Secret Briefing Helped Sway H5N1 Flu Papers Decision

first_imgReassured. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said the United States appeared to be moving in the right direction on regulating dual-use biological research. U.S. Senate A classified briefing from U.S. intelligence officials helped persuade a majority of members of a government advisory board that the benefits of publishing two controversial H5N1 avian influenza studies outweighed the risks, according to testimony presented yesterday at a U.S. Senate hearing. The late March briefing to the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) left “the impression that the risk of misuse did not appreciably increase with full publication and there is a high likelihood of undesirable political consequences to not publishing,” microbiologist Paul Keim of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, acting chair of NSABB, told the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Keim’s comments, and discussion of other previously unknown details about NSABB’s deliberations, came at a hearing examining how the U.S. government should handle “dual-use” biological research that could be used for both good and evil. The hearing was prompted, in large part, by the H5N1 controversy, said Senator Joseph Liebermann (I-CT), the chair of the panel. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Four witnesses, including Keim and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), discussed the NSABB decision and new U.S. government rules designed to identify taxpayer-funded dual-use research of concern (DURC) before it begins. They also responded to criticism of the NSABB process by one of the panel’s members, Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in a letter first obtained by ScienceInsider. Among the hearing’s highlights: Fauci and Daniel M. Gerstein, the deputy under secretary for science and technology at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), provided details on how many studies their DURC screening programs had flagged. At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Fauci said reviews had initially identified 404 intramural research projects and 147 manuscripts that might be DURC, but none proved problematic. The reviews also flagged 381 extramural grants or contracts, of which 10 are now being further reviewed for their DURC implications. Seven of these projects involve influenza viruses, he said. The three remaining studies involve anthrax, plague, and botulism agents (one each). At DHS, Gerstein said reviewers look over about 225 projects annually for DURC. Just 12 to 15 “perhaps could have some issues with perception” that they are DURC, he said, and five to 10 fall into the “highest category” that requires greater scrutiny. Microbiologist Keim provided new details about NSABB’s deliberations over the two flu papers. He revealed that late last year, the board split over how much detail to redact from one of the studies, led by Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus MC in The Netherlands, but unanimously agreed that it should not be published. (In March, the board recommended, also on a split vote, to publish a revised version of the paper.) Keim also discussed the classified briefing, which Osterholm has charged was “incomplete” and “useless.” Keim said board members went into the briefing “as scientists and pretty much took … on faith that what we were hearing in the assessments of the risks and political consequences were facts. … That was an environment where the board is perhaps a little bit naïve. We don’t have the capability to look behind these assessments … and we were only able to ask so many questions.” But the briefers were “quite confident,” he said, “and that briefing in fact suggested to us that the risks [of publishing the two papers] were quite minimal and that the political consequences were great. And I think that had a great effect upon the board.” Keim said he generally agreed with some the complaints Osterholm made in his letter about the NSABB process, and viewed it as “a very constructive type of a communication.” But “it was unfortunate that it was leaked and it became part of the public dialog. It makes it harder to have a constructive and proactive type of conversation.” Keim was not persuaded of Osterholm’s charge that “biased” expert testimony to NSABB made much of a difference, however. “One point that he makes in the letter is that there was in fact a bias in the witness list. I think that is true. The primary witnesses that we brought in … were in fact the investigators themselves. They are inherently biased. They wanted their work published.” But “I don’t think this is of great concern,” Keim added. “We are scientists on this board, … and we can be very critical. … And so the biases that were inherent in those types of witnesses I think was not a problem for us. … We were able to ask very tough questions.” The March meeting “was never set up as point counterpoint,” he added. Fauci said, “I disagree with many of the things” in Osterholm’s letter, and that NIH has “responded on a point-by-point basis to everything” in it. “There were several things in there that I have to say quite frankly, Mr. Chairman, that I disagree with,” he told Lieberman. “One of which was the concern about the security briefing. I have a great deal of trust in the director of national intelligence to tell us what we need to know.” On the issue of the witnesses, Fauci also said, “We did not get any indication from Dr. Osterholm of people he wanted to see there that weren’t there.” The hearing was generally mild in tone, and was attended by just two senators-Lieberman and Susan Collins (R-ME); Collins left early to attend to other business. Near the end of the hearing, Lieberman said, “I’ve learned a lot from the testimony today, and overall I am reassured by the government policies that have been put in effect and the decision making process that we have.”last_img read more

