Tag Archives: oped

Charity T-Shirt Campaigns Raising Money and Awareness

(Newswire.net — June 20, 2017) — If you’re anything like me, every time you see someone wearing a t-shirt with a charity slogan the first thing that crosses your mind is, “What good will that do?” Then, if you’re exactly like me, you’ll come home, do some research, and write up a thinkpiece on the subject.

From “This is what a feminist looks like” to Red Nose Day, charity t-shirt campaigns have been around so long, it feels like they predate the concept of charity itself. These t-shirts help the wearers demonstrate that they are ethical, caring people, but what do they do for the charities?

This is what a successful charity t-shirt campaign looks like

Following the 2016 Presidential elections, fundraising for causes set to be cut by the 45th President (or as I prefer to call him, P45) has gone into overdrive. A case in point is the t-shirt which followed Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s silencing of Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren earlier this year.

McConnell had essentially found a legal loophole that allowed him to tell Warren to shut up without actually saying it. He justified his actions saying this: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

You don’t need to be a professional Social Media Manager to recognise the mountains of meme potential in that statement, and one t-shirt designer decided to use the new slogan against the Republicans. He made a “Nevertheless, she persisted” t-shirt, sold over 30,000 of them and gave all of the profits to Planned Parenthood—an organisation that not only helps a lot of women, but was marked for death by the GOP. The amount raised at the time the story was covered by Time was $300,000.

Since the Red Nose Day t-shirts are made in collaboration with different retailers, it is even more difficult to find out how much money they make. Sainsburys may have raised £11,612,117 for Red Nose Day, but we don’t know how much of that came from their tie-in t-shirts and how much of that came from staff dressing up and shaking buckets at the door.

Regardless of how much these t-shirts made, they definitely served one purpose: they raised awareness. Absolutely no one has Red Nose Day marked down in their calendar every two years. Red Nosers have to rely on adverts and t-shirts to clue them in on the return of their beloved comedy/charity crossover event.

What’s more important: raising money or raising awareness?

Gender rights group The Fawcett Society’s “This is what a feminist looks like” campaign was very high profile, with political heartthrob Ed Milibabe wearing it in the halcyon days of peak Milifandom and the then-Home Secretary unconvincingly sporting hers long before the onset of Theresa May-nia. The organisation only talks in vague terms of how much money was raised, but they do ensure us that the campaign will help them continue their work.

Perhaps the awareness these t-shirts raise could be more important than the money they can make. Emma Watson aside, not many people have “fight for the rights of women today” written in their calendar (though maybe they should). But when they see Ed Miliband walking by in his favourite feminist t-shirt, they will likely remember the importance of the message.

In a meta twist, t-shirt manufacturers themselves have pointed to charity t-shirt campaigns by the likes of Planet Money, who campaigned to raise awareness for the way clothing is made and sold. Each t-shirt came with a QR code that gives wearers detailed information about its journey from cotton to clothes store. Regardless of whether they raise any money, campaigns like this are valuable in raising awareness for their causes.

So is there any need for all the cynicism?

Yes, if only because there’s always room for cynicism. The “This is what a feminist looks like” t-shirts began getting the wrong kind of attention, following a Daily Mail expose which claimed the shirts were manufactured in a Mauritian factory that mistreats its workers.

Since even Wikipedia has decided the Daily Mail cannot be trusted for facts, it is best to take this with a pinch of salt. It emerged that said factory was relatively ethical by the clothing industry’s frankly shocking standards. Speaking on the scandal, an activist from Labour Behind the Label told the Guardian, “If what you want is a quick turnaround T-shirt that you can sell in your shop then trying to buy one ethically is a more or less an impossible task.”

Campaigners should support ethical manufacturing and collaborate with organisations like Labour Behind the Label to make sure their manufacturing is as moral as their cause. That way we might see what the perfect charity t-shirt campaign looks like.

Source: http://newswire.net/newsroom/oped/00096833-charity-t-shirts.html

Global Citizenship for a Sustainable Economic Future

(Newswire.net — January 6, 2017) — Caribbean citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes are among the best in the world. With the option of investing in real estate or contributing directly to national foundations and trusts, qualified applicants can be granted citizenship in as little as 90 days. Owing to its simplicity, low cost, vast global mobility and quality of life, Grenada’s CBI programme was last year ranked first globally.

CBI programmes benefit the Caribbean economy

A recent Fortune​ ​article claimed individuals spent nearly $2 billion in 2014 on CBI programs, contributing millions of dollars to the Caribbean economy.

A significant percentage of the millions generated by such programmes are used to fund various development initiatives across a range of sectors through such enterprises as the ​St Kitts & Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation​, designed to help the government transition from sugar as the main industry to a more diversified economy.

To apply for CBI in Grenada, for example, investors must contribute a minimum of $200,000 to its National Transformation Fund. The NTF finances various projects in Grenada for the benefit of its many industries, including tourism, agriculture and alternative energy.

Economic lifelines

As discussed by leading global real estate experts Kingsland Global, a common reason countries have increasingly introduced CBI programmes is because of an economic slowdown and “the virtual disappearance of traditional funding sources.”

Meanwhile, Dr Anthony, former Prime Minister of St Lucia, cited “the persistent decline in foreign direct investment caused by the world financial crisis” as the grounds for his government deciding to initiate a CBI programme.

​The programmes generate investments and jobs to and put countries the road to sustainable growth and development. Such programmes have become an economic lifeline in these nations, raising substantial revenue for the governments concerned. 

For St Kitts & Nevis, the program generated nearly a third of the government’s revenue in 2015—approximately $74 million—and became so successful that St. Kitts emerged from the global financial crisis far ahead of its neighbours in the Caribbean. “It’s been a complete transformation,” says ​Judith Gold​, head of an International Monetary Fund mission to the country. That’s no exaggeration—in 2006 the government had been the third most indebted on earth.

In Dominica, $279.8m in revenue was realised in the financial year 2015/2016. Funds have allowed for post-tropical storm Erika rehabilitation works, including the rehabilitation of Douglas Charles airport.

