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10 января, 13:33

Christie, at a low point, to deliver last-chance State of the State

In his first State of the State speech, in 2011, Gov. Chris Christie talked up “New Jersey’s comeback.”That talk was about the economy, but the comeback Christie envisioned never quite materialized. Now, in Tuesday’s State of the State speech — Christie’s seventh — the question is whether the governor will be more successful in launching his own comeback.“We saw how rapid the fall was,” said Democratic state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a frequent critic of the Republican governor. “I’m not surprised by anything anymore in public life. So I’m assuming that there’s always time for redemption.”With one year left in office, this may be Christie’s last chance. But it comes at a bad time. Christie is politically toxic right now, and not just with Democrats. Recent polls show a large majority of Republicans disapprove of his job performance, which in a recent Fairleigh Dickinson University poll was at 18 percent among all voters. Republican elected officials who have their eyes on the governorship or want to be re-elected in even slightly competitive races don’t want to be near him. And Democrats, who will be heavily favored to retake the governor's office in November, are confident they will only have to wait a year to get anything big done. “[Democrats] are not of a mind, particularly looking ahead to 2018 when they assume they’re going to have one of their people in the governor’s office, to give him heavy public relations wins,” said Carl Golden, a former spokesman for Republican governors Tom Kean and Christie Whitman.Yet some Democrats — particularly those under the sway of South Jersey power broker George Norcross, Christie’s most valuable ally — are willing to work with the governor. In fact, they just tried.It was a disaster.The attempt by Democratic legislative leaders to secure raises for their staffs, judges and other officials in exchange for letting Christie profit from a book deal while still in office looked like a turning point for the effectiveness of the longtime Christie/Democratic boss alliances. But the legislation stirred rebellion within the ranks, and even some of Christie’s most loyal Republican allies, though they kept quiet in the run-up to the vote, later said they didn’t support it.“I wasn’t part of constructing or supporting the bill. It was just bad,” said Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, perhaps Christie’s most steadfast legislative ally.In the end, the measure was withdrawn because of lack of support.By all indications, Christie’s speech to the Democrat-controlled Legislature on Tuesday will at least partly cover a familiar topic with bipartisan support: his leadership in the state’s efforts to battle drug addiction. Other than that, he’s leaving Trenton guessing.Christie — who successfully pushed for an overall of public worker benefits and a property tax cap during his first term — has had little success with big ticket items, other than a long-delayed replenishment of the Transportation Trust Fund through a gas tax hike pared with a number of tax cuts. He began the summer aggressively pushing a radical proposal to equalize school funding with a series of town hall meetings. Eventually, though, he gave up actively pushing it. “He’s coming off a year of bitter disappointment. He doesn’t even have a book deal. So who knows what he has to look forward to for the remaining year except state finances that continue to fall apart,” Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray said.The Record’s Charles Stile noted that Christie has already begun to spin the past year of bitter disappointments as a positive — glossing over his failed presidential campaign and snub by the incoming Trump administration to note he’ll be the first governor to serve two full terms since Tom Kean left office in 1989.In addition, a mysterious camera crew has reportedly been following the governor as he attends drug addiction events and has heart-to-heart conversations with recovering addicts. NJ Advance Media has reported it’s likely to become the basis for some kind of video — and a potential way for Christie to claw his way back into the public’s good graces.Bramnick said he anticipates Christie's State of the State will focus on addiction, and hopes the governor will press Democrats to compromise with him and Republican leaders on pensions and school funding.“He’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever seen in my life. He’s got incredible skills,” Bramnick said. “I would hope that based on what we saw at the beginning of his term, that the media will take their foot off his throat and put a little pressure on the Democrats to come to the table.”Murray said the only way Christie can get his approval rating above 50 percent would be leading the state through a crisis on the scale of Hurricane Sandy — the governor's approval rating neared 80 percent in the aftermath of Sandy — and that he’s not convinced the governor is committed to rebuilding his legacy at home. “He can certainly get it into the 30s, possibly near 40 percent, if he puts his nose to the grindstone,” Murray said. “But it’s not clear whether that’s all that important to him.”

07 января, 13:03

‘America’s Next Top Model’: Why Rita Ora May Be the Wrong Choice to Host

'America's Next Top Model' is back but it's with a new host. Sadly, Rita Ora just doesn't measure up to what the show needs in a host.

05 января, 02:04

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Whitehouse Is His Middle Name

President-elect Donald Trump announced Joseph Whitehouse Hagin will serve as deputy chief of staff for operations.

04 января, 20:10

Black Teenager Brutalized At Texas Pool Party Sues For $5 Million

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Dajerria Becton, the black teenager slammed to the ground during a 2015 pool party in McKinney, Texas, has filed a federal lawsuit against the officer involved, the city and the McKinney Police Department for $5 million. A cell phone video that went viral in June 2015 shows Eric Casebolt, the officer responding to disturbance calls at Craig Ranch North Community Pool, yanking 15-year-old Becton to the ground, putting his knee into her back and pulling his service weapon on two other teens. Casebolt resigned following national backlash to the incident. On July 23, a grand jury failed to indict the former officer for his treatment of Becton. In the lawsuit, filed on Dec. 19, Becton and her legal guardian allege that Casebolt’s forceful arrest and his decision to hold the teen without probable cause violated her constitutional rights. The plaintiffs also claim that inadequate police training and a policy that “encourages officers to use force first and ask questions later” are to blame for Becton’s injuries. “The City of McKinney denies the claims alleged against it and the McKinney Police Department, and as such, will vigorously defend the recently filed lawsuit,” reads a statement from the city provided to The Dallas Morning News. “McKinney prides itself in cultivating the highest standards of training and professionalism for our officers, and it strongly believes that its standards and training will withstand legal challenge.” Related Coverage Cop Placed On Leave After Video Emerges Of Brutal Arrests At Teen Pool Party Teen Who Filmed Texas Pool Party Cop: ‘When He Pulled His Gun, My Heart Dropped’ Teen Speaks Out About What Happened When Cops Broke Up A Texas Pool Party Texas Police Officer Who Manhandled Black Teens At Pool Party Will Not Face Charges If you're always angry about politics, sign up for bruh., a sporadic newsletter by Julia Craven.powered by TinyLetter -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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29 декабря 2016, 06:40

