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19 января, 18:51

Intro Guide to the Franklin Utilities A Fund (FKUTX)

Franklin Utilities A (FKUTX) a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) was incepted in September 1948 and is managed by Franklin Advisers.

19 января, 01:02

What Are Some Startup Strategies That People Should Implement Into Their Daily Lives?

What are some startup strategies that people should implement into their daily lives? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Answer by Anna Akbari, sociologist, entrepreneur, professor and the author of Startup Your Life, on Quora. There are several ways to apply startup strategies to your everyday life that I talk about throughout my book, but here are three to get you started: Become an MVP: Startups build an MVP or Minimum Viable Product that delivers only the essential features. They keep it simple and lean. And you can become your own personal MVP by stripping away the unnecessary layers that bog you down - all the "shoulds" and "nice to haves" that cloud your judgement, and reconnect with the things that really matter. What's your personal mantra? What is at the core of everything you do? Let it guide you and give yourself permission to let go of the stuff that isn't in line with it. (You're never too old to become an MVP). Make space for failure: The prevailing Silicon Valley sentiment is that if you aren't failing frequently, you probably aren't risking enough. And I'm reminded of Henry Ford's conception of failure: "failure is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently." If we look at our greatest minds and inventors, from Henry Ford to Thomas Edison, they failed more often than they succeeded. But they persevered and continued to experiment and learn from their shortcomings. It's our failures, not our triumphs, that shape us the most and make us better, stronger, more compelling. Giving yourself permission to fall down can be a win. It cultivates patience, teaches hard lessons, and, if you commit to analyzing what went wrong, makes you exponentially stronger the next time around. But we've largely lost patience with cultivating success. We want instant gratification, but the arc of our lives is long and we need to calibrate our definition of success accordingly. Failure and success are not opposites; they are complements on the same spectrum. So redefine failure, what does it mean to fail? Failure is an opportunity to grow from adversity, but only through the sense-making process; we must actively, deliberately reflect on failure (because we don't grow merely from the failure itself, but from what we make of it). Make space for failure by surfing fear. Constantly push yourself out of your comfort zone. Putting yourself out there is rewarding, even without a definite exterior metric of success. Live a life in transition. Change is not coming: it's already here. And the sooner we accept that the stronger we'll be. Startups change course, or pivot, all the time when things don't go as planned. It's not perceived as bad or embarrassing, just necessary for survival. But we often don't give ourselves the same freedom to explore and hit refresh. Sometimes you're just a pivot away from a major breakthrough, professionally or personally. Living a life in transition and hitting refresh allows you to pull from your accumulated knowledge and to move toward something better. You can be the boss of change if you adapt an "always be changing" mindset to keep your mind ripe and ready for change, making you less likely to become derailed when things ultimately don't go as planned. This question originally appeared on Quora. - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:​ Personal Branding: What are some tips for creating a strong personal image and brand? Life Advice: How can people become more comfortable with the idea of failure? Startups: What does it mean to live life like a startup? -- 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.

17 января, 16:28

FirstEnergy (FE) Energizes $30M Transmission Project in Ohio

FirstEnergy Corp. (FE) has energized a transmission project in Elyria, OH in a bid to capitalize on the rising commercial and industrial electricity demand in the region.

17 января, 03:08

Remarks by the President Honoring the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs

