Will Getting Dugg on Digg.com Improve Your Grades?

first_img Originally published Jun 7, 2007 5:30:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 So, back to the original question: Does getting a bunch of articles on the digg front page improve your grade? The answer is: Yes, but not directly. Since this is a new feature, it is not incorporated into the algorithm that calculates the final grade yet. We may change this later. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Digg.com is a social content site. Users submit articles that they like and find interesting and other users can then “digg” these articles. With enough diggs, an article can make it to the front page of digg.com (and as a result, a lot of server-crushing traffic ensues). Here’s the information we currently grab and show: Last night, a new feature was added to Website Grader 3. How many of these articles made it to the digg popular page?center_img 2. What’s the total number of “diggs” (votes) that these articles received? Check out the new feature and let me know what you think. Might also be interesting to run a report for some of your competitors and see if any of them have been able to get an article on the digg front page. Since Website Grader attempts the measure the marketing effectiveness of a website and social media sites like digg.com are becoming increasingly important as way to gauge audience interest, it seemed like a natural thing to check out the “digg-savviness” of a website. And, in case this article winds up digg.com, give it a digg. Would be cool for WebsiteGrader.com itself to have an article on the digg popular page. 1. How many articles from the website were submitted to digg? which will uses the newly available digg API (application programming interface) and shows a summary of digg submissions for a website.last_img read more

5 Types of Posts to Feed Your Business Blog

first_img Because of their exceptional traction, roast will introduce your blog to new audiences — the State of the Twittershere introduced the Inbound Marketing Blog to newspaper readers and France and Canada for the first time. This, in turn, will help expand you blog’s reach. State of the Twittersphere cartoons On the Inbound Marketing Blog, we’ve been using  Spinach – Healthy, Thoughtful Posts Ian-S Clearly a great blog  Tabasco – Articles That Start Fires You should work hard to make sure you’re good at these posts — that you can whip them out, and that your readers engage with them and like them. runaway wind rmburnes Inbound Marketing & the Next Phase of the Web ” is a good example.  ,  Roasts – Big, Hearty Projects I hosted. For this blog, I focus on five categories of posts. Last week   report is a great example. It took a lot of time to pull the data together and do the analysis, but it got great traction. Download the free Advanced Business Blogging webinar Content Types Jurgen Appelo Like this article? massdistraction Raisin Bran – Useful, Everyday Posts The challenge with a roast is to make sure you pick the right project. It’s a lot of time to invest in a single article, so you need to make sure you’re producing interesting, unique information.  to add levity. However you accomplish it, the key to successful chocolate cake posts is simple: have fun. ,   got me thinking about food as metaphor to describe them, so I thought I’d share what I came up with. thrives on a mix of content  — but what type of mix? These are posts that take a lot of time, but that get a lot of attention and inbound links. Our   and  What do you think? ,  These are the posts that establish your business and your blog as a thought leader. They’re posts that probe new developments in technology and changes in your industry. They’re generally a little longer than typical posts, and they take longer to write. My Post ” Originally published Jan 23, 2009 8:22:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Chocolate Cake – The Sweet Stuff What kind of posts do you publish on your business blog?  Topics: A Message for the Post Office: Direct Mail Is Dying .” This upset a lot of our readers who rely on direct mail. They spoke up — sometimes in sharp tones — in the comments, and we had a lively discussion. Lots of people linked to the article with posts of their own, and the result was that a lot of the nuance about direct mail and its status was uncovered. You can’t do these posts everyday. But they’re an important part of your overall blog mix. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack ,  barron Make sure you do these from time to time (and take the time to do them well), but don’t do them too often. Too much spinach, and your readers will get tired of it. Flickr Photos:  Every so often you need to write an article that asks tough questions. These posts might upset a few of your readers, but they also launch important, valuable conversations. For example, last week I did a post called ” Every blog needs fun stuff that goes down easily and shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously. These types of posts come in all sizes, shapes and forms. If you publish a business blog, you probably know how easy it is to get stuck in a rut, writing the same articles over and over again. videoslast_img read more

How a Kitchen Window Builds Trust Through Transparency

first_imgTransparency is a powerful thing.  Especially in an industry where no one really trusts any of the vendors.You know all the jokes about Chinese restaurants serving dog and cat instead of chicken.What if you opened a Chinese restaurant, and had a big glass window giving a view into the kitchen from the main dining room?People would talk about it.  They would like it.  Even if your kitchen were no cleaner than other kitchens, the fact that you let them look says something.It also would change the way your staff worked.  They know customers are looking at them while they cook your food.  The wait staff and the manager could be watching too.  The kitchen staff would cut a lot fewer corners.Just by making your cooking process more transparent, you could really change your restaurant’s business.What can you make more transparent in your business?  How can you build more trust with your customers?  Here’s an example.Photo credit: avlxyzWebinar: Rethinking MarketingWant to learn more about how you can use inbound marketing to grow your business?Download the free webinar to learn how to turn your website into an internet marketing machine. Originally published Mar 6, 2009 8:19:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Topics: Branding Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