Need an energy boost? This enzyme may help

first_imgWhether you’re entering the home stretch of a marathon or trying to lug your groceries up that last flight of stairs, you push and push, and just when you think you can’t push any more, your body summons a bit of extra energy to get you through. Where does it come from? An enzyme in our mitochondria that helps tap energy reserves from these cellular powerhouses, according to a new study. Certain dietary supplements could, in theory, help some people access this extra power, but researchers caution the new work doesn’t prove that.The enzyme in question, carnitine acetyltransferase (CrAT), dwells inside mitochondria. Its job is to convert a key metabolic molecule into a different compound called acetylcarnitine. But CrAT is ambivalent, and it can also orchestrate the opposite reaction, breaking up acetylcarnitine.To delve deeper into CrAT’s role in energy production, metabolic physiologist Deborah Muoio of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues tested the stamina of two groups of mice by letting them run on a rodent-sized treadmill. One group of animals lacked CrAT in their muscles; the other produced normal amounts of the enzyme. The researchers then forced the mice to work harder by speeding up the treadmill. Whether the treadmill accelerated gradually or abruptly, the mice without muscular CrAT faltered first. They could only run about 70% as far as the control mice before they were exhausted.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Those treadmill results suggest, the researchers conclude, that when muscles run low on gas, they turn to acetylcarnitine to release metabolic raw materials they need for energy-producing reactions. The researchers wanted to determine if boosting acetylcarnitine levels could spur this process and improve the animals’ performance. Muoio and colleagues first tried the experiment on leg muscles removed from the mice and stimulated to contract until their force production fell by half—a way of measuring fatigue. Adding the compound to muscles from the legs of control mice delayed when the tissue began to demonstrate fatigue by 50%. In contrast, acetylcarnitine had no effect on muscles from mice that were missing CrAT.Then the researchers moved back to working with whole animals, adding one of acetylcarnitine’s chemical relatives to the water provided to the same two groups of mice. After 4 weeks of lapping this mixture, control animals could run 27% farther than they could before the experiment began. But mice that lacked CrAT in their muscles showed no improvement in endurance, the researchers report online today in Cell Metabolism.Muoio and colleagues also investigated whether the same mechanism operates in people. In a simple procedure that requires only a local anesthetic, they took samples of muscle from athletes who had been training and from ordinary folks of the same ages. They found that the athletes carried more CrAT in their muscle tissue.The results suggest that acetylcarnitine and CrAT offer an option for tiring muscles, the researchers say. “One way to think about it is that it provides a reserve fuel tank,” Muoio says. “We think it functions when there’s a sudden change in energy demand.”The study “does contribute to our understanding of the role of this enzyme and the role of acetylcarnitine availability,” says physiologist Mark Hargreaves of the University of Melbourne in Australia, who wasn’t connected to the study. However, molecular biologist Tim Constantin-Teodosiu of the University of Nottingham Medical School in the United Kingdom says years of research show that the study’s authors have the situation backward. Instead of releasing a key metabolic molecule during energy shortages, acetylcarnitine stashes the molecule so that it doesn’t interfere with power-producing reactions. “We don’t believe that acetylcarnitine is a regulator [of muscle metabolism] or that carnitine acetyltransferase is a regulator.”Acetylcarnitine and the related compound carnitine are widely used dietary supplements. Although researchers have tested both compounds in other experiments with mice and humans, they haven’t established that either improves muscle endurance. “I’m not implying that everyone should be taking carnitine supplements,” Muoio cautions. However, she notes, they could benefit some people whose levels of carnitine or CrAT have declined, such as older folks and individuals who are obese or have diabetes.last_img read more

Italy revamp with Armenia

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Italy can complete a perfect qualifying record for Euro 2020 when hosting Armenia tomorrow, but Roberto Mancini plans changes. It kicks off at the Stadio Barbera in Palermo on Monday at 19.45 GMT. The Azzurri already set a new all-time record of 10 consecutive victories and can end Group J with 10 wins out of 10. Following Friday’s 3-0 victory in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mancini is expected to ring the changes, resting the likes of Alessandro Florenzi, Emerson Palmieri, Sandro Tonali, Nicolò Barella, Federico Bernardeschi and Andrea Belotti. Salvatore Sirigu is more likely than Alex Meret, who would be a debutant, to start in goal rather than Gianluigi Donnarumma. Napoli’s Giovanni Di Lorenzo can receive his second cap, after starting against Liechtenstein last month, with Alessio Romagnoli and Cristiano Biraghi stepping in. Fiorentina midfielder Gaetano Castrovilli made his debut as a substitute in Bosnia and could get his first start, with Nicolò Zaniolo flanking the ever-present Jorginho. Federico Chiesa and Ciro Immobile can step into the trident attack, with Stephan El Shaarawy probably coming in for Lorenzo Insigne. Italy (probable): Sirigu; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Romagnoli, Biraghi; Castrovilli, Jorginho, Zaniolo; Chiesa, Immobile, El Shaarawylast_img read more

MS Dhoni to launch cricket academy in Jharkhand

first_imgIndia’s most successful captain MS Dhoni is all set to realise his dream of setting up a cricket academy in his home state Jharkhand. Dhoni’s academy will have kids learning the tricks of the game from August 15, 2015. Captain Cool’s Arca Foundation Trust has signed an agreement with Delhi Public School, Bokaro, which allows the academy to function from the school. Apart from Dhoni, several other former cricketers are expected to be part of the academy’s coaching staff. Students from the school expressed their joy and said the cricket academy will help them realise their dreams.The cricketer from Ranchi initially had plans to open his cricket academy in his hometown or in Dhanbad, but eventually zeroed in on Bokaro. Plans are afoot to set up many such academies  across the state. Dhoni not only put his city on the cricketing map, but has also been an inspiration for youngsters of Jharkhand. More than six dozen cricket academies have cropped up in the state in the recent past.Dhoni’s academy, apart from training children, will also be directed at imparting leadership skills.Off-duty Dhoni has been working hard to promote sports in the state. He recently met the Chief Minister of Jharkhand Raghubar Das and discussed the problem of malnutrition in the state.Dhoni to own IPL team?Meanwhile, the cricket fraternity is rife with speculations about MS Dhoni taking over the suspended IPL team, Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Sources said he might own a team based from his hometown- Ranchi – instead of CSK.  advertisementNevertheless the man from Ranchi is not new to sports management as he is part of an ISL team (Chennaiyin FC), Ranchi team in Hero Hockey India League (HIL) and FIM Supersport World Championship team (Mahi Racing team India).last_img read more

The #ChangeAgents: How Has Social Changed Your Business? [VIDEO]

first_imgThis is Part III of a week-long video series about how senior marketers are approaching the shifting consumer landscape.Social media has revolutionized the way in which brands interact with consumers and the speed at which they must process and respond to engagement. Moreover, by empowering consumers to become “co-creators” with brands, marketers today have an unprecedented opportunity to develop deeper relationships through cross-platform storytelling.Tomorrow, we’ll share Part IV of our series, focusing on the question: ‘How Has Mobile Changed Your Business?’ Join the conversation in the comments below or on Twitter by using the #ChangeAgents hashtag.Cover photo via Saratogalast_img read more