East Room 1:40 P.M. EST   THE PRESIDENT:  They said this day would never come.  (Laughter and applause.)  Here is something none of my predecessors ever got a chance to say:  Welcome to the White House the World Series Champion, Chicago Cubs!  (Applause.)     Now, I know you guys would prefer to stand the whole time, but sit down.    I will say to the Cubs:  It took you long enough.  I mean, I’ve only got four days left.  You're just making it under the wire.  (Laughter.)     Now, listen, I made a lot of promises in 2008.  We’ve managed to fulfill a large number of them.  But even I was not crazy enough to suggest that during these eight years we would see the Cubs win the World Series.  But I did say that there's never been anything false about hope.  (Laughter and applause.)  Hope -- the audacity of hope.     PARTICIPANT:  Yes, we can!   THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, we can.      Now, listen, for those of you from Chicago who have known me a long time, it is no secret that there's a certain South Side team that has my loyalty.  For me, the drought hasn’t been as long.  We had the ’85 Bears; we had the the Bulls’ run in the ‘90s.  I’ve hosted the Blackhawks a number of times.  The White Sox did win just 11 years ago with Ozzie and Konerko and Buerhle.  So I can't claim that I have the same visceral joy of some in this White House.  (Laughter.)     But FLOTUS is a lifelong Cubs fan.  (Applause.)  And I will tell you, she had to go to another event, but in eight years that I've been here -- I told the team this -- in the eight years that I've been here, we've hosted at least 50 teams -- football, basketball, baseball, soccer, you name it -- Michelle has never come to a single event celebrating a champion until today.  (Applause.)  And she came and shook hands, and met with every one of these members of the Cubs organization, and told a story about what it meant for her to be able to see them win, because she remembers coming home from school and her dad would be watching a Cubs game, and the bond and the family, the meaning that the Cubs had for her in terms of connecting with her father and why it meant so much for her.  And I almost choked up listening to it.  And it spoke, I think, to how people feel about this organization, and that it's been passed on generation after generation, and it's more than sports.     And that is not just true for FLOTUS.  My longest-serving aide, Anita, is a Cubs fan.  (Applause.)  "Fan" is not enough.  When they won, the next day she said, this is the best day of my life.  ((Laughter.)  And I said, what about me winning the presidency?  What about your wedding day?  She's like, "No, this is the best."  My chief speechwriter, Cody Keenan -- (applause) -- Cubs fan.  In fact, there were a lot of sick days during the playoffs.  (Laughter.)  One of my staff members was caught being interviewed at a bar outside of Wrigley -- (laughter) -- and we're watching him being interviewed.  You remember?  And he's looking kind of sheepish about it.  It's like, why aren’t you in the office?  (Laughter.)     But, look, the truth is, there was a reason not just that people felt good about the Cubs winning.  There was something about this particular Cubs team winning that people felt good about.  For example, David Ross and I have something in common -- we’ve both been on a “year-long retirement party.”  (Laughter and applause.)  But unlike Grandpa, my team has not yet bought me a scooter with a motorized golf caddy.  But there are four days left -- maybe I'll get that.   The last time the Cubs won the World Series, Teddy Roosevelt was President.  Albert Einstein -- or was it Thomas Edison was still alive.  The first Cubs radio broadcast wouldn’t be for almost two decades.  We’ve been through World Wars, a Cold War, a Depression, space race, all manner of social and technological change.  But during that time, those decades were also marked by Phil Cavarretta and Ernie Banks; Billy Williams, who's here today -- (applause) -- Ron Santo; Ferg, Ryne Sandberg, Dawson, Maddux, Grace.  Those decades were punctuated by Lee Elia’s rants and Harry Caray’s exuberance; “Hey Hey,” and “Holy Cow,” and capped off by “Go Cubs Go.”   So the first thing that made this championship so special for so many is, is that the Cubs know what it's like to be loyal, and to persevere and to hope, and to suffer, and then keep on hoping.  And it’s a generational thing.  That's what you heard Michelle describing.  People all across the city remember the first time a parent took them to Wrigley, where memories of climbing into dad's lap to watch games on WGN -- and that’s part of the reason, by the way, why Michelle had invited -- made sure that José Cardenal was here, because that was her favorite player.  (Applause.)  And she was describing -- back then he had a big afro, and she was describing how she used to wear her hat over her afro the same way José did.   You could see all that love this season in the fans who traveled to their dads’ gravesites to listen to games on the radio; who wore their moms’ old jerseys to games; who covered the brick walls of Wrigley with love notes in chalk to departed fans whose lifelong faith was finally fulfilled.   None of this, of course, would have happened without the extraordinary contributions of the Ricketts family.  Tom met his wife, Cece, in the bleachers of Wrigley about 30 years ago -- which is about 30 years longer than most of relationships that begin there last.  (Laughter and applause.)  Our dear friend Laura Ricketts met her wife, Brooke, in the ballpark, as well.    Brothers and sisters -- they turned this team around by hiring what has to be one of the greatest, if not -- I mean, he's still pretty young, so we'll see how long he keeps on going -- the greatest general managers of all time, Theo Epstein -- (applause) -- and along with Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod.  They did just an unbelievable job.  Theo, as you know -- his job is to quench droughts.  86 years in Boston; 108 in Chicago.  He takes the reins of an organization that's wandering in the wilderness, he delivers them to the Promised Land.  I've talked to him about being DNC chair.  (Laughter and applause.)  But he decided wisely to stick to baseball.     That brings me to the other thing that was so special about this championship -- and that's just the guys behind me, the team.  They steamrolled the majors this year with a 103-win record.  All you had to know about this team was encapsulated in that one moment in Game 5, down three games to one, do or die, in front of the home fans when David Ross and Jon Lester turned to each other and said, “I love you, man."  And he said, "I love you, too.”  It was sort of like an Obama-Biden moment.  (Laughter.)     And then you've got the manager, Joe Maddon, who -- (applause) -- let's face it, there are not a lot of coaches or managers who are as cool as this guy.  Look how he looks right now.  (Applause.)  That's cool.  That's cool.  He used costume parties and his “Shaggin’ Wagon.”  (Laughter.)  So he's got -- just saying -- he's got a lot of tricks to motivate.  But he’s also a master of tactics, and makes the right move at the right time:  when to pinch hit, when to pinch run, when to make it rain -- (laughter) -- in Game 7 of the World Series.  It was masterful.  So he set the tone, but also some of the amazing players here set the tone.    My fellow “44” -- Anthony Rizzo, the heart of this team.  (Applause.)  Five years ago, he was a part of the squad that lost 101 games.  He stuck at it, and led the National League in All-Star votes this year.   His business partner in the “Bryzzo Souvenir Company,” which delivers baseballs to fans in all parts of the bleachers -- Kris Bryant.  (Applause.)  This guy had a good year.  (Laughter.)  You go from Rookie of the Year to being the MVP.  You win the World Series.  And then, like me, he marries up and comes to the White House.  And he did all this just in 10 days -- (laughter) -- when it took me a long time.  So, congratulations to the newlyweds, Jessica and Kris Bryant.  (Applause.)     And then you got these young guys like Baez and Russell.  (Applause.)   Baez turning tagging into an art form.  Russell becoming the youngest player to hit a World Series Grand Slam since Mickey Mantle.  (Applause.)  And you mix these amazing young talents with somebody like David Ross who, for example, helped Anthony out of his “glass case of emotions” in Game 7.  (Applause.)  But think about what Ross did in his final season:  Caught a no-hitter, surpassed 100 home runs for his career, including one in his last game ever.  If there was ever a way to go out, this was it.     And then you got Ben Zobrist, who didn’t get to come to the White House last year after winning it all with the Royals, but then hits .357 in the World Series, go-ahead RBI in the 10th inning of Game 7, World Series MVP.  I think he's earned his way here.  (Applause.)  And is apparently a good guy, because I asked his wife -- she was in line before he was -- and I said, has he gotten a big head since he got the whole MVP thing?  "No, he's so sweet, he's so humble."  You owe her dinner tonight.  (Laughter.)     Extraordinary pitching staff, including Kyle Hendricks, the first Cub to lead the majors in ERA since 1938.  (Applause.)  Kyle, in turn, was the only pitcher this year with a better ERA than Jon Lester, who racked up 19 wins.  (Applause.)  Good job. Jake Arrieta, 2015 Cy Young Award winner, stretched a 20-game win streak featuring two no-hitters across the past two seasons, then hit a home run in the NLDS, and won two games in the World Series.  So, apparently Pilates works.  Michelle says it does.  (Applause.)     And then, finally, the game itself and the Series itself.  To come back from a 3-1 deficit against a great Cleveland Indians team forced what is widely considered the Game 7 of all time.  Dexter Fowler becomes the first player to hit a leadoff home run in Game 7.  (Applause.)  Javy Baez hits another leadoff the fifth.  David Ross becomes the oldest player to knock one out in a Game 7, as well.  Kyle Schwarber, who's been hurt and hobbled, then suddenly he comes in and gets seven hits in the Series -- three in Game 7 alone.  (Applause.)     And then you've got the 10th inning, you've got the rain.  