Babies Are Born With Some Math Skills

first_imgIf a 6-month-old can distinguish between 20 dots and 10 dots, she’s more likely to be a good at math in preschool. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which finds that part of our proficiency at addition and subtraction may simply be something we’re born with.Researchers have long wondered where our math skills come from. Are they innate, or should we credit studying and good teachers—or some combination of the two? “Math ability is a very complex concept, and there are a lot of actors that play into it,” says Ariel Starr, a graduate student in psychology and neuroscience at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.One of those actors appears to be the approximate number system, or the intuitive capacity to discern between groups of objects of varying magnitudes. We share this talent with numerous other animals, including rats, monkeys, birds, and fish. Some of those animals, for example, can match the number of sounds they hear to the number of objects they see, while others can watch handlers place different numbers of food items into buckets, and then choose the bucket with the most food. For ancient humans, this skill would have been an asset, Starr explains, by helping a group of humans determine if predators outnumbered them, for example.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Researchers suspect that this intuitive number sense may play into humanity’s unique ability to use symbols to do math. While both a monkey and a human can look at photos of 20 and 30 dots and then choose a photo of 50 dots to represent that total value, only a human can add the symbolic Arabic numerals for 20 and 30 together to get 50.Past studies have investigated intuitive number sense in humans ranging in age from preschoolers to college students. Some researchers asked those study participants to take math tests and judge approximate numbers on the spot, while others compared a participant’s current intuitive number sense to their past standardized math test scores. Those people who are best at math, researchers found, also tend to be good at approximating numbers. But these tests presented a chicken-or-egg situation: Does excelling at math sharpen a person’s ability to approximate numbers, or are people who are good at approximating numbers most likely to go on to excel at math?Now, a new study published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences clarifies the direction of that relationship. The study confirms that a child’s ability to approximate numbers seems to act as a foundation for developing math skills later in life.To get around some of the caveats with earlier work, the researchers turned to infants who had not yet learned to talk or manipulate numbers. Starting with babies “is really critical because a lot of math-related education happens informally through parents, society, and in preschool,” says Michele Mazzocco, a professor in the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis who was not involved in the study. In other words, infants provide a relatively clean slate for judging how intuitive number sense later relates to math abilities. “This is a very important contribution,” she says.Starr and her colleagues recruited 48 6-month-old infants to briefly join them in the lab. The researchers showed the babies opposing images of two sets of dots that flashed before them on a screen. One side of the screen always contained 10 dots, which were arranged in various patterns. The other side alternated between 10 and 20 dots, also arranged in various patterns. The team tracked the infants’ gaze—a common method for judging infant cognition—to see which set of dots they preferred to watch. Babies prefer to look at new things to old things, so the pattern of dots that flashed between arrays of 10 and 20 should appear more interesting to infants because the dots were changing not just in position, but in number. Both screens changed dot position simultaneously, so in theory, the flashing pattern changes were equally distracting. If an infant indicated that she picked up on the difference in dot numbers by preferentially staring at the 10- and 20-dot side of the screen, the researchers concluded that her intuitive number sense was at work.To see how, if at all, the infants’ intuitive number sense related to their math ability later in life, 3 years later, the researchers invited those same babies to return to the lab. The team asked the children to complete a set of standardized tests that measure math ability, intuitive number sense, understanding of number words, and general intelligence. The researchers tested whether children knew what Arabic numerals meant, for example, and asked them to solve word problems such as, “If Johnnie has one cookie and them his mom gives him three more cookies, how many cookies does he have?” They also asked the children to complete visual arithmetic problems, such as showing them an image of two tokens, replacing that image with another depicting three tokens and then asking them how many tokens exist in total. To account for differences in general intelligence, the kids completed standardized verbal and nonverbal tests such as tasks that required them to fill-in-the-blanks for missing words in sentences and choose between images of objects missing from photos.Children who performed in the top 50% of the math achievement test had a significantly higher intuitive number sense in infancy than those who performed in the bottom 50%, the authors found. This relationship held true even when the researchers controlled for general intelligence. However, although differences between the children’s scores were large and the relationship between intuitive ability and math ability was significant, it did not explain all of the statistical model’s variation. “It’s not like 90% of children’s scores were explained by infant scores,” says Elizabeth Brannon, a cognitive scientist at Duke University and senior author of the paper. This is not surprising, she says, because prior research indicates that “there are tons and tons of things that influence how well someone does at math later on.”Starr agrees. It’s likely that intuitive number sense plays a role in a person’s math abilities later in life, she adds, but other things—experience, education, motivation, and more—also significantly shape a person’s math achievements. In other words, Starr says, “if you hand me a baby, I can’t look at how long it looks at some dots and predict its SAT scores in high school.”The study “beautifully” establishes the link between approximate number systems and formal math, say Darko Odic, a fifth year graduate student in the psychological and brain science department at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, who has authored numerous scientific papers about young children and math and was not involved in the research. Now, he says, researchers need to figure out the basis of that relationship, including what drives it biologically and whether we can use it to help children better learn math.The team plans to tackle that latter question in future experiments. Now, it is adapting activities such as arithmetic dot-tracking and comparison, shown to improve intuitive number in college-age students, for younger students at the preschool and even infant level. “Designing intervention strategies for infants is trickier,” Starr says, “but hypothetically speaking, in theory some of the ways we work with preschool children could be scaled down to infancy.”last_img read more

