Free webinar: Mastering the in-person ask

first_imgIf the thought of asking for a donation in person makes you sweat, Network for Good’s next free webinar is for you.Tune in Tuesday, April 16 at 1 p.m. Eastern to hear fundraising expert Jay Frost give nonprofits the insider scoop on garnering support via one of the most powerful methods — the in-person ask.Join us and learn answers to the following: How to ask for donations in a way that is comfortable for youHow to identify your unique asking strengths and best use themWhy asking for gifts doesn’t have to be so scary!Register here.last_img read more

4 ways to create a culture of giving at your nonprofit

first_imgThe following post is a summary of Adam Grant’s presentation on his book Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success at the Conference on Volunteering and Service.In Give and Take, Adam Grant’s premise is that there is more to the secret of success than hard work, talent and luck – especially as the world continues to become more hyper-connected. What’s missing is generosity. Givers excel in a collaborative work environment, but can burn out easily if they don’t see the impact of their contributions or don’t learn how to set boundaries. This is especially true for people in helping professions such as nonprofit leadership, cause marketing and social responsibility.Here are Adam’s 4 tips for creating a cultures of successful givers at your organization.1. Get the right people on the bus (a nod to Jim Collins)Weed out the takers and encourage matches to take their cues from the givers. Rewarding giver behavior and helping matchers see the value in reciprocity with a net positive benefit will nudge your culture towards a collaborative, generous workplace.2. Reduce costsThink about the power of 5-minute favors. You don’t have to be Mother Theresa or Gandhi to call yourself a giver. Giver mentality is more about finding efficient ways to make low-cost gestures with high value to the receiver. You’ve heard of micro-volunteering? Think of it as micro-favors. If someone asks you for help and you know you are the best equipped to help and the act will only take you 5 minutes, say yes. Always. If you are not the best equipped to respond, point the person in a new direction to find the help they need.3. Show impactSome givers burn out others are energized by doing favors – why? Givers burn out when they can’t see the value of their impact. Think of ways to have authentic messengers demonstrate the value your staff creates every day. A message from the CEO is nice, but givers are more motivated by a thank you from a program beneficiary or an employee who gave in a personally meaningful way. Showing impact in a tangible way relates to the concept of the ‘identifiable victim’ or ‘singularity effect’ – people are more compassionate when they can relate to one person’s story.4. Encourage help-seekingA whopping 75-90% of helping starts with a request, yet people hesitate to ask for help – especially givers. Givers don’t want to be a burden and often confuse taking and receiving. We need to create work cultures that reward asking for help and make it ok for people to take it. Also, givers to ask for help so other people (namely matchers) have the opportunity to give and so givers know who can benefit from their help and how in the future.Here’s an example of how help-seeking improves results. Appletree Answers, a call center solutions provider, was experiencing 98% staff turnover each year. That’s a huge HR hiring burden to replace your staff every year. The company started internal employee wish program where employees could ask for help fulfilling their dreams and other employees could offer assistance to making those wishes come true. As a result of creating this culture of giving and receiving, staff turnover dropped to 33%.Your organization can create its own Reciprocity Ring. Here’s how.· Invite employees to join the program.· Have everyone participating make a request.· Everyone in the program then tries to help make those requests happen.· Everyone is both a giver and a receiver, so there is no stigma about asking for help.· Everyone gets better understanding of the resources in their network for future giving and receiving. by Kate Olsen, VP of Strategic Projects at Network for Good @Kate4Goodlast_img read more

Is your nonprofit website open for business?

first_imgIs your nonprofit website sending the right message to potential donors? Year-end fundraising season will be here before you know it. Now is the time to clear away the cobwebs and roll out the welcome mat for prospective donors, volunteers, and those who may benefit from your work. If you haven’t updated your site in a while, you might give donors the impression that your organization is no longer active.Worried your site may say “move along” instead of “come on in”? Here are the top issues that can scare visitors away from your nonprofit website (and how to fix them).Broken linksThey’re not just aggravating and confusing for your website visitors, broken links can also be a big red flag for search engines like Google. Having internal links that don’t work or that don’t point to real content can affect how your site shows up in search.How to fix it: Most website platforms and content management systems have reporting that will show you the top pages that are returning an error. Taking a close look at your Google Analytics can help as well. Do some internal testing on your website to make sure all of your links are taking visitors where they should. Stale content Do you still have information about your “upcoming event” on your home page even though the “upcoming event” took place several months ago? Is the last post on your nonprofit’s blog from 2012? This is a surefire sign that no one in your organization is actually looking at your website. To your visitors, it says: we gave up.How to fix it: Make it someone’s responsibility to frequently review your website and do regular housekeeping. If you have a news feed or blog that shows up on your home page, make sure you’re adding new content frequently. If you don’t have a plan to add new items, remove these feeds from your pages. Dated designThis one is somewhat subjective, but there are certain hallmarks of an outdated web design: crazy animations, hard to read text (usually light text on dark background, or a veritable rainbow of font colors), randomly-placed images, to name a few. Geocities is dead. It’s time for your nonprofit website to move on to better things.How to fix it: A complete makeover would be nice, but if that’s not in the cards, focus on fixing the most egregious cosmetic issues within your current design and platform. Start with your key pages and branch out from there. Make it easy to read and remove anything that makes your site look like this. No contact informationThe lights may be on, but without obvious and current contact information, is anyone really home? Your contact details give people an easy way to ask questions and find out more, plus openly listing this information on your website is a sign of trust and transparency. How to fix it: Add your physical address, phone number, and a way to email you to the footer of your website. Place clear links to your “Contact Us” page within your site’s global navigation. No clear way to donateThis is the first thing I look for when I am asked to review an organization’s website, and it’s amazing how many nonprofits still don’t have a prominently placed donation button on every page of their website. Without a clear and highly visible way to donate, you’re effectively telling donors: we don’t need your money. How to fix it: Make your donate button big, bold, and above the fold of your website. Make sure your donate button actually says “Donate Now”, “Donate”, or “Give”. Fuzzy language won’t cut it here. Slow to loadOne Mississippi, two Mississippi … by three Mississippi your website better be finished loading, or most visitors will simply leave. It may not be fair, but people are impatient. They have better things to do than to wait for your carousel of images or Flash presentation to load. How to fix it: Start by confirming there are no technical problems with your website’s platform or hosting service. Then, take a hard look at your website’s key pages and see how you can streamline them by removing extraneous images, code, or other files that are bogging down your site. A reputable web developer can also provide suggestions for other improvements that can speed up your site. (Bonus: Decluttering your site will have a positive effect on potential donors, making it easy for them to figure out what it is you do and why they should care.) Not mobile friendlyWhen your nonprofit website is difficult to load (or completely dead) on a mobile device, you may as well not exist for that smartphone user. 56% of US adults are smartphone users, and they’re becoming more and more likely to read your emails and social media outreach on a mobile device. If your links take them to a site that’s non-functional on their phone, you’ve missed out on another opportunity to connect.How to fix it: You don’t need a complete overhaul to make your website more mobile friendly. Focus on a handful of key pages (think: home page, donation page, contact page, any other pages you point to regularly from emails or social media) and improve them with these 8 tips for making your nonprofit website mobile friendly. (Bonus: Most mobile-friendly website tweaks will improve usability overall.)What are your biggest website challenges? Have you made a recent change to your site that’s made a big difference? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments below.last_img read more

