Rotary supports UMF students in leadership competition

first_imgGrace Hansen, Ana Drew, Matt Dotson, McKayla Marois and Libby Shanahan formed the Collegiate Leadership Competition team. The team was coached by UMF staff members Kirsten Swan and Lynne Eustis.FARMINGTON – The Farmington Rotary recently provided $1,000 for students from the University of Maine at Farmington to participate in the Collegiate Leadership Competition.Students participating in the competitions solve timed challenges. The students are judged on completing the challenge as well as the process they used. The UMF team was one of six that recently competed in the Northeast Regional competition, and placed second behind the University of Southern Maine. This is particularly noteworthy since teams are comprised of six members and due to a team member’s unforeseen circumstances, UMF’s team only had five members.The UMF team went on to compete in the “World Championship” – there was a team from Canada – and placed 14th out of 87 teams from a wide variety of colleges and universities.Students were selected to participate through a competitive application process. They met every Friday to practice for the event.At last week’s Rotary meeting, Farmington Rotarians were given a leadership challenge similar to one the students were to solve in competition. Challenged by the skills test were Ann Yorks, Lisa Park Laflin (wearing hat to designate the team leader), Terri Winslow, Frank Underkuffler, Dick Davis and Holly Barron. After cheating a few times the team completed the challenge!Rotary members participate in a challenge similar to the one posed to the UMF students.The Farmington Rotary has been serving local and global communities since 1925. The Rotary Club welcomes all to meetings which are in the North Dining Hall at UMF at 7 a.m. every Thursday. Rotary invites everyone to come network, hear from weekly presenters and learn more about its impact in the community and around the world.A hallmark of Farmington Rotary is its youth programs. The Farmington Rotary is believed to be the only Rotary in the world that has a continuum of youth clubs to cultivate service. These start in elementary school with Early Act, and go all the way to college with Next Act, Impact, Interact, and Rotaract.last_img read more

Warren Haynes Joins Little Feat & The Midnight Ramble Band In Jamaica [Watch]

first_img[H/T JamBase] Little Feat hosted a destination event this week, Ramble On The Island at the Jewel Paradise Cove in Runaway Bay, Jamaica. The rock band closed out the four night event with the Midnight Ramble Band and a guest appearance from guitarist and vocalist Warren Haynes. Haynes was in the area gearing up for the Gov’t Mule hosted Island Exodus, which starts today, so he took the time to get warmed up with friends nearby.Haynes sat in with Little Feat, Larry Campbell, and the Midnight Ramble Band horn section for a rendition of “Let It Roll”, before the rest of the MRB, including Teresa Williams and Amy Helm, joined in for a jammed-out version of “Dixie Chicken.” The 15th installment of Ramble On The Island saw three full performances from Little Feat, three from Midnight Ramble Band, and two from Jackson Browne and Greg Leisz.Thanks to Little Feat archivist Chris Cafiero, you can watch 4K video of Haynes’ appearances below:last_img read more

South Africa, US deepen trade ties

first_img26 June 2012 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has welcomed the revived economic ties between South Africa and the US, after Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk signed a trade and investment framework agreement last week. “Busa also supports other agreements and programmes that seek to expand trade and investment between South Africa and the United States,” the organisation said in a statement on Friday. “These include the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).” The latest agreement amends a similar agreement signed in 1999 and seeks to deepen the US-South Africa trade and investment relationship. It also provides for an annual forum that will address specific business challenges and will help enhance the trade and investment relationship between the two countries. South Africa-US dialogue Following last week’s signing, Davies and assistant US trade representative for Africa Florie Liser held a South Africa-US dialogue with South African and US businesses, with members of Busa, the US Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Council on Africa taking part. “It emerged from the meeting that the US did not want to sit by while other regions were taking advantage of mutual commercial opportunities in Africa as well as in South Africa,” Busa said. “Areas of cooperation in the [agreement] were outlined as anti-dumping, phytosanitary standards, investment, energy and infrastructure.”SA’s third-largest trading partner According to Busa, the US is South Africa’s third-largest single country trading partner, with total two-way trade between the two countries valued at US$22-billion in 2011. “South African exports to the US reached $9.5-billion in 2011, a 15.7 percent increase from 2010,” the organisation said. “Last year, $4.6-billion worth of South African products entered the US market duty- free under AGOA, an increase from $1.5-billion in 2010.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Fitch affirms SA’s ratings, with stable outlook

