Healthberries.

first_imgPhoto: Gerard Krewer The peak of the annual blueberry harvest is under way in south Georgia, where farmers grow 4,500 acres of the healthful, nutritious berries. Fresh blueberries have always been delicious. And for years we’ve known that they’regood sources of vitamin C and fiber. Now we’re learning that they’re even better thanthat.Scientists at Tufts University in Boston have found that blueberries are one of theworld’s most healthful foods.Jim Joseph, Ron Prior, Barbara Shukitt-Hale and others conducted revealing research atthe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts.We’ve known for some time that damage by oxygen “free radicals” causes manyof the maladies that come with aging. “Antioxidants” are natural compounds thatdeactivate free radicals.A Powerhouse of AntioxidantsAnd guess what? The humble blueberry is a powerhouse of antioxidants.The story started many years ago when the Tufts scientists were screening fresh foodsfor their antioxidant activity. As they screened fruits and vegetables, they foundblueberries to be extremely high in antioxidants.The researchers then ran a study to find out if all blueberry species and varietiescontain antioxidants. They found that all of the blueberries they tested contained high tovery high levels of antioxidants.Georgia Blueberry BonanzaOne of the varieties highest in antioxidants is the world-famous ‘Tifblue,’ developedby Tom Brightwell at Tifton, Ga., in 1955. Tifblue is planted on 40 percent of Georgia’s4,500 blueberry acres.Georgia farmers are in the midst of their June-through-July harvest of these healthfulberries.The Tufts scientists have used Tifblue in a number of rat-feeding studies in the pastfew years. The blueberries were grown on farms in Clinch, Bacon and Appling counties andshipped frozen to Boston.The scientists found that putting lab rats on blueberry-rich diets slowed age-relatedlosses in their mental capacity, a finding with implications for humans.Older rats fed the equivalent of half a cup of blueberries a day were not only morecoordinated, but were smarter and had better memories than other rats in the same agerange.Georgia Blueberries in JapanMany Georgia blueberries are now shipped to Japan. One of the main reasons is that theJapanese are interested in blueberry health benefits.Of special interest to the Japanese is eye fatigue from lots of computer work.Researchers in Japan and other countries have found that blueberries reduce eye fatigue.The effect is probably due to compounds in the blueberries that strengthen the capillariesthat feed eye muscles and nerves.And there’s more. Cranberries and blueberries are closely related. Both contain acompound that helps prevent urinary-tract infections by preventing bacteria from attachingto the urinary-tract lining. The next time you go to the grocery store and see a container of fresh Georgiablueberries, buy them and eat them. Or at least take some home for your pet rat.last_img read more

