage in domestic stock. The Ramos presidency was also responsible for economic reforms such as privatisation of government assets, trade and banking liberalisation and deregulation, which would push annual trade growth at double-digit levels and draw in large-ticket foreign investments. By 1996, the Philippines was described as a newly industrialising economy along with the likes of Thailand and Malaysia. It was also under the Ramos presidency that communism was legalised, and some leftist organisations would later join Congress as partylist groups. The government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) headed by Nur Misuari would sign a peace agreement that would establish a peace zone in southern Philippines. However, other militant rebel groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Abu Sayyaf would continue waging a war against the government for a Islamic state in the south. What Ramos failed to accomplish is the amendment to the 1987 Constitution to remove the restriction on foreign ownership of land and public utilities, which limits maximum ownership to 40 percent. The opposition party accused him of trying to tinker with the charter to remove the six-year term limit of the president and in the process perpetuate his stay in power. In the end, he had to give up such attempt under the weight of public opinion. Financial Crisis With the outbreak of the Asian financial crisis, the Philippine economy contracted by 0.6 percent in 1998, the same year Joseph Estrada, a popular politician with links to the movie industry, became president. The economy actually grew although at a slower pace at 3.4 percent in 1999 and at 4 percent in 2000 even as the inflation and interest rates began to decline. In comparison, growth reached 5.2 percent under the Ramos presidency in 1997. While Estrada got the backing of Filipino-Chinese businessmen by reducing the problem of kidnapping, he did not get the same support from other "elite" businessmen. Despite appointing top economists, Estrada, a former college dropout, could not convince the "high society" that he could resolve the country's economic woes. Ironically, what brought down the Estrada administration was not his economic policies, seen by many as not substantially different from those of Ramos, but the perception of wide corruption in his administration. In October 2000, a former ally implicated Estrada in illegal gambling payoffs and kickbacks. Reports that he has many wives housed in different mansions also got Estrada indifferent treatment from the Church, which was a force behind the 1986 People's Power Revolution. EDSA 2 In December 2000, the House of Representatives impeached Estrada. The subsequent impeachment trial at the Senate was aborted when senators from the opposition party walked out of the courtroom, triggering street demonstrations reminiscent of the 1986 revolt. Within hours after the walkout, the crowd at EDSA grew into millions of anti-Estrada protesters. When political and military leaders withdrew their support from Estrada, Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide swore Vice President Gloria Mapacagal Arroyo as the next president on January 20, 2001. Arroyo, a daughter of former President Diosdado Macapagal, came to Malacanang with a promise to clean the government of corrupt officials and bring down the number of poor Filipinos, which represents a third of the total population. In her first year in office, she faced numerous challenges starting with the May 1 rebellion, instigated by the Estrada camp to regain the presidency. The rebellion proved futile, as the highly politicised military and the police remained loyal to Arroyo. She also had to contend with Muslim extremists, who began to target cities in their attacks. Following the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001, the Philippines was one of the first countries to express support for a US-led international campaign against terrorism. On the economic front, Congress passed the liberalisation of the retail trade sector and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, which aims to privatise the state-owned National Power Corporation. The Arroyo administration also promoted business process outsourcing (BPO), information technology, tourism, and mining as key investment areas for foreign companies. Trade with other Asian countries was also given importance in view of the declining trade volume with the United States. Telecommunications One particular industry, which has led economic growth since 2000 is telecommunications, although this proved to be a bane for other industries as Filipinos cut their expenditures on other items to buy mobile phones and pay for monthly network services. By 2005, it is estimated that half of the 85 million Filipinos would have mobile phones, a high penetration rate for a developing market. Because of the global economic slump following the September 11 attacks, the GDP grew by merely 1.8 percent in 2001. Growth reached 4.3 percent in 2002 and 4.7 percent in 2003 even as the Arroyo administration confronted communist and Islamic insurgency problems and a shocking military coup in July 2003. After surviving the coup, Arroyo won the May 2004 presidential election over Estrada's close friend and popular actor Fernando Poe Jr. Economic growth reached 6.1 percent in 2004, the highest in 15 years, although this was negated by high inflation and uncontrolled unemployment rates which were more felt by the poor. Fiscal Deficit Pressed by economists to narrow the burgeoning fiscal deficit, President Arroyo urged Congress to pass a package of tax reform measures aimed at achieving a balanced budget by the end of her term in 