Broadway Favorite Gavin Creel Wins Olivier Award for Mormon

first_img Written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q composer Robert Lopez, The Book of Mormon continues to sell-out at Broadway’s Eugene O’Neil Theatre. The show earned nine 2011 Tony Awards including Best Musical. View Comments Creel earned a Tony nomination for Hair, and also appeared in the show’s West End run. His other Broadway credits include Mary Poppins (in which he also appeared in the West End production), Thoroughly Modern Millie and La Cage aux Folles. He headlined the U.S. national Mormon tour.center_img Tony nominee Gavin Creel has won the 2014 Best Actor in a Musical Award at London’s Oliver Awards for his role of Elder Price in the West End production of The Book of Mormon. The category contained two other Broadway favorites, Creel’s Mormon co-star Jared Gertner and Kyle Scatliffe, who had been nominated for The Scottsboro Boys. The Book Of Mormon dominated the musical categories winning four awards including Best New Musical.last_img read more

32 highway improvement stimulus projects under way or completed in Vermont

first_imgThere are currently 32 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-financed highway construction projects underway or completed in Vermont involving $85 million in funds, according to data released today by the Washington, D.C.-based American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). The projects underway or completed have supported or are supporting 2,366 jobs in Vermont that would otherwise not exist, says ARTBA Vice President of Economics & Research Dr. Bill Buechner.ARRA, signed into law on February 17, 2009, provided $48 billion for transportation improvements over two years, including $27.5 billion for highway, bridge and related construction projects nationwide. The law is having significant impacts on the transportation construction industry in all 50 states.ARRA provided $125.8 million to Vermont for highway, bridge and related improvements. This one-time bonus added more than 94 percent to Vermont’s regular federal highway funds under the current federal surface transportation law—Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)—bringing the state’s total federal highway funding in 2009 to a record $259.9 million.According to Buechner, a Harvard-trained economist, another 36 projects have been identified and are slated to be under construction shortly.A full report can be obtained by contacting ARTBA’s Jeff Solsby at jsolsby@artba.org(link sends e-mail) or 202-289-4434.For 108 years, ARTBA has represented the U.S. transportation design and construction industry before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, news media and general public.SOURCE American Road & Transportation Builders Association. PRNewswire. 3.8.2010last_img read more

F.K.T.: A New Breed of Runners Chase the Fastest Known Times on Epic Long-Distance Trails

