Raiders’ season reaches new depths in embarrassing loss to 49ers

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceSANTA CLARA — If you didn’t think a miserable Raiders season could get any worse, think again.Somehow, the Raiders stooped to even lower lows against one of two teams that entered Week 9 with a worse record than their miserable 1-6 mark. The Raiders made a quarterback starting his first career regular season game look like a potential future Hall of Famer, and in the process cemented themselves as the worst team in …last_img read more

First day on job for South African beggar

first_img7 July 2015After months of begging for a job on the streets of Johannesburg, Joseph Phukubje said his first day at work was more than what he could have asked for.He reported for work at Locomute on yesterday. Locomute is a car sharing company that is the first of its kind in Africa.“Yesterday when I arrived I met the management team. They all wanted to know more about me. The team welcomed me and they also understood the situation that I have been through,” Phukubje said this morning.He enjoyed his first day. “The day was very interesting. Everything went very well,” he said.Getting cleanPhukubje said he was very excited about all the opportunities he had been exposed to and all that he was learning. After using crystal meth for a very long time, Phukubje has been trying to stay clean since he was promised a job last week.His new employer has offered to help him get clean. “They are taking me to Sanca [South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence] today so I can get medication,” Phukubje said.But the eager young man says he will be back at work later to continue with his duties.After having what others would deem a “normal day”, Phukubje, however, had to return to the dilapidated building on Marlboro Road in Sandton which he shares with other homeless people, most of whom use drugs.“Yesterday when I knocked off I went back to Marlboro but today I might not go back. I might get a room in Tembisa.” Another Good Samaritan might assist him with rent, he added.Good SamaritansHe has not, however, shared news of his first day of work with the people with whom he lives.“Most of them wouldn’t understand what is happening and I can’t say they have read what was written about me because most of them cannot read,” said Phukubje.His life all changed when he met a Good Samaritan by the name of Pamela Green as he stood at a street corner in Sandton with his CV and matric certificate in hand, begging for a job.“After I drove away from the [traffic light] that he was standing at, I actually kept my eyes on the rear view mirror. There was just something about him,” Green said last week.“A few negative events in my life [that] week had brought me to that robot and I was trying to figure out why all these events had taken place, and when I saw Joseph I kind of knew that that’s why I needed to be at the robot at the time and go and speak to him.”Watch Phukubje thank people for their help:A second chance at lifeShe turned around and went to speak to Phukubje. He told her how he had left his grandmother, mother, sister, and older brother to come to Johannesburg in search of a job after completing matric. His father was hardly ever present in his life.Things did not work out as planned and Joseph ended up living on the street.Green shared his story on her Facebook page and asked her friends to help get him a job. Within hours, the post had gone viral and job offers began pouring in. Days later, Phukubje landed a job.He said Green had given him a second chance at life. “There’s been a lot of changes since I met her. She has shown me a different point of life, a meaning to life and what I can live for. Actually I had given up on life, but she made me see it’s still too early and I am still young. I can have a second chance.”Meanwhile, the bright, well-spoken 22-year-old plans to study sales and marketing next year. Another Good Samaritan has offered to pay his tuition.Source: News24Wirelast_img read more

Can We Prepare for Climate Impacts Without Creating Financial Chaos?

