Tough tests to come for Oakland Athletics in postseason pursuit

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Rarely does the Bay Bridge series carry too much weight. The late-season meeting point for this round, though, adds a bit more oomph than in years past.Symbolically, the first two games act as a check-in point, of sorts. Both Bay Area teams meet at various stages of both likely and unlikely postseason runs, the local battle a test, of sorts, to see who’s for real.For the A’s, though, this trip across the bridge is a gateway to an absolute gauntlet. Oakland took on Madison …last_img read more

Mars Red-Faced Without Water

first_imgThe Martians are singing How dry I am.  Scientists have a new explanation for how Mars turned red without water: it’s just dry dust tumbling in the wind.  This new hypothesis was announced by Live Science, Science Daily, New Scientist, and Space.com, based on a presentation at the European Planetary Science Congress last week.1     This has been dubbed a “surprising” new theory.  Why?  Because for many years scientists thought that water was required to rust the iron in the rocks.  Lab experiments at the Aarhus Mars Simulation Laboratory in Denmark have shown that quartz grains mixed with magnetite in a tumbler turn red in a few months as the surfaces wear down and oxygen atoms bind to the magnetite, forming reddish hematite.  Because hematite is deep red in color, it doesn’t take much of it to color the dust red.  These experiments do not rule out water on Mars; they just remove water as a requirement for staining the surface red.    If this is the source of the redness on Mars, it has implications for the age of the surface.  Space.com said, “since the process can occur relatively quickly, it could be that the thin red layer of dust on Mars is somewhat new.”  How new?  Jonathan Merrison said “millions of years instead of billions of years.”  His experiments, though, reduced the sand grains to dust in just seven months, and they turned red quickly when magnetite was added.1.  Merrison, Gunnlaugsson, Jensen and Nornberg, “Mineral alteration induced by sand transport; a source for the reddish colour of Martian dust,” Icarus (in press, published online 9/12/2009), doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2009.09.004.The moyboys should be red-faced (moyboys: those recklessly spouting claims about “millions of years, billions of years”).  Not only does this potentially undermine the astrobiologists’ hopes for water on Mars, it casts doubt on whether the surface is really billions of years old.  Remember, even 100 million years is a tiny fraction of the assumed age of the solar system (A.S.S.).  What color was Mars before?  Yellow?  Green?  Purple?  Why are we seeing the tail-end of a rapid process if Mars dried up billions of years ago and its sand grains have been tumbling around for eons?  The truth is, they just don’t know.  They weren’t there.  The fact that a hypothesis this radical can upset everything previously believed about a planet should give one pause before accepting the next moyboy pronouncement on faith.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Art show highlights Africa-America connection