first_imgHe arrives at the final checkpoint just before 8 p.m. and swigs some Gatorade before heading off down the trail. Two miles to the finish, and he’s on record pace. He knows that if he can maintain for just a little bit longer, the record is his, and after fourteen hours in the woods, he’s ready to see that finish. Less than a half hour later, he’s there, having covered the 77-mile Cherokee Foothills Trail in 14 hours and 26 minutes, over two hours faster than the previous best.The finish line of this journey is different than those of the many races he’s run. There’s no tape to break, no cheering crowd, no trophies or medals. Instead, he unceremoniously hits the stop button on his watch, checks his time, grabs a soda and hops in the car to head home. Once there, he may text a running buddy or maybe put a post on Facebook about his newly established Fastest Known Time (FKT).Such was the scenario when my husband Mark Lundblad finished his record setting run on the Foothills Trail in upstate South Carolina. A bit anticlimactic, one might say. What would possess a person to put it on the line like that, to push him- or herself to the point of physical exhaustion, without the carrot of a race for motivation?The past decade has seen a proliferation of races across the Southeast. Runners can choose from traditional road races ranging from 5Ks to marathons, or they can opt for off-road adventures – short or long trail races, Spartan obstacle courses, and ultras lasting twenty-four hours or more. There’s something for everyone, it seems, so why do some individuals choose to create adventures of their own?“What drew me initially was the simplicity. It’s straightforward—here’s a trail with a start and finish point. It’s you and the trail—how quickly can you cover those miles?” says Matt Kirk, who holds a variety of speed records across the Southeast, including the Bartram Trail and the Benton-MacKaye Trail, as well as the unsupported Appalachian Trail record.Many trail runners who got into the sport for the peace and tranquility of running in the woods find popular trail races to be a bit too crowded for their taste. Increasingly high entry fees and races that fill quickly or utilize lottery systems are also deterrents for some would-be competitors. FKTs give runners a chance to test themselves under the most simple and pure of conditions, avoiding all of the hoopla of a traditional race.Mark Lundblad climbs the Mountains to Sea Trail on his record-setting Pitchell run. Photo: Western States 100Mark Lundblad climbs the Mountains to Sea Trail on his record-setting Pitchell run. Photo: Western States 100So what, exactly, is an FKT? The acronym stands for Fastest Known Time, an unofficial course record of sorts. Technically, a speed record can be established for any trail or course that an individual wishes to designate. FKTs can be as varied and original as the people who attempt them, although they are typically run start-to-finish on an entire established trail, on established or otherwise “classic” routes, or on mountaineering routes such as summit ascents. Some of the most widely known FKTs are the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, Vermont’s Long Trail, and the Grand Canyon’s Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim. Not all of them are epic, multi-day affairs, however. Take Neil Gorman’s 20-mile circumnavigation of the Rivanna Trail in Charlottesville, Virginia, or his 7-mile Old Rag Loop. Both are reasonable distances that can be undertaken with minimal planning and logistics.Gorman has intentionally chosen FKTs that are on familiar routes close to home. For him, FKTs provide an opportunity to challenge himself without the stress of a race. “I can be more flexible…if I’m feeling good and the weather is good, I’ll decide to go for it.” This approach removes many of the unpredictable aspects of an organized race – weather, worries about how he’ll feel on a given day, or the pressure of having other people sharing the trail. Gorman views speed record attempts as training runs, not as “A” goals, and says that his aim is to “up the game a bit among local trail runners” by challenging others to best his times. On his blog, he notes “running the RT (Rivanna Trail) for an FKT is an exercise in self-enjoyment but to do so in an inspiring or popular manner might create energy, a buzz even, within the running community and one that might draw positive awareness to the RT itself.”Gorman has upped the ante for the Rivanna Trail FKT by offering an incentive to other runners. Following his record-setting run, he made a donation to the RT Foundation and pledged to make a similar donation in the name of whoever takes down his time. He would love to see this tradition continue, as a way of both supporting the trail and challenging others.Whereas Gorman favors sub-ultra distance FKTs that can be accomplished without a great deal of planning, the logistical challenges are part of what draws Kirk to the pursuit of speed records. His runs can last anywhere from twenty hours to twenty days (or, in the case of his unsupported A.T. record, 58 days, 9 hours and 38 minutes). While many FKTs are established with the help of a support crew who might provide anything from food and drink to encouragement and company on the lonelier sections of the trail, Kirk prefers to be self-reliant. He describes a solitary effort as “more pure”, explaining that there is an art form to moving efficiently through the woods completely solo. He also notes that he sometimes feels guilty for roping in friends and family members to assist in yet another adventure, so going at it alone reduces stress on both him and his loved ones.Another facet of FKTs that Kirk loves is the ability to explore natural areas that he might not otherwise get to experience, either because of their remote nature or due to regulations that would make a traditional trail race impossible. One of his favorites is the SCAR, or Smokies Challenge Adventure Run.  This 72-mile run consists of a traverse of Great Smoky Mountains National Park via the Appalachian Trail. This run is particularly tough due to the inaccessibility of aid, as vehicular access is only possible at one point on the trail. This also means that once one sets off on this challenge, there are very few opportunities to bail. Kirk says that this forces him to step outside his comfort zone and become “intimately involved with the landscape”, which ultimately leads to growth as a person.I experienced this personal growth firsthand on my solo run on the Foothills Trail a couple of years ago. I began my run in the predawn hours during a spring storm system that brought thunderstorms and tornadoes to the region. Running those initial miles in the wet darkness terrified me. Thinking that I was destined to slide off the side of the mountain, never to be heard from again, I found myself questioning my toughness – and my sanity. Who was I to attempt such a thing, and why hadn’t I just stuck with the safety and predictability of an organized race? I missed the reassurance that comes with seeing the flagging that marks a race course and knowing that other runners are out there too. I discovered that solitude, which I had always considered peaceful, could also be terrifying. I became convinced that I just didn’t have what it took to complete that adventure and vowed to end the foolishness as soon as I saw