The benefits of CBI haven’t gone unnoticed: In 2014 alone, new citizenship and residence programmes were introduced in Portugal, Cyprus and Greece that either allow direct citizenship by investment or offer alternative routes to citizenship for wealthy investors in the EU.

Long term gains

Since 2006, programmes have matured owing to international agents ensuring probity and insurance of commercial sustainability. Today, Citizenship by Investment programmes facilitate long-term investment and residency to bring long term gains for local economies.

According to CS Global Partners, it’s a means of transforming economies to become ever more prosperous and independent. “The NTF finances various projects in Grenada for the benefit of its many industries, including tourism, agriculture, and alternative energy. Having made a donation to the NTF, investors are left with a true sense of having contributed to their new nation’s well being.”

More than that, CBI-funded initiatives are in the rare position of being able to operate as debt free businesses going forward. This is a major economic sustainability factor.

Source: http://newswire.net/newsroom/oped/00094710-global-citizenship-for-a-sustainable-economic-future.html

Sunday Jan.1 – Are you hung-over?

(Newswire.net — January 1, 2017) Darien, CONNECTICUT — Another New Years Day headache! Maybe you had too much to drink last night. Then again maybe you had nothing at all to drink. Either way a headache is a painful event you could do without. First of all, if you are in any way shape or form human you will want to brush your teeth. Then if you had too much to drink put a few ounces of cider vinegar into a quart of water and drink it down. You may want to repeat this a few times this morning. The electrolytes in the cider vinegar will replenish the electrolytes lost due to your being over served the night before. You may try Gatorade as well but the cider vinegar has no glucose giving the over worked and under appreciated liver a break. The water will re-hydrate your brain which right now is angry at you for not drinking in moderation on New Years.

Your liver is this big filter. The more toxins you poured through this filter will determine how dehydrated you are. Your body doesn’t have a way to store alcohol, so it has to move alcohol to the front of the metabolizing line. This is why it affects your liver, as it’s your liver’s job to detoxify and remove alcohol from your blood. Greater levels of fluids are required to get the garbage out through the process of urination which is why you are one thirsty puppy right now.

Next best thing to do is eat some protein and fat. A bacon, egg and cheese will sound real good after you get the cider vinegar and water into your system. I am sure you can get some delivered by Seamless. Tip heavier then usual, the guy delivering your food was not out the night before misbehaving like you. Remember you earned this headache.

There is no fun being hungover so you might as well watch something funny on TV. Before you lye down, pull the curtains down. Make the room nice and dark. Take the house phone off the hook. Make sure your cell phone is charged. Now get comfortable and take a nap. You probably won’t get quality REM sleep but you will recharge those drained batteries. When you wake up hit the cider vinegar again and take a long shower. In a few hours you will almost be human again. Try not to be over-served again or at least wait until next week. Have a Healthy Happy New Year.

Core Health Darien

551 Post Road
Darien, CONNECTICUT 06820
United States
Source: http://newswire.net/newsroom/oped/00094646-headache-relief-stamford-norwalk.html

Los riesgos de aplicaciones de software heredadas

(Newswire.net — October 27, 2016) — Generalmente, el proceso de modernizar un software heredado que ya no recibe soporte ni mantenimiento es considerado de alto coste y largo. Sin embargo, no actualizar ni migrar a una tecnología más moderna podría generar problemas importantes a nivel corporativo.

Un gran numero de organizaciones sigue usando software heredado durante años o incluso décadas. Las razones son varias. La compañía ha invertido en un producto al cual intenta sacar el mayor partido posible y, por lo general, los empleados tienen ya conocimientos avanzados en el uso del software actual, por lo que implementar un software nuevo implicaría más tiempo y costes para la formación de esos trabajadores. Además, puede que el nuevo software funcione en un sistema heredado específico, el cual también necesitaría actualizaciones. Asimismo, la compañía puede haber desarrollado incluso aplicaciones especializadas de las cuales depende el software heredado – una situación que hace aún más difícil la decisión de migrar.

Sin embargo, a pesar del gran número de razones a favor del uso de software heredado, las desventajas son demasiado importantes para ignorarlas. De hecho, dos de los inconvenientes más importantes del software heredado incluyen el riesgo de seguridad que conlleva y las posibles pérdidas financieras a causa de operaciones de negocio críticas afectadas.

Las principales desventajas del software heredado

Dependencia de la plataforma heredada. En ocasiones, el producto heredad funciona únicamente en un entorno heredado. Por ejemplo, un gran número de productos de software heredados no funcionan en Windows 7 ni en versiones superiores de dicha plataforma. En esos casos, el software heredado no supone ninguna vulnerabilidad, pero la compañía sí corre más riesgos de seguridad debido a la dependencia entre el software heredado y la plataforma heredada.

Finalización de soporte – Normalmente, en algún momento, el proveedor del software heredado decide terminar el servicio de soporte del producto en cuestión, lo que significa que, desde ese momento, los riesgos de seguridad permanecen sin detectar o no se toman medidas para solucionarlos.

Un buen ejemplo es el software documental heredado de Adobe Central (Accelio Central / JetForm Central). En ese caso, numerosas compañías que están utilizando dicho software heredado han detectado que la nueva actualización de seguridad de Windows-– Microsoft Patch KB3170455 – ocasiona un fallo en las aplicaciones a la hora de imprimir. Esta situación, en un gran número de casos, está afectando críticamente a los procesos documentales de esas empresas.

Recientemente, Adobe ha finalizado de manera permanente los servicios de soporte y mantenimiento para su software Adobe Central, lo que significa que no desarrollará ninguna corrección más para el producto. Como otras compañías de software, Adobe comunicó el calendario de finalización del soporte a todos sus clientes hace mucho tiempo. Sin embargo, muchas de las compañías afectadas no han tomado acciones al respecto. De hecho, muchos departamentos de TI no tienen en cuenta las implicaciones indirectas que el software heredado puede conllevar y consideran por tanto que no hace falta modificar planes o mejorar el software actual. Si hubieran planeado con antelación y hubieran investigado posibles alternativas para reemplazar el software heredado, sin duda se habrían encontrado en una posición mucho mejor.