Ad Age Touts Clinique’s ‘Fresh Start’

first_img360i client Clinique recently launched its first-ever global equity campaign, called #StartBetter. The program highlights the truism that everyone can and deserves to start better – even if it’s in the form of a small feat such as a positive outlook on a new day.Yesterday, Ad Age explored the roots of #StartBetter (See: “Clinique Sees Hope in a Fresh Start”), noting how the brand strategy marks a step away from the “tried-and-true marketing playbook” and contemporizes Clinique to align more closely with culture. The message is all about empowerment, new beginnings and having the audacity to take charge and make a change.Some highlights from the article are below.Consumer insights led to the development of the creative work. As Agnes Landau, Senior VP-Global Marketing at Clinique notes, this campaign does not reflect an aggrandized depiction of product. Instead it taps into broader cultural storylines that are influencing the brand’s consumers in their day-to-day lives.#StartBetter is resonating with its audience. The campaign video has tallied up 1.4M views to date, making it one of the top 100 beauty brand videos of all-time.Upcoming integrated efforts from Clinique will build on #StartBetter’s digital-first foundation. These will include in-store display and event tie-ins focused on women starting new jobs, relationships or healthier habits.Read the full story in Ad Age.last_img read more

Super Affordable Halloween Costumes

first_imgDressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person.But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to reuse the costume, it’s an expense you’ll pay every year.Unless you get creative. Some of the best costumes don’t require much more than what you already have in your closet.Stumped on what to wear? Read below for our picks on the most affordable Halloween costumes that won’t give your budget a fright.Gomez and Morticia AddamsThis costume is an easy one for women who have naturally dark hair. All you need is a long black dress or a long-sleeved black shirt with a maxi black skirt. Add red lipstick and a spooky smile and you’ll be good to go.For men, you just need to wear a dark suit, preferably pin-striped. If you don’t have a thin mustache, draw one in with an eye pencil.Wednesday Addams is another easy costume. You just need to wear a white collared shirt under a black sweater with a black skirt. If you have enough people, you can make this a group costume.Flapper from the 20sUsing what clothes you have in your closet is the best way to find an affordable Halloween costume. If you have a dress with fringe, sequins or lots of beading, all you need to add is a twenties headband to look like a flapper.You can decide to be a generic flapper or a specific fictional character from “The Great Gatsby.” Look up makeup tutorials for that era to set the mood, and you’ll be perfect.Rosie the RiveterThis costume is a classic for a few reasons. Not only does Rosie represent a pivotal time for women, but she’s also got an easy outfit to replicate.All you need is a pair of jeans, a chambray or denim shirt and a red bandana. Red lipstick will complete the outfit.LumberjackThe male lumberjack character is one of the simplest and most affordable to replicate. All you need is a pair of regular jeans, a plaid shirt and a pair of boots. Some men might have this already in their closets. If you don’t, visit your nearby thrift store to see what they have in stock.If you’re capable of growing a mustache or already have one, you can go as Ron Swanson from “Parks and Rec” instead of a generic lumberjack.Characters from “Bob’s Burgers”The Belcher family makes great burgers – and affordable Halloween costumes. The most you need to buy is a plain apron, a pair of pink bunny ears and a couple of fake eyeglasses.This works as a frugal group costume or you can be a singular member of the Belcher family.Eleven and the Gang from “Stranger Things”The kids from “Stranger Things” have costumes that are also affordable and easy to find in a Goodwill. For the Eleven outfit, you just need a light pink dress, a waffle and a blonde wig. The boys can just wear a mixture of 80s-inspired clothes.This is a great group costume because you can probably find most of the required clothes and accessories in your closet. Anything you don’t have can be found at a thrift store or by raiding someone else’s closet.Party AnimalThis punny costume is a cinch for women who have animal print clothes in their closet. First, put on all your cheetah, leopard or zebra-print clothes. Next, buy a party hat at the dollar store. Bam, you’re a party animal.If you’re a man, you can look for an animal print cloth at an arts and crafts store and wear that instead. It’s a fun idea that won’t cost more than $5 worth of fabric.Lara Croft from “Tomb Raider”This costume is a classic for women who love the adventure-loving Lara Croft. This outfit is a cinch whether you’re dressing as the Angelina Jolie or Alicia Vikander character.You can wear a black or dark green tank top and black shorts or dark pants. Accessorize with a fake knife, and you’ll be set.Agent from “Men in Black”This works as both an individual outfit or a couple’s costume. All you need is a black suit with a white shirt and a pair of sunglasses. Hold a black or silver pen as your memory eraser.If you’re having trouble finding a cheap black suit at the thrift store, ask a friend if you can borrow theirs.Maverick from “Top Gun”Tom Cruise’s character in this 80s action flick is a classic because of his skill and cavalier attitude. But it’s also an easy costume.Many thrift stores carry olive green workman jumpsuits. Then all you need is a pair of aviator sunglasses and a disregard for the rules. Want to make it a group costume? Find a matching jumpsuit and have your friend dress up as Maverick’s wingman, Goose.The Cast from “Reservoir Dogs”If you’re a Tarantino fan, you’ve probably dreamed of dressing up as one of his characters. Fortunately, the criminal crew from “Reservoir Dogs” is an easy group costume to pull off. You just need to wear a plain black suit, white shirt and black sunglasses.Though you can do this costume on your own, it works best if you have at least a few people dressed up with you.How to Find an Affordable Costume in Your ClosetThe most affordable Halloween costumes are the ones where you don’t have to buy anything. Go through your closet and see what you can create with what you have.Ladies with a little black dress can top it with a string of pearls for a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” look. Men who have a denim shirt and cargo shorts can dress up as Dr. Alan Grant from “Jurassic Park.”Go through what you have and see what ideas it sparks. If you’re stuck, have a friend over and do it together. If you put your heads together, you may come up with an idea that works for both of you.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedSpooktacular Ways to Save on an Epic Halloween PartyOctober 21, 2019In “How To”10 Ways to Save Money on Halloween DecorationsOctober 30, 2018In “Budgeting”Moving Abroad: What You Need To Know About The Actual CostAugust 8, 2019In “Travel Tips” Post navigationlast_img read more

