Parasitoid larvae in caterpillars affect behaviour of moths Diamondback moth. Credit: Olei/Wikipedia/CC-BY-SA-2.5 and GNU FDL Citation: Genetically modified moths pass greenhouse testing, ready for the wild (2015, July 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-07-genetically-moths-greenhouse-ready-wild.html © 2015 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers at British company Oxitec has developed a genetic approach to controlling diamondback moth caterpillars and report that trials in greenhouse conditions has gone so well that they are ready to conduct tests in the wild. In their paper published in the journal BMC Biology, the team describes their technique, how it works, how safe they believe it is and their hopes that their efforts will lead to reduced crop destruction by the caterpillars Diamondback moth caterpillars are one of the world’s worst insect pests—they eat holes in the leaves of kale, cabbage, canola, broccoli and cauliflower, killing the plants and causing billions in dollars of losses for farmers around the world each year. Efforts to curb them have been mixed and the caterpillars appear to be winning—they have developed immunity to most chemicals applied to kill them. For that reason scientists have looked to other ways to tackle the problem, one of which is genetic modification. The team at Oxitec, has come up with a way to cause female offspring of the moths that parent the caterpillars to die before they can reproduce, slowly causing a drop in population when they are released into a native group.In coming up with their self-limiting gene approach the team added another piece of usefulness—an off switch. The gene only self-limits in the absence of tetracycline, such as when the moth is out in the wild. To grow a community of the moths, the team need only feed them food with the chemical added. They note that their technique allows for targeting just diamondback moths, thus other insects would not be harmed—and neither would birds or other animals if they eat the moths or caterpillars.The team at Oxitec report that greenhouse environment testing has gone very well—so well in fact they are ready to test their technique in the wild—in limited releases, of course. Officials with the Department of Agriculture in the U.S. have given the go ahead for new outdoor trials in New York State. This would not be the first testing of its kind, similar genetic engineering on mosquitoes has been tested in Panama, the Cayman Islands and Brazil—in such trials insect populations have been reduced by 90 percent. Journal information: BMC Biology Explore further More information: Pest control and resistance management through release of insects carrying a male-selecting transgene, BMC Biology 2015, 13:49 DOI: 10.1186/s12915-015-0161-1 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Day three of the north-east festival at the Dilli Haat, kickstarted with the celebration of the harvest season. As the students of Meghalaya Union took to the stage, the drum beats announced the beginning of the harvesting festival. With the chorus singing the traditional harvest songs, the programme was inaugurated by Union Minister of DoNER Pawan Singh Ghatowar. The songs went on for the next ten minutes and was followed by a fashion show.The show was a collection of 34 garments done by designer Vianey B Nongram. This collection was a mix of both traditional and contemporary wear. On the runway one could see tribal attires from Garo, Hajong, Khasi, Jaintia, Pnar and Tiwa tribes. ‘The textiles are an important highlight of the show,’ said Nongram. She added: ‘The collections are from local textiles and fabrics like Ryndia, Ghara and Khyrwang to name a few.’‘What I have brought from Meghalaya is an unique mix of traditional and contemporary, giving a whole new meaning to the concept of the unity in diversity,’ said Nongram.
A juvenile has been apprehended for the alleged abduction and murder of six-year-old boy from central Delhi’s Ranjit Nagar, police said on Saturday.The 17-year-old, who is a neighbour of the victim, also told police that he desired to purchase an expensive phone with the ransom money, said a police official.As per the police, on Thursday evening when Ganesh was playing outside his home, the accused lured the boy with some mobile games and abducted him. About 9 pm, he made a phone call to the boy’s father, Pramod, allegedly demanding Rs 1.5 lakh for the safe release of the boy.Pramod is a fruit seller and has his shop is in a central Delhi market. When he returned home on Thursday, he found his son missing and went out looking for him. Meanwhile, he received the ransom call. He had no means to pay the ransom money and so he reported the matter to the police.On Friday evening, Ganesh’s body was found in a park in south-west Delhi’s Narayana area with his throat slit. Meanwhile, police had started tracking the phone number by which the ransom call was made.
