Last winter, 640 volunteers around the world created a map of Haiti from scratch in just two-and-a-half weeks. The monumental undertaking was spurred by the earthquake that reduced large parts of the nation’s capital to rubble and by the desperate need for accurate maps for the hundreds of aid organizations responding to the crisis.The volunteers worked largely remotely, making changes to the Haiti map on OpenStreetMap, a web-based depiction of the world that people can edit, similar to the way that text-based content is altered in Wikipedia.“Six hundred and forty mappers made 1.4 million edits in two-and-a-half weeks. They literally mapped the country,” said John Crowley, research coordinator for crisis dynamics for the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) and a 2008 graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School.Crowley and Jennifer Chan, an HHI associate faculty member and assistant professor from Northwestern University, authored a report released Monday (March 28) on the issue. “Disaster Relief 2.0” looks at the new information flows, of which the Haiti OpenStreetMap is an example, that result from recent technological advances. The report, commissioned by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Foundation, and Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership, and written by a team at HHI, examines both the current use and potential future impact of advances in technology on humanitarian disaster response.“Disaster Relief 2.0” says modern technology enables two new major information flows that could overwhelm workers dealing with a major emergency in the field, but that could also, if properly handled, become an enormous asset.“We have the opportunity here to take advantage of the situation. … If we do it, we can adapt faster, respond faster, and respond more efficiently,” Crowley said.The two information flows come from very different populations, according to the report. In the first case, for people living in the disaster zone, the rise of cell phones and social media and their rapid adoption even in poor countries means that those affected can communicate with responders in ways they could not before — relaying problems, like texting that you’re trapped beneath rubble — and crowd-sourced field conditions that can aid responders’ decisions.The second group is a volunteer and technical community that has arisen in an informal global network. These people, often expert in their fields, assist efforts such as OpenStreetMap, often on their own time, and create resources that may provide information otherwise unobtainable by relief workers.The problem, Crowley said, is managing data flows from what the report describes as “information fire hoses,” sifting out the useful data, and doing so in ways that enhance decision-making and response rather than overwhelming them. The report suggests that discussions and forums should determine what data is most useful and what format would be most accessible to those in the field.“We are awash in data, and that is a key point,” Crowley said. “We need a framework to help the system learn how to deal with this new information.”Specifically, the report recommends creating a neutral forum where areas of agreement and conflict between the humanitarian community and the global volunteer and technical communities can be worked out. It suggests developing a way that innovative tools and practices can be created and explored on an experimental basis and then creating a field team to deploy the best of those tools and practices. It also recommends creating a research and training consortium to evaluate fieldwork and to teach humanitarian workers, volunteers, and technical workers the emerging techniques. The report also recommends establishing agreed-upon procedures for communications in the field and common standards for data exchange.HHI Director Michael VanRooyen said the new data flows could become a great aid in the field, where workers are often dropped into rapidly changing situations where there are enormous needs but little helpful information.“The information gap — the data gap — is always a problem, particularly in humanitarian emergencies of rapid onset,” VanRooyen said. “We work in a data-poor environment, an environment where it’s very difficult to find out how many people are affected, what is the degree of vulnerability, what are the vulnerable subgroups, where are they located, how to find out how to service them, and then track all the needs.”In addition to the improved field communications fostered by cellphones, VanRooyen said, adding geospatial and crowd-sourced data would be another step in closing the information gap. It’s important that HHI, whose mission is improving humanitarian response, works to understand the potential of these new information flows and use them, he said.“When you think about how much the cellphone has changed our ability to communicate and provide services, it’s revolutionary,” VanRooyen said. “It would be equally revolutionary if we could have a unified, interpretable, easy-to-navigate platform for getting real-time data from the field and then use it to track what services need to be delivered, what materials need to be delivered, what zones need to be covered, and how to coordinate with various actors on the ground.”