HubSpot TV – Star Spangled Banner Ads and Blogging

first_imgEpisode #47 – July 2nd, 2009 Forum Fodder: http://www.areallygoodejob.com How do you get started with YouTube, video podcasting, live streaming, or viral videos. to learn how to use online video to grow your business with inbound marketing. 7 Ways To Develop A Unique Brand For Your Blog Enlist one new person in your company to be a communicator to spread your message. Military Marketing with www.HubSpot.tv in your tweet! karenrubin “The key for communicators is that you need to open the door and pull the curtain back.” : Happy Fourth of July!!! www.InboundMarketing.com Big Websites Start Running Bigger Display Ads. Big Mistake. Intro mvolpe Banner Ads Go Big Time Launching ideas at the U.S. Air Force Marketing Takeaway: Facebook Taking Status Updates Public (A La Twitter) Subscribe in iTunes – Marketing Takeaway: The US Air Force: Armed with social media : Think about using Facebook for business and not just as a personal social network.  from Laura Neufelder at Digital Knowledge If the US Military can open themselves up to social media, your company can too! http://itunes.hubspot.tv 24 Hours at Sea on the USS Nimitz “The blogosphere churns Headlines Facebook statuses are headed public…like Twitter One more reason to think about monitizing content through your product and not through ads. “We are not launching missiles, we are launching ideas.” Blog Branding Bonanza Marketing Tip of the Week Karen – 6. Create a better signal to noise ratio &7. Focus on achieving consistency “The real motivation was to providemarketers and agencies with the opportunity to deliver a brandedexperience directly on the pages of these very rich content sites.” Special Thursday episode! Where do I start? Marketing Takeaway: Start blogging now before your competition does to get a head start in the marketing race. Note: Karen says June, but we swear it’s July! The “bet” was that a HubSpotter could trick her into saying the wrong month. Tricky, tricky! Mike – Consistency and Unique Topic “TheOnline Publishers Association yesterday announced that 37 of itsmembers, including juggernauts like The New York Times, Forbes, ESPN,CNN and MSNBC.com are (or are soon going to start) running the new,larger ad units…” Closing “Capt.Faggard says. “I am concerned with how insurgents or potential enemiescan use Social Media to their advantage. It’s our role to provide aclear and accurate, completely truthful and transparent picture for anyaudience.” , @ out nearly 1 million posts every 24 hours” – community where you can post questions, learn about inboundmarketing, meet others, find and post jobs Webinar: How to Use Online Video for Inbound Marketing Marketing Takeaway Doing It Right Reasonablepath: Create a Target Persona, Publish Content, Optimize Content,Promote Content (build network) then think about conversion (offers,calls to action, landing pages) (Episode Length: 20 minutes, 36 seconds) Murphy Goode Vineyard Everyonein the air force is a diplomat and a communicator. Even in thecorporate world, you really can’t have just a marketing department orjust a PR department, you need to understand that everyone should beinvolved in spreading your message. Facebook Becomes Twitterific? Download the free webinar How to interact on Twitter – @ Originally published Jul 4, 2009 2:39:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Announcing HubSpot 3: The Future of Marketing Software

first_imgThe Right Content to the Right Person at the Right TimeAt the end of the day, inbound marketing is about relevancy. You earn new leads because you publish quality content that is relevant enough for someone to download and read. But what happens after they convert? For a lot of marketers, inbound methods stop here — and they shouldn’t. The way to keep leads engaged and turn them into happy customers is to extend that relevant experience throughout their decision-making process.Here’s how it works in HubSpot 3: A website visitor converts into a lead because they found a piece of content useful. From that moment forward, HubSpot Contacts starts building an understanding of what interests the lead has based on each interaction he or she has with your company. Each one of those interactions informs and shapes all future communications to that specific lead. What’s more, because Contacts stores the lead’s history with your company, it can approximate where the lead is in their decision-making process to help you tailor content that fits that stage of consideration. Because all of your communication tools are in HubSpot, everything from emails to CTAs, forms, and images on your site take on the ability to adapt to be more relevant to each individual contact.Learn all about the new:Smart CTAs: Powered by data from Contacts, Smart CTAs enable you to create images and calls-to-action for your website or emails that dynamically adapt to reflect the viewer’s interests, industry, lifecycle stage, or other areas of segmentation.Smart Fields: Smart fields are a long-awaited answer to anyone who is sick and tired of filling out yet another website form with the same information. As you collect more information about your leads, Smart Forms remove any field that has been completed in the past, creating shorter and shorter forms for your leads without sacrificing valuable information.Email: Target specific segments, and personalize your sender, subject, and message body content with any field or custom field from your contact profile.Workflows: Workflows enable you to trigger targeted communications based on a lead’s behavior. A divergence from traditional marketing automation, however, Workflows also allow you to update details in a lead’s profile based on activity across channels, including social media. In that time, the world of online marketing has grown increasingly complex. When we started HubSpot, there were four or five tools that most companies used to manage their online marketing. Even then, we thought that was a lot. Today, we talk to some companies who are using twice that amount — just to communicate with their prospects and customers. And the truth is, they aren’t getting any closer to the kind of relevant and personalized communication leads and customers need.So now, there is another opportunity: a chance to help marketers in companies of every size and industry reduce the noise that has made marketing increasingly more fragmented, and get back to the strategy and art that makes marketing people can truly love.Today, I am really happy to introduce you to HubSpot 3. An End to Isolated Tools and Fragmented MarketingMarketers have grown far too accustomed to CSV files. We spend way too much time importing, exporting, and patching together isolated sets of data just to get a clear view of our marketing. HubSpot 3 was built to be the antidote to all of those extra steps and the fragmented customer experience they create.It all starts with the single, centralized marketing database, your most important marketing asset. The database, which we call Contacts, gives you a complete history of every interaction you’ve had with your leads and customers across channels. Every single HubSpot tool is unified and made more powerful by Contacts. Your emails become smarter, your landing pages more dynamic, and your social media shares more integrated into the rest of your marketing strategy. Contacts is your all-in-one marketing control center.Learn all about the new:Contacts and the Contact Timeline: The central brain of your marketing, Contacts keeps track of what matters to your leads and customers and how engaged they’ve been with your company.Smart Lists and Segmentation: Smart Lists are contact lists based on a set of criteria; they automatically grow and update over time. An Uncompromised View Into Your Entire StrategyHubSpot has always believed in analytics that run across channels and give you a complete view of your marketing. In HubSpot 3, not only are lead and customer data shared across all of your tools, but we’ve also actually physically tied views from each of the tools into the others, so you can see how each channel is influencing others.Learn all about the new:Social Contacts: See which of your leads clicked on something you shared in social media, and quickly add them to a list to nurture. In the Contact profile, see how active each lead has been in social media and how recently they’ve engaged with you.Landing Pages: Run an entire campaign from one view. Create, test and promote landing pages, then see which channels (email, social, search, etc.) are bringing leads to it. A Marketing Platform and Community That Makes 1+1=3We’re in this for more than just software. We’re in it for the love of marketing. It’s that love that’s behind all of the free tools and ongoing training we provide, which we’ve consolidated and re-launched as HubSpot Academy. And it’s the shared passion for good marketing that unites our ever-expanding marketplace of more than 60 add-on apps and 100+ top-notch service providers. The combination of the marketplace and world-class coaching adds volumes to HubSpot 3. Oh, and did I mention? A way to take this all on the road.To make HubSpot 3 portable, HubSpot is releasing its first-ever mobile app. The iPhone app — which can be found in Apple’s App Store — gives you instant access to your marketing analytics, the award-winning Marketing Grader app, and every lead and customer’s contact record with your company. You can even get push notifications when new leads come in, which helps you follow up immediately.Learn more about the mobile app, or download it for free from the App Store.This morning at Inbound 2012, I announced HubSpot 3 for the first time. I am incredibly proud of the work that went into it, and I’m excited for what it will open up for marketers everywhere. I firmly believe that the methodology and platform fueling HubSpot enables our users to create marketing that people will truly love — an end goal that makes all of us HubSpotters smile.If you’re a customer of ours, you can learn more about migrating to HubSpot 3 within your individual accounts. New customers can purchase the newly released platform at current HubSpot prices until September 1, when prices are slated to increase.An explanation of the full release can also be found at www.hubspot.com/3. Inbound Marketingcenter_img Originally published Aug 29, 2012 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:last_img read more