God finally feeling mercy on Cubs fans.  An entire game, an entire season, an entire century of hope and heartbreak all coming down to a one-inning sprint.  And then Zobrist knocked in one, Montero knocked in another.  Carl Edwards, Jr. and Mike Montgomery teamed up to shut the Indians down.     And then, at 12:47 a.m. Eastern Time, Bryant -- it looks like he's going to slip; everybody is getting a little stressed -- tosses a grounder to Rizzo; Rizzo gets the ball, slips it in his back pocket -- (laughter) -- which shows excellent situational awareness.  (Laughter and applause.)  And suddenly everything is changed.  No more black cats, billy goats, ghosts, flubbed grounders.  The Chicago Cubs are the champs.  And on ESPN, you've got Van Pelt saying, “one of the all-time great nights.”  You've got Tim Kurkjian calling it “the greatest night of baseball in the history of the game.”  Two days later, millions of people -- the largest gathering of Americans that I know of in Chicago.  And for a moment, our hometown becomes the very definition of joy.  So, in Chicago, I think it's fair to say you guys will be popular for a while.  (Laughter.)     But, in addition, they're also doing a lot of good work. Anthony Rizzo and Jon Lester raised money to help others beat cancer like they did.  (Applause.)  Under the Ricketts Family’s leadership, last year alone, Cubs Charities supported charitable grants and donations of nearly $4 million that reached nearly 120,000 children and young adults across Chicagoland.  (Applause.)  Under their “Let’s Give” initiative, Cubs staff, coaches, players, and spouses donated more than 1,500 hours of service last year to the community.  And after their visit here today, they will head to Walter Reed to visit with some of our brave wounded warriors.  (Applause.)     So just to wrap up, today is, I think, our last official event -- isn't it? -- at the White House, under my presidency.  And it also happens to be a day that we celebrate one of the great Americans of all time, Martin Luther King, Jr.  And later, as soon as we're done here, Michelle and I are going to go over and do a service project, which is what we do every year to honor Dr. King.  And it is worth remembering -- because sometimes people wonder, well why are you spending time on sports, there's other stuff going on -- that throughout our history, sports has had this power to bring us together, even when the country is divided.  Sports has changed attitudes and culture in ways that seem subtle but that ultimately made us think differently about ourselves and who we were.  It is a game and it is celebration, but there's a direct line between Jackie Robinson and me standing here.  There's a direct line between people loving Ernie Banks, and then the city being able to come together and work together in one spirit.     I was in my hometown of Chicago on Tuesday, for my farewell address, and I said, sometimes it's not enough just to change the laws, you got to change hearts.  And sports has a way, sometimes, of changing hearts in a way that politics or business doesn’t.  And sometimes it's just a matter of us being able to escape and relax from the difficulties of our days, but sometimes it also speaks to something better in us.  And when you see this group of folks of different shades and different backgrounds, and coming from different communities and neighborhoods all across the country, and then playing as one team and playing the right way, and celebrating each other and being joyous in that, that tells us a little something about what America is and what America can be.   So it is entirely appropriate that we celebrate the Cubs today, here in this White House, on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday because it helps direct us in terms of what this country has been and what it can be in the future.   With that, one more time, let's congratulate the 2016 World Champion, Chicago Cubs!  (Applause.)     MR. EPSTEIN:  Talk about a tough act to follow.  Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you for inviting us.  We're all honored to be here today, and we appreciate you taking the time on such an important day, Martin Luther King Day, and during such a historic week, the last week of your distinguished presidency.   As told on my way in here, actually, by our club historian, it's actually not the first time this franchise has visited the White House.  It was 1888.  (Laughter.)  And we were known as the "Chicago White Stockings," and we stopped in here to visit President Grover Cleveland.  And apparently, the team demanded for a proclamation to be named the best baseball team in the country.  The President refused, and the team went on their way.  (Laughter.)  Here we are, we're going to make no such demands today.  (Laughter.)  But we appreciate those kind words.   The President was so kind to recognize our three Hall-of-Famers here with us today who are so synonymous with what it means to be a Cub -- Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg.  (Applause.)  And, of course, José Cardenal, who got the longest hug from the First Lady we've ever seen -- her favorite player of all time, you're the MVP today.  (Laughter.)     And I want to, one more time, recognize all of the Ricketts family who are here today.  Tom, who's been such an ideal leader for our organization.  Laura, who's been such a strong supporter of this President.  And, Todd, who will embark on his journey in public service with a significant role in the new administration next week.  And, Pete, who's busy governing Nebraska, couldn’t be here, but sends his best.     Finally, we'd like to recognize all of our wives and significant others who do so much to support us behind the scenes, our great "Front Office," who have worked so hard.  (Applause.)     So, Mr. President, as you alluded to in Cleveland on November 2nd, and into the early morning of November 3rd, this special group of players behind me, in one of the greatest World Series games in history, ended the longest championship drought in American sports.  And when Kris Bryant's throw settled into Anthony Rizzo's glove for the final out of Game 7, the victory brought pride, joy, relief and redemption to Cub fans everywhere, including many in the White House.  (Applause.)     So, many of you were there, but the city of Chicago erupted, unified into celebration that continues to this day.  It was a thrilling, emotional time, and we think we even saw some White Sox fans smiling -- (laughter) -- which, Mr. President, brings us to you.     THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.   MR. EPSTEIN:  We know you may have a certain allegiance to another team on the other side of town, but we know you're a very proud Chicagoan, and we know your better, wiser half, the First Lady -- (laughter) -- has been a life-long and very loyal Cub fan, which we appreciate very much.  And, of course, we have great faith in your intelligence, your common sense, your pragmatism, your ability to recognize a good thing when you see one.  (Laughter.)     So, Mr. President, with only a few days remaining in your tremendous presidency, we have taken the liberty here today of offering you a midnight pardon -- (laughter and applause) -- for all your indiscretions as a baseball fan.  And so we welcome you with open arms today into the Cubs family.  (Applause.)     To recognize this terrific conversion and this great day, we have some gifts for you and your family.  First, Anthony Rizzo has graciously agreed to share his number 44 with "The 44."  (Applause.)     THE PRESIDENT:  There we go!   MR. EPSTEIN:  And if you're still not comfortable putting a Cubs jersey on, this one just says Chicago, so you're good with that one.  (Applause.)     Second, we have -- at historic Wrigley Field, we have a centerfield scoreboard that's actually a historic landmark, and so we hope the National Park Service won't mind, but we took down a tile for you, number 44.  (Applause.)  Very few people have one of those.   THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, that's very cool.   MR. EPSTEIN:  We also wanted you to know that, as a new fan, you have some catching up to do.  (Laughter.)  And you've been busy the last eight years, and your family as well, so Laura Ricketts is here to present you with a lifetime pass to Wrigley Field for you and your family.  (Applause.)     THE PRESIDENT:  I love how it says, "Non-transferrable."  (Laughter.)     MR. EPSTEIN:  It's strictly -- it's just an emolument.   THE PRESIDENT:  Can you imagine if somebody walks up and is like -- (laughter) --    MS. RICKETTS:  You don’t have to bring it with you.     MR. EPSTEIN:  And finally, every time we win a game in Chicago, we fly the "W" flag, as you know.  So we brought one for you, signed by the entire team, and we'd love for you to fly it at your new library, which we plan to do our very best to support.  (Applause.)     THE PRESIDENT:  This is nice swag.  Thank you so much.  This is great.     MR. JENKINS:  You got to get him to put the uniform on.  (Laughter.)     MR. EPSTEIN:  It's just day one.  It's just day one.   THE PRESIDENT:  Fergie, we're doing okay so far.  (Laughter.)     MR. EPSTEIN:  So, Mr. President, thank you for the dignity and integrity with which you've served this country for the last eight years, for your tremendous service to Chicago and Illinois before that, and for hosting us here today.  We wish you all the best and look forward to seeing you on Wrigley Field.  (Applause.)     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, everybody, thank you so much.  Let me say, first of all, best swag I've gotten as President represented right here.  (Laughter.)  And let me also say on behalf of a lot of folks here in the White House, you brought a lot of joy to a lot of people here, and we're grateful.  I know my former Chief of Staff, now mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel; folks like Dick Durbin, and we got a whole congressional delegation here; I see Lisa Madigan, my dear friend --- just a lot of people have been rooting for you for a long time.   So even though it will be hard for me, Fergie, to wear a jersey, do know that among Sox fans, I'm the Cubs number-one fan.  (Laughter and applause.) END   2:12 P.M. EST