Maragos reflects on UW football career

first_imgFormer Wisconsin free safety Chris Maragos high fives fans at Camp Randall Stadium following the Badgers\’ season-opening victory over Northern Illinois. Maragos is one of four graduating seniors considered to have a good chance of finding himself on an NFL roster through the draft or free agency.[/media-credit]Although the 2010 NFL Draft remains more than two months away, training is nearly a full time job for those hoping to be selected by an NFL team in late April.Out of a senior class of 18, Wisconsin has four players — Garrett Graham, Jaevery McFadden, Chris Maragos and O’Brien Schofield — who are expected to land with an NFL team as either a draft pick or non-drafted free agent.Over the next two months, The Badger Herald will sit down once a week with Racine native and former UW free safety Chris Maragos to reflect on his collegiate career and discuss the process of reaching the next level.Below is part one in an eight-part series.Badger Herald: What is your favorite place that you’ve played during your career in the Big Ten and elsewhere?Chris Maragos: Camp Randall Stadium. You can’t beat Camp Randall, but if I had to say an away game, because I’m biased toward Camp Randall, I have to say — you see, I didn’t go to Penn State, so that’s one stadium I haven’t seen — Michigan was just average I thought, Ohio State was pretty cool, that was definitely a cool one. But I’ll tell you this, though, when we went and played Fresno State last year, that was crazy.Their fans were so nuts, we’re coming out and their fans were like on the cages banging it and stuff, ripping over the security guards and barking at us. It was intense; that’s probably the rowdiest I’ve ever seen.BH: Are there any games from your career that you look at and know you’ll never forget?CM: There’s a lot that I’ll never forget. The Fresno State game this year and the Northern Illinois game, those are always going to be fond memories and really dear to me. And the Michigan game just because it was senior day, and my family was there, and it was the last game at Camp Randall, so that’ll be a lasting memory.BH: Looking back on the season, do you feel like you made the most of your senior season at the University of Wisconsin? Is there anything else you wish you would’ve done?CM: I think I did. But if I could come back for another 10 years here and play for the Badgers, I would. I wouldn’t even want to go on and try to play in the NFL if that were the case. I’d love to just stay with this program, stay with the university, be around this great place and you know, just continue to play football. But that’s not the case.I think with my limited time here at Wisconsin, only being able to play two years at defensive back, I really feel that I’ve had a full five years just because I really feel that in that short amount of time I really maximized and got the most out of my playing experience. And you know, I can take those memories and life lessons with me and take it further.BH: Which was better, the overtime interception against Fresno State or the fake field goal touchdown run at Ohio State?CM: Those were both fun, but I have to say the interception, because it was more like a game-clinching type thing. But I’ll tell you what, that touchdown at Ohio State was a big time rush. It was pretty cool because it all just worked out perfectly for us to run that play.That week, we were only going to run that fake from the right hash, and it just so happened that on third down we didn’t get it and we were on the right hash and we were from the 9-yard line, so it was like the perfect distance for us to go for it. The only problem was that we could only run it against one of the looks that Ohio State gave us and they only came out in that look like one out of every three field goal block attempts.We just had to get the right look for the play, and we got the look that we wanted. So, I gave the green call, peeled around the edge, Garrett made a nice block and I just took it in. It was fun.BH: More importantly, though, did you ever go back and give Scott Tolzien the high five he was looking for?CM: You know, the funny thing about that is that was the joke in the locker room for at least two weeks. We’d be out on the practice field and be like, ‘Great throw, Scott,’ you know, like real sarcastic and slapping his hand and stuff. So, that was a big time joke. But it was funny because Jim Rome had it on his TV show and Scott didn’t know about it.So, everybody’s in the locker room like ‘Hey, man, all right Scott,’ and he’s just like, ‘Why is everybody high-fiving me?’ You know, the coaches are high-fiving him and finally somebody tells him about it and he took it like a champ.BH: What did you think of the Wisconsin football award ceremony, and in particular, was it better to get an award or give out the captains’ award?CM: Probably to give one. It’s nice to get recognized for accomplishments, but any time you can it’s always better to give the award to someone else. That’s more gratifying and satisfying than receiving an award for what you’ve done. But overall, the ceremony was great; and it was a lot better having Matt Lepay to keep people from speaking too long.BH: Along those same lines, what was it like watching Mike Lucas interview your parents?CM: It’s pretty cool, because you talk to your parents, but you don’t really talk to them on that level a lot. It’s not like I’m ever interviewing them or asking them questions like that. I mean, I know they love me and how they feel about me, but it’s really cool to see the story or the insight from their perspective because all I ever see it from is mine and from a football side of things.Seeing it from a parent’s side or an outside perspective is really neat to see. I’m just so blessed to have the parents that I have. They’re really phenomenal; and even Serah, my fianc?e, I’m really lucky to have her — she’s definitely the better half, that’s for sure.BH: With the way the season ended, having more than 50 family members in attendance down in Orlando and winning the bowl game over Miami, what was that like as a way to end your career at UW?CM: I couldn’t ask for a better way to end my career. The only better way to end it would be to continue it in the NFL and keep playing football. It was a fun year. We really exceeded a lot of people’s expectations; but we didn’t exceed our expectations, because we knew we were going to be good in the off-season at this time last year when we were training.So, you know, we went out there on Saturdays and we showed what we can do, and it was a lot of fun. One of the greatest experiences of my life.last_img read more