How Good Does Your Site REALLY Look on Mobile Devices? [Free Tool]

first_imgOur stat-hounds cannot keep up. Figures for website traffic from mobile devices have jumped again. This time from 13% in 2012 to nearly one-fourth (24%) in the first quarter of 2013 — a 78% increase in total.So if it’s all the same to you, whenever someone asks about mobile driven traffic from this point forward, we’re just going to say, “more than the last time you looked.”You already know that mobile is a force to be reckoned with, and odds are, you’ve put some thought into it. You may have pulled up your site on your mobile phone or checked it out on a tablet to see how the experience comes across. But as you add more content and consumer tech adds more and more devices, it can be difficult to scale that approach.Enter HubSpot’s Device Lab, a free tool we’ve just created to help you see how your site looks across all sorts of devices — from iPhones to Galaxys to Desktops. It’s a little like playing dress up with your website, except this game could save you from losing a hefty slice of your visitors to competitor sites.Here’s how the tool works. Check it out. It’s still in beta, which means we’re working on making it perfect, but please do give it a try.How to See What Your Site Looks Like on Different Mobile DevicesPut the URL you’d like to view into the Device Lab:  You can choose your own homepage, a new landing page you’ve created, or even a competitor’s site. What you want to look for in the results is how the overall experience changes from device to device. Are the images loading properly? Is your page getting cut off? Does the visitor from that device have to zoom or scroll excessively to find a call-to-action (CTA) or fill out a form?In just a couple of seconds you’ll get a custom report:  The first thing you’ll notice in the report is a meter for the percentage of overall internet traffic driven by each device. For now, this is just a guideline based on average internet usage, but there are a number of free tools that will help you get custom reporting for your own site, the easiest being the mobile report within Google Analytics, if you have that set up.  Next, you’ll see a visual of how your site looks when viewed on the six most commonly used mobile devices:iPhone4 and 4SIPhone5NexusSamsung GalaxyiPadPlus a desktop view for comparison A sample cut from HubSpot’s Device Lab ReportWhat to Do With This ReportThere are three possible outcomes from this report:You are happy with the way your site looks on every device. Congratulations! As my dad would say, “You done good, kid.” Since the visuals are good, you can now move on to thinking about how you can adapt your content strategy to drive more conversions from mobile devices. Think about how buyer behavior changes on mobile and try to identify the most common and essential actions a visitor takes on your site. Then prioritize your content to make that interaction frictionless. You are happy with parts of it, but see some problems. Maybe some devices look better than others, or the top of your page looks good, but when you scroll down there are some elements that look off — perhaps, a video or image that isn’t adapting well to the device. In this case, make yourself a checklist. If you have a designer on staff, HubSpot’s got a bunch of tips available for how to make page elements like iframes, videos, and images responsive for mobile devices. It’s a hot mess. Don’t panic. Take a look at your mobile traffic numbers to see where your audience is on the curve of mobile adoption. Again, you can get a sense of this in Google Analytics or by taking a look at benchmarks by industry. If your numbers are on par with or ahead of internet averages, you’ll want to look at moving to a mobile-optimized platform for your next website redesign. HubSpot’s Content Optimization System uses responsive design to automatically repackage your website to fit any device. And when it comes to creating a complete mobile strategy, you can take things piece by piece. So now you know how it works, and you’re prepared for any outcome — why not give it a try? Mobile Optimization Topics: Originally published Sep 19, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

10 months agoChelsea boss Sarri wants Isco to play with Hazard – not replace him

first_imgChelsea boss Sarri wants Isco to play with Hazard – not replace himby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Maurizio Sarri wants to sign Isco to play with Eden Hazard – not replace him.The Sun says Chelsea are readying a £70m bid for Real Madrid midfielder Isco.Sarri sees Real Madrid maestro Isco, 26, as the perfect foil for the Belgian.As a creative midfielder with brilliant technical ability, Isco would no doubt slot in seamlessly to ‘Sarriball’ at Stamford Bridge.And the plan for the Italian gaffer is to use Isco, who plays mainly on the left-wing, to allow Hazard to flourish in his new central role.They will make a £70m bid for him today with the hope of securing a £250,000-a-week, four-and-a-half-year contract in the first week of January. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