La única solución para aquellas compañías que usen Adobe Central será buscar, cuanto antes, un software que reemplace adecuadamente al producto actual, puesto que no instalar la actualización KB31700455 de Windows implica riesgos de seguridad importantes. Si algún hacker consigue entrar en el sistema corporativo, las consecuencias a nivel operacional y de negocio podrían ser impactantes, desde problemas locales, hasta pérdidas importantes de datos, robo y fraude.

Teniendo en cuenta los riesgos mencionados anteriormente, ningún director de TI responsable dudará de la necesidad de implementar la actualización KB31700455 de Microsoft, pero ¿cómo se puede manejar el problema de este patch para los procesos de impresión afectados? Una empresa no puede parar sus operaciones sin sufrir pérdidas, así que se requiere una solución rápida. Y, mientras tanto, la compañía estará expuesta a diferentes riesgos de seguridad hasta que haya podido implementar la actualización de Windows.

La falta de escalabilidad y flexibilidad– Utilizar aplicaciones flexibles y escalables es importante para cualquier organización, porque este tipo de software evita que se pierdan recursos e inversiones valiosos al adaptar las aplicaciones a nuevas necesidades de negocio. Desgraciadamente, es común que el software heredado no pueda modificarse o expandirse para satisfacer esos nuevos requisitos. Además, debido a la codificación fija de la mayoría de los productos heredados, dichas aplicaciones tienden a ser altamente inflexibles e incapaces de seguir el alto ritmo de los avances en la compañía.

Un buen ejemplo son las grandes compañías que necesitan enlazar sus aplicaciones heredadas con un nuevo software de comercio electrónico. Algunas organizaciones deciden iniciar un proceso caro para el desarrollo de patches individuales para su software heredado, mientras que la mejor solución es buscar software más moderno y escalable que reemplace el producto actual.

Falta de regulación: El software heredado posiblemente no sigue las nuevas regulaciones legales. Y si lo hace, dejará de hacerlo en breve con casi total seguridad. En el caso del software documental, se deben tener en cuenta las nuevas regulaciones legales para el almacenamiento de los datos, firmas digitales y la distribución segura de datos, entre otras. De hecho, la lista de nuevas regulaciones y marcos legales para el almacenamiento, backup y distribución de datos está creciendo más que nunca. Existe, por ejemplo, una reforma en el Reglamento General de Protección de Datos elaborado por el Consejo Europa, la cual afecta de manera importante al almacenamiento de datos, y la Ley de Responsabilidad y Portabilidad del Seguro de Salud expone unas indicaciones muy exigentes referente a los métodos de almacenamiento y backup de datos sobre salud personal en los EE.UU.

La solución: migración hacia software moderno

Sin duda, como hemos podido ver en el ejemplo de la actualización KB31700455 de Microsoft y el impacto que ha tenido dicho patch, no solamente en el software documental de Adobe Central, sino muy posiblemente en más aplicaciones de software, la solución que se debe llevar a cabo para resolver todas las inconvenientes del software heredado consiste en migrar a un nuevo software que reemplace correctamente el anterior.

Ningún producto está totalmente libre de riesgos de seguridad, pero las nuevas aplicaciones de software siempre se desarrollan teniendo en cuenta las vulnerabilidades ya conocidas y, al ser implementadas con sus servicios de soporte correspondientes, reciben actualizaciones y correcciones en el caso de problemas o fallos inesperados.

Además, el nuevo software incluye generalmente nuevas funcionalidades, como una interfaz de usuario mejorada y niveles de rendimiento aumentadas, resultando en beneficios adicionales para la compañía. Por otro lado, si la migración a otro software es adecuadamente analizada antes de la implementación, la organización en cuestión obtendrá sin duda una solución que ofrezca las opciones necesarias para soportar efectivamente las capacidades de negocio presentes y futuras, permitiendo así que la compañía pueda crecer y evolucionar.


André Klein
Consultor Freelance para DocPath

Source: http://newswire.net/newsroom/oped/00093996-riesgos-de-aplicaciones-de-software-heredadas.html

The Risks of Keeping Legacy Software Applications

(Newswire.net — October 27, 2016) — Modernizing out-of-support legacy software is generally considered a costly and long process. However, not upgrading or migrating to more modern software technology could be disastrous for any organization.

Many organizations keep using legacy software for years or even decades, and the reasons are obvious. They have invested in the product and intend to use it for as long as possible. Typically, employees have already learnt how to use the software, meaning that new software would probably involve time and additional capital in terms of training. In addition, the software may only run on a specific legacy system, which would also need an upgrade, or companies may have developed custom applications that depend on the legacy software, constituting an important discouragement to abandon it.

However, in spite of the many reasons to keep using legacy software, the disincentives are too important to ignore. In fact, two of the most important deterrents are the security risks involved and the potential financial losses due to affected business-critical operations.

The Main Disincentives of Legacy Software

Dependency on legacy platform – A legacy product may only run in a legacy environment. For example, many legacy software products are not supported under Windows 7 or newer versions. In other words, the legacy software itself may not entail a risk, but its dependency on a legacy platform still causes the company in question to be vulnerable to security traits.

Sunset of support services – At some point, the legacy software vendor generally decides to end the product´s support services, which means that, from that moment on, security risks and vulnerabilities may remain undetected or unaddressed.

As an example to illustrate this issue let’s take the case of the Adobe Central (Accelio Central / JetForm Central)legacy document software. Companies running that legacy software have detected that a new Windows server patch -–Microsoft Patch KB3170455– causes the applications to fail when printing. This situation, in many cases, is affecting business-critical document processes.