2010. Because of a long history of budget deficits, the public debt hit more than 130 percent of the GDP in 2003 and has been rising since then. Different sectors, however, criticised the administration for passing a heavier burden of taxation on the people at a time crude oil prices were hovering at historic high levels and pushing prices of goods and services beyond the capacity of ordinary consumers. By the second half of 2005, there were signs that the fiscal deficit was narrowing, even with the delay in the implementation of the Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT) law, which raised by 2 percentage points the tax rate on consumer products and services to 12 percent and by 3 percentage points the corporate income tax to 35 percent. The new EVAT law, which was expanded to cover fuel and electricity, took effect on November 1, 2005. New Constitution As the popularity of President Arroyo dipped to the lowest level amid allegations that she bought her way to the presidency in the 2004 presidential elections, she was given an option to correct the loopholes in the political system by amending the 1987 Constitution. She formed a Consultative Commission to recommend charter amendments focusing on lifting all restrictions to foreign investments and paving the way for a shift in the form of government from a presidential, central system into a parliamentary, federal system. Posted by Text Mates at 4:16 PM 0 comments Labels: Economy, History, National, Social Filipino Inventions Solar powered Balut maker The College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology at the University of the Philippines-Los Banos has invented a solar "balut" maker. Engineer Fernando Paras Jr. said the machine, which covers an area of five square meters, is actually an incubator that can process duck eggs into embryonated eggs or balut for 15 to 17 days. Traditionally, balut makers in Pateros have been using electricity for incubation. The new invention is a two-way solar-powered system, with the solar water heater serving as the primary heat source while the photovoltaic cells serve as the auxiliary heat source regulating the temperature inside the incubator. The machine can process up to 4,000 eggs at the same time. This can double the income of farmers. SMS reader for the Blind A group of four engineering students from the De La Salle University invented the SMS reader, a device that allows the blind to read and send text messages. The prototype is composed of a black box with a Braille display that mimics the interface of a mobile phone. A data cable is connected to a slot in the black box. Superkalan Narciso Mosuela of La Union province invented the "superkalan", a novelty stove that can be fired with anything that burns—wood, paper, dried dung and leaves, corn cobs, and coco shells. The body of this stove is made of aluminum alloy, with a cast iron heat intensifier. For his invention, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) bestowed on Mosuela the "best design award" for Third World country category in 1987. Aside from the superkalan, Mr. Mosuela invented a functional rice thresher and other kitchen gadgets. Anti-cancer cream In November 2005, Filipino inventor Rolando dela Cruz won the gold medal for his "DeBCC" anti-cancer cream at the prestigious International Inventor's Forum in Nuremberg, Germany. The "DeBCC" cream, developed from cashew nuts and other local herbs, was chosen over 1,500 entries as the "most significant invention" of the year. According to Mr. dela Cruz, the cream was a simple answer to basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common type of skin cancer worldwide. BCC affects around 800,000 Americans every year, according to the Skin Care Foundation. BCC also affects 500,000 Europeans and 190,000 Australians every year. Mole Remover In 2000, Rolando dela Cruz developed an ingenuous formula that could easily remove deeply grown moles or warts from the skin without leaving marks or hurting the patient. His formula was extracted from cashew nut (Annacardium occidentale), which is common in the Philippines. The formula won for dela Cruz a gold medal in International Invention, Innovation, Industrial Design and Technology Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur in September 2000. In March 1997, dela Cruz established RCC Amazing Touch International Inc., which runs clinics engaged "in a non-surgical removal of warts, moles and other skin growths, giving the skin renewed energy and vitality without painful and costly surgery." Modular Housing System Edgardo Vazquez won a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) gold medal in 1995 for developing a modular housing system. Such a system called Vazbuilt is reportedly capable of building within weeks a house with prefabricated materials that can withstand typhoons and earthquakes. Ironically, Vasquez is not getting enough support from the Philippine government to propagate his technology, which could help provide shelter to some five million Filipino families without their own homes. Vazquez is the national president of the Filipino Inventors Society. Super Bunker Formula-L In 1996, Rudy Lantano Sr., a scientist from the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST), won the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) gold medal for developing Super Bunker Formula-L, a revolutionary fuel half-composed of water. The mix burns faster and emits pollutants, 95 percent less than those released to the air by traditional fuel products. The inventor said his invention is a result of blending new ingredients and additives with ordinary oil products through agitation and mixing, which is a very safe