25 days ago​Indian outfit Bengaluru FC partner with Rangers

first_imgTagsAustralia/Asia NewsScottish Football NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say ​Indian outfit Bengaluru FC partner with Rangersby Ian Ferris25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveGlasgow Rangers have signed a two-year partnership with India’s professional outfit Bengaluru FC as part of a commercial push into the Asian sub-continent, reports, www.sportspromedia.com/.Established in 2013, the serial Indian Super League champions will present a staging point for Rangers to grow its presence and fan base in the region, where the Scottish Premier League (SPL) club will also seek to identify India’s best club talent.As part of the arrangement, the Rangers Academy will also travel to India to train at Bengaluru’s facilities, which will also host several school soccer training camps Rangers are planning, as well as various club ambassadors and former players.Rangers managing director, Stewart Robertson, said: “We’re excited and proud to announce our partnership with reigning Indian Super League champions Bengaluru FC, especially at this time when football in India, a country of 1.3 billion people, is entering a period of unprecedented growth.”The club’s international strategy is a core-pillar to our growth plans and this partnership opens up Rangers to the vast football community in India and provides a great platform for us to engage with our wider fan base, and the South Asian communities at home here in Scotland”A Rangers ‘legends’ side will travel to India to feature in exhibition matches and to also strengthen the club’s fan engagement around training camps, while screen events will also be made available for fans in Bengaluru.Mandar Tamhane, Bengaluru FC’s chief executive, said: “It is a matter of pride for us to be partnering with Rangers FC – a club that is laden with history and is one of the top football brands globally.”The partnership is based on an exchange of knowledge and services, one that we are looking to make the most of. Bengaluru FC’s endeavour has been to help grow Indian football and our association with Rangers is a big step in that direction. last_img read more

PM Says Government is Against Corporal Punishment in Schools and Society

first_img Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is committed to not only ban corporal punishment in schools, but generally in the society, so that it is no longer an option. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is committed to not only ban corporal punishment in schools, but generally in the society, so that it is no longer an option.“I wish to declare that I am totally against corporal punishment. I believe that the time has come for the Parliament to have a debate on this issue and finally declare corporal punishment at an end, both within public institutions and as a means of discipline available to parents,” Mr. Holness said.He was delivering a Statement in the House of Representatives today (November 7) on the United Nations Development Programme’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The Prime Minister highlighted the alarming findings in the recently launched UNICEF Report – ‘A Familiar Face: Violence in the Lives of Children and Adolescents’, which shows the high number of Jamaican children who die violently and who are regularly subjected to sexual violence and violent discipline in their homes, schools and communities.The report notes that eight in 10 Jamaican children in the two to 14 years age group experience violence as a form of discipline. It also adds that 47 children were killed by violent means between January and October of this year, based on police statistics. Already, more children have been killed violently this year than in 2016.Mr. Holness said the banning of corporal punishment would be a “forward-leaning step” in taking a stance against violence generally “and it would send a powerful message about the State respecting the inviolability of the person, whether or not that person is a child or an adult”.“Again, I think it is a matter that we would have to debate here, but I think the time has come with such a report with our commitment to the SDGs. I don’t see how we can maintain this aspect of our culture and claim that we want to advance as a modern civilised society,” he added.The SDGs replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which started a global effort in 2000 to tackle the indignity of poverty.The MDGs established measurable, universally agreed objectives for tackling extreme poverty and hunger, preventing deadly diseases, and expanding primary education to all children, among other development priorities.The SDGs are part of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by the General Assembly in September 2015. It emphasises a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all Mr. Holness said the banning of corporal punishment would be a “forward-leaning step” in taking a stance against violence generally “and it would send a powerful message about the State respecting the inviolability of the person, whether or not that person is a child or an adult”. Story Highlights The Prime Minister highlighted the alarming findings in the recently launched UNICEF Report – ‘A Familiar Face: Violence in the Lives of Children and Adolescents’, which shows the high number of Jamaican children who die violently and who are regularly subjected to sexual violence and violent discipline in their homes, schools and communities. last_img read more

Afghanistan peace talks with Taliban are dead Trump

first_imgWashington DC: President Donald Trump has said the Afghanistan peace talks with the Taliban are “dead”, saying the United States had hit the group harder in the last four days than anytime in 10 years. “They (talks with the Taliban) are dead. As far as I’m concerned, they’re dead,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday. The president had stunned the world on Saturday when he announced the cancellation of a secret meeting with the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David near Washington. It came after the Taliban claimed responsibility of an attack in Kabul last week, in which an American soldier were among the dead. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”They (the Taliban) thought that (they) had to kill people in order to put themselves in a little better negotiating position…. You can’t do that with me,” Trump said while responding to a question about his decision to cancel the talks. “So, they dead as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “We have hit the Taliban harder in the last four days than they have been hit in over 10 years. So that’s the way it is.” Trump said the decision to invite the Taliban to Camp David was his, and so was the call to cancel it. Justifying the move, the president underlined that he did not want the meeting to happen under circumstances “where they (Taliban) go around and try and make themselves a little bit more important by killing a soldier and also a total of 12 people”. The Taliban, Trump said, did a mistake.last_img read more

