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Club sponsors autism conference

first_imgNotre Dame’s Special Friends Club will hold its fifth annual Autism Conference on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Carey Auditorium of the Hesburgh Library.Vanderbilt pediatrics professor and Notre Dame alumna Julie Lounds Taylor will give a talk titled “Understanding the Transition to Adulthood with Autism Spectrum Disorder.”Sophomore Thomas Gordon, a member of the Special Friends Club, said Taylor is a leader in examining how people with autism interact with the rest of society.“Dr. Taylor’s research program investigates how individual, family and societal factors interact to promote healthy development, and she is especially interested in how families experience the transition to adulthood for young adults affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD),” Gordon said.Gordon said the Special Friends  Club aims to bring speakers to the conference who have made a significant commitment to fighting autism.“The beauty of the Autism Conference is the professionals invited to speak at the event,” he said.“Past speakers have represented a group of individuals who have impacted the knowledge we have of ASD through their research and a lifelong commitment to helping us come closer to understanding ASD.”The Special Friends Club’s president, senior Christina Mondi said our society needs to develop better strategies for supporting autistic individuals and their families.“According to the [Center for Disease Control], roughly 1 [out of] 88 children will be diagnosed with ASD,” Mondi said. “Almost all students will inevitably have a family member, friend, colleague, classmate or neighbor affected by autism. … It is incredibly important that students be aware not only of what autism is, but of how they can play a role in supporting those whose lives and families are affected by it in the classroom, workplace and community. This is not a special interest topic.”The Notre Dame community can help make the transition to adulthood for people with autism smoother, Mondi said.“If individuals with ASD are to reach their fullest potentials as they move into adulthood, they will need the understanding and support of their classmates and community members in doing so,” she said. “This is an area where we, as young college students and emerging professionals, could make a real difference in forging a culture of acceptance for our peers affected by ASD.”The event is open and free for all students. For more information, visit the conference’s website.Tags: Autism conference, Special friends clublast_img read more

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Malaysian PM quarantines after minister tests positive for COVID-19

first_imgMalaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday said he will self quarantine for 14 days after a minister who attended a high-level government meeting to discuss coronavirus developments on Saturday tested positive for COVID-19.The Southeast Asian country has seen a steady climb in cases in the past week in the aftermath of an election in the state of Sabah in Borneo on Sept 26.Authorities in Malaysia have warned that coronavirus restrictions may have to be reimposed if the trend continues, amid popular anger towards politicians who have been blamed for the spike. In a statement, Muhyiddin confirmed that Religious Affairs Minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri had tested positive, and that those identified as close contacts at Saturday’s National Security Council meeting to discuss COVID-19 had been issued a 14-day home surveillance order starting Oct 3.”Pursuant to that, I will undergo self-quarantine at my home for 14 days as advised by the health ministry,” Muhyiddin said.”However, this will not interrupt government business. I will continue to work from home and use video conferencing to conduct meetings as necessary.”In an earlier statement, the health ministry said contact tracing had been carried out, including symptom screening and collection of swabs to detect COVID-19 infections.In a Facebook post on Monday, Zulkifli confirmed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was now undergoing treatment.In a separate statement, Malaysia’s health ministry reported 432 new daily cases on Monday, setting a new record since the country started tracking the pandemic.Topics :last_img read more

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Georgia running back D’Andre Swift injured vs. Georgia Tech

first_imgMORE: Week 14 college football schedule Georgia running back D’Andre Swift was injured in the Bulldogs’ game at rival Georgia Tech on Saturday.Swift was tackled near the goal line in the third quarter, fumbling on the same play. He later left the field and was seen on the trainer’s table holding his left shoulder. He appears to have been ruled out for the remainder of the game. Luckily for Georgia, it appears Swift’s injury will not extend past Saturday’s game against the Yellow Jackets. He was seen on the sideline telling offensive lineman Solomon Kindley that his injury “wasn’t that bad.”D’Andre Swift appears to say regarding his shoulder “…they said it wasn’t bad.” #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/SIZDsTmvpD— SicEmDawgs.com (@SicEmDawgscom) November 30, 2019The Bulldogs will likely need Swift for next week’s game against No. 1 LSU in the SEC championship game in Atlanta. Swift leads the Bulldogs with 1,203 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, including the stats he compiled against the Yellow Jackets.Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will take a 38-7 lead into fourth quarter.last_img read more