16 января, 14:15

SABESP (SBS) Down to Sell on Lingering Macro & Micro Risks

On Jan 16, 2017, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo, or SABESP (SBS) to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) from a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

15 января, 13:30

‘Restaurants have taught me who I am’

From work breakfasts with her editor to arguments over oysters with an ex-boyfriend, eating out has been an education for novelist Kathleen AlcottClick here to get the Guardian and Observer for half priceYou can tell everything about a person, says a common piece of wisdom, by how he or she treats the waiter. It’s a dependable and convenient yardstick, given how the bistro tables and corner booths are, very often, the places where we decide upon whom we let into our lives – acquaintances who might become dear friends, depending on how urged we feel to linger on after the bill has been dropped; those we may choose as colleagues, gauging by whether their ideas are so dull we require a second coffee; dates who remain just that, failing somehow to attach to our ideas about the futures we’ve imagined. Beyond bantering with the staff or failing to, forgiving the waitress her misstep or snapping at her for it, there’s another element of our comportment as diners that serves as a kind of shorthand: the public element of the transaction ends up serving as a kind of censor, limiting the largeness of our expression but placing a premium on the smallest of gestures and phrases. In the expensive cities where I’ve spent all my adult life, where the luxury of the space to cook is rare and a halfway point between subway stops seems the only polite solution, white tablecloths and Edison bulbs and pale green espresso machines have almost always been the backdrop when I have chosen people, and likewise when I have let them go.Shortly after I arrived in New York, 22, the ragtag child of hippies, a girl who had never learned to use a fork and knife quite correctly, I sold my first novel and began attending the sort of meals I’d rarely been able to afford before. The first came as a surprise; my editor called late one afternoon to let me know that the house’s publisher, an imposing and rigorous woman with an interrogative Belgian accent, happened to be in town from Boston the next morning. Could I have breakfast at the ungodly hour of 8am, somewhere uptown? I have always been the type of person who remains monosyllabic until noon, but I agreed, with the kind of excitement I have never felt before or since. It seemed I had entered the next part of my life. I wore a pencil skirt striped vertically in blue and white and a short-sleeved secretary blouse in peach silk and some absurd purple suede flats, still convinced glamour was something that waved and winked from every angle. Early to arrive in the empty dining room, I sat alone at a pristine table in the deepening morning light and watched the water glasses take on the greens of the park across the street. When they showed up, both towering over me at six feet, my editor hugged me but the publisher only shook my hand. It was the first in a series of what could only be described as appraisals. My coffee had only just appeared when the publisher, who had spent the first 20 years of her career as a Lacanian psychoanalyst, looked at me with the scrutiny of a fairytale stepmother before launching a missile into the conversation. Jacques Lacan, I had read, believed the heart of the matter could be reached in under three minutes; this woman apparently believed she could trim that down to 30 seconds. Our orders not yet taken, she asked, in reference to my novel, which concerned two children who grow up as neighbours and enter a sexual relationship too early, “What happened to you? Incest?” It makes me laugh now to think of it, having to address that query before I was even caffeinated, but at the time I was nailed to my chair, actually apologising, “No, actually, but …” flailing to provide the biographical summary that would explain my dark little book. What did I learn there – besides that I didn’t trust the Lacanian method? That I was afraid of a person who could speak so freely before espresso, that I communed best with those who were soft and gentle in a conversation’s opening notes. In the many lunches I shared with my first editor after that, we babied each other upon greeting, complimenting earrings and taking quick squeezes of the other’s hands, and it was in that way we developed the space in which we could truly discuss the work before us. She also never winced when I sent a fork clattering to the floor or managed to leave a little childish halo of breadcrumbs around my plate, but rather asked for a new utensil and swiped a napkin across the table I’d littered without a word, small acts of elegant kindness for which I’ll always be grateful. It is those who cringe easily, or ask for a more appropriate spoon to stir their americano, or apologise for the volume of the music, who are the most likely to prove rigid and pedantic colleagues. To put it another way, I would never do business with anyone who would never drink wine out of a plastic cup. Continue reading...

12 января, 18:00

Pruitt Helped Block Garland Confirmation to Supreme Court, Then Fundraised From Polluters That Benefited

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Trump's choice to be the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), coordinated an effort by Republican state attorneys general to oppose the confirmation of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Pruitt then used this effort as a basis to request financial support for his federal Political Action Committee (PAC), called Oklahoma Strong. In a March 2015 email (see here) that he sent to supporters of Oklahoma Strong, Pruitt boasted of his effort to block Garland's confirmation. Donors to Oklahoma Strong include major energy interests and leading D.C. law firms. Many of these donors have interests before the courts that could have been significantly affected by the confirmation of Garland. Oklahoma Strong has raised more than a third of its total funds from the energy industry, according to reporting by Politico. These have included contributions from Joe Craft, the President of the coal firm Alliance Resources, and from J. Larry Nichols, the founder of the fracking giant Devon Energy. Pruitt is well known to have strong ties to the energy industry. A 2014 New York Times investigation revealed that Devon Energy lobbyists had drafted letters for Scott Pruitt, which he in turn sent to the EPA and to the Department of the Interior under his own name and with almost no changes. Eric Lipton of the Times received a Pulitzer Prize for this reporting. Other donors to the PAC have included David Green, the CEO of Hobby Lobby, and Harlan Crow, the billionaire real estate developer from Texas who is reported to be a close personal friend of Justice Clarence Thomas. Partners from major U.S. law firms with interests at the Supreme Court, including Reginald J. Brown at Wilmerhale and David B. Rivkin at Baker Hostetler have also contributed. On March 16, 2016, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to become a Supreme Court Justice, taking the seat vacated by the late Antonin Scalia. The next day, a letter was sent to Senator Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and to Senator McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, urging them to block Garland's confirmation. That letter was signed by 21 state attorneys general, all Republican. According to the email from Oklahoma Strong, Pruitt had asked his fellow Republican attorneys general to sign the letter, acting in his role as board chair of the Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF). The RLDF is a so-called "501C4" organization, which means it is not required to publicly disclose any information about its sources of funding. It was created in 2014 by the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), with which it shares staff and office space and holds some joint events. RLDF is highly secretive about what it does. For example, it does not put any details about its activities or meetings on its website. Despite this, the Center for Media and Democracy obtained an agenda for one RLDF meeting via a public records request. This meeting, held in April 2016, featured a session about blocking the Clean Power Plan. Scott Pruitt was a speaker on that panel, which also included David Rivkin, a partner at the law firm Baker Hostetler. Rivkin, also a donor to Oklahoma Strong PAC, is representing the state of Oklahoma in the lawsuit against the Clean Power Plan, which will likely end up at the Supreme Court. Currently, only two funders of RLDF have been identified, both with deep ties to the fossil fuel industry. One is Freedom Partners, the mega-fund created by Charles and David Koch, which gave RLDF $175,000 in 2014. The Kochs own Koch Industries, which operates a network of oil and natural gas pipelines and refineries. That isn't the only connection of RLDF to the Kochs. In 2015, RLDF appointed Samantha Dravis as its President, in a shared position with RAGA where she serves as Policy Director and General Counsel. Dravis joined RLDF from Freedom Partners, where she had been the organization's Legal Counsel. The other known RLDF donor is the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), which gave RLDF a $25,000 contribution in 2014. EEI is the trade association for the utility sector, and has already engaged in litigation in an attempt to block the Clean Power Plan. Unlike RLDF, RAGA must publicly disclose its funding sources. According to the Center for Media and Democracy's analysis of IRS filings, RAGA has raised almost $4 million from fossil fuel industry connected entities since 2014, including ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy and the American Petroleum Institute. The Center for Media and Democracy has previously released other materials on both RAGA and RLDF. These materials demonstrate the efforts of the two organizations to block the Clean Power Plan, and to help stall state investigations into ExxonMobil for its role in promoting climate change denial. A Senate confirmation hearing is expected soon on Scott Pruitt's nomination to be Administrator of the EPA. Following his selection by President-elect Trump, Pruitt has announced that he has stepped down from his position at RLDF, and has said that he will close down his Oklahoma Strong PAC. Despite this, little is known about what RLDF did during Pruitt's time as board chair. As part of the confirmation process, Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have written to Pruitt asking him to disclose information about his role as board chair of the RLDF. -- 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.

