The Leadership Playbook: Leaders Deal With Constraints

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now There is a reason most organizations don’t produce the results they are capable of producing. This same reason is why companies get stuck, stall, and sometimes even die. And it is the leader’s job to deal with this natural cause in order to move her organization forward, to fuel its growth, and to ensure its survival.The enemy is constraints.Most people want to do good work. They want to succeed. But they run up against natural constraints.TimeThere are some results that can only be achieved when they are given more time. It is the leader’s job to protect the time of the people they serve to ensure that they can devote that time to what really needs done. It’s also the leader’s job to move projects and initiatives around to provide more time.You see this in sales management all of the time. The sales manager serves the sales organization first, attending too many meetings, providing too much reporting, and doing too much forecasting. This is time that is better spent with their sales force, where the real results are produced.MoneyYou can likely have any result you want. If you want to double your business in a year, it’s very possible–provided you have the money.Some initiatives fail not because the idea isn’t good or the people can’t pull it off. They fail because they are under-resourced. For most companies, there isn’t ever enough money for all of the initiatives they could pursue. Money is a very real constraint.It’s the leader’s job to ensure that the financial resources find their way to the most important initiatives. Most of the time this means the financial constraint gets shifted to something or someone else.ObstaclesTime and money are really easy constraints to deal with. They are easily discovered and, mostly, they are easy to overcome. But there are other constraints that are more difficult for a leader to deal with.Sometimes your clients or customers want something that you can’t provide them without radically changing how you do something. The constraint is that your people are acting with the boundaries you’ve set up for them and acting on the client’s needs conflict. They are constrained by your processes and systems. If your people aren’t empowered to change the processes and systems, then it is your job as the leader to work with them to develop new processes and systems to remove their constraints.Sometimes initiatives get stuck because there isn’t consensus within their own team because someone is dragging their feet. Sometimes this is personality driven, but often it’s that the person slowing progress doesn’t know how to do something or doing it disrupts their ability to deliver some other result. A leader has to bridge these gaps and help drive consensus around the vision, removing the constraints, especially when there are issues between people.Most of the time, only leaders have the ability to deal with constraints. The bigger and more challenging the constraint, the more important it is for the leader to deal with it herself. She is the one with responsibility for leading, and the decisions to make changes belong to her.last_img read more

Ashes 2019: England pacer Olly Stone ruled out of 2nd Test with back injury

first_imgEngland have suffered another Ashes setback with fast bowler Olly Stone being ruled out of contention for the second Test against Australia which starts at Lord’s next week.Warwickshire bowler Stone is suffering with a lower back strain, his club said on Wednesday.”It’s really disappointing for Olly that he’s been ruled out of action for such an important two weeks of cricket because of a recurrence of his back injury,” Paul Farbrace, Sport Director at Warwickshire CCC, said on the club’s website here”At the moment there’s a bit of inflammation, but he will undergo a scan later this afternoon so that we know the full course of treatment that he can undertake with the club’s medical team and with the support of the ECB.”In the meantime, he needs to rest up before he can get his body strong again and ready to deal with the demands of being a fast bowler.”The 25-year-old Stone made his Test debut against Ireland at Lord’s, taking three wickets, and was in the squad for the opening Ashes clash against Australia, which England lost by 251 runs, but was not selected.England’s leading Test wicket taker James Anderson is already ruled out of the second Test having broken down on the first morning of the heavy defeat at Edgbaston.Stone would have given England options as they sweat on the fitness of Jofra Archer who missed the first Test.Paceman Archer provided some cheer for England as he took six wickets for the Sussex seconds on Tuesday in a bid to prove his fitness after a side strain.advertisementAlso Read | Ashes 2019: England pacer James Anderson ruled out of 2nd Test vs Australia with calf injurylast_img read more

Video: Nick Saban Won’t Escalate Beef With Michigan: “Jim Harbaugh Is Fine With Me”

first_imgJim Harbaugh head coach of the Michigan Wolverines runs onto the field prior to the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions.STATE COLLEGE, PA – NOVEMBER 21: Jim Harbaugh head coach of the Michigan Wolverines run onto the field prior to the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium on November 21, 2015 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Evan Habeeb/Getty Images)When someone says something about Michigan football, Jim Harbaugh can’t help but respond. We saw it yesterday, when a Rutgers secret society played a prank on Michigan at its camp in New Jersey, and a few weeks ago, Harbaugh fired off a pretty heated tweet in the direction of Alabama’s Nick Saban after the Crimson Tide head coach criticized satellite camps. He later doubled down, calling Saban “hypocritical.”Saban, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with the largely-manufactured controversy. He was asked about Harbaugh’s comments once again today, and refused to get in the mud with the Michigan Man.Alabama HC Nick Saban on his thoughts regarding perceived beef with Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh: pic.twitter.com/32hhBUjgFJ— Alex Byington (@abyingtonTD) June 9, 2016That’s not quite as fun, but we wouldn’t expect Saban to handle it any other way.[Saturday Down South]MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitalelast_img read more

Review: Pink Gin? It’s a Thing.

