OhmyNews forum discusses experiences in citizen journalism

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Seoul —

The OhmyNews International Citizen Reporters’ Forum (see previous report) concluded on Saturday with several speeches and a visit to sponsoring companies in South Korea’s technology sector. Some invited “citizen reporters” from around the world extended their stay by several days to tour the country. Since the conclusion of the conference, presentations and transcripts have been published on the OhmyNews web site. [1]

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Blue Cross Blue Shield Connected To The Community

By Pat Stevens

Oldest Health Benefit Provider Committed to Improving Health Care

75 years ago Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) was created to ensure healthcare for lumber and mining workers in the Pacific Northwest and hospital coverage for teachers in Texas. Now providing care benefits to more than 94 million Americans, BCBS is the oldest and largest health insurance companies in the United States.

With plans in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, the BCBS Association serves as the trade organization for the 38 independently run local BCBS health benefit groups that serve 1 in 3 Americans. Using their clout to create a national presence, BCBS offers numerous community programs that are dedicated to education, research and collaboration. Programs related to research and professional development includes the Foundation on Health Care and the Academy for Health Care Management. Those associated with public education consist of labor outreach through the National Labor Organization (NLO), an educational campaign, focusing on the issue of performance enhancing drugs, called Healthy Competition and the PBS television series Second Opinion.

BCBS Foundation on Health Care

The BCBS Foundation on Health Care, which is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit group, coordinates health service research amongst numerous organizations across the nation. The Foundation acts as a facilitator between government agencies, colleges and universities and health plans. It sponsors both the Health Services Research Advisory Council (HSRAC), composed of nationally recognized health care experts, and the Health Services Research Alliance (HSRA), whose participating institutions are located in 25 states.

The HSRAC helps to identify key areas of and provide guidance in multi-plan health services research, offers input regarding how changes in the accessibility and delivery of health care may impact individuals, groups and communities and gives assistance relating to the funding and development of potential studies.

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Organizations within the HSRA work collaboratively through the BCBS Foundation to provide key studies that are population and evidence-based. The Foundation is dedicated to creating important partnerships between various institutions, expanding funding opportunities and strengthening its presence in the health insurance and health care community. The group disseminates information relating to health care conferences, promotes data based studies relating to medical issues and works to improve the quality of services and their delivery.

Academy for Healthcare Management

The academy was formed when the BCBS Association and the American Association of Health Plans and Health Insurance Association of America (AAHP-HIAA) joined forces to offer online educational opportunities for professionals interested in broadening their knowledge of the challenges, priorities and procedures connected to managed care operations. Participants are given the opportunity to utilize up-to-date management concepts in everyday, real world situations, learning via instant response and assessment.

Course materials, which are regularly modified, provide students with information, principles and problems designed to solidify basic knowledge and expand upon advanced concepts and practices as they relate to the healthcare industry. Upon completing coursework, along with earning Continuing Education credits, students can be designated as a Professional, Academy of Healthcare Management (PAHM) or Fellow, Academy of Healthcare Management (FAHM).

National Labor Office

BCBS created the NLO over forty years ago, and they continue to fund it today. The NLO is the arm for labor outreach, which focuses on keeping union members abreast of health care developments, strengthening ties to organized labor and providing quality programs and services to the over 20 million union members and their families.

Primarily, NLO acts as a liaison between BCBS and labor, providing educational materials, developing relationships between various organizations and offering important information. Pending legislation, new healthcare products, developing trends, managed care and bargaining strategies are all addressed by the NLO.

Along with communicating with unions, the NLO facilitates the exchange of information and discussion of issues between union officials and BCBS senior officers. Together, they work to address concerns specific to each union, including developing a healthier working environment, defining value-related healthcare and supplying health plan analysis, reporting and design.

The NLO communicates with unions via newsletters, the web and informational meetings as well as through its central office.

Healthy Competition

The Healthy Competition program was developed by BCBS in response to the increased use and popularity of performance enhancing drugs by both professional and amateur athletes. Healthy Competition encourages those involved in athletics to safeguard their health and the integrity of their sport by competing drug free.

The program offers information related to drug use, sports and good health. It delineates profiles of the three types of performance enhancing drugsstimulants, blood doping substances and anabolic steroids. Healthy Competition supports research and education and promotes public awareness through various initiatives.

PBS Second Opinion

BCBS provides sponsorship for the 2005-2006 season of Second Opinion, the PBS series that engages various medical professionals in discussion of actual medical cases. The program attempts to broaden the publics understanding of medical issues, choices and procedures encountered in our complex and ever changing world.

BCBS is the major health benefit provider in America. It has grown greatly since its initiation 75 years ago. However, through a commitment to professional and public education and betterment, it continues to focus on serving individual groups, as it did when it first started providing benefits to teachers, lumbermen and miners.