Clippers can’t slow Jimmy Butler down stretch in loss to Timberwolves

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “The miscommunication, the awareness, we’re talking to each other and they’re racing the ball up the floor,” he said of several breakdowns that led to easy Clippers baskets in the fourth quarter. “The fourth quarter is so different, and we have a lot to do in that area.”The Wolves overcame a season-high 30 points from Austin Rivers, who matched his career best with seven 3-pointers. Rivers’ final 3-pointer gave the Clippers a 92-91 lead with 6:54 to play before Butler scored nine in a row to send them to their third straight loss.Minnesota led for most of the game but couldn’t manage a serious run, mostly due to Rivers’ shooting. Rivers hit three 3-pointers in the final five minutes of the first half to keep the Clippers close. He had a career-high 20 points in the half.“I just got good looks early and once you see a couple go in, it goes from there,” Rivers said. “Once you make a couple, even the tough ones seem easy, or at least in my mind.”The back and forth continued for most of the second half, and a couple of Minnesota defensive lapses led to easy layups and a wide-open dunk by Montrezl Harrell to give the Clippers an 84-83 lead with 9:12 to go. PreviousTimberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns battles for a rebound with the Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell during the second quarter of Sunday’s game in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) drives on Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) with Los Angeles Clippers forward DeAndre Jordan (6) setting a pick in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Timberwolves guard forward Jimmy Butler (23) shoots against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsMinnesota Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford (11) fouls Los Angeles Clippers guard Sam Dekker (7) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Timberwolves guard Tyus Jones (1) drives around Los Angeles Clippers guard Jawun Evans (1) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns fights for a rebound with Los Angeles Clippers Montrezl Harrell (5) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Timberwolves guard Tyus Jones (1) drives around Los Angeles Clippers guard Jawun Evans (1) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford (11) shoots over Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams (23) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler (23) is congratulated by Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) after scoring on the Los Angeles Clippers in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 112-106. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler (23) is congratulated by Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) after scoring on the Los Angeles Clippers in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 112-106. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams (23) shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves center Taj Gibson (67) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 112-106. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) drives through a pick by Clippers center DeAndre (6) while Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler (23) and Timberwolves center Taj Gibson (67) defend in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 112-106. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) shoots against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 112-106. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams (23) has the ball stolen by Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng (5) in the third quarter of a NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 112-106. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) shoots in front of Los Angeles Clippers forward Jamil Wilson (13) in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 112-106. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler (23) passes to Timberwolves center Taj Gibson (67) over Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 112-106. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell is fouled by Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford (11) in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 112-106. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns (32) shoots in front of Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) and Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 112-106. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Los Angeles Clippers Doc Rivers yells during a timeout against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 112-106. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau argues a call against the Los Angeles Clippers in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Clippers 112-106. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague against the Los Angeles Clippers during a NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns battles for a rebound with the Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell during the second quarter of Sunday’s game in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) drives on Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) with Los Angeles Clippers forward DeAndre Jordan (6) setting a pick in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)NextShow Caption1 of 21Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) drives on Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) with Los Angeles Clippers forward DeAndre Jordan (6) setting a pick in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)ExpandMINNEAPOLIS — Austin Rivers had his best game of the season, but that wasn’t enough to offset a heavy dose of Jimmy Butler on Sunday night.Butler scored 20 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help Minnesota outlast the short-handed Clippers 112-106. After the game, though, Butler spent more time bemoaning his team’s efensive breakdowns — a common sight in these parts for the past several years.“We’ve got to start guarding somebody,” Butler said. “It’s really bad, it’s really noticeable, and everybody capitalizes on it. But lucky enough, if your shot’s falling you can still win. But good gracious, if it’s not, I’d hate to see which way this game could’ve went.”Sounds an awful lot like his defensive-minded coach, Tom Thibodeau, who’s trying to solve Minnesota’s defensive woes as it looks to turn around a culture of losing. Thibodeau looked and sounded just as downcast as he has after losses.center_img Rivers’ seventh 3-pointer gave the Clippers a one-point lead, but Butler took over from there, hitting a free throw, 3-pointer and short jumper before converting a 3-point play to give the Wolves some breathing room.“I mean, if I make a couple shots,” Butler said, “why not keep shooting the ball?”His teammates certainly didn’t mind.“That shows you why he’s such an elite player in this league,” Karl-Anthony Towns said. “I was glad to have the popcorn right there and have a front row seat for it because it was amazing.”GROWING PAINSRookies Jamil Wilson and C.J. Williams made their first career starts. Wilson finished with nine points and Williams five. The Clippers were again missing four of their opening-night starters, but it wasn’t obvious from the close score. And the Clippers’ bench outscored Minnesota’s 43-23.“Overall, I’m upset,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “I mean, you want to win the game. But I loved how we played. It’s amazing how much better we got in one night. That’s what I would take.”TIP-INSClippers: Doc Rivers said forward Danilo Gallinari (strained left glute) would play 3-on-3 and could be close to returning. “He’ll play in the next couple, two to three games will be my guess,” Rivers said. Gallinari, who is averaging 12.8 points, missed his 13th game due to the injury. … Lou Williams had 23 points off the bench, and DeAndre Jordan had 17, including some big dunks in the fourth. … The Clippers face Minnesota again on Wednesday, this time at Staples Center.Timberwolves: Thibodeau reached 300 career victories. He’s 300-200. … Former USC standout Taj Gibson had 20 points, and Towns had 15 points and 12 rebounds for his NBA-leading 19th double-double. … Forward Nemanja Bjelica missed his sixth straight game since spraining his left foot. He’s dressed for the last four games. … Jamal Crawford scored 12 points in his first game against his old team. Crawford played five seasons for the Clippers. … The Wolves have beaten the Clippers three straight times.last_img read more