my husband at our predetermined meeting place, ten miles up the trail.As you might imagine, once I reached our rendezvous spot, a new day was dawning. The sun was beginning to rise, and with it came a serious attitude adjustment. Although I knew that I still had a long way to travel, the psychological boost that was brought about by surviving those initial hours in the darkness gave me the confidence I needed to persevere. I still look back on that day, recalling the internal struggle that forced me to explore not only new wilderness territory but also an interior landscape that I never knew existed.Kirk says he has experienced many ups and downs on the trail. He notes that the initial miles of an FKT are sometimes the worst. Adventurers frequently begin their attempts in the early morning hours before sunrise, and heading out into the dark unknown, with miles or days ahead of you, can be daunting. Ordinary shadows take on scary shapes, and noises always sound more threatening in the night. For an explorer like Kirk, this uncertainty and apprehension is invigorating. He loves the unpredictability of an FKT, saying “supported organized races are like coloring books while self-supported adventure runs are blank canvases.”Mark Lundblad reaches the Mount Mitchell tower atop the East’s highest peak. Photo: ANNE LUNDBLADMark Lundblad reaches the Mount Mitchell tower atop the East’s highest peak. Photo: ANNE LUNDBLADOne of the good – and bad – things about an FKT attempt is that you get to make your own rules. In essence, you are your own race director, choosing the location, the distance, the date and time of your adventure. If the day comes and you’re just not feeling it, or the weather is a washout, no worries – try again tomorrow, or next week. On the other hand, this lack of accountability can make it awfully tempting to bail when the going gets rough. Whereas most runners will go to great lengths to avoid a DNF in a traditional race, once you take away the entry fee and the spectators, it becomes much easier to succumb to the urge to quit. Kirk says that he has entertained thoughts of stopping at least once in every speed record he has attempted. “It’s a good opportunity to assess things,” he says, asking himself “how bad is it really?” While most of the time the pain and discomfort are temporary and can be pushed through, there have been times that he has opted to abort his attempt. After all, he says, “we do this for pleasure…and sometimes it isn’t really pleasurable.”If you feel ready to go out and attempt an FKT of your own, where do you begin?Peter Bakwin, who along with fellow Coloradan Buzz Burrell, was one of the pioneers of the FKT movement in the 1990’s, has established the go-to website for all things FKT. Here you can find listings of FKTs around the country and the globe, along with guidelines for establishing a speed record and general discussions about the topic.Burrell has proposed three basic guidelines for establishing an FKT:Announce your intentions in advance. Pay your respects to those who came before you, and tell them what you intend to attempt and when.Be an open book. Invite anyone to come and watch or, better yet, participate. This makes your effort more fun and any result more believable.Record your event. Write down everything immediately upon completion. Memory doesn’t count.Here in the Southeast, trail runner Jason Sullivan has established even more stringent criteria for verifying a finish (FKT or not) on the Foothills Trail in South Carolina. He requests that runners have witnesses to their attempt, that their support crew photograph them at various locations on the trail, and that they provide GPS data or at least split times to support their claims. Why the strict demands? Unfortunately as FKTs grow in popularity, the temptation for cheaters is present as well. What began as a pure and simple opportunity for an individual to test his or her speed, strength and endurance against the trail and the runners who preceded has in some cases turned into an ego-driven pursuit. Some blame this on the age of social media, in which even training runs end up tweeted or posted on Facebook. Sometimes it seems like a run isn’t even valued if it hasn’t been posted and commented upon, bringing to mind that age-old question about the sound made by a tree that falls in the forest.So why bother? Why deal with logistics and documentation and the unknown? Why not just pay the entry fee for a race and let someone else handle all of the details? Runners like Neil Gorman and Matt Kirk consider an FKT to be the best of both worlds — an opportunity to explore new terrain and experience the solitude that only a solo trail run can provide while challenging oneself against the ghosts of trail runners past and setting new standards for those who will follow. As I learned myself, FKTs provide mental and emotional challenges to accompany the physical. Kirk concludes that FKTs “are not for everybody. Less support means more opportunity for error and greater consequences. But (there are) also opportunities for memories that last a lifetime.”The South’s Epic FKTsCherokee Foothills TrailTable Rock State Park to Oconee State Park, S.C.According to Johnny Molloy, the Foothills Trail may be the most unsung, underused, and underrated long trail in the Southeast. It covers 77 miles, traversing the Cherokee Foothills of the Southern Appalachians in North and South Carolina, through state parks, national forests, and state-owned preserves. While aid is possible, there is no access through the 33 mile Laurel Valley section. FKT (male): 14:26 – Mark Lundblad; FKT (female): 20:47 – Anne LundbladSmokies Challenge Adventure RunGreat Smoky Mountains National Park, N.C./Tenn.This is a remote 70+ mile traverse of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the Appalachian Trail, starting at Fontana Dam and going to Davenport Gap. The total elevation gain is 18,660. On-course aid and bail-out is only possible at 40 miles at Newfound Gap Road. The trail is technical, and there are a lot of steep climbs and descents, all on singletrack. FKT (supported): 14:50 – David Worth; FKT (unsupported): 15:40 – Will HarlanRivanna TrailCharlottesville, VAA series of footpaths, trails, and greenways within the Rivanna River watershed that link up to create a 20-mile loop around the town of Charlottesville. This is a good route for an FKT newbie, as there are many places to access support, but the trade-off is losing the wilderness aspect. FKT: 2:09:47 – Neil GormanPitchellAsheville, N.C.This 67-mile trek is the brainchild of Asheville runner Adam Hill. It is run almost solely on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail from the top of Mount Pisgah to the summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in the Eastern U.S. Over 16,000 feet of elevation gain and gnarly technical sections make this an epic run, but aid is available due to frequent Blue Ridge Parkway crossings. FKT: 13:28 – Mark LundbladGeorgia LoopNorth GeorgiaDescribed as “the toughest hike in Georgia” due to its rugged and remote nature, this loop is the triangle formed by the Benton MacKaye Trail, the Duncan Ridge Trail and the A.T. Not for the faint-hearted, it includes one of the most difficult stretches of the Benton Mackeye Trail, which National Geographic has named one of the world’s “epic trails.” FKT: 12:35 – Richard Schicklast_img read more