first_imgThe Africans in America art exhibition highlights the connection between the US and Africa. Featuring a host of established and upcoming artists from the continent and the rest of the world, the exhibitionis at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg until 17 December 2016.(Photo: Goodman Gallery)CD AndersonA new exhibition at Johannesburg’s Goodman Gallery, titled Africans in America, is an exploration of the cultural and contextual parallels between the continent and the United States.The exhibition also forms part of the academic conference Black Portraiture[s] III. Reinventions: Strains of Histories and Cultures, held for the first time in South Africa at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, from 17-19 November 2016.Black Portraiture[s] III is a collaboration between the US Department of State and Patrick Gaspard, the US ambassador to South Africa, as well as Harvard University, New York University and the Institute for African American Affairs. The forum offers an opportunity for artists, activists and academics from Africa, the US and the rest of the world to share ideas and perspectives on the African political and cultural identity within a global context.Emphasising that overall theme, the Africans in America exhibition itself runs until 17 December, presenting works at the Goodman and the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Artists featured include Ghada Amer, Theaster Gates, Alfredo Jaar, Julie Mehretu, Wangechi Mutu, Odili Donald Odita and Kehinde Wiley.The exhibition is curated by Goodman director Liza Essers and Hank Willis Thomas. The work of the American visual artist and photographer has been widely praised for consistently challenging perceptions of identity, history and symbols, while igniting dialogue about African and diaspora identities, particularly in global political and pop culture contexts.A Place To Call Home (Africa-America)Thomas’s 2009 work, titled A Place To Call Home (Africa-America), represents the overarching identity of the Goodman exhibition.A wall-mounted sculpture of black metal against a white background, the piece epitomises the distinctive geographical, historical and political connection suggested by the African American identity. It challenges the mythological association between black Americans and the African continent.As Thomas describes it, “our roots may be from there, but many of us don’t necessarily feel any more at home on the continent than we do on the continent of our birth. Our home is a place in between.”Emerging African artistsAfrican artists involved in the Africans in America exhibition include Eritrean photographer Dawit L Petros, whose art incorporates migration and multicultural globalisation as metaphors for African modernity.Dawit L. Petros @HuisMarseille pic.twitter.com/vHErls1Wsi— The Culturist (@TheCulturist) September 18, 2016Rwandan visual artist Valerie Piraino uses the long history of mining and environmental damage in Africa to inform her minimalist work.Brendan Fernandes, a Canadian-Kenyan artist, explores pan-Africanism with a post-modern, multi-discipline slant.Established during apartheid, the Goodman Gallery has, over five decades, become an important art portal for African creativity. It has been under the directorship of Essers since 2008. The gallery is focused on shaping change through art and culture, as well as opening up avenues of dialogue between established and emerging South African artists, and artists across the continent and the globe.For more information on the Africans in America exhibition and the gallery, visit the Goodman Gallery website.Source: Goodman Gallerylast_img read more

When NoSQL Databases Are — Yes — Good For You And Your Company

first_imgIT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#databases#NoSQL Related Posts brian proffittcenter_img The proliferation of non-relational databases in the tech sector these days could lead you to think that these data management tools (also known as NoSQL databases) are eventually going to make traditional relational databases extinct.Not so. Each of these database types is best suited for very different types of workloads, and that’s going to prevent either one from tromping the other into the dust. Which means that IT and other managers are going to have to figure out which approach is best suited for the task at hand.In this two-part series, I’ll examine the capabilities of both NoSQL and relational databases to help you make the right decisions for your organization.“NoSQL”? More Like “Not Only SQL”Right off the bat, NoSQL databases are unique because they are usually independent from Structured Query Language (SQL) found in relational databases. Relational databases all use SQL as the domain-specific language for ad hoc queries, while non-relational databases have no such standard query language, so they can use whatever they want. That can, if need be, include SQL.See also: Relational Databases Aren’t Dead—Heck, They’re Not Even SleepingNoSQL databases are designed to excel in speed and volume. To pull this off, NoSQL software will use techniques that can scare the crap out of relational database users — such as not promising that all data is consistent within a system all of the time.That’s a key result of using relational databases, because when you are conducting a financial transaction, such as buying something on Amazon, databases have to be very sure that one account is debited the same amount that another account is debited at the same time.Because so much of this back-and-forth read-write activity is needed in a single transaction, a relational database could never keep up with the speed and scaling necessary to make a company like Amazon work.According to Bob Wiederhold, CEO of NoSQL database vendor Couchbase, the architecture and features of NoSQL databases bring four key advantages to NoSQL users.Go Big Or Go HomeEasier scalability is the first aspect highlighted by Wiederhold. NoSQL databases like Couchbase and 10Gen’s MongoDB, he said, can be scaled up to handle much bigger data volumes with relative ease.If your company suddenly finds itself deluged by overnight success, for example, with customers coming to your Web site by the droves, a relational database would have to be painstakingly replicated and re-partitioned in order to scale up to meet the new demand.Wiederhold cited social and mobile gaming vendors as the big example of this kind of situation. An endorsement or a few well-timed tweets could spin up semi-dormant gaming servers and get them to capacity in mere hours. Because of the distributed nature of non-relational databases, to scale NoSQL all you need to do is add machines to the cluster to meet demand.There’s No Need To FearPerformance is another way that NoSQL databases can excel. First, every time you add a new server to a NoSQL database cluster, there is performance scaling by virtue of the fact that you’re throwing another processor into the equation.Beyond the scaling advantages, the very architecture of NoSQL tools aids performance. If a relational database had tens or even hundreds of thousands of tables, data processing would generate far more locks on that data, and greatly degrade the performance of the database.Because NoSQL databases have weaker data consistency models, they can trade off consistency for efficiency. In Wiederhold’s social gaming example, if a user updated his or her profile, there’s no real degradation of game performance if that profile’s new info isn’t updated across the entire database instantly. This means that resources can be dedicated to other things, like tracking down that orc that’s about smack you around in-game.Objects Of DesireWhen applications developers have to work with data in relational databases, it can at times be troublesome due to data mapping and impedance issues. In NoSQL databases, this is not usually a problem, because data is not stored in the same manner.With document-oriented NoSQL databases, for instance, data is stored in just that format: documents. And since documents are objects, after all, then programmers who tend to think in object-oriented terms are going to be much more familiar with manipulating such data.That weaker consistency model helps programmers, tool, since their apps don’t have to rigidly conform to data consistency requirements. That makes coding much simpler and (by extension) much faster.Downtime? What Downtime?Wiederhold’s fourth example is a new one to the NoSQL advantage list. It’s something that non-relational databases weren’t specifically designed to do, but at which they’ve nonetheless turned out to be proficient.Because of their distributed nature, Wiederhold says, NoSQL databases can be pretty much always on. This is a huge advantage for web- and mobile-based businesses that can’t afford to be down for a single moment.With some advanced planning, software updates and hardware upgrades can be performed while the database is still running hot. Try doing that with a relational database without taking it down, and you’re in for a world of trouble.get section where name = ConclusionNoSQL databases’ advantages sound great, and they are — for the right use case. If your company has a data set that will remain relatively constant in size, or that only grows slowly, you’ll have little need to migrate to a non-relational system.If sudden growth, agile development or high performance are something your organization will need for its data, then you should take a look at the NoSQL class of databases and see what might be a fit for you.Image courtesy of Shutterstock Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Ground Yourself In What is Timeless