5 Things To Do About Climate Change, Just In Time For The New Year

After I wrote What a Trump Presidency Means for Fighting Climate Change, a colleague suggested that I write an article with "5 concrete examples of on-the-ground things people can do." I've been mulling that over. You can readily find lists online of 5 things, 10 things, 50 and more things to do about climate change. Many excellent suggestions. Nearly all of them call for individual actions. Things that you can do to reduce your personal carbon footprint. Individual actions are important. We learn through personal experience what works and what doesn't, what's easy and what's hard. We prove change is feasible. We demonstrate our seriousness by walking the talk. We help motivate others to act. We move the needle, even if just a bit, in the direction that we need to move as a society. But a strategy built solely on individual actions will not prevent the calamitous impacts of climate change that will befall us if atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases continue to rise as currently projected. That takes collective action, in both public and private spheres. Actions that fundamentally transform the choices that are available to us, and that promote choices that will build a low-carbon, climate resilient economy that provides for our needs, including the need for a healthy and safe planet with a stable climate. So my list of actions focuses on what we can do to create momentum for collective action on climate change. For those wanting a list of individual actions to reduce their carbon footprints, links to relevant websites are provided at the end. 1. Join with others. Join national, state and local organizations that are taking action on climate change. Give them your time. Participate in their campaigns. Attend their events. Give them some of your money if you are able. There are lots of organizations doing good work on climate change that need your help. Some that I have collaborated with include Citizens Climate Lobby, the Union of Concerned Scientists, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council and World Wildlife Fund. But there are many others that deserve your consideration. I particularly like Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), a non-partisan organization with local chapters that attempts to work both sides of the aisle to advocate for national policies that address climate change. I've spoken at a number of their events and participated in a climate lobby-day that they organized in Harrisburg, PA this past June. In February I'll attend one of their regional conferences with a group of Dickinson College students. (Note to self: it's time to join CCL as a member). 2. Advocate for federal action. Call your U.S. senators and representative. Write them letters. The old fashioned kind, written on paper and mailed with a U.S. postage stamp -- it's worth the extra carbon. Visit them in their home offices, and in their D.C. offices if you travel that way. Do these things repeatedly to drive home the message that action on climate change is a high priority for you. To find out who your U.S. senators and representative are, go HERE; for tips on writing effective letters to legislators, go HERE. Don't forget federal officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture and Department of State -- call, write and visit them as well. What should you tell them? Well, that's up to you. Some suggestions: call for climate change policies that are grounded in peer-reviewed science, continued participation in the Paris Agreement and implementation of the Clean Power Plan, or an alternative new plan with teeth. Ask them to put a price on carbon emissions. Request support for making communities climate resilient. Advocate for federal research and development targeted to climate change solutions, and for programs to support workers and communities that may be negatively affected by a transition away from fossil fuels. Also keep your eyes open for opportunities to comment on climate-related federal regulations and submit comments. Groups like CCL can keep you abreast of pending federal legislation and regulations. For tips on submitting effective comments on federal regulations, go HERE. 3. Support state and local action. Until recently, much of the action on climate change in the U.S. has been at the state and local level. It's likely that we will revert to that pattern for the next few years. So let your state and local officials know that you want them to take action on climate change. California is leading the pack. If you live in California, tell your elected leaders "thanks" and encourage them to carry on and do even more. If you live elsewhere, tell your elected officials you are worried that your state will miss the wave of innovations and investments that are bringing clean, reliable and low cost energy, jobs and economic growth to California and other states that are embracing the technologies that will define the 21st century. Learn what your state is doing on climate change by checking out C2ES maps of climate programs and policies HERE. The Georgetown Climate Center maintains a map of state and local climate adaptation plans that can be found HERE. Cities and towns are also in on the action and are important players in tackling climate change. The World Wildlife Fund highlights the efforts of 116 U.S. cities in its recent report Measuring Up 2015: How Local Leadership Can Accelerate National Climate Goals. Is your city or town keeping up? Push your local officials to measure municipal emissions of greenhouse gases and develop a climate action plan that includes abatement of emissions and building resilience. 4. Take action at work. Advocate for climate action where you work, whether you work for a for-profit business, a non-profit organization or a public sector agency. Numerous businesses and organizations are taking action by increasing energy efficiency, switching to non-fossil energy sources and developing and bringing to market products and services that enable others to reduce their carbon footprints. Learn the business case for sustainability and climate action (see examples from Harvard Business Review, the World Bank's International Finance Corporation and EY) and start to be an advocate in your workplace for changes that can add to the bottom-line while benefitting the planet. CERES offers a Roadmap for Sustainability and The Environmental Defense Fund offers A roadmap to corporate GHG programs that can provide ideas and inspiration. 5. Talk to your friends, family and peers. Climate change action needs grassroots support. That requires talking with those you know about climate change, sharing your thoughts and listening to theirs. Do this with your faith group, book group, softball team, knitting club, poker buddies and fantasy sports league friends. Talk about why climate change is important to you, why you find the evidence compelling, how climate change can impact the things you value, why you are convinced climate action is necessary and what actions are needed. Find where you agree and disagree, work to find common ground and try to find new understanding in areas of disagreement. For resources to help you talk about climate change, try HERE and HERE. If you are a teacher, incorporate climate change into your teaching. The Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network has excellent curated and peer-reviewed resources for teaching about climate change and energy: Cleanet.org. If you want a basic primer on climate change science, one of my favorites is Climate Change Causes and Evidence from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society. Good online resources that rebut misinformation about climate change include Skeptical Science and RealClimate.Org. OK, still looking for things you can do to reduce your personal carbon footprint? Here are a few websites to check out. A word of advice. Don't let yourself be overwhelmed by long lists of things you should do. Start by picking one thing, something that is both impactful and readily achieved. Do that. Congratulate yourself, pause to reflect, then move on to tackle one more thing. Top 50 Things to Do: http://globalwarming-facts.info/50-tips/?singlepage=1 USEPA: https://www.epa.gov/climatechange/what-you-can-do-about-climate-change NRDC: https://www.nrdc.org/stories/how-you-can-stop-global-warming NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/03/upshot/what-you-can-do-about-climate-change.html?_r=0 Previous Huffington Post articles by Neil Leary: Businesses, Markets and Innovation Can Beat Climate Change, 12/22/16 Why The U.S. Should Stay In The Paris Climate Agreement, 11/21/16 What a Trump Presidency Means for Fighting Climate Change, 11/12/16 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