Congo Basin Deforestation Threatens Food and Water Supplies Throughout Africa

first_imgSince famine ravaged Ethiopia in the 1980s, the country has consistently received humanitarian aid from foreign governments and NGOs. Now, it’s the world’s fastest-growing economy, attracting international investors and developers keen on boosting the country’s GDP. But those interested in Ethiopia’s future prosperity should also be looking further afield: to the Congo Basin rainforest.Stretching across Central Africa, the Congo Basin is home to 80 million people who depend on it for everything from food to charcoal to medicinal plants. But they aren’t the only ones; the world’s second-largest rainforest also plays a role in regulating rainfall patterns across other parts of the continent. Its continued disappearance could exacerbate insecurity of freshwater and food supplies for some of Africa’s most vulnerable populations.Villagers like these in the Republic of Congo rely on Congo Basin forests for food and livelihoods. Photo by Molly Bergen/WRI WRI in AfricaWRI’s work in Africa aims to tackle environmental challenges including forest loss, water risk, food insecurity and livelihoods through a range of integrated approaches, such as:Helping Central African governments better manage and monitor lands through tools like the Forest Atlases, which overlay land-use allocation maps with near real-time tree cover loss data to reveal what’s going on in these often-difficult-to-access forests;Modeling scenarios of climate change impacts and what it may mean for freshwater availability in Ethiopia, in cooperation with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy;Collaborating with partners through The Food and Land Use Coalition to set a vision for how Ethiopia can sustainably feed a projected 140 million people by 2050; andSupporting the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), a country-led effort where 28 countries have so far committed to restore 113 million hectares of degraded land across the continent.Partnering with six cities – Accra, Ghana; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Antananarivo, Madagascar; Johannesburg, South Africa; Kigali, Rwanda; and Nairobi, Kenya – through the global Cities4Forests initiative. WRI provides technical assistance to these cities to better conserve, manage and restore trees and forests and tap the substantial benefits they provide for water supply, climate regulation, livelihoods and more.While current research has provided a glimpse at the role of Africa’s rainforests on the global hydrological cycle, most research focuses on the Amazon. For example, a recent study suggests that deforestation of 20–25% of the Amazon’s existing forests would be the tipping point beyond which the forest would cease to be a functioning rainforest ecosystem. We need further exploration of the Congo Basin forest’s impact on weather and climate throughout Africa. Studies have projected how climate change will impact the Horn of Africa under different temperature rise scenarios, but similar modelling must be conducted in the Congo Basin to determine if increased deforestation would result in a similar tipping point there.As precipitation becomes more infrequent and unpredictable across the continent, farmers and herders have already been forced to migrate within their home countries or even across borders in search of more secure livelihoods. These stressed conditions have been linked to conflicts in places such as Chad, Nigeria and Mali. More research is needed, however, on how climate change will impact the Congo Basin forest and its hydrological cycle — and vice versa.Protecting Congo Basin RainforestAs Central African countries attempt to meet growing global demand for wood, palm oil, rubber and other materials through industrial logging and large-scale agriculture, threats to these forests will only intensify. We now have an opportunity to stop the destruction of one of the world’s biggest tropical rainforests before it becomes an urgent situation. The more we understand these forests’ value, the better case we can make for their protection. The alternative is to learn more about these links the hard way — when much of this forest has been destroyed, and there is no choice but to live with the consequences. What Happens in the Congo Basin Doesn’t Stay in the Congo BasinDeforestation rates in the Congo Basin — historically lower than in the Amazon and southeast Asia — are on the rise, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC lost the second-largest area of tropical primary forest of any country on Earth (after Brazil) in 2018, according to data on Global Forest Watch. This loss is significant considering that its main direct driver is relatively small-scale: slash-and-burn farming that is usually done with axes, not machinery. In a recent paper, University of Maryland researchers suggested that at the current rate of tree cover loss, the DRC’s primary forests could be completely razed by 2100. This isn’t just a problem for the trees. Studies show that tropical rainforests worldwide help regulate rainfall patterns by recycling moisture through the atmosphere and keeping surface temperatures lower than in non-forested areas. The Congo Basin is a major source of rainfall in the Sahel region; research indicates that air produces twice as much rain after passing over land covered with extensive tropical vegetation.Meanwhile, nearby areas such as the Horn of Africa are becoming increasingly dry. Recent droughts in Ethiopia and Somalia have led millions to depend on emergency food and water rations. While there are numerous factors believed to have intensified these extreme weather conditions — including El Niño and climate change — deforestation within and adjacent to these countries is an important one.Continued deforestation could spur more crises. Research summarized in a recent WRI working paper shows that large-scale deforestation in any of the planet’s three major tropical forest zones (the Amazon, the Congo Basin and southeast Asia) would leave the climate on their respective continents warmer and drier.Children play in the mud after a rainstorm in Monkoto, Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Molly Bergen/WRIcenter_img We Need More Research to Understand the Congo Basin Forests’ Importancelast_img read more

Why Twitter Is Marketing Wheat Bread (Not Cotton Candy)

first_img blogging Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Red Sox commentary Demi Moore If you’re like many serious, data-driven marketing professionals, you don’t take Twitter seriously. It seems a little too much like marketing cotton candy. Shaquile ONeal for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. What type of business value? saying about their company Our blog is not alone. Look at landing pages and healthy use of Twitter Marketing .) It’s sticky. (Who doesn’t want to know what people are and . For regular producers of quality, interesting content, Twitter is core source of traffic. calls to action lead tracking search engine optimization Steve Rubel’s traffic. Pay-Per-Click ads , Twitter can produce real business value. If this is your view of Twitter, you need to re-assess. Today. Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR , Referrals. Originally published Jul 23, 2009 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 all the time.) ? anitacanita .) P. Diddy Topics: On this blog over the last three months, Twitter was the third-most significant source of traffic, referring almost $30,000 worth of traffic. ($30,000 is what we would have had to pay to buy a similar volume of traffic from Google via It’s sweet. (What could be sweeter than non-stop ? But if you put in the time, make Twitter a part of your daily diet and engage with your network, Twitter will help keep your marketing strong. Photos: And, to some, Twitter seems low on substantive business value. ?) Of course, this type of referral traffic doesn’t happen without work. You can’t buy $30,000 worth of visitors from Twitter. You have to build a network, engage with that network, then share your quality content with that network. And even if you do that, you won’t see returns overnight. sierravalleygirl Download the free webinar It’s colorful. ( Twitter is not cotton candy — it’s wheat bread, a staple of a healthy marketing diet. Balanced with Or Fred Wilson’s , Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Are You Ready to Rumble?! “Just HubSpot It” [Episode 3]