The first day of the two-day dancing festival Quarter Fest lll kicked off in the Capital at a high note. Sadhya- a unit of performing arts has organised this event that started off at Indian Habitat Centre on December 8. Santosh Nair is the curator of the show. The fest opened with a performance by Shreya (Production name- Padam). She used her imagery from Bharatanatyam Padams in Shringar (love), Bhakti (devotion), and Vatsalya (affection) traditions. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The piece focused on the personal process of change as she attempts to overcome her disconnect with the classical processes.Next performance was a group performance by Sadhya – Nataraj- the Lord of Dance. It was a tribute to the source of all movements- Shiva. It showcased a beautiful transformation of vision into a visual expression, reflecting Sadhya’s belief of an existence of a beautiful bonding between tradition and modernity. It bought the culture of India-that is strong and limitless, that is bound to its roots and at the same time ready to explore. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMoving further with the performance by Sanchita and Himanshu Sharma, presented the interpretation of contemporary through their production BE which was mind full of thoughts about what, why, how when I look, observe, perceive. Day 1 ended with the performance of Rahul Goswami whose exquisite production Proximity portrayed things we cannot explain. Everything that surrounds us has a system. We form a very complex system and finding directions to go beyond is not a possibility. We need to come back to the same place. The second day began with performance by Meghna Bhardwaj (Production- Ghetto), followed by Neha Sharma (Production- Commerce of Arts), Kamla Nehru College (Production- Yuva Yatra) and Danceworx (Production- Heartbeat and Thithi) on December 9. The main idea behind Quarter Fest is to bring in varied styles performing the contemporary adding their own touches to it. The festival promises to bring a repertoire of works reflecting varied foundations and their unique style of drawing from the same root – contemporary dance.
Kolkata: The state Fire and Emergency Services department is planning to include fire safety and security measures in the school curriculum. “It is important for everyone to have knowledge about safety and security from the fire. So we are working on introducing it in the school syllabus,” state Fire and Emergency Services minister Sovan Chatterjee said at a programme on Fire Services Week at Academy of Fine Arts on Saturday. According to Chatterjee, the state government has given a major boost in developing the infrastructure of the Fire department and has set up as many as 70 fire stations across the state since 2011 after the Trinamool Congress came to power. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”We have identified some fire-prone areas and some regions where the fire tenders face difficulty to enter because of narrow lanes and bylanes. We have procured modern equipment and are still continuing to do so to fight the fire at places where it is difficult to reach,” Chatterjee said.He added that under the instructions of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the department is procuring ladders for better fire-fighting in the high-rises. “We have already floated the tender for procuring ladders,” he said.Officials from the fire department demonstrated how preliminary fire-fighting measures may be implemented to prevent it from spreading. A number of school students and commoners were present during the demonstration. Director General of Fire Services department Jagmohan also attend the event along with other senior officials of the department.
Kolkata: The state Power department has started using a new technology for strengthening the power distribution system with special emphasis on quick identification of faults in electricity supply lines. “We have started using SEEDN technology, which enables us to locate the exact area of the fault as we start moving from the substation located in a particular area, from where the fault has been reported. The technology is equipped with a fault passage indicator, which helps in quick location of the electric pole, where there has been a problem,” state Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsEarlier, engineers from the Power department had to travel long distances and check every single pole to identify the exact place of the fault. The department has already installed this technology in 50 feeder boxes across the state.It has been found that due to frequent thundershowers in recent times, there have been frequent power faults and the engineers from the Power department has addressed the situation in no time by the use of this modern technology. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”Apart from the inclement weather resulting in power disturbances, overdrawing of power by illegal means have also resulted in power cut,” a senior official of the department said. The department, with the objective of sustainable and uninterrupted power connection, has taken up a project of underground cable system for power supply in 77 urban townships across the state. The department has successfully completed laying of such underground cables for electricity at Nabadwip in Nadia district and Bolpur in Birbhum.”We have targetted to complete the underground power supply project by 2025. We will be taking up an average of 11 urban townships a year for installing this facility. This will help us achieve our aim of laying underground power supply infrastructure for 77 such townships in the state,” an official said. Overhead power supply is often affected when there are inclement weather conditions, like a storm or heavy rainfall. “Apart from this, there is rampant power theft due to hooking, which results in loss for the department. Underground power connection will make the situation much better,” a senior official of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL), which is implementing the project said.