11 января, 17:53

Light-bulb moment: The curious case of missing global productivity growth

WORK smarter, not harder. It is one of the more irritating things that a boss can tell you. But at the macroeconomic level, it is important. Growth can come from having more labour (recruiting more workers, or making existing employees work for longer hours), more capital, or from using that labour and capital more effectively—something known as total factor productivity (TFP). This can come from the kind of brilliant innovations devised by Thomas Edison (pictured) or the less-heralded but equally important improvements such as the adoption of the moving conveyor belt to speed up assembly work. Since there are limits to the amount of additional capital and labour, productivity is key to long-run growth.Measuring productivity is far from easy; it tends to be the residual left over when all other factors have been accounted for. The OECD says it "can often be a measure of our ignorance". Still, the attached table is very striking. It comes from the US Conference Board (here's the link, with thanks to Gervais Williams of Miton and Andrew Lees of Macrostrategy Partnership for drawing it to my attention). And it shows that, at the global level, total factor productivity fell last year, was flat the two years before, and has barely budged since 2007. Before the crisis, it was growing at 0.9% a year.  The OECD has written extensively about the productivity issue and ...

11 января, 17:53

Light-bulb moment: The curious case of missing global productivity growth

WORK smarter, not harder. It is one of the more irritating things that a boss can tell you. But at the macroeconomic level, it is important. Growth can come from having more labour (recruiting more workers, or making existing employees work for longer hours), more capital, or from using that labour and capital more effectively—something known as total factor productivity (TFP). This can come from the kind of brilliant innovations devised by Thomas Edison (pictured) or the less-heralded but equally important improvements such as the adoption of the moving conveyor belt to speed up assembly work. Since there are limits to the amount of additional capital and labour, productivity is key to long-run growth.Measuring productivity is far from easy; it tends to be the residual left over when all other factors have been accounted for. The OECD says it "can often be a measure of our ignorance". Still, the attached table is very striking. It comes from the US Conference Board (here's the link, with thanks to Gervais Williams of Miton and Andrew Lees of Macrostrategy Partnership for drawing it to my attention). And it shows that, at the global level, total factor productivity fell last year, was flat the two years before, and has barely budged since 2007. Before the crisis, it was growing at 0.9% a year.  The OECD has written extensively about the productivity issue and ...

11 января, 16:39

Duke Energy Unit Buys 55 MW Solar Projects from SunPower

Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) announced that its unit, Duke Energy Renewables has acquired three solar power projects totaling 55 megawatts (MW) from SunPower Corporation (SPWR).

07 января, 17:07

Weekend Reading: John Hempton: When Do You Average Down?

**Weekend Reading: John Hempton**: _[When Do You Average Down?][]_: "Warren Buffett is famously fond of "averaging down"... [When Do You Average Down?]: http://brontecapital.blogspot.com/2017/01/when-do-you-average-down.html?spref=tw >...If you liked it at $10 you should love it at $6... "just buy more".... But... averaging down is the iconic way in which value investors destroy...

06 января, 16:17

CenterPoint Energy (CNP) Declares 4% Increase in Dividend

CenterPoint Energy Inc. (CNP) continues to maximize shareholders??? wealth through the payment of steady and incremental dividends.

04 января, 16:33

CenterPoint Energy Unit Acquires Atmos Energy Marketing

CenterPoint Energy, Inc.???s (CNP) wholly owned subsidiary, CenterPoint Energy Services, Inc., has completed a previously announced agreement to acquire Atmos Energy Holdings, Inc.???s retail energy services business, Atmos Energy Marketing, LLC (AEM).

04 января, 15:04

When do you average down?