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South African writers head for Edinburgh book fest

first_img5 August 2014South Africa’s best-known authors have been invited to participate in this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival, “the world’s largest public celebration of the written word”, taking place in the Scottish capital from 9 to 25 August.Damon Galgut, Zakes Mda and Mpho Tutu feature as part of the “Voices from South Africa” programme. Lauren Beukes, Niq Mhlongo, Margie Orford and Mark Gevisser also form part of the South African contingent represented at the festival.Author CA Davids has been nominated for the festival’s First Book Award for her novel, The Blacks of Cape Town. The award is chosen by the public, and voting closes on 17 October.Vote now: First Book AwardThe Edinburgh International Book Festival is one of the most important events on the world’s publishing calendar, with an estimated 220 000 visitors expected to attend this year’s event.The “Voices from South Africa” theme focuses on novelists and writers from South Africa whose works are “making waves internationally”. The programme reads:Twenty years since the end of apartheid, South Africa is still struggling to make sense of itself as a democracy. Yet despite its political troubles (or perhaps because of them?) the country is building a powerful community of novelists and writers whose work is now making waves internationally. Alongside Mpho Tutu, literary heavyweights Damon Galgut and Zakes Mda join us in 2014, along with the brilliant crime writer Margie Orford, stunning debuts from CA Davids and Rosie Rowell, bestselling thriller writer Lauren Beukes and one of the fastest rising new stars of the South African scene, Niq Mhlongo.If you happen to be in Edinburgh this month, look out for Mpho Tutu in conversation with Ruth Wishart on 21 August, when they talk about the pain of reconciliation and The Book of Forgiving, co-written with her father, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.Galgut’s reading workshop, which will take a close look at EM Forster’s classic A Passage to India, is on 19 August.Check the Edinburgh Book Festival site for booking and more details: www.edbookfest.co.uk.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Dale Minyo’s “Sustainability Statement”

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I think we in agriculture should come up with our own “Sustainability Statement” — one that is straightforward and doesn’t take advantage of the lack of knowledge of others.This week in a grocery store I overheard a man telling a potential customer that they only sell non-GMO maple syrup. Much to the dismay of my wife, I got involved in the conversation by asking how much of today’s maple syrup is GMO?  His answer was: “Well there really isn’t any.” So why make such a statement? Do we really want to get in the business of selling our products because the customer doesn’t know any better? Maybe we have been and this is the next step.Our sustainability pledge should not play on the lack of knowledge of others. We could pledge to only use milk from cows with four legs. We all know how hard it is for the three-legged cows to get to the feed bunk and then to the milk parlor. I pledge to eat eggs from chickens with two legs just because three legged chickens are really hard to find. We could pledge to only sell crops from plants that grow. You can help with this pledge too. Remember keep it simple and straightforward.While these examples may sound funny, they are not far removed from the realities that are being advertised on grocery shelves and restaurant menus. In response to this growing problem, national farm association leaders recently unveiled plans for a “Straight Talk” campaign to engage the food industry in a dialogue on sustainable agriculture production, the marketing practices used to reach consumers, and the intersection of both trends. The campaign combines input from farmer leaders and agricultural academic researchers addressing why sustainability and food biotechnology are linked.Dannon, for example, recently announced an effort to move away from GMO ingredients, sparking the response from the agricultural industry.“This effort to deselect GMOs — done in the name of sustainability — misleads consumers about the sustainability of today’s biotechnology-enhanced crops. In fact, GMOs promote sustainability because they allow farmers to be better stewards of the water, soil, air, and habitat on and around their land…That is why we consider Dannon’s marketing claim to be not only deceptive to consumers, but also potentially restrictive to our ability, as farmers, to choose the best management practices needed for raising food,” said Chip Bowling, National Corn Growers Association chairman and 
U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance board member. “As farmers and ranchers, we strive for, and strongly support, open, honest and transparent engagement with consumers and food companies. We are committed to providing healthy choices for all consumers — at the same time that we’re being asked to improve environmental quality. We cannot do both, however, if companies such as Dannon restrict our ability to use the technologies that have helped us improve food production and environmental quality.”last_img read more

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Can Algorithms Make You Laugh? Laffster Is Counting On It