first_img The Best American Gin Editors’ Recommendations 10 Best Gins Under $20: Just Add Tonic 11 Best Gins for a Refreshing Gin and Tonic The Best American Liqueur While you may have never heard of pink gin before—and I’ll be honest, I hadn’t either—its roots go back over a century. Originally, pink gin was a cocktail from England that dates to the mid-19th Century. Made with Plymouth gin and Angostura bitters, the story goes that the pink gin was created by the Royal Navy as a way to make the bitters more palatable, since bitters were commonly used to cure seasickness.The Bitter Truth has resurrected the drink with one of their latest releases, Pink Gin.Nose: The nose is slightly medicinal, with licorice and fruity-lemon notes standing out more than anything else. These scents fade into a sweet, floral air.Palate: This gin is soft of the palate and has a little thicker mouth feel than most other gins. The flavor of juniper is there, but it is overshadowed to a large extent by licorice and fennel.  This might seem odd for a gin, but you have to remember that this is a gin based on a cocktail in which the secondary component was bitters.Finish: A Short, sweet finish. Some herbal notes are there, mixing with just a hint of sweet warmth on the fade.Final Thoughts: I was hesitant at first before opening this spirit because I hadn’t seen the story behind it. Without knowing that pink gin was originally a cocktail, it could easily be conceived of as another gimmick meant to sell a product. That being said, this is a gin lover’s gin, not just for the subtle juniper notes and the pleasant mouthfeel, but for its attachment to an historical gin moment.Also, I can’t get over this description of the gin, found on The Bitter Truth’s site: “This minx is not just a common gin with a fake tan; it’s a sophisticated metro-sexual in a salmon jumper.”The Bitter Truth Pink Gin is 40% ABV and retails for $39.99. The Manual Spirit Awards 2019: The Best Craft Liquor Made in Americalast_img read more

Allianz Survey: How Americans Are Using Sharing Economy Services in 2019

first_imgMillennials and Gen Xers Shifting Back to Traditional Services as Major Travel Brands Enter the Sharing Economy Market Richmond, Va., June 10, 2019 – Sharing economy services are cooling off with Millennial travelers, just when they’re heating up for Baby Boomers. As the 2019 summer vacation season kicks off, trust and likelihood to use these services have changed significantly since 2017, according to the fifth annual Allianz Travel Insurance Sharing Economy Index released by Allianz Global Assistance. Overall, the likelihood to use sharing economy services is down. About four out of ten (41 percent) of Americans responded they are either “very” or “somewhat” likely to use them during their 2019 summer travels, compared to 47 percent in 2018 and 50 percent in 2017. Gen Xers are driving the largest downward trend in usage, with 41 percent saying they will use sharing economy services this summer (down from 60 percent two years ago). Although fewer Millennials—63 percent—say they will use sharing economy services this summer (down from 77 percent two years ago), they still make up the largest generation of users. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers are on the upward trend, with 24 percent saying they will use these services, climbing from 19 percent two years ago. Despite demographic shifts, the market still remains strong for its core customers. Travelers who are younger (i.e. Millennials), male, and higher income earners (above $50,000) are significantly more likely than their counterparts to use sharing economy services. One reason for lower usage may be the overall decline in levels of trust: the survey found that while Millennials are the most likely to trust sharing economy services (71 percent) that figure is down from 76 percent last year and 83 percent two years ago. Fifty-five percent of Gen X’ers (down from 68 percent last year and 69 percent two years ago) consider sharing economy services trustworthy, while 44 percent of Baby Boomers (down from 46 percent last year and 47 percent two years ago) are likely to trust them. More established travel and hospitality companies are entering the sharing economy market, promising higher quality, more consistent experiences—often by providing new or differentiated products. For instance, Marriott recently announced a six-month trial with Hostmaker, a London-based homestay property management company. Other major hotel brand names like Hilton, Hyatt and Wyndham are also considering investments in similar home sharing businesses. These kinds of partnerships have the potential to convert customers seeking the authenticity and privacy of a home rental with assurances of the quality of experience, backed by a trusted brand name. “When we created this index five years ago, we knew that trust would be crucial to the health of the sharing economy. The simultaneous drops in trust and usage highlight the main challenge that players providing sharing economy services will need to address,” said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing & communications at Allianz Global Assistance. “As travelers seek more consistent, reliable travel experiences with high quality customer service, travel insurance delivers by providing peace of mind and 24/7 global assistance when unexpected events derail their travel plans.” 2019 VACATION CONFIDENCE INDEX: SHARING ECONOMYTo what extent do you trust “sharing economy” services such as Airbnb, HomeAway, Uber, Lyft, etc.? Would you say you find them… 201920182017Very trustworthy12%12%17%Somewhat trustworthy44%50%48%Not very trustworthy18%15%13%Not at all trustworthy11%5%5%Don’t know16%18%17%How likely are you to use a “sharing economy” service like Airbnb, HomeAway, Uber, Lyft, etc., during your summer vacation this year? 201920182017Very likely19%19%26%Somewhat likely23%28%25%Not very likely25%25%23%Not at all likely34%28%27% The Sharing Economy Index has been conducted each summer since 2015 by national polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance. Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance** through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, other travel suppliers and directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit: http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com.  *Methodology: These are findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 Americans from the Ipsos I-Say panel was interviewed from May 1st to May 2nd, 2019. The precision of online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all American adults been polled. Quota sampling and weighting were employed in order to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Credibility intervals are wider among subsets of the population. For the purposes of this study, a Millennial is defined as someone between the ages of 18 and 34; a Gen X’er is between the ages of 35 and 54; and a Baby Boomer is 55+ years of age.  Allianz Global Assistance USA  Allianz Global Assistance USA is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company with operation centers in 35 countries. In the United States, Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) serves 40 million customers annually and is best known for its Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies. To learn more about Allianz Travel Insurance, please visit allianztravelinsurance.com or Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS.last_img read more

Government Equipment Auction

first_imgThe annual auction of used government equipment will take place Saturday, June 11, at the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Miller Lake yard, 107 Perrin Dr., Fall River. There will be more than 200 lots of equipment including graders, snow plows and dump trucks. The auction is being conducted by Auction Advantage and photos of the equipment being auctioned can be viewed at www.auctionad.ca/upcoming-auctions/5-govenment-auctions/ . The equipment is from provincial departments and has been well used. The auctioneer will clearly state the condition of the equipment before bids are taken. The auction will begin at 10 a.m. Items can be viewed Friday, June 10, from noon to 4 p.m and Saturday, June 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The auction will be held rain or shine. Payment must be made by cash, debit or cheque (with bank letter). Credit cards are not accepted. No buyer’s fee will be charged at this auction and there is no reserve bid. The final price will be the bid price plus HST. Children younger than 16 will not be permitted.last_img read more