Creating new partnerships for your cause

first_imgWe’ve all heard it before, “Give me your Rolodex, give me 20 names that I can contact.” It can be overwhelming to produce a big list of people who are eager to raise money for your cause. But what if 20 names is 19 too many? What if all you need is just one? This is the idea proposed by philanthropist Jeffrey Walker and fundraising expert Jennifer McCrea in their recent book, The Generosity Network.Reach out.Asking your nonprofit board members for just one person who might be interested in joining your cause will seem more manageable to them and is more likely to generate a thoughtful response. That way, you can meet with someone who is open to starting a relationship with you and—ultimately—your organization.Meet in an intimate setting.Invite your new contact to meet, but beware of asking them to your office! Conference rooms can be beautiful spaces: great for viewing PowerPoints, but actually hosting an intimate first meeting? Forget it! Go to coffee or breakfast so that you can be in a space that is made for conversation. In a coffee shop, sharing your story won’t come across as rehearsed the way it automatically would in a conference room or at someone’s desk. Context is everything.Form a connection.Remember, this first meeting isn’t a sales call; it’s a chance to authentically connect. Be ready to ask what your new contact truly values and consider saying, “For the record, I’m not going to ask you for money today.” If people think you’re just there to extract something from them, they might beworrying about your potential ask. If they’re only half listening, it will be hard to build a relationship of trust and explore a potential partnership. But don’t wait too long to ask for a commitment! It’s important to share what your organization is doing and what you could achieve together.For more ideas on developing a relationship with your donors and how to turn them from one-time customers into lifelong partners, access the archived webinar presentation of Nonprofit 911: Build Your Generosity Network with Jennifer McCrea and Jeff Walker.last_img read more

Facebook Ads – Are They Right For Your Nonprofit?

first_img1. What is my goal?Without a goal, your ad campaign will mean nothing and you will be simply throwing money away (and trust me, Facebook doesn’t mind taking it). A reasonable goal could be an increase in email signups from your website. When you create your ad, this will be called the “advertising objective” – it’s what you want people to do when they encounter your ad. Cody suggests (and I agree) that you pick a goal much more in depth than simple clicks to your website. Do you want to measure “website conversions”, which means that when people visit your website, they take an action and “convert”?A successful “conversion” could be signing up for your email newsletter, subscribing to your blog, or making an online donation. 3. Can I afford it? Much has been written recently about the changes in Facebook’s algorithm and its pay-to-play philosophy.Many nonprofits who spent years or months building up an engaged online community on the biggest social network are now seeing a dramatic decline in the number of fans they are able to reach with each post.If this sounds familiar, you may be wondering if Facebook Ads will help your nonprofit reach more fans and get more bang for your Facebook buck.At the recent Social Media for Nonprofits Conference in Boston, Cody Damon of Media Cause provided some insightful advice on whether or not a nonprofit should jump into the Facebook Ads ocean.Before you sit down and purchase a Facebook Ad for your nonprofit, ask yourself these three vital questions:center_img 2. Can I measure it?Whatever the objective, make sure that you can measure it. Just saying “raising awareness for my nonprofit” may not be enough, unless you have specific benchmarks in place to measure your progress.You need to know what success looks like. What will happen if your Facebook Ad is successful? What will have changed? Clients frequently ask me about the price of Facebook Ads. Unlike traditional newspaper ads or billboards, there is no set price for a Facebook Ad.You can set your daily budget, or “lifetime” budget, and you will need to choose a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click bid). You only pay for the impressions or clicks that your ad receives, and if they are targeted well, this can be very effective.If this all seems like Greek to you, you are probably not ready to run a Facebook Ad without outside help. Facebook has a great help center on their website, and there are many firms and consultants who can help you set it up and run it.General best practices for your Facebook Ad:It must be eye-catching and well-written. Do not use your logo and call it “Come to our website!”It must have a photo. For all ads, the best size image to upload is 1200×627 pixels,The photo cannot contain more than 20% text.If it directs to an outside website, it should direct to a specific landing page, rather than just the main home page of your website.For more on using Facebook Ads to build your online community and engage with your fans, read these great posts by Jon Loomer, John Haydon, Nancy Schwartz and David Serfaty.Julia Campbell works with nonprofits to help them raise money online, conquer social media, and become content experts. Her blog on nonprofit marketing is at www.jcsocialmarketing.comlast_img read more

3 Musts for Better Stories

first_imgEveryone knows that storytelling is a win for nonprofits, but not all stories are created equal.To truly resonate with your readers, your story needs to have three essential ingredients:A strong emotional pull. Stories should make us feel something. Happy. Sad. Outraged. Inspired. All of these emotions can make an impact, but above all else, an amazingly effective message needs to make your reader feel, then act. Not think, then act. Not think, then feel, then act. FEEL, then act. Don’t disconnect these two steps. Lead with a strong pull of emotion, engage your reader’s senses, and then ask them to take action. A singular focus. Resist the urge to pack everything into one story—you’ll only confuse your reader. Stories work best when they are rich, yet simple, and are laser-focused on one message, one issue, and one person. You likely have many stories to tell, but focus on telling one distinct story at a time for best results.A clear tie to the reader. Your audience should quickly and clearly understand why your story matters to them. Does it tap into something they have experienced? Does it affect the community they love? Think about how to incorporate details that are meaningful to your supporters, then underscore your donors’ role in the story. Are they the hero? What can (or did) they make happen?There are many components that come together for an amazing story, but without these core elements, your message will fall flat. How are you incorporating all three into your donor communications?Need some help writing more effective stories for your nonprofit’s outreach? I’ve got your back.In our next free webinar, I’ll walk through a simple framework for more compelling stories that will help you connect with donors, raise more money, and retain supporters by reporting your impact in a highly memorable and relatable way. Register now to save your seat for Storytelling with the Emotional Brain. (Can’t attend the live session? Never fear. Go ahead and register and I’ll make sure you get a copy of the slides and the recording.)last_img read more

ICASA 2013: Now More Than Ever, Targeting Zero

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on July 1, 2013May 19, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)An expected 10,000 delegates will soon gather in Cape Town, South Africa for the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA). The conference, with the theme of Now more than ever: targeting zero, will be held from December 7-11, 2013. The final day to submit an abstract for review is July 5th, 2013.About the conference:Reflecting the conference theme “Now More Than Ever: Targeting Zero” and UNAIDS “Getting to zero” mantra of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths, HIV prevention will be an important feature of this year’s ICASA plenary sessions.Starting at the very beginning of the HIV prevention spectrum, Dr Chewe Luo, Senior Advisor on HIV and AIDS at UNICEF, will present cutting edge strategies for the elimination of Mother-to-Child transmission (MTCT) in Africa. Shifting focus to youth Emmanuel Etim, the young and dynamic Project Co-ordinator of the African Union Youth Volunteer Corps, will in part address the road ahead for African youth to reach zero new HIV infections.Professor Christine Katlama, Head of the AIDS Unit, Department of Infectious Diseases at the renowned Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, will look at the long-term complications of living with HIV, including the impact that HIV drug resistance has on prevention efforts.UNFPA’s Senior Advisor on HIV, Ms. Bidia Deperthes, will provide the broadest overview of Africa’s current effective prevention programmes and tools…Read more here.Learn about the five conference tracks.Review the abstract submission guidelines.Take a look at the key conference dates.Stay tuned on Twitter at @icasaconference.Visit the general conference site.The Maternal Health Task Force is currently coordinating a blog series on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS. To view the series, click here.For additional information about maternal health, HIV, and AIDS, visit our topic page.If you are interested in sharing a guest blog post for our series on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS, please contact Kate Mitchell (kmitchel@hsph.harvard.edu) or Samantha Lattof (slattof@hsph.harvard.edu).Share this:last_img read more