Adobe recently sunset the support services for Adobe Central, meaning that no fixes will be provided. Like any software company, Adobe communicated the sunset schedule long ago to all its customers. But did the affected companies take action? The reality is that many IT departments oversee the indirect implications that related software may have and only consider that they have no plans to modify or enhance the currently functioning software. If instead they would have planned ahead and researched other possible alternative replacement software, they would surely be in a better position.

The only solution for Adobe Central users will be to look for an adequate replacement software product ASAP, as not applying the Microsoft patch KB31700455 involves important security risks that companies can’t afford to take, as the damage of having hackers enter the business system could have an unforeseeable negative operational and business impact, starting from simple local problems, through data loss, up to data theft and fraud.

Keeping the latter in mind, it is of no doubt to a responsible business owner that applying the Microsoft patch KB31700455 would be the way to go, but how to cope with the problem that this will cause the affected business document printing processes? A quick solution is required, as the business can’t stop operating. In the meantime, until the Microsoft patch KB31700455 has been applied, the company will be exposed to a security breach.

Lack of scalability and flexibility – Using flexible and scalable applications is important for organizations, because it means that valuable resources and investments will not be lost when they need to be modified to meet new business needs. Unfortunately, typically, legacy software is unable to scale to address new business requirements.

Moreover, due to the hard-coded rules of many legacy products, the application tends to be highly inflexible and unable to keep up with the pace of business.

A good example are large companies that need to connect their legacy applications to e-commerce software. Some organizations decide to start a costly process developing individual patches for their legacy software, while the best solution would be to look for a truly scalable and modern replacement software.

Lack of regulation – The legacy software may not be and will most probably not remain compliant to new regulations. In the case of document software, important regulations must be met involving stored data, digital signature and secure data distribution, among many other aspects. And the fact is that the list of new regulatory and legal frameworks for storage, backup and distribution is growing faster than ever. For example, there is the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which greatly impacts compliance techniques involving data storage, and the HIPAA in the US indicates very strong requirements regarding data storage and backup methods.

The Solution: Replacement Software

Without a doubt, as we have seen in the example of Microsoft patch KB31700455 and its impact, not only on the Adobe Central document software, but possibly on quite a few others, the solution that addresses all disincentives of legacy software consists of migrating to a replacement software.

While no product can be guaranteed free of security risks, new applications are always built with the knowledge of past vulnerabilities in mind, and as new applications are implemented with their corresponding support services, upgrades and fixes are provided in the case of any unforeseen issue.

Moreover, new software generally comes with new features, enhanced GUI and improved performance creating additional business benefits. If the replacement software is adequately analyzed before implementation, then it will also be a solution which offers options that effectively support current and future capability needs, allowing the involved business processed to grow and evolve.


Source: http://newswire.net/newsroom/oped/00093995-risks-of-keeping-legacy-software-applications.html

What Depression Really Looks Like

(Newswire.net — July 2, 2016) Centennial, CO — Diagnosing depression is often like diagnosing “chest pain,” because there are many causes of the behavioral signs and symptoms of depression. Although depression is pervasive, its treatment continues to be — in most part — reliant on a trial-and-error series of various pharmaceutical and psychological interventions. 

Symptoms of depression are easy to see – prolonged sadness, negativity, isolation, lethargy. Too often, we treat the symptoms without investigating the true culprit to the behavioral anomaly.

But, what if we could see inside the brain and find the molecular differences in brain structure and function among those who are depressed? 

It would be revolutionary, because we could target the area causing problems more specifically, and skip the trial-and-error treatment plan. 

Well, now we can. 

Theodore Henderson, MD, PhD, co-founder of Neuro-Laser Foundation based in Denver, recently authored “What Neuroimaging Can Teach us About Depression,” published in Psychiatry Advisor this month. According to Dr. Henderson, neuroimaging studies have show several neurophysiological substrates for depression. Using neuroimaging or “brain scans”, such as single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET), researchers and clinicians can now show that while patients may present with the same symptoms of depression, they can have very different processes occurring in their brains.

An estimated 6.6% of Americans suffer from depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. We suspect about 350 million people worldwide are affected. Yet despite all the well-meaning efforts of psychiatrists and therapists, despite the cornucopia of antidepressant medications, depression continues to be one of top medical complaints.

Depression is serious. Lives are at stake, and there’s no time to try different medications, and talk about problems. Let me suggest you discover the biology of the depression by studying your brain. At Neuro-Laser Foundation, they look at the blood flow, activity and functional performance throughout the brain. This is a part of a full diagnosis process that results in a highly-targeted treatment plan.

For example, you might find evidence of a previous traumatic brain injury (TBI), which often go undetected and untreated, causing all kinds of problems. By targeting the TBI, Dr. Henderson can reverse the brain damage using a very unique “neuro-laser” that treats the biological cause of the problem, not the symptoms.

Additionally, Dr. Henderson has more than four years of clinical experience with ketamine, an anesthetic, which rapidly and dramatically reverses depression when applied during a low-dosage infusion. Ketamine activates immediate, as well as prolonged, effects in the body. In particular, it upregulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

Depression has answers, but you have to look. We invite you. Email neurolaser@gmail.com for more information, or call (720) 493-1101 for answers. 


About Neuro-Laser Foundation

The Neuro-Laser Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Denver, Colorado, dedicated to advancing technology and treatment that will increase quality of life for people impacted by traumatic brain injury and other complex psychiatric conditions. Learn more at TBI.care.

Neuro-Laser Foundation

3979 E. Arapahoe Road
Suite 205
Centennial, CO 80112
United States
(720) 493-1101
Source: http://newswire.net/newsroom/oped/00093048-http-www-tbi-care-news.html

Thinking Outside the Bag

(Newswire.net — June 28, 2016) —

While cannabis still isn’t widely accepted in all communities, there are a number of people who are turning the growth of medical cannabis into a worthwhile business adventure. Medical cannabis dispensaries are popping up all over the U.S. to serve the local communities, and they don’t just benefit the people who launch them.