Possible hepatitis A contamination in some strawberry products in Quebec

first_imgMONTREAL – The Quebec Agriculture Department is warning consumers to avoid various strawberry products that may have been contaminated with the hepatitis A virus.The juice, smoothies and cocktails were offered for sale in Adonis stores until April 13.They were prepared with “Montana” frozen raw strawberries from Egypt.The department says cases of illness associated with consumption of the products have been reported.Infection with the hepatitis A virus usually manifests as fever, general malaise, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abdominal dioscomfort.The infection can also cause jaundice, dark urine and pale stools. Symptoms can appear up to 50 days after eating contaminated food.last_img read more

FACING AN ESSAY ON THE HANDMAIDS TALE STUDENT REACHES OUT TO THE

first_img Twitter Advertisement A social media user who turned to Twitter for help in writing an essay on The Handmaid’s Tale has received invaluable insight — from none other than author Margaret Atwood herself.A Twitter user identified online as Momchil Gavrilov tweeted at the Canlit giant early Thursday morning with the plea: “My crazy English teacher is making us write essays on #TheHandmaidsTale where we are supposed to answer why @MargaretAtwood put the theme of power and control in the book,” they write from an account with the handle @GavrilovMomchil.“We do not have telepathy with @MargaretAtwood so I guess twitter is a close second… Helpppp!!!??” Advertisement Advertisement Atwood, left, turned up a cameo in Hulu’s hit series The Handmaid’s Tale, starring Elisabeth Moss. (George Kraychyk/Hulu)She took an extra moment between retweeting comments about U.S. President Donald Trump and a CNN reporter to defend the teacher’s assignment as a worthy endeavour.“Nor does that English teacher sound so crazy. Just sayin. Though it might be the admiring use of crazy, as in ‘Crazy, man!”‘ adds Atwood in a subsequent tweet.Nor does that English teacher sound so crazy. Just sayin. Though it might be the admiring use of crazy, as in “Crazy, man!”— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) November 8, 2018 Facebook Atwood responded hours later from her verified account with a quick lesson on the major themes of her 1985 dystopian novel, set in a world in which women are property of the state.Because it’s in the world. (It’s not just women who are controlled in the book.. it’s everyone except those at the top. Gilead is a theocratic totalitariansim, not simply a Men-have-power Women-do-not world. Lower status men are told when and who marry, eg.) https://t.co/FDQJhe0eN4— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) November 8, 2018“Because it’s in the world,” Atwood says in a tweet posted at about 5 a.m. ET Thursday.“It’s not just women who are controlled in the book. It’s everyone except those at the top. Gilead is a theocratic totalitarianism, not simply a men-have-power women-do-not world. Lower-status men are told when and who (to) marry, eg.”Atwood’s classic dystopian tale has been adapted into a hit TV and streaming series. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Canadian Press/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)The detailed response delighted online onlookers, who had retweeted the exchange hundreds of times and gave it thousands of “likes” within hours.At least one other literature fan applauded the initiative.“I used to teach high school. I’d have totally given points for proven communication with the author. This is not to say that everyone should bother poor @MargaretAtwood with all of their questions. Oh, dear,” tweeted Jess Faraday, with the handle @jessfaraday.I used to teach high school. I’d have totally given points for proven communication with the author. This is not to say that everyone should bother poor @MargaretAtwood with all of their questions. Oh, dear….— ?‍♂️?Jess Faraday???????? (@jessfaraday) November 8, 2018Atwood is a prolific Twitter user who has not been shy about using social media to weigh in on social issues, promote her work and favourite causes, or interact with fans. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment A student struggling with an assignment on The Handmaid’s Tale boldly reached out to the ultimate source via social media: author Margaret Atwood herself. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)last_img read more

Death toll tops 100 several missing over 200000 affected

The death toll from the inclement weather reached 100 this morning with at least 99 people still missing.The Disaster Management Centre said that over 200,000 people have been affected by the rain which brought floods and landslides in several areas. The Department of Meteorology said that while the rain had reduced today monsoonal showers and windy conditions will continue over the south-western part of the island.Within the past 21.00 hrs 68.2 mm of rain had been reported from Ratnapura which was the worst affected area from the floods. Fairly strong winds at times (up to 50-60 kmph) can be expected over the island. The military and Police are involved in the search and rescue operations. Due to the heavy rain the Kalu, Kelani, Gin, Nilwala and Attanagalu Oya rivers overflowed flooding the surrounding areas. Showers or thundershowers will occur at times in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Central and North-western provinces.Heavy falls (about 100 mm) can be expected at some places.Showers or thundershowers will occur at several places elsewhere in the afternoon (especially in the Eastern and Uva provinces). read more

Ultra Low Emission Vehicles Guide 2016

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has today released the Ultra Low Emission Vehicles Guide 2016.The guide provides information for the wider automotive industry and its stakeholders on general issues related to Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs). This includes practical information on:Types of ULEVs availableBenefits of ULEVsCharging or refuellingBatteriesSafety and running costsRead the full guideFor consumers interested in ULEVs, more information can be found on the Go Ultra Low website.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Sorry Mike Trout The AL West Belongs To The Astros