The last post explained why I think a full valuation is not a necessary part of the investment process. A decent stock note is 15 pages on the business, one page on the management, one paragraph or even one sentence on valuation.Valuation might normally be a set of questions along the lines of "what do I need to believe" to get/not get my money back.But I would prefer a simple modification to this process. This is a modification we have not done well at Bronte (at least formally) and we should do better. And that is the question of averaging down.--Warren Buffett is famously fond of "averaging down". If you liked it at $10 you should love it at $6. If it goes down "just buy more". And in the value investing canon you will not find that much objection to that view.But averaging down has been the destroyer of many a value investor. Indeed averaging down is the iconic way in which value investors destroy themselves (and their clients).After all if you loved something at $40 and you were wrong, you might love it more at $25 and you almost as likely to be wrong, and like it more still at $12 and could equally be wrong.And before you know it you have doubled down three times, turning a 7 percent position into a 18 percent loss.Do that on a few stocks and you can be down 50 percent. And in a bad market that 50 percent can be 80 percent.And if you do not believe me this has a name: Bill Miller. Bill Miller assembled a startling record beating the S&P ever year for fifteen straight years and then blew it up.Miller had a (false) reputation as one of the greatest value investors of all time: In reality he is one of the biggest stock market losers of all time and a model of how not to behave in markets.How not to behave is be a false value investor, buying stocks on which you are wrong, and recklessly and repeatedly average down.--At the other end traders who (correctly) think that people who average down die. The most famous exposition of this is a photo of Paul Tudor Jones - with a piece of paper glued to his wall stating that "losers average losers".And yet Warren Buffett and a few of his acolytes have averaged down many times and successfully. And frankly sometimes I have averaged down to great success.At least sometimes - the Bill Miller slogan is correct: "lowest average cost wins". Paul Tudor Jones may be a great trader - but he is not a patch on Warren Buffett.--I would love it if I had an encyclopaedic knowledge of every mid-cap in Europe and could buy the odd startlingly good business when tiny and cheap. But the task is too large. The world is complicated and I can't cover everything.But when I look at tasks that can be achieved by a four-analyst shop I have one very high on my list of things we can do and should do: We should get the average down decision right more often.So I have thought about this a lot. (The implementation leaves a little to be desired.)--At a very big picture: averaging down when you are right is very sweet, averaging down when you are wrong is a disaster.At the first pick the question then is "when are you wrong?", but this is a silly question. If you knew you were wrong you would never have bought the position in the first place.So the question becomes is not "are you wrong". That is not going to add anything analytically.Instead the question is "under what circumstances are you wrong" and "how would you tell"?--When you put it that way it becomes obvious that you must not average down (much) on highly levered business models. And looking at Buffett he is very good at that. He bought half a billion dollars worth of Irish Banks as they collapsed. They went approximately to zero. But he did not double down. He liked them down 90 percent, he did not like them more down 95 percent.By contrast these are the stocks that Bill Miller blew up on: American International Group, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, Freddie Mac, Countrywide Financial and Citigroup. They were all levered business models.By contrast you can probably safely average down on Coca Cola: indeed Buffett did. It is really hard to work out a realistic circumstance in which Coca Cola is a zero. And if it is still growing there is going to be a price at which you are right - so averaging down is going to go some way to obtaining an average cost near or below that price. Of course even Coca Cola is not entirely safe. You could imagine a world where the underlying problem was litigation - where some secret ingredient is found to be a carcinogen and where the company faces an uncertain future of lawsuits. It is not likely - and if it happens you are going to get at least some warning that this is a circumstance on which you could be wrong. Whatever, outside that circumstance on which you might be warned, Coca Cola is not a leveraged business model subject to bankruptcy and is almost entirely unlikely to halve four times in a row. You can average that one down.Operationally levered business modelsNot every business model is as as safe as Coca Cola. Indeed almost every business model is more dangerous than Coca Cola. A not financially levered mining stock can halve five or six times. If you have a mining company that mines coal at $40 per tonne, has no debt and the price is $60 a tonne it is going to be really profitable. But prices below $40 (highly possible) will take profits negative. Add in some environmental clean up and some closing costs and it is entirely possible that a stock loses 95 percent of its value. Averaging down when down 40%, some more when it halves, and then halves again and it will still lose two thirds of its value. The difference between averaging stuff like that down and doing what Bill Miller did is only one of degree.It is still a disaster. And you will have proven Paul Tudor Jones adage: losers average losers.ObsolescenceThere is another iconic way that value investors lose money - and that is technical obsolescence. Kodak was made obsolescent and was a value stock all the way down to bankruptcy. The circumstances on which you might be wrong (digital photography going to 95 percent of the market) could have been stated pretty clearly in 1999.You might thing it was worth owning Kodak as a "cigar butt stock" - plenty of cash flow and deal with the future later. There was a reasonable buy case for Kodak the whole way down. But technical obsolescence is always a way you should be wrong. When the threat is obsolescence you are not allowed to average down.Bill Miller averaged Kodak down. Ugh.---If I could improve our formal stock notes in any way I would like an ex-ante description of what circumstances we are allowed to average down a particular stock, and how much.We have a default at Bronte - and the default at Bronte is that we have a maximum percentage for a stock (typically say 9 percent but often as low as 3 percent depending on how we assess the risk of the stock) and as the fund manager I am allowed to spend that whenever I want but I am not allowed to overspend it. If we have a 6 percent position with a 9 percent loss limit and it halves I am allowed to add three percentage points more to the exposure. But that is it. Simon, being the risk manager, isn't particularly fussed if add the extra when the stock is down 30 percent of 50 percent, but I can't add it twice. If it is a position on which we agree we are allowed to risk 9 percent then I am allowed to risk 9 percent.We will not fall for the value investor trap of losing 18 percent on a 7 percent position.We have made a modification of this over time. And that is ever six to nine months I get another percentage point to add. That is at Simon's discretion - but the idea is that the easiest way to find out whether you are wrong is to wait. After a year or two the underlying problem will usually become public. If time has not revealed new information then we are allowed to risk more.But we can and should do better with ex-ante descriptions under the circumstances in which we are prepared to add and circumstances where we are not. The problem is that you can wind up in a mindset where you always where you want to add, where you think the world is against you and you are right and you will just be proven to be right.Clear ex-ante descriptions of the issue (which require competent business analysis) might help with that problem.--The bad case of averaging downThe iconic bad situation to average down is a levered business model involving fraud. It is surprisingly common because people who run highly levered business models have very strong incentives to lie or to cover it up when things turn to custard. I can think of two recent examples: Valeant and Sun Edison.Much to my shame I added to my (small) position in Sun Edison as it fell. Ugh. But also this was a highly levered business model and thus by definition the sort of place where losers average losers. I should not have done it - and I won't in future.But the highly levered business models apply fairly generally. When Bill Ackman rang Michael Pearson and asked if there was any fraud at Valeant he already had the wrong mindset. Then he added to a large holding in a company with over 30 billion dollars in junk-rated debt. Losers average losers.Incidentally our six month rule (before you were allowed to add) would have saved Mr Ackman a lot of extra losses. Time has revealed plenty about Valeant. And it would have saved me at Sun Edison too.--Whilst I think that someone asking me (as per the last blog post) for a valuation on every stock is absurd, I think it is entirely reasonable for them to ask "under what circumstances would you average down". If you can't answer that you probably should not own the stock. I should insist on it with every long investment.John

04 января, 13:08

Shaky accusations hamper cyber case against Russia

The Obama administration’s efforts to press its election-hacking accusations against Russia could be undermined by a flurry of unfounded cyber charges against Moscow.

03 января, 20:48

Stock Research Reports for Pfizer, Lockheed Martin & UnitedHealth

Stock Research Reports for Pfizer, Lockheed Martin & UnitedHealth

03 января, 17:42

Focus on Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)

Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX) seeks capital appreciation

28 декабря 2016, 15:03

Поезд светлого будущего. Локомотив с ядерным двигателем Х-12.