A few of us around the Broadway.com office still haven’t calmed down over the news that “Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen will make her Broadway debut in the title role of Cinderella, alongside Emmy nominee Fran Drescher (as Madame). Obviously, we love love love Tony nominee Laura Osnes, but we still can’t wait to see the Grammy nominee get dressed up in Cinderella’s gorgeous gown and glitzy glass slippers. The always-classy Osnes even addressed the Carly Rae haters on December 29 when she tweeted, “Have we learned nothing from Ella about charity, generosity, and kindness?” Jepsen responded with “Dear @LauraOsnes I think you are truly lovely. Big shoes to fill! It’s an honor to try on the Cindy shoes! Xoxox.” Has there ever been a more perfect pair of princesses? Nope. Now, Jepsen has given us a tiny preview of what she’ll look like when she becomes Broadway’s reigning princess by Instagramming a photo of herself bedazzled in snazzy jewelry. Jepsen captioned the photo: “Family breaky before I fly to NYC—they decked me out in Cinderella gear. I don’t think they expected me to wear it all morning! Haha.” Call us biased, but we think she looks downright aristocratic in her treasures. Savor Jepsen’s fab photo and then catch her in Cinderella at the Broadway Theatre beginning February 4! Cinderella Related Shows Laura Osnes View Comments Carly Rae Jepsen Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 4, 2015
View Comments The rumors were true and it’s been confirmed that West End alum Dean John-Wilson and former Sugababes singer Jade Ewen will star in London’s Aladdin as the titular character and Princess Jasmine, respectively. They are set to join the previously announced Trevor Dion Nicholas as the genie in the production, which is scheduled to begin performances on May 27, 2016. The opening night has been pushed back to June 15 (from June 9) at the Prince Edward Theatre, which currently plays host to the Broadway-bound Miss Saigon.Wilson was most recently seen in the U.K. National Theatre’s production of off-Broadway smash hit Here Lies Love; additional stage credits include From Here to Eternity. Ewen is best known for her work with British pop group the Sugababes; a former protege of Andrew Lloyd Webber, she is currently appearing in the London production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights.Adapted from the 1992 Disney animated film, Aladdin is the story of a street urchin who uses the help of a magic Genie to win the heart of Princess Jasmine. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, the production features a book by Chad Beguelin, music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Beguelin, Tim Rice and the late Howard Ashman.The London company will also include Don Gallagher as Jafar, Peter Howe as Iago, Irvine Iqbal as the Sultan, Nathan Amzi as Babkak, Stephen Rahman-Hughes as Kassim and Rachid Sabitri as Omar, along with Arran Anzani-Jones, Miles Barrow, Albey Brookes, Lauren Chia, Bianca Cordice, Leon Craig, Daniel de Bourg, Seng Henk Goh, Melanie Elizabeth, Kade Ferraiolo, Michelle Chantelle Hopewell, Fred Johanson, Mitch Leow, Oliver Lidert, Thierry Picaut, Alex Pinder, Briony Scarlett, Kyle Seeley, Sadie-Jean Shirley, Ricardo Spriggs, Katie Singh, Dawnita Smith, Marsha Songcome, Kayleigh Thadani and Jermaine Woods.Aladdin continues to run on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The production officially opened on March 20, 2014, starring Adam Jacobs as Aladdin, Courtney Reed as Jasmine, James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie and Jonathan Freeman as Jafar.
The facilities would consist of ‘‘clean sites, where state personnel or certified NGOs would allow addicts to stay there and consume the substances,’‘ he explained. In Bogotá, drug addiction rehab centers could provide addicts with drugs seized from drug traffickers, or legally purchased by foreign laboratories, stated Mayor Gustavo Petro on September 24. In the next months, Mayor Petro, former leftist senator and guerrilla member, expects to inaugurate facilities that would provide illegal drugs to addicts under medical supervision. In order to carry out this initiative, authorization from the national government is required. The second alternative would be to buy the drug ‘‘abroad in legal laboratories from the United States and it could be imported for therapeutic purposes,’‘ he said. Petro advocates this kind of treatment, which is new in Latin America and has been used ‘‘successfully’‘ for over 25 years in dozens of cities worldwide, to reduce the damage caused by drug use in addicts. Last week, the Colombian capital opened its first two mobile centers to assist drug addicts in areas highly affected by poverty and social exclusion. These units only provide legal medical prescription drugs as substitutes. By Dialogo September 26, 2012 The mayor’s office would have two alternatives to obtain the drugs. On the one hand, it might come from ‘‘seizures carried out by the police, as long as they are certified by a State laboratory,’‘ to guarantee that the drugs are in proper condition, explained Petro to the private radio station La FM. In July, a law passed in Colombia established that drug addiction must be considered a public health concern, and consumers should be treated as patients, not as criminals.