Researchers have found that children attending schools for just four days in a week perform better in mathematics than those who attend a traditional five-day school week.“What interested me about our results is they were completely opposite to what we anticipated,” said Mary Beth Walker, dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in the US. The study compared fourth-grade reading and fifth-grade math test scores for students who participated in a four-day school week, versus those who attended a five-day school week. The researchers found that a four-day school week had a statistically significant impact on math scores for fifth-grade students, while reading scores were not affected.The study suggests there is little evidence that moving to a four-day week compromises student academic achievement.
A symbol of the advent of Buddhism from India to China, the renovated Stupa and Ashoka pillar along with a huge golden statue of Buddha was consecrated by Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual head of Drukpa lineage of Buddhism based in Ladakh, on Tuesday in China’s Qinghai province, located adjacent to Tibet Autonomous Region.Legend has it that over 2,500 years ago, Buddha’s disciples retrieved one skull bone, two scapulas, four teeth and 84,000 pearl-like
Kolkata: The state government is going to promote solar power and renewable energy in a big way, announced Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on National Renewable Day.On the occasion, she tweeted: “Today is #NationalRenewableEnergyDay. Our State Govt is drawing up major schemes for the promotion of solar power & other sources of renewable energy like tidal power in #Bangla… One such scheme is “Aaloshree” under which roofs of all government offices & schools are being fitted with solar panels. #NationalRenewableEnergyDay.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe use of solar power will not only bring down the electricity bills in state-run offices and institutions but also help to conserve energy. In New Town, many state and central government offices are being run on solar power. Green buildings that have come up in different locations in New Town and Kolkata, use solar power and are given additional Floor Area Ratio (FAR).Meanwhile, state Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay held a high-level meeting in West Midnapore to bring down losses in the power sector. Senior administrative and police officials of West Midnapore and Jhargram districts were present at the meeting. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSenior officials of the state Power department also attended it.It may be mentioned that Chief Minister had urged the Power department to take steps to bring down the losses. A review meeting will be held a month later to take a stock of the progress.The ways and means to check power thefts and non-payment of bills, the two main causes of the revenue loss were discussed at length. The state Power department has taken up schemes to stop thefts. Outdoor teams have been formed which go out in different areas and those involved in power thefts are arrested. As a result of this, illegal tapping of power from the overhead lines has come down to a great extent. Non-payment of electricity bills in semi-urban and rural areas has become a major concern of the Power department. Rural people are taking new connections but are very reluctant to pay the bill. Seventy senior officials have been deputed who along with district-level officials will visit and urge them to pay the electricity bills. They will be accompanied by cops as well. Though no action will be taken immediately, the department is contemplating steps which include arrest and even disconnection of the line in case of habitual offenders.
More women are now spending fewer years with impaired brain function but more years with disability compared to 20 years ago, reveals a new research.At the age of 65, females now spend around seven months more with moderate or severe disability and 2.5 years more with mild disability, the researchers found.“The aim of research was to investigate how health expectancies at the age of 65 and above changed between 1991 and 2011 in Britain,” said lead researcher Carol Jagger from Newcastle University’s Institute of Ageing. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Meanwhile, overall men’s life expectancy increased by 4.5 years but they had only 1.3 years more with mild disability and there was no increase in the years spent with moderate or severe disability or mild or worse cognitive impairment. Experts have shown that between 1991 and 2011, women’s life expectancy at the age of 65 increased by 3.6 years but they identified that the female body does not age as well as its mind. The research team compared two rounds of the cognitive function and ageing study, done in England in 1991 and 2011. Health expectancy was measured in three ways — self-perceived health, life without disability, and time free from cognitive impairment. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThose aged 65 and above over a similar time period, who showed problems with vision and hearing, did not account for increases in disability. Stability in self-care activities, like cooking, and increase in mobility limitations, such as walking 200 yards and climbing stairs, may contribute to gains in mild disability.“One possibility for the increased years women are living with mild disability might be the rise in obesity levels over the decades or multiple diseases which are a feature of very old age,” Jagger said.“It is also necessary for community care services and family carers who predominantly support those with mild to moderate disability to enable them to continue living independently,” the authors noted in a paper published in the journal The Lancet.