9 Super Scary Nonprofit Website Mistakes

first_imgYour website lacks details about your nonprofit’s mission and vision.Why is your organization the nonprofit to support? What are you doing that’s different from others? Simply put, what makes your nonprofit stand out? It’s important that the answers to these questions are easy to find on your website! By spelling out your mission and vision, donors can easily understand what their donations will accomplish. Your website doesn’t feature your nonprofit’s latest news.Create (or maintain) a place on your organization’s to share your latest news and examples of your most recent content, such as interesting articles, upcoming events, and special projects. This type of content works well on a blog and you can also link to this content on social media and in your newsletter. Your website doesn’t feature endorsements and third-party reviews.Make sure your website includes ratings from GuideStar and Charity Navigator or a testimonial from a stakeholder. The effectiveness of your websites’ messages depends on the messenger. Let others help build your case and show that you are trustworthy. Your website doesn’t have social media links or a newsletter sign up.Social media is a key way to connect and communicate with supporters. Be sure that all those hours tweeting and blogging don’t go to waste: Provide links to your social media profiles and make it easy for supporters to see your content and share on their social media channel of choice.  If a new fan isn’t the social media type, an email newsletter is a great way to help them keep in touch. That’s why it’s important that your newsletter sign-up process is simple and seamless. Your website isn’t mobile-friendly.Take a moment to evaluate your website’s usability for mobile users. Open your website on a mobile device. Are your donation page and website easy to navigate on a tablet or phone? Your website’s content uses too many words to demonstrate your work.As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures of people who benefitted from your services or volunteers in action can demonstrate your mission, illustrate the impact of your work, and complement your website’s text. Again, people’s attention spans are short. A compelling image will capture visitors’ attention and tell a story in a better way than multiple paragraphs of text.center_img Your website’s navigation doesn’t make sense.Your website should be organized according to the expectations of the people who come to your website. Instead of thinking how to present the information you want people to find, make it easy for your visitors to find the information they want. Back by popular demand to help you get ready for #GivingTuesday and Year-End -enjoy!Boo! That’s your website scaring you into reality. And the reality is that people’s short attention spans mean your website needs to provide visitors with easy access to everything in just three clicks. It must grab visitors’ attention, provide information, and spur visitors to action.Here are nine super scary website mistakes you should address before the year-end giving season is here and donors are too frightened to use your website!  Don’t wait…these website mistakes can result in the biggest horror of all: missing out on donations in December!Your website doesn’t have contact information.Make sure it’s easy for website users (and potential donors) to find your organization’s phone number, email address, or contact form. Also, make sure staff members know how to handle donor inquiries. Your website doesn’t have a clear ask for donations.Don’t be afraid to ask for donations on your website. Isn’t that the whole point of fundraising? Supporters will appreciate that you’ve made it easy for them to donate, so make that button shine! Network for Good always recommends you make the button big, bold and above “the scroll”. Plus, a smarter donation page will help you get donors to give, give big, and give again. Take advantage of our accredited Personal Fundraising Coaches to get hands-on help with your year-end fundraising activities. Schedule a call to learn more today.last_img read more

5 Tips to Make Your Spring Campaign Blossom

first_imgWe know how tempting it can be to take a break from fundraising after the hustle and bustle of year-end giving in November and December. However, spring is a popular time to send out fundraising appeals.Why Launch a Spring CampaignEnough time has passed since year-end giving that fundraisers feel comfortable asking for donations.Without key dates like #GivingTuesday and New Year’s Day providing natural bookends for a campaign, fundraisers can be more flexible about when to send out appeals and by when to request donations be submitted.While a great option, spring campaigns aren’t quite as omnipresent as year-end campaigns, which means less competition for donors’ attention.Now that you know why a spring campaign is a great idea, it’s time to figure out how to make the most of them.5 Best Practices for Spring CampaignsDevelop a theme. From your messaging to your visuals, working with a cohesive theme is a great way to connect direct mail, email, and social media posts. These communications should look and sound like they’re part of one overarching campaign. Use an integrated marketing approach and send out multiple types of communications to compel your donors to act.Choose a fundraising strategy. Recently, Network for Good hosted a webinar all about spring campaigns, featuring one of our Personal Fundraising Coaches, Andrea Holthouser. During the webinar, Andrea recommends choosing one key strategy to focus on this time of year, such as acquiring new donors or encouraging monthly recurring donations. What strategy will you choose? Listen to the webinar for more spring campaign tips.Create a themed everyday giving page. Once you have developed a cohesive theme to connect your messaging and wording, why not create an online donation page to match? Update the link attached to the donate button on your organization’s homepage during your spring campaign and make sure your email blasts drive traffic to your dedicated page as well.Tell a story. Choose a beneficiary who was helped by your organization in 2018 and ask your donors to help people, animals, or causes like them in 2019. Remind your donors that their gifts make an impact throughout the year and that making more than one gift is a great way to increase their impact for the cause they care about.Don’t forget the flowers! If you’re using your own images or stock images, it’s worth ensuring that any outdoor photos reflect the correct season. If your area is experiencing great weather, it might be worth skipping the snow-covered shots and opting for full trees and landscaping in the background. Even if the temperature isn’t quite spring-like, a little aspiration might just grab the viewer’s attention and prompt a positive response.A spring campaign is the perfect way to fundraise for a new initiative, raise more for your annual gala, or wrap up your fiscal year. Engage and renew donors, attract prospects, build awareness, and plant the seeds that sustain your organization. Download our 30-Day Spring Fundraising Plan to launch your campaign today!Read more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