You’ve heard consultants suggest “outside the box” thinking. That’s so cliche. Who’s thinking “outside the grid”? A lot happened at the most recent CUNA GAC. Though I couldn’t attend, it was apparent even to this distant observer that an attendee couldn’t possibly experience it all. Unless you had two years to do so! Between the sessions, round tables, keynotes, and Hill Hikes, interviews took place for a variety of industry publications. I wouldn’t fault you for missing, oh, 90% of them!One of these segments was shared by LSCU (the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, no affiliation). In it, they discussed disaster plans with Ted Koppel, namely, power grid failure strategies. As you know, a branch going down is an inconvenience. Imagine if an entire city was dark for days. What services fail first? How do you manage member funds? Do we fall back to a cash (or seashell)-based economy?You would be correct to say the primary concerns center around medical care, providing clean water, and distributing food to the community. But what about after that infrastructure has emerged? How long can you operate on battery backups and satellite phones if only overloaded mobile cell towers (usually on trucks) are available?The discussion raises interesting questions and requires, wait for it, outside the “grid” thinking. Being an environmentalist, my first thought is focusing on adoption of solar and other self-sustained energy sources. These can substantially increase your capabilities during a utility outage, while fostering a community-based energy economy (think local farming, except your product is electricity). Plus, reducing emissions from energy production benefits everyone.Your goal in building disaster resilience is to ask the right questions, ahead of time. But what if the “disaster” isn’t in a loss of power or something your crisis team cooked up? The other side of thinking “outside the grid” is to look at problems from a new perspective. Instead of considering how you can deal with a situation, imagine what you can do to avoid falling in to it entirely. How can you be, “off-grid”, as it were, to the issue?Think of any challenges that arise throughout your member experience. Yes, coming up with simple ways to address them is important, but is it possible to eliminate the problem from ever occurring? I’ve seen a lot of credit unions using a graduated rewards program. However, none of them offer easy access to a chart showing what I need to do to be considered “Bronze”, “Platinum Plus”, or “VIP Gold”. I know these loyalty systems are tempting, but maybe you’re approaching them in a way which creates complexity no matter how well it’s planned. When the original iPod was released, a famous parody video emerged showing the packaging had Microsoft’s marketing team designed it. Sure, their final product told the customer a lot more, but, in reality, did it? Was the simplicity a crutch to be overcome or a victory in messaging on its own? 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Joe Winn What do you get when you mix auto loan programs with a desire to help others? Well, approaches that make a difference, of course. So what do you get when … Web: credituniongeek.com Details
23SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr A lot of digital ink has been spilled regarding Millennials and how they are reshaping and reordering the workplace. I’m happy to report that ink has not been wasted. The influx of Millennials into the workforce tops virtually any short list of today’s business trends. No doubt, Generation Y is poised to make a big impact on the world of work. But are the supposed differences of the most tech-savvy generation in history all they are cracked up to be? Even more importantly, how will generational differences play out when it comes to leadership development, workplace culture and recruiting? Here are a few points worth considering: Millennials And Non-Millennials Are More Alike Than Not: Sure, Millennials have a language all their own, which is not easy for outsiders to decipher. But studies of Generation Y show that they value many of the things other generations value: like hard work, fair compensation, and establishing the right blend between career and family. Oh yeah, there’s another trait they share with the rest of humanity: they thrive on leadership and team feedback. Yes, today’s twenty-somethings are a new breed of human, but they are not necessarily a breed apart. continue reading »
4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger said the Independent Community Bankers of America lawsuit over NCUA’s final member business lending rule raises to a new level the banking trade’s campaign of attempted scare tactics and intimidation meant to hinder credit unions’ ability to serve small businesses.“NCUA’s revised member business loan rule is a well-considered approach to making it possible for more credit unions to serve their members’ needs by eliminating red tape and remaining within the letter and the spirit of the law,” said Berger. “During the crisis, the banks weren’t complaining about MBL, they were avoiding new business loans altogether. Credit unions, by contrast, stepped up.“If the banks had put this much effort and money in policing themselves, maybe they could have helped prevent the financial crisis they caused that harmed consumers and our country’s economy,” he continued. “NAFCU will continue to vigorously defend credit unions’ ability to provide member business loans.”NCUA’s final rule eliminated credit unions’ personal guarantee requirement and, effective Jan. 1, 2017, will eliminate the waiver process. NAFCU praised the rule for easing the regulatory burden on credit unions and allowing them the independence to safely and soundly address the needs of their small-business members. continue reading »