29 декабря 2016, 06:40

5 Things To Do About Climate Change, Just In Time For The New Year

After I wrote What a Trump Presidency Means for Fighting Climate Change, a colleague suggested that I write an article with "5 concrete examples of on-the-ground things people can do." I've been mulling that over. You can readily find lists online of 5 things, 10 things, 50 and more things to do about climate change. Many excellent suggestions. Nearly all of them call for individual actions. Things that you can do to reduce your personal carbon footprint. Individual actions are important. We learn through personal experience what works and what doesn't, what's easy and what's hard. We prove change is feasible. We demonstrate our seriousness by walking the talk. We help motivate others to act. We move the needle, even if just a bit, in the direction that we need to move as a society. But a strategy built solely on individual actions will not prevent the calamitous impacts of climate change that will befall us if atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases continue to rise as currently projected. That takes collective action, in both public and private spheres. Actions that fundamentally transform the choices that are available to us, and that promote choices that will build a low-carbon, climate resilient economy that provides for our needs, including the need for a healthy and safe planet with a stable climate. So my list of actions focuses on what we can do to create momentum for collective action on climate change. For those wanting a list of individual actions to reduce their carbon footprints, links to relevant websites are provided at the end. 1. Join with others. Join national, state and local organizations that are taking action on climate change. Give them your time. Participate in their campaigns. Attend their events. Give them some of your money if you are able. There are lots of organizations doing good work on climate change that need your help. Some that I have collaborated with include Citizens Climate Lobby, the Union of Concerned Scientists, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council and World Wildlife Fund. But there are many others that deserve your consideration. I particularly like Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), a non-partisan organization with local chapters that attempts to work both sides of the aisle to advocate for national policies that address climate change. I've spoken at a number of their events and participated in a climate lobby-day that they organized in Harrisburg, PA this past June. In February I'll attend one of their regional conferences with a group of Dickinson College students. (Note to self: it's time to join CCL as a member). 2. Advocate for federal action. Call your U.S. senators and representative. Write them letters. The old fashioned kind, written on paper and mailed with a U.S. postage stamp -- it's worth the extra carbon. Visit them in their home offices, and in their D.C. offices if you travel that way. Do these things repeatedly to drive home the message that action on climate change is a high priority for you. To find out who your U.S. senators and representative are, go HERE; for tips on writing effective letters to legislators, go HERE. Don't forget federal officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture and Department of State -- call, write and visit them as well. What should you tell them? Well, that's up to you. Some suggestions: call for climate change policies that are grounded in peer-reviewed science, continued participation in the Paris Agreement and implementation of the Clean Power Plan, or an alternative new plan with teeth. Ask them to put a price on carbon emissions. Request support for making communities climate resilient. Advocate for federal research and development targeted to climate change solutions, and for programs to support workers and communities that may be negatively affected by a transition away from fossil fuels. Also keep your eyes open for opportunities to comment on climate-related federal regulations and submit comments. Groups like CCL can keep you abreast of pending federal legislation and regulations. For tips on submitting effective comments on federal regulations, go HERE. 3. Support state and local action. Until recently, much of the action on climate change in the U.S. has been at the state and local level. It's likely that we will revert to that pattern for the next few years. So let your state and local officials know that you want them to take action on climate change. California is leading the pack. If you live in California, tell your elected leaders "thanks" and encourage them to carry on and do even more. If you live elsewhere, tell your elected officials you are worried that your state will miss the wave of innovations and investments that are bringing clean, reliable and low cost energy, jobs and economic growth to California and other states that are embracing the technologies that will define the 21st century. Learn what your state is doing on climate change by checking out C2ES maps of climate programs and policies HERE. The Georgetown Climate Center maintains a map of state and local climate adaptation plans that can be found HERE. Cities and towns are also in on the action and are important players in tackling climate change. The World Wildlife Fund highlights the efforts of 116 U.S. cities in its recent report Measuring Up 2015: How Local Leadership Can Accelerate National Climate Goals. Is your city or town keeping up? Push your local officials to measure municipal emissions of greenhouse gases and develop a climate action plan that includes abatement of emissions and building resilience. 4. Take action at work. Advocate for climate action where you work, whether you work for a for-profit business, a non-profit organization or a public sector agency. Numerous businesses and organizations are taking action by increasing energy efficiency, switching to non-fossil energy sources and developing and bringing to market products and services that enable others to reduce their carbon footprints. Learn the business case for sustainability and climate action (see examples from Harvard Business Review, the World Bank's International Finance Corporation and EY) and start to be an advocate in your workplace for changes that can add to the bottom-line while benefitting the planet. CERES offers a Roadmap for Sustainability and The Environmental Defense Fund offers A roadmap to corporate GHG programs that can provide ideas and inspiration. 5. Talk to your friends, family and peers. Climate change action needs grassroots support. That requires talking with those you know about climate change, sharing your thoughts and listening to theirs. Do this with your faith group, book group, softball team, knitting club, poker buddies and fantasy sports league friends. Talk about why climate change is important to you, why you find the evidence compelling, how climate change can impact the things you value, why you are convinced climate action is necessary and what actions are needed. Find where you agree and disagree, work to find common ground and try to find new understanding in areas of disagreement. For resources to help you talk about climate change, try HERE and HERE. If you are a teacher, incorporate climate change into your teaching. The Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network has excellent curated and peer-reviewed resources for teaching about climate change and energy: Cleanet.org. If you want a basic primer on climate change science, one of my favorites is Climate Change Causes and Evidence from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society. Good online resources that rebut misinformation about climate change include Skeptical Science and RealClimate.Org. OK, still looking for things you can do to reduce your personal carbon footprint? Here are a few websites to check out. A word of advice. Don't let yourself be overwhelmed by long lists of things you should do. Start by picking one thing, something that is both impactful and readily achieved. Do that. Congratulate yourself, pause to reflect, then move on to tackle one more thing. Top 50 Things to Do: http://globalwarming-facts.info/50-tips/?singlepage=1 USEPA: https://www.epa.gov/climatechange/what-you-can-do-about-climate-change NRDC: https://www.nrdc.org/stories/how-you-can-stop-global-warming NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/03/upshot/what-you-can-do-about-climate-change.html?_r=0 Previous Huffington Post articles by Neil Leary: Businesses, Markets and Innovation Can Beat Climate Change, 12/22/16 Why The U.S. Should Stay In The Paris Climate Agreement, 11/21/16 What a Trump Presidency Means for Fighting Climate Change, 11/12/16 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

21 декабря 2016, 19:13

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces New Manufacturing USA Institute, Third Institute Awarded in Three Weeks