About the Author: By Pat Stevens sponsored by http://www.mostchoice.com/ a free service that helps consumers locate

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Slippery business: Materials scientists invent new coating for self-cleaning, water-efficient toilets

Thursday, November 21, 2019

In findings published on Monday in Nature Sustainability, researchers mostly from Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) in the U.S. reported the invention of a new coating that could reduce bacterial growth, water waste, and odor when sprayed onto an ordinary house toilet by rendering its surface too slippery for anything to remain attached for long.

According to the research team, half of all people worldwide are affected by limits on their water supply, while daily fresh water usage to flush the planet’s roughly 1 billion toilets and flush urinals is upwards of 141 billion liters (about 37 billion U.S. gallons, 31 billion imperial gallons); which they note is several times larger than the total rate of water consumption for the continent of Africa. Inventions that render the facilities more water-efficient, they reason, could have a profound impact on wastewater management, sustainable water use, and sanitation, possibly cutting the amount of water used to flush waste by, reportedly, a factor of two.

“Our team” study co-author Tak-Sing Wong said in a press release “has developed a robust bio-inspired, liquid, sludge-, and bacteria-repellent coating that can essentially make a toilet self-cleaning[.]” Wong is Penn State’s Wormley Early Career Professor of Engineering and an associate professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering.

Co-developer Jing Wang recounted, “When we put that coating on a toilet in the lab and dump synthetic fecal matter on it, [the synthetic fecal matter] just completely slides down and nothing sticks to [the coated surface.]”

The more something sticks to a surface, the more water it takes to rinse it off. The researchers reported inventing a coating good at resisting substances that are sticky and vary profoundly in viscosity across their mass—like human fecal matter. They also reported the coating repels bacteria, which has implications for preventing the spread of disease and certainly reduces smells.

The invention, called a liquid-entrenched smooth surface (LESS) coating, involves two separate treatments, both presented as suitable for spraying onto ceramics amongst other materials. The first spray is made of molecularly grafted polymers, specifically polydimethylsiloxane silicone, that Wang described as resembling human hairs — though vastly thinner — once it has dried on the target surface, which makes the surface very smooth. The second spray covers the target surface in silicone lubricant. According to the report, the two-spray process is complete in under five minutes and lasts for roughly 500 flushes before requiring reapplication. Existing treatments have tended to take hours to set.

Carl Hensman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which offered a contest for redesigning the toilet some years ago, noted the ingredients in the sprays are also found in commonly used products like — in the case of the first spray — toothpaste, and are unlikely to pollute nearby water supplies; though he also remarked that, because the spray wears off, it was unlikely to be used widely in developing countries as the researchers claim to hope.

Wong and three of his co-authors have started a company, spotLESS Materials, to transform their invention into a product. He remarked, “As a researcher in an academic setting, my goal is to invent things that everyone can benefit from […] As a Penn Stater, I see this culture being amplified through entrepreneurship, and I’m excited to contribute.” They have received support from the Rice Business Plan Competition, Ben Franklin Technology Partners’ TechCelerator, Y-Combinator, and the United States’ National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and Office of Naval Research.

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U.S. heiress, designer, and author Gloria Vanderbilt dies at 95

Thursday, June 20, 2019

U.S. heiress Gloria Vanderbilt died on Monday at the age of 95, her son Anderson Cooper announced. She had advanced stomach cancer. Scion of the wealthy Vanderbilt family and the subject of a heavily publicized custody battle early in life, she later also became a performer, artist, and designer of porcelain, linens, and a well-known line of designer jeans.

Anderson Cooper, of CNN, one of Vanderbilt’s four sons, stated, “Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms […] She was a painter, a writer, and designer but also a remarkable mother, wife, and friend. She was 95 years old, but ask anyone close to her, and they’d tell you, she was the youngest person they knew, the coolest, and most modern.”

Vanderbilt was born in 1924 into the wealthy Vanderbilt family, great-great granddaughter of the railroad and shipping tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt. Her father, Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, died with liver disease when she was one. At the age of ten, Vanderbilt was the subject of a heavily publicized custody battle between her widowed mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, and her aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who controlled a large piece of the Vanderbilt fortune. Her aunt won.

Although she had a trust fund worth US$5 million that she shared with one half-sister, over the course of her life, Vanderbilt also earned income herself through various pursuits. Encouraged to explore creative outlets by a psychotherapist, Vanderbilt took acting lessons and eventually performed on stage in The Time of Your Life in 1955 and appeared on television programs. She also focused on art and design, creating paintings, collages, linens, and a brand of designer jeans that would generate millions in sales. In 1990, the Smithsonian museum featured her jeans alongside the works of designers including Coco Chanel in an exhibit on gender and style.