first_img Starring: Cortenberg LoadingReadyRun Producer and Director: subscribe to our YouTube page. Want more videos? WoodyTondorf   @ rcarrigg How do you get started with YouTube, video podcasting, live streaming, or viral videos. @ Webinar: How to Use Online Video for Inbound Marketing LoadingReadyRun Tune in every Tuesday on our blog, or Kathleen_LRR What if you have so much free time on your hands (from efficient marketing, of course) that you decide to interact with your colleagues as if you were from the WWE? Graham_LRR Featured HubSpotters: (@ This video stars the folks from the popular online sketch comedy group Download the free webinar , @ , @ , @ Cast of @ ! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Be warned! The video’s sound effects are not for the faint of heart. , Jeremy Petter, Paul Saunders, Tim Sevenhuysen) Matt_LRR to learn how to use online video to grow your business with inbound marketing. Originally published Jun 15, 2010 2:00:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Episode #3: “Office Pro Wrestling”last_img read more

How to Easily Create Professional-Looking CTAs in PowerPoint [Tutorial]

first_img Presentations How to Create a CTA With a Brand Logo If you’re interested in branding your CTA or using a custom image, the steps are similar to creating a custom button. But this time, we’ll be creating an image that is clearly about your product or service by showcasing your brand logo! Here’s an example using the HubSpot logo. Step 1: Pick a Shape You should already know how to do this now, but if you forget, refer back to Step 1 in the first section of this guide. To add another visual element to your button, consider adding more than one shape to call out different points in the CTA. Below, I made a basic orange shape, and then placed a gray square on top of the bottom two-thirds of the image. You can play around with how you align shapes and colors based on the messaging you’re trying to convey. Step 2: Insert Your Logo Hopefully you have the original file for your brand’s logo. Find that file, and go to Insert –> Image in PowerPoint to place the logo. You can also just copy the file and paste it into the PowerPoint slide. If your image is not transparent, don’t panic. PowerPoint comes with a nifty transparency tool! In PowerPoint for Mac, you can find this tool at the top of your toolbar. In PowerPoint for PC, you can find it under ‘Effects.’ Simply click the tool, and then click on the white background of your image. This should automatically make your image transparent! Step 3: Overlay Text Next, add the text you want to the rest of you CTA. For this CTA, I’m going to motivate visitors to watch a demo, so I’ll clearly type that in the orange portion of the CTA. Then under the HubSpot logo, I’m going to add a quick line about what HubSpot is, so viewers know exactly what this product demo will be about. Step 4: Use Shape Effects Depending on where you’ll be placing this CTA (i.e. on a web page, on a blog post, in a sidebar, within an ebook, in an email, etc.), you may want to change the way the shape appears. In PowerPoint for Mac, you can simply go to ‘Quick Styles and Effects’ in the toolbar to change the glow, shadow, or positioning of the CTA. In PowerPoint for PC, double-click on the image, and your top navigation should change to show different effects for your CTA. Step 5: Group and Save! While I hope you found these examples and this tutorial useful, these are merely a few examples of the types of CTAs you can create. Feel free to play around in PowerPoint with the different shapes, colors, and effects and overall options available to you to create different CTAs. And don’t be afraid to test multiple variations to optimize the click-through rates of your calls-to-action.Or if you’re a HubSpot customer, as we mentioned earlier, you can just rely on HubSpot’s handy Call-to-Action Manager to design these CTAs in minutes, upload your own designs, and easily A/B test multiple variations of your CTA buttons. Imagine that! Again, even though only one part of the entire CTA says “WATCH A DEMO,” you can still upload and hyperlink the entire image. That way, no matter where visitors click, they’ll still end up in the right destination. How to Create a Specific, Offer-Related CTA Step 1: Pick a Shape For this CTA, choose a shape that would easily fit the bottom of a blog post or the desired place on your website. An offer-specific or content-specific CTA usually performs best when it’s used on content about a similar topic! For example, in this article, we’re blogging about calls-to-action. If you scroll to the very end of this post, do you notice what subject the call-to-action on this post is about? Why — it’s an offer about mastering the design and copy of calls-to-action ! For blog posts, for example, some form of a rectangular shape usually performs best. Step 2: Add the Main Image Since this post is about creating CTAs, why don’t I create a CTA for an offer about CTAs?! Find an image that portrays the offer, and then place it on the either the left or right side of your shape. Of course, you have artistic freedom at this point, so put it wherever you choose. (You could also try an A/B test with the image in different places!) Step 3: Add a Title for Your CTA Offer You’ll want a short title in bold letters telling viewers EXACTLY what the offer in your CTA is about. It should grab the viewers attention so they continue on to the next part of the CTA, discussed in step four. Step 4: Add Clarifying Information That Describes the Value of the Offer Add additional information to give the offer in your CTA some context. In other words, why exactly will the offer benefit the viewer? Why should they click on your CTA? What is your offer’s value ? Explain this clearly and concisely. Step 5: Add a Basic CTA Button (Just Like You Created in Section 1 of This Guide!) Essentially, you’ll be creating a button inside of your button! The point is, even though you’ll end up hyperlinking the entire image, viewers may not know they need to click on the CTA to get the offer. They’ll either go searching for it or leave because they didn’t know what to do. Create another box, perhaps with different colors this time so it stands out from the rest of the CTA, and add clear, actionable text inside of it so visitors know to click. Step 6: Group and Save You know what to do 🙂 (See Step 5 in section one of this guide if you’re lost.) It’s no wonder why we regularly emphasize the importance of using calls-to-action (CTAs) in marketing. CTAs are the gateways to lead generation, propelling prospects through the marketing funnel on the pathway to becoming customers. In fact, we’ve blogged about how to write CTA copy that gets people clicking , we’ve shared the sloppiest mistakes marketers make when creating CTAs , and we’ve even taught readers how to master the design of their CTAs .But among all this valuable CTA-themed content, not once have we shown you how to actually make those CTAs . Shame on us! But in reality, many marketers outsource their CTA design needs, or if their budget allows, hire a designer for their marketing team who can create these pretty buttons to promote their marketing offers. What people don’t realize is that Microsoft PowerPoint can be a great tool for a lot of your CTA design needs. You don’t need to allocate a large portion of your budget to CTA creation — you can just do it yourself! Take it from me; I am by no means any sort of designer, so heck, if I can do it, you can too!In this guide, we’ll walk you through the creation of three different calls-to-action you can easily construct in PowerPoint! ( Note: The following screenshots are taken on PowerPoint on a Mac. However, all of these features are also available on PowerPoint for PC; they’re just arranged in your top navigation rather than a toolbar.) How to Create a Basic CTA Button Step 1: Pick a Shape It sounds simple, because it is! Decide on a shape for your button, and simply create one on your slide. Step 2: Pick Branded Colors By double-clicking on the shape, options will appear to change the fill and outline colors of the shape. In PowerPoint for Mac, you can also just open the ‘Colors, Weights, and Fills’ dropdown in the toolbar. This way, you can ensure the colors align with your brand! Step 3: Add Text Simply click ‘Insert’ –> ‘Text Box,’ and then click on the shape. This will allow you to create text directly in the text box. Craft a brief message that calls on the viewer to complete the action you want them to do. Remember, to adhere to CTA best practices, use actionable words that clearly indicate what the visitor will be doing when click on your button. For example, if our visitor clicked on the button below, they’d expect to be taken to a landing page where they could register for HubSpot’s upcoming INBOUND conference . Then adjust the font size to fit the shape as you please. Step 4: Add More Shapes While you can stop at just text, you could also include other shapes in your design to emphasize that the button is a call-to-action, and to indicate action. In this case, I’ll add an arrow to the end of the text (which I aligned to the left of the shape in step three), so readers know exactly where to click to go, in this case, to register for INBOUND . Step 5: Group and Save Before you save this image, you’ll want to group the various pieces of the CTA so they stick together as one. Click on each component, and then right click –> Group . Once all the parts are grouped together, right click on the grouped image as a whole. This time, click the option to “Save as Picture.” ( NOTE : If you don’t group together each part, your image will not save with all the components of the button). Voila! Your CTA button is now created! Now all you need to do is go to your website, upload the image, and hyperlink it to the landing page you want viewers sent to. And if you’re using HubSpot, our easy-to-use Call-to-Action Manager allows you to upload CTA creative and insert them into your content. By using the HubSpot tool, you’ll also be able to see CTA performance metrics such as click-through rates and number of submissions!center_img What tools do you use to create your calls-to-action? Have any tips for folks who are just getting started? Share them in the comments! Image Credit: ericsmithrocks Originally published Aug 15, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! 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How to Monitor Social Media in Only 10 Minutes a Day [Free Ebook]