The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI), Inc., headquartered in Manchester, NH, brings nearly $300 million in public-private investment from leading manufacturers and universities to develop the cells, tissues, and organs that may one day restore form and function to wounded warriors and civilians. Today, the Department of Defense is awarding the new Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing USA institute, which brings together a consortium of 87 partners from across industry, academia, and government to develop the manufacturing technologies for life-saving cells, tissues, and organs. The winning coalition, led by ARMI, Inc. and headquartered in Manchester, NH will develop next-generation manufacturing techniques for repairing and replacing cells and tissues, which may one day lead to the ability to manufacture new skin for soldiers scarred from combat or develop organ-preserving technologies to benefit Americans waiting for an organ transplant.  The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute being announced today is the twelfth manufacturing hub awarded by the Obama Administration, and follows on the heels of two other hubs announced in the last two weeks—the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals, the first open-topic institute and the first institute awarded by the Department of Commerce, headquartered in Newark, DE; and the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment Institute, awarded by the Department of Energy, headquartered in New York, NY. Today at the White House, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall will announce the winning consortium before an audience of stakeholders from industry, academia, and government, including senior leaders from the White House, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, and representatives from many of the existing Manufacturing USA institutes. In the four years since its establishment, Manufacturing USA has grown from one institute with 65 members to a network of now 12 institutes with nearly 1,000 members.  The institutes are already attracting new business investment to their regions, developing the cutting-edge technologies to drive American leadership, and training the workforce that will apply new skills to our manufacturing sector.  Across the Manufacturing USA institutes, the Federal government has committed over $850 million, which has been matched by more than $1.8 billion in non-Federal investment. Today’s progress builds on important bipartisan action from Congress, which in 2015 passed the bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation to formally authorize the program, proving that strengthening American manufacturing is a goal on which we can all agree. After a decade of decline from 2000 to 2009, the U.S. manufacturing sector has added over 800,000 jobs since early 2010.  Despite recent headwinds, the foundation for U.S. manufacturing is stronger than it has been in decades. Just this year, a new report on global manufacturing competitiveness found that manufacturing executives view the United States as the best location in the world for manufacturing in the years ahead.  The New Manufacturing USA Institute Awards Manufacturing USA connects people, ideas, and technology to solve industry-relevant advanced manufacturing challenges, enhancing industrial competitiveness and economic growth and strengthening our national security. Each manufacturing institute is designed to build U.S. leadership and regional excellence in critical emerging manufacturing technologies by bridging the gap between early research and product development; bringing together companies, universities, and other academic and training institutions, and Federal agencies to co-invest in key technology areas that can encourage investment and production in the United States while serving as a ‘teaching factory’ for workers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs looking to develop new skills or prototype new products and processes. Repairing and replacing cells, tissues, and organs. Announced today, the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute is poised to develop next-generation manufacturing techniques for repairing and replacing cells and tissues, which may one day lead to the ability to manufacture new skin for soldiers scarred from combat or develop organ-preserving technologies to benefit Americans stuck on organ transplant waiting lists. Headquartered in Manchester, NH, ARMI will focus on solving the cross-cutting manufacturing challenges that stand in the way of producing new synthetic tissues and organs—such as improving the availability, reproducibility, accessibility, and standardization of manufacturing materials, technologies, and processes to create tissue and organ products. ARMI will convene leaders from a multitude of disciplines, from cell biology and bioengineering to materials science and computer modeling. The partners will work to develop high-throughput culture and 3D biofabication techniques to non-invasive, real-time testing and sensing to measure the viability of engineered tissue constructs. Industry Partners: Abbott, Autodesk, Becton Dickinson, Celularity, DEKA Research & Development, GenCure, Humacyte, Lonza, Medtronic, Rockwell Automation, and United Therapeutics Government and non-profit organizations: FIRST, the State of New Hampshire, and Manufacturing Extension Partnerships in multiple states Universities and Other Schools: Arizona State University, Boston University, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rutgers, Stanford University, the University of Florida, the University of Minnesota, the University of New Hampshire, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Yale University Life-saving bio-therapies. On December 16, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced the winner of the Department of Commerce’s first institute and the first open-topic institute competition: the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL). NIIBML will be led by USA Bio Consortium, a team of more than 150 partners representing all of the elements required to make biopharmaceutical drugs—from the equipment makers and suppliers of raw materials, to the companies developing new treatments and readying them for clinical trials and regulatory approval, to the clinics treating patients. NIIMBL will work to accelerate the transition of disease-treating biopharmaceuticals from the lab to the market, with the aim to make these live-saving therapies more accessible to patients. NIIMBL will also help rapidly scale up manufacture of these advanced treatments to respond to pandemics and other biological threats, address drug shortages resulting from issues in manufacturing, and support precision medicine by exploring new processes and equipment to allow the cost-effective manufacture of single-batch biopharmaceutical exactly matched to an individual’s genetics or disease. Read more here, and how NIIMBL’s efforts will complement ARMI’s efforts here. Companies and Non-Profit Organizations: Agilent Technologies, AIChE, Air Liquide, Altimmune, Amgen, Amgen Foundation, Artemis Biosystems, Association of University Research Parks, ASTM, BioFactura, Biogen, BioHealth Innovation, Biologics Modular, BioPhorum Operations Group, bioVolutions, BMC Corp, Boehringer Ingelheim Fremont, California Manufacturing Technology Consulting, Celgene Corp, Charles River Laboratories, ChromaTan, Cimetrics, Colorado BioScience Association, Commissioning Agents, Inc, Connecting Connecticut's Science Community, Continuus Pharma, Corning Life Sciences, DelawareBio, DEMEP, DVIRC, Eli Lilly Research Labs, EMD Serono, FiberCell Systems, FloDesign Sonics, Fraunhofer CMB, Fraunhofer CESE, GBSI, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, Georgia Bio, Georgia Tech MEP, Grifols S.A., IBM, ILC Dover, ImmunoGen, Indiana Health Industry Forum, Institute for BioScience & Biotechnology Research, Intellia Therapeutics, IOWABio, Janssen Pharma, Juno Therapeutics, Kentucky Life Sciences Council, LakePharma, Lewa Process Technologies, Lonza Biologics Inc., Manex, MANTEC, MassBio, MassMep, MD MEP, MedImmune, MEPOL, MilliporeSigma, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Education, NC Bio, NC MEP, NEPIRC, NewYorkBIO, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, NYDSTI, Orochem, Pall Corp, Parental Drug Association, PBS Biotech, Pennsylvania Bio, Pfizer, Pharma Matrix, Pharyx Inc., Protein Sciences Corp, Purdue MEP, Regeneron Pharma, RepliGen, Rooster Bio, Sanofi Pasteur, SC MEP, Shire, Southwest Research Institute, SoyMeds, Stratosphere, Sudhin Biopharma, Tech Council of MD, Terumo BCT, THBI, Thrive Bioscience, University City Science Center, Unum Therapeutics, USP, Vericel Corp, Voyager Therapeutics, VWR, Waters Universities, Colleges and Other Schools: Bio-Link (City College of San Francisco), Carnegie Mellon University, Clemson University, Delaware State University, Delaware Technical Community College, East Carolina University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, IVY Tech Community College, Johns Hopkins University, MARBIONC: Marine Biotechnology in NC (UNC Wilmington), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Memorial Sloan Kettering, MiraCosta College District, Montgomery College, Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and Collaborative, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina Community College's BioNetwork System, North Carolina State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Quincy College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Solano Community College, The University of Texas at Austin, Tulane University, University of California Berkeley, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Connecticut, University of Delaware, University of Georgia, University of Iowa, University of Kansas, University of Kentucky, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts, University of Minnesota, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Charlotte, University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin State Government and Regional Organizations: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, State of Delaware, State of Maryland, State of Minnesota, State of North Carolina States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, Washington D.C., Wisconsin Ultra-efficient chemical manufacturing. On December 9, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the Department of Energy David Friedman announced that the American Institute of Chemical Engineers will lead the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute. With over 130 partners from universities, companies, local and state organizations, and other Manufacturing USA institutes, the RAPID institute will work to develop new modular technologies to enable customized factories, local manufacturing in remote locations, and greater utilization of U.S. raw materials for manufacturing, while training future U.S. workers in these advanced fields. The RAPID institute will work to advance manufacturing processes used for making chemicals, refining fuels, and producing other everyday products used across the U.S. economy. By optimizing manufacturing at the molecular level, technologies developed by this institute will aim to save energy with every chemical reaction. In addition to improving energy efficiency, these technologies can lead to big savings on the manufacturing floor, such as cutting operating costs, waste, and equipment footprint. In the