Bhagwat’s vest side story

first_imgRSS chief Mohan Bhagwat strongly believes in Gandhian austerity to the extent that he packs only a spare kurta when he travels. During a recent RSS brainstorming session in MP’s Dhar district, some leaders pointed out a wardrobe malfunction-Bhagwat’s kurta was torn near the pocket. The RSS chief handed the,RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat strongly believes in Gandhian austerity to the extent that he packs only a spare kurta when he travels. During a recent RSS brainstorming session in MP’s Dhar district, some leaders pointed out a wardrobe malfunction-Bhagwat’s kurta was torn near the pocket. The RSS chief handed the garment to volunteers and asked them to locate a tailor to fix it. In the meantime, he sported a vest and remained indoors for an hour because his spare kurta had not dried after a wash. Clearly, the top BJP leadership, that changes stylish kurtas at the drop of a hat, is yet to learn from the Parivar head.Battle royaleThe Congress is looking within its ranks for a royal contender to take on Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, the erstwhile maharani of Dholpur. One name doing the rounds is that of Vishvendra Singh, 52, erstwhile maharaja of Bharatpur, another Jat kingdom. Singh has been MP three times and is a second-term MLA. His name cropped up after the party high command expressed its unhappiness with the performance of its current leader in the Assembly, Rameshwar Lal Dudi. The July 3 zila pramukh elections in Bikaner, where the Congress lost to an Independent, has hastened calls for Dudi’s exit. Singh’s nomination hinges on another scion, Rahul Gandhi. How appropriate.Keep calm, do yogaFarooq Abdullah’s daughter Sara Pilot Abdullah is stepping out of the shadow of her brother, Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, and husband, Congress leader Sachin Pilot. A trained instructor in Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, Sara offers beginners classes twice a week at an upscale yoga school in south Delhi. Hatha yoga balances stimulating energy with calming energy. Just what both political parties in her family could do with.advertisementRecipe for DisasterThe National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has neither a head nor body for over a fortnight. Vice Chairman M. Shashidhar Reddy and all eight members were asked to resign as part of the new Government’s spring cleaning of UPA appointees. All functions of NDMA have ground to a halt. PM Narendra Modi is the ex-officio chairman of the authority, which is tipped to be headed by BJP MP R.K. Singh. Until then, let’s hope, there are no disasters.Sleep JunctionUnion Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda proposed installing retiring rooms at every railway station across the country. He has probably taken a cue from his office. Both Gowda and MoS for Railways Manoj Sinha have retiring rooms with full-length beds in their Rail Bhavan offices, a hand-me-down from previous occupants.Will he, won’t he?AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh, promised he would marry TV journalist Amrita Rai when the couple came clean about their affair in April. But he didn’t say when. So now, each time Singh calls the media for dinner, they expect an announcement. Journalists who flocked to a dinner hosted by Singh in Bhopal were disappointed when he told them it was to celebrate his entry into the Rajya Sabha. However, he later told a journalist that he would organise another party for them shortly. Enough to send rumour mills into overdrive.The colour deserves a special mention for its current popularityTHE WEEK IN PINKMinister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha wore a bright pink kurta to Parliament when the rail budget was presented.Actor Sunny Leone’s video promo ‘Pink Lips’ for the forthcoming film Hate Story 2 attracted over one million YouTube views.Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje cleared Jaipur Metro’s underground construction on the condition that the Pink City’s heritage be preserved.Get the Message After Narendra Modi’s Twitter thrust, it’s the turn of RSS to experiment with the microblogging site. Twitter officials visited RSS Delhi HQ, Keshav Kunj, with a plan to help the Sangh attract youngsters. They used a bird from Indian mythology to emphasise timely communication. Officials pointed out Jatayu, the vulture, had tried to prevent’s Sita abduction by Ravana. A mythological bird and a tug at the Sangh’s Hindutva ethos. It’s called killing two birds with one stone.Menu change of the weekThe dhokla has trumped the samosa. Dhoklas now rule the table at all government and public sector company meetings.Missing MinisterKerala’s Minister for Non-Resident Keralites’ Affairs, K.C. Joseph, believes only Keralites in the US need his attention. When 46 nurses from the state held captive by insurgent group ISIS in Iraq pleaded for help on June 26, Joseph was ensconced in the Valley Forge Casino Resort in Philadelphia inaugurating the convention of an American Malayalee association. While Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spent sleepless nights negotiating the release of the nurses, Joseph hopped to Illinois to attend the convention of another Malayalee organisation on July 4. His 11-day US sojourn ended only on July 7, after the nurses were evacuated. Just in time for the photo-op.advertisementlast_img read more