first_img Originally published Jan 8, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017  Click to Tweet:  “How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day: http://hubs.ly/y0qnJQ0 Tips via @HubSpot”  If you’re a social media manager, salesperson, customer support rep, or executive, you’ve likely experienced social media overload or exhaustion. Each and every one of these roles requires busy people to go above and beyond to respond to fans, deal with people’s problems, or dig deeper to find unique opportunities.But there’s one big problem here … social media never sleeps! And 72% of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within an hour. Unbelievable, I know. That means a single meeting during your workday could prevent you from saving a relationship with an unhappy prospect or customer.So where does a person even start with effectively monitoring all of social media? In our ebook, How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day, we share secrets for streamlining your monitoring process, no matter what your role is. Here are a few things you’ll discover:Why social media monitoring matters in every roleHow other marketers are spending time on social media, and what you can learn from themWhich tools and tactics will help you consolidate your social media informationWhat you should be monitoring on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Quora … and how oftenWe’ll show you what’s most important, how to find it, and how to respond in a timely manner. Now that’s what I call working smarter, not harder! Ready to get started? Click here to download How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day for free. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Social Media Marketing What other tips do you have for effectively monitoring social media activity?last_img read more

Chhichhore Movie Review: Sushant Singh Rajput and Shraddha Kapoor film is no 3 Idiots