5Oakland Athletics7679797577.1 EXPECTED NUMBER OF WINS RANKTEAMPECOTAFANGRAPHSDAVENPORTWESTGATEAVERAGE How forecasters view the AL West 4Los Angeles Angels7883818180.6 3Texas Rangers8483818583.1 2Seattle Mariners8583888685.4 neil (Neil Paine, FiveThirtyEight senior sportswriter): I think the AL West is a really fascinating division because the team that is probably the best in it right now (Houston) finished third last year, the third-best team (Texas) finished first, and those two teams are sandwiched around one (Seattle) that has had the hardest playoff luck possible in recent years. And we haven’t even mentioned a team (the Los Angeles Angels) that contains the potential G.O.A.T.Anyway, the projections say the Astros should be the favorites, so let’s start with them. In a weird way, was 2016 an example of the Plexiglas Principle for them? Their actual record only dropped by 2 wins from 2015, but they were down 10 Pythagorean wins in 2016 after a 22-win Pythagorean improvement the year before. Does that portend an improvement this year?ckahrl: Sadly, you don’t get to carry over any accrued, unmet expectations for wins. Hence the wisdom of shaking up that lineup as much as they did by adding Carlos Beltran, Josh Reddick and Brian McCann.rob: It was less the Plexiglas Principle — which is really just regression to the mean — and more the case of a legitimately good team snakebit by poor sequencing and Pythagorean luck.That poor luck does not in and of itself guarantee an improvement, but the talent on the team does. Most of the best players from last year are back, and they made a few additions, which together makes them, on paper, the best team in the division.ckahrl: That said, I still have questions about them …I’m reminded of an old saying that I think belongs to Bill James, that a team with five viable first-base options may not have a first baseman. Plus, can George Springer play a whole lot of center field over a full season? And as interesting as pitcher Lance McCullers should be, and as much as I like what they’re doing with pitcher Chris Devenski, is that a staff we should be entirely sold on? I see how the pieces work individually; I wonder about the aggregate.neil: Yeah, the biggest thing for them might be whether a rotation that was way down from its 2015 form — most notably Dallas Keuchel, but also Collin McHugh and Mike Fiers — can reclaim what went right two years ago.ckahrl: A lot of analysts are banking that Keuchel comes back a good ways, but I also accept the suggestion that this team needed to add a better starter than, say, Charlie Morton. But I guess that’s what the trade deadline will be for.neil: In that department, it also helps that they have the third-best farm system in the game. So they have the assets to conceivably go out and make something happen on the trade market if need be.rob: I’m a believer in the Astros’ rotation. I think last year was a bit of an aberration. FIP (fielding independent pitching) has its problems in terms of describing their performance, but it still has validity as a predictive metric. And from that standpoint, we should expect some bounce-backs from Keuchel and McHugh, at least. The 16.4 percent home runs-per-flyball rate that Keuchel managed last year wasn’t entirely his fault, even if he allowed some hard contact.ckahrl: That hard contact seems like a consistent concern, though, no? That isn’t stuff you can fix with defense.rob: That’s true, but contact management is a skill that fluctuates a lot. That goes as much for Good Keuchel — the one who allowed maybe the softest contact in the league in 2015 — as it does for Bad Keuchel. He may end up as a mediocre contact-manager, but that would still be a decided improvement.neil: It also bears mentioning that on the offensive side, Houston had the youngest lineup in baseball in 2016 — though they gave some of that up when they revamped things, like Christina mentioned. But this does seem like a very balanced, complete team now, assuming that the pitchers rebound.Bottom line — is it crazy to think the Astros are on the verge of a great season?rob: No. But I think the more likely outcome is a good season.ckahrl: If Keuchel and McHugh come back as far as they might, if the bullpen gels, if Springer is fully healthy for a season and can handle center, if Yuli Gurriel pans out in the most exciting ways, sure, they could live up to the mid-’90s win total that some of the projectors have them down for.So it isn’t exactly magical thinking. But how many teams get everything they want and hope for?rob: The 2016 Cubs say hi. ;)ckahrl: Hah, yes.neil: OK, so if you’re both a little more bearish on the ’Stros than the projections above, are you bullish on the Mariners or — gasp — the Rangers?ckahrl: Speaking of the Plexiglas Principle, it is certainly fashionable to bash the Rangers.rob: I’m the Designated Rangers Basher around here, so I have to say that they seem like an OK team. But they aren’t as good as their record from last year, and they didn’t make massive improvements. In contrast, the Mariners were good last year and ended up being crushed under the wheels of the Rangers One-Run Magic Machine.Of course, as Christina can tell you, I was wrong about the Rangers last year, while she somehow saw their impressive season coming. So you should probably listen to her.ckahrl: And sure enough, I’m not that down on them. A full year of catcher Jonathan Lucroy and starter Yu Darvish? Those are good things. It’s easy to knock Mike Napoli, but will he be worse than the .699 OPS (on-base plus slugging) the Rangers got from their first basemen last year? (No.) And don’t we expect growth from Nomar Mazara? (We should.)It’s when you get into that rotation’s depth — or the complete lack of any — that things get scary.neil: Yep, when Dillon Gee is the back-of-the-rotation reinforcement …rob: Agreed about the lack of depth, especially in view of the Rangers’ consistent injury problems. Last year, I remember a lot of people saying that they couldn’t repeat their injury woes from the year(s) before. But they ended up with the fourth-most DL days in 2016, according to Jeff Zimmerman’s DL database. The strongest predictor of future injuries is past injuries, and I expect that their depth will be tested once again.neil: And all of this compounds on itself if their true talent was closer to that 82-win Pythagorean team last year than the 95 wins they had in the standings. Your margin for error on injuries and offseason pickups goes down to nothing really quickly.ckahrl: Agreed. To give them their due, though, manager Jeff Banister handles his bullpens well, which helps milk the margins. But even so, the Rangers need to throw good money after bad — and maybe a prospect or two — to add a starting pitcher and take themselves seriously this season.neil: Meanwhile — and you touched on this Rob (plus wrote about it last year) — the Mariners can’t catch a break, it seems. Do they break that trend this season?rob: The Mariners are still squarely in that terrible zone of playoff probabilities that has so haunted them for the past 20 years. If the projections hold true, they’ll be right around 50 percent to make the playoffs, with their success contingent on things like how other teams perform and the vagaries of Pythagorean records. I’d like to say, “Yes, this is their year,” but I’ve seen enough Mariners bad luck to hedge a bit.ckahrl: Talk about a fun team taking some fun risks, though. I like the depth in the rotation and in their outfield. I like a team willing to take a chance on first baseman Dan Vogelbach. I like seeing a team valuing strong complementary pieces, like utilityman Danny Valencia.neil: And starting pitcher James Paxton is the real deal. He led all qualified AL pitchers in FIP last year.They