chemical industry alone, these technologies have the potential to save more than $9 billion in process costs annually. For example, by simplifying and shrinking the physical space needed for manufacturing, this approach may enable natural gas refining directly at the wellhead, saving up to half of the energy lost in the ethylene cracking process today. Read more here. Initial partners include: Industry partners: Alloy Surfaces, Arkema, AspenTech, ATI Specialty Alloys, Automation Solutions, Avatar Sustainables, Ayers Group, BASF, BgtL, Biodico, Cantrell Capital, CB&I, Cermatec, CF Technologies, Compact Membrane Systems, Convergent Catalysis, Corning, Cummins, Domtar, Dow, Dow Water Solutions, DuPont, Earth Energy Renewables, Eastman Chemical, Easy Energy Systems, EcoCatalytic Technologies, Emerson Process Management, Enginuity Worldwide, Environmental & Fuel Research LLC, Environmental Engineering Solutions, ExxonMobil, Fluor, Franklin International, Full Cycle Bioplastics, FutureCeuticals, GE Water and Process Technologies, Greenway Energy, H Quest Vanguard, i3D MFG, Intellectual Assets, IntraMicron Inc., Italmatch Chemicals, Kore Infrastructure, Lubrizol, Managed Technology Solutions Group, Matric, NatureWorks, NuScale Power, Onboard Dynamics, Pall Corp., Paul Weaver Construction Equipment, Petron Scientech, Pioneer Tank & Vessel, Portland General Electric, Praxair, Process Systems Enterprise, Reliance Industries, RnD Consulting, Roeslein Alternative Energy, Saint Gobain NorPro, Secat Inc., Shell, Sigma Innova, Solar Fuels & Chemicals, Solvay, Southern Company, Strategic Analysis, United Technologies Research Center, Vacuum Process Engineering, vanZoen, Waste Resource Recovery, Xcel Energy, Zaiput Flow, Zeachem, Zeton Local and State Organizations: Alabama Department of Commerce, Iowa Economic Development, Iowa Energy Center, State of Oregon, Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership, South Carolina Department of Commerce, South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership Academic Partners and Research Institutions: Auburn University, Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western University, Clemson University, Drexel University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Iowa State University, Manhattan College, Michigan State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, Oregon State University, Rutgers University, State University of New York, Texas A&M, Texas Tech University, University of Alabama, University of Arizona, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Delaware, University of Idaho, University of Illinois, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of North Dakota, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California, University of Texas, University of Wyoming, Worchester Polytechnic Institute, West Virginia University.  Not for Profit and Independent Associations: American Chemistry Council, American Chemical Society, Agenda 2020, Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Institute, Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, Gas Technology Institute, Glass Manufacturers Industry Council, Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, National Society of Black Engineers, Research Triangle Institute, Society of Chemical Manufacturing and Affiliates, Southern Research Institute.  Laboratories: The Ames Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Savannah River National Laboratory, The Forest Products Laboratory (U.S. Forest Service), The National Risk Management Laboratory (EPA). Ongoing Institute Competitions In addition to the three institutes announced since December 9, other Manufacturing USA institute topics are now under competition in the areas of: Sustainable materials manufacturing. In collaboration with the Department of Energy, the winner of the competition for the Reducing Embodied Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) in Materials Manufacturing Institute will focus on reducing the total lifetime use of energy in manufactured materials by developing new cradle-to-cradle technologies for the reuse, recycling, and remanufacturing of manmade materials. U.S. manufacturing consumes nearly a third of the nation’s total energy use annually, with much of that energy embodied in the physical products made in manufacturing. New technologies to better repurpose these materials could save U.S. manufacturers and the nation up to 1.6 quadrillion BTU of energy annually, equivalent to 280 million barrels of oil, or a month’s worth of domestic oil imports. Read more here. Collaborative robotics. Together with the Department of Defense, the winner of the competition for the Robots in Manufacturing Environments Manufacturing USA Institute will focus on building U.S. leadership in smart collaborative robotics, where advanced robots work alongside humans seamlessly, safely, and intuitively to do the heavy lifting on an assembly line or handleintricate or dangerous tasks with precision. People collaborating with robots has the potential to change a broad swath of manufacturing sectors, from defense and space to automotive and health, enabling the reliable and efficient production of high-quality, customized products. Read more here. Industry-proposed topic. Leveraging authorities from the Revitalizing American Manufacturing and Innovation Act with broad bipartisan support in Congress, the Department of Commerce has launched the first “open topic” institute competition. This competition is open to any topic proposed by industry not already addressed by a manufacturing innovation institute. In addition to NIIMBL, which is awarded using FY2016 funds, additional institutes may be awarded from this competition, subject to the availability of additional funds. The open topic competition design allows industry to propose technology areas seen as critical by leading manufacturers to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. Read more here. Early Successes from Manufacturing USA Together, the Manufacturing USA institutes are already enhancing U.S. competitiveness in advanced manufacturing—from helping Youngstown, OH attract over $90 million in new manufacturing investments to its region and train 14,000 workers in the fundamentals of 3D printing for businesses, to supporting companies like X-FAB in Lubbock, TX upgrade to next-generation power semiconductors and sustain hundreds of jobs. These public-private partnerships are bringing value to their members and regions by providing: Technological Innovation: By accelerating the transition from design to Made in USA, the institutes are developing emerging manufacturing technologies—for example, America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown, OH enabled one of its founding members, Oxford Performance Materials, Inc., to become the first company to receive clearance from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to manufacture 3D-printed polymer implants for use in surgical procedures in the United States. Collaborative Constituencies: The institutes align pre-competitive industry priorities by combining the efforts of manufacturers across geographies and supply chains—for example, the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), the Integrated Photonics Institute in Rochester, NY, has members on both coasts that, collectively, comprise  the entire supply chain for integrated photonics, from microfabrication processing training and circuit design centers in Massachusetts; to wafer foundry, packaging, and assembly centers in New York; to integrated photonic device manufacturers in California. Leveraged Investments: For companies, institute membership provides access to unique equipment and capabilities that are too costly for any one company to undertake—for example, Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), the Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles institute in Cambridge, MA, is standing up a distributed, on-demand foundry to rapidly identify domestic manufacturing pathways within its membership to accelerate the design-to-product process. Networked Expertise: Manufacturing USA is at its best when the institutes are working together— for example, to create a talent pipeline of multi-skilled manufacturing technicians. This cross-institute effort is designed to match talent demands from industry members with the best content from academia members, define promising career pathways, and align workforce investment resources across municipalities, states, and regions. Customized Training: Institutes act as "teaching factories," providing hands-on factory workforce training for the relevant technology-- for example, NC State, the lead for Power America, has created a Master’s of Science concentration focused on wide band gap semiconductor power electronics. More than 200 graduate students at NC State and member universities of Power America are now studying power electronics each year. As a result, over 225 freshman engineering students have been introduced to wide band gap semiconductors, building a talent pipeline of future graduates. Business Opportunities: By developing national expertise across their supply chains, the institutes are creating new reasons for companies to locate jobs and investment in their regions and the United States—for example, Leisure Pools, a polymer composite pool manufacturer originally from Australia, has relocated its facilities to be near the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) in Knoxville, TN, as Leisure Pool moves into new areas to become an advanced manufacturer of carbon fiber composite material products and adds up to 1,000 jobs in Knoxville over the next decade. Innovation Ecosystems: The institutes are creating trusted environments, knitting together technical expertise across supply chains to craft new business opportunities—for example, the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) in Chicago, IL is providing space within its facilities for start-ups developing their business, facilitating relationships between young companies and large industrial members through collaborative projects. Rejuvenated Neighborhoods: By anchoring regional manufacturing competitiveness, the institutes are breathing new life into the manufacturing regions where they are located—for example, Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT), the lightweight and modern metals manufacturing institute in Detroit, MI, has transformed a former factory that was abandoned during the wave of offshoring in the early 2000s, rejuvenating one of Detroit’s oldest neighborhoods. To learn more about the open competitions for these next manufacturing innovation institutes, please visit Manufacturing.gov. In addition to today’s announcement, the established manufacturing innovation institutes are: America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (Youngstown, OH) Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (Chicago, IL) Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (Detroit, MI) Power America (Raleigh, NC) Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (Knoxville, TN) American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (Rochester, NY) Next Flex, the Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute (San Jose, CA) Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (Cambridge, MA) Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (Los Angeles, CA) Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (New York, NY) National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (Newark, DE)