Kolkata: The Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police nabbed a Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) racketeer identified as Majibur Shaikh, a resident of Baishnabnagar, from Malda on Monday evening. Investigators have recovered FICN worth Rs 5 lakh from him.Sources informed that Shaikh’s name came up to the STF investigators, following the arrest of three FICN racketeers in the month of July. Following the arrest of the trio, investigators had recovered FICN of Rs 500 denomination worth Rs 1 lakh, along with forty semi-finished improvised firearms. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeFollowing the interrogation process, STF raided an illegal arms factory at Kankinara in Jagaddal. Twenty pieces of semi-finished firearms, one lathe machine, two drilling machines and several parts of improvised firearms were seized from the factory. Six persons working in the illegal workshop were arrested.During the follow up investigation, investigators came up with Shaikh’s name. On Monday, acting on a tip-off, an STF team was waiting for Shaikh at the Esplanade bus terminus. When he got down from a bus, STF personnel surrounded him.After checking his bag, 250 fake notes of Rs 2,000 denomination were found. The investigators are suspecting that Majibur might have connection with international FICN rackets.
Yauatcha, a dim sum teahouse from London will be celebrating the popular Mid-Autumn Festival of China with the introduction of limited edition moon cakes from September 1 to 30 at their restaurant. Like most Chinese festivals, the Mid-Autumn Festival too has its dedicated delicacy, the moon cake, whose shape symbolises reunion and togetherness in the Chinese culture. Yauatcha has created a modern interpretation of the classic Chinese moon cake, sweet with a thick Chinese style custard infused with Asian ingredients. The outer filling is pastry decorated with delicate patterns to suit the discerning palate. Available in four unique flavour options such as the Jasmine tea moon cake, Salted caramel and sesame moon cake, Coconut and mixed nuts moon cake and the zingy Lemon zest moon cake, Yauatcha will serve these delicious desserts alongside the green tea ice cream. The moon cakes as well as the green tea ice cream are both eggless and thus suitable for vegetarians. It is traditional to eat moon cakes and give them as gifts throughout the month and these would be available at the retail counter to take away at Rs 300 for a box of three at Yauatcha New Delhi. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf Launched in 2004 in London, Yauatcha gained immediate critical acclaim and received its Michelin star within a year of opening. Yauatcha offers authentic dim sum with a contemporary influence as well as wok dishes and other small eats. The concept is a modern interpretation of the traditional Chinese teahouse featuring a wide range of Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Taiwanese teas. Yauatcha is also known for its handmade petitsgâteaux, macarons available both a la carte and retail.
Men and women who engage in jogging for 40 to 30 minutes respectively each day for five days a week may be able to slow down their biological clocks by nine years, say researchers.The study showed that adults with high levels of physical activity are likely to have their biological age decreased by nine years over those who are sedentary and seven years compared to those who are moderately active.”We all know people that seem younger than their actual age. The more physically active we are, the less biological ageing takes place in our bodies,” said Larry Tucker, Professor at Brigham Young University. “If you want to see a real difference in slowing your biological ageing, it appears that a little exercise won’t cut it. You have to work out regularly at high levels,” Tucker added. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWomen who engaged in 30 minutes of jogging per day and men who engaged in 40 minutes, for five days a week in consistently high levels of physical activity have significantly longer telomeres.Telomeres are the protein endcaps of our chromosomes which are extremely correlated with age. The older we get, the shorter our telomeres and the shortest telomeres came from sedentary people. “We know that regular physical activity helps to reduce mortality and prolong life, and now we know part of that advantage may be due to the preservation of telomeres,” Tucker said.
Kolkata: A person committed suicide after stabbing his wife late on Sunday night at Dholahat in South 24 Parganas. On Monday morning local residents came to know about the incident and informed police after admitting the woman to a hospital.According to a local resident, Swapan Debnath, 48, used to reside with his wife Sukkari Debnath at his in-law’s house at Bhimnagar in Dholahat. Debnath family’s neighbours claimed that there use to regular altercations between them often over some family problems.On Monday morning, the neighbours found Sukkari lying in a pool of blood. After Sukkari was sent to hospital, a few local residents started searching for Swapan. A few minutes later they discovered Swapan hanging from the ceiling of a pump room located on a agricultural land near his home. When Sukkarai was taken to hospital, she stated that Swapan had stabbed her multiple times. An unnatural death case has been registered at the Dholahat police station.