Increased Work in the Community

As marijuana dispensaries in Arizona and other states continue to rise, this brings further employment to the areas in which they are established. Not only does it provide the business owner with ongoing work but, more often than not, assistants and employees will also be required, creating more jobs in the area.

Establishing a dispensary can also give rise to other companies too as many owners also utilize insurance companies, payment processors and doctor recommendations alongside their service. This provides a boost to the medical cannabis dispensary while also bringing further opportunities and customers to other businesses in the area too.

A Growing Industry

In 2014, the medical marijuana industry was valued at $4 billion; as of this year, this figure looks set to quadruple to a whopping $16 billion. This rise is due to the ongoing medicinal benefits that are found within the drug along with its legalization in a number of U.S. states. This is further added to with the emergence of dispensaries across America, which continue to rise due to the profitability of the industry.

Aids Marijuana Awareness

As dispensaries are legal, it helps to promote the benefits of medical marijuana to the communities as many still remain unaware of these. Due to the controversy surrounding cannabis and its recreational use, many aren’t aware that many medical benefits have been found and dispensaries offer the education and advice to people who want to know more.

They also provide a place for people who are in need of medical marijuana to go to, legally, removing the risk of illegal sellers and the crime that is associated with them.

Assisting the Homeless

One U.S. state has also put recreational marijuana sales tax revenue to good use. In Aurora, Colorado, the Colfax Community Network is receiving money for projects which has been derived from the tax placed on recreational marijuana.

The network helps to educate families who are on a low-income and they will be receiving $220,000 of the $1.5 million that has been put aside to help homeless people in the area. Speaking about this latest venture, Julie Patterson, a spokeswoman for the city, said that they anticipate to have collected approximately $8 million from these taxes by the end of 2016. Some of this is being used in the building of a recreation center while half is being used to improve transportation in the city. Having become the first U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana commerce in 2014, Colorado is already benefiting from the taxes in place.

With the rise of U.S. states legalizing marijuana and with the growth of dispensaries, cannabis is not only becoming more widely accepted but is also bringing money to local communities.

Karen Martinez is a student working her way towards a career as a journalist. She loves to write on topics that are different and thought provoking, and she is not afraid to speak her mind even if on topics that are sometimes even controversial.

Source: http://newswire.net/newsroom/oped/00093012-thinking-outside-the-bag.html

When Will President Park Apologize to The Vietnamese People?

(Newswire.net — June 9, 2016) —  The first step to apologizing is to admit to one’s actions and take responsibility for them. President Park has still to do so for her country’s past actions in foreign wars.

Retracing history, South Korea led by strongman President Park Chung-hee, the sitting president’s father, sent over 320,000 soldiers to fight in the Vietnam War. They came from the ROK Army and ROK Marine Corps. The first troops arrived in 1964 and for nine years until 1973, they inflicted all sorts of brutality on the Vietnamese. Among the US allies, South Korea was the largest military contingent in Vietnam, second only to the United States Forces.  The official line for helping the US was to repay them for defending South Korea in the Korean War and to solidify military alliance between the two countries.

Now it can be told that financial incentives were also a key consideration for Park to send his troops to Vietnam. It is said he even campaigned hard for the war to continue. The Johnson and Nixon administration gave over tens of billions of dollars for the soldiers but all the money was coursed through Park. Most of it was used to realize the dictator’s ambitious economic development program. Hence, from being one of the poorest countries in the 1950s, the Republic of Korea experienced rapid growth in its economy starting in the 1960s.

When the South Korean military were in Vietnam, they were given carte blanche to do as they wished. The only goal was to vanquish the enemy. And they did so, in the most inhumane of methods. The “enemy” for them was anyone Vietnam. Unarmed men, helpless women and children, and the elderly were not spared. Their stories were only revealed forty years after the war ended, when a Korean graduate student studying in a university in Hanoi became curious about the accounts she heard and started digging them up. The untold tales of massacres of entire villages were finally revealed in her articles that saw publication in a weekly newsmagazine.

Shocked and disgusted that her fellow countrymen were capable of such despicable acts, she got help in putting up the Korean-Vietnamese Peace Foundation with the aim of fostering healing of the Vietnam people survivors of war and establishing a peaceful coexistence among other people.

The stories of the Vietnam comfort women came later. It seems the Korean soldiers were not content with killing the weak and defenseless. They assaulted and raped thousands of the women, then left them with their children. Born of mixed blood, the children are called Lai Dai Han and live in the margins of society, scorned and ridiculed.

Statesmen and civic groups are asking for an apology for the Vietnam victims. But Park Geun-hye chooses to be silent, not admitting to the crimes perpetrated during her father’s regime. In the domestic arena, he was already ruthless on his opponents. In the Vietnam War, he condoned the acts of his soldiers because it is not possible for him to be unaware of what was going on. His daughter, an ultra-conservative, is bent on protecting the country’s integrity and her own father’s name. In Vietnam on a state visit in 2013, Park laid flowers on the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the North Vietnam president and chairman of the Communist Party. But nary a word was said about the war. In 2001, when President Kim Dae-jung apologized to Vietnam for the acts of his people, Park criticized him for bringing shame to South Korea.

Behind the scenes, she is pushing for the government to take charge of the production of history books for schools. There are fears that it will be revised to put Park Chung-hee in a better light. In her autobiography, she wrote “The slander against my father continued, and I couldn’t just stand by and watch. As I saw it, my father had no personal ambition other than for his country, the Republic of Korea.”

 The latest insensitivity shown by Ms. Park is her praise of the Korean TV series “Descendants of the Sun,” set in a war-torn country where a Korean officer falls in love with a doctor with a peacekeeping mission. There have been debates over whether it will bother Vietnam people because it will bring back memories of the war. But Park is encouraging its showing in other countries to promote tourism.

Pres. Park always puts her own interests first. In 1960, her father received $800 million from Japan in the form of soft loans, grants and trusts. Last December, she was able to obtain another apology from Japan for the Korean comfort women and an $8.3 million payment for the victims. But she is her father’s daughter and it will be surprising if she acknowledges the sins of her country and apologize to the Vietnam people.  Still, stranger things have happened.