Был у нас уже и Атомный самолет и американский атомный самолет. Были торговые суда с ядерным реактором и Единственный в мире атомный лихтеровоз. Были даже Мобильные атомные станции для армии, а теперь вот атомный поезд!Оригинал взят у youroker в Поезд светлого будущего. Локомотив с ядерным двигателем Х-12. Начало 20-ого века поистине можно назвать временем электричества. За относительно небольшой период оно проникло абсолютно во все аспекты человеческой деятельности, и к концу 30-ых годов представить себе человечество без него уже было невозможно. И имея перед глазами такой пример, во второй половине 40-ых точно такой же победной поступи ждали и от атомной энергии. Атом должен был решить главную проблему электричества – необходимость подключаться к сети или постоянно менять источники питания.Атомная батарейка в кофеварке проработает десятилетия, и вероятнее всего прибор выбросят из-за поломки раньше, чем кончится заряд. К тому же такая батарейка сделает кофеварку мобильной, ей можно будет воспользоваться дома, можно взять её в гости или в путешествие. Но прежде чем дойти до бытовых приборов, атом должен был показать себя в больших вещах – атомных корабля, атомных самолётах, атомных машин и поездах. Именно о последних и хотелось бы поговорить. В русском сегменте интернета немного освещены советские проекты, а об американских работах на эту тему лишь пара слов. И мне хотелось бы это исправить.Об атомных поездах заговорили практически сразу после окончания Второй Мировой войны, так в марте 1946 года в журнале Mechanix Illustrated вышла статья "Atomic Engines for Peace", в которой освещалась возможность использования атомного реактора в поездах. Предлагалось при помощи тепла от реактора нагревать воду, приводящую в движение паровые турбины, которые в свою очередь будут питать электрогенераторы. Так же нагретую воду можно использовать для обогрева вагонов. По предварительным расчётам ядерный двигатель будет на 40% легче, чем обычный двигатель внутреннего сгорания тепловоза такой же мощности. Кроме того, подобный атомный локомотив не надо дозаправлять, а значит, его можно не менять на всём протяжении пути. Но пока идеи оставались идеями.Атомный локомотив в представлении Mechanix Illustrated.Конструкция атомного локомотива в представлении Mechanix Illustrated.Впервые по серьёзному занялись созданием атомного двигателя для локомотива в 1952 году, при чём, всё началось со студенческого проекта. Весной 52-ого года профессор Лайл Борст (Lyle Borst) успевший принять участие в Манхэттенском проекте и преподававший в то время ядерные технологи в университете Юты, задумал дать старшей группе студентов максимально сложную задачу для выпускного проекта. После недолгих размышлений он решил, что это будет создание реактора пригодного для использования в локомотивах и двигательной установки для него. По мнению Борста эта задача была достаточно сложной на то время, и он не смог найти ни одного известного исследования на эту тему, а значит, студенты не могли бы смухлевать. В группу были включены уже окончившие институт аспиранты для помощи, а основу составили студенты старших курсов. К лету 52-ого года они проверили предварительные исследования и предоставили их Борсту – результат был обнадёживающим, создание малого реактора было вполне возможным. И это привлекло интерес и самого профессора, он увидел в атомном локомотиве не только поезд, но и возможность создать достаточно компактные атомные реакторы и тем самым поддержать мирное развитие атомной энергетики. С этого момента Борст лично возглавил группу исследователей и вплотную занялся проектом.Сравнение атомного локомотива Х-12 и других вариантов локомотивов.Главной сложностью, вставшей перед командой, был размер реактора. Если вес почти не был проблемой, то для установки атомного котла на локомотив требовалось строго соблюсти все габариты – высоту, а главное ширину реактора. Возникали и другие проблемы. Так как первоначальный состав группы почти не разбирался в локомотивостроении, с 1953 года Борст начал активно привлекать для работ сначала своих знакомых инженеров-железнодорожников, а позже и специалистов из таких известных фирм как Commonwealth Edison, Westinghouse и Babcock & Wilcox. Это стало возможно после получения федерального гранта на исследования осенью 1953 года. Полученная сумма хоть и была небольшой, но позволила спокойно проектировать ядерный локомотив, хотя об натурных испытаниях пока речи идти и не могло. Именно в этот период проект получил и название - X-12. Создаваемый локомотив предназначался исключительно для грузовых перевозок, поскольку существующие и перспективные технологии помочь в создании атомного пассажирского поезда пока не могли.Атомный локомотив Х-12.К середине 1954 года проект стал принимать видимые очертания. Локомотив Х-12 должен был состоять из двух секций. В первой располагался реактор, турбина, конденсаторы и генераторы. Кроме того, в первой секцией располагалась и кабина машинистов, потому реактор был хорошо экранирован. Всё это весило 720 тонн, потому первая секция размещалась на трёх трёхосных тележках. Так же реактор выделял слишком много лишнего тепла, и вся вторая секция была занята радиаторами, утилизирующими это тепло. Она имела две тележки - первую с тремя осями и вторую с двумя. Общая длина двух секций составляла 49 метров – тем самым хоть Х-12 не был самым большим локомотивом на тот момент, он явно входил в первую пятёрку. Борст и его группа решили не мудрить и использовали в локомотиве уже отработанную схему тепловоза, только заменив дизельный двигатель реактором и турбиной. Реактор генерирует пар, который раскручивает турбины, которые приводят в действия генераторы.Конструкция турбины Х-12.В локомотиве располагалась одна турбина, питавшая четыре генератора, каждый мощностью 1,3 Мвт. Ведущими являются все 9 осей первой секции и три оси первой тележки второй секции. В итоге локомотив выдавал 8000 лошадиных сил в обычном режиме и мог форсироваться до 10000 лошадиных сил на небольшое время. К сожалению, в ограниченном объёме так и не удалось поместить двухконтурную систему передачи тепла, и в турбину поступала радиоактивная вода прямо из реактора, загрязняла её. Потому предполагалось турбину сделать без возможности обслуживания – каждые полтора года загрязнённая турбина вынималась бы из локомотива и заменялась на новую. Это хоть и привело бы к увеличению эксплуатационных расходов, но выгода от использования атомного реактора их всё равно бы перекрывала.Внутреннее устройство Х-12. Кликабельно.Сердцем Х-12 должен был стать водяной ядерный реактор с гомогенной активной зоной. В этом варианте активная зона реактора представляет собой гомогенную смесь ядерного горючего с замедлителем, тепловыделяющие элементы отсутствовали. Выбор в пользу такой схемы был обусловлен тем, что данный тип реактора на тот момент был наименее секретен и достаточно прост для создания. Кроме того, он был прост и в обслуживании, а в случае перегрева реактора и его закипания благодаря малому паровому коэффициенту реактивности реакция самостоятельно прерывалась. Так же эта схема отличалась небольшим расходом ядерного топлива и возможностью оперативно изменять выходную мощность. Основной же минус подобной конструкции - быстрый износ конструкции реактора предлагалось преодолеть, используя новые материалы, в том числе и ещё находящиеся в разработке.