first_imgWhen asked about the best days of our life, most of us go into flashback mode and think of our school and college days. The time when friends were family and midnight shenanigans and midnight cravings went hand-in-hand. Nostalgia, accompanied with envy, hits you the moment you see a group of carefree college students. Because time moves in one direction.Nitesh Tiwari, an IIT Bombay passout, taps into this nostalgia and presents us Chhichhore, to evoke our college memories. College dramas are something that the audience, no matter the generation, have always leaned on.It’s the safest bet for a successful film. Some hostel pranks, a college romance, promises to keep in touch with friends, a sports tournament, a tragedy – and you have got yourself a full-on entertainer. (And once in a lifetime, you also have a 3 Idiots. But once in a lifetime.)Director Nitesh Tiwari, back on the director’s chair after the massive blockbuster Dangal, does all of that. He is that first-bencher who would meticulously take down all notes point-by-point and vomit them back on the answer sheet sans any creativity. Chhichhore is a classic case of that very learning the formula to success by rote but not knowing how to apply it in real life syndrome.The film starts with Aniruddh and Maya’s (Sushant Singh Rajput and Shraddha Kapoor) son involved in a tragedy after failing to secure a coveted seat in India’s top engineering college, unlike his father and mother, who were rank holders. This leads to a reunion between Aniruddh and his college friends – Varun Sharma as Sexa, Tahir Raj Bhasin as Derek, Naveen Polishetty as Acid, Tushar Pandey as Mummy and Saharsh Shukla as Bevda.The gang starts telling stories of their eventful college life to the kid, who can speak clearly in the film despite the circumstances, hoping that their story can improve his condition. So we go into flashback and see the actors narrate to Aniruddh and Maya’s son, and us, tales of their lively college life.The tone of the film is as inconsistent as it can be. In one scene, you will see Sushant sobbing while talking to his son, and in the next, he is planning pranks with his friends in college. The transition is not seamless. Director Nitesh Tiwari aims to have both – past and present – tracks run parallel to each other, but it simply doesn’t work. The sudden change of the background score from melancholic tunes to upbeat music too doesn’t help the audience understand what Nitesh is trying to do with the film.College dramas like these require strong performances, with the story needing the lead actors help propel the film. But in Chhichhore, Sushant and Shraddha will leave you hanging. It’s the film’s supporting cast, a shoutout to Varun Sharma, that carries the burden of the entire film on their shoulders.Sushant’s performance as the middle-aged father is nothing less than a caricature. Even when the doctor explains to him his son’s condition, he sits there with a blank expression. He sobs, tries to wipe his tear-less eyes, but just fails to convince the audience that he is heartbroken.Shraddha, as Maya, isn’t much convincing either. The actress has one expression for every mood, and by now, we have seen too much of that one expression. Along with that, the film’s script also limits her character to being just a pretty face who is always present to cheer for her boyfriend from the stands.Varun Sharma delivers yet another remarkable performance in Chhichhore. He gets the best punchlines in the film and he delivers them in his own unique style. Naveen Polishetty and Tushar Pandey also leave an imprint with their performances.The writing isn’t all too sloppy. Some scenes will manage to you crack you up, but they are stuffed with cliches. Imagine every punchline that a college drama can have and some more. Now imagine all of them stuffed into a film. Chhichhore is that.Chhichhore delivers an important message on exam pressure, quite literally, with Sushant enunciating the message in a speech just in case you didn’t get it even after 2 hours of seeing the same. The film feels like a missed opportunity. Director Nitesh Tiwari had a subject that appealed to all generations, but he fails to create that magic that a memorable college drama should have had.Chhichhore is a one-time watch and is for those who are are still hung up on their college life. But it is no 3 Idiots. You might want to call your college buddies after the film.2.5 stars out of 5 for Chhichhore.Watch Chhichhore trailer here:ALSO READ | Sushant Singh Rajput thanks rumoured girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty for praising ChhichhoreALSO READ | Fatima Sana Shaikh reviews Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore: Such a lovely and moving filmALSO READ | Chhichhore review by Varun Dhawan: What an amazing film with a beautiful messageALSO WATCH | Sushant Singh Rajput felt cheated at engineering college because there were no girlslast_img read more

De Bruyne & Mbappe lead Euro Team of the Season

first_imgPremier League De Bruyne & Mbappe lead way in European Team of the Season so far Goal Last updated 1 year ago 20:45 1/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(39) Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City Getty Premier League Bundesliga Serie A Primera División Ligue 1 As the season reaches its halfway point across the continent, Goal puts together an XI of the best the top leagues have to offer The first half of the 2017-18 campaign has consisted of some incredible performances from Europe’s top stars.As competition among the continent’s leagues heats up, the best players are making themselves known as they battle for silverware.Now around the halfway mark of the campaign, Goal has put together an XI of the best performers across the top divisions so far.last_img read more

Watch: Cinematic Highlights of Oklahoma State’s Win over Texas

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. “This is our home. This is our family. This is our team. Are you ready for Cowboooooyyyy football?!” Larry Reece knows how to get you fired up!Per the usual, the Cinematic Highlights production from Oklahoma State’s Orange Power Studios is extremely well done.last_img read more

Glenn Spencer’s Defenses Among Nation’s Best at Forcing Turnovers

first_img201333181.15T410-3 We can see a direct correlation between turnover margin and wins and losses. In fact, during Spencer’s time in office, OSU is 24-3 (!) in games in which they won the turnover battle.So what about that 2014 season? Did the Cowboys’ worst year in seven fall squarely on Spencer’s shoulders? Not exactly. The Cowboys graduated 17 defenders the season before, including Justin Gilbert, Caleb Lavey and Shaun Lewis. Those three accounted for 14 of OSU’s 21 interceptions in 2013.More importantly, OSU lost its starting quarterback in the second game of the season and was starting from scratch in terms of offensive line depth. If your offense can’t exceed three consecutive snaps before trotting back to the sideline, your defense is going to get stretched thin and become ineffective — especially when you’re they’re trying to slow down the Bryce Pettys and Trevone Bokins of the world.One thing this 2017 defense has in common with 2013 — the team it should hope to emulate — is that they’ve got the most seniors on defense since Spencer took over. His opportunistic 2013 squad had 13. He had eight in 2014. Followed by nine and eight in 2015 and 2016. But Spencer will embrace 14 of his guys on senior night 2017.Mike Gundy has built this program into a perennial Big 12 contender and they’re stacked at several positions moving forward. But record-setting quarterback-wide receiver duos don’t come along every year. And let’s not ignore the coaching change due south on I-35. One of these years, Texas might prove their preseason hype-mongers right? Tom Herman will have something to say about that now that he’s taken over.The Cowboys enter this fall with a fully installed second defensive scheme, as well. They’ve had all offseason to learn the three-man front they found some success with down the stretch in 2016. They’ve also made some position changes that may help, as well.Let’s hope Spencer’s 2017 defense can “take it back” like his 2013 group did. The Cowboys will need it they want to live up to some gaudy expectations. YearTOs GainedTOs LostMarginNational RankRecord 201528151.00T410-3 The headline probably won’t shock many of you. Oklahoma State’s defenders have been touting their “We’re Takin’ It Back” mantra for years. And it’s been a huge part of their defensive identity.So when CoachingSearch.com complied a list of college football’s top-20 defensive playcallers at forcing turnovers, Spencer was predictably included. The list ranks the best among FBS teams by average takeaways from 2013 to now.Coincidentally, that time frame corresponds with Spencer’s tenure as lead man on defense. He lands at No. 7 on the list with his teams averaging 1.92 takeaways per game. The Cowboys hold a record of 37-15 during that time. That’s just behind the likes of Gary Patterson and Phil Bennett and ahead of defensive coordinators like Brent Venables and Manny Diaz.AdChoices广告Winning the turnover battle goes a long way towards winning a game, no matter who you are. But when you field some of the explosive offenses Spencer’s crew has faced on the practice field, you want to get them as many extra possessions as possible.This defense is going to pitch very few shutouts. We know that. They’re going to give up some yards and some points. But when they dispossess other teams and defend the red zone well, this style of defense can be very effective.Here’s a breakdown of Spencer’s defenses when it comes to turnover margin.center_img 20141422-0.621117-6 201625140.85T1010-3 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Pique welcomes talks about Griezmann saga