Source: http://newswire.net/newsroom/oped/00092876-when-will-president-park-apologize-to-the-vietnamese-people.html

Smoking and Vaping— What You Thought You Knew is Not a Foregone Conclusion

(Newswire.net — April 28, 2016) —  Anyone who has watched old movies, particularly the 1930s, 40s, and 50s cinema, would discern Hollywood’s torrid affair with cigarette smoking. Silver screenland’s preeminent male actors lighting and smoking a cigarette was perceived as rebellious, uninhibited, and charmingly stoic.

Female actresses holding or puffing on a cigarette, especially with the glamorous long, sleek, cigarette holder, was seen with frequency, and portrayed them as confident, strong, determined, and even seductive.  While these talented artists deserve tribute for their performance skills, they cannot take credit for introducing cigarettes to the erstwhile growing modern world.

Tobacco plants were seen 18,000 years ago by migrant people who crossed the Bering Strait, and spread across continents into the North American region. Celebrated throughout most of history for its medicinal and ritualistic characteristics, thousands of years of human evolution has changed our relationship with tobacco’s dissemination and cultivation.  

By the time the American Civil War was active in the 1860s, America advanced a different type of the economic cigarette by placing it in the hands of soldiers. This tobacco variety was light in color, more aromatic, and sweeter. After trying a few of the ‘unusual tobacco’ brand, unfamiliar smokers felt the urgent need to puff on another, and then another. It was now clear to the cigarette production industry they had created a new powerful, and profitable vice.

At the turn of the 20th century, despite some medical objections being raised, and voiced concerns regarding their detriment by Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, mass cigarette production continued.

The First World War set a new record when American production of cigarettes soared to 18 billion between 1914 and 1918.  The soldier’s desire for the distinct tobacco fix grew into a crusade to provide free cigarettes to soldiers. The narcotic effect was considered advantageous to combat loneliness for those on the front line. During World War II, women worldwide had joined men with their appetite to smoke. And soldiers gravitated heavily to free cigarette campaigns. At some point during post-war Europe, cigarettes replaced currency in the black market.

As cigarette smoking’s presence became more widespread, creeping its way into cinematography, mainstream advertisers promoted these health crippling sticks as an aid to stay slim and lean. In the early 1900s, lung cancer was seen as rare. Researchers attributed it to some form of influenza, tuberculosis, exposure to irritant gases, or other chronic factors.

Understanding the impact cigarettes had on health specifically changed after E. A. Potter and M. R. Tully published their statistical findings in the American Journal of Public Health in 1945. Their studies revealed the higher rate at which cancer was being diagnosed in smoking patients.        

Even though the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed that a large, quite visible label, with a more specific alarming warning be placed on all cigarette manufacturer’s packages and advertisements in 1964, Congress preempted the FTC’s effort by passing the Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1964. This act required labels to display a ‘smaller in size’, mere cautionary statement, and excluded this requirement for cigarette advertisers.

It would take another 20 years for Congress to do what was necessary previously. In 1984, the Comprehensive Smoking Education Act necessitated four rotating warnings on all cigarette packages and advertisements.

It is understood by anyone who has paid attention to the consequences of smoking, that it increases one’s risk of developing lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), strokes, heart disease, and secondhand smoke exposure ailments. It is linked to 10 other types of cancer, including colon, cervix, liver, stomach and pancreatic cancer.

It also contributes to macular degeneration and blindness, type 2 diabetes, reproductive problems, and low birth-weight babies—breaking down the integrity of practically every health system in the human body.  

Even though there has been effective strategic interventions, and notable progress with regard to reducing the prevalence of smoking worldwide, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report states that 19 per cent of American adults (age 18 and older) in 2011 smoke traditional cigarettes, and there are about 43.8 million conventional smokers globally. The U.S. statistic does not reflect middle school aged youths, and those under 18.

Also, these findings do not annotate people who choose to roll their own unfiltered cigarettes, assuming they are safer.

For those who are challenged to quit, the trend seems to be more towards reducing the number of cigarettes smoked daily, or they transition to vaping electronic cigarettes (e-cigs), which poses a unique set of health risks not commonly known. Most smokers are not fully aware of what they are inhaling through either method. 

What seems to be understood to a limited extent, is the effect of nicotine, which is present in, and happens to be the primary source of addiction in both e-cigs and traditional cigarettes, and primes the brain to become addicted to other substances. The pharmacokinetic properties of nicotine is what leads to its overconsumption.

Cigarette smoking or e-cig vaping produces a rapid distribution of nicotine to the brain.  Nicotine (drug) levels peak within 10 seconds of inhalation. The effects of nicotine dissipate so quickly, along with the dependency-creating ‘desired feeling’, the smoker continues to smoke/vape to maintain the nicotine dosage level, which constructs the drug’s pleasurable effects, and curtails withdrawal.

According to Jennifer Cameron of the College of Nursing at Washington State University in Spokane, and her colleagues, nicotine can be absorbed in the gut or through the skin. As little as 30 to 60 milligrams/mg. (0.001 to 0.002 ounce) of nicotine can kill an adult. A mere 10 mg. may kill a child.  

In its new study, Cameron’s team showed that a small vial of e-cigarette liquid can contain 100 mg. of nicotine. How much a vial contained was not always reported accurately on a product’s label. If a child or adult consumed much of what was in a vial, they could die, the team concluded.

Their findings appear in the January, 2014, issue of Tobacco Control. Some e-cig manufacturers have designed their products to resemble tobacco cigarettes, and compare their nicotine delivery to conventional cigarettes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) describes e-cigs as ‘electronic nicotine delivery systems’, or ENDS.

According to an August, 2015, publication from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, exposure to nicotine in e-cigs or ENDS, during periods of developmental vulnerability (young people and fetuses), can impair development of neurons and brain circuits, leading to changes in brain architecture, chemistry, and neurobehavioral function, and may impair or dysregulate non-neuronal cellular function (brain development and function).