NS looking for more foster parents especially African Nova Scotians

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia needs more foster parents — with a particular emphasis on African Nova Scotians — even after the recruitment of 80 new foster parents, officials told a legislature committee on Tuesday.There are currently 684 children in foster care, with 663 total homes, but the numbers fluctuate, said Nancy MacLellan, associate deputy minister of the Department of Community Services.“Our social workers could get a call tomorrow and we could have a family of four that needs care, so in an ideal world we’d have approved foster families that are waiting for children,” said MacLellan.She told the committee that an additional $1.6 million in supports announced last July have helped, and resulted in about $900 more per foster family per child. The changes included increasing the per diem rate per child, and raising the babysitting rate and the amount families receive for recreation.“Which are pretty material increases, and still … we want to do more,” MacLellan said.She said work is also being done to reduce approval-process red tape, and on recruitment efforts in African Nova Scotian communities as part of boosting the numbers of available foster parents.“These measures contributed to an increase of more than 80 foster parents in the last year and we still are always looking for more foster parents,” MacLellan said.Leonard Doiron, the province’s executive director of Child, Youth and Family Supports, told the committee there is an increased emphasis for social workers to delve into foster children’s backgrounds in order to address cultural needs.He said greater efforts are being made to gather information which is often noted in the files of social workers, although there is no formal tracking process in place.They have also increased outreach efforts, he said.“Our teams are working very hard to work with community groups to give them voice and choice and to inform us about what their needs are.”Later, Doiron said the numbers provided to the committee included about two-thirds of children under the province’s care, noting that foster care isn’t appropriate for all children.He said although recruitment numbers are on an upward trend, the needs remain for foster parents who can provide more specialized levels of care and for homes better suited to a child’s cultural background.The biggest challenge, Doiron said, is the need to adapt the foster program to meet the needs of diverse modern families, where most often both parents work outside the home.“The needs of the children are different, the prospective foster parents, their needs are different, he said. “All of these things have to be re-thought and transformed.”NDP committee member Susan Leblanc believes the government funding hike for foster families has helped, but she said a bigger help would be more resources at the “front end” for families who are in crisis.“So that perhaps we don’t need as many foster families because children can stay in their homes and families can stay together with the proper supports,” said Leblanc.Progressive Conservative Barbara Adams also applauded the changes, but called for more training resources for potential foster parents.“The more we can do to help the foster parents succeed and have an enjoyable experience the better,” Adams said.The total cost of foster care in 2017-18 was $15.7 million, including for per diem payments, competency payments and the maintenance of children in care.last_img read more

Merkel clinches German coalition govt but hurdle remains

first_imgBERLIN – Chancellor Angela Merkel finally reached a deal Wednesday to form a new German coalition government, handing the powerful finance ministry to the country’s main centre-left party in an agreement aimed at ending months of political gridlock.The centre-left Social Democrats’ leaders now have one last major hurdle to overcome — winning their skeptical members’ approval of the deal.Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union, its Bavaria-only sister, the Christian Social Union, and the centre-left Social Democrats agreed after a grueling final 24 hours of negotiations on a 177-page deal that leads off with the promise of “a new awakening for Europe.”“I know that millions of citizens have been watching us closely on this long road over recent weeks,” Merkel said. “They had two justified demands of us: First, finally form a government — a stable government — and second, think … of people’s real needs and interests.”The coalition deal could be “the foundation of a good and stable government, which our country needs and many in the world expect of us,” she added.Germany has already broken its post-World War II record for the longest time between its latest election on Sept. 24 to the swearing-in of a new government. That is still at least several weeks away.Merkel currently leads a caretaker government, which isn’t in a position to launch major initiatives or play any significant role in the debate on the European Union’s future, led so far by French President Emmanuel Macron.A key role in the EU is particularly dear to Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz, a former European Parliament president.On Wednesday he declared that, with the coalition deal, Germany “will return to an active and leading role in the European Union.” The agreement states, among other things, that Germany is prepared to pay more into the EU budget.Before addressing Europe’s future, Schulz faces hard work at home.The coalition accord will be put to a ballot of the Social Democrats’ more than 460,000 members, a process that will take a few weeks. Germany’s highest court said Wednesday it had dismissed a series of complaints against the ballot.Many Social Democrats are skeptical after the party’s disastrous election result, which followed four years of serving as the junior partner to Merkel’s conservatives in a so-called “grand coalition.” The party’s youth wing vehemently opposes a repeat of that alliance.If Social Democrat members say no, the new coalition government can’t be formed. That would leave only an unprecedented minority government under Merkel or a new election as options.Schulz’s zigzag course in recent months has undermined his authority. He vowed to take the party into opposition on election night, but reversed course in November after Merkel’s efforts to build a coalition with two smaller parties collapsed.On the conservative side, Merkel needs only the approval of a party congress of her CDU, a far lower hurdle.“I am counting on convincing our members that we have negotiated a very good coalition agreement,” Schulz said.His party reached compromises on two key demands: curbing the use of temporary work contracts in larger companies and at least considering narrowing differences between Germany’s public and private health insurance systems.The Social Democrats are set to get the foreign, labour and finance ministries — the latter a major prize, held by Merkel’s CDU for the past eight years and an influential position given Germany’s status as the eurozone’s biggest economy. The interior ministry, also held by the CDU, would go to Bavaria’s CSU, which has pushed hard to curb the number of migrants entering Germany.Merkel’s party would keep the defence ministry and get the economy and energy ministry, held by the Social Democrats in the outgoing government.One CDU lawmaker, Olav Gutting, wrote on Twitter: “Phew! At least we still have the chancellery!”Unconfirmed reports in German media said that Schulz plans to become foreign minister while the new finance minister and vice chancellor would be Olaf Scholz, Hamburg’s centre-left mayor.Schulz, according to the reports, would hand over his party’s leadership to Andrea Nahles, the head of its parliamentary group. After the election, Schulz had ruled out taking a Cabinet position under Merkel, and seeking a ministry could complicate his efforts to sell the deal to members.Merkel defended the carve-up of ministries.“Of course, after many years in which Wolfgang Schaeuble led the finance ministry and really was an institution, many find it difficult that we can no longer hold this ministry, and the same goes for the interior ministry,” she said. “But we have important jobs. We have the economy ministry for the first time in decades.”She dismissed suggestions that Social Democrat-led ministries would force her to open Germany’s purse wider for Macron’s European reform proposals than she would like.“Regardless of whether a ministry is led by the Social Democrats or the (Christian Democratic) Union, you can only spend the money you have,” Merkel said. “To be honest, I’m not at all worried.”If the coalition comes together, the nationalist Alternative for Germany will be the biggest opposition party. Co-leader Alexander Gauland criticized the deal, particularly the possibility of deeper European financial integration.“You ask yourself why Mr. Macron doesn’t just move into the chancellery,” he said.___Coalition agreement (in German): https://tinyurl.com/y8zpyxq9___David Rising contributed to this report.last_img read more