first_imgThis post originally appeared at Ensia There is a perverse and hidden danger from climate change that few people, even those who unquestionably accept the science, know how to deal with. Someday, likely sooner than we think, the destruction that warmer global temperatures are inflicting — through record floods, wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes — could physically overwhelm our ability to maintain many communities in their existing forms. But by talking openly about this, and taking the necessary steps to address it, communities open the door to another danger. If markets suddenly value the risk of climate change properly, it could lead to a mass withdrawal of investment that kills real estate values, dries up tax revenue, and leads to a wider financial crisis.RELATED ARTICLESA New Strategy for Drought-Stressed Cities2018 Was a Big Year for Natural DisastersA New Congress and New Hope for Flood Insurance ReformBuilding Resilience for a ‘Close Encounter’ with DisasterClimate Change Resilience Could Save Trillions That is the reality confronting Ted Becker, the mayor of Lewes, Delaware, a town of about 3,000 people in which some buildings sit just steps from the Atlantic oceanfront. “When you live here every day, and you see things change, it’s hard to accept that climate change isn’t happening,” he says. Flooding that can deluge low-lying properties and make roads impassable is becoming much more frequent. Of the 549 flood days in Lewes since the 1950s, more than 200 have taken place in the past 15 years. The town has rewritten building codes so homes in flood-prone areas are built higher off the ground. About a year and a half ago it took the more aggressive step of abandoning plans to develop several roads and properties in Lewes Beach, the mayor says. The proportion of Delaware land area exposed to coastal flooding — 5.4% — is expected to grow to 7.1% within three decades because of rising seas. By then, just for the 771 homes built between 2010 and 2017, chronic flooding could imperil $526 million worth of coastal real estate. The number of homes at risk could surpass 23,000 by 2100 in the worst-case scenario. So far, neither investors nor homeowners seem to be fully incorporating this risk. “I’m not aware of anybody who has said I’m not coming here because of that,” Becker says. But market forces could quickly alter this perception — for example, if flood insurance were to more accurately reflect the costs of climate change or is scaled back in high-risk areas entirely. “Then I’m sure people will rethink whether or not they want to build in this area,” Becker says. “I think that’s a challenge that’s out there.” The dilemma that communities face — how to prepare for the impacts of climate change without scaring away homeowners and investors and setting off a damaging economic spiral — is increasingly urgent anywhere those impacts are manifesting. Experts in coastal inundation, destructive wildfires, and financially destabilizing droughts say there is no easy answer. But the best way to improve our long-term odds of survival while preventing a near-term financial fallout, they say, is to fully accept the dangers ahead. Communities that begin preparing for those dangers today will be much better positioned to thrive in a perilous 21st century than those that wait.   Reluctant to speak Last year, the Union of Concerned Scientists published a report giving a national context to the risks Lewes faces. About 147,000 coastal homes and 7,000 commercial properties across the U.S. worth $63 billion could be chronically flooded by rising seas within 15 years. That number might rise to 311,000 homes by mid-century. “That was something that we felt was just really flying under the radar,” says Erika Spanger-Siegfried, senior analyst with the group’s climate and energy program. Defensive measures like seawalls can be prohibitively expensive and may have to protect long stretches of coastline to be effective. The reality that many homes and buildings will be difficult — or perhaps impossible — to defend against rising seas is only beginning to penetrate the mainstream awareness of investors, developers, insurers, and elected officials. “By and large, it’s still fair to say that the majority of the [U.S.] coastline isn’t acting on this information,” Spanger-Siegfried says. But a sudden revaluation of market risk that leads to a pullout of investment isn’t necessarily desirable either. “When enough major market actors become aware of and begin to act on these risks, it could potentially trigger a regional housing market crisis, or even a more widespread economic crisis,” the report reads. This is why some policymakers have been reluctant to speak openly about chronic flooding. “When I was in the White House, there was talk of, ‘How much do we really want [these risks] to be widely known?’” Alice Hill, a former special assistant to President Barack Obama and a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, has said. “It could be just a mass realization that all of this property is severely compromised. That would be highly destabilizing to real estate markets.” Spanger-Siegfried says policymakers have no choice these days but to deliberately, and carefully, scale back investment in the riskiest regions and redirect it to safer ones. It could mean the federal government permanently reduces flood insurance coverage, buys out homeowners in exposed areas, or, in some cases, develops entirely new communities further inland. “This is going to be a really important policy frontier for us in the coming decades,” Spanger-Siegfried says. Slow-going process Edith Hannigan also stares down existential threats — but on the other side of the country. Originally from flood-prone New Jersey, Hannigan is a land-use planning program manager at the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection. “I grew up in this flooding and stormwater protection context and now I work in wildfires, but it’s still kind of the same goals underlying my work,” she says. Fires are becoming more frequent and cataclysmic in California due to increasingly warm and dry conditions. Of the 20 largest that have charred the state since the 1930s, most have occurred in the past two decades. A record-smashing wildfire season in 2017 killed at least 46 people and left $20 billion in losses. Fires in 2018 killed nearly 100 people and wreaked $24 billion worth of damage. Hannigan sees a sharp increase in public awareness of fire risks. “You just can’t ignore it anymore,” she says. She helps communities prepare for danger, especially those built where urban areas transition into wildlands. But even when communities take all the precautions — removing flammable trees, for example, or leaving 30 to 100 feet (9 to 30 meters) of “defensible space” on each side of a home — they can still burn to the ground, as Santa Rosa’s Fountaingrove neighborhood did last year. In March, Munich Re became the first major insurance company to explicitly link California’s wildfires to climate change. “If the risk from wildfires, flooding, storms, or hail is increasing, then the only sustainable option we have is to adjust our risk prices accordingly,” Ernst Rauch, the insurer’s chief climatologist, told the Guardian. The real estate industry is watching closely. A new report from the Urban Land Institute warns that some “locations, and even entire metropolitan areas, [can] become less appealing because of climate-change-related events, leading to the potential for individual assets to become obsolete.” Navigating these twin physical and financial dangers is potentially much harder in the case of wildfires than for coastal flooding, where risks are more predictable. “You don’t know how or where the next fire is going to strike,” Hannigan says. But if wildfires keep getting worse in California, as the climate science predicts, communities are going to have to take a hard look at “what type of risk they’re willing to put their residents in,” Hannigan says. Still, she continues, when it comes to land-use decisions, “getting a mindset change at a large scale in California, probably anywhere in the country, is going to be a slow-going process.” No great answer That’s certainly true of tense negotiations, which began in 2015 and wrapped up this March, among seven Southwest U.S. states to respond to a 19-year Colorado River drought and prevent the federal government from imposing mandatory water restrictions. Climate change is a major factor in the river and its reservoirs being at their driest period in 1,200 years. A 2014 report from Arizona State University estimated that one year without water from the river could cause $1.4 trillion in economic losses and impact 16 million jobs across the region. If calculations were done again today, those estimates of damage “would definitely be bigger,” says Timothy James, a co-author of the report.   Deals reached this spring among Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and California resulted in states agreeing to take less water from the Colorado River basin. But this is just the beginning of a long-term process to figure out our survival in an era of escalating climate change. “What would we do if we lived in a more water-constrained environment?” James says. The technical fixes are easiest to predict: more water-efficient technologies and policies like higher prices on water to encourage their adoption. But adapting to climate change also requires hard decisions about the pace and scale of development. It could mean refraining from building new communities in the desert altogether. At the moment, however, Phoenix is growing rapidly.   For how long is debatable. Though a wet winter has temporarily eased fears that Lake Mead, a crucial reservoir along the Colorado River, could become dry enough to trigger a first-ever shortage declaration next year, the close call puts into stark reality just how fine a line many places are walking as climate change becomes more intense. In this context, according to the Urban Land Institute report, “leading investment managers and institutional investors are undertaking flood, resilience, and climate vulnerability scans of their portfolios” — including evaluating the financial risks of water stress and extreme heat. Vulnerable cities like Phoenix face not only looming water shortages, then, but also an investment flight that could potentially accompany them. How can communities properly respond to these sorts of dangers beyond mere short-term fixes? “You know, I don’t have a great answer,” James says. Soon enough, climate change could force us to provide one. Geoff Dembicki is a climate journalist and author.last_img read more