A Profile of the Inter-American Defense College

first_imgBy Dialogo December 10, 2010 Hello and good morning, I am a Sergeant of the Dominican National Police and I would like to know Director Moira N. Flanders’ e-email address, in order to send her a communiqué. Thank you in advance. A profile of the Inter American Defense College. Good afternoon, I am Colonel EP (R) Guillermo G. Ortiz H., I have a Masters Degree in Development and National Defense from CAEN Peru, and another one in Military Science from the Army’s Higher Education War School. I know a lot about IADC, I know a lot about its importance, the studies and updates of the Security doctrines which are very important nowadays. I would like to know if I can access any of the Courses on Security and Hemispheric Development or another similar one from this prestigious institution and how I can enroll. Thanks in advance. Good afternoon, I am Diana Babativa Paheco – currently working at the General Command of the Military Forces as a psychologist. I have a masters in National Security and Defense, several courses in DDHH, DIH, Analysis and resolution of conflicts and geopolitics. The last course was about Strategy and Politics for Defense at the CHDS. I would like to continue enriching my knowledge in matters of security and defense to contribute to the region on this subject and for it, I would like to know if I can and how can I access any of the courses currently being taught at the Inter American School of Defense. Thanks. Success. This is the word that best describes the Inter-American Defense College (IADC), says Guatemalan Air Force Brigadier General Roberto Rodriguez Girón, Chief of Studies of the prestigious academic institution located on the campus of Fort McNair in Washington D.C. Another word is “partnership”, he adds, “where true cooperation is formed among students across the region”, referring to the IADC’s nearly 50 year history of providing post-graduate level courses on security and defense of the Western Hemisphere for an elite group of key leaders. Founded in 1962, the IADC’s list of students and alumni reads like a who’s who of the Hemisphere’s most influential decision makers. Over 2,300 graduates from 24 countries have attended the college, including two former heads of state — former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and former Ecuador President Lucio Gutierrez —and nearly 600 generals and admirals, in addition to ambassadors and chiefs of mission who occupy senior roles throughout the Western Hemisphere. The IADC belongs to the Organization of American States (OAS) and provides military officers and civilians from member states advanced academic courses on security challenges centered on six major themes: Ethics and Human Rights, International Relations, International Institutions and Institutional Leadership, Strategic Analysis, Strategic Leadership, Civil-Military Relations, Conflict Resolution and Negotiation. The 11 month academic program is conducted by visiting professors from partner institutions such as American University, University of Brasilia from Brazil and Catholic University from Chile, among others, and includes seminars and a research program. The curriculum is complemented by academic trips to the region and within the United States. “The highlights for the students are the courses on conflict resolution, civil-military relations and peace keeping operations”, says Lt. Col. Erich Hernández-Baquero, IADC Academic Program Coordinator. “We also focus on global trends and challenges , such as the rise of China and its implications for the region, illicit trafficking and its nexus with terrorism, and the evolution of the military into non-traditional roles”, adds Lt. Col Hernández-Baquero. “Students leave here with a more comprehensive understanding of the region, having established close relationships with their fellow classmates. This relationship can play a key role when it comes to strengthening regional cooperation in areas ranging from humanitarian assistance to understanding complex military issues.” For a closer look at the IADC’s unique composition and role, Diálogo spoke with IADC Director, Rear Admiral Moira Flanders: Diálogo: What is the mission and vision of the IADC? Rear Admiral Flanders: The Inter American Defense College is the only international, joint, inter-agency academic institution devoted to security and defense issues in the Western Hemisphere, and probably the only one of its kind in the world. The IADC is not owned by one single country. The IADC belongs to the Organization of American States and that means that every country in the Western Hemisphere that is a member of the OAS can call this college their college. We do not speak in only one language. The primary language is Spanish, but English and Portuguese are also spoken to accommodate the students. Diálogo: What are the most important contributions made by the IADC throughout the course of its history? Rear Admiral Flanders: Our title is defense, but we deal mostly with security. We do not discuss war and tactics. We stay at the strategic levels and hold seminars for our students but also for ambassadors and defense attachés on areas such as peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, civil-military relations and human rights. We really focus at a very strategic level, since our students are the Western Hemisphere leaders of the future. We are giving them the foundation for what they will be doing for the rest of their careers. The very best thing about the student population here is their ability and desire to partner with the other students from other nations in the hemisphere to create networks that will help their countries in times of need. Diálogo: What do you convey through the curriculum as being the most challenging security issues facing the hemisphere? Rear Admiral Flanders: At the moment we are discussing global economics because that is a concern for everyone, but we ensure that the college aligns with the vision of the OAS, which is to strengthen democracy throughout the hemisphere and to be a global partner. Diálogo: Are issues that are trans-regional and trans-national in nature, such as illicit trafficking, studied in depth at the IADC? Rear Admiral Flanders: We have a module on trans-national threats such as gangs and drugs, and human trafficking, which are topics that are very important to us. We have guest speakers in addition to the professors we contract with who are experts in their fields. We also have Ministers of Defense and ambassadors who speak here and our students have a wonderful opportunity to interact with them and question them on issues they feel are significant. Diálogo: What are the shared issues that interest the students particularly? Rear Admiral Flanders: The common thread, since the creation of the College, has been the need for partnership. You see in the students the desire to learn from their fellow classmates and the academic institutions that are teaching here. That is the common thread: partnership and the desire to strengthen democracy. Also how to ensure that when they go on to their next jobs they will learn as much as they possibly can to help move our hemisphere forward in a positive way. For more information: http://www.jid.orglast_img read more