first_img20 December 2013The decision by international ratings agency Fitch to affirm South Africa’s credit rating is fair given the tough global economic climate and the government’s commitment to its fiscal plan, the National Treasury said in a statement on Wednesday.The government was responding to Fitch’s affirmation of the country’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings at BBB and BBB+, respectively.Despite being concerned about the slow pace of growth, the ratings agency said South Africa’s floating exchange rate and inflation-targeting framework acted as effective “shock absorbers” in the South African economy.Ratings on its senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds were also affirmed at BBB and BBB+, respectively.Fitch said the outlooks on the long-term issuer default ratings were stable. The country ceiling has been affirmed at A- and the short-term foreign currency issuer default rating at F3.South Africa’s Treasury said that South Africa’s strong banking system and “deep local financial markets” were also among the factors that influenced the affirmation of the country’s rating.“The ratings agency said that government debt was largely denominated in local currency and has a high average maturity and this limited exchange rate and financing risk,” the Treasury said.“Fitch also indicated that weak economic growth and a widening current account deficit were downside drivers preventing the economy from achieving a more positive rating.”The “counter-cyclical approach” was one of the toughest decisions that the government took to survive the aftermath of the 2008 recession. It did this by allowing the budget deficit to increase during bad times, before reigning it in when times improved.Standard and Poor’sOn Friday, the Treasury said it had noted Standard and Poor’s (S&P) decision to affirm the country’s longterm foreign currency credit rating at BBB and local currency credit rating at A-2.The rating agency maintained the negative credit outlook on the rating.The Treasury said on in a statement that the government’s view was that “S&P’s rating opinion did not take adequate account of progress made in addressing the issues that S&P had raised as potential drawbacks to their initial downgrades in 2012”.S&P said the ratings affirmation was based on the following factors: that the government would ensure broad, largely pragmatic, policy continuity; tensions in the mining sector had been reduced; GDP growth remained lacklustre; current account deficits were relatively high; general government debt was sizable; and portfolio flows are relatively volatile.According to S&P, South Africa’s recent lacklustre economic performance, external imbalances and labour tensions could affect its macroeconomic policy framework beyond the agency’s expectations.“The government’s view is that S&P’s rating opinion did not take adequate account of progress made in addressing the issues that S&P had raised as potential drawbacks to their initial downgrades in 2012,” the Treasury said.Treasury said government will continue to invest in infrastructure with the view of enhancing the productive capacity of the economy and the competitiveness of local industries.“This will be done in a manner consistent with fiscal sustainability as tabled in the 2013 Medium Term Budget Statement,” the Treasury said. Source: read more

SMB Tech Roundup: Collaboration Apps, iPad for Business, Google Analytics and QR Code Doubts

first_imgKeeping up with every tech headline is hard enough for anybody, let alone busy professionals. To help, ReadWriteBiz rounds up the week’s most important tech news and insights for small- and medium-sized businesses.In the collaboration Web app department, we saw group chat service Talker drop its subscription price to zero this week and get rolled into the Teambox project management suite. Meanwhile, collaborative task management app Flow, which we covered while it was in beta, officially launched. While these kinds of Web-based collaboration tools are all the rage these days, a study we covered this week suggested that companies are not quite sure how beneficial such tools are yet. Collaborative Web tools certainly help businesses cut down on commuting and improve communication, but beyond that, many companies aren’t seeing real benefits yet. Everybody’s favorite business social networking platform LinkedIn hit 100 million users this week and published a pretty infographic breaking down the statistics on those users. Web design feedback tool Notable launched a new design of its own this week, giving a fresh look to the browser-based service, which lets you easily gather insights on a page’s design and content from others. Google Analytics began rolling out their new dashboards to select beta users this week. The customizable, module-based dashboards let you build out reports based on each team member’s specific data needs. They’re not available to all Google Analytics users yet, but you can sign up for early access. Have you ever scanned a QR code with your phone? If so, you’re a part of a pretty small minority, at least in the United States. About a quarter of Americans own smart phones and out of them, only 32% have ever used a QR code, according to one recent survey. Tablets are quickly finding their place in business and accordingly, there was a lot of news about the iPad for businesses this week. ReadWriteWeb’s own Klint Finley rounded up the latest in iPad productivity apps, security features and usage statics. Also over on our sister channel ReadWriteEnterprise, Klint reviewed how to select and migrate to a cloud-based email provider for those companies ready to take the plunge. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Related Posts 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…center_img Tags:#biz#Reviews 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… john paul titlowlast_img read more