Syracuse University pop culture professor Robert Thompson remarked, “The thing that really made Gloria Vanderbilt penetrate the American consciousness was the blue jeans war of the late ’70s and early 1980s […] The jeans moved from being functional clothes to designer jeans […] it was her attempt to take something that was so unglamorous and invest it in high fashion style.”

Vanderbilt was married to talent agent Pasquale “Pat” Di Cicco; conductor Leopold Stokowski, who fathered two of her sons; director Sidney Lumet; and author Wyatt Cooper; but, according to her memoirs, also had some degree of romantic involvement with, amongst others, Errol Flynn, Frank Sinatra, and Marlon Brando. She would later say her union with Cooper was her only happy marriage.

Vanderbilt also authored several books, including the memoirs Once Upon a Time and Black Knight, White Knight and the 2009 novel Obsession, which the New York Times called “the steamiest book ever written by an octogenarian.”

Vanderbilt is survived by two sons with Stokowski, Stanislaus and Christopher, and by her son Anderson Cooper. Another son, Carter Cooper, predeceased her.

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Stock markets worldwide rise on hopes of US economic recovery

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stock indexes worldwide rose on Friday, after US bank chief Ben Bernanke said that the US economy was starting to recover from the recession.

Addressing a conference in Wyoming, the bank chief said that “the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good.”

He added, however, that “the economic recovery is likely to be relatively slow at first, with unemployment declining only gradually from high levels.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 155.91 points, or 1.67%, to end the day at 9505.96. The Nasdaq reached 2020.90 points after gaining 1.59%. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, meanwhile, struck a ten-month high, reaching a level of 1,026.13 at the closing bell, up 1.9%.

The British FTSE index rose about two percent, closing at 4,851. The French Cac index gained 3.1% and the German Dax 2.8%.

“Bernanke was a little bit more bullish than most people were expecting. He’s saying that the global economy is starting to emerge from the recession and that the fears of a financial collapse have receded substantially,” said Jacob Oubina, the currency strategist of Forex.com.

“I think the market is just taking those headlines as extreme positives for the outlook.”

Jean-Claude Trichet, the European Central Bank president, warned that talk of a complete recovery might be premature. “I am a little bit uneasy when I see that, because we have some green shoots here and there, we are already saying, ‘well, after all, we are close to back to normal,’ ” he said.

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Queensland Lawyers Either Solicitors Or Barristers

Queensland Lawyers either Solicitors or Barristers

by

cmclawyers

In Queensland, a lawyer is the one who has been admitted to the Supreme Court. In some places like USA they commonly use \”Attorney\” instead of saying a lawyer. Here in Queensland there is a difference between a lawyer and an attorney. Attorney in Queensland is the person who conducts affairs of another person under an instrument called a Power of Attorney.

To become a lawyer of the Supreme Court of Queensland, it will take many years of legal studies and should passed rigorous character assessment. Queensland lawyers can be registered as an Australian Legal Practitioner and are admitted as either solicitors or barristers or a workers of the government.

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Queensland lawyers have the same university training but it is their choice to work as a barrister or solicitor.

Queensland solicitors – Queensland solicitors see clients in their offices and advise them. They are the first port call for clients requiring legal services and the ones to appear in court for clients. They usually restrict themselves to represent clients in the Magistrates court and briefing barristers in the higher courts. If a client s matter is complex enough to justify it, then the solicitor will recommend engaging a qualified and experienced barrister appropriate to the budget of the client and the nature of their case. The conduct of solicitors is highly governed by the Queensland Law Society.

Queensland barristers – They are the ones who accepts instructions directly from clients but generally accepts instructions upon referral from solicitors. They provide specialized services in the drafting of more complex court documents and as advocates before Courts and Tribunal. They specialise in court advocacy, the preparation of pleadings for court cases, and the preparation of specialist legal opinions.

Queensland lawyer acts as a guide to ensure right conduct in the daily practice of law and somebody who has been trained in the law and is qualified to give legal advice.

If you are looking for lawyers that might help you in your case, I would suggest CMC lawyers. They are of experience, easy to approach and they ve got branches in Brisbane and some regions in Queensland.

With over twenty years experience, the

CMC Lawyers Queensland

are proven to have a high success rate with all their cases.

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Police remove valuables from unlocked cars

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Police officers in Richmond in south-west London, England are removing valuable items like handbags and laptops from unlocked vehicles and leaving notes telling owners to collect their items in Twickenham police station in a bid to try and encourage car drivers to lock the doors of their vehicles.

There is a high number of in-car thefts or “smash and grab” attacks in the borough. Last year, 1,300 of these attacks were reported in the area. 220 of those cases involved satellite navigation systems or sat-navs. But the numbers of these thefts occurring have been rising recently. The figure has risen by 40% until July.

25 cars have been targeted so far but there has been only one car where an item has been removed with a note left for the owner to collect it. If there is nothing on display but the car is unlocked the owner will be sent a letter telling them to be more careful. These tactics should only be attempted by police officers if they cannot find the owner nearby.