first_imgFor the last decade, there has been a trend towards believing that what worked in the past is automatically wrong for the future—and, more still, ineffective right now. The purveyors of this thinking believe that there is no progress without the type of disruption that comes with tearing down what came before it. As I have written here before, evolution transcends and include what came before, not eliminating it altogether.A few examples are helpful. If you read a book on a Kindle or a tablet, that form is different from a bound book. But the core of a book is that it is a method for sharing the written word. That has not changed.Streaming audio provides much more control over what you can listen to and when. It’s much better than radio (terrestrial of a satellite), and it’s a fair bit better than cassette mix tapes. What radio was—and is—the ability to share words and music across great distances.Television and movies are also now streaming to any device with a screen, and the production of content has been liberated from the hands of a few to the masses. This is a massive shift in power, but not that does not change the medium much. You still watch programs that educate and entertain you.Not everything that is new is good or healthy. For proof, look at the food most people eat. Much of it is efficient in delivery while lacking when it comes to delivering nutrition.Many of those who write about sales mistakenly misunderstand how things evolve. They believe that a new medium, namely the Internet, destroys everything that has come before, even if a Digital newspaper is no different than a paper newspaper; the form has changed but the function has not.They argue that cold calling is no longer a valid method for prospecting because there are new ways to communicate. They suggest that permission marketing is the right choice and then send unsolicited emails and InMails. They criticize interruptions while working hard to cause you to stop scrolling with your thumb.They suggest that closing is dead, without understanding that one must still gain commitments, oblivious to that fact that most salespeople wouldn’t know how to pressure someone to buy or execute a hard sell. This, when all the evidence points to companies struggle to make decisions and needing more help and more prescriptive direction.When it comes to pitching, that too is old and must be replaced with something new, which is often framed as sharing information and being helpful. The idea that one should never pitch is always written as if it were a law handed down on Mt. Sinai. It’s black and white, with all context removed. Even when there is a time to pitch, and even when some prospects want to be pitched.In a time of constant, accelerating, disruptive change, you are right not to become too attached to the things that are likely to change. You may want to be more agnostic and more willing to take in new ideas and new technologies and tools. At the same time, however, you would do well to ground yourself in the things that are timeless. There have been disruptions before, and they were in many ways more jarring. What helped people succeed then is what will help you succeed now. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