Strong May growth reinforces forecasts for Canadian rate increase in October

first_imgStronger-than-expected growth in the Canadian economy in May points to another interest rate hike this fall but economists don’t think it will happen at the next Bank of Canada rate announcement in September.On Tuesday, Statistics Canada said the Canadian economy grew by 0.5 per cent in May thanks to strong performances by both domestic and export-oriented sectors.That was above market expectations of 0.3 per cent, said Josh Nye, senior economist with RBC Economics Research, who pointed out that with activity rising month-over-month in 19 of 20 industries, it was the most broadly-based gain in more than a decade.“Today’s solid growth numbers simply improve our confidence that the overnight rate is set to move higher again this year,” he said, adding that he believes the Bank of Canada will hold off until October to raise rates.The central bank raised interest rates for the fourth time in a year in July and has indicated that more hikes are coming as economic growth raises the risk of inflation heating up.The Bank of Canada has forecast GDP growth of 2.8 per cent in the second quarter ended June 30, slightly less than analyst expectations of 3.0 per cent.CIBC Capital Markets chief economist Avery Shenfeld said he also expects a rate increase in October but added the central bank will leave rates alone after that until 2019.“Even with a flat June, we’re on target for 3.0 per cent growth in Q2, but remember, that follows three quarters averaging only 1.5 per cent. Thus, the underlying trend isn’t that far above the 1.9 per cent growth rate that the Bank of Canada sees as sustainable without inflation pressures,” he said.The month-over-month increase of 0.5 per cent in May compared to a rise of 0.1 per cent in April, Statistics Canada reported, adding the April number was reduced by weather that included an ice storm across Central and Eastern Canada as well as the temporary shutdown of some oilsands projects in Alberta for maintenance.The oil and gas sector led the way in May with a 2.5 per cent increase as those oilsands facilities returned to production.The utilities sector contracted 2.4 per cent in May as warmer weather returned across the country, reversing growth of 1.4 per cent in April prompted by increased demand for heating due to colder-than-usual temperatures.Activity at the offices of real estate agents and brokers was down 2.7 per cent in May, in part due to declining home sales in British Columbia. It was the fourth decline since the beginning of 2018.The retail trade sector rose two per cent, its largest monthly increase since October 2017, sparked by activity from motor vehicle and parts dealers and springtime activities from building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers, clothing and clothing accessories stores and general merchandise stores.Construction increased 0.7 per cent in May, essentially compensating for April’s decline. Residential building construction and repair construction were both up after decreases in April.Export-oriented sectors also registered gains, with wholesale trade rising 1.4 per cent on strength in building material and supplies and building material.The manufacturing sector edged up 0.1 per cent as non-durable manufacturing rose 0.9 per cent on higher chemical output and durable manufacturing fell 0.7 per cent on decreased activity in transportation equipment and fabricated metal products.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more

Chopper case No objection if Rajeev Saxena becomes approver ED tells Delhi

first_imgNew Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate told a Delhi court on Thursday that it has no objection if Rajeev Saxena, an alleged middleman, is allowed to turn approver in the AgustaWestland money laundering case. The probe agency told Special Judge Arvind Kumar that if Saxena turns approver it would be very useful for the ED. Saxena, who has sought to become an approver in the case had on March 6 recorded his statement during in-chamber proceedings after which the court sent the copies of his statement to the special judge hearing the case. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! He was earlier granted bail by the court on medical grounds after the perusal of reports submitted by AIIMS. The court posted the matter for consideration on March 25. Saxena, director at two Dubai-based firms — UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings — is one of the accused named in the charge sheet filed by ED in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland deal scam. Christian Michel, former AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica directors Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, former Air Force chief SP Tyagi and Saxena’s wife Shivani have also been named by the agency in the charge sheet.last_img read more

Will Smith might fulfil Bollywood dream in SOTY2

first_imgMumbai: After a video clipping of Will Smith shaking a leg with the star cast of ‘Student of the year 2’ went viral, producer Karan Johar has hinted at the possible appearance of the Hollywood actor in the upcoming Bollywood film. During the trailer launch of SOTY2 on Friday, when asked about Will Smith’s appearance in the upcoming film, Karan told media, “Smith shot for a Facebook show called ‘Bucket List’. One of his wish on that list was to dance on a Bollywood song.” Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “Fortunately, I know Will Smith for a few years now, and when his team got in touch with us, we were shooting for ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’. He came and rehearsed for ‘Radhaa'(a song from the first instalment of the film released in 2012), and there is synergy between the two films. He came and shot that.” “Whether he will be a part of the film or not, that’s a question I will leave unanswered till you see the film,” added Karan. Besides Will Smith, actors Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra, who started their Bollywood career with the film ‘Student Of The Year’ are also expected to make a cameo appearance in the second instalment of the film. The story of the film SOTY2 revolves around the lives of two college girls, played by debutants Ananya Panday and Tara Sutaria, who falls in love with Tiger Shroff. The film is slated for release on May 10.last_img read more