Nicotine in the human body simply performs and influences the way it does regardless of age. Although nicotine is of great concern in young people, since it compromises or debilitates what they are on docket to healthfully develop physiologically, in older adults, it alters brain chemistry, constricts blood vessels, increases blood pressure, stimulates the heart, and raises blood fat levels.   

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), high doses of nicotine (heavy smoking or vaping; exposure to heavy smoking or vaping) is similar to what is found in insecticide sprays leading to toxicity, which can cause vomiting, tremors, convulsions, and even death. One drop of pure nicotine can kill a person.  Nicotine poisoning has been reported from accidental ingestion of tobacco products on the part of children and pets. Death usually results in a few minutes from respiratory failure caused by paralysis.

The CDC states that e-cigs have now surpassed traditional cigarette use among middle and high school students, causing concern among public health officials who wonder if they are better or worse for lung health compared to cigarettes.

Research revealed in the 2015 edition of the American Journal of Physiology—Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, indicates that nicotine alone is sufficient enough to alter the cells that make up the lining of the lungs (endothelial cells), which can lead to lung injury and inflammation, affecting its shape and function.

For many e-cig brands, puffing activates the battery-powered heating device, which vaporizes (vaping) the liquid in the cartridge. Irina Petrache, PhD., physician and lung specialist at Indiana University at Indianapolis, found nicotine caused inflammation in lung tissue. It also reduced that tissue’s ability to serve as a barrier to foreign substances. “Even an e-cigarette liquid having ‘no nicotine’ disrupted the barrier function of lung cells,” Petrache’s team stated.  They attributed this to other solvents and potentially toxic materials.

Also, the refillable cartridges potentially exposes the user to higher levels of nicotine from traces continually left behind. Further complicating these concerns, are additives that are included to increase the absorption and effectiveness of nicotine which directly affects the nervous system. This especially applies to cigarettes.

Nicotine-free e-cigarette’s solution and vapor contain a lung harming substance called acrolein. This substance has been shown to damage the lungs by attacking the molecules that hold endothelial cells together.  An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine shifts this discussion into more serious concerns. Their findings detail how the propylene glycol in the pre-vaping liquid breaks down into formaldehyde. 

Formaldehyde is considered a Group 1 carcinogenic compound (cancer causing) to humans according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. In toxicology, it is not the presence of something like formaldehyde that matters, it is the actual dose. The researchers found that an e-cig user vaping at a rate of 3 milliliters/ml per day (considered average), would inhale 14.4 mg. of formaldehyde per day in formaldehyde-releasing agents. 

To further illustrate the potency of this carcinogen, an average pack of tobacco cigarettes (20 of them) would deliver 3 mg. of formaldehyde to the smoker. In effect, the e-cig vaper is inhaling nearly 5 packs of cigarettes worth of formaldehyde, targeting sensitive areas of the body such as the lungs, tongue and throat.

Cigarette’s profile is notably terrifying. There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes, approximately 40 of which are known carcinogens, to include: arsenic, sulfuric acid (car batteries), cadmium, hydrogen cyanide (gas chamber poison), butane (cigarette lighter fluid), ammonia (cleaning products), tar (passes through filter and blackens lungs), and carbon monoxide (poisonous gas), among a ghastly long list of substances.  

Interestingly, some of the carcinogens found in cigarettes are in e-cigs and their emissions as well, such as: acetone, tin, acetaldehyde, benzopyrene, propylene glycol, ultrafine liquid and various metal particles, and nicotine. For brands that are advertised as nicotine-free, if the product does not specifically state it has 0 percent nicotine, then varying amounts of nicotine are present depending on the product.

The German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg found nickel, chromium, and lead in the aerosol of e-cigs. The German Research Foundation, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), classify these substances as carcinogenic in large enough quantities. They measured higher levels of nickel than what is known to be present in cigarettes. These particles fleck off the solder joints or metal coils in the devices when heated. Nanoparticles (tiniest bits of metal) can travel deep into the lungs, creating starting points for respiratory ailments, or exacerbating existing ones.

If several people in a room are using e-cigs at the same time, this results in considerable indoor air pollution due to accumulation. It needs to be understood that many things that can be eaten, for instance, have a different toxicity profile when inhaled through the lungs.

Also, many substances that are ingested occasionally, cannot be compared to substances that are inhaled constantly. This is a huge scientific aspect of toxicology that cannot be sufficiently addressed in an abbreviated article.

When you inhale any toxic (or potentially toxic) chemical, particle, or substance, the impact of the dose you receive depends on four factors: (1) the level of concentration; (2) how hard (fast and deep) you are breathing, which is contingent upon physical exertion; (3) how much of the chemical that is inhaled stays in your lungs, and is absorbed into your bloodstream; and (4) how long the exposure lasts. 

Potentially harmful substance, or chemical exposure that continues over a long period of time is hazardous since some chemicals accumulate in the body, or because the damage does not have a chance to be repaired. 

The combination of dose and duration is called the ‘rate of exposure’. The body has several systems, with the greatest ‘work load’ being placed on our liver, kidneys, and lungs, that change chemicals to a less toxic form (detoxify) and eliminate them. If your rate of exposure to a chemical exceeds the rate at which you can eliminate it, some of the substances/chemicals will accumulate in your body. This eventually leads to some type of health malady—mild or severe.   

To compound these considerations, new information out of Harvard University was released in December, 2015, in the Harvard Gazatte that irrefutably links e-cigs to lung disease. So much focus has been placed on the combustion element of smoking and nicotine, that other health hazards posed by the device were eclipsed.

They discovered health threats associated with the chemical flavorings used in e-cigs. One of the flavoring chemicals, diacetyl, has been linked to cases of severe respiratory disease, and it is found in more than 75 percent of flavored e-cigs, and refill liquids tested by researchers at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Additionally, two other potentially harmful compounds were found in many of the tested flavors, which included varieties that better appeal to young people such as cotton candy, ‘fruit squirts’, and cupcake.