Unbelievable! The IDF Has Gamified Its War Blog

first_imgThis game has existed since July. But it was not displayed yesterday, when the campaign began. Now that it’s back, the world noticed. Promoting it on the front page during this military campaign is beyond crass.An IDF spokesperson tells ReadWrite that “over the past two days the blog has experienced technical difficulties due to high traffic, and  ‘IDF Ranks’ was temporarily taken down to make necessary adjustments to our systems. In no way is ‘IDF Ranks’ meant to gamify Operation Pillar of Defense or any military actions during the operation.”The technical reason sounds plausible, although I was on the site pretty early yesterday, and I never saw a trace of it. As for whether the IDF meant to gamify the operation, by turning the game back on, they did whether they meant to or not. When asked why they turned the game back on, the spokesperson said, “We turned it on because it is an integral part of the blog and has been for four months. After the site was briefly down because of the spike in traffic, we isolated it as a potential factor and, once we rectified the technical difficulties, brought it back up again.”The fact is, someone made the conscious decision to turn the game back on after the shooting began. I just can’t imagine a justification for it. Gamification is offensive when coupon companies do it. This is a WAR. Israel is trying to enlist the people of the world in its campaign with military ranks, badges and points. Innocent people are dying on all sides, and the IDF wants to reward people for tweeting about it. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit See Also: Israeli Defense Force Responds To Criticism Of Games On Its War BlogIt doesn’t matter what your opinion on the conflict itself is. We’re not talking about the morals of war. We’re talking about propaganda, pure and simple. This kind of marketing is manipulative and sleazy on the best of days. It’s a way for propagandists to drag your friends’ brains into something by using you. I want to write this post about apps and start-ups making dumb products sometimes. To gamify war is just absolutely unconscionable to me.This isn’t the first digital war game that’s horrified me. When America’s Army came out, before the social media age began, I thought it was the most disgusting thing I’d ever seen. But it’s abstract. It’s a recruitment tool. There’s no real-world component; it’s just designed to get people fired up. That’s awful enough. But this is check-ins for spectators watching an active, live military campaign. It makes me sick. Tags:#War Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts center_img The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Yesterday, when I wrote about the social media campaign that Israel was waging alongside its attack on Hamas, I thought it was interesting. I thought it was a straightforward and effective way of presenting the cause behind the attack. Whether you thought the offensive was right or wrong, you had to admit the propaganda’s effectiveness.Well, day two has changed matters. The IDF Blog now has atrocious gamification badges with points and rewards for sharing the content to social media. For example, if you visit the site 10 times, you get the “Consistent” badge. If you search the blog multiple times, you’re promoted to “Research Officer.” Yes, Israel has gamified war. This is absolutely horrendous. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… jon mitchelllast_img read more

Yahoo Rolls Out Redesign

first_imgTags:#redesign#Yahoo Related Posts Yahoo is rolling out its newly designed news and application websites including Yahoo Sports, Movies, Music, TV, omg!, Games and Weather. The aesthetic updates streamline the experience across the various Yahoo platforms and are improving the user experience on mobile and web devices.  Users will begin to notice these changes over the next few days. The redesign coincides with Yahoo’s logo rebranding, as the new logo is set to be revealed next week.  A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… selena larsonlast_img read more

Pelicans bringing back forward Cunningham

first_imgLATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. READ: Pelicans add free agent Tony AllenThe 6-foot-8 Cunningham spent the past three seasons in New Orleans, where he averaged 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in about 25 minutes per game last season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe 30-year-old Cunningham has spent eight seasons in the NBA, beginning with Portland, which selected him in the second round of the 2009 draft out of Villanova.Cunningham could start for New Orleans at small forward in a lineup that would feature DeMarcus Cousins at center, Anthony Davis at power forward, Rajon Rondo at point guard and Jrue Holiday at shooting guard. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Dante Cunningham. APA person familiar with the situation says the New Orleans Pelicans and forward Dante Cunningham have agreed on a one-year contract worth $2.3 million.The person spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the agreement, which was first reported by Yahoo, has not been announced.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments Man testifies in trial over NBA players assaultlast_img read more