Honour for GreekAmerican scientist

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The White House has announced that Paul Alivisatos, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), award-winning chemist and internationally recognized authority on the fabrication of nanocrystals and their use in solar energy applications, has won the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest honor for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Alivisatos, 56, who has been hailed as “one of the fathers of nanoscience” for his ground-breaking research in quantum dots and other artificial nanostructures, holds appointments with the University of California Berkeley as the Samsung Distinguished Chair in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and is the Director of the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute at Berkeley. He is also a scientific founder of two prominent nanotechnology companies, Nanosys and Quantum Dot Corp. Details about this year’s nine honorees, including their citations, will be made available at a public ceremony scheduled for early in 2016. Alivisatos becomes the 15th Berkeley Lab scientist to win the National Medal of Science, which was established by Congress in 1959 as a Presidential Award.last_img read more

Bale is the chosen one to take Ronaldos spot at Real

first_imgAfter Cristiano Ronaldo left Juventus, Lopetegui’s general plan revolves around Gareth Bale’s capacity to step up and become Real Madrid’s leader.It’s been a little over a week after Cristiano Ronaldo made the shocking move to Juventus after nine seasons in Real Madrid, he seemed to have left a void that will be hard to fill but the club’s management already has a contingency plan in motion.According to Diario AS, the team came back to training sessions in Valdebebas this Monday with their new manager Julen Lopetegui already taking charge, his plan is to give Gareth Bale all the responsibility Ronaldo had as the top player and already told him about the plans for the season.This past Champions League final, we saw how the Welshman hinted at a possible exit as he had just scored that incredible match-winning bicycle kick goal against Liverpool after coming in from the bench in the second half. However, Bale obviously had a change of heart after both Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo left the club during the summer and thus cleared the way for him to finally fulfill his desire of becoming Real Madrid’s star.Also, Florentino Perez’s failure to sign Neymar or Mbappe this summer automatically gives Bale that leading role he craved for so long, now it’s up to him to step up and deliver as well as he had done in the final stage of last season. The only reason that the club would doubt his rise to the top would be the constant injuries he’s suffered throughout his time at Real Madrid, but Gareth Bale seems to have fully recovered from that and is ready to take on the biggest challenge of his career.?‍♂️ Preparados, listos… @GarethBale11@alvaroodriozola@vini11Oficial#RMCity | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/cYMJv8in4rFranck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) July 23, 2018last_img read more

Power Rangers exclusive ComicCon 2019 bundle stars Red Ranger Jason

first_img Toys and Tabletop Games TV and Movies 2:43 Top 5 things you didn’t know about the Power Rangers Hasbro’s Lightning Collection debuted last August featuring photorealistic depictions of the characters similar to the toymaker’s Star Wars: The Black Series line. At Toy Fair 2019, this line expanded to include characters like Mighty Morphin villain Lord Zedd and Rangers from the Dino Charge and S.P.D. series. Has it been awhile since you’ve checked in on the Power Rangers? We have article explaining every single Power Rangers TV show ever, just in case you’re wondering what the show’s been up to for the last two decades. Comic-Con 2018: All things DC, from Aquaman to Wonder Woman Now playing: Watch this: Post a comment Share your voice Enlarge ImageOriginal Power Ranger Jason stars in this Lightning Collection bundle featuring both his Red Ranger and Gold Ranger looks. Hasbro Jason Lee Scott fans, your Mighty Morphin Power Rangers bundle featuring both of the character’s Ranger suits is coming to San Diego Comic-Con 2019.The Power Rangers Lightning Collection two-pack will feature 6-inch depictions of Jason as both the original Red Ranger from 1993 and the Gold Ranger from 1996’s Power Rangers Zeo. The figures will be exclusive to July’s San Diego Comic-Con event, costing $50 (about £39, AU$72) and will be available on the Hasbro Pulse website after the convention.e5918-sdcc-2-pack-lo-resThe set includes nearly all of the Mighty Morphin Power Ranger weapons as accessories, as well as the Golden Power Staff. Hasbro Both versions of Jason, played on the show by actor Austin St. John, will have swappable heads for both helmet and non-helmet looks, along with a set of accessories that include the Power Axe, Power Bow, Power Blades, Power Lance and Power Sword. These can all come together to make a Power Blaster.This version of the Red Ranger will also include the shield that’s most famously known as being part of Green Ranger Tommy Oliver’s costume. The two shared the shield during the Power Rangers season 1 episode titled Gung Ho. The line featuring Jason comes amid rumors that St. John could be making his first return to the Power Rangers TV show since a guest appearance in 2002’s Forever Red episode of Power Rangers Wild Force. According to That Hashtag Show, the actor may return for a team-up episode in Power Rangers Beast Morphers, which is currently airing on Nickelodeon. 0 Tags 22 Photos Comic-Conlast_img read more

