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Entertainment

Film Review: Nerve

Posted by on Jul 30, 2016

The game of “Nerve” is absurd and preposterous, so it’s only fitting it exists in a film that’s just as absurd and preposterous. It’s an online version of truth or dare without the truth, so sayeth the game’s robotic host. You can sign up as a watcher or player, with the former instigating the dares and the latter partaking in them. Those who sign up as players have all of their sensitive information collected in order to give the watchers an idea of what they’re afraid of. This also serves as the moral of the story, that sharing sensitive information such as credit card info is dangerous in the world of hacking, phishing, and pharming. Said moral is told in silly fashion as it always is in these technological thrillers. What makes “Nerve” absurd isn’t its premise, but the implications surrounding it. We are to believe that the game resides in the dark web, where it has evaded the attention of both the government and the police. It is meant to be kept a secret, yet also lives and breathes on...

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Sports

Lammas Park scoops Junes Outstanding London Sports Venue Award

Posted by on Jul 30, 2016

MyLocalPitch’s ‘Outstanding London Sports Venue Award’ has been won by Will to Win Lammas Park in Ealing. Lammas Park scoops June’s ‘Outstanding London Sports Venue Award’ Outstanding London Sports Venue Award Will to Win was set up 20 years ago to improve sport facilities in public parks and they have been operating Lammas Park since 2000. ‘Sport For All’ is the company motto and this vision is achieved through getting more people into sports and keeping fit all year around by providing attractive, accessible and affordable facilities in public areas.This mantra has produced terrific results and only this month Lammas Park has officially opened three new floodlit astroturf football pitches which can also be used for tennis. Will to Win is having a positive impact as Sport England’s report into participation reports that 39.3% of Ealing locals engage in at least one session a week.The award, which is determined by MyLocalPitch users, was based on pitch quality, venue amenities and customer experience. MyLocalPitch is a platform for sports players who want to find and book sports venues in London. Users have...

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Politics

Mysterious Korean Word:

Posted by on Apr 2, 2017

Korean culture is more community focused, and this strong sense of collectivism is deeply permeated in the Korean language. If you study Korean, you will hear “ 우리_____” on a daily basis. Direct translation of “우리” is “we” or “our” in English. However, this is one of those Korean words you often do not want to translate literally. For example, what does “우리 아내” and “우리 남편” mean? Its direct translation would be “our wife” and “our husband” in English. Your response may be something like this: “Uh~, isn’t monogamy the legal practice in Korea?” You might find that these Korean expressions seem quiet strange to your ears. In many cases, you cannot directly translate the meaning of “우리” as “our” in English. “우리 아내” and “우리 남편” actually mean “my wife” and “my husband” in English. Why is this Korean word “우리” deeply permeated in the Korean language? Korean culture emphasizes the value of the group that a person belongs to, whether it is a person’s country, family, school, society, neighbor, hometown, etc. Koreans see these groups as a single...

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Technology

OKI website upgrade what we have done and the road ahead

Posted by on Aug 7, 2016

An organisation website is its main public image or at least this is what we believe in at Open Knowledge International. For a while now, our website has needed design attention and update of content. We have therefore decided to revamp our website and give it some new look and features. Our primary thinking behind our site is how to make the work and the people of Open Knowledge International more relatable. How can we take complex terms like open data and civic tech and make them something that anyone can relate to? Also, we wanted to see how the OKI team can use the website to connect and learn more about one another. Also, we wanted the site to reflect our how we are working towards our mission, to make “A world where knowledge create power to the many, not the few.” We highlighted our projects and how they strive towards that goal. Our work on the site is not done, and probably will always be a work in progress. We believe in “release fast, release often” approach, and hope that you...

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Recent Posts

Dont boo. Vote. (And dont boo the voters)

Dont boo. Vote. (And dont boo the voters)