SPONSORSHIP WITH TFA

first_imgTouch Football Australia have recently updated their Sponsorship section of the website.This section can be accessed by holding your mouse over the ‘Sponsors’ tab on the left hand side of the homepage and then clicking on each of the 3 pages.Or you can view all of the information on our current sponsors, how to become a sponsor and the sponsorship opportunities, by using these links:TOUCH FOOTBALL AUSTRALIA (TFA) SPONSORSHOW TO BE A SPONSORSPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIESlast_img

Zendaya Named As TrickOrTreat For UNICEF Spokesperson

first_imgActress, platinum recording artist and author Zendaya, this year’s Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF spokesperson, is asking kids in the U.S. to make a difference in the lives of other kids by raising funds for UNICEF’s lifesaving programs.Zendaya will be appearing as a “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF superhero” in print, online, and broadcast public service announcements to encourage participation in the 64-year-old American tradition. Donations collected through Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF provide medicine, nutrition, clean water, emergency relief and education to children around the world.In addition to going door-to-door with traditional orange boxes to collect coins for UNICEF, for the first time kids and parents can now set up individual fundraising pages on Crowdrise for their friends and family members to donate. Also new this year, participants can turn their Halloween party into a Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF fundraiser by setting up a donation page and including a link to it in their party invitation. To get started, visit www.trickortreatforunicef.org.“I loved Trick-or-Treating for UNICEF when I was younger because it was such an empowering experience to be able to make a difference. Kids need more than candy; they need basics like medicine, nutrition and clean drinking water, and millions of them wouldn’t have these things without UNICEF,” said Zendaya, 18-year-old star and producer of Disney Channel series KC Undercover airing this winter, and former contestant on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. “I’m really excited to celebrate Halloween this year by inspiring a new generation of kids to be Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF superheroes that help save other kids’ lives.”The campaign relies not only on children and parents, but also on educators to teach their students the value of helping kids in need. This year K-8 teachers can participate through the 2nd annual Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF School Challenge. The competition will provide 15 grand prize winning teachers with $1,000 technology grants. All entrants will be asked to describe how they will teach their students about issues facing children globally and the importance of giving back. To be eligible to win, teachers must submit Trick-or-Treat donations by Dec. 1, 2014. To enter the competition, visit www.trickortreatforunicef.org.Additionally, this year’s Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Teachers’ Guides can be used as a resource for educators to help provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to make an impact through the campaign. Using readings, photos, videos, music, maps, and games, they introduce students to UNICEF’s work, child rights, and a variety of issues affecting the health and well-being of children around the world.last_img read more