Pro Kabaddi 2019: U Mumba down Telugu Titans, Bengaluru Bulls pip Patna Pirates

first_imgPro Kabaddi 2019: U Mumba down Telugu Titans, Bengaluru Bulls pip Patna PiratesPro Kabaddi 2019: On the opening day of the 7th season of the popular Kabaddi tournament, U Mumbai clinched a comfortable win over Telugu Titans in Hyderabad. Defending champions Bengaluru Bulls survived a thriller against Patna Pirates to emerge successful by a 2-point margin. advertisement Next Indo-Asian News Service HyderabadJuly 20, 2019UPDATED: July 20, 2019 23:48 IST Abhishek Singh shone for U Mumba in the Pro Kabaddi 2019 opener against Telugu Titans on Saturday (@ProKabaddi Photo)HIGHLIGHTSAbhishek Singh and captain Fazel Atrachali shone for U Mumba in their win on SaturdayBengaluru Bulls relied on their defense to beat Patna PiratesPardeep Narwal finished with a Super 10 but it wasn’t enough for Patna PiratesIt was not the start that hosts Telugu Titans would have wished for as they lost the opening clash of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 7 to U Mumba 25-31.It was a collective effort from U Mumba as raider Abhishek Singh scored a Super 10 and got equal support from Rohit Baliyan (4 points) and Sandeep Narwal (4 points). Their defenders also supported well with skipper Fazel Atrachali chipping in with 4 points and Srender Narwal with two points. U Mumba also inflicted a couple of all outs.Titans’ star raider Siddharth Desai failed to replicate his last year’s show as he could only mangae to contribute 5 points while Rajnish was the top scorer with 8 points for Telugu Titans.The hosts started well with raider Rajnish opening their account with a bonus point before Athul M.S. also successfully raided for U Mumba to make it 1-1 in the opening few minutes of the game. Rohit Baliyan’s unsuccessful raid helped the Titans take a one point lead but the visitors then tackled Siddharth Desai to level the score.In the second half, both the teams went slow with Abhishek and Rohit scoring points in each of their attempts as U Mumba raced to 21 points while the Titans (12 points) could only manage 2, thanks to successful raids by Rajnish.U Mumba then inflicted another all out to make it 24-14 in their favour in the 29th minute.Both the sides then traded a raid point each before the Titans tackled Abhishek while Siddharth won a raid point as the hosts reached 17 points. With just six minutes left, the Titans showed some fight as Siddharth won a raid point before tackling Athul to cut the deficit to 19-25.advertisementBut U Mumba also stepped up as they scored 3 back-to-back tackle points to make it 28-19.Abhishek then showed his mettle by a 2-pointer raid to take U Mumba to 30 points, leaving the Titans with just two men on mat.U Mumba skipper Fazel Atrachali then failed to tackle Rakesh Gowda before the home side made a super tackle to reach 22 points. Siddharth then made 3 consecutive raids to take Titans to 25 points, but it wasn’t enough as in the dying moments of the game, Rohit fetched a raid point to hand the visitors a 31-25 victory.Bengaluru Bulls begin title defence with winDefending champions Bengaluru Bulls made a stunning comeback to pip Patna Pirates 34-32 in their campaign opener in Hyderabad.Defenders Amit Sheoran (5 points) and Ashish Sangwan (4 points) were the main reason for Bengaluru’s narrow win. Also, their ace raider Pawan Sehrawat scored nine points.For Patna, skipper Pardeep Narwal scored a Super 10 and Mohammed Maghsoudlou came up with nine points. However, it wasn’t enough to help them cross the line.Bengaluru forced multiple super tackles to begin their campaign with a win.Also Read | Pro Kabaddi 2019 Day 1: As it happenedAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Pro Kabaddi 2019Follow Bengaluru BullsFollow U MumbaFollow Telugu TitansFollow Patna PiratesFollow Abhishek SinghFollow Pardeep NarwalFollow Fazel Atrachalilast_img read more

New Environmental Lab Policy in Nova Scotia

first_imgNova Scotia has a new environmental lab policy that will further protect public health. The policy, which came into effect on Aug. 1, guarantees better consistency and reliability of test results as environmental labs are required to maintain even higher standards of quality. “The new policy will ensure data is consistent with national and international standards,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Environment and Labour. “In addition, all procedures are documented so that any deficiencies or sources of error can be identified and addressed as quickly as possible.” “This new policy assures Nova Scotians of reliable drinking water test results,” said Dr. Ann Roberts, medical officer of health. In addition to testing drinking water, labs test for a variety of things including contaminated site clean up, water resources and discharge monitoring. There are 15 accredited labs in Nova Scotia that provide environmental testing services to the Department of Environment and Labour. For more information about the new environmental lab policy see the Environment and Labour website at www.gov.ns.ca/enla/airlandwater/labcertification.asp .last_img read more

Modi suffering from fear of losing elections Mamata

first_imgPanighata (WB): West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee Saturday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is suffering from ‘haratanka’, a phobia of losing elections and is trying to win in the state by dividing the people on communal lines. “He(Modi) knows that he will lose the elections and that is why his face has turned pale. He is now suffering from ‘haratanka’ and everyday is uttering nonsense thinking about losing in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, New Delhi, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha and others,” she said at a rally here in support of party candidate for Krishnanagar Lok Sabha constituency Mohua Moitra. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “I do not mind if BJP wins in Tripura but that will not give him 543 seats. That is the reason he is roaming around in Bengal hoping to get votes by dividing people along Hindu-Muslim lines,” she added. Reacting to BJP’s allegations that she as chief minister of the state has done nothing for West Bengal, Banerjee said that people will seek answers from her if it is so. Speaking at a rally in support of TMC’s Krishanagar candidate Mohua Moitra, Banerjee urged the people not to vote for BJP to save the country. “Do not cast your votes for the BJP if you want to save the country … Have you forgotten demonetisation, the suffering you underwent? Crores of people had suffered. Now when the elections have come will you not give him (Modi) the reply ?” she said. “Give them (BJP) a tight slap for demonetisation by casting your votes against them,” she added.last_img read more

CRTC is throwing consumers to telco sales dogs by not probing practices

OTTAWA — A consumer watchdog group says Canada’s telecom regulator is abdicating its responsibility by refusing to launch a public inquiry into the sales practices of the country’s major telecommunications service providers.The Public Interest Advocacy Centre called for the inquiry early last month to investigate media reports about high-pressure sales tactics used by at least one major company.PIAC executive director John Lawford said vulnerable consumers, including older Canadians, grieving spouses and blind customers were being targeted by aggressive sales people.The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission responded earlier this month, telling Lawford that consumers already have a number of places to turn if they feel they’ve been wronged by their telecom service provider, including the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS).CRTC commissioner Ian Scott noted that the complaints body experienced a high satisfaction rate for resolving complaints last year among both consumers and service providers.The CRTC letter also said Canadians may contact the Competition Bureau with their concerns.But Lawford said the CRTC neglected to mention that the complaints commission doesn’t normally deal with sales practice complaints, and explicitly refuses to deal with misleading advertising.“The CRTC refusal to inquire into the shocking sales practices of Canada’s major telecommunications and broadcasting companies says to consumers ‘You’re on your own,”‘ Lawford wrote in response to the CRTC’s Feb. 12 letter.“Sending Canadians to these bodies to try to extract themselves from poor deals after the fact instead of proactively investigating them and restoring the public trust in the market is a major abdication of responsibility by the CRTC,” he added in a media statement under the headline “CRTC throws consumers to telco sales dogs.”Scott noted, however, that the CCTS reviewed over 8,600 complaints in 2017, and consumers received compensation in 74 per cent of the complaints, totalling $2.3 million.He also hinted at possible future action in response to consumer complaints, saying the CRTC also monitors reports from the complaints commissioner to identify emerging issues “which may require further regulatory intervention.”Lawford launched his call for an inquiry after CBC news reported last fall that dozens of Bell customers had voiced various complaints about misleading sales practices, and that a “flood” of past and present Bell employees had later spoken out about the stress they felt from pressure to meet sales targets.A Bell Canada spokesman at the time defended the carrier’s customer service record and said the tactics described by the Bell employees would be “completely contrary” to the company’s culture, values and code of conduct. read more