Leafs face defending KIJHL champs in mid-week clash at NDCC Arena

first_imgHowever, two of the wins came early in the season when Beaver Valley, well wasn’t, Beaver Valley.Nelson leads the series offensively 21-15.However, one game Nelson blitzed the Hawks 8-0 early in the season.The Nitehawks, fresh from a split in the Okanagan Shuswap Conference against 100 Mile House and Kamloops, are once again on top of the Murdoch Division with a 28-11-1-0-4 record, five points ahead of second place Castlegar and eight points up on the Leafs.Beaver Valley is 6-2 in the month of January while Nelson — 2-3-1-1 — has struggled with injuries.The Hawks are led Fruitvale native Mitch Foyle with 49 points and team-high 27 goals. Foyle is currently riding a five-game point streak.The Leafs top scorer is defenceman Robson Cramer, who inked a letter of intent to play at Simon Fraser University next season.Cramer also had 49 points, with 18 goals.Game time is 7 p.m. Is Wednesday Nelson/Beaver Valley clash going to be a playoff preview or just two teams playing out the string?The Nelson Leafs certainly hope it’s not the latter as the Green and White play host to the defending Kootenay International Junior Hockey League champions Wednesday at the NDCC Arena.The game is the second to last time the teams meet during the regular season.The two Murdoch rivals conclude the regular campaign Tuesday, February 3, in Fruitvale.Nelson, which managed to right the Good Ship Leaf this past weekend with three points in two games, holds a slight advantage in the series with a 3-2-1 record.last_img read more