Manitoba RCMP probe of Peguis trust fund dollar use on hold pending

first_imgJorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe RCMP in Manitoba has an open investigation into allegations involving the use of money from a Peguis First Nation land settlement trust fund, APTN National News has learned.The RCMP investigation, triggered by a complaint from a Peguis First Nation band member, is currently on hold pending the completion of a financial review launched by Indigenous and Northern Affairs’ audit and evaluation branch, APTN can report. The review is being executed by auditing firm Deloitte.The complaint filed with the RCMP involves the use of funds from the $64 million Peguis received as part of a 2006 treaty land entitlement (TLE) agreement. Some of those funds, held in trust by the Peguis Treaty Land Entitlement Fund, were used to launch a joint venture with the Manitoba Jockey Club to develop the Assiniboia Downs race horse track.Indigenous Affairs’ audit and evaluation branch opened an investigation in December 2015 after receiving allegations involving the misuse of the TLE funds from former Peguis chief Cindy Spence. The branch tapped Deloitte to lead the probe in early 2016.“The review is being conducted as a result of information received by the department’s audit and evaluation sector,” said a statement from department spokesperson Valerie Hache. “At this time, the review is ongoing and no additional information is available.”The time frames for the allegations sent to the RCMP and Indigenous Affairs correspond with Glen Hudson’s previous terms as chief for Peguis. Hudson was chief of Peguis from 2007 until 2015 when he was beat by Spence, whose campaign focused on the previous administration’s alleged misuse of funds. Hudson regained his seat in March by beating the incumbent Spence.Hudson has not been charged with any crime and no allegations against him have been proven in court.Hudson was contacted by Deloitte shortly before the election in mid-March, according to his lawyer Jamie Kagan. Kagan said he recommended Hudson reject a meeting with Deloitte. Kagan said Deloitte wouldn’t reveal the client who requested the financial review or provide any documents ahead of time.“I never heard back from them again. Either this is not a particularly good audit or something is fishy,” said Kagan.Kagan said he initially didn’t believe Indigenous Affairs (INAC) was behind the financial review.“It was during the election call, that is what made me immediately suspicious it wasn’t INAC,” said Kagan. “INAC is not going to mess around in the middle of an election.”Kagan said the federal department’s Winnipeg office told him they were not aware of any financial probe. Kagan said he did not, at the time, contact the audit and evaluations branch in Ottawa.When informed of the department’s statement to APTN last week, Kagan said he would be looking into it.“I would like to know when this so-called investigation happened and I would like to know when Deloitte was retained. To me this is all interesting in an artificial sense. The details are important,” said Kagan.As of this article’s posting, Kagan said he was still trying to get clarity from the federal department on the issue.Shortly before the March 24 election in Peguis, Kagan penned a carefully worded letter on behalf of Hudson addressing claims around the RCMP investigation and the department’s financial review.“We can confirm we have never been contacted by the RCMP in respect of former chief Hudson. We are not involved in any investigation and do not believe any such investigation exists. We understand this allegation to be false,” said the March 16 letter, signed by Kagan.“We have also contacted Indian and National Affairs Canada [sic] (INAC). INAC has confirmed that there is no investigation at all of former chief Hudson. These allegations are therefore equally false,” said the letter.In a subsequent interview, Kagan repeated his assertion that, based on the information in his possession, he didn’t believe the investigations by the RCMP and INAC existed at the time. This led him to believe the information about the allegations was incorrect, said Kagan.Kagan said he stands by what he wrote and is willing to litigate to defend himself and Hudson.“If your network is going to put on the air that there is a file open and here are all these allegations and they are going to put my name, my firm’s name or Hudson’s name associated with them, I can tell you there will be a response,” said Kagan. “If our letter is referred to as anything other than factually accurate there will be consequences to that. I know that every word of that letter is factually accurate.”As to the allegations, Kagan said he has no intimate knowledge of Peguis’ side in the Assiniboia Downs venture.“If you are talking about the Downs—which I don’t know much about and was not involved with at all. Interestingly enough I acted on the other side of Peguis on that matter,” said Kagan. “I don’t have information on Peguis and the transaction. A transaction closed and there are lawsuits outstanding related to that”Kagan represented former NDP provincial finance minister Stan Struthers who opposed the deal between Peguis and the Jockey Club.The Jockey Club launched a civil suit against Struthers and the province alleging a conspiracy to sink the horse race track. The suit was eventually settled out of court in 2014 through a deal between Manitoba and the club.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Energy stocks help SPTSX composite gain ground price of oil higher