Senior UN official in Zambia on regional tour highlighting antiAIDS scheme

Mark Malloch Brown, the UNDP Administrator, is expected to hold talks today in Lusaka, the Zambian capital, with President Levy Mwanawasa about the Southern Africa Capacity Initiative.Today Mr. Malloch Brown was also scheduled to visit an AIDS clinic supported by Zambia’s former President, Kenneth Kaunda.The UNDP chief spent the first leg of his trip in Malawi, and will head to Botswana tomorrow for two days of talks and visits. On Friday he is slated to travel to a school in the capital, Gaborone, to see a UNDP-sponsored interactive television programme about AIDS.The Southern Africa Capacity Initiative is designed to help nine African countries – Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe – tackle the effects of HIV/AIDS on their health, education and other major sectors. With funding from Microsoft, the UNDP project provides computer technology to help poor countries in the region deliver better social services to people affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.Overall, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates that southern Africa is home to about 30 per cent of all people living with the disease worldwide, even though this region has less than 2 per cent of the world’s population. read more

Latin America must fight discrimination against indigenous people – UNICEF

With Latin America’s indigenous peoples lagging way behind the non-indigenous population in both income levels and human development indicators such as education, health, access to water and sanitation, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is calling for an all-out battle against inequality. “Discrimination against indigenous people in Latin America is a structural problem and the key to tackle it is to overcome the enormous inequalities in this region,” UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Nils Kastberg told more than 80 indigenous children and adolescents from 17 Latin American countries meeting in Madrid, Spain.“We have a debt that is not only from the past, but also from the present,” he told the opening session of the two-day meeting yesterday. An estimated 40-50 million indigenous people live in Latin America, representing 10 per cent of the population.The president of the UNICEF National Committee in Spain, Francisco González-Bueno, urged the participating children and adolescents to take action. “Our obligation is to make the rights embraced by Governments a reality,” he said. “It’s essential that you know your rights in order to be able to demand then, since only rights that are claimed are fulfilled.”The conclusions of the meeting, organized by the UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, will be reflected in a Final Declaration and presented at the Ibero-American Ministerial Conference on Children and Adolescents, to be held in September in León, Spain. read more

Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 10 to 499 billion in May

OTTAWA – Canadian factory sales fell more than expected in May as the auto sector was hurt by an earthquake in Japan and the Alberta wildfires slowed sales by the oil industry.Statistics Canada said Friday that manufacturing sales fell 1.0 per cent to $49.9 billion in May. Economists had expected a drop of 0.7 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.Constant dollar sales fell 2.1 per cent, indicating that a lower volume of manufactured goods was sold in the month.“The decline in this month’s report was slightly larger than expectations, though is largely a result of transitory disruptions to supply chains,” TD Bank economist Warren Kirkland said.Kirkland said while the auto industry’s woes should dissipate in June, the effects from the wildfires will likely persist, and he expects a 0.9 per cent contraction in GDP during the second quarter.Motor vehicle sales fell 4.2 per cent to $5.6 billion, while sales of motor vehicle parts declined 2.3 per cent due in part to supply interruptions associated with the earthquake in southern Japan in April.Sales in the petroleum and coal products industry fell 2.2 per cent to $4.1 billion due in part to the wildfire that forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray, Alta., and curbed oil production.Statistics Canada said the drop was due entirely to lower volumes as prices for the industry climbed 6.4 per cent, according to the industrial product price index.In addition to its regular survey, the agency also asked manufacturers about the impact of the Alberta wildfires.It noted that 5.4 per cent of those surveyed said their businesses were affected, with about 40 per cent of those reporting a loss of sales. The remainder said they were affected but not able to quantify the effects of the fire.Firms affected by the fire were not limited to just Alberta or the petroleum and coal products sector. The report noted that while most were in Alberta, 48 companies in Ontario, 27 in B.C., 17 in Saskatchewan and 12 in Manitoba said they were affected.Overall, sales fell in 15 of 21 industries, representing nearly 70 per cent of total manufacturing. by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 15, 2016 6:47 am MDT Last Updated Jul 15, 2016 at 11:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 1.0% to $49.9 billion in May read more