Leafs make statement as Green and White doubles KIJHL leaders 4-2

first_imgThe last time the Nelson Leafs faced Creston Valley the Thunder Cats drilled the Green and White 7-1 in the East Kootenay City during a penalty-filled contest.Saturday night, in the rematch at the NDCC Arena, there was a first-period tilt between Jordan Unger of the Leafs and Cats’ Liam Rycroft but no offensive outburst by the current leaders of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.Instead it was the lowly Leafs skating away with a 4-2 victory as Nelson sent a message to the rest of the league that maybe life does remain in the Heritage City franchise. Jack Karran, Colum Mcgauley, newcomer Alex Meeker and Andy Fitzpatrick score for Nelson, which has won two consecutive games after dropping eight of 10 in November.Aigne McGeady-Bruce had three assists for Nelson while Meeker and Kyle Rosolowski each finished the game with two points.Paxton Malone, playing his first game in a Thunder Cats uniform after begin acquired Friday from the Spokane Braves for future considerations, and Justen James replied for Creston Valley.Leafs new goalie Billy Gorn registered his first win as a Leaf, stopping 27 or 29 shots.Former Leaf Patrick Ostermann took the loss for Creston Valley.Nelson, improving to 11-14-0-0-2, hosts Grand Forks Border Bruins Sunday at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.BLUELINES: Creston remains the top team in the KIJHL with 42 points, four ahead of Beaver Valley Nitehawks. . . . Three new players were in the lineup Saturday for Nelson. Alex Meeker, Kyle Rosolowski and netminder Billy Gorn all saw their first action as a Nelson Leafs and each contributed — Meeker and Rosolowski each finishing the game with two points and Gorn providing solid goaltending in the Leaf nets. . . .Creston, host of the 2017 Cyclone Taylor Cup, was one of a number of teams looking for attract the services of Paxton Malone, the KIJHL’s leading scorer. The Cats won the Paxton Malone sweepstakes.last_img read more

Venus Flytrap Is Snappy-Fast

first_imgOne tenth of a second is all the time the fly gets.  The traps of the Venus flytrap, an insectivorous plant Charles Darwin called “one of the most wonderful in the world,” somehow responds to stimuli quickly without muscles.  The entire mechanism is still largely unknown.  A team of French, UK and American scientists set out to study how it works so fast.  Their research, published in Nature,1, describes how the leaves are flexed into an outward curvature along two axes.  The trigger hairs inside the leaves propagate a signal that causes a rapid turnover, something like turning a half tennis ball inside out.  The closure has three phases: an initial slow action, a fast close, followed by a slow tightening of its grip around the prey.  See also the write-up by New Scientist, which ends, “Our study still leaves us baffled about one question that motivated him [Darwin] – how did this mechanism evolve?” (emphasis added).1Forterre et al., “How the Venus flytrap snaps,” Nature 433, 421 – 425 (27 January 2005); doi:10.1038/nature03185.Maybe it didn’t evolve; did you ever consider that possibility?    With all our lab technology we still cannot understand how a brainless, eyeless plant managed to invent an exquisite, functioning trap.  Actually, the question these scientists investigated (the fast action) is one of the simplest aspects of this wonderful organism.  How does the plant keep from springing its traps when only one trigger hair is touched?  (This keeps it from responding unnecessarily to wind-blown particles.)  How does the signal get propagated at the cellular level?  How does it maintain the curvature of the leaves?  How did trigger hairs form at just the right positions?  How do the spines along the trap edges grow and overlap, to form a secure prison the fly can’t wiggle out of?  How does the trap close even more tightly after the prey is captured, so as to squeeze the juice out of the bug?  How does a plant digest animal tissue, and why does it need to, when it can apparently survive without it?  How does the trap know to stay closed until digestion is finished, and how does it reopen like new?  Where are the transitional forms for this amazing plant?  How can evolutionists believe it arose by chance?    The Venus flytrap makes a wonderful object lesson for the family.  Pick one up at the nursery and let your kids experiment with it.  It’s a good way to have them learn to ask questions, try to figure out how things work, and develop a sense of wonder about natural phenomena.  Follow it up with a showing of the Moody Institute of Science classic The Prior Claim, a fun film that shows the plant in action.  It also shows a “simpler” plant – a fungus – that has a microscopic trap that is so fast, you can’t see the action even if you avoid blinking.  One moment the bug is outside, and within a split second it’s inside.  Amazing.  There are wonders everywhere that almost seem designed to create headaches for unbelievers.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The 8 Apps Robert Scoble Would Rather Die Than Live Without