process. The initial plan was to commercially produce two million liters of Alco-Diesel, two million liters of Lan-Gas and an unlimited quantity of Super Bunker Formula-L each day for customers in Luzon. Natural Gas Vehicle The Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a vehicle that runs on natural gas, whose rich deposits remain untapped under the Philippine seabed. The project's main objective is to look into the potential of natural gas as an alternative fuel to conventional petrol and diesel for the transport sector. The natural gas vehicle (NVG) has been road-tested in Isabela where an existing natural gas supply from the PNOC Gas Plant is located. Test runs have also been made in Cagayan, Ifugao and Mountain Province. The test vehicle used was the Isuzu Hi-Lander 4JA-1, direct injected diesel engine. The use of natural gas as a fuel is cheaper. On a gallon-equivalent basis, natural gas costs an average of 15 to 40 percent less than gasoline and diesel. There are over one million NVGs in the world today, according to the International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles. Lamp Fixing Invention A Filipino inventor has developed a technology, which could revive a busted lamp (pundido) and give it more years of functional life than those of new ones. Acclaimed by the Filipino Inventors Society as timely and revolutionary, the Nutec system can prolong the life of fluorescent lamps up to seven years. Nutec was developed by New World Technology, headed by president Eric Ngo and chosen as the "Product of the Year" at the Worldbex 2000 Building and Construction Exposition held at the Manila Hotel. Engineer Benjamin S. Santos, national president of the Inventors Society, called Nutec a timely invention. "Tubig Talino" The Department of Science and Technology claimed that it has developed "Tubig Talino", an iodine-rich drinking water that treats micronutrient deficiencies responsible for goiter, mental and physical retardation, and birth defects. "Tubig Talino" is actually a mixture of 20 liters of water and 15 ml of "Water Plus + I2". Consumption of five glasses a day of this iodine fortification in drinking water is expected to provide 120 micrograms of iodine, which meets 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of a male adult. Feminine Hygiene Product Inventor Dr. Virgilio Malang won a gold medal for his invention "Psidium Guajava Effervescing Gynecological Insert", a silver medal for his "Patient Side-Turning Hospital Bed", and three bonze medals for his inventions "external vaginal cleanser", "light refracting earpick", and "broom's way of hanging" at the Seoul International Fair in held South Korea in December 2002. There were 385 inventions from 30 countries that joined the competitions. Patis Contrary to popular belief, there was no fish sauce or Patis yet during the Spanish occupation. Patis began to become a part of most Filipinos' diet only after the Japanese occupation. Here is an account of how an enterprising lady discovered the fermentation of Patis. Immediately after the war, the family of Ruperta David or Aling Tentay started a dried fish business. One day, Aling Tentay stored in jars some salted fish that turned into fragments even before they dried. While in jars, the fish fragments turned into a liquid substance that tasted like our Patis today. Thus the beginning of the thriving Patis business of Aling Tentay, which was officially registered in 1949 and is known today as Tentay Food and Sauces Inc. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer) A Showcase of Ingenuity Nothing perhaps has been associated with Filipino technology as much as the country's pride - jeepney. The word "jeep" evolved from the military designation, general-purpose or G.P., of a light vehicle first used by the Americans in World War II. Developed by the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, this vehicle was powered by a four-cylinder engine and was classified as a quarter-ton truck in carrying capacity. It had served as a command vehicle, reconnaissance car, and ammunition carrier. The American soldiers brought these vehicles to the Philippines in the 1940s. After the war, these vehicles were left by the Americans and converted by the Filipinos into public utility vehicles. Employing artistic and indigenous designs, the Filipinos came up with a longer, well-decorated, techni-colored and sleeker vehicle, which they later called jeepney. From the standard military jeep, the body was extended to accommodate between 20 to 30 passengers. Modern jeepneys now sport very colorful and intricate paintings, fancy adornments, and metallic decors reflective of Filipino sentiments, values, and culture. The town of Las Pinas has been recognized as the jeepney-producing center in the country. Today, public utility jeepneys or PUJs serve as the primary means of transportation in most provinces. For this, the Philippines came to be known as the "land of the jeepneys".
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American Hosta Society (AHS) American Hosta Society is a not-for-profit organization. The American Hosta Society is organized exclusively for educational and scientific purposes, and especially to promote, encourage, and foster the development of the genus Hosta and public interest therein.
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Belmont County Agricultural Society The Belmont County Agricultural Society's object and purpose shall be to promote and encourage agriculture, industry, schools, science, art, and other interests of Belmont County which the board deems proper and in the best interest of the community.
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