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has urged party leaders on Friday to identify those who had been and are still staying in contact with BJP and at the same time, said those who have joined the saffron party will not be allowed to rejoin Trinamool.She told party leaders not to worry and assured that the party will make a comeback in the 2021 Assembly polls. Banerjee met the leaders of Jhargram and Bankura at Trinamool Bhavan on Friday afternoon. Subrata Bakshi, state Trinamool president and Suvendu Adhikari, state Transport minister, also attended the meeting. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”Intensify vigil and identify those who are keeping contact with BJP. Also find out those who had supported BJP in the recently concluded general election. Those who have joined BJP will not be allowed to rejoin the party,” she asserted. Banerjee said BJP has distorted her statement on the ‘cut money’ debacle. “BJP has distorted my view on cut money. I did not say it the way it is being circulated by BJP,” she maintained. She reiterated that despite her requests, some leaders did not develop contact with the people and the party had to pay a price for their attitude in the Lok Sabha election. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”I told you repeatedly to build contact with people. But you did not and the party is paying a price for it,” she said and once again instructed the leaders to intensify their contact with people. She also stated that the leaders should bury their hatchets and work together to make the party regain its position. She urged Arup Chakraborty, Arup Khan and Shampa Daripa of Bankura to increase their contact with people. Rajib Ghosal, Trinamool Youth Congress president of Bankura, has been sidelined and a new president will be elected. She also asked Shyamapada Mukherjee, former minister from Bankura, to keep in touch with Daripa. In Jhargram, she asked Birbaha Soren to get in touch with Uma Soren for the party’s programmes. The Trinamool supremo said in both Jhargram and Bankura, the state government has carried out massive development. Several schemes have been initiated for SC and ST people. “But despite that, we have failed to win the election. We lacked in informing the people about the schemes. The leaders lacked in developing contact with the people as well,” she said. It may be recalled that both in Jhargram and Bankura, Trinamool Congress candidates had lost to their BJP rivals. Trinamool had fielded Subrata Mukherjee in Bankura, who lost by a huge margin. Similarly, Birbaha Soren was defeated by the BJP candidate as well. Banerjee is visibly disturbed over the poll results and held a marathon meeting with the district leaders on Friday, to analyse the poll debacle in Bankura and Jhargram.
With this scorching heat comes the urge to drink a lot of cool drinks, which are not only refreshing but also delicious. Chefs and mixologists from across the city have shared recipes of few ‘easy to make summer drinks’. Make sure you try each one from the below mentioned list.The basic ingredient of the recipes given by Chef Prem K Pogakula, Executive Chef, The Imperial is a ‘sweetener’ – which could be a grain sugar, honey or jaggery syrup, next is the body of the drink which consists of main ingredients like rose syrup, pineapple syrup, sandal wood syrup .The third and the most important is the flavour cutter and a cooling ingredient which one can enjoy as a bite in between. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfGulab aur tulsi sharbat Fresh rose petals (hand crushed) – 50gms Dry rose petals – 30gms Rose water – 40ml Saffron soaked in 5 ml warm water – 2gms Honey – 250ml Hand crushed basil – 50gms Crushed ice – 500gms Chilled water – 2000ml Combine all the ingredients and leave it to soak. Blend the flavour for about 20 minutes, strain and serve chilled with basil leaf Annannas aur pudina Fresh pineapple juice with pulp-1000ml Honey-100ml Cinnamon Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive powder – 2 gms Cardamom powder–2 gms Hand crushed mint – 50 gms Mint julienne –10gms Combine all the ingredients, leave it to soak, strain and serve chilledSummer drinks should have lots of citrus and seasonal fruits like watermelon, musk melon along with herbs such as mint, basil and cucumber. The ace mixologists at Grappa Bar, Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi whip up some of the finest Italian inspired refreshing, fruity and inventive drinks that are simply whimsical. Jamun and Bergamot Slush Jamun puree – 60 ml Bergamot oil – Spray Lime juice – 20 ml Orange juice – 20 ml Blend it with ice and serve in Gin and Tonic glass Watermelon and Mint Cooler Fresh watermelon juice – 60 ml Fresh