Not only was this study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has warned workers about diacetyl because of the association between inhaling the chemical, and the debilitating respiratory disease bronchiolitis obliterans (inflammation obstruction in lungs, and severe scarring that blocks airways)—commonly known as ‘popcorn lung’.

This condition earned its name since it first appeared in workers who inhaled artificial butter flavor in microwave popcorn processing facilities. Harvard University’s press release emphasizes that the FDA has not tested e-cigs for safety and their potential health effects, and, they are not currently regulated. There are currently about 500 brands of e-cigs, and more than 7,000 types of flavored e-cigs and e-juice on the market awaiting further research and regulation.  

Surveys in 2014 showed e-cigs had become the most commonly used tobacco product by middle and high school students. It is called a tobacco product because its nicotine comes from tobacco.  Articles have been written praising e-cigs for saving the thriving of tobacco farming.

Although nicotine can be produced synthetically in a lab, this version has been discouraged because several chemicals in the synthetic production process are listed as carcinogens (cancer causing).

Mitch Zeller of the FDA, and director of the Center for Tobacco Products in Maryland, stated recently: “Cigarette and cigar use has been falling over the past decade. But that good news is now being threatened by the bad news of this dramatic increase in the use of e-cigarettes.” He added: “I can say definitively, nicotine is harmful to the developing teenage brain. And no teenager, no young person, should be using any tobacco or nicotine-containing products, these include e-cigarettes.”

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill asked three teenagers, ages 16 and 17, to buy bottles of e-liquid online. They used their real names, addresses, and social security numbers, but provided bogus birth dates showing they were in their mid-20s. Only four of 120 vendors rejected them.

There are a considerable number of articles on the Internet endorsing e-cigs as though they are the cigarette savior—scoffing at, and minimizing research findings. These articles and blogs go about, in some cases in great length, the business of putting some very creative spins on credible examinations.

It is unlikely that these publications would risk their reputations by publishing false findings. In this vain, it appears their commitment is to increase awareness about the role the substances in e-cigs play in your body, so you can make informed decisions, and to assist in protecting your health.

Characterizing e-cigs as the lesser of two evils compared to cigarettes is probably a fair impression at this stage in e-cig studies. However, the research data indicating the manner in which they are detrimental should not be ignored.

There are many reasons why people smoke or vape. Most smokers or vapers begin in their teenage years and continue into adulthood. Many young people think it is cool, and it is part of what takes place in their social circles. Still others enjoy the excitement of experimenting—particularly if it is forbidden.

In general, stress and pressure from personal, occupational, and economic affairs has a lot to do with why people of any age smoke, along with weight control. Nicotine’s effect on specific brain receptors has been documented to suppress one’s appetite.  Some people say smoking/vaping helps them to relax, or they feel energized.

For others, the ritual of obtaining, handling, smoking or vaping, as well as the taste and or smell of the cigarette or e-cig, is very appealing, and also contributes to the difficulty to withdrawal. Typical withdrawal symptoms include irritability, nicotine craving, depression, anxiety, cognitive and attention deficits, sleep disturbances, and increased appetite.

Since smoking and vaping presents a variation of health concerns or injurious health effects, the goal should be to quit. Quitting is challenging for many people. Speak with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner about natural products or methods that have a healthy, uplifting effect on the human brain and body.

Throw away your cigarettes/e-cigs, lighters and ashtrays (if this applies). Exercise more to improve your health, and to offset the potential increase in appetite, if weight gain is a concern. Confer with a qualified healthcare provider about what exercises are safe for you based on your age, and health report.

Stay active. Get your hands busy with a pen or toothpick. Hang out with non-smokers. Get as much rest as possible, and avoid too much sugar. Lack of sleep and too much sugar can trigger the desire to smoke or vape. Change your typical routines, and drink a lot of water.

Do not beat yourself up. Quit one day at a time. Days turn into months. Months turn into years.

Picture yourself 10, 20, or 30 years down the line, and envision how you want to look and feel.  And last, congratulate yourself in healthy ways for every week you have remained a non-smoker or non-vaper.   

Source: http://newswire.net/newsroom/oped/00092511-smoking-and-vaping-what-you-thought-you-knew-is-not-a-foregone-conclusion.html
Source: http://newswire.net/newsroom/oped/00092511-smoking-and-vaping-what-you-thought-you-knew-is-not-a-foregone-conclusion.html

How Movie Characters' Names Relate to Everyday People

(Newswire.net — April 8, 2016) — When people hear your name for the first time, what do they think? Do they think that you are some boring person, or do they think about how awesome you probably are because of your name? Well, all the people with the name Anthony Amado are feeling that way right now.

After the release of the movie American Hustle, every Anthony Amado is asked about this movie. One of the main characters in the movie has that name, and even if they have not seen the movie, everyone knows about it.

American Hustle was released in 2013 as a crime comedy- drama film. The movie is based off of an FBI operation that took place in the 1970s and 1980s. Starring Christian Bale and Amy Adams, the two are forced by FBI agent Bradley Cooper to go after all the stingy politicians, including Anthony Amado, who is played by Alessandro Nivola.

There are many people out there with the name Anthony Amado, and they are all saying how they have been affected by this. Everyone links their name to the movie, making them a star without even trying.

According to an article from reuters.com, many of the Anthony Amados of the world have felt a difference in their life. People are getting positive feedback because their name connects to someone from a popular movie.

“It’s kind of fun to have my name associated with a movie character,” an Anthony from New Jersey said in reuters.com’s article. “And the benefit now is, no one forgets my name.”

Having a name that relates back to an Oscar-nominated film and a Golden Globe winner for “Best Film of the Year “ is always a plus. Everyone will always have some way of remembering your name.

“It’s as if the movie has elevated me to star status and I only share the name,” another Anthony said. “You can tell the movie was a hit, cause most people relate my name now with the movie.”

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Source: http://newswire.net/newsroom/oped/00092351-connections-with-hollywood-how-movie-characters-names-relate-to-everyday-people.html