16 декабря 2016, 21:43

Was America Ready For Hillary?

At our Election Night party, my friends and neighbors gathered their daughters, sat them on the couch, and psyched up the under-8 crowd by shouting "you girls ready to make some history?!" We took pictures, nodding at each other with satisfaction for capturing the moment. We were ready for Hillary, and were optimistic enough Americans would be too. This was supposed to be the year we discussed ad nauseum whether the country was "ready" for a woman president. Far more said in a February CNN/ORC poll that America was ready (80%) than at any time over the last decade, with Gallup showing record numbers saying they'd be open to voting for a woman themselves. But trying to ask voters to accurately self-report their bias is a losing battle. In the run-up to the 2008 election, voters told the Washington Post/ABC News they were less likely to vote for a smoker than for a female or black candidate. Surely there is more bias against women and blacks, than against smokers. In fact, many studies and experimental designs suggest there is bias against women candidates. The Atlantic has a depressing walk through the research around the world showing a backlash against women candidates or strong women figures. Earlier this year Fairleigh Dickenson University did several experiments on this. Priming voters with questions about changing personal gender roles in their own households boosted Trump's support among men. (Although later in 2016 priming voters with questions about social norms helped Clinton.) Asking voters about this existence of sexism very likely yields defensiveness, not changed minds. In an April 2016 poll of married women (conducted by Purple Strategies poll for Bloomberg Politics), a majority felt gender had no impact on how Clinton was being treated by her opponents or the media. Even larger numbers (78%) said their own views toward Clinton had nothing to do with gender. There is perhaps an aspiration that we have moved beyond sexism, or at least that Hillary Clinton had. Some of our own polling at PSB Research further confirms voters' doubts of sexism. From a series of questions about whether Clinton's gender helped (because media or others give her the benefit of the doubt) or hurt (because she is frequently interrupted, or is unfairly criticized for speaking too loudly), voters consistently believed her gender was helping more than hurting. Of the groups we examined, only Democratic women tended to say Clinton's gender hurt more than helped. Maybe the daily grind of the campaign season reinforced this sense that Clinton's gender actually helped her. Recall the time spent (by both the media and the campaign itself) highlighting the historic nature of her candidacy, her gender-specific policies, and the contrasts with her obviously flawed opponent. In this context Trump's mocking of Clinton for playing "the woman card" may have reflected what some voters clearly thought--Clinton's gender was an asset. Further, to suggest otherwise may have made some feel subtly attacked for being sexist. Whether fair or unfair, right or wrong, most voters don't want their biases circled, underlined, and highlighted. Consider related evidence on race: some preliminary research by Antoine Banks and Heather Hicks from the University of Maryland found labeling Trump's remarks as racially charged did nothing to change the minds of white voters who already have racial resentment. Combine all of the above with the uniqueness of Clinton herself. Even on Election Day, a majority found her qualified, and even more found Trump unqualified. But one person's "qualified" is another person's "part of the Washington establishment." Regardless, her experience could have made it even harder for some voters to worry about sexism, or see her gender as a hindrance. She may have been a victim of her own successes. Perhaps this is why women ultimately did not help put Clinton over the line. One of the areas of the most bipartisan agreement in our PSB Research poll was Clinton's gender "helps her because there are many women who are excited to vote for a woman President." Yet gender provided no extra boost. Republican women did not break with their party. Non-college educated white women voted more like their male counterparts than like their college-educated sisters. While the gender gap was about the same in 2016 as it was in 2012, Clinton's other political headwinds were too much for her gender to overcome. As many others have observed, voters in 2016 frequently said they wanted to vote for a woman, just not "that woman." Both Fairleigh Dickinson and Pew have shown voters overwhelmingly confident there will be a woman President in their lifetimes. While academics work to pinpoint the role of sexism in Clinton's loss, Democrats still reeling from their own Election Nights could try to mirror the electorate's optimism. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

16 декабря 2016, 12:43

10 Cheapest (and Most Expensive) Cities to Celebrate New Year’s Eve

Celebrating New Year's Eve in style can be expensive or cheap depending on where you go. Here's a ranking of cheapest and priciest cities.