were, though, the second-oldest team in MLB last year. Also, I wonder if Felix Hernandez is running out of steam just as the rest of the roster is finally gaining it.ckahrl: Yes, and they didn’t get a lot younger by adding thirtysomethings like Jarrod Dyson, Valencia and Carlos Ruiz. There aren’t a lot of tomorrows in their mix. And the bullpen is … well, it’s going to be interesting if the organization doesn’t have another call-up like Edwin Diaz to help contribute.rob: To make matters worse, Hisashi Iwakuma has looked cooked in spring training this year, not that such performances count for much.ckahrl: What if Yovani Gallardo is also ready to be beaten like a drum and King Felix is done? Things get ugly early. At which point, GM Jerry Dipoto can break the team up for parts with his usual manic energy.neil: I guess Mariners fans have stuck with them through the playoff drought this long — what’s another rebuilding cycle? But that’s probably overly pessimistic. There’s a universe where they win this division, or at least a wild card.rob: The wild card seems like slim consolation, given the length of their playoff drought.ckahrl: As an A’s fan, I can agree that the wild card is not much to get excited about.neil: We’ll get to the A’s really soon! But first we should talk the Angels.ckahrl: Leave the fork, we can stick it in the A’s later.neil: So … the Angels are just going to keep on wasting Mike Trout’s talent forever, aren’t they?rob: Yep. The gap in projected wins above replacement between Trout and the next best player on the team is about 5 wins. And Trout has consistently overperformed all predictions, so it may end up closer to 7. He’s ridiculous, the rest of the team is terrible, and personally I see them as closer to PECOTA’s 78-win projection than a .500 outfit.ckahrl: They’re an interesting team because they did a nice job filling huge holes by getting Danny Espinosa and Cameron Maybin for very little. Even if Garrett Richards is all the way back, I just don’t see how that staff keeps them in enough games to get them much further than .500. But at least there are potential slugfests to enjoy now.rob: I struggle to get excited about Espinosa or Maybin. I know they’ve both had good performances at times, but Steamer puts them down as below-average players this year. Or exactly the type of player who ends up playing alongside Mike Trout in a disappointing campaign.ckahrl: Improvement is relative. The kitchen linoleum might be the ceiling for those two, but it’s better than what the Angels have gotten from those lineup slots.neil: Still, it does seem like shuffling deck chairs around on the Titanic. (Ben Revere? Really?) They also have the second-worst farm system in the majors, so help is not on the way.ckahrl: The thing about Trout is … he’s still only 25 years old and signed through 2020. Is it a wasted year? Probably, even if they eke out a whopping 80 or 82 wins. Is that enough of a moral victory to help them with their payroll hangover from the Pujols/Hamilton/Wilson splurge that worked out less than well? Maybe, because I wonder if the Angels aren’t positioning themselves to be players in the stronger free-agent markets of the next couple winters.neil: Amazingly, Pujols’ contract ends after Trout’s does!rob: I do think there is reason to get excited about the long-term future of the Angels. They’ve developed their analytics department in a smart way and made some good hires. Simply hiring people isn’t enough, of course, but in a few years, I can see that paying dividends. Of course, they’ve got the Mike Scioscia problem — his inability to take direction from a GM ended the tenure of the last smart one they had.ckahrl: Well, I wouldn’t sell Angels GM Billy Eppler short. Help isn’t coming soon, but having Trout helps mask what might effectively be a necessary bottom-up rebuild for the organization in the meantime.neil: In the short term, it’s difficult to envision the Angels escaping that 80-ish win purgatory they’ve been trapped in for most of the Trout Era.ckahrl: Have to agree that’s the Angels’ lot, although I’m intrigued by what will happen when Eppler has a shot at spending some money. But with more than $70 million committed per year to Trout, Pujols and Andrelton Simmons in 2018 and beyond, he won’t have as much to spend as he’d like.neil: Finally, we’ve got Christina’s A’s bringing up the rear of the projections — with an OK win total (by their standards)? They made some additions over the offseason that might bring them toward respectability, but are they moving out of a rebuild? What are they doing exactly?ckahrl: Speaking of shuffling deck chairs …It’s brutal, simply brutal, but it’s also a return to the low-stakes, low-upsides bets like when they were going after David DeJesus.rob: I’m really not clear about Oakland’s long-term plan. I feel like the A’s have gone from Moneyball-era prophets of the analytics era to an erratic front office pursuing a series of disconnected moves without an obvious scheme for the next three to five years.ckahrl: The farm system has a few interesting position players, and starter Sean Manaea is going to be fun to watch, but it’s rough sledding in the meantime. Rajai Davis as a 36-year-old everyday center fielder will be a catastrophe for these young pitchers.neil: Just the thing for jump-starting that Sonny Gray renaissance! (If he ever can stay healthy enough to pitch.)rob: Or pitch effectively — he struggled last year in part because of some injuries.neil: Crazy how quickly he went from being one of their lone bright spots to being a non-factor.rob: On that point, the Athletics had the second-most DL days last year, behind only the Dodgers (who seemed to have purposefully built their rotation out of glass). They are likely to have problems again this year, so if their projection is off, I expect it to be overly optimistic.neil: Does Billy Beane get any residual benefit of the doubt at this point? Any hope for the next few seasons? Or is it just a matter of ownership and biding time for a new park?ckahrl: At this point, you can’t give them any residual benefit of the doubt. Results do matter, and with the coming sunset of their revenue sharing, they aren’t going to be anyone else’s charity case. I like Marcus Semien and Khris Davis, and I’d like to pretend I have faith Yonder Alonso’s nice spring means something. But I think 100 losses is way more likely than 78 wins.rob: Beane was brilliant for a long time (see Benjamin Morris’s article), but there’s a strong Red Queen dynamic in baseball analytics these days: You have to run as fast as you can just to stay in the same place. Although the A’s had a strong analytics advantage early on, they haven’t kept up with the pace of growth of analytics in the league. I don’t think they are terribly behind the state of the art in baseball now, but they are falling further and further toward the back of the pack.So I’m inclined not to give him any benefit of the doubt. Staffing is an incomplete proxy for analytics expertise, so maybe he has — or will generate — other advantages to make up for the small front office. But as Christina said, at the end of the day, it’s all about results, and they’ve had some pretty poor results recently. 1Houston Astros9391949292.4 Based on projected wins or over/under win totals. Data gathered on March 21, 2017.Sources: Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, Clay Davenport, Las Vegas Review-Journal In honor of the 2017 Major League Baseball season, which starts April 2, FiveThirtyEight is assembling some of our favorite baseball writers to chat about what’s ahead. Today, we focus on the American League West with ESPN.com MLB editor Christina Kahrl and FiveThirtyEight baseball columnist Rob Arthur. The transcript below has been edited. read more