Historian examines the lives of war generation

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A prominent Melbourne academic is researching the impact of memories of WWII in Greece and the Civil War on Greek-Australians. Speaking at the Australian Macedonian Advisory Council (AMAC) forum last Monday, Professor Joy Damousi, head of the School of Historical Studies at Melbourne University said that the experiences of migrants who grew up in Greece during the war years of the 1940s is the topic of her next book. She highlighted the need to “put on the map” the experiences of migrants who lived through the trauma of invasion, a war of resistance followed by internecine conflict. “There are intergenerational effects of the memories the Greek migrants brought to Australia but also the community and the wider society, said Professor Damousi.“How they [migrants] relate to their children, what memories they recount and how their experiences shape their identity and that of the second and third generation are important elements of the history of the Greek community, Australia but also Greece” she said.Professor Damousi is an award-winning historian whose parents migrated from Florina in the 1950s, in the years following one of the most turbulent periods in Greek history. She said that in Greece the study of that period has been “polarised” as it focuses on the actions of the two sides. “The actual everyday experiences of the people have not been researched” Professor Damousi said.During her recent fieldwork in Greece she spoke to survivors of WWII and the Civil War. She found “emotional and challenging” the interviews with mothers whose children were removed from their families. Around 22,000 children were taken into bordering communist nations by Greek left-wing rebels during the Civil War. There is bitter argument as to whether these children were forcibly removed, or handed over by their parents in order to save them from the horrors of war.  “Some of those children migrated to Australia and it’s important to tell their story,” said the professor. Mr Dean Kalymnios, secretary of the Panepirotic Federation of Australia, another guest speaker at the forum, focused on the Greek lobby’s “ineffectiveness” to influence public opinion on the question of Macedonia. He underscored the need for “generational change” in the Greek community, describing the Greek community today as “fragmented and insular.” Mr Kalymniou’s said, “[t]he first generation likes to destroy what they don’t control” and went on to criticise them for playing “political chess” with community organisations.  The forum broke out into disorder when members of the Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria exchanged verbal fire with members of AMAC over their position on the question FYROM’s claim to the name Macedonia. The heated exchange did not last long, but exposed an emerging divide between AMAC and Pan-Macedonian organisations over the FYROM naming issue. There were about 40 people at the forum where, among guest speakers, AMAC representatives talked about the organisation’s media monitoring and responses to media representations of FYROM as ‘Macedonia’. James Papadopoulos, from AMAC said that they are a new organisation and “taking small steps, of which this forum is just one small step.”last_img read more

Albanian historian claims there is no Greek population in live broadcast

first_imgAlbanian historian, Elena Kocaqi has caused controversy, after claiming on live television in Albania that a Greek population does not exist in modern Greece, and that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is an Arvanite.Asked by the host of the show to justify why she believes this to be the case, Kocaqi responded: “I have said that Greece has no Greek population. The population of Greece, all those who fought, were Arvanites with foustanelles,” said Kocaqi during a panel discussion with reference to the Greek War of Independence.The show’s presenter then tried to intervene, stating “Maybe we are going a little overboard”.However Kocaqi evidently didn’t agree, and persisted.“Who fought against the Turks? Only Albanians,” she said.“Find me one Greek who fought during that time in 1821,” Kocaqi persisted.The panel, which was organised to discuss the latest developments in the Balkans, also featured Greek Professor Panayiotis Barkas.Following his panel appearance, Professor Barkas said his fellow panellists were attempting to use a mixture of fake myths and folklore “to justify expansionist views”.Watch a snippet of the panel discussion below (video contains Greek subtitles): Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Our CigarShaped Visitor from Beyond the Stars

first_imgStay on target Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend We’re always finding weird new things in space. Whether it’s two neutron stars merging or bizarre features on our favorite stellar bodies, there’s no end to the science in the void. This time it’s an asteroid with a peculiar origin.We’ve cataloged a bit shy of one million asteroids in our solar system. And all of them — save one — began as part our stellar nebula. That’s the same dust cloud the spawned the earth and the moon, as well the sun itself.The rock, dubbed ‘Oumuamua (meaning a “messenger from afar arriving first” in one indigenous Hawaiian language), is baffling astronomers the world over and could be the best trove of new information about other solar systems yet found.For one, the fact that it exists at all dashes many assumptions about interstellar objects.“The presence of ‘Oumuamua suggests that previous estimates of the density of interstellar objects were pessimistically low,” the authors of a new paper detailing the rock wrote in Nature.The paper, “A brief visit from a red and extremely elongated interstellar asteroid” is packed with observations about the find. First observed last month at the TK observatory in Hawaii, astronomers noted that it was moving extremely fast — far too quickly to have come from our solar system — and that it was pulsing. The latter isn’t quite as exciting as it may sound, as scientists figured out that the rock was spinning and cigar-shaped, causing brief flashes of light as the asteroid crossed in front of our telescopes.What makes this find so important is that it gives us our first possible look at conditions in other solar systems. We suspect, for example, that our stellar nebula shot out many thousands of rocks and comets and other objects that may have reached our neighbors. It’s natural, then, to expect to find some of these objects from other systems. In fact, estimates suggest that we should get one nearby every year, but they’re so small and fast — and the cosmos so crushingly vast — that they’re difficult, if not impossible to spot. The fact that we did, though, means that they might be more common than we thought — meaning more discoveries could be down the line. For now, though, ‘Oumuamua is pretty special.The fact that it’s shaped so strangely will no-doubt be the subject of inquiry for some time, as it’s far larger than something so long would generally suggest. It’s not icy at all, either, making it rather unlike our comets, despite passing very close to the sun — something only comets tend to do. That also gives us an idea as to its path, and, combined with its prodigious speed point to an origin from beyond our system. ‘Oumuamua is also quite a bit redder than typical asteroids, indicating chemical changes from interstellar radiation.The asteroid appears to have come from the constellation Lyra and passed about 15 million miles away from earth before rocketing off. Aided by the gravity of various objects in our solar system, ‘Oumuamua is currently speeding towards Pegasus at 44 kilometers per second — far faster even than Juno, the zippiest object humans have ever put into space. It’s very, very unlikely that we will ever see it again, but hopefully continuing analysis will bring more discoveries in the coming months. And maybe we could sniff out another stellar visitor soon!center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Florida Avenue Grill at 70