Boost your health with a big dose of gratitude

first_img February 1, 2005 Regular News Boost your health with a big dose of gratitude Elizabeth Heubeck WebMD Health What would happen if we extended the tradition of giving thanks, typically celebrated just once a year during the holiday season, throughout the entire year? Such gratitude would be rewarded with better health, say researchers.No pill? No strict diet or exercise regimen? Can just a positive emotion such as gratitude guarantee better health? It may be a dramatic departure from what we’ve been taught about how to get healthier, but the connection between gratitude and health actually goes back a long way.“Thousands of years of literature talk about the benefits of cultivating gratefulness as a virtue,” says University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons. Throughout history, philosophers and religious leaders have extolled gratitude as a virtue integral to health and well-being. Now, through a recent movement called positive psychology, mental health professionals are taking a close look at how virtues such as gratitude can benefit our health. And they’re reaping some promising results. Benefits of Gratitude Grateful people — those who perceive gratitude as a permanent trait rather than a temporary state of mind — have an edge on the not-so-grateful when it comes to health, according to Emmons’ research on gratitude. “Grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular physical examinations,” Emmons tells WebMD. Stress Buster It’s no secret that stress can make us sick, particularly when we can’t cope with it. It’s linked to several leading causes of death, including heart disease and cancer, and claims responsibility for up to 90 percent of all doctor visits. Gratitude, it turns out, can help us better manage stress. “Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress,” Emmons says. Immune Booster Grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system. “There are some very interesting studies linking optimism to better immune function,” says Lisa Aspinwall, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Utah. In one, researchers comparing the immune systems of healthy, first-year law students under stress found that, by midterm, students characterized as optimistic (based on survey responses) maintained higher numbers of blood cells that protect the immune system, compared with their more pessimistic classmates.Optimism also has a positive health impact on people with compromised health. In separate studies, patients confronting AIDS, as well as those preparing to undergo surgery, had better health outcomes when they maintained attitudes of optimism. Gratitude in the Face of Loss Even in the face of tremendous loss or tragedy, it’s possible to feel gratitude. In fact, adversity can boost gratitude, recent findings show. In a Web-based survey tracking the personal strengths of more than 3,000 American respondents, researchers noted an immediate surge in feelings of gratitude after Sept. 11, 2001.Why would such a tragic event provoke gratitude, and what is its impact? Christopher Peterson, Ph.D., the University of Michigan psychologist who posted the survey, attributes this surge in gratitude among Americans post 9/11 to a sense of increased belonging. These feelings offered more than community building. Gratitude in the aftermath of 9/11 helped buffer people against the negative effects of stress, making them less likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, explains Emmons. Who Feels Gratitude? How is it that some people manage to feel grateful in the face of challenging life circumstances, while others sink into despair? “So much of gratitude is about one’s perspective and framework for looking at the world and at self. People who tend to be more mindful of the benefits they’ve received tend to focus their attention outward,” Emmons explains.You don’t need to have a lot to be mindful of what you’ve got, according to Edward Diener, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, who has studied extensively life satisfaction of people from various cultures. Not surprising, he found that people in India living in poverty report low levels of life satisfaction. However, a high percentage of people in affluent Japan do, too. Diener suggests that, for the Japanese, their culture’s emphasis on materialism is to blame.Who, then, has a high level of life satisfaction, if not the very poor or the very rich? The middle class do, according to Diener’s findings — particularly those who have risen from poverty. Moreover, he reports that the people of Ireland, a country boasting a “count your blessings” culture, report high levels of life satisfaction. As for a group of multimillionaires from the Forbes 400 list? They weren’t much happier than the average suburbanite. Cultivating Gratitude Income level is by no means the only measure of satisfaction with one’s lot in life. “There tends to be higher levels of optimism among people who have faced losses early in life, suggesting that adversity can promote personal growth over time,” Aspinwall tells WebMD. But you don’t have to wait for a tragedy to grow your feelings of gratitude. You can start today. Here’s how:• Maintain a gratitude journal. Emmons’ research showed that people who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and maintain greater optimism about the future.• Create a list of benefits in your life and ask yourself, “To what extent do I take these for granted?” Some people need such concrete visual reminders to maintain mindfulness of their gratitude, explains Emmons.• Talk to yourself in a creative, optimistic, and appreciative manner, suggests Sam Quick, PhD, of the University of Kentucky. This could entail simply reflecting on things for which you’re grateful or, if you’re facing a challenging situation, seeing how it can ultimately be beneficial. For instance, having to cope with particularly difficult people in your job or neighborhood can improve your patience and understanding.• Reframe a situation by looking at it with a different, more positive attitude, offers Quick. He provides this example: Rather than seeing his 6-year-old daughter as cranky, irritable, and troublesome, a father might reach the conclusion that the youngster is tired and needs rest.Not convinced these simple gratitude-enhancing strategies can improve your overall health and well-being? “Try it out for yourself. What’s the alternative? I think gratitude is the best approach to life,” Emmons says. SOURCES: Robert Emmons, Ph.D., psychology professor and researcher, University of California, Davis. Christopher Peterson, Ph.D., University of Michigan psychologist. Lisa Aspinwall, Ph.D., psychology professor, University of Utah. Edward Diener, Ph.D., psychology professor, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Sam Quick, Ph.D., human development & family relations specialist, University of Kentucky. This column first appeared on the WebMD Health Web site at www.webmd.com and is published here with permission by the Bar’s Quality of Life and Career Committee. The committee’s Web site is at www.fla-lap.org/qlsm. Boost your health with a big dose of gratitudelast_img read more