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Geoffrey Plitt – Standup Demo from Geoffrey Plitt on Vimeo.Altmann and Plitt started hosting think-tank like meetings bringing together creative executives and researchers, dissecting what makes us laugh. “Not looking at what is funny but (asking) what about this is funny,” Altmann told me. It was at one of these talks that they met the lauded cartoonist Mankoff and agreed to work together. Everyone says when you have to explain a joke it’s not funny anymore. But maybe this exception to the rule finally shows us how wrong we might have been… and why no one laughs at our jokes. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts “We know what you think is funny.”That’s what the folks over at Venice, Calif., startup Laffster are claiming. Last week the MuckerLab-accelerated company closed a $750,000 seed round and launched its first product, an online political comedy-discovery app called Mock the Vote. The app features articles and videos on political news, dividing content by red, blue or undecided leanings. Think The Daily Show and The Colbert Report segments, curated to your politics.There may actually be a business opportunity here. Besides CollegeHumor and FunnyOrDie, it’s a relatively small field for such a huge social interest. A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that in 2009, 50% of adults watched online comedy videos, up from just 31% in 2007.Learning What Makes You LaughLaffster is confident its special sauce can make those numbers continue to go up. They really do believe they know what you think is funny. The service uses special IP technology that it says learns over time what makes you laugh. This politically satirical app is the first of what will likely be other themed applications the company plans to publish in the near future.“We want to marry someone to content and what would make them laugh based on their social media profiles,” explained chief executive Dan Altmann. “When it comes to (online) comedy, there’s no personalization.”So how do these yahoos come up with laughable content? Believe it or not, it’s all science. And math. Huh? What? That’s not funny. Well…it could be. Laffster, Altmann says, taps into peoples’ comedic sensibilities by the service’s highly detailed software, and by incorporating peoples’ online footprints to help understand what they like, much the same way Facebook uses your likes and friends to make suggestions. In the end, it’s all psychology.Can Algorithms Be Funny?The team behind Laffster created an algorithm that tracks keywords for what makes you laugh. The company hired an academic comedy researcher (A humorologist. Seriously.) at the University of Colorado, a neuroscientist at Dartmouth University, and Bob Mankoff, a long-time cartoonist at the New Yorker. The company’s co-founders have something of a comedy pedigree, too. Chief technology officer Geoff Plitt, is a standup comedian and a former Google engineer (that’s right a code-crunching comic). And chief executive Dan Altmann is formerly of Barry Diller’s InterActive Corp., which owns CollegeHumor. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Funny MoneyThe company’s monetization plan is geared towards in-app advertising, licensing content and sponsorships. Right now Laffster is working with the the comedy club the Laugh Factory, engaging users with political videos coming out of their clubs; it is also feeding and creating custom content with Maker Studios’ POLIPOP YouTube channel. “One third of all Americans 40 years old and younger see satirical sources like Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert as being replacements of traditional news sources,” said Altmann, referring to recent analyst reports. “This is how we source our news, believe it or not, through satirical sources. We wanted to lock into something immediately and see what’s going on in the world but in a way that Stewart or Colbert would do and laugh at it.” Tags:#apps#startups Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting adam popesculast_img read more

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Ahmedabad launches air quality index linked to health advisories

first_imgAHMEDABAD The people of Ahmedabad may soon find information on air pollution levels flashing on LED boards on the city roads, along with accompanying messages asking them to take precautions. This is part of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC) new health-based initiative to reduce the adverse impact of rising air pollution on the city’s seven million residents.The civic body is launching a comprehensive Air Quality Index (AQI) and Air Information and Response (AIR) plan that would include an air pollution alert system and health risk communication based on real-time data.“The initiative, the first of its kind, involves five key factors: health risk communication, inter-agency coordination, capacity-building of the medical staff, targeted activities for vulnerable groups such as school children, senior citizens, and people with asthma or lung disease, and research on mitigation pathways,” said Anjali Jaiswal, a senior official in the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC), which has partnered with AMC to launch the new program.According to the plan, eight air quality monitors in Ahmedabad and two in Gandhinagar will collect data on smog and toxic pollutants and feed it into the system which would generate the AQI. This would then be used to inform residents on when to take precautions so that they can minimise exposure to harm.When the AQI is designated as “very poor” (301-400), it triggers a health alert, which would be disseminated by the civic body through various communication channels, including social media platforms and traditional media, and also displayed in colour-coded messages on a dozen large LED screens installed across the city. The AQI is supported by technical expertise from the Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and the Indian Meteorological Department’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), which operate the AQI in Delhi, Pune and Mumbai.“Ahmedabad’s AIR plan is based on global best practices on AQI health risk communication from Beijing, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and New Delhi. With this, we want to prove that you can have clean air and prosperity without compromising on the health of the communities living in the city,” said Ms Jaiswal.last_img read more