continue reading » The decision to undergo a core conversion is never taken lightly. And why should it be: it’s an intensive process that requires countless hours and numerous resources. But, when contract renewal rolls around, every bank should perform due diligence to ensure that its core platform supports its long-term objectives. We’ve compiled a comprehensive timeline, complete with questions that facilitate discussions, to help you more easily maneuver through this sometimes-overwhelming decision.Risk vs. RewardAs vital as technology has become to banks’ ability to compete and operate profitably, the prospect of changing core processing solutions can be overwhelming, from a cost and complexity standpoint. But, industry experts agree, putting off a needed system change likely poses more risk than any risk associated with conversion.So, whether your bank has already identified core conversion as an option when renewal rolls around, the first step is to engage your current provider in a candid conversation. If that provider doesn’t meet your minimum requirements or align with your strategy, it’s time to start evaluating others.Indications for a core change include when your current provider: ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Mar 25, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Two new studies give reason to hope that vaccines prepared in advance could be of some help in combating an influenza pandemic.A flu pandemic can occur when a flu virus undergoes a significant change in its surface proteins, making it unrecognizable to the immune system. Because such “antigenic shifts” are unpredictable, it is not possible to design a vaccine to precisely match a pandemic flu virus until the virus emerges.Disease experts fear that the H5N1 avian influenza virus, which has become endemic in poultry in Southeast Asia, may trigger a human flu pandemic if it acquires the ability to spread readily from person to person. This week the United States launched the first clinical trial of a vaccine for the H5N1 virus. But there is no guarantee that the vaccine would work if a pandemic erupted, since a change in the virus would probably precede that development.However, two studies recently published online by the Journal of Infectious Diseases suggest that avian flu vaccines that don’t match up perfectly with the viruses they are intended for may provide some protection.In one study, human volunteers received a vaccine made from a nonpathogenic H5N3 virus isolated from ducks. When H5N1 viruses were added to serum samples from the volunteers, a significant immune response was generated in the form of antibodies.In the other experiment, mice were given one of two vaccines that contained surface proteins from H5N1 viruses isolated from geese and humans. When the mice were subsequently exposed to other H5N1 viral strains, the vaccines protected most of them from dying or getting sick.Immune response in human serumThe human study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chiron Vaccines in Italy, and two laboratories in the United Kingdom. They recruited 65 people in Leicester, UK, and gave them two doses of a vaccine made from an H5N3 duck virus isolated in Singapore in 1997. Some of the volunteers received the vaccine alone, while others received the vaccine with an adjuvant—a compound that helps stimulate immune responses—called MF59. Sixteen months later, 26 of the 65 volunteers received a third dose of the same vaccine they had received before (15 received vaccine with MF59, while 11 received vaccine with no adjuvant).Serum samples were taken before and 3 weeks after vaccination and sent to the CDC, where they were tested for antibody responses to four different H5N1 viruses isolated from humans. These included 1997 and 2003 strains from Hong Kong and 2004 strains from Vietnam and Thailand.The experiment showed that the conventional (no adjuvant) vaccine induced little antibody response to any of the H5N1 viruses, whereas the adjuvanted vaccine generated good responses.After three doses of adjuvanted vaccine, significant antibody responses (seroconversion) to the Hong Kong 1997 virus were seen in 100% of the samples. Seroconversion rates for the other three viruses were 100% for Hong Kong 2003, 71% for Thailand 2004, and 43% for Vietnam 2004. The seroconversion rates for the nonadjuvanted vaccine with respect to the four viruses were 27%, 27%, 0%, and 0%.The researchers write that three doses of the adjuvanted vaccine “induced broadly cross-reactive antibody capable of neutralizing antigenically distinct HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] H5N1 viruses isolated from humans during 1997-2004. . . . The ability of an H5 vaccine to induce broad cross-reactive immune responses could be crucially important in the early response to an emerging pandemic.”The authors acknowledge that a three-dose immunization schedule wouldn’t be practical in the face of a pandemic. However, they suggest that in the early stages of a pandemic it may be possible to provide partial protection for people at high risk, such as healthcare workers, with an adjuvanted vaccine made from an H5 virus strain prepared in advance.Vaccines protect miceThe mouse experiment was conducted by Aleksandr S. Lipatov and four colleagues at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. They injected mice with one of two inactivated vaccines made with the process called reverse genetics. The researchers used genes for the surface proteins—hemagglutinin and neuraminidase (HA and NA)—and internal proteins from several different flu viruses.One vaccine, called delta H5N3, combined the HA gene from a 1999 H5N1 goose virus from Hong Kong with the NA gene from an H2N3 duck virus from Germany. The other vaccine, called delta H5N1/03, used the HA and NA genes