Seven jobseekers killed in Nigeria stadium stampede

first_imgAT LEAST SEVEN people have been killed and dozens injured in Nigeria’s capital after thousands of panicked job-seekers stampeded during a government recruitment drive in the national stadium.Survivors told AFP that thousands had gathered to apply for jobs with the immigration department in the Abuja stadium.One witness said the stampede broke out as applicants surged towards a central stage. They said only one entrance to the 60,000-capacity stadium was open. It wasn’t clear how many people were inside at the time of the crush.“The immigration service was having a recruitment exercise at the stadium … there was a stampede and they brought the victims to the national hospital,” said hospital spokesman Tayo Haastrup.No official casualty list was given, but an AFP journalist on the scene counted seven dead and dozens injured.Many injured people could not be admitted to hospital due to lack of capacity.Those with stable injuries “will be sent to other hospitals so that we can deal with the numerous injured that continue to arrive,” said Haastrup.- © AFP, 2014Read: Disappearance of missing Malaysian jet appears ‘deliberate’Read: Two Ukrainians killed on eve of Crimea breakaway votelast_img read more

La tuberculose bovine réapparaît en France

first_imgLa tuberculose bovine réapparaît en FranceAlors qu’elle avait presque disparu des élevages français, la tuberculose bovine est réapparue. Elle touche aujourd’hui une centaine de foyers en France, a annoncé le ministère de l’Agriculture.Plus de dix ans après avoir quasiment disparu du territoire, la tuberculose bovine est de retour en France, et touche actuellement une centaine de foyers, a annoncé le ministère de l’Agriculture. “La tuberculose a resurgi dans quelques zones, en Dordogne, dans le sud-ouest, la Camargue et la Côte d’Or”, précise-t-il, indiquant avoir décidé un “renforcement des mesures de surveillance” des élevages.À lire aussiTuberculose : pulmonaire, osseuse ou ganglionnaire, de quoi s’agit-il ?En décembre 2000, la France avait obtenu de la Commission européenne le statut “officiellement indemne de tuberculose” bovine, accordé aux pays dont 99,9% des élevages sont indemnes. Si 200 foyers environ devaient être touchés, la France perdrait ce statut, précise l’AFP. La maladie, dont la transmission de l’animal à l’homme est “théoriquement possible”, mais n’a jamais été signalée, est peut-être réapparue en France via la faune sauvage. Contagieuse, la tuberculose bovine est engendrée par la bactérie Mycobacterium bovis. Un animal infecté peut vivre plusieurs années sans en manifester les symptômes. Très surveillée en France, la maladie fait l’objet d’une réglementation particulièrement stricte. Tout le troupeau est abattu lorsqu’un cas est détecté.Le 2 mars 2012 à 12:37 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Summit Ascent undergoes boardroom makeover as Suncity asserts control

first_img Suncity launches Japanese website, unveils Wakayama IR concept RelatedPosts JW Marriott at Galaxy Macau named venue and Galaxy Entertainment Group named Venue Sponsor for 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 Black Tie Gala Dinner Suncity Group looking to develop new resort hotel in Okinawa, Japan after US$10 million land purchase Chiu is currently Chief Financial Officer of Suncity and the brother-in-law of Lo. According to a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by Summit Ascent on Friday, both Lo – who previously served as a Non-executive director – and Chiu have entered into letters of appointment for a term of three years with each entitled to a director’s fee of HK$1.2 million per year.Having purchased an initial 3.29% stake in Summit Ascent late last year, Suncity Group has now lifted its stake to 27.94% with last week’s HK$718 million (US$91.5 million) acquisition comprising 286,048,464 shares – equivalent to 19.21% of Summit Ascent’s issued share capital – previously held by First Steamship Company Limited and another 83,958,000 shares (6.44%) held by Kuo.Summit Ascent owns Russian integrated resort Tigre de Cristal in the Primorye gaming zone near Vladivostok. Suncity Group has wasted no time in asserting control of Summit Ascent Holdings following the acquisition of a majority stake in the Russian IR operator last week, with Andrew Lo and Chiu King Yan named as new Executive Directors.Lo, Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of Suncity, has also been named Deputy Chairman of the board, with former Summit Ascent Chairman Kuo Jen Hao stepping down from his role. Kuo is also Chairman of Taiwan’s First Steamship Company Ltd – the former majority shareholder in Summit Ascent that sold its entire stake to Suncity last week. Load Morelast_img read more

Fall Back This Sunday Daylight Saving Time Ends

first_imgWhile the end of daylight savings time means gaining an extra sixty minutes of precious sleep or play, it also means the shorter winter months are upon us. Local emergency responders take this opportunity, twice a year, to remind everybody when you change your clock; you change the batteries in your smoke detectors. If you aren’t able to reach your smoke detector, or need assistance for other reasons, call Central Emergency Services at (907) 262-4792.center_img Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享It happens every year at this time, and Alaskans won’t be seeing any extra daylight as we turn our clocks back one hour on Sunday at 2am.last_img read more