How Brain Defects Increase Online Gullibility

first_imgIn these enlightened times, you may think that the average Internet user is too sophisticated to be suckered in by online scams. But cyber fraud and theft are growing rapidly despite constant efforts to educate users to the danger. A new study suggests why some people, especially the elderly, seem so susceptible.According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft and fraud complaints jumped up to 1.8 million in 2011, a rise of 24.2% from 2010, and 4575 since 2001. The annual report from the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network doesn’t break down the (many) fraud categories by what’s online or not, but its a sure bet that many of these scams are conducted via the Internet.Why Warnings Aren’t EnoughIt is frustrating to see so many of these scams succeed, in some cases even after huge amounts of media coverage explicitly warning about the problem and how the fraud.New research from the University of Iowa may suggest an explanation on why this keeps happening.One of the models for how we believe something is true or not is the False Tagging Theory (FTT), which postulates that all ideas are initially believed to be true. Doubt rears its head only when a specific area of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, “tags” an event or an idea as false. The University of Iowa team’s research found that when a very specific part of that area of the brain, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is damaged, the doubting system is not as efficient.“Damage to this area of the brain causes a ‘doubt deficit’ that results in greater credulity,” the team wrote in the journal Frontiers in Decision Neuroscience. One of the ways the vmPFC can become damaged? Natural aging.This would help to explain why so many fraud cases seem involved older citizens. A 2009 MetLife Mature Market Institute report, Broken Trust: Elders, Family and Finances, revealed that up to one million older Americans are victims of financial fraud each year, and that number is growing.You would think that, having been around the block a time or two, the elderly might be less prone to fraud victimization. But if a victim’s cognitive mechanism that would normally see through a flam-flam job is not working properly, then it makes sense that they would be easier to fool.How To Avoid Online FraudIf you’re still worried about Internet scams, here’s some simple advice:Have patience. This is the one you should use for every financial proposal. Very rarely does someone really want to give you money, and if they’re in a hurry, something is wrong. If someone pays you too much money and says they trust you to wire the overage back, take your time, no matter what they say. Chances are, whatever check they sent you is about to bounce sky-high. If it clears, then send them the change. Tags:#science#security#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Follow up with phone calls. If someone claiming to be a relative or friend emails from a distant place saying they’re in trouble and need money wired fast, practice patience again. Take five minutes and call that person. Very likely, they haven’t even left home. brian proffitt Your bank already knows everything. If someone calls from your bank or credit card company asking for personal information, remind them you already told them all of that in triplicate when you first signed up for the bank or credit account. Politely hang up, and then call the bank on your own to make sure there isn’t really a problem.Tablets and mobile devices are making it easier for all segments of the population to get online, so the number of potential victims continues to grow. And as long as there are potential marks out there, fraud will never fade away.center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts last_img read more