first_imgWe all have our favorite apps. You know, the ones you instinctively tap open first thing in the morning, long before your first sip of coffee. The ones you return to throughout the day, whether to guide you around town, put you in touch with people or mindlessly entertain you. You have yours, and Robert Scoble has his. The Rackspace Startup Liaison, blogger and hyper-geeky tech evangelist talked to ReadWrite about the eight apps he uses every day and can’t live without. If you follow the Scobelizer online, much of his list isn’t terribly shocking, but it’s always interesting to see where well-known figures in tech spend their digital attention and limited time. 8. Quora Quora may have fallen from its buzz peak, but it’s still popular among many of the early adopters that flocked to it in the first place. Scoble is one of them. He still routinely uses the site, often answering questions posed by other users. The Q&A site is still frequented by Silicon Valley figures and others who work in tech, so it’s still loaded with interesting threads that sometimes contain rather candid insights.7. Google+Your normal, non-techie friends may not be hanging out on Google+ much yet, but it’s a fast-rising social platform beloved by many in the media and technology scenes. Robert Scoble, quite naturally, loves it. “My friends aren’t on it either, but the people who are I quite enjoy and the search engine here is better,” says Scoble.6. YouTubeIt’s hardly a cutting edge, under-the-radar app, but the world’s biggest user-generated video site is a staple in Scoble’s digital diet. Just like Google Maps, the newer version of YouTube for iOS is light years better than what used to ship on iPhones and iPads by default. Like the rest of us, Scoble consumes his fair share of YouTube videos via its iOS and Android apps, but he also publishes his own videos to more than 12,000 subscribers, who have clicked the play button a cumulative 5.5 million times. Damn, Scoble!5. WazeThere are a number of traffic apps for the iPhone, but few are as widely beloved as Waze. The crowd-sourced navigation app has been a huge hit among iOS-using drivers like Scoble, who cites it as “the best way to see traffic on the road ahead (and cops too).”4. Flipboard Flipboard hasn’t evolved that radically since its launch in 2010, but it remains a mainstay on the docks of many an iPad user. Thankfully what the team launched almost three years ago was extremely well-designed and plugs in to just about any source of Web content you can think of. Flipboard’s heavy focus on social integrations makes it ideal for Twitter mavens like Scoble. “It takes some setting up for someone like my dad, who doesn’t know what Twitter is for,” he says.As much as he loves Flipboard, Scoble says Prismatic is a close second when it comes to news apps – to which he can’t seem to break his addiction.3. [email protected] has a pretty sizable following on Twitter. On his various devices, he prefers the home-baked official mobile app to third party clients like Tweetbot and Twitterific. He uses it more or less like the rest of us to, to manage lists, read tweets, reply to people and post his own updates. When asked which social platform he would give up if he was forced to lose one, he told us he’d get rid of Twitter before losing Google+ or Facebook. “That said, you’d pretty much have to kill me first.”2. Gmail Google has been busy revamping its apps for iOS, and the work has paid off. Google Maps and YouTube are both way better than the default apps that used to ship on iOS, and Google Drive, Google+ and Gmail follow the same new visual language, each boasting its own list of impressive features. Indeed, if you’re a Gmail user, it’s hard to get too enamored with the iPhone’s default Mail app when Google has its own, far more delightful offering. “This has better notifications and gives me better access to Gmail’s features like labels and spam marking capabilities,” Scoble says. “Plus it’s more secure with Google’s new two-factor authentication which I highly recommend.”1. FacebookMore than any other app on any device, the one Scoble taps the most is Facebook. He cites the service’s massive user base, which encompasses friends, family and just about everyone in the tech industry. “It’s – by far – the best social network for keeping lists of people and watching both their private and professional lives and interacting with them,” Scoble says. If there was one service you’d have to pry from his cold, dead hands, it’s Facebook. Lead photo courtesy of Robert Scoble.  john paul titlow Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologycenter_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#Facebook#gmail#Google#iPhone#mobile#quora#robert scoble#social media#transit#twitter What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