Mechanical engineer creates robot Venus Flytrap

first_imgFinal configuration of the robotic VFT with embedded trigger hairs and sensing signal integrated with a solid-state relay on board and a dynamic voltage signal generator to actuate the robotic VFT. Image: Bioinspir. Biomim. 6 046004. doi:10.1088/1748-3182/6/4/046004 At first glance, the creation of the robot might not seem like much more than a fun little project for an engineer who likes to tinker. On closer inspection however, it becomes clear that the robot Venus Flytrap is actually a demonstration of a new kind of technology that may lead to advances in medical applications. A refined application, for example, could perhaps one day lead to human muscle replacements or help with sensory applications. One example might be restoring facial expressions to people who lose the ability due to a stroke.Also, because Shahinpoor’s robot Flytrap has demonstrated an ability to catch flies it’s possible that such technology could also one day be used as a means for allowing robots to feed themselves, thus alleviating the need for a power supply. More information: Biomimetic robotic Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Ellis) made with ionic polymer metal composites, Mohsen Shahinpoor, 2011 Bioinspir. Biomim. 6 046004. doi:10.1088/1748-3182/6/4/046004AbstractThe work described in this paper is a novel design of a robotic Venus flytrap (VFT) (Dionaea muscipula Ellis) by means of ionic polymeric metal composite (IPMC) artificial muscles as distributed nanosensors and nanoactuators. Rapid muscular movements in carnivorous plants, such as VFT, which are triggered by antenna-like sensors (trigger hair), present a golden key to study distributed biomolecular motors. Carnivorous plants, such as VFT, possess built-in intelligence (trigger hairs), as a strategy to capture prey, that can be turned on in a controlled manner. In the case of the VFT, the prey that is lured by the sweet nectar in the VFT pair of jaw-like lobes has to flip and move the trigger hairs, which are colorless, bristle-like and pointed. The dynamically moved trigger hairs then electro-elastically send an electric signal to the internal ions in the lobe to migrate outwardly for the jaw-like lobes to close rapidly to capture the prey. The manner in which the VFT lobes bend inward to capture the prey shows a remarkable similarity with typical IPMCs bending in an electric field. Furthermore, the mechano-electrical sensing characteristics of IPMCs also show a remarkable resemblance to mechano-electrical trigger hairs on the lobes of the VFT. The reader is referred to a number of papers in connection with sensing and actuation of IPMCs in particular. Thus, one can integrate IPMC lobes with a common electrode in the middle of one end of the lobes to act like a spine and use IPMC bristles as trigger finger to sense the intrusion of a fly or insect to send a sensing signal to a solid state relay which then triggers the actuation circuit of the IPMC lobes to rapidly bend toward each other and close. The two lobes, which form the trap, are attached to the midrib common electrode which is conveniently termed the spine. The upper surface of each lobe is dished, and spaced along the free margins of the lobes with some 15–20 prong-like teeth. These are tough and pointed, and are inclined at an inward angle so that when the trap is sprung shut they will interlock. We have been experimenting with the VFT closing of its jaw-like lobes that close in about 0.3 s and have gained a lot of knowledge to report on the ionic and electrical mechanisms involved in the operation of such intelligent distributed biomolecular motors.via Discovery To make the robot, Shahinpoor fashioned two “leaves” out of the material he’d created to mimic the mouth-like appearance of the Flytrap. He then created a spine from a roll of copper. Then to copy the tiny hairs on the Flytrap that function as the sensors, he added very small strips of the IMPC material. The rest of the robot was constructed as a normal relay and voltage generation system.The new material in the robot works in two ways. First, because of the unique properties of the IPMC material, simply touching it causes a very small voltage to be generated. The second is the muscle type flexing or bending, exhibited by the material when given a charge. With the robot, the small strips serve as sensors, that when touched, relay a tiny charge to the voltage generator which sends a little bit bigger charge to the “leaves” causing them to bend inwardly towards one another, or in viewing it, as a mouth closing on its prey.The material Shahinpoor invented bends when given a charge due to the redistribution of ions. The trap snaps shut: Researchers isolate the substance that causes venus flytraps to close Side view design of the robotic VFT in open (a) and closed (b) configurations. Image: Bioinspir. Biomim. 6 046004. doi:10.1088/1748-3182/6/4/046004 (PhysOrg.com) — Mohsen Shahinpoor, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maine has created a robot version of the infamous bug eating Venus Flytrap, using a material he invented himself several years ago. Named ionic polymeric metal composite (IPMC), it’s a nanomaterial that can be used to mimic muscle function. Shahinpoor describes in his paper published in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, how he used this material to recreate the sensing and closing abilities of the Venus Flytrap. Citation: Mechanical engineer creates robot Venus Flytrap (2011, October 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-mechanical-robot-venus-flytrap.html © 2011 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Soon Victorial Memorial visitors to witness new light and sound show

first_imgKolkata: Victoria Memorial is making a complete overhaul of its son et lumiere, which is expected to kick off during winters, the time when there is a huge footfall of both national and international tourists at the Memorial.”The analogue show format will be passe and there will be a sea change with the 3D projection mapping system. The Memorial’s marble edifice will serve as the virtual screen to narrate Kolkata’s story – a journey that will encapsulate nearly four centuries, beginning from Job Charnock’s arrival in Calcutta to contemporary Kolkata. The characters will seemingly speak on their own, narrating the 300 years history of Kolkata,” curator of VM, Jayanta Sengupta said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThere will be no commentary as it has been in the traditional light and sound show.The light and sound show at VM had started way back in the year 1991 and was held on a screen on the eastern lawn of Victoria Memorial Hall for over two decades. The script was by writer Sunil Gangopadhyay, the narration was provided by Soumitra Chatterjee in Bengali and Dhritiman Chattopadhyay in English. There will be no such narration in the present format and some noted historians associated with the research on old Kolkata will pen down the Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedscreenplay.There will also be the inclusion of Hindi language in the new format and the duration of the show will be slightly less than the old show that was stalled for more than a year. Earlier, the show was of 40 minutes. The present one will be between 30 to 35 minutes. “There is an average footfall of 36 lakh visitors a year at the VM and many of them coming from other Indian states could not properly understand Bengali and English. So, we have decided to introduce Hindi,” a senior official said. The VM has plans to have more seating arrangement for the spectators in this new format.It may be mentioned that the VM authorities since last week has increased the timing of the Memorial by an hour. It is now open till 6 pm and is probably the only museum under the aegis of Ministry of Culture that is open beyond 5 pm.last_img read more