first_imgAround noon Aug. 30, there was a wait to be seated at the Florida Avenue Grill in the Shaw neighborhood of Northwest D.C. At the counter, friends David Levy and Latrice Johnson met for breakfast. He lives nearby and has visited the restaurant three times this year – “not nearly enough,” he says. She remembers dining at the restaurant as a child and continuing as a student at Howard University.“It’s a permanent fixture in D.C.,” she said of the establishment nicknamed “the Grill.”Three bar stools over sat John DiPaolo and his 3-year-old daughter, Claudia. It was his first time at the grill since moving back to the city in 2010. They eagerly awaited his biscuits and sausage gravy and her apples and hotcakes. “You can’t find this kind of food at many places,” DiPaolo said.A few feet away at the carry out line, James Hawkins, known to the Grill staff as “Cowboy,” waited for his to-go order. Earlier this year, he celebrated his 80th birthday at the Grill.The walls are filled with signed photographs of celebrities who have dined there over the years.Almost as old as Hawkins, the Grill will celebrate its 70th anniversary Oct. 4, at Cardozo High School in Northwest D.C. “If you think about it, where else can you see a Congress person sitting next to a trash truck operator – actually sitting together, talking to each other and having fun?” said Owner Imar Hutchins. “There’s not many places you’ll see that and it’s a testament to the way The Grill is welcoming to all and has evolved over theyears.”Hutchins purchased the building in 2005 from Lacey C. Wilson Jr., who purchased the property from his parents, who opened the shop in 1944. Hutchins’ intent was to develop on the land, but he was careful not to demolish the neighborhood landmark. Instead, he built a 26-unit building on the former parking lot of The Grill, and to pay homage to the founders, he named the complex Lacey Condominiums. “It was important for me to keep the Grill because it’s such an important part of DC history and indeed part of African-American history, period,” Hutchins said.Today, a well-balanced mix of ethnic groups flood the restaurant at any given hour, but, in the ‘40s, The Grill served as a safe haven for Blacks who were not yet allowed to dine with Whites in public establishments. It was the booming spot where the food was cooked like mama made it and the parties did not stop until the moon surfaced high above Florida Ave. and 11th St. NW.  “They had a lot of things for Blacks on U St., then we’d come to the Grill afterwards,” recalls Hawkins, whose first time at the grill was in 1946.A well-balanced mix of ethnic groups flood the restaurant at any given hour.Throughout the years, the Grill has survived everything from racial segregation, to the crack epidemic, to crime waves and gentrification. A major threat came in 1968 when riots broke throughout the city after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While businesses burnt to the ground around him, Lacey Jr., according to legend, stayed up every night at the front booth with ashotgun. The grill was firebombed, but he put out the fire and saved the family business.As the current owner, Hutchins said he sees himself as a steward of the restaurant, an establishment whose walls are filled with signed photographs of celebrities who have dined there over the years. “In a sense we have a duty to all the people who came before us to honor their tradition,” says Hutchins. “It’s a slice of the real D.C. and there’s not a lot of that left.”last_img read more

Geek deals Dell Inspiron 17 5000 173inch laptop for 479

first_imgIf you’re in the market for a large laptop, take at gander at the Inspiron 17 5000 from Dell. Not only does this model feature a sizable 17.3-inch display, but it also has a new Skylake processor and plenty of memory at an excellent price point.Dell Inspiron 17 5000 dual-core laptop for $479 (List price: $752.99 — Coupon code: LT$479) Inside, this laptop sports a sixth generation dual-core 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U CPU, integrated Intel HD Graphics 520, 8GB of DDR3L RAM (1600MHz), a 1TB 5400RPM hard drive, a DVD burner, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi support. As for the 17.3-inch display, it benefits from LED backlighting and an HD+ resolution of 1600×900. Since it comes with an HDMI 1.4a port, a USB 3.0 port, and two USB 2.0 ports, it’s an excellent desktop replacement. Plug into your existing set-up, and you’re ready to rock.Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) comes installed by default, so you’ll be covered if you’re looking for legacy support. And since a Windows 10 Pro (64-bit) license is included for free, you can enjoy hundreds of thousands of apps in the Windows Store, a brand new web browser, and the Siri-like Cortana personal assistant at no additional cost. Typically, this Inspiron 17 5000 configuration lists for $752.99, but Dell is currently selling it directly for just $699. Use coupon code “LT$479” during checkout, and you’ll save an additional 220 bucks. And if you choose to use Dell’s free three-to-five business day shipping option, you’re only left paying $479 (plus any applicable taxes).Our commerce group sources the best deals and products for the Geek Deals posts. We operate independently of Editorial and Advertising and may earn a percentage of the sale, if you buy something via a link on the post. If you are interested in promoting your deals, please contact us at commerce@ziffdavis.com.For more great deals head over to TechBargains.last_img read more