Jones-Cormier rematch headlines outstanding UFC 214 card

first_imgMOST READ Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Jones’ yearlong suspension has ended, and the UFC put him right back in a title shot with Cormier, who dutifully defended the belt during the mercurial ex-champion’s absence. Cormier, an ex-Olympian and family man who also works as a television commentator, sees every flaw in Jones’ makeup.“He’s a guy who can’t stop hurting himself and people around him,” Cormier said. “He’s a talented athlete, but mixed martial arts aren’t just about the best athlete. He’s weak mentally. He’s got problems, and I don’t know if he solved them yet.”Jones plays it cool when talking about Cormier, yet their promotional staredowns have usually devolved into trash-talking and physical drama. They got into an infamous brawl in a Las Vegas casino lobby in 2014 during the early stages of their promotion of the first bout.They exchanged harsh words again this week in a faceoff, but Jones has vowed to be classy after he wins their rematch.“He’s a good dude,” Jones said. “I want the best for him, I really do. I wish he was just man enough to realize that he’s (in) the wrong era. He just happened to come into the sport, he’s 39 years old, and he’s (fighting) a guy who’s in his prime, a guy who’s doing everything in his power to make sure this is his era. I wish he could just swallow that and say, ‘I’m the baddest (man) outside Jon Jones, and I can go to sleep with that.’”The UFC 214 pay-per-view card starts with two absolute corkers: Veteran brawlers Robbie Lawler and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone meet after light heavyweight prospects Jimi Manuwa and Volkan Oezdemir. Even the undercard is strong, featuring fights for Ricardo Lamas, Renan Barao, Aljamain Sterling and Brian Ortega.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ But the remarkable main event could be the culmination of Cormier’s career or a monumental return for Jones, whose career and life have been severely fractured since their first bout.“It’s pretty cool that it ends here,” Jones said recently, speaking of both his disputes with Cormier and his own winding path back to the top. “There will be no grudge match. There will be no trilogy. Like I say all the time, Daniel Cormier is not my rival. I have no issue with him.”Jones’ biggest issues have always been with himself.Jones reached the pinnacle of his sport when he soundly defeated Cormier in January 2015 to defend his UFC 205-pound title. Practically nothing has gone right in the ensuing 2 1/2 years for Jones, whose capacity for self-sabotage and lousy decision-making surpassed even his incredible MMA talent.The UFC stripped Jones of its title twice — after a hit-and-run accident in which he broke a pregnant woman’s arm, and again after he was revealed to have failed a doping test four days before fighting Cormier at UFC 200 last July.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Everything about Jones’ behavior suggests he might have stronger feelings than he acknowledges. When they finally hit the Honda Center cage on Saturday night, he’ll have a chance to show how he really feels.“A guy like Daniel, he has my full, undivided attention,” Jones said this week. “He says that he’s in my head, and that’s exactly where I want him to be, because he is in my head. I think about him all the time. That’s what makes me do the things I do.”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 starsJones and Cormier are headlining the UFC’s best show of the summer, and likely the entire year, in Orange County.UFC 214 features three title fights and numerous rising stars. Before Jones and Cormier, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley takes on Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Demian Maia in a compelling clash of styles, and pound-for-pound women’s superstar Cris “Cyborg” Justino faces Invicta champion Tonya Evinger for the vacant featherweight title. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ 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 National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress FILE – In this Jan. 3, 2015, file photo, Daniel Cormier, bottom, takes down Jon Jones during their light heavyweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 182 in Las Vegas. If Cormier wasn’t Jones’ bitter enemy, the UFC light heavyweight champion probably could could give sound advice to Jones, the troubled former champ. Instead, the steady Cormier realizes he needs a victory over his self-sabotaging archrival on Saturday, July 29, 2017, at UFC 214 to validate his own title reign. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)ANAHEIM, Calif.— Jon Jones insists Daniel Cormier isn’t his rival, not even when their rematch at UFC 214 is the most anticipated mixed martial arts fight of the year.Jones says he doesn’t even dislike Cormier, the man who has spent most of the past 2 1/2 years holding the light heavyweight title belt that Jones considers rightfully his.ADVERTISEMENT Younghusband brothers set for Davao move on 5-year deal View commentslast_img read more