watermelon chunks – 8-10 chunks Lime juice – 10 ml Peach syrup – 10 ml Fresh mint – 5-6 sprigs Shake and serve in Coupe glassIt is believed that consuming spice promote cooling, and therefore it is suggested have it during summer months. Spices are said to be infused with antioxidants that help you stay cool throughout the day. Here’s a drink by Dipender Tiwari, Head Chef Dipender Tiwari, QLA, European casual dining, to make you feel cooler this season. Concocted with freshly plucked herbs and spices from our kitchen garden, and made with vodka, herbs, spices and oakwood smoked pineapple, this cocktail drink is perfect for summers. Vulgare John Fennel seeds – one tablespoon Sweet and sour mix – 15 ml Vodka – 60 ml Smoked pineapple chunks (as desired) Mix the ingredients well and top it with fennel seeds and smoked pineapple
Kolkata: The teachers of 113-year-old Kidderpore Academy school have alleged harassment after receipt of some fake letters that stated that they were associated with terrorist activities.The teachers of the school will soon write a letter to chief minister Mamata Banerjee seeking her intervention in the matter, which they feel is portraying the image of the school in a poor light. “We are being harassed for no reason. On July 19, 2019, we (eight teachers of Kidderpore Academy school) went to Watgunge police station to clarify that we are not associated with any unlawful activities. We are teachers and are associated with this professtion for many years. This is a conspiracy to malign the respect of the school and its teachers,” said Mohammad Salehin, a senior teacher of the school. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe teachers will write a letter to the state Higher Education department, and Bengal Governor on July 26 urging them to take necessary action in fixing up the offender so that justice prevails. Salehin, who is also a NCC teacher, pointed out that there are 15 teachers of the school and the purported letters have embroiled 13 of them in this unwanted situation. “They have lodged a complaint with Watgunge police station on the basis of which we have already started a probe,” said Murlidhar Sharma, joint Commissioner (Crime), Kolkata Police. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe ‘fake letters’ as claimed by the teachers have stated that they are ISI spy who are divulging secrets of Army and are plotting to kill a high profile minister of Bengal. Another teacher of the school who had received similar letter said that such letters involving some of their names in terrorist activities have also been sent to the police top brass as well as the state Criminal Investigation Department and also the CMO office at Nabanna. ” Some investigating agencies have also spoken with us and we are gripped by a sense of fear. The normal activities in the school are being jeopardized with the disturbed state of mind that we are in ,” the teacher said. Kidderpore Academy school, established in 1906, presently has a strength of 400 students.
Here’s a clip from the previously referenced Longest Yard. The good one with Burt Reynolds, not the crappy one with Adam Sandler. The safety made the score 19-14, but because only defensive penalties can extend the game once the clock has expired, the game was over, despite Baltimore’s mass hold-in.In terms of end-of-game clock management, this play gets 4 Belichicks.The @Ravens ran our “take a safety” punt play just like @Trevorscherm & @zach_swedberg25 did #NorthFootball pic.twitter.com/WZXiMT8TWz— Scott Schmelzle (@Schmelzle_Chem) November 28, 2016 It wasn’t the first time Harbaugh engaged in an orthodox punt to bleed the clock at the end of a game. He pulled a similar stunt against the Niners in Super Bowl 47. He wasn’t able to run out the clock against San Francisco, but ran off enough time to clinch the Super Bowl victory. Advertisement Clinging to a 19-12 lead over the Bengals with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter, with the ball at their own 20-yard line, the Ravens faced the prospect of punting, and giving Cincy a faint chance at a return, or possibly a hail mary heave into the endzone as time expired.Instead of kicking the ball away, and leaving the game in the hands of his special teams or defense, Ravens coach John Harbaugh cooked up an outside-the-box gem, straight out of The Longest Yard, that sealed the game for Baltimore.As soon as the ball was snapped to Ravens punter Sam Koch at about the 10, the Baltimore special teamers all blatantly held the Cincinnati defenders and threw them to the ground, refusing to let go of their jerseys.The holding flags began to fly as Koch jogged around the back of the end zone, and eventually stepped out to take the safety as the clock hit :00.