Marc Eckos Getting Up and Other Anti Fascist Games of the Year

first_imgStay on target For too long the definition of “Game of the Year” has been unfairly narrow. How boring is it to see every website shower the same stale AAA games with praise at the end of each holiday season? So at Geek.com we’re doing what we can to put a stop to this in Game of the Year, a new column celebrating worthy alternative picks for the year’s greatest game regardless of genre, platform, year of release, or even quality. Here, any game can be Game of the Year!I’ve said it on Twitter and I’ll say it again here. Imagine thinking being against fascism is as bad as fascism. Imagine thinking that makes you a radical free truth teller and not an idiot. Unfortunately, that’s where we are these days. Video games are great for taking us away from the troubles of the real world, but like any art, they can also help us grapple with the real world through exaggeration. Plus, their interactivity can give us power we definitely don’t really possess.Rebelling against oppressive regimes is a favorite novel/movie/video game trope. After all, even Star Wars is about terrorists toppling a legitimate government from a certain point of view. But I want to talk about games that embody the unique flavor of today’s resistance (not to be confused with #TheResistance). So let’s talk about Marc Ecko’s Getting Up and other Antifa Games of the Year.There’s a charm that comes from the inherent vanity of putting your name in front of a product. Sid Meier’s Civilization, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Tyler Perry’s Anything, Peter Jackson’s King Kong The Official Game of the Movie. Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure is no different. Marc Ecko, if you don’t know, is the founder and CCO of fashion #brand Ecko Unlimited. And in 2006 the freshest thing for a brand to do was put out one of those new-fangled, M-rated, Grand Theft Auto-esque video games.In Getting Up you play as an up-and-coming graffiti artist named Trane (of course) tagging walls in the city of New Radius. Oppressors try to keep the lower class in line by masking slums with gentrification and slashing funds for arts education to reverse the democratization and that helped people better themselves. So far so fascist. As Trane you use your cans and your fists to spread the truth in big colorful letters the state tries to scrub away while beating up death squads sent to squash the political protest with violence.Unfortunately, that juicy if generic anti fascist set up pretty much only exists to facilitate a mediocre brawler with some painting elements and music tracks by Mad Men theme composer RJD2. The risk when making “anti authority” commercial art is that the inherent hypocrisy becomes that much harder to forgive if the product is bad. It’s The Hunger Games dilemma.But one thing Marc Ecko’s Getting Up does understand, however cynically, is the anti fascist nature of graffiti. Painting huge, bold, inflammatory but absolutely vital and truthful speech in public view is just such a great way to stick it to the powers that be, particularly in urban environments where the divide between haves and have-nots is especially stark. TV shows like The Get Down show us how historically politicians cruelly crack down hard on graffiti as a scapegoat for avoiding more serious social problems. So refusing to fall for that and instead let graffiti flourish is a powerful act in and of itself, even if you’re Banksy.Therefore, if you’re looking for some anti fascist vibes in some other video games, as well as just a fun mechanic, graffiti is a great thing to spot. No, we’re not talking about games that just use graffiti written by NPCs to flesh out the plot with environmental storytelling. We talking about games that let you use graffiti as an active weapon against oppressors. And there are much better examples than Getting Up.SplatoonThe Splatoon franchise began as a development test for a shooter about blasting paint and swimming in it. The urban J-punk aesthetic then developed as a natural result of that graffiti-esque gameplay. But regardless of its origins, Splatoon’s singular vibe (and killer music) is the most youthful, energetic, anti fascist thing Nintendo has released in a long time. Just read some of the comments the kids leave in the plaza.De BlobAn expansion of a student game, De Blob has you returning color to a monochrome police state Chrome City by covering yourself in paint and rolling around every building you see. Different colors also change different instruments in the soundtrack. You’re even part of a resistance group called the Color Underground, which is one of the most anti fascist phrases imaginable.Mirror’s EdgeThe first-person parkour game Mirror’s Edge has its flaws but the exhilaration that comes from leaping between rooftops with such an intimate view is something few other games can top. Plus, the game ginned up a great in-universe, anti fascist explanation for this mechanic. In a pure white city where information is controlled, runners use their bodies to physically ferry forbidden facts by seeing the perfect hidden path painted in red. Here, the graffiti is more in your mind, but its secrets just make it more powerful.Sideway: New YorkSideway: New York is a game I hadn’t heard of until researching this story, and I’m bummed it took me so long to check it out. This sidescroller has you hopping across New York literally as a graffiti drawing wrapping around building walls. It’s like the painting-traversal mechanic in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds with the added bonus of being an affront to the state.Jet Set RadioBut when it comes to anti fascist graffiti games, the king is still Jet Set Radio. With its rebellious style and (that at times came at the expense of substance) Sega definitely tapped into the 1990s anti fascist zeitgeist. Sonic the Hedgehog, despite what you heard, isn’t just about going fast. Sega’s poster boy is also about sticking it to the Nintendo empire and liberating animals from machines with can-do spirit.Jet Set Radio, released in 2000 for famous doomed console the Dreamcast, felt like the climax of this philosophy. The game is all about skating around the city with your gang spraying walls, claiming turf, and fighting evil corporations on top of giant turntables. It’s anti fascist AF.In 2017, we should all be against fascism. It shouldn’t be controversial. But if you still need a little extra motivation (besides the news) then these video games, these anti fascist Games of the Year, are a good place to start. Or just cut to the chase and slaughter some Nazis.View as: One Page Slides1/61. In Marc Ecko’s Getting Up you fight fascism with your spray cans and your fists.2. In De Blob you fight fascism by rolling colors around.3. In Sideway: New York you fight fascism by literally turning into graffiti.4. In Splatoon you fight fascism as both a squid and a kid.5. In Mirror’s Edge you fight fascism by running across rooftops.6. Jet Set Radio is the crown jewel of Sega’s anti fascist aesthetic.Check back next week to read about the next Game of the Year!Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Review: ‘Fantasy Strike’ Is A Fighting Game That Understands…Game of the Year: Jordan Minor’s Best Video Games of 2018 last_img read more