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14 декабря 2016, 16:44

Over here, BritBox: the shows that truly give a taste of British TV

From the contrast-befuddling David Dickinson to the suburban fury of Watchdog, there’s more to British TV than the new US streaming platform is letting onIf you’re a US anglophile, all your wishes just came true. It has been announced that ITV and the BBC are teaming up to launch a Netflix-style streaming platform called BritBox. Offering shows such as Cold Feet, Silent Witness and Emmerdale to viewers 24 hours after they have aired in the UK, BritBox promises to be the most comprehensive British streaming service in the US.Which is all well and good, but BritBox runs the risk of offering an artificially inflated view of British television. By offering only prestigious tentpole dramas and beloved soaps, it is likely that Americans will assume that is all we ever get shown over here. Clearly, that isn’t the case. In an ideal world, BritBox would offer our cousins across the Atlantic a complete overview of television in the UK. So please, BritBox, include these shows before it’s too late: Continue reading...

09 декабря 2016, 19:47

Red is the New Black: Seeing Russians as they really are

When reflecting on how best to describe my impressions of Russia and its people, I realised that my experience follows a trajectory like that of Piper Chapman in Netflix’s binge-streamed drama, Orange is the New Black. For those unfamiliar with the show, the drama’s main character Chapman comes across a Russian lady in prison, known to the American inmates as “Red.” To both viewers and onscreen characters alike, Red is the embodiment of the archetypal Russian, caricatured in the eyes of the Western world: expressionless, robust and as icy as an Arkhangelsk winter. As I entered the noiseless customs room in St. Petersburg’s airport three years ago, my first encounter with a Russian border guard in the motherland communicated much the same impression. No words were exchanged between us as I tentatively slipped my passport through the window slit. Anxiously watching the female customs officer’s eyes glance back and forth, hearing only the odd tap of the keyboard, it was with great relief that the gate was unlocked, allowing me to continue my first adventure in Russia. Making sense of Noah’s Ark: Life in a Moscow university dormitory Indeed, my first few days in Russia validated the impression of Russians propagated by TV shows such as Orange is the New Black. The streets were paved with stony-faced strangers and service with a smile was an alien concept in Russian corner-shops. But I soon discovered that such surface observations did not paint the full picture. Having lived in Moscow for a year and having forged many friendships that I hope to be long-lasting, initially it frustrated me greatly seeing such a popular online show perpetuate this unfair stereotype of Russian people. However, as the seasons progress in Orange is the New Black, Red is seen in a more authentic light as the personification of the Rodina Mat (Mother Russia): strong, fiercely loyal, caring and a mother to all those she holds dear. This is the image of Russian people that I have grown to admire and respect. Never mix your drinks After my first few days in St. Petersburg acclimatizing to the directness and brutal bluntness of the Russians I encountered in shops and at tourist attractions, it was a delight to stumble across a side-street bar whose owner gave my friends and I the warmest of welcomes. Intrigued by the fact that we had decided to study Russians as beginners at university, this lady encouraged us to order our drinks in the best Russian we could conjure and helped us along the way. Whereas ticket sellers on the metro have no time for slowly conjugated sentences, this lady even rewarded our efforts with free limoncello. Soviet grandma Nina knows an Italian when she sees one It was in this bar in St. Petersburg where I discovered the concept of vodka and a mixer is, like myself, foreign. Making my best effort to decline my nouns, I confidently asked for a glass of vodka and coke. Initially the bartender appeared very confused and I worried that I had just spoken complete gibberish. Then from beneath the bar appeared a bottle of Russian Standard (my go-to vodka) and a bottle of Coca-Cola. Dumbfounded, the bartender pointed to the glass and asked whether I wanted both in the glass together. Da, konechno. The concoction I received was not so much coke with a shot of vodka, but vodka with a shot of coke. Of course, I wasn’t complaining. It’s not just in a dingy bar in St. Petersburg where you will find Russians who are curiously interested in people learning their mother tongue. The highlight of my week when living in Moscow was attending language exchanges, of which there are plenty. Imagine the scene: at least 10 different languages being spoken in a Moscow bar and Russians eager to practice their language skills, but also to lend a helping hand to those trying to master the complexities of their native language. Friendship is in the cards Although these exchanges were always a bit of a gamble regarding who you were going to meet and whether you would have anything interesting to say, there was one night where I was dealt a lucky hand. Playing a card game in Russian, the name of which I forget, I met two people who would remain friends throughout the year and beyond, Marcel and Nastya. Over the course of the year, we shared some great moments, from Nastya introducing me to an authentic Uzbek restaurant to Marcel making sure I experienced all of Moscow’s parades and fireworks displays. What struck me most, however, was the genuine generosity and kindness extended to me from people like Nastya and Marcel from day one, and I can honestly say that this is far less common in the UK. A ride on the wild side: A madcap adventure by taxi in St. Petersburg Life as a foreigner in Russia can be difficult. You learn quickly not to take rudeness or bluntness in shops personally. Experiences such as queuing to pay for accommodation, renewing your visa and losing your passport for a month or any other bureaucratic process is only positive insofar as it is character-building. Regardless of these painstaking activities unique to the Russian experience, overall my impression of the people I met is a positive one of fierce friendship and unwavering kindness. Grace Dickinson, a Cambridge graduate born in Durham, is currently working as a School Liaison Officer. She taught English while learning Russian at Moscow State University and explored Russian culture while working as a writer in St. Petersburg in 2014-2015. Send your entries for this blog [email protected] Read more: Dill, dill, everywhere, and not a bite to eat>>> Subscribe to get the hand picked best stories every week