from a human H5N1 virus isolated in Hong Kong in 2003. Both vaccines also contained six viral genes encoding internal proteins from an H1N1 virus, along with an adjuvant.After immunization at one of three doses of vaccine, the mice were exposed to one of three H5N1 viruses: human isolates from 1997 and 2003 and an avian virus from 2001. The vaccinated mice responded with high levels of antibodies, which in most cases decreased or prevented viral replication in their lungs.From 90% to 100% of mice injected with the delta H5N3 vaccine survived and had few signs of illness, whereas all of the control mice died. The delta H5N1/03 vaccine provided nearly as high a level of protection. The exception was that mice that received the lowest dose of vaccine were vulnerable to the 2001 avian H5N1 virus.The authors also analyzed and found slight differences among the amino acid sequences of the HAs in the two tested vaccines and the three challenge viruses. They conclude, “The present results demonstrate the cross-protective efficacy of H5N1 vaccine viruses that contain antigenically different HAs. Our data suggest that, at least in the mouse model, the vaccine strain need not match the challenge virus to achieve a high level of cross-protection.”In an editorial accompanying the two reports, Benjamin Schwartz and Bruce Gellin of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) National Vaccine Program Office welcome the studies but cite various limitations. The studies “do provide a good foundation for further work to develop and test candidate pandemic vaccines and assess pandemic vaccination strategies,” they write.Concerning the human study, Schwartz and Gellin state, “The need for 3 vaccine doses, the use of an adjuvant not licensed in the United States, and uncertain levels of protection even in a young and healthy population limit the viability of such a vaccination strategy.”The mouse experiment provides “proof of concept that H5 vaccines produced by use of reverse genetics can be immunogenic and effective in an animal model,” Schwartz and Gellin say. “However, no conclusions can be reached regarding levels of protection in humans, the number of doses needed, the amount of antigen required per dose, the need for an adjuvant, or the degree of protection against all heterologous H5 strains.”Stephenson I, Burgarini R, Nicholson KG, et al. Cross-reactivity to highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 viruses after vaccination with nonadjuvanted and MF59-adjuvanted influenza A/Duck/Singapore/97 (H5N3) vaccine: a potential priming strategy. J Infect Dis 2005 Apr 15 ;191(8):1210-5 [Abstract]Lipatov AS, Webby RJ, Govorkova EA, et al. Efficacy of H5 influenza vaccines produced by reverse genetics in a lethal mouse model. J Infect Dis 2005(Apr 15);191(8):1216-20 Vaccination strategies for an influenza pandemic. J Infect Dis 2005 Apr 15 ;191(8):1216-20 [Abstract]Schwartz B, Gellin B, et al. Vaccination strategies for an influenza pandemic. (Editorial Commentary) J Infect Dis 2005 Apr 15 ;191(8):1207-9 [Full text]
Arsene Wenger sends support to Arsenal star Mesut Ozil amid China backlash Advertisement 1 min. story 1/1 Read More SPONSORED Skip Ad Wenger coached Ozil at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Arsene Wenger has backed Mesut Ozil’s freedom of speech after the Arsenal drew the fury of China.Ozil’s Instagram post about the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China has sparked a debate about human rights, as reports claim China has detained as many as one million people, mainly Muslims, over the course of several years in what are being branded as prison camps.China reacted furiously to the comments, pulling Arsenal’s game against Manchester City from TV coverage and performing a deep cleanse of Ozil’s internet footprint in the country.Arsenal released a statement distancing themselves from Ozil’s call to action and Wenger has defended the German’s right to speak out.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT Manchester United captain Harry Maguire Video Settings Skip Read More Read More Read More Top articles Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 18 Dec 2019 1:21 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1kShares About Connatix V67539 Read More Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Rio Ferdinand tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop struggling Comment Ozil is a Muslim (Picture: Getty)‘They kill their holy men. The men are forced into camps and their families are forced to live with Chinese men.‘The women are forced to marry Chinese men. But Muslims are silent. They won’t make a noise.‘They have abandoned them. Don’t they know that giving consent for persecution is persecution itself?’MORE: Yaya Toure takes swipe at Mesut Ozil and tells Arsenal star he was wrong to condemn China’s treatment of UighursMORE: Arsenal respond to Mesut Ozil social media post Advertisement Full Screen / ‘What he says is about himself and not Arsenal,’ said Wenger.‘Mesut Ozil has freedom of speech like everyone else and he uses his notoriety to express his opinions, which are not necessarily shared by everybody.‘What’s important is that Ozil has an individual responsibility. He doesn’t have to carry the word of Arsenal Football Club.‘When you make a comment about your individual opinion you accept the consequences of it.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityChina have threatened further action against Arsenal. Ozil is a Muslim and compelled others to speak out on the human rights violations in China.‘East Turkistan, the bleeding wound of the Ummah, resisting against the persecutors trying to separate them from their religion,’ Ozil said in a statement.‘They burn their Qurans. They shut down their mosques. They ban their schools. by Metro PLAY Coming Next