Aug 1, 2016

During his speech at the Democratic Convention, President Obama mentioned Donald Trump by name and was met with a chorus of jeers. The President’s response: “Don’t boo. Vote.” This is a profound challenge to Catholics this election cycle who, informed by the expansive moral vision of the church, have two candidates to boo and nobody for whom to cheer. As Jana Bennett pointed out yesterday, Faithful Citizenship does leave open the possibility of not voting when “all the candidates hold a position that promotes an intrinsically evil act.” It ought to be noted though that Faithful Citizenship calls this decision an “extraordinary step.” In other words, the decision not to vote, though legitimate, ought not to be considered a foregone conclusion. Catholics who do choose to vote this election cycle will have a serious challenge of figuring out which candidate is “less likely to advance a morally flawed position [and] advance the common good.” It is not at all clear which candidate this is. What is clear is that in the past, Catholics have been able to hold up the Republican candidate as, at the very least opposed to abortion. While I agree with Jana that the concept of non-negotiables is not helpful (nor is it magisterial), it has provided a useful heuristic for Catholics who care deeply about the evils of abortion as the most important issue in a given election year. This is no longer the case. There is no longer a clear “pro-life” candidate, though Trump will certainly court that constituency. Nor is it clear which “non-negotiables,” if you still want to use that language, even matter this election cycle. I don’t really see the two candidates debating abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, stem cell research, and human cloning. These are not the issues that really matter this time around. In short, the conversation about who to vote for (or who to vote against if that language helps you feel better) will look different in 2016 than it did four or eight years ago. But honestly, for many Catholics, it wasn’t all that clear who to vote for four and eight and twelve years ago either. This election might be different in...

The problems at Deutsche Bank

The problems at Deutsche Bank

Jul 31, 2016

Deutsche bank’s share price has fallen by more than half in the last year. For some insight into the background see these two extracts from Other People’s Money, published in September 2015 (and available from the shop in paperback or hardback). My return on equity is bigger than yours In the years before the global financial crisis, bank CEOs competed like schoolboys to demonstrate that ‘my return on equity is larger than yours’. The display was led by Josef Ackermann, chief executive of Deutsche Bank from 2002 and chairman from 2006 to 2012, who announced a target of 25 per cent return on equity. In 2008, as the global financial crisis broke around him, he proudly announced that this target had been achieved. Return on equity (RoE) is a ratio of profit to shareholders’ funds, and there are two ways to increase a ratio. You can raise the numerator – the profit – or you can reduce the denominator – the equity capital. Reducing equity is easier. RoE is a seriously misleading measure of profitability. For businesses that are not very capital-intensive – such as asset management, or other professional service firms such as accountants – high returns on equity are achievable because the capital requirement is so small. Capital-intensive businesses – in the modern economy they are principally banks, utilities and resource companies – can achieve high returns on equity only through extreme leverage, as Deutsche Bank did. Even as the thinly capitalised Deutsche Bank was benefiting from state guarantees of its liabilities, it was buying back its own shares to reduce its capital base. And whatever return on equity was claimed by the financial officers of Deutsche Bank, the shareholder returns told a different, and more enlightening, story: the average annual total return on its shares (in US dollars with dividends re-invested) over the period May 2002 to May 2012 (Ackermann’s tenure as chief executive of the bank) was around minus 2 per cent. RoE is an inappropriate performance metric for any company, but especially for a bank, and it is bizarre that its use should have been championed by people who profess particular expertise in financial and risk management. Banks still...

Thyroid and Homeopathy

Thyroid and Homeopathy

Jul 31, 2016

The thyroid gland is located just near the voice box and is instrumental in synthesizing and releasing thyroid hormones. These thyroid hormones have an effect on practically every internal bodily activity. Abnormal thyroid conditions include hypothyroidism (an under active thyroid that produces inadequate hormones) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid producing more hormones than are good for health). A third thyroid condition is the enlargement of the thyroid gland. An enlarged thyroid gland or hyperthyroidism is normally addressed by a total or a partial surgical excision or radioiodine therapy. This is mainly done to reduce the size of the gland to restrict over production of hormones. Hypothyroidism is dealt with hormonal replacement therapy that uses synthetically produced hormones or those derived from the thyroid tissue of pigs. Conventional treatment for both thyroid conditions is fraught with danger. Medical science is still not fully aware of all the cells and hormones that the body produces. Most of the times, modern medicine interferes, cuts off and destroys what it does not fully understand. This is the reason why abating the function of organs and glands should not be chosen as a primary treatment, especially when alternative therapies like homeopathy have effective remedies. The homeopathic materia medica contains nearly fifty time-tested and clinically proven remedies for thyroid problems. A ten minute visit to a conventional physician is more than enough to get a prescription of the latest drug. More often than not the physician has been briefed by a marketing representative of the manufacturer. Homeopathy, if practiced properly, involves hours of patient study and full case analysis that involves the study of personality, symptoms and behavior patterns. The homeopathic approach to the treatment of various thyroid conditions is to restore thyroid health by supporting the body’s own ability to handle disease. Moreover, homeopathic treatment is based on an individual’s constitution and offers better chances of a permanent cure. For this purpose a homeopathic physician will cross check the type of personality of the patient and study symptoms of thyroid problems deeply. Training in homeopathic medicine is enough to tell that personality types that care more for others are more susceptible to hypothyroidism. Based on these, the homeopathic physician tries...