Nonprofit Gives Young Women Crash Course in Media Savvy

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Much has been written about the media’s negative impact on how young women see themselves, but one group of nonprofit visionaries is taking action by giving girls the skills to recast themselves.The organizers of Long Island Girl Talk (LIGT) meet with Long Island middle school and high school-aged girls once a month to provide workshops that teach them how to film episodes of their own local cable TV show.“LIGT is about more than teaching girls how to produce their own media,” said Marcia McNair, a Nassau Community College journalism professor who’s the executive director and founder of the group. “It’s about creating a generation of more thoughtful consumers of media. We want our girls to think twice about their viewing choices, recognize stereotypes, and use social media more responsibly both in terms of what they post and read.”McNair and her team train students in male-dominated technical roles, such as camera, sound, and graphic work. They are also educated on social issues that affect them both as women and LI residents. The goal is to boost their self-esteem by allowing them to create their own media presence that celebrates the average girl. The work they do has the added benefit of helping the girls develop leadership skills.Seven in 10 girls “believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school, and relationships with friends and family members,” according to dosomething.org.Having a hand in producing media instead of just consuming it has helped young girls who are struggling with their sense of self-worth and personal empowerment.“It’s been an opportunity of a lifetime,” says Kelly-Ann Rivera, LIGT’s director of production.Tune in to Long Island Girl Talk on Cablevision Ch. 115 at 6 p.m. Saturdays, on Verizon Ch. 40 at 12 p.m. Mondays and 6:30 p.m. Thursdays and on YouTube. They will also be hosting their First Annual Girls Empowerment Conference at Roosevelt Public Library 9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 17. For more information, visit longislandgirltalk.orglast_img read more

The summer auto-loan pursuit-a-palooza

first_imgAnother busy summer vehicle-selling season is upon us, and a majority of us are looking for the best strategies to maximize loan growth.Considering the volume of vehicles to be sold, prospects are good. According to NADA (Nov. 2015), “New light-vehicle sales are expected to rise to 17.7 million units in 2016. This would mark the seventh straight year of increasing U.S. new-vehicle sales.”While prospects are good, competition has never been tougher. If your shop is into indirect lending, you’ll be competing with a long list of other lenders (many of whom are other, larger credit unions) on price, dealer reserve, terms and credit standards, and response and turnaround time. In the credit union space, large lenders with significant scale typically rule the day. If your shop is not into indirect lending, you’ll be competing with those picking off your members at the dealership.Modern techniques availableCredit union pioneer Louise Herring said, “We must remember what we started out to do and then find ways to do it with the modern techniques available.” We’re lenders. It’s at the heart of what we do – that hasn’t changed. But the way we get those loans has changed for many of us since Louise Herring helped charter more than 500 credit unions back in her day. None of us can afford to sit back and wait for members to call on us with a loan request. Rest assured, there is always some organization who wants our members’ loans, be it a prime or predatory lender. We’ll have to fight for every loan we win. Fortunately, we have modern techniques available to help us identify and capture loan opportunities.Below are several modern techniques to consider when formulating your summer auto-loan growth strategy. I recommend using the Experian products below because of my experience with the company. It has the largest share of the CU marketplace for a reason – reliable turnkey solutions, and a demonstrated commitment to credit unions in the underserved consumer space.Recapture your members who were “sold” the dealer financing. I recommend using Experian to compare your existing member list to find auto loans that were recently financed elsewhere. Use this list to take back the loans. It’s amazing how far prescreening tools have advanced since I was actively in the lending business. Experian’s experts can help you craft a custom list to target the best loans you want to recapture, picking only those that match your yield and risk criteria.Prospect potential buyers before they start shopping! Dang, I wish I had this tool back in the early 90s when I was VP of Marketing and doing my best to grow loans! Experian’s In The Market Model for Auto enables credit unions to proactively market to members before they are actively shopping for credit. Credit Unions can target prospective buyers BEFORE the onslaught of marketing during the busy summer auto-buying season. Great timing is critical to success, as it’s easier to get a loan at the time of purchase than to try to recapture it later. Credit unions have a long, successful track record of loan pre-approvals. Experian offers sophisticated, easy to deploy prescreen solutions as a modern-day technique to get the most out of our efforts to keep our members’ business.Target thinner-credit-file Millennials. Millennials are buying cars in big numbers these days. Now the largest generation in the country, Millennials bought 4 million cars and trucks in 2015 – second only to the Baby Boomers, according to J.D. Power’s Power Information Network. Millennials’ share of the new-car market jumped to 28 percent. In the country’s biggest car market, California, Millennials outpaced Boomers for the first time.[1]Another modern technique I’m excited about is Experian’s Extended View program, which helps lenders qualify thin-credit-file consumers. These consumers have little or no traditional credit, but have established good credit with other providers, such as cell phone companies, rent, utilities, etc. Extended View provides credit union lenders with enough supporting data to approve a much larger pool of good loans.The season is here, what’s your strategy?We are lenders. Consistent, profitable loan growth should always be our top priority. The challenge is that many of our credit union shops have non-loan related priorities that will trump an appropriate focus on this busy lending season. These credit unions will miss out on the opportunity (while it is here). We never know what the economy will be tomorrow, and have to seize what we can today.The good news is that, overall, our credit union space is growing loans at a good pace, and that means many of us will likely make gains during this summer season. However, if your credit union is not attaining the profitable loan growth you need or desire, I challenge you to look at new techniques and different strategies to make the most of this peak auto-buying season – before it’s too late. [1] http://.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/sc-millennial-car-buyers-autos-0317-20160309-story.html Scott is the Principal of Your Credit Union Partner, PLLC.Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 100 credit unions located throughout … Web: www.yourcupartner.org Detailscenter_img 41SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Butterfieldlast_img read more