09 декабря 2016, 13:05

How Fox News Created the War on Christmas

Earlier this week, President-elect Donald Trump’s former campaign manager declared that it was once again safe to say “Merry Christmas,” reflecting Trump’s campaign promise that, if he won, every store would say “Merry Christmas,” and “Happy Holidays” would be out. Trump had previously called out Starbucks holiday cups for being insufficiently Christmas-oriented, a criticism shared by many people on social media for the second year in a row. Gap, Target, The Home Depot, and many other retailers have been criticized in the past. The now-annual controversy over the “War on Christmas” highlights the difficulties now faced by any company that wants to avoid offense in the run-up to the winter holidays. In a December 2005 Gallup poll, 41% of respondents said they preferred to be greeted with “Happy Holidays” during the holiday season, and 56% said they’d rather hear “Merry Christmas.” Ten years later, a survey we conducted at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind research center found that only 25% wanted to hear “Happy Holidays,” while 65% of Americans said they preferred “Merry Christmas.” Despite variance between pollsters and different ways of wording the question, the trend is clear: Over the last decade, many Americans changed their minds about the greeting they want to hear, and the question of what to say to customers and neighbors became fraught with social meaning. This change — and the very idea of a war on Christmas — seems to be the result of coverage on one channel: Fox News. This isn’t to say that Fox hosts originated the idea of a War on Christmas. The term arose in the writings of anti-immigration activist Peter Brimelow in 1999 but languished until October 2005, when John Gibson appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to discuss his new book, The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought. The thrust of the argument made by Brimelow and Gibson is that governments and large corporations are actively pushing an anti-Christian agenda. For instance, Gibson points out that in 2004 Amazon wished its customers “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas,” some schools listed a “Winter Break” on their calendars rather than a “Christmas Break,” and the holiday stamps put out by the U.S. Postal Service featured a snowman (a point perhaps undercut by the fact that religious-themed stamps were also available). In Gibson’s argument, it all was part of a secularist plot that aimed to, as O’Reilly put it on November 18, 2005, “get religion out, [so] then you can pass secular progressive programs like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, and gay marriage.” But it is not just the government that is threatening Christianity, Gibson claimed: “Every time a supermarket checker or store clerk greets you with [‘Happy Holidays’] instead of ‘Merry Christmas,’ you have met another soldier in the War against Christmas.” In this view, saying “Merry Christmas” is a political act, announcing one’s opposition to secular liberals, in what Michael Norton from Harvard Business School and Samuel Sommers from Tufts University describe as a symbolic protest against a perceived loss of privilege. From 2005 on, Fox News has returned to the topic every year, while noncable television networks and major newspapers have given it little to no coverage, mentioning it only a handful of times, and never seriously. Most of the discussion about it outside of Fox has been on MSNBC and The Daily Show, both of which have used it to mock Fox’s coverage. The argument that saying “Happy Holidays” is the spear tip of a concerted secularization plot may seem like a stretch, but it seems to have been accepted by many Americans. In a December 2013 national PublicMind poll, 28% of Americans agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “There has been a concerted effort by politicians to take ‘Christ’ out of Christmas.” Forty percent of Republicans agreed (33% strongly), compared to only 16% of Democrats. As might be expected, frequent churchgoers (those who attend once a week or more) are more likely to think there’s a war on Christmas (in the survey, we avoided using that exact term so that respondents wouldn’t be tipped off to the research question we were exploring), with 35% agreeing. Watching Fox News doesn’t make someone more likely to be concerned about secularization, but it does have a significant effect on people who don’t go to church much in the first place. Among individuals who say they seldom go to church, watching Fox News increases the likelihood of agreeing that there’s a war on Christmas by five points; among those who say they never go to church, the difference is 10 points. In effect, watching Fox News makes less religious people as concerned about secularization as those who go to church frequently. It seems that the rhetorical strategy employed by Fox News commentators has worked. By making the “War on Christmas” just one front in a general political conflict, Fox News has made its viewers, even those who normally wouldn’t be worried about religious issues, more likely to accept the war’s existence. That effect, which links concerns about secularization and “Happy Holidays” to a political identity, seems to be the driving force behind the increase in preferences for “Merry Christmas” and in disdain for alternatives. What’s amazing about this is that coverage on one cable channel has led to a large section of the American public changing their everyday behavior and the way they view the behavior of others. It means that business owners’ decisions about something as innocuous as a holiday greeting have become viewed through a political lens that owners and managers wouldn’t have considered before. It’s easy to imagine that we live in a post–mass media world, one in which no single news source can have a real impact on our society. In this case, one news outlet still retains the ability to move the opinions and behaviors of the American public.

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08 декабря 2016, 13:55

Why Trump Won?

“the surge in inequality and the stagnation of wages” from Peter Radford I listened last night to Matt Dickinson from Middlebury college give a talk about the recent election. This is my synopsis: The election did not represent much of a change in voter patterns. Trump’s victory was based more on a tweak rather than […]

06 декабря 2016, 13:23

Christie's approval hits record low; most say he should have been charged for Bridgegate

Gov. Chris Christie is just one point away from tying the record for worst approval rating of any New Jersey governor in memory.And an overwhelming majority of New Jersey voters think the Republican governor should have faced charges over the Bridgegate scandal, a new poll has found. According to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released Tuesday morning, Christie’s approval has dropped to 18 percent among New Jersey voters — down from 21 percent in October. “Governor Christie has been abandoned by virtually everyone, which is a far cry from where he once sat atop a field of aspiring presidential candidates who cut a more polarizing figure than he did,” poll director Krista Jenkins said in a release accompanying the results.It’s the lowest approval rating a PublicMind poll has ever measured for a New Jersey governor since it began taking surveys in 2002. It’s also just 1 percentage point higher than the lowest poll rating POLITICO New Jersey could find for any New Jersey governor in history. Former Gov. Brendan Byrne still holds the record, with a 17 percent approval rating in a 1977 Rutgers-Eagleton poll, after he signed the state income tax. But Byrne, a Democrat, managed to claw his way back into the public’s good graces to win re-election later that year. Christie can commiserate with former Democratic Gov. Jim Florio, whose approval rating hit 18 percent in a 1990 Rutgers-Eagleton poll after he ushered in series of tax increases that stoked outrage around the state. According to the latest FDU poll, 73 percent of New Jersey voters disapprove of Christie’s job performance. Even a majority of Republicans — 52 percent — disapprove of Christie, while just 33 percent approve. In addition, 71 percent of voters said Christie should have been tried over his aide and appointees’ closures of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge. Just 23 percent agreed with the statement that the Bridgegate trial “was a success because only those responsible for the lane closing were tried.”“Across the board we see disbelief in Governor Christie’s claims of ignorance about what his underlings were up to,” Jenkins said. “The only group who offers some degree of equivocation is Republicans, but even half of them say they believe the governor should have also been a defendant. Past surveys from FDU have found a majority of registered voters incredulous at the claim [Christie] he knew nothing until incriminating text messages and emails were made public.”It’s a stunning downfall for Christie, whose approval rating reached 73 percent in a January 2013 PublicMind poll conducted shortly after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the state. After his November 2013 re-election, Christie could still boast of a 61 percent approval rating. But in January 2014, an email surfaced of Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly ordering two of three access lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge closed, and his precipitous decline began. It worsened as he pursued a failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2015 and early 2016. The FDU poll of 836 registered voters was conducted from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

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25 ноября 2016, 08:37

Best fiction of 2016

I was disappointed by most of this year’s well-known releases, and did most of my rewarding fiction reading in past classics.  But these are the fiction or fiction-related works I found to be outstanding this year: Eimear McBride, The Lesser Bohemians.  A novel of an affair, with intoxicating Irish prose and a genuine energy on […] The post Best fiction of 2016 appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

23 ноября 2016, 15:13

Becton, Dickinson (BDX) Announces 10.6% Dividend Increase

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX) recently increased its dividend by 10.6% from the previous quarter.

23 ноября 2016, 01:49

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Trump's Date With the Grey Lady

The president-elect met with reporters and editors at The New York Times.