Vancouver group tackles loneliness language barriers through conversation

first_imgVANCOUVER – Amie Peacock describes her mother as “a social butterfly,” but when she came to visit her in Vancouver from the Philippines a lack of friends and a language barrier left her miserable and lonely.“I couldn’t imagine there are more people like her in our city and, sure enough, when I started looking at the cause and effects of social isolation, I realized that the problem is so much greater than what I had imagined,” Peacock said.Although her mother ended up leaving six months after arriving in 2001, Peacock resolved to tackle the issue.“To me, social isolation can affect rich, poor, young or old,” she said.The problem of social isolation, which can have serious consequences on a person’s mental health and mortality, gained international awareness when the United Kingdom appointing a minister of loneliness in January. Vancouver’s Seniors Advisory Committee has developed a report on the issue and delivered its recommendations to city council last month.In 2016, with help from Little Mountain Neighbourhood House, Peacock launched Beyond the Conversation, a volunteer organization that helps people practice their English skills and foster relationships.Groups meet on a weekly basis in community centres, churches and coffee shops to discuss anything that’s pertinent to them at the time, from Christmas traditions to current events. The subject matter is determined by the group and even touches on basic social interactions, like how to create small talk with neighbours.At Victoria Drive Community Hall, up to 30 seniors whose first language is predominately Mandarin or Cantonese, meet every Wednesday morning.Theresa Gee, a retired elementary school teacher, writes English phrases on a board related to celebrating Chinese New Year, the main focus of a recent discussion.The English skill level varies among the members. Some can carry on a conversation while others, particularly those in their 70s and 80s, speak only a few words, Gee said. People with stronger language skills help translate for others who might get stuck throughout the discussions.Silinia Law, 69, grew up in Hong Kong and is among those who already spoke some English. She joined the group when it was first designed exclusively as a social gathering, but said she suggested to Gee that she teach English as well.“A lot of people, they want to communicate with the other people but then they don’t know how to speak some simple words. We are living in an English-speaking society, we need to communicate with local people,” she said.While Gee sees people making significant gains, it’s not just better language skills that mark the success of the meetings.“Really in the guise of learning more English, they are actually benefiting socially and connecting with each other and making new friends,” Gee said.Law, who comes to the group with her husband, agrees that it’s made a huge difference in her social life after feeling she had no friends or relatives to connect with.“When I (was) first coming here, I feel very lonely and my husband asked me, ‘What is wrong with you,’ ” she said. “Then (we) come here and we meet some friends and we’re talking together and then we feel happy.”There are 11 similar groups that meet across the city and its membership is not exclusively seniors, Peacock said. A number of younger immigrants and refugees have joined the groups.“We really need to foster their sense of belonging,” Peacock said of the younger members.While language classes and seniors programming exist throughout the city, cost barriers keep people on limited incomes away, said Don Morrow, president of Victoria Drive Community Hall.“These are senior people who basically brought up their kid’s kids, so … this is the first chance they’ve had to actually learn English,” he said.“Most of these people don’t have much disposable income, so for them to come here for basically nothing is a big thing for them.”Peacock said she’s exploring the idea of setting up groups in highrise apartment buildings. She also plans to set up 10 more groups throughout Metro Vancouver this year.last_img read more