LETTER TO THE EDITOR School Committee Member MJ Byrnes Thanks The Voters

first_imgDear Wilmington Community,I just wanted to express my heartfelt thanks to voters for re-electing me to the Wilmington School Committee at this past weekend’s Town Elections. I am humbled and honored by your trust in me, and am looking forward to serving my community and schools once again.I am committed in ensuring our schools continue to remain strong centers for student learning and achievement. As our community welcomes Dr. Glenn Brand into our District, I am looking forward in working collaboratively with him and the Board to ensure the work we do together continues to focus on this goal.I appreciate and thank families and residents, who have reached out to me during my campaign, not only with their concerns, but also with words of encouragement and support. I will continue to listen and be available to you, and promise that I will be objective in my decision making. I will continue to work diligently on your behalf to find solutions, so that all students have the opportunity to learn in a safe, positive and supportive environment.I would also like to extend many thanks to friends and residents, who were kind enough to have my signs on their lawns, took time out of their busy schedules to write letters of endorsements on my behalf, and came out this weekend to hold signs. I am sincerely grateful for your help and support!I would also like to thank my incredible husband, Joe, and my children, Conor and Erika, for allowing me to do this labor of love, and encouraging me throughout my campaign. Without their sacrifice and support, I couldn’t do what I do.It is easy to see why Wilmington is a great place to live! I am truly grateful to be a part of such a strong and caring community that not only supports one another, but the Town as a whole. I feel fortunate to be able to contribute in serving my community in my role on the School Committee and look forward to my third term on the board and working on behalf of our schools and families.Sincerely,MJ ByrnesWilmington School CommitteeLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSCHOOL COMMITTEE RACE Q&A: Fennelly, Ragsdale & Byrnes Discuss What They Want To Accomplish In Year #1, How They’ll Be Responsive To ResidentsIn “Education”LETTER TO THE EDITOR: School Committee’s MJ Byrnes Asks For Your VoteIn “Education”CANDIDATE ANNOUNCEMENT: Wilmington School Committee Member MJ Byrnes Announces Re-Election BidIn “Government”last_img read more

Braves ad blocking eases your computers memory use

first_img See it CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Mentioned Above Apple MacBook Air (128GB, Gray, 2018) Software Internet $1,099 Walmart Ad-blocking Brave also gives you a memory advantage, tests show. Stephen Shankland/CNET You might run an ad blocker in your browser to cut website clutter and keep companies from tracking you online. But the ad-blocking Brave browser has another reason to intervene: to free up memory and preserve your battery life.Detailed tests comparing Brave to Google’s dominant Chrome browser, with and without the Adblock Plus and uBlock Origin ad-blocking extensions, show that blocking ads can help reduce browsers’ ever-heavier use of precious computer memory on ad-heavy sites. Brave cuts memory use by 33 percent to 66 percent compared with ordinary Chrome, the company said Friday.Memory is a precious resource on laptops and phones, critical to everything a device does. As browsers have increased in power, becoming full-fledged software foundations instead of just vessels for digital documents, memory usage has soared. But browsers are getting more assertive about displaying websites in ways that are good for those of us looking at them, not necessarily those publishing them.Reader mode, tracking protection and ad blocking are some examples of browsers taking more control. Ad blocking helps not just with memory use, but also with power consumption, Brave has found.”The primary savings come from blocking resource-hungry ads and trackers that popular sites are teeming with, especially news ones,” Brave Chief Scientist Ben Livshits told CNET in an exclusive interview. “In our research, we show that Brave consumes 40 percent less battery than popular browsers like Chrome, Edge and Firefox thanks to a combination of bandwidth savings and lower CPU pressure.”Brave Software, founded by JavaScript inventor and former Mozilla Chief Executive Brendan Eich, got its start with an ad-blocking browser. But it isn’t opposed to ads. In fact, its business strategy relies on showing its own ads with its own technology designed to protect privacy and share some of the ad revenue with anyone using its browser. In its first phase, now in testing on personal computers, ads are shown in notifications that have no tracking scripts, animation, audio or video.Brave Chrome ad-blocking memory testBrave testing showed its browser using less memory usage than Google Chrome, with or without the AdBlock Plus and uBlock Origin ad blockers. The four comparisons show results for a higher-end MacBook (W1) and less powerful MacBook Air (W2) making network requests from the US and UK. The test was on ad-heavy news sites where ad blocking saves memory and cuts power use. Brave Software Reducing memory use is a priority in the browser world. Google Chrome — whose open-source Chromium project is the foundation for Brave, Opera, Vivaldi and soon Microsoft Edge — is working on memory reductions. And Firefox has a whole project called MemShrink, a good thing since security improvements mean it won’t be as economical.Memory is preciousNew trends make memory even more precious. Websites are piling on ever more JavaScript code, and smartphones don’t typically have as much memory as laptops even though web developers want to build more advanced websites.If you want to stick with Chrome, you can get most of Brave’s advantages with the uBlock Origin extension, Brave’s test showed. The AdBlock Plus extension actually increased memory use. The company measured memory usage with a number of websites, mostly news sites, on a powerful MacBook Pro, but it said its results were validated with an older, feebler MacBook Air.Adblock Plus by default shows ads that comply with its “acceptable ads” policy. Disabling that reduces memory usage to about the level of Chrome and uBlock Origin, Livshits said. Adblock Plus developer Eeyo didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Google, Apple and Microsoft didn’t comment.”We’re very conscious of Firefox’s memory footprint, but efforts to decrease RAM must be balanced against features that make the browser faster, more responsive, and more secure,” Mozilla said in a statement. The upcoming Firefox 66, for example, will improve performance without requiring more memory. “We’ll continue to improve the resource efficiency of Firefox so it continues to run great for every user on whatever device they’re using,” Mozilla said.Advantage evaporates on sites without adsBrave’s memory advantages won’t carry over to websites that aren’t so heavily loaded with ads as those in the company’s test.”Pages that are clean, such as Gmail or Wikipedia, would currently use the same amount of memory as on Chrome,” Livshits said. And your mileage may vary: “Power users tend to see high memory use regardless of browser or ad blocker,” because browsers cache more information for quick access, he added.You could see websites get even easier on your hardware, too. Brave is working on a new SpeedReader mode — a more aggressive alternative to browser reader modes that show reduced-clutter views of websites. SpeedReader is designed to block ads and trackers long before they burden the computer, increasing website display speeds by a factor of 20. That’ll bring benefits for memory and power usage, too.”By focusing on allowing the least content possible for great content reading experience, it does not load any scripts (advertising or not) and even removes unimportant graphics,” Livshits said. “We haven’t run the exact same test to measure memory use in this scenario, but expect it to use a fraction of the memory of standard mode.” $1,199 Comments See It Apple News • Hands-on with the new Apple MacBook Air and MacBook Pro $899 Review • Apple MacBook Air review: Rebooted as a thinner, lighter, more expensive laptop Share your voice Preview • The MacBook Air is dead. Long live the MacBook Air 2 Tags Apple MacBook Air Microsoft Edge Advertising Brave browser Chrome Firefox Google See Itlast_img read more