The Current State of Pre-eclampsia/Eclampsia Prevention and Treatment

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on August 5, 2016September 27, 2016By: Sharif Mohammed Ismail Hossain, Ending Eclampsia Deputy DirectorClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The global impact of pre-eclampsia/eclampsiaThe Maternal Health Task Force’s most recent quarterly newsletter focused on pre-eclampsia/eclampsia and postpartum hemorrhage. And for good reason: they are the two leading causes of maternal deaths globally and deserve widespread attention.In Kenya and Nigeria, hypertensive disorders such as pre-eclampsia/eclampsia are the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths. In Bangladesh, Pakistan and Ethiopia, hypertensive disorders are among the top three causes. But despite the high fatality rate, deaths from pre-eclampsia/eclampsia are entirely preventable. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are crucial for preventing mortality due to pre-eclampsia/eclampsia.Pre-eclampsia is characterized by elevated blood pressure and increased protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy. A woman with pre-eclampsia can suffer from blurred vision, severe headaches and edema, and if her pre-eclampsia goes untreated, she has an increased risk of developing eclampsia, which can cause life-threatening seizures. Pre-eclampsia/eclampsia is also a risk factor for preterm and stillborn births, maternal kidney and liver problems and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia in future pregnancies.The gold standard of treatmentUse of magnesium sulphate, the safest and most effective treatment for eclamptic seizures, requires delivery of the baby and placenta. Not without challenges, magnesium sulphate is the gold standard for managing eclampsia. However, its use indicates that either a woman’s elevated blood pressure was not detected early enough, or that it was detected but not properly managed in order to prevent progression to eclampsia. Early, regular high-quality antenatal and postnatal care that includes blood pressure screening, urinalysis and close monitoring is crucial. If a woman has elevated blood pressure or excess protein in her urine, she should receive appropriate treatment that controls the blood pressure, reduces the severity of pre-eclampsia and prevents eclamptic seizures and stroke.The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends calcium supplementation in areas where dietary calcium intake is low or aspirin prophylaxis for women at risk of pre-eclampsia. To control high blood pressure, thereby reducing the likelihood of pre-eclampsia progressing to eclampsia, the WHO recommends antihypertensive drugs. Since pre-eclampsia/eclampsia can occur after delivery of the baby, the WHO also recommends that these treatments continue postpartum.Barriers to implementationWe know that these treatments work. We also know the difficulty of implementing interventions in low-resource settings and among hard-to-reach populations.While antihypertensive drugs are on most countries’ essential medicines lists, there may not be a dedicated budget line or supply chain mechanism that actually gets the drugs to the people who need them. Furthermore, many countries lack sufficient policies allowing primary facility providers to prescribe and dispense these treatments, and there may be a shortage of skilled providers who are knowledgeable about treatment methods and able to manage cases that require them.There are also cultural barriers, which some might argue are the most difficult to overcome. In many settings women do not trust health facility providers. When a problem occurs, women in some communities might first seek care from a traditional healer and only visit a health facility if the problem persists or worsens. Furthermore, women living in low-resource settings may not have the financial means to travel a long distance to a health facility, pay for services and drugs upon arrival and then pay for the return home.Looking toward the futureDespite these challenges, the international development and public health communities want to eliminate preventable maternal and newborn deaths and are dedicating funds to implementation research and advocacy. Clinical practice is more or less established in hospital settings worldwide. However, poor quality care inhibits early diagnosis, and national policies often restrict primary facility providers from prescribing and dispensing antihypertensive drugs. Ensuring that women with pre-eclampsia have access to necessary treatments is vital for preventing eclampsia and ultimately averting preventable maternal deaths.—For more information, please visit www.endingeclampsia.orgRead the most recent MHTF Quarterly highlighting pre-eclampsia/eclampsia.Learn more about pre-eclampsia/eclampsia on the MHTF website.Share this:last_img read more