Lives saved or deaths postponed? Calculating the cost of lockdowns

first_imgThe response to the disease had led to an unprecedented reorganization of societies, with businesses shuttered, stay-at-home orders, medical facilities refocused on treating COVID-19 patients.The economic impact of the measures has caused alarm and division. ‘No choice’Will the long-term ramifications of lockdowns counteract the effect they had on slowing contagion? In a study published on Monday, Imperial College researchers estimated that lockdowns had prevented around 3.1 million deaths in 11 European countries. On Wednesday, Imperial epidemiologist Neil Ferguson told a British parliamentary committee that because of the exponential spread of the virus, locking down just a week earlier would have reduced the final death toll by “at least a half”. But any modeling is based on assumptions — in this case calculations of what would have happened if action had not been taken. Restrictions were imposed after predictions of potentially enormous tolls, said Arthur Caplan, professor of bioethics at New York University.”I don’t think politicians and leaders had a choice,” he said. “If you saw those numbers in the millions of deaths, you had to take steps because you would have had a broken health system, a public that wouldn’t have come out anyway because they would have been terrified.”Caplan said there should be a “broad set of voices” in determining whether the lockdowns were the right solution, but added that the question would be “political”. Topics : No silver linings Now societies are bearing the strain of both a deadly pandemic and a huge economic shock.The virus undercuts the usual “silver linings” of an economic downturn, said Burgard. Populations have been confined inside, reducing access to beneficial physical exercise.People struggling with bereavement, mental health issues or unemployment find it harder to access their normal support networks, with even visits to family members restricted.   And the healthcare sector itself has been battered by the virus, with frontline staff at risk of infection while treatments for other illnesses have been postponed.Even in normal times, any positive effects seen in economic downturns are often in richer nations. “The opposite seems true in many low- and middle-income countries, where mortality actually increases during recession,” said Thomas Hone, a public health researcher at Imperial College London. He said this may suggest that what protects people from the harms of recessions are “strong health systems and social security nets”.Many fear the scale of the pandemic and economic downturn will disproportionately hurt the most vulnerable.UN agencies and the vaccine alliance Gavi have said virus restrictions caused immunizations to be disrupted in nearly 70 countries, affecting some 80 million children under the age of one and threatening a resurgence of preventable diseases like polio and measles.The World Food Program estimates the number of people facing acute hunger this year could nearly double — to 265 million.  While lockdowns undoubtedly avoided large numbers of deaths from the new coronavirus, the repercussions of the pandemic response are expected to blight economies and health systems long after restrictions are lifted.So how can we quantify the costs and benefits of one of the largest public health interventions ever? “This is a very difficult calculation to make,” Sarah Burgard, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, told AFP. center_img ‘Unknown situation’ In a study published in 2000, the American economist Christopher Ruhm asked a provocative question: “Are recessions good for your health?”His research found that a rise in unemployment sharpened stresses on mental health, causing increases in substance abuse and suicide. But there were unexpected benefits for physical health: road accidents and pollution reduced, while people had more time for exercise.   Reflecting on his work two decades later, Ruhm said that in a normal economic slump “when unemployment was high, mortality was low and vice versa”. But the coronavirus-induced recession is not a normal economic downturn. “We are in an unknown situation,” Ruhm said in an April online talk for the University of Virginia, where he is a professor of public policy and economics.”I think it may be the first time in history that we are actually deliberately creating a recession, not because we want to create a recession, but because this health threat is so real.” According to official counts, the virus has infected at least 7.4 million people around the world and more than 415,000 have died.Burgard said in the end it may prove difficult to untangle how many deaths were caused by COVID-19 and how many by “the chaos and fallout” of the crisis. “I don’t have a lot of faith that we are going to be able to come up with a very clear number,” she said. Even if a figure is reached, decisions over its implications would be “heavily political and ethically complex”.last_img read more