Obama Thanksgiving message likens refugees to pilgrims

first_img Facebook Comments WASHINGTON — U.S. President Barack Obama urged Americans Thursday to open their hearts to refugees in his Thanksgiving message to the nation, likening them to the pilgrims the holiday celebrates. Related posts:NATO ships to combat migrant-smuggling networks in Aegean Mud-soaked migrants fight for food as Greek border blockade drags on Cúcuta: Colombia’s city of contraband and a broken Bolivarian dream Syrian migrants braving Central American smuggling routescenter_img “Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims — men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families,” Obama said in his weekly address, referring to the boat on which the first pilgrims reached the New World.Thanksgiving was first celebrated by the group who fled religious persecution in England. For many Americans, it has become a family-oriented holiday marked with an enormous meal of roast turkey and a slice or two of pie.“I’ve been touched by the generosity of the Americans who’ve written me letters and emails in recent weeks, offering to open their homes to refugees fleeing the brutality of ISIL,” Obama said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group.The refugee question has taken center stage in the 2016 presidential race, following the Paris attacks staged by Syria-linked jihadists this month.The shootings and suicide bombings stirred fears in North America and Europe that jihadists could seek to blend in with refugees in order to strike later.Obama faces a barrage of opposition to his own plan to resettle Syrian 10,000 refugees in the United States in the coming year.“People should remember that no refugee can enter our borders until they undergo the highest security checks of anyone traveling to the United States,” Obama said.“That was the case before Paris, and it’s the case now.”Obama also reminded listeners that Thanksgiving was not just an opportunity for people to give thanks for their personal blessings.“On this uniquely American holiday, we also remember that so much of our greatness comes from our generosity,” he said.Recommended: Syrian migrants braving Central American smuggling routeslast_img read more

Pending Home Sales Hit Highest Level in Nearly a Year

first_img April 27, 2016 479 Views Share Pending home sales returned with a vengeance in March to the highest reading since May 2015, despite inventory deficiencies and rising home prices.The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Wednesday that its Pending Home Sales Index rose 1.5 percent to 110.5 in March, from a downwardly revised 109.0 in February and is now up 1.4 percent from 109.0 in March 2015.Mortgage contract signings are have now increased year-over-year for 19 consecutive months and is at the highest level since 111.0 in May 2015.Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist said, “Despite supply deficiencies in plenty of areas, contract activity was fairly strong in a majority of markets in March. This spring’s surprisingly low mortgage rates are easing some of the affordability pressures potential buyers are experiencing and are taking away some of the sting from home prices that are still rising too fast and above wage growth.”Source: National Association of Home BuildersLast month, NAR reported that pending home sales rose to their highest level in seven months and are still higher than a year ago. The index rose 3.5 percent to 109.1 in February from a downwardly revised 105.4 in January and is now up 0.7 percent from 108.3 in February 2015.”Today’s report surprised to the upside and is a good indication that existing home sales for April should continue to show growth,” said Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. “The spring buying season clearly began to unfold in earnest in March, but since last year was also a strong year of growth, the year-over-year comparisons will be tough going forward.  That said, the buying season is off to a good start that should ensure we indeed see the best year of total sales in a decade.”Yun believes that labor market health and favorable borrowing costs will lead to continued buyer demand and a strong sales pace in the short term.”However, the consequences from a failure to construct more single-family homes in recent years are starting to impact some top job producing markets, where endless supply shortages continue to limit choices for buyers and are driving up prices beyond what a growing share of households can comfortably afford, ” Yun stated.According to the NAR, the index rose 3.2 percent to 97.0 in March in the Northeast, up 18.4 percent year-over-yeear in this region. Meanwhile, the index in the Midwest increased 0.2 percent to 112.8 in March, up 4.0 percent over last year. Mortgage contract signings in the South experienced a 3.0 percent rise to 125.4 but is 0.6 percent under last year’s number. Western signings declined 1.8 percent in March to 95.3, and is now 7.9 percent below a year ago.“Demand is starting to weaken in some areas, particularly in the West, where the median home price has risen an astonishing 38 percent in the past three years,” Yun stated. “As a result, pending sales in the region have now declined in four of the last five months and are lower than one year ago for the third month in a row. Closed sales in the region in March were also below last year’s pace.” Mortgage Contract Signings NAR National Association of Realtors Pending-Home Sales 2016-04-27 Staff Writercenter_img Pending Home Sales Hit Highest Level in Nearly a Year in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Originationlast_img read more

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