first_imgTORONTO – Canada’s main stock index climbed higher Thursday, helped by the energy sector, which benefited from higher oil prices.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 45.91 points to 15,172.72.Revised upward global oil demand forecasts by the International Energy Agency helped to push up crude prices, says Kathryn Del Greco, an investment adviser with TD Wealth.“The market is continuing on the strength of the increase of the IEA on what is expected to be an increase of global demand and tightening in oil production by some of the producers,” said Del Greco.“We’re still seeing some follow through. Activity in crude is up.”The October crude contract rose 59 cents at US$49.89 per barrel, a six-week high.South of the border, stocks ended mixed and relatively flat on Wall Street, but a meagre gain for the Dow Jones industrial average was enough to mark another record.The Dow closed at 22,203.48, up 45.30 points.Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index gave back 2.75 points to 2,495.62 and the Nasdaq composite index declined 31.11 points to 6,429.08.Rising U.S. consumer prices, which expanded 0.4 per cent in August as gas and housing costs grew, likely played a part in the modest movements, said Del Greco.“The CPI rose slightly more than expected so that increases the likelihood of a rate hike in December,” she said.The Labor Department reported Thursday that prices are up 1.9 per cent over the last year, which could mean inflation is speeding up. However, it’s not clear how much of the recent increase in gas prices was due to Hurricane Harvey, which deluged the Gulf Coast region in late August and caused many drilling rigs and refineries to shut down.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 81.98 cents US, down 0.07 of a U.S. cent.Elsewhere in commodities, the December gold contract climbed $1.30 at US$1,329.30 an ounce.The October natural gas contract added one cent to US$3.07 per mmBTU and the December copper contract was down two cents to US$2.96 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.last_img read more

Champagne to announce ombudsman for corporate social responsibility

first_imgOTTAWA – The Liberal government is planning to make good on a campaign promise to create an ombudsman with teeth to oversee the conduct of Canadian companies operating abroad.International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is expected to announce the creation of a new position on Wednesday.Government sources say the new position will be a substantive upgrade to the “corporate responsibility counsellor,” which has been widely criticized as a toothless entity for dealing with misconduct complaints against Canadian companies, mainly in the mining industry.One source, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a matter not yet made public, said the new ombudsman would have jurisdiction over more than just the mining sector, but provided no further details.The source said the position would be “the first in the world with real independence with real powers, and more than just mining.”It is not clear how much power the newly created position will be given, such as whether it will be able to compel specific behaviour from companies.The Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, an organization pushing for changes, says it is encouraged by the pending announcement but needs more details on whether the new office will have real powers and independence before endorsing it.“Will the ombudsperson be relying on ministerial discretion to exercise investigator powers? Will the ombudsperson operate autonomously from Global Affairs Canada?” asked Stephanie Gervais, the group’s spokeswoman.The organization also wants Champagne to confirm whether the ombudsman can look at old cases retroactively or just new ones, she said.Hundreds of mining companies operating in Latin America, Africa and Asia make Canada a leading player in the sector. But the sector is periodically the subject of human rights complaints and legal action, often by Indigenous groups.The head of one of the largest investment firms that has consulted closely with the Trudeau government on its economic agenda distributed a letter this week telling big companies they need to step up their corporate responsibility efforts if they want to benefit from their financial largesse.“To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society,” writes Laurence Fink, the chief executive of BlackRock, in a letter that was first obtained by the New York Times this week.If companies don’t engage better with local communities, Fink writes, they will “ultimately lose the license to operate from key stakeholders.”In November 2016, BlackRock was among the of the world’s most powerful institutional investors to take part in a summit hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.According to a draft agenda, Fink and Trudeau were to deliver the opening remarks at the gathering, which used the opportunity to promote Canada as an attractive place to invest. BlackRock was asked to invite its clients to the event.In the lead-up to the summit, BlackRock reportedly participated in biweekly conference calls with Infrastructure Canada and the Privy Council Office to create a presentation Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi was to deliver to the investors.Trudeau will meet more business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next week in an attempt to continue selling Canada as a prime investment destination.“We must have the full and equal participation of all to have economies that work for everyone and a future that is fairer, more inclusive, and more compassionate,” Trudeau said in a statement.— With files from Andy Blatchford in Ottawalast_img read more