O.J. Simpson has been granted parole from Nevada State Prison after serving 9-years of a 33-year sentence for committing armed robbery in a botched attempt to recover what he had deemed stolen memorabilia at a Las Vegas hotel in 2007.Simpson appeared before the parole board video conferencing, and was asked by the board about his crimes, to which he provided a long-winded explanation about what happened on the night of the crime. He eventually stated that he regretted the decisions that led to the crime. His daughter Arnelle Simpson spoke on behalf of her father, as did Bruce Fromong, the victim of the robbery that led to the incarceration.After deliberating during a recess, the board granted his release in a unanimous 4-0 decision. Simpson intends to reside in Florida after his release, which will come in October.OJ lived a conflict free life? pic.twitter.com/ZQU7bkRVgq— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) July 20, 2017 “I basically have spent a conflict free-life.”‘I am no danger to pull a gun on anybody,’ OJ Simpson says during parole hearing. Watch it live here: https://t.co/9jsmdfiwP9 pic.twitter.com/PQSH7WJLHs— necn (@NECN) July 20, 2017 JUST IN: O.J. Simpson granted parole after serving nearly nine years of his 33-year sentence https://t.co/Okz2bxbVVN pic.twitter.com/NdfzGiYPCn— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 20, 2017The granting of his parole comes a little over 23 years since the famous white Bronco police chase, which resulted in Simpson’s arrest for the double murder of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Simpson was acquitted of criminal charges for the murders, but was found liable in civil court in a case brought by the Goldman’s. Advertisement
Enroll Now for Free An IP telephony (IPT) system can provide small businesses with many tangible benefits. One small-business owner I know said staff productivity went up 65 percent after installing an IPT system, because workers weren’t wasting time tracking down colleagues or manually transferring calls from one desk to another.If you’re considering an upgrade to your phone system, read on. I’ll be taking a look at which business functions you should consider in an IPT solution and how you can successfully and cost-effectively deploy such a system. For more background on IPT, check out last month’s column, ” Building a Better Communications System ,” which provided an overview of small-business phone systems, including IPT solutions, with an eye toward helping you decide which one is right for your company.Determining Your ObjectivesBefore making any changes to your existing phone system, you should answer two key questions:1. What are the limitations and “pain points” of your current phone system? How does your existing phone system limit your employees and your business? For instance, are employees spending too much time transferring calls or playing voice-mail tag? Are you losing potential customers because they tire of being on hold?2. What are your company’s primary business goals, and is your phone system helping you achieve them? Does your phone system help you serve your customers better? Are you getting the best phone service at the lowest cost possible? Will your phone system grow as your business does?Knowing the answers to these questions will help you coordinate your needs and goals, both current and future, with your IPT system. You’ll know what features and capabilities the phone system needs from the start, and what you’ll likely need down the road. The inherent flexibility of an IP network means you can quickly add new functionality as needed. This will help prevent you from deploying more capabilities than you need–or not enough.Phasing the RolloutTo ensure a smooth transition to an IPT system, it’s best to phase the rollout. Here’s the approach I suggest:Phase 1: Build the foundation. An IPT system requires a converged IP network at its foundation. On a converged IP network, phone calls travel over the internet as data, just like e-mail, instant messages, video and other traffic. Having one network for multiple purposes simplifies your administrative burden and reduces costs, because you no longer need to maintain multiple networks. You’ll also save on telecommunications costs and long-distance charges.An IP network connects a variety of equipment (including computers and phones) using intelligent network devices such as routers and switches. Your data network probably is already connected by routers and/or switches. You just have to make sure that your current network can support your new IPT system. Your routers and switches should have built-in security and the ability to support increased traffic and additional functionality as your company grows.Your IP network also should have “high availability,” meaning there’s minimum downtime. Consider adding a second, redundant IPT server to provide continuity should your phone system’s primary server go down. Your business goals will help you determine what level of redundancy your system needs.Quality of service is important as well. QoS, as it’s often called, simply means that voice and video traffic on the IP network are given a higher priority than data. No one cares if an e-mail message arrives a few seconds late. But frequent delays in relaying your voice after you finish speaking would certainly be noticeable. The more advanced routers for small businesses include QoS as a feature that can be turned on when needed. No equipment upgrade is necessary.In phase 1, you’ll likely have a basic IPT system that provides multiple direct-dial extensions along with voice mail that you can access using a phone, computer or other device. The system also will provide automated messaging and greeting services that perform tasks, such as routing incoming callers to the appropriate extensions.To take full advantage of your IPT system, you should have IP phones. They look similar to traditional business phones, with buttons, handset and cradle. But they connect directly to the IP network, have large screens, and