The project has received the backing of Richmond Council. A council spokesman from Richmond-upon-Thames said: “We have issues with theft in the borough — particularly theft from cars. We see our borough as a green and pleasant place. Car owners therefore can be lulled into a false sense of security in that they leave items displayed prominently in unlocked cars.”

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Eurozone offers Greece 30 billion euro in loans

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Member states of the eurozone have offered to give Greece thirty billion euro in emergency loans for the debt-stricken country, should the latter want it.

The loans’ price will be determined using formulas by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and will be set at around five percent.

The Luxembourgish prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking on behalf of eurozone finance ministers, commented that “[t]he total amount put up by the eurozone member states for the first year will reach 30bn euros.” He added that “[t]his is certainly no subsidy” to Greece.

The prime minister also noted that financing would be “completed and co-financed” by the IMF. European Union monetary affairs chief Olli Rehn remarked that the IMF would make a “substantial contribution” to the loan package as well, perhaps around ten billion euros.

The Greek economy has spent more than it has earned for several years now, and currently faces a budget deficit equal to 12.9% of its economic output, or a total debt of 300 billion euros. The country intends to try and reduce the deficit to 8.7% this year.

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Glasgow Climate Pact deal struck; nations to reduce coal usage

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (often abbreviated to COP26) has concluded with the signing of the Glasgow Climate Pact. The pact is the first ever deal struck to explicitly plan to reduce coal usage internationally. Coal accounts for around 40% of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emissions and is the highest-emitting fossil fuel in terms of greenhouse gases.

However, BBC News reported that the pledges made still don’t go far enough to limit global warming’s impact to 1.5 degrees Celsius. According to a 2018 Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C, the differences between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius are profound. While 1.5 degrees would help mitigate the worst effects, even 2 degrees Celsius would exacerbate the impacts of climate change internationally.

Though it was initially planned for coal to be entirely phased out, India’s climate minister, Bhupender Yadav, pointed out that this would not be possible for developing nations where they “have still to deal with their development agendas and poverty eradication”. This point refocused the discussion to reduction rather than total elimination at this stage.

COP26 President Alok Sharma said that he was “deeply sorry” for the softening of the pact, stating that it was necessary in order to preserve the deal as a whole. Switzerland’s environment minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, expressed her “profound disappointment”, commenting that it will “not bring us closer to 1.5C, but make it more difficult to reach it.”

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Make Money Online How Twitter Can Help You Make Money

By Stavros Georgiadis

As of July 2010, Twitter is one of the most frequently used online services because it is easy for all people to use. Internet marketers now see the service as one of the most important places do their Internet marketing so they can make money off of their affiliate programs and sites powered by ads.

About Twitter and its Importance for Internet Marketing

Twitter is similar to the other existing social networking sites that focus on bringing friends closer together online. It is mixed with blogging features so users can update other people that are connected to the profile known as followers. The unique feature is the 140 character limitation placing it in the micro-blogging category.

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This 140 character limit may seem like a huge drawback when it comes to Internet marketing, but it is just enough for a website address to fit along with a few important keywords. These posts are called tweets and can be posted for public view for all people in the user’s network to see. Search engines can index these tweets as well so Internet marketers can use their search engine optimization tricks as well. The main importance is the fact that millions of users of all ages are using Twitter marketers in any niche should find it worthwhile to advertise there.

Guide to Make Money

Keep in mind that Twitter does not pay you to do anything and that there are no money making components in the service. Like other social networking sites, you are going to use it as a tool to get your affiliate and website links more visible. You will not go very far without a set of followers to back you up so try to work on that before posting a single ad. People may not follow you once they see that you are in Twitter primarily to show ads to them.

Start off by getting your personal friends to follow you on Twitter if you just made your Twitter account recently. You can use any other social networking sites you are in to advertise your new Twitter account so you can get some followers quickly.

Posting ads on Twitter require some creativity since the limit is just 140 characters. It is a must to have a website link on your advertisements at all times so the tweet has potential to drive traffic there. You can either put your affiliate link if it is short or you can put your website if you purchased a domain and it contains the link. You can also use a URL shortening service like TinyURL to trim the link. If you are still unsure on how to post your ad, try to look for other Twitter profiles that have lots of followers and see how they attract their followers.

Lastly, mix your advertisements with ordinary tweets to give your followers the idea that you are courteous. Posting too many ads may result to you losing followers and that will slow your progress since higher numbers of followers may earn you even more once others see your Twitter profile. Other tweets you can post regularly may include updates to your business site or personal updates. Twitter is a micro-blogging service so you can add links to blog entries if you have a blog set up so your blog gets more traffic too. Once your Twitter account has the potential to make money, advertise your Twitter profile on your website to earn more followers.

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