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Pacquiao: Review fight

first_imgEthel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES MOST READ View comments Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Pacquiao had a rematch clause in the contract, meaning the 38-year-old Filipino could negotiate to fight Horn again before the end of the year.Horn won the majority of the early rounds on all judge’s cards, but Pacquaio rallied and had opportunities to end the fight in the 9th when he had the Australian schoolteacher wobbling and on the ropes. Horn recovered and won the next round, setting up a battle of attrition in the two closing rounds. —APSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Nikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekendcenter_img 9 games, 9 days: Gilas PH opens Jones Cup bid vs Canada Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games The 11-time world champion cited a request by the Philippines’ Games and Amusements Board, or GAB, to World Boxing Organization president Francisco Valcarcel for a thorough review of the refereeing and judging of the bout, which was staged outdoors in front of more than 51,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium.The WBO should take action on the Philippine request “so as not to erode the people’s interest in boxing,” Pacquiao said. “I had already accepted the decision but as a leader and, at the same time, fighter, I have the moral obligation to uphold sportsmanship, truth and fairness in the eyes of the public.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“I love boxing and I don’t want to see it dying because of unfair decision and officiating,” he said.In their July 3 letter to Valcarcel, GAB officials expressed concerns about “the possible errors of the referee and the three judges who officiated the subject fight.” Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ “We … request for a thorough review by the WBO for possible miscalls of the referee where some deductions were not made and of the judges in their judging that have caused varying opinions on their objectivity,” the statement said.Pacquiao’s trainers were critical of the referee for not doing more to stop or penalize head clashes and neck holds. They highlighted statistics that showed Pacquiao, who needed stitches to two cuts in his hairline that resulted from head clashes, landed twice as many punches.Commentators from ESPN, which broadcast the fight live in the US, were among the most vocal critics of the outcome.All three judges awarded it to Horn, with American Waleska Roldan’s 117-111 score attracting most of the criticism. US judge Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan of Argentina each scored it much closer at 115-113.Top Rank promotor Bob Arum said it was a “close fight. It could have gone either way.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Manny Pacquiao, right, of the Philippines and Jeff Horn of Australia fight during their WBO World welterweight title bout in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, July 2, 2017. Pacquiao lost his WBO welterweight world title to Horn in a stunning, unanimous points decision in the Sunday afternoon bout billed as the Battle of Brisbane in front of more than 50,000 people. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)Manny Pacquiao asked the WBO to act on a request by Philippine sports officials for a review of his welterweight world title loss to Jeff Horn, saying he didn’t want to see the boxing industry “dying because of unfair decision and officiating.”While Pacquiao has accepted his defeat to Horn, who fought in his first world title bout in Sunday’s so-called “Battle of Brisbane,” the Philippine senator said in a statement Wednesday he had a “moral obligation to uphold sportsmanship, truth and fairness.”ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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$1M Upgrading for New Roads Water Tank in Westmoreland

first_imgMONTEGO BAY – The New Roads community water tank in Westmoreland, which serves over 2000 residents, has been rehabilitated at a cost of just over $1 million.Funding for the project was jointly provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) of State Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for East Westmoreland, where the facility is located, Hon. Luther Buchanan.The USAID provided some $582,000 (approximately US$6000), while just over $480,000 (US$5000) was allocated from the CDF.The Social Development Commission (SDC) spearheaded the project’s implementation with support from the East Westmoreland Straw Craft Producers Co-operative, and Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), among other stakeholders.Speaking at Friday’s (March 22) handing over ceremony for the tank, State Minister for Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan, underscored the need to enhance the ability of communities to tap into and access potential water sources for storage, in order to alleviate challenges such as drought. In this regard, he said rehabilitation of the New Roads water tank is indicative of what can be achieved through collaboration by various private and public sector stakeholders, in addressing such challenges. In his remarks, Mr. Buchanan urged the residents to ensure the facility is properly maintained so that itCONTACT: GARFIELD L. ANGUSlast_img read more