FEU escapes Adamson for share of 3rd spot

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netANTIPOLO CITY—Far Eastern University sneaked its way to the top four after surviving Adamson University in five sets, 30-32, 25-20, 23-25, 25-20, 15-13, in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at Ynares Center here.The Lady Tamaraws have now won four of their last five games and improved to a 5-3 record tying University of Santo Tomas for the third spot in the standings.ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Google Philippines names new country director MOST READ PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss “I told the players if someone is down, they should play to help each other.”Ebon still finished with 19 points to lead the Lady Tamaraws while Heather Guino-o added 14 points.Eli Soyud led the Lady Falcons with 17 points while Mary Joy Dacoron and Chiara Permentilla added 15 points apiece.Adamson dropped its fourth straight game and languished at the bottom of the standings with a 1-7 record.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrantscenter_img Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag FEU played through the emotional burden of losing two of its stars to injury during the game itself with Jeanette Villareal suffering a right ankle sprain in the first set and rookie star Lycha Ebon to a right knee sprain or strain in the fifth.Ebon managed to give FEU the 3-1 lead in the fifth but her knee found got in contact with Bernadette Flora and this led her to land awkwardly forcing her to be stretchered out of the court.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“It’s good that we won but it’s unfortunate what happened to my players,” said FEU head coach George Pascua in Filipino. “I hope that their injury isn’t that severe and I hope that they can return soon.”With the scores tied at 13, captain Jerrili Malabanan calmly found the baseline to give FEU the 14-13 match point right before Celine Domingo punched through the finishing blow. Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES View comments Where’s Cinderella? Favorites dominating in NCAA 2nd roundlast_img read more

Phelps Readies For Pan Pacific

first_imgGOLD COAST, Australia — Michael Phelps got a confronting reminder of just how challenging his return to international competition may be when he was asked whether he was good enough to even reach a final at the Pan Pacific Championships this week.“Wow, you’re really setting the bar high for me!” the most decorated swimmer of all time joked in reply.Sitting beside him at a news conference, Phelps’ long-time coach Bob Bowman chipped in: “Reality check there.”The Pan Pacs start Aug. 21 and run through the weekend. It’s stage two of Phelps’ comeback from retirement — the first was qualifying for the U.S. team.Now Bowman is predicting Phelps will lower his best times in his butterfly, medley and freestyle, saying the challenge of going faster was the only reason the 18-time Olympic champion came back to the sport.Phelps qualified by finishing second in the 200-meter medley and the 100 butterfly at the U.S. nationals, and will be swimming in his first international meet since coming out of retirement four months ago with the aim of competing again at the world titles and Olympics.Only the top two swimmers from each country qualify for the finals, so Phelps is going to be under pressure from his American teammates in the morning preliminaries, and from the best swimmers from Australia, Japan, Canada, Brazil and other Pacific countries in the evening finals.He’ll start with the 100 freestyle on Aug. 22, which will feature seven Americans in the heats. He’ll also contest the 100 butterfly, the 200 medley and potentially some relays.Phelps didn’t win any of his four events at the U.S. nationals, although his times in the 200 IM and the butterfly were both among the fastest three in the world this year.He was unhappy with his freestyle, where his finish let him down. He said it was the kind of mistake an 11-year-old would make.Phelps, who won eight of his 18 Olympic gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, said he was “kind of rusty on judging the speed going into my walls,” and described his turns as “awful.”“Those were the big things that I guess I forgot how to do,” he said. “Not winning, it is what it is — I hate to lose — but I always do understand it’s not going to come back instantly.“I would rather have those instances now than farther down the road. World championships is next year … Olympics the year after that. Hopefully I’ll be able to fix the things now.”The U.S. team had a setback ahead of the competition, with Olympic and world champion Missy Franklin in doubt after hurting her back in training.Team USA spokesman Scott Leightman said Franklin had back spasms during practice Aug. 19. The 19-year-old Franklin was resting at the team hotel after medical staff controlled the spasms and issued a statement later saying she was feeling better with every hour and still hopeful of competing.Leightman said Franklin, who won both the 100- and 200-meter backstroke at the 2012 Olympics and claimed six golds at the world championships last year, would be re-evaluated before the preliminaries of the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle on Aug. 22.The Australian team is primed for a big performance at home after a winning the swimming competition at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.The competition will be held outdoors at the Gold Coast Aquatic Center, site of the 2018 Commonwealth Games swimming, and rain forecast for later in the week is giving swimmers something extra to think about.Phelps said it would be a novel experience for him. His friend and long-time rival, Ryan Lochte, said he grew up in Florida and was used to competing in rain.“You have to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. The coaches told us about the weather conditions — we’re all prepared for it,” he said.Lochte and Phelps have long dominated the 200 IM, but aren’t even seeded No. 1 at the Pan Pacs. Japan’s Kosuke Hagino has the fastest time of the year and his teammate Diaya Seto is also a contender.“It’s no longer just me and Michael. It’s definitely become a bigger event, and bigger race,” Lochte said.If Franklin is ruled out, more attention on the U.S. women’s team will center on 17-year-old Katie Ledecky, who broke the 400 freestyle world record at the nationals and now holds world marks in the 400, 800 and 1,500.“I can improve. I got some good work in after nationals. I’m really excited to see what I can do here,” Ledecky said.(JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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