first_imgWorld Cup Pique welcomes discussion with Barcelona board over Griezmann transfer saga Tommy Doleman 14:42 6/21/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) GerardPique-Cropped Getty Images World Cup Spain Iran v Spain Iran Antoine Griezmann Barcelona Primera División The Spain international says he will be happy to speak with Blaugrana vice-president Jordi Mestre regarding the Atletico Madrid striker’s announcement Gerard Pique will welcome a conversation with Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre as the Antoine Griezmann transfer saga continues.Griezmann, 27, had been widely expected to join the Catalan club this summer, but surprised many by re-signing with Atletico Madrid last week until 2023.A documentary on the France forward’s announcement to stay was produced by one of Pique’s companies, leading to criticism of the Spain international and questions from Barcelona’s hierarchy. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move However, Pique, who celebrated his 100th cap in Spain’s 1-0 win over Iran on Wednesday, was on the front-foot and keen to answer to Mestre.”If he wants to talk to me, he knows where I am,” he said.”The relationship has always been open, we always have contact – we are going to talk and solve it.”Spain’s win put them joint-top of their World Cup group with Portugal, and even though a point will be enough for La Roja to qualify for the knockout rounds, Pique insists they are eyeing top spot in Group B.”It’s a bit close. I think a draw would be enough. We will look at it, but the most important thing was to win and now we have to win against Morocco,” he said.”It’s very important to be first [in the group] and to score more goals than Portugal.”last_img read more

10 hot consumer trends to watch in 2013

first_imgChanging course from yesterday’s post, today I’m going to talk trendy. Trendwatching is out with its 10 hot consumer trends to watch in 2013, and they are worth sharing. I’ve listed each trend along with what I think it means for nonprofits. But don’t forget the basics as you consider these shiny new developments!1. Presumers and Custowners: Consumers are interested in participating in the funding, launch and growth of (new) products and brands that they love. So try testing crowdfunding, friends to friends fundraising and a spirit of partnership with your supporters in the new year.2. Emerging Squared: We’re seeing a reversal of the old trends of developed markets catering to emerging ones, and emerging markets increasingly provide products and services to developed markets. How is this international trend affecting your work? Is there an opportunity to weave this economic force into your programs overseas to speed up the pace of change?3. Mobile Moments: Consumers will be doing everything on their mobile devices. 2013 is the year you must make it easy for your supporters (and those you serve) to engage with you on their smartphones.4. New Life Inside: Eco-products will go from being something you can recycle to something that you can plant. Apparently it’s the year to put seeds in everything from chopsticks to pencil stubs. And even Molson Canada beer coasters are made of seed paper. They grow into a tree when you plant them. I smell corporate cause marketing partnerships for green organizations! But move fast, I expect this is a trend that will come and go quickly.5. App-scriptions: Doctors and hospitals will certify and curate health apps as part of care. Why not you, too? If you help people with health conditions, maybe there should be an app for what you do – certified by professionals.6. Celebration Nation: Emerging market products will celebrate and spotlight national and cultural heritage. How can you partner with companies to highlight the international cultures you champion?7. Data My-ning: Says Trendwatching, “To date, the ‘big data’ discussion has focused on the value of customer data to businesses. In 2013 expect savvy shoppers to start reversing the flow, as consumers seek to own and make the most of their lifestyle data, and turn to brands that use this data to proactively offer customers help and advice on how to improve their behavior and/ or save money.” I think there is an opening for charities to use this to promote behavioral changes – and giving.8. Again Made Here: Trendwatching predicts more local manufacturing in established markets like the US, driven by niche marketers, the green movement and on-demand ordering. New local partners and cause marketing possibilities, perhaps?9. Full Frontal: Brands can’t just be transparent, they have to aggressive about it. As they are increasingly held accountable, there is a real opening for do-gooders to pressure companies to be responsible corporate citizens and ethical cause marketers.10. Demanding Brands: Brands will also turn the tables and encourage consumers to step up and do good. Another great opportunity for partnerships in 2013!last_img read more

Re-imagining your annual report

first_imgIt’s the time of year when you’re packaging up your annual reports for 2012. Before you move forward with the same approach as last year, it’s worth asking:-Who is the audience?-What do you need to accomplish with this report?-Should we question the old approach?Here’s a great example of what happens when you ask these questions:The Children’s Bureau report – which takes the form of an interactive report online and a poster in its direct mail form – combines accountability, storytelling and imagery in a wonderful way.For inspiration, go here. And learn how they did it here.What are you imagining for your annual report? Make sure it serves a purpose for someone in a way that matters.last_img read more