Statheads Are The Best Free Agent Bargains In Baseball

TBA4365+51.2 DET4044+10.0 It’s getting more and more crowded on baseball’s bleeding edge. As sabermetrics has expanded to swallow new disciplines and data sets,1The data generated by a single game has gone from mega- to gigabytes, with terabytes sure to follow before long. the number of quantitative analysts in MLB front offices has multiplied to keep up, producing an army of number crunchers, modelers and decision scientists who would have seemed out of place at the ballpark even a decade ago.Because we, too, are statheads at heart, we’ve mined the data and charted the proliferation of these numbers-savvy front-office staffers over time. Yes, there are more of them now than ever, and yes, they’ve had a demonstrable effect on their teams’ fortunes. But contrary to the “Moneyball”-era hand-wringing about battles between scouts and statheads, their rise hasn’t come at the expense of old-school analysis. Rather, the two main points of contention are how much the “Moneyball” mindset has spread from the game’s most frugal teams to the richest ones; and why the front-office hiring boom hasn’t helped its gender diversity.You’re gonna need a bigger budgetTo track the expansion of baseball’s R&D departments, we took three snapshots of MLB staffs by studying cached online directories and team media guides from 2016, 2012 and 2009 — the first year for which media guides are widely available from MLBpressbox.com — and consulting with current and former front-office employees. We limited our sample to full-time employees (sorry, interns and consultants),2Disclosure: One of this article’s authors, Rob Arthur, works as a statistical consultant for the Toronto Blue Jays. and tried to maintain a consistent, fairly strict definition of what constitutes a quant: a “baseball operations” employee who spends a majority of his or her work hours either directing a quantitative department or doing statistical research, data processing or programming to support the team’s analytical efforts.Naturally, our task occasionally required some informed speculation. “Analytics” and “analyst” are slippery terms, particularly because most front-office employees are multitaskers who contribute to more than one department. Many teams are also guarded in how they describe (or don’t describe) their employees’ roles and responsibilities. But even with all those caveats, we’re confident that we’ve arrived at a roughly accurate accounting of MLB’s quant army.And our numbers reveal that baseball’s analytical arms race is proceeding at a pace only slightly slower than Moore’s law. Although the analytical gold rush began before the period we examined, hiring has accelerated at an almost exponential rate over the last few years. In 2009, the first season of our sample — which was several years after “Moneyball” became a best-seller — a total of 44 team employees fit our “quant” definition, and at least a third of teams had yet to assign a single full-time employee primarily to statistical work. By 2012, the number had climbed to 75, and only four teams had no quants. Four years after that, the analyst count has more than doubled again, to 156, and nowadays no team operates without some semblance of an R&D department. 3Only one of those departments — perhaps predictably, the tightfisted Miami Marlins — is still a solo act. MIL3848+26.3 ATL3246+43.8 KCA3647+30.6 SDN3655+52.8 TOR3858+52.6 WAS2847+67.9% ARI4161+48.8 CIN4665+41.3 TEX3849+28.9 NUMBER OF FULL-TIME SCOUTING PERSONNEL MIN3546+31.4 LAD4361+41.9 OAK3840+5.3 CLE4148+17.1 SourceS: MLB, VARIOUS TEAM MEDIA GUIDES SEA6762-7.5 Nor is there any indication that we’re approaching a plateau. A number of teams told us they expected to add more analysts soon; we’re aware of at least 12 open positions across MLB. And because the litany of prerequisite degrees and programming languages seems to grow with each listing, it seems certain that the average analyst also has a more impressive résumé today than in the past.To the statheads went the spoilsThe biggest benefits of buying into objective analysis were probably reaped around the time “Moneyball” was published, when a lot of the low-hanging fruit was still attached to baseball’s most rigid branches. Simple lessons such as “on-base percentage matters more than batting average” still eluded many front offices, and numerous talented analysts whose work would later be exclusive to one team were still posting their insights publicly on message boards or sites such as Baseball Prospectus.Even though some of the initial rewards had already been realized by 2009, there were still significant gains to be made by semi-early adopters. To measure them, we built a model estimating how good a team was before its front-office hires, using the following factors for each team: its winning percentages over the previous three seasons, its payroll and market size and its Baseball America farm-system ranking. Using these variables, we generated an expected winning percentage for each team over the following three seasons, beginning with the two historical years for which we had analyst counts (2009 and 2012).The takeaway: It paid to invest in analytics early. Teams with at least one analyst in 2009 outperformed their expected winning percentage4As predicted by the model. by 44 percentage points over the 2012-14 period, relative to teams who didn’t — an enormous effect, equivalent to more than seven extra wins per season. That might be overstating things a bit — the precise advantage varies depending on how the analysis is structured — but over most permutations of the model we tried,5Including using different thresholds (by number of analysts) to determine a team’s analytical buy-in, and different periods of time upon which to judge a team’s on-field output. the effect was consistently stronger than two wins per season, particularly for the earliest-adopting teams, which got a head start by implementing analytics before 2009.Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that sabermetrics conferred such a first-mover advantage. As a thought experiment, let’s assume the typical modern analytics department contains five people (156 staffers leaguewide, divided by 30 teams). If the two most senior members of the department earn $100,000 a year and the remaining members make half that, the yearly price would come to $350,000. Putting aside overhead costs,6Which, admittedly, can be quite large (i.e., in the millions) for some front offices. But even with multi-million dollar overhead costs, the total price of an analytics department wouldn’t approach most free-agent player contracts of similar value. that outlay still lags behind the MLB’s minimum salary for a single player — chump change in a sport where the average franchise is valued at 10 figures.For such a relatively small expenditure on analysts, even the minimum estimate of two extra wins per year would represent a return roughly 30 times as efficient as spending the same amount on the free-agent market. (It would be like the Chicago Cubs signing outfielder Dexter Fowler not for the $13 million he’s actually making but for what it would take to pay a player who just made his big-league debut.) At that rate, there’s plenty of room for front-office inflation to continue before teams run into diminishing returns.The rich are getting smarterAlthough the big-budget Boston Red Sox were also one of the first teams to demonstrate that an analytics department could help win a World Series,7Boston may have even been the first to win with a dedicated analytics staff, though it’s also worth noting that the Oakland A’s won in 1989 with early sabermetric consulting from Eric Walker. a number of low-payroll, small-market teams — including not only the Moneyball A’s, but also the Rays, Indians, Padres and Pirates — were among the first to form quantitative departments and develop systems to house and display statistical data. It made sense: The more pressing a team’s financial imperative to stretch every dollar and wring out every win, the more likely it was to try a new approach.But that’s no longer true. Although the Rays, who rank 29th in payroll this season, continue to occupy the R&D pole position with a still expanding department of almost 20 statheads — fortunately, Tropicana Field has plenty of quiet, climate-controlled workspace to spare — baseball’s “haves” are no longer have-nots when it comes to statistical expertise. In both 2009 and 2012, teams with low-ranking payrolls tended to employ more analysts. But in 2016, the balance of analytical buy-in shifts toward big spenders, which might explain why the Rays are having a harder time separating their on-field performance from the pack.Not only are wealthy teams capable of outspending competitors for free-agent players, but they’ve also become more willing to outbid them for brains. The sport’s two heaviest hitters by payroll, the Yankees and Dodgers, are also the only teams aside from the Rays whose R&D departments have double-digit head counts.In addition to hiring a large crew of new number crunchers and programmers, the Dodgers have plundered talent from other franchises’ front offices, absorbing not only the former general managers of the Rays (Andrew Friedman), Padres (Josh Byrnes) and Blue Jays (Alex Anthopoulos), but also a former A’s assistant GM, Farhan Zaidi, who joined Oakland as an analyst because “Moneyball” made him want to work in baseball. In particular, LA’s brain trust has devoted its efforts to preserving player health, which Billy Beane has publicly labeled the sport’s most glaring inefficiency. In their quest to curtail injuries, the Dodgers have invested in both computerized systems and human know-how, as well as seeding a sports-oriented startup incubation program.Stats haven’t killed the scouting starIn the factious days after “Moneyball” was published, the book was often characterized as a prophecy of scouting’s coming extinction. That interpretation was mostly off base, but one passage did strongly imply that the competition for front-office positions was a zero-sum game. In a postscript titled “Inside Baseball’s Religious War,” which appeared in later editions, Michael Lewis wrote that “[J.P.] Ricciardi, the new [Blue Jays] GM, had done what every enlightened GM will eventually do: fire a lot of scouts, hire someone comfortable with statistical analysis … and begin to trade for value, ruthlessly.”Lewis’s postscript looks ironic in retrospect, for multiple reasons. The deputy he describes as “someone comfortable with statistical analysis” was Keith Law, who has since become ESPN’s lead prospect analyst and spends much of his time scouting players. Moreover, Ricciardi himself was fired in 2009 and replaced by Anthopoulos, who almost immediately embarked on a scout-hiring spree — and shepherded Toronto to more success than it had ever enjoyed under his predecessor.8Anthopoulos left the Blue Jays for the Dodgers after the 2015 season. Even Beane’s stat-inclined sidekick, Paul DePodesta, later became vice president of player development and scouting for the Mets before switching sports earlier this year. BAL3432-5.9 STL3944+12.8 CHC5160+17.6 NYM5246-11.5 PHI33330.0 CHW3246+43.8 TEAM20092016%CHANGE BOS5971+20.3 NYY4574+64.4 HOU5552-5.5 SFN5956-5.1 COL3644+22.2 ANA3448+41.2 PIT3948+23.1 MIA3843+13.2 Scouting staffs are also on the rise In fact, the recent expansion of analytics staffing doesn’t seem to have squeezed out other kinds of employees. By our count, big-league teams employed 1,246 full-time scouts in the first year of our sample,9Which in most cases dates back to 2009, except for the few teams whose 2009 media guides don’t have accessible scouting sections. In those cases, we used 2010 data. across all levels and specialties — pro, amateur, advance and international. This year’s media guides list 1,539 scouts — an average increase of almost 10 per team. Only five teams employ fewer scouts than they did in 2009, and of those, four were previously among the top five scout employers. No team has downsized by more than six total scouts or 12 percent of its previous force.Although the increased ability to access information remotely may have made some advance and pro scouts redundant — or transferred their responsibilities to new, stay-at-home scouts who prep for opponents using a combination of stats and video — any modest downsizing in those areas has been more than offset by increased amateur and international coverage. For instance, the Rays — who also devote a massive head count to scouting, trailing only the Yankees and Red Sox — assign dedicated scouts to 12 countries outside the U.S., some of which haven’t historically been baseball hotbeds.10Including Curacao, Germany, the Czech Republic and Brazil, where they’re trying to build an academy. No scouting position is permanent, but our survey uncovered scant evidence to back up claims that teams are treating scouts as obsolete relics. If anything, smart teams have learned to treat scouting grades as statistical data that can improve upon purely numbers-based evaluations, making the two perspectives even more tightly intertwined.Given baseball’s burgeoning economy, it’s only logical that additional jobs for statheads haven’t come at scouts’ expense. Ever-rising broadcast rights and franchise valuations have caused revenue to skyrocket, and the profit has to go somewhere besides under owners’ mattresses. As revenue sharing, luxury taxes, and limits on amateur and international spending lower the ceiling on some forms of spending and shrink the payroll gaps between teams, the best option for a cash-flush club is to direct dollars away from the field. Beefing up front-office infrastructure makes acquiring, storing and applying information easier, and it allows teams to get more bang for the bucks they’re allowed to spend.That said, there are still places where analytics hiring has a lot of room to improve. Out of 190 analysts who appeared on our list at least once, only five were female, and only three of those women are still active. Granted, the gender imbalance in baseball ops is actually less lopsided on the R&D side than in scouting, where women are even scarcer. But high-level playing experience is far from a prerequisite in R&D roles, which tells us either that teams are having trouble attracting female applicants or that they’re overlooking the qualified candidates who do apply. As Zaidi, who has since hired one of the three active female analysts, put it last year: “If I’m going to put my geek cap on, it’s a statistical impossibility … that the best candidate for every position in baseball is a middle-aged Caucasian male.”Of course, baseball’s broadcast bubble might eventually burst, reversing the rise in revenue and forcing teams to economize. In that event, some would likely decide that stats, video and tracking systems such as Statcast and Kinetrax make scouting positions expendable, although they would probably also slash the budgets and support for their R&D staffs. Barring that type of catastrophe, though, baseball’s front-office hiring boom is unlikely to slow any time soon, since the rapid ascendance of baseball’s new school hasn’t made many teams think “out with the old.” Instead, teams have learned to synthesize information from multiple sources; even the supposedly sabermetrics-defying Kansas City Royals were aided by a talented analytics department en route to their World Series victory last season. When it comes to the search for front-office smarts, all signs still say “help wanted.”Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Football JT Barretts record watch – By the Numbers

Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) throws a pass in the second quarter of the 2017 Ohio State- UNLV game on Sep. 23. Ohio State won 54- 21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorLost among the quarterback controversy at Ohio State has been the extended success of quarterback J.T. Barrett. The fifth-year senior has posted up statistics that rank him among the program’s greatest in history. Here is a look at records he has broken and records he still has yet to set.22 – Ohio State records Barrett currently holds. As he prepares for the fifth game in his final season under center for Ohio State, Barrett holds 22 school records for either single-game, season or career statistics, with a chance to add some more to his resume before the end of the season. Touchdown passes? Barrett with 79 (second is Bobby Hoying with 57). Two-hundred-yard passing games? Barrett with 21, five more than Hoying. Average total offense per game? Barrett at 285 yards (Terrelle Pryor is second at 185.2). And just two weeks ago against Army, Barrett surpassed future NFL Hall-of-Famer and former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees for career touchdowns responsible for among Big Ten quarterbacks with his 107th touchdown. He has since moved to 30th on the all-time list with 112 touchdowns, and trails only Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (117) among active quarterbacks.Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) runs the ball in the first quarter of the 2017 OSU- Army game on Sep. 16. OSU won 38-7. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor22 (again) – passing touchdowns until Barrett holds the Big Ten record. Brees’ record for most career passing touchdowns could be within Barrett’s reach this season. In his four seasons at Purdue, Brees completed 90 touchdown passes. With just 22 fewer than Brees, Barrett could set the record if he averages even just three touchdown passes per game over the remaining eight games in the schedule, plus any more he throws during postseason bowl games.Barrett already leads Ohio State quarterbacks by miles in this area, having thrown 79 over his career, 22 more than Pryor.201 – passing yards left until Barrett owns the program record. Heading into Saturday’s game against Rutgers, Barrett sits just 201 passing yards away from surpassing Art Schlichter for the most career passing yards at 7,547. He is also just three rushing touchdowns shy of passing Schlichter for the most by an Ohio State quarterback, with the record currently set at 35.In terms of the Big Ten quarterback records for passing yards, Barrett still has a ways to go and is unlikely to break that record. With 7,347 career passing yards, Barrett would need 4,445 this season to surpass Drew Brees’ record. The Buckeyes’ three-time captain has yet to post a season with more than 3,000 passing yards.588* – rushing yards left until Barrett holds the record for most rush yards by an Ohio State quarterback. As a dual-threat quarterback, Barrett has provided the Buckeyes with offense not just with his arm, but also with his legs. Over his career, Barrett has piled up 2,639 rushing yards on 534 total attempts. The only quarterback still ahead of Barrett in terms of rushing yards is Braxton Miller, who totalled 3,053 rushing yards in his time spent as a quarterback.The asterisk by this statistic is just to indicate that Miller rushed for 261 yards his final season in Columbus as an H-back and were not accounted into his total of 3053.Ohio State redshirt senior J.T. Barrett (16) runs the ball in the second quarter of the 2017 Ohio State- UNLV game on Sep. 23. Ohio State won 54- 21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor1.3 – passing efficiency shy of setting Ohio State and Big Ten record. Rate statistics and other non-counting numbers are much more challenging to predict than counting stats. Barrett currently owns a career passing efficiency of 149.8, trailing both the Big Ten and Ohio State record holder Joe Germaine, who sits at 151.0 (minimum of 700 attempts).Over his career, Barrett has only once posted a passer rating of more than 151, and it came in his first season of play. So far this season, he has a rating of 156.8 and has exceeded that 151 mark in all but one of the four games he’s played in so far. It has been an incredibly high passing efficiency mark this season and maintaining this rate could be challenging. But if the three-time captain is able to maintain this rate all season long, he should be able to exceed Germaine.3 – 300-yard passing games shy of setting the Ohio State record. Following up on another record held by Germaine, Barrett has a total of six games in which he has passed for more than 300 yards. Four of Barrett’s 300-plus passing yard games came in his redshirt freshman season. The only other two 300-yard games have come in the season opener last season against Bowling Green and then again in the opener this season against Indiana.For a team that has relied heavily on its running game over the past several seasons, Ohio State might not give Barrett the chance to reach that milestone. Though Barrett has half of his 300-plus yard games against conference opponents, two of those three came in his redshirt freshman season when he was far more invested in the passing game. Three more games is hardly a lofty total to reach, but recent history suggests it could be a challenge for Barrett to set the record. read more