Is Wolves vs Man Utd on TV? Channel, live stream, time, odds, team news and head-to-head

first_img Head-to-head in last five meetings Skip Full Screen Read More Read More Advertisement 1/1 by Metro Manchester United captain Harry Maguire MORE: Arsenal looking to replace Denis Suarez with Bournemouth star Ryan FraserMORE: Jamie Carragher says Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has been a ‘revelation’ under Solskjaer Phil HaighTuesday 2 Apr 2019 8:49 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Top articles Read More About Connatix V67539 Skip Ad / PLAY center_img Read More Comment Video Settings Rio Ferdinand tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop struggling Is Wolves vs Man Utd on TV? Channel, live stream, time, odds, team news and head-to-head Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Coming Next Manchester United are coming off a win over Watford on Saturday (Picture: Getty Images)Manchester United have the chance to go third in the Premier League on Tuesday night when they travel to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers.Victory for the Red Devils would see them climb above Spurs and Arsenal into the top three, while a draw would take them into fourth, above Tottenham.Rio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starWolves are seventh in the table and will not catch Chelsea in the place above them, but there is just two points between them and West Ham in 11th, so they could fall down the division pretty quickly.The sides met as recently as last month when Wolves knocked United out of the FA Cup in the quarter-finals.ADVERTISEMENT Wolverhampton Wanderers have caused some big upsets this season (Picture: Getty Images)When is Wolves vs Man Utd?AdvertisementAdvertisementThe match is on Tuesday 2 April with kick-off at 7.45pm at Molineux.What TV channel is Wolves vs Man Utd on and is there a live stream?Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League will be showing the game live with coverage starting at 7.30pm.Subscribers can stream the action on Sky Go or on the Sky Sports app. Read More Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was confirmed as permanent Man Utd manager last week (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)Team newsWith an FA Cup semi-final against Watford on Sunday and little to play for in the league, Wolves may rest a few players ahead of the trip to Wembley.Although, Nuno Espirito Santo largely has a fit squad to choose from at Molineux.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should have Anthony Martial available, but Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly and Alexis Sanchez all remain out.What are the odds? (Courtesy of Betfair)31/10 Wolves5/2 DrawEVS Man UtdMore: FootballChelsea 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 CityBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer SPONSORED Advertisement 1 min. story 16 Mar 2019 – Wolves 2-0 Man Utd – FA Cup22 Sep 2018 – Man Utd 1-1 Wolves – Premier League18 Mar 2012 – Wolves 0-5 Man Utd – Premier League10 Dec 2011 – Man Utd 4-1 Wolves – Premier League05 Feb 2011 – Wolves 2-1 Man Utd – Premier Leaguelast_img read more

UK roundup: National Grid scheme names renewables manager

first_imgThe Pension Protection Fund (PPF), the body that protects members of UK defined benefit pension schemes, has reached its 1,000th scheme milestone as the retirement benefits of almost 4,000 members of the Carillion Rail (GTRM) Pension Scheme have been secured following its transfer to the lifeboat scheme.Members that were over the scheme’s normal pension age at the time of insolvency will receive 100% of what was in payment at that time, and those under that age will receive 90% subject to a cap.Without the PPF, members of the scheme would have received a share of the assets following the insolvency of the sponsoring employer amounting to 55% of their promised pension.The PPF now manages £32bn €37.6bn) of assets for close to 260,000 members located across the UK and globally.Currently, PPF membership is split between almost 155,000 already receiving their pensions and close to 105,000 members who will start their payments in futureCambridge Associates hires investment directorBen Alves Walters has been appointed an investment director within the pensions practice at Cambridge Associates. Based in London, he will work primarily with European pension funds helping clients invest, manage and monitor their global private investment allocations.He joined Cambridge Associates this month after more than two and a half years in the manager research investment team at Willis Towers Watson (WTW). Prior to WTW, he trained as a chartered accountant at PwC, before moving internally into the transaction services division. The National Grid UK Pension Scheme (NGUKPS) has selected Octopus Renewables, the specialist clean energy investor and part of Octopus Group, to manage a new UK corporate pension mandate to invest £185m (€217m) in UK solar and onshore wind assets.The funds will be invested through the Renewable Energy Income Partnership III (REIP III), the third fund in Octopus Renewables’ institutional investor income partnership strategy.Octopus has discretion in managing the 25-year mandate, which benefits from its attractive pipeline of opportunities and proven origination capability. Octopus Renewables is the largest commercial scale solar energy investor in Europe and has more than £3.2bn of energy assets under management.PPF reaches 1,000th scheme milestonelast_img read more