Iran leader unveils economy of resistance

first_imgIran says its non-oil exports have increased to about $40 billion a year, showing an annual 20 percent increase.Iran and the six-nation group _ the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany _ began talks for a final deal in Vienna Tuesday.Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in Iran, has said he had accepted the talks but doubts they will succeed, saying Washington is using the nuclear issue as an “excuse” to pressure the country.In his order, Khamenei has asked the government to closely monitor sanctions and impose costs on the “enemy,” a reference to the U.S.The West suspects that some Iranian nuclear activities are intended to give it the ability to build a weapon. Iran denies this, saying its program is for peaceful purposes.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran’s top leader ordered the government Wednesday to create an “economy of resistance” to counter sanctions imposed over Tehran’s nuclear program.Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Western sanctions “a full-fledged economic war” and said Iran is determined to force the West to retreat.Iran has been hit hard by sanctions that have hit, among other targets, its vital oil sector. The program requires the government to diversify Iran’s exports, reduce dependence on sales of raw materials and promote knowledge-based high-tech industries. “If (Iran) pursues … an economy of resistance, we will overcome economic problems and will defeat the enemy … that has imposed a full-fledged economic war against this great nation,” he said in his order which was posted on his website leader.ir.Under the program, the government must take action to expand production and export of knowledge-based products, increase domestic production of strategic goods and develop markets in neighboring countries. It also encourages greater privatization and increased exports of electricity, gas, petrochemical and oil by-products instead of crude oil and other raw materials.Iranian officials say it will be harder to target oil byproducts with sanctions that it will be to target crude.Western sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program also shut Iran out of the international banking system, making it hard for its remaining customers in Asia and elsewhere to pay.An interim nuclear deal reached in November with world powers has eased some sanctions but the core remains in place _ including measures targeting Iran’s oil exports, the pillar of its economy.Crude oil exports account for nearly 80 percent of Iran’s foreign revenue but have been reduced by half in the past two years due to stepped up sanctions. It currently exports about 1 million barrels a day _ compared to 2.2 million in 2011. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Vibe Hotels relaunches as a lifestyle hotel brand

first_imgThe lifestyle hotel revolution highlights the most important aspects of a hotel for guests that want to continue their lifestyle away from home. Brought about by demand from connected travellers, it has brought to the forefront the need for focus on relaxation, stimulation and escape, self-development and social interaction, all of which are synonymous features with the lifestyle hotel category.TFE (Toga Far East) Hotels’ own lifestyle offering, Vibe Hotels, pioneered the lifestyle category in Australia, and incorporates these features into the Vibe guest experience in a way that is inspired by this new era of travel.Furthermore, Vibe’s next-generation of hotels are attracting stylish and modern travellers in new locations across Australia, including Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport, the first hotel in the Vibe next-generation offering and following from the opening of Vibe Hotel Marysville earlier in the year, which was positioned as a ‘taste’ of the new Vibe brand and connected aspects.Next-generation Vibe Hotels’ fresh approach to lifestyle accommodation connects guests with their surrounds through local experiences, food, design and service.With a predominant focus on inspiration, escape and self development, everything in the next-generation Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport is designed to enhance the guest’s experience of the locale, a key aspect of true lifestyle hotels.From the design, layout, locally inspired artworks and a mini bar filled with local produce through to the sensory and focus on social and collective space available in bars, restaurants, and facilities.Another hallmark of a lifestyle hotel is the superior design and decor of the hotel and rooms, as well as resources and work spaces that see guests continuing their day-to-day life in an uninterrupted way.Incorporating this philosophy, Vibe Hotels’ new light blue colour pallet throughout each next-generation hotel provides a rejuvenating take on the previous lime green and purple.With 191 stylish rooms, Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport is also one of the largest hotels in the nation’s capital. Its First Class rooms and apartments are a haven from the outside world, offering a soothing escape with modern natural finishes.Each room reflects the local environment, with circular design features, art and soft furnishings, making Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport an outstanding hotel choice.Fit Food menu options, a fully equipped gym, local running track maps and an in-room yoga channel ensure guests feel fit, healthy and revitalised, their way.Vibe provides guests with free WiFi through bedrooms and communal hotel areas, as lifestyle hotels also understand how important it is to be connected all times, to either friends, family or for work purposes.In-person socialising is possible at Helix Bar & Dining in Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport which acts as a bustling restaurant, impromptu workspace and gathering point by day and bar by night, with locally-roasted coffee, cocktails infused with local ingredients and modern European cuisine.Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport officially opens in November. Vibe HotelsSource = TFE Hotelslast_img read more

Independent Mortgage Bankers Double Q3 Profit MBA

first_img Agents & Brokers Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association Processing Service Providers 2011-12-09 Ryan Schuette December 9, 2011 444 Views Independent Mortgage Bankers Double Q3 Profit: MBA Brokers and loan officers with independent mortgage banks and subsidiaries saw profit margins for their loans more than double on average over the last quarter, according to the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA).[IMAGE]The trade group released its findings in the Third Quarter 2011 Mortgage Bankers Performance Report, which it drummed up with production data reports from fewer than 300 companies.The MBA reported that loan originations averaged $1,263 over the third quarter, more than a few dollars up from $575 recorded for every loan originated by bankers during the second quarter.””Higher volume helped profitability as production costs were spread over a greater number of loans,”” “”Marina Walsh””:http://www.mbaa.org/marinawalshbio.htm, MBA’s AVP of industry analysis, said in a statement. “”Third quarter production expenses dropped on a per-loan basis as volume rose, although expenses remained high by historical standards when compared to other quarters with similar volume,”” she said.[COLUMN_BREAK]By basis points, average production profit hovered at around 66.37 basis points over the third quarter, significantly up from 32.86 basis points recorded over the second quarter ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a rise that the MBA called the best quarterly result since originations entered a refinancing surge over the same time last year.Average production volume spiraled upward from $174 million at 866 loans per company over the last quarter to crest at $237 million at 1,114 loans per company over the third quarter.””At the same time, secondary marketing income rose from $4,006 per loan in the second quarter of 2011 to $4,563 per loan in the third quarter of 2011,”” Walsh added. “”Secondary marketing gains improved as primary-secondary spreads widened in the third quarter.””In line with higher profitability, the refinance share of originations leapt from 36 percent over the second quarter this year to 45 percent over the third quarter.In better news for loan originators, operating expenses ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô including commissions, compensation, and equipment ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô deflated with a fall from $5,644 per loan over the second quarter this year to $5,315 per loan over the third quarter.Personnel expense meanwhile declined from $3,561 per loan over the second quarter to $3,317 per loan over the third quarter.The MBA said that the net cost for originations declined from $3,513 per loan over the second quarter to $3,360 over the third quarter.FICO scores for borrowers also rose on average to 734 over the third quarter this year, up from 729 over the second quarter.center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Sharelast_img read more