Wrestling Ohio State opens season with 289 win over Navy

Ohio State’s Myles Martin wrestles Mitch Bowman in the dual-meet against Iowa on Jan. 21 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignIn the first match following the losses of some of the greatest wrestlers to ever come through the program, Kyle Snyder, Nathan Tomasello and Bo Jordan, Ohio State opened the season with a dominant victory over Navy on Saturday. Senior Myles Martin said at media day earlier this week he’s never felt better headed into a season before, and he is looking forward to “literally every single match.” The 184-pounder looked like he meant every word when it was his turn to take the mats, as he was able to get 10 different takedowns and get a technical fall midway through the second period, winning 21-6.Ohio State 157-pound redshirt junior Ke-Shawn Hayes, got things started  with a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over Navy’s Connor Prince. Heading into the third period, Hayes elected to start from the bottom position and, in doing so, was able to get a quick escape. He was then able to trip Prince, before getting a takedown and winning the match. Redshirt freshman Kaleb Romero made his Buckeye debut and, like his teammate Hayes, was able to make magic happen in the third. Romero was able to shoot for a double-leg takedown with just eight seconds left to win 3-2 .Senior Te’Shan Campbell used his signature tilt two different times in his match, notching six points, hanging on to a smaller 8-5 lead for a decisive victory.  Redshirt sophomore Kevin Snyder was the first Buckeye unable to pull off the victory on Saturday. After a 1-0 start for Navy’s Joshua Roetman, who did a great job of defending Snyder’s takedowns, he was able to catch Snyder in a cradle to cap off the fall at 3:39 for the win.Navy got its second victory of the night in the 125-pound weight class when Jacob Allen defeated Ohio State sophomore Brakan Mead in a decision victory, 5-4. This drew Navy closer, with the total score now 17-9. Ohio State 133-pound junior Luke Pletcher of the Buckeyes started to build off his 2017-18 campaign, grinding out a 7-4 decision to bring Ohio State up 20-9. Ohio State senior and captain Joey McKenna was able to battle hard for a low-scoring 3-2 victory over Navy’s Nicholas Gil. McKenna rode him out for the entirety of the third and final period to achieve a riding point, and receive a 3-2 nod. Ohio State increased their total lead to 23-9 with one match remaining. To wrap the dual up, it was the No. 2 wrestler in the country at 149 pounds, Micah Jordan, battling No. 19, Navy’s Jared Prince. This bout was entirely one-sided, as Jordan came  up with a 16-1 tech fall for the victory. Ohio State’s next match will be on Nov. 11 in the Ohio Intercollegiate Open in Cleveland, Ohio. read more

Football Dwayne Haskins breaks Ohio State singleseason passing yards record

Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) looks to throw a pass in the first quarter of the game against Maryland on Nov. 17. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorCOLLEGE Park, Md. — Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins broke former Ohio State quarterback Joe Germaine’s record for most passing yards in a single season in school history in the second quarter against Maryland on Saturday. Haskins completed a 68-yard touchdown pass to redshirt senior Terry McLaurin to break the record set by Germaine in 1998 with 3,330 passing yards. The redshirt sophomore quarterback also set the record for single-game passing yards against Purdue on Oct. 20, throwing for 470 passing yards against the Boilermakers. He is also only one of two quarterbacks in Ohio State history, along with quarterback Art Schlichter, to throw for more than 400 yards in a single game. Haskins also broke the record for most completions (49) and pass attempts (73) in Ohio State’s loss to the Boilermakers. Haskins also tied former Ohio State quarterbacks J.T. Barrett and Kenny Guiton throwing the most touchdowns in a single game with six against Indiana on Oct. 6. Haskins has the opportunity to break Barrett’s record for most passing touchdowns in a single season. The redshirt sophomore quarterback needs two more touchdown passes to pass Barrett’s 35. read more

Towns Current Bidding Contract Opportunities

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Town’s Purchasing Department currently has the following bidding and contract opportunities available:Request For Proposals/QualificationsNoneInvitations To BidLighting Replacement for Woburn Street and Shawsheen Street School — Deadline: Thursday, August 2, 2018, 11amSingle Point Video Detection (SPVD) Traffic Signal Camera System — Deadline: Thursday, August 16, 2018, 10amAll interested parties must first complete the town’s Bid Registration Form.Visit the Town’s Purchasing Department website for additional information. Contact Wendy Martiniello at wmartiniello[at]wilmingtonma.gov with questions.Like 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… RelatedTown’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”last_img read more

300 BNP men sued in Khulna Sylhet

first_imgAround 300 leaders and activists of BNP, including its Khulna unit chief, were sued in two districts in connection with violence following the verdict that sentenced party chairperson Khaleda Zia in a graft case, reports UNB.Police filed two cases there on allegations of violence and obstructing police from discharging their duties and vandalism.In Sylhet, at least 197 leaders and activists of BNP were sued on charge of violence during a demonstration protesting at the imprisonment of party chairperson Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.Sub-inspector Anup Chowdhury on Friday filed the case with Kotwali model police station against 197 people, naming 47 people, said Gausul Hossain, officer-in-charge of the police station.Earlier on Thursday, a group of BNP men locked into clash with leaders-activists of Awami League and police when they faced obstruction to bring out a procession in the Sylhet court area, leaving 10 people injured.During the clash, several vehicles, including a pickup van of police were vandalised.In Khulna, around 100 leaders and activists of BNP, including its city unit president Nazrul Islam Manju, were sued on charge of acts of sabotage.However, some 11 people, including city BNP senior vice-president Saharuzzaman Mortaza, who were detained on Thursday, were shown arrested in the case.Sub-inspector Sujit Mistri of sadar police station filed the case naming 28 BNP leaders, including its city unit president Nazrul Islam Manju on allegation of obstructing police from discharging their duties and vandalism, said Mizanur Rahman, officer-in-charge of the police station.Besides, Khulna police in separate drives arrested 33 people, including five leaders and activists of BNP from different areas of the city between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.The arrested persons were produced before the court and it sent them to jail, said Mizanur Rahman, OC of sadar solice station.last_img read more

Search continues as Hurricane Michael toll hits 16

first_imgView of the damaged caused by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida, on 12 October 2018. Photo: AFPThe death toll from Hurricane Michael rose to at least 16 on Friday amid fears it would continue to climb as search-and-rescue teams scour the debris of the Florida town that bore the brunt of the monster storm.”Mexico Beach is devastated,” Florida governor Rick Scott said of the town where Michael made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday.”It’s like a bomb went off,” Scott said as he toured the town of 1,000 people on the Gulf of Mexico. “It’s like a war zone.”Rescue teams were using sniffer dogs in Mexico Beach on Friday in a search for victims who may be buried under the rubble in the debris-strewn community.Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), warned that he expected the number of deaths to rise.”I hope we don’t see it climb dramatically but I have reasons to believe we still haven’t got into some of the hardest hit areas,” he said.”What’s happening is search and rescue is trying to get into the rubble to make sure that there’s nobody covered up, trying to assess if there’s additional casualties there,” Long added.Dozens of structures in Mexico Beach — homes, shops and restaurants — were lifted off their foundations by storm surge and 155-mile per hour (250 kph) winds and moved hundreds of feet inland or smashed to bits.”Very few people live to tell what it’s like to experience storm surge,” Long said. “Storm surge causes the most amount of loss of life.”SticksMembers of City Miami Fire Rescue look for victims in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida, on 12 October 2018. Photo: AFPState officials said Mexico Beach was under mandatory evacuation orders but some residents decided to stay and try to ride out the storm.”You hope that somehow at the last minute a bunch of people got up and left or went somewhere else,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio told CNN.But judging from the number of homes reduced to “sticks,” he said “my sense is they are going to find more victims.”Bob Tenbrunson, a Mexico Beach retiree, rode out the storm at his daughter’s house in nearby Panama City and returned to survey the damage to his home.”I was going to stay here until it turned to a Cat 4,” he said. “So I followed the mandatory evacuation order and left with my wife.”Luckily we did not get a surge,” Tenbrunson said of his home. “I’ve got two trees on the roof and a couple of holes on the roof. I have been trying to patch it up the best I can.”The rest of Mexico Beach did not fare as well, and most of the beachfront homes, restaurants and stores were obliterated by the storm.”I spent my life savings and retirement to stay here so I can’t sell it now,” Tenbrunson said. “I just have to be hopeful that (the town) will be rebuilt and fixed.”Some residents arrived Friday with vans or moving trucks, hoping to recover as many personal effects from their splintered homes as they could.Others came with nothing — as there was nothing left to save.At least four deaths from the storm have been confirmed in Florida, five in Virginia, one in Georgia and three in North Carolina.US media on Friday quoted authorities in Jackson County, Florida, as reporting three deaths there, bringing Michael’s toll to at least 16.The latest two deaths in North Carolina occurred in McDowell County when a car struck a tree that had fallen across a road, officials said.Hundreds of thousands of people remain without electricity in Florida, Georgia and Virginia, and officials say it could be weeks before power is fully restored.Trump to visitA US flag is seen next to a fire department station damaged by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida on 12 October 2018. Photo: AFPPresident Donald Trump said he planned to visit Florida and Georgia.”People have no idea how hard Hurricane Michael has hit the great state of Georgia,” Trump tweeted. “I will be visiting both Florida and Georgia early next week. We are working very hard on every area and every state that was hit — and we are with you!”Michael was the most intense hurricane to strike the Florida Panhandle since record keeping began in 1851.Many of the damaged Florida buildings were not built to withstand a storm above the strength of a Category 3 hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale.About 5,000 US servicemen were deployed to help with relief and recovery efforts, the Pentagon said, using 100 helicopters and 1,800 high-water vehicles.Tyndall Air Force Base, home to the F-22 stealth fighter, suffered extensive damage, according to aerial photos of the coastal facility.The base was evacuated ahead of the hurricane and the costly fighter planes were flown to other installations out of the path of the storm.last_img read more