Ранняя конструкция ядерного реактора Х-12.В итоге размер реактора составил 1 метр высоты и 1 метр ширины и 0,4 метра длинны. В реакторе находилось 19,8 килограмм высокообогащённого урана (с 80-типроцентным содержанием урана-235) растворённого в 357 литрах воды. Выбор в пользу оружейного урана был сделан из-за крайне малого объёма реактора. Средняя температура смеси в рабочем режиме - 237 градусов по Цельсию. Постоянную циркуляцию смеси во избежание осаждения урана и для поддержания постоянной температуры обеспечивали два насоса в верхней части реактора. Для контроля реакции имелись отражатели и стержни из бора и стали. В обычном режиме реактор производил 30 МВт тепловой энергии. Для передачи этой энергии через рабочую зону реактора проходило 10000 трубок с водой. Вода в них превращалась в пар, который поступал в турбину, раскручивая её до 6000 оборотов в минуту. После пар попадал в конденсаторную секцию, где снова превращался в воду и отправлялся обратно к реактору.Поздняя конструкция ядерного реактора Х-12.Для защиты от радиации реактор был окружён водой и экранирован защитой из стали с промежутками парафина и гипса. Кроме того, предполагалось применить подобный материал и в конструкции генераторов, тем самым, использовав их так же в качестве защиты. Управлять реактором должны были два специально обученных инженера, находящиеся в предельной близости к зоне реактора. По расчётам максимальный срок безопасной работы для них составлял год, сменами через три дня. После во избежание накопления вреда от радиации предлагалось переводить этих инженеров на другие должности. Серьёзное внимание было уделено экстренной остановке реактора в случае аварии локомотива. Конструкция локомотива была специально просчитана, что бы погасить удар (подобная конструкция используется в современных автомобилях). Кроме того, защитная оболочка так же была рассчитана на дополнительную амортизацию удара. В конструкцию управляющих стержней был заложен механизм, освобождающий все стержни при резком изменении скорости, тем самым в случае аварии реактор будет остановлен. Так же имелась максимально простая и надёжная система охлаждения реактора, которая могла бы функционировать и после удара и предотвратить расплавление реактора до прибытия аварийных команд.Схема локомотива Х-12.В январе 1954 года Борст развернул рекламную компанию Х-12 в научно-популярной прессе – за зиму и весну об атомном локомотиве написала практически каждое научно-популярное издание в Америке и многие в мире. Основной целью этой компании было нахождение инвестора для дальнейшего развития проекта. По расчётам для постройки первого испытательного локомотива команде Борста требовалось 4 миллиона долларов на исследования и 1,2 миллиона долларов на саму постройку (разумеется, все цены по курсу 1954 года). Кроме того, необходим был доступ к мощностям крупного железнодорожного завода. Подобные траты компенсировались выгодой от отсутствия необходимости постоянно заправлять локомотив, возможности его непрерывного использования в течение дней, а то недель. В итоге один локомотив окупал бы себя за 10 лет работы, а при постройке 5 локомотивов все затраты будут окуплены за 12 лет. Основную выгоду давало использование Х-12 на дальних и сверхдальних маршрутах. Так команда Борста предлагала использование Х-12 на проектируемой в то время панамериканской магистрали, проходящей через всю Северную и Южную Америку. Средний грузовой состав для Х-12 оценивался в 120 вагонов весом до 20000 тонн при скорости в 80 километров в час.Иллюстрация локомотива Х-12. Кликабельно.Забавной особенностью было то, что реактор запускался исключительно на заводе при выпуске локомотива из цехов и после доступ к нему был практически невозможен. Предполагалось, что реактор данного типа спокойно прослужит 3 года, после чего локомотив снова придёт на завод, где произойдёт замена реактора. Как уже говорилось выше, каждые полтора года заменялась турбина, но это могло выполняться и на специально созданной станции обслуживания. Каждые полгода на этой же станции в реактор добавлялось 50 литров водно-урановой смеси для дозаправки. В этом моменте команда Борста допустила ошибку или сознательно схитрила – поскольку стоимость оружейного урана на тот момент была секретна, Борст указал её в 20 долларов за грамм, в то время как в реальности на тот период оружейный уран стоил до 120 долларов за грамм. При использовании реальной цифры экономичность Х-12 серьёзно снизилась бы. Разрабатывалась два варианта локомотива с экипажем в 2 и 4 человека. В первом случае отсутствовали инженеры, наблюдающие за реактором, и поскольку команда Борста была уверена в надёжности своего атомного котла, именно этот вариант был выбран основным.Модель локомотива Х-12.К 1955 году Борст представил проект своей группы на нескольких конференциях и выставках, но при высоком интересе публики у потенциальных заказчиков было много вопросов. Практически сразу от проекта отказались военные – они признали, что в будущем атомные поезда возможно займут своё место на железных дорогах, но пока все их требования удовлетворяли и обычные локомотивы. У частных фирм интереса была куда больше, наибольшую заинтересованность проявили в Babcock & Wilcox, где в 1955 году была собрана комиссия для анализа проекта. После 2 месяцев исследований выводы были неутешительны – Х-12 был признан хоть и перспективным, но чрезмерно опасным, в случае аварии убытки были бы настолько большими, что перекрыли бы всю возможную выгоду.Многие изобретатели зацикливаются на своём детище, годами, а то и десятилетиями, пытаясь протолкнуть его в жизнь. Лайл Борст был не таким. Поскольку у проекта в ближайшее время не было перспектив, он принял решение о его закрытии. Вся команда получила неоценимый опыт работы и теперь могла спокойно двигаться дальше как по науке, так и по карьере. Продолжил научную деятельность и сам Борст, без сомнений оставив Х-12 позади. Позже он вспоминал, что возможно прояви он большую настойчивость, возможно, мог бы проложить Х-12 дорогу в жизнь хотя бы в качестве прототипа. Но шансы на это были откровенно маленькие и, потому Борст никогда не сомневался в правильности решения закрыть проект атомного локомотива. На этом история Х-12 заканчивается, но история атомных поездов только начинается.Продолжение неизбежно следует.Источники:An Atomic Locomotive: A Feasibility Study.Popular Science. 04-1954.Nuclear Reactor Development: Proceedings of the Atomic Industrial Forum. Atomic Powered Locomotive.Nuclear-powered Locomotive's Economic Feasibility Questioned by Railroad Men.Railway History, No. 175.Патент US3127321 A.Mechanix Illustrated. 03-1946.

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23 декабря 2016, 11:50

[Из песочницы] Android Things

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Құпия меценат ұстаздарға 400 доллардан таратып берді

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