put many of an IP communications system’s features and functionality at the user’s fingertips. Going Beyond the Basics Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Phase 2: Add more functionality. Once your basic IPT system is up and running smoothly, it may be time to consider enhancing its functionality with new tools and features. Some possibilities include the following:A virtual private network. VPN connectivity allows employees to connect securely over the internet to your business’s IP network from home, a hotel room, a client’s office or other location. With a VPN, workers have mobile, highly secure access to your company’s network for all communications including data, voice, video and fax.Softphones. A softphone is software that allows you to make and receive voice calls on your computer using a connected headset and microphone. You can use your IPT system for voice on your laptop anywhere you’ve got a broadband internet connection.Wireless networking and wireless IP phones. Your IPT system could also include wireless access points, which create a wireless network. Together with wireless IP phones, mobile workers have secure anytime, anywhere access to the IPT system. For example, using a wireless IP phone, a store clerk assisting a customer on the floor could quickly access the store’s database to see if an item the customer wants is in the stockroom, on order or discontinued.Video. On a converged IP network, it’s easier and more affordable than you’d think to add video-enabled applications, because support for video is built into the network. Also, advanced routers for small businesses enable you to add video applications to the network without an expensive equipment upgrade. Even though you may assume you don’t need video, you might be surprised how effective it can be at improving operations, sales, customer relations and other areas. With a video conference, for example, you could demonstrate a new product in development to the far-flung members of your remote sales force. Video on your IPT system could also allow you to monitor a remote site, such as a small store, to assess staff performance.Applications that support integrated voice and data. Some applications developed for IPT systems integrate applications, such as instant messaging, calendaring and presence (the ability to see if an individual in your organization is online) with audio or video conferencing. By quickly identifying which members of your team are at their desks through a presence application, you can easily set up ad hoc conference calls with remote staff and exchange information via instant messaging during the conference.Contact centers. An IPT system can provide the foundation for creating a contact center to streamline communications with customers. Contact center technology provides sophisticated call routing and the ability to have online chats with customers and to deliver messages to callers informing them of expected hold time, among other features.Advanced security. In phase 1, your IP network routers provide the security you need. But as you add functionality, you should also add security appliances, such as dedicated firewall devices that provide even more layers of protection.Phase 3: Tie in business applications. In phase 3, you might consider integrating business applications into your IPT system. It’s easy and inexpensive to accomplish and can help make your small business look big to outsiders.For example, you could tie integrated voice response (IVR) software to your IPT system. IVR technology provides voice prompts to incoming callers. A caller responds to the prompts either by speaking or using the telephone keypad. The responses provide valuable information about the caller’s reasons for contacting the company, which is delivered to a contact center operator before he or she even answers the call.Many small businesses have connected a customer relationship management (CRM) system to their IPT solution to better understand their customers’ habits and needs. CRM software provides a database for capturing and analyzing information about your customers. Linking CRM and IPT can enhance customer satisfaction–and that often leads to increased sales. For instance, when a call comes in, a pop-up window of the customer contact record appears on a contact center representative’s IP phone screen, computer display or both. Before the second ring, the representative has access to information about the customer who’s calling, such as orders pending and recent returns. Having instant access to an incoming caller’s record can lead to faster problem resolution as well as increased sales. For instance, the call center representative may notice the caller hasn’t ordered a particular product lately and could provide the caller with a discount on the spot.As with phase 2, you should increase security on your network in phase 3–especially if you link a CRM solution to your IPT system. In fact, for some industries, such as health care, retail and financial services, there are strict regulations regarding the security of computerized customer records.Managing the IPT SystemIf any of this seems daunting to you, don’t worry. A small-business IPT system can provide plug-and-play functionality, which helps reduce setup time and optimize network settings. Look for a system with an intuitive interface that allows for quick configurations of telephony, messaging, switching, wireless LAN, firewall, security services and other elements. Many value-added resellers specializing in IPT systems can help you implement the system that’s right for your business.Also, keep in mind you don’t need to spend thousands upfront or add an IPT specialist to your payroll. A hosted or managed IPT system will provide you with IPT equipment and expertise at affordable monthly rates.The bottom line: An IPT system is easier than you might think to acquire, deploy and maintain. And it can go a long way toward making your small business look–and become–big. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.