Study shows subway systems develop in remarkably similar ways

first_imgA sample of large subway networks in large urban areas, all displaying a core and branches structure. Fromleft to right and top to bottom: Shanghai, Madrid, Moscow, Tokyo, Seoul, Barcelona (Figures from Wikimedia Commons) Journal information: Journal of the Royal Society Interface Subway dust may trigger lung damage This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The team focused on the fourteen largest cities and their subway systems and found that mathematical equations could describe some of their attributes regardless of how long the subway systems have been in existence. They found for example, that about half of all the stations in any large subway system can be found on the outer branches rather than clustered around the core. They also found that the distance from the center of the city to its farthest station is just about double the diameter of the system’s core; again, regardless of system. And that’s not all. They also found that the number of branches in a subway system is roughly equal to the square root of the number of stations and that twenty percent of stations situated in the core link two or more lines together allowing people to transfer from one to the other.The researchers point out that none of this is planned, at least not in systematic way. City planners, they say, start out with a design that seems optimal for existing conditions then expand when needed. Thus, the systems grow organically in ways that reflect rider needs, which the researchers suggest means that there is likely some underlying fundamental rules that govern ridership and decision-making that is common to all subway systems, regardless of country, geography, climate or density, which results, they say, in a common optimal design.If the underlying rules can be described, the thinking goes, then future planners would be able to skip the intermediate steps that lead to the optimal design, likely saving hundreds of millions of dollars in the process, or perhaps better yet, small adjustments might be made to further optimize the general model which could benefit all such systems throughout the world. Citation: Study shows subway systems develop in remarkably similar ways (2012, May 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-subway-remarkably-similar-ways.htmlcenter_img Explore further © 2012 Phys.Org More information: A long-time limit for world subway networks, J. R. Soc. Interface, Published online before print May 16, 2012, doi: 10.1098/​rsif.2012.0259 (arXiv pre-print arxiv.org/abs/1105.5294 )AbstractWe study the temporal evolution of the structure of the world’s largest subway networks in an exploratory manner. We show that, remarkably, all these networks converge to a shape that shares similar generic features despite their geographical and economic differences. This limiting shape is made of a core with branches radiating from it. For most of these networks, the average degree of a node (station) within the core has a value of order 2.5 and the proportion of k = 2 nodes in the core is larger than 60 per cent. The number of branches scales roughly as the square root of the number of stations, the current proportion of branches represents about half of the total number of stations, and the average diameter of branches is about twice the average radial extension of the core. Spatial measures such as the number of stations at a given distance to the barycentre display a first regime which grows as r2 followed by another regime with different exponents, and eventually saturates. These results—difficult to interpret in the framework of fractal geometry—confirm and yield a natural explanation in the geometric picture of this core and their branches: the first regime corresponds to a uniform core, while the second regime is controlled by the interstation spacing on branches. The apparent convergence towards a unique network shape in the temporal limit suggests the existence of dominant, universal mechanisms governing the evolution of these structures. (Phys.org) — Visitors to major cities in the world might disagree, but a small group of French and British researchers has found that regardless of city density, structure and other factors, subway systems running in the biggest cites in the world are more alike than not in truly fundamental ways. In their paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the team says that all of the large city subway systems in the world grow in a way that share common features – such as the fact that they all have central cores with a branch topology.last_img read more

The Imperial boutique gets a makeover

first_imgLuxury shopping finds a new pinnacle at The Imperial Boutique. Brimming with homegrown accessories, apparels, coasters, antiques, oils and more – it is now a one-stop shop for the discerning guests at The Imperial, urging them to take home a slice of India while they stay or visit us.Infused with new vibrancy, the boutique has now on display The Imperial memorabilia featuring cushion covers of the restaurants, aprons, pouches, leather and linen handbags, jewellery box and card holders designed by a renowned French designer Cecile Olivieri. The memorabilia is put together to bring forth the momentous elements and the iconic history, the hotel is known for. One can also explore the culture and traditions of India with the premium range of apparels, accessories, collectibles, and coasters from a celebrated Indian designer brandVayu. This goes very well with the essence of The Imperial reflecting India’s golden heritage from the days of the Raj. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSufi, the signature spa oils are also available showing the brand’s commitment to people’s complete wellness. It includes vital ingredients drawn from Ayurvedic knowledge of plants resins and roots that treat the body holistically. They are developed to support our spa therapies and as 75% of all spa treatments are massage based it is essential to use superior quality massage oils that enrich the overall spa experience and offer something exclusive. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe boutique would be showcasing now a hand-picked range of pashmina and cotton shawls, procured originally from Kashmir. Feng shui items like brass and gem-studded Ganesha, sleeping, and blessing Buddha adds to its wide range of luxury products. Prompting the tradition of tea, there is an Indian Splendour range of natural and home-grown teas.”Indian splendor ” has a collection of Indian teas of the highest Indian and international standards, to compete with the very best in the super premium category, worldwide. The collection has a spectrum of eight, 100% pure and natural, high grade, teas from all the major tea growing regions of India. This is turn adds to the Indian-ness which the brand stands for. Vijay Wanchoo, Senior EVP and GM, The Imperial, New Delhi, says, “At The Imperial Boutique, our initiative is to bring forth not only tailored range of products but to present traditions, culture, and ethos of India like no other. We have therefore revived it with some unique Indian brands complementing the range with our signature spa oils, to enhance shopping with us. The Imperial has been known for a distinguished legacy so we have optimized and worked towards creating a value add for both our leisure and corporate travelers through our products. The brands understand global and local cultures and use that deep understanding to enrich the lives of our guests.”last_img read more