Doering speaks: Prudent use of antibiotics in animal production

Doering speaks: Prudent use of antibiotics in animal production

Jul 31, 2016

Ron Doering, the first president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, writes for Food in Canada that while the medical community recognizes that the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in humans is a potential disaster for humanity, and that it is the overuse of antimicrobials in human medicine that is the largest contributor, there is still a broad consensus that the use of antibiotics in animals may contribute to the problem, though the degree is still unclear. The scale of the AMR crisis was dramatically demonstrated recently with the release on May 19, 2016 of a landmark re- port to the U.K. government that reckons that drug-proof bugs already kill 700,000 people a year and warns that that number is likely to rise to at least 10 million by 2050. I wrote a series of articles for this magazine in 2013 and in the spring of 2014 discussing various reports that attempted to assess the extent to which antibiotics in animals contributed to the crisis and I identified a number of regulatory changes to mitigate the problem that were necessary and long overdue.  At spring the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), the trade association representing Canadian veterinary drug manufacturers, and Health Canada (HC) announced their intention to work together to develop a policy on prudent use of antibiotics. They promised (1) the removal of growth promotion and/or production claims of medically important antimicrobial (MIA) drugs and (2) to develop options to strengthen veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food animals. At the same time producer organizations were developing strategies to promote more prudent on-farm use, and veterinary groups undertook to develop new policies and procedures. So, after all the promises, undertakings and commitments, how are we doing? I’m delighted to report: pretty well. In March 2015 the Harper government announced the Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use, committing to move expeditiously on several regulatory reforms. I’m told that notices in Canada Gazette I are imminent and that these will bring in regulatory amendments that will remove growth promotion claims for all MIAs. Moreover, all MIAs used in feed and water would come under prescription drug status, bringing them under the oversight of veterinarians....

Baby Steps Helped Erica Shed 80 Pounds

Baby Steps Helped Erica Shed 80 Pounds

Jul 31, 2016

Name: Erica Danielle Smith Age: 23 Height: 5 feet, 4 inches Before Weight: 211 pounds How I Gained It: I had a lot of very bad habits. I was a fairly active kid, but by the time I got to high school, I did pretty much no physical activity. I didn’t play any sports or really leave the house much, and exercise was limited to opening the cupboard and reaching for a Little Debbie snack. My eating habits were pathetic — I ate mostly ramen noodles, fried foods, snack cakes and Pop-Tarts. Most of my diet consisted of prepackaged junk, and the school lunches were pretty terrible too, with items like buttery macaroni and cheese, greasy pepperoni pizza and fried chicken. It seemed like everything was dripping with oil. Almost everything I ate was full of salt, sugar or fat. With my combination of terrible eating habits and the exercise routine of a snail, it was impossible to not gain weight. Fruits and vegetables were a foreign language to me. Breaking Point: Kids in high school can be very mean, and I was tired of being the fat kid. I was tired of being picked on. I didn’t date much, and I didn’t have many friends. I wanted to feel “normal.” At 15, most of the girls I knew were starting to take an interest in fashion. I wasn’t able to do that, weighing 211 pounds, because I was a size 18 and the popular stores didn’t make clothes in my size. I also could feel my health deteriorating. Moderate exercise was too hard to handle since I was out of breath all the time. I felt like a prisoner in my own body. I knew if I didn’t do something to change my weight, those extra pounds were going to cause permanent health problems. How I Lost It: I don’t believe in diets; I believe in lifestyle changes. I lost weight through many small steps, and the biggest change was to my eating habits. I’m a foodie; I really enjoy eating, and I love trying new foods and recipes, so this really helped with my weight loss. I started these changes very slowly,...

Dont Skip Dairy its Essential for Weight Loss

Dont Skip Dairy its Essential for Weight Loss

Jul 31, 2016

This article, Dont Skip Dairy its Essential for Weight Loss, first appeared on Early To Rise.