Cannabis marketing rules still hazy postlegalization

first_imgTORONTO — Despite strict rules limiting the promotion of now legal recreational pot now in effect, cannabis promotions continue to pop up amid loopholes and a lack of clarity on how the legislation’s grey areas should be applied.Nearly one month on since legalization, there is disagreement in the sector on murky portions of the Cannabis Act governing marketing, with some licensed producers taking a more aggressive approach and others holding back.“The fact that you aren’t seeing that an overwhelming wave yet of those kinds of tactics, to me, demonstrates that there is still uncertainty,” said Rebecca Brown, founder of Crowns Agency, a Toronto-based marketing consultancy focused on the marijuana industry.Canada legalized pot for recreational use on Oct. 17, when strict guidelines governing the plant’s promotion came into force.The blitz of cannabis industry billboards, sponsored concerts and pop-up information kiosks seen ahead of legalization have abated, but marijuana brands can be seen on taxi cabs or on social media — which may or may not run afoul of the law depending on interpretation.The Cannabis Act prohibits promotion of cannabis to young people and ads in places where it can be seen by those under the age of 18.Also barred is the use of endorsements or a depiction of a person, character or animal or marketing which presents “a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.”Some companies have run afoul of this particular clause in the Act, Health Canada says.Since legalization, the health agency has reached out to seven regulated parties “to promote an understanding of the new prohibitions relating to the promotion of cannabis… and to bring specific concerns to their attention,” said agency spokesman Eric Morissette.All regulated parties contacted have addressed, or are in the process of, addressing the issues raised, Health Canada added.The government agency would not detail what portions of the Act were violated, but did say “for example” it raised concerns about “promotion using the depiction of persons and promotions that present a product or brand that associates it with a particular way of life, such as a glamorous or recreational lifestyle.”Health Canada said it would not identify the parties involved “provided that they have acted in good faith and taken the necessary corrective measures.” Still, government guidelines on pot promotion also has several exceptions and clauses which, some say, are open to interpretation.One exception allows for promotion using a “brand element” on a “thing that is not cannabis or a cannabis accessory,” if that thing isn’t associated with young persons or “vitality.”To some, this means ads with just a brand name or logo and a website may be allowable on things such as billboards, said Brown.“If you are reading the act plainly or literally, that should be allowed… There are certainly LPs that do feel uncomfortable with that.”Earlier this month, a cannabis ad was seen on a taxicab in Toronto with its brand name and the tagline: “Buds don’t travel high. Drive safely.”The Canadian Marketing Association’s cannabis marketing activities guide says advertising solely with a brand element, without appealing to young people or suggesting a glamorous lifestyle may be allowed, but “proceed with caution and consult legal counsel.”Canada’s largest newspaper publisher Postmedia Network Inc. intends to run ads that fit into the loopholes in the act, said spokeswoman Phyllise Gelfand.Postmedia announced earlier this month that it would stop delivering print editions to schools for fear that sending the papers containing ads directly to students would violate the law. The last newspaper delivery to schools was on Oct. 31, but papers can still be delivered to homes if directly to people over the age of 18, Gelfand said in an email.When asked whether ads with simply a brand element and a website in a newspaper would be considered compliant, Health Canada said it could not comment on a specific situation.“Newspapers available to the public should not generally contain any promotional material, including advertising, related to cannabis,” said Health Canada spokeswoman Maryse Durette, noting that any promotion related to pot can only be in a publication that is addressed and sent to someone 18 years of age or older.The exemption was likely designed for things such as T-shirts and hats but more clarity from Health Canada is needed, said Trina Fraser, an Ottawa-based lawyer who advises the cannabis industry.“Certainly, I don’t think it was intended to provide essentially for mass brand promotion through conventional advertising means, even though, again, I think it at most it would be limited to the actual logo or brand name,” said Fraser.Nick Dean, chief executive of Emblem Cannabis, said the pot producer won’t be running ads on billboards on highways or in newspapers but will look to leverage social media influencers, he said.“There’s lots of opportunities for us to still be creative in how we market these brands, post-legalization,” Dean said.Other exceptions include ads in age-gated areas where young people are not permitted.Canopy Growth Corp.’s marketing campaign utilized billboards, concerts and informational kiosks but promotions stopped on the night of Oct. 16, said its co-chief executive Bruce Linton on a recent analyst call. Now, the licensed producer is using ads in age-gated areas, such as posters in bar bathrooms, he said.“We did not receive a letter from Health Canada to say that we were not in compliance,” Linton said.Another exception is in the digital realm where “reasonable steps” must be taken to ensure it cannot be accessed by non-adults. However, it is unclear whether a social media page with a description asking that its followers be adults is a “reasonable step,” the CMA said in its guide.Yet, many cannabis companies continue to post on Instagram, with the phrase “By following, you confirm that you are 19+” on their accounts.The industry desires more guidance from Health Canada on cannabis promotional activities, and more transparency about the warning letters issued thus far, said Fraser.“We don’t know what they were about, who they were sent to or what the basis for the objection that Health Canada took in the letter was… That is limiting us all as an industry from learning and growing.” — with files from Nicole ThompsonArmina Ligaya, The Canadian Presslast_img read more