The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Arizona Cardinals may not have as vast a collection of great games as some other NFL teams.However, when they have played in a great game, it has been really great.In the spirit of March Madness, NFL.com created its own bracket in an effort to find the greatest game of all time.There are four regions in the tournament: Dynasty Makers, Individual Heroics, Crazy Endings and Great from the Get-Go. And wouldn’t you know it, two Cardinals efforts are in the dance, with both being in the “Individual Heroics” category. 0 Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact In that group, you have fourth-seeded Super Bowl XLIII, which pitted the Cardinals against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and seventh-seeded 2009 NFC Wild Card game, which saw Arizona face off against Green Bay.For the Super Bowl, NFL.com writes:Wide receiver Santonio Holmes made one of the greatest Super Bowl winning catches of all time to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.Yeah, Cardinals fans remember.The other game, though, was a lot more enjoyable for Arizona fans as the Cards won 51-45 in overtime.The 2009 NFC Wild Card Game between the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals had no shortage of offensive firepower, but it was a defensive touchdown in overtime that ultimately decided the instant classic.Notable in that game was how Cardinals QB Kurt Warner threw five touchdown passes — and only four incompletions. Steve Breaston led the team with 125 yards on seven receptions, though Larry Fitzgerald and Early Doucet each scored a pair of touchdowns.Both games are certainly memorable for Cardinals fans, albeit for different reasons. Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling
Categories: Pagel News State Rep. Dave Pagel, R-Oronoko, applauded the recent announcement of a Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) project totaling $840,000 to improve a roadway for the families and visitors of Cass County.“Our roads have been neglected for too long, and allowing them to return to gravel is intolerable,” Pagel said. “Dangerous roads should never be an issue for Michiganders, and I will continue supporting efforts to bring about a stable, long-term solution to Michigan’s huge infrastructure problem. I’m grateful for this grant to mend M-60, and hope it’s only one of many repair projects in our region.”The MDOT grant money is part of the second and final distribution of the 2014 Roads and Risks Reserve Fund, to which the Legislature allocated a total of $230 million last year. Since fiscal year 2012, the state has allocated nearly $870 million to improving Michigan’s roads and bridges, but spent zero general fund dollars on transportation infrastructure during fiscal years 2003-2011.Keeping Michiganders safe on the road is a primary concern for House lawmakers, and Pagel said this $840,000 M-60 road project will mill and fill the route to improve its drivability.For more information on all the statewide road projects announced, please visit michigan.gov/mdot.### 07Jul Pagel applauds M-60 road repair project in Cass County
GraphExeter—the best-known room-temperature transparent conductor—is a material built up of several graphene sheets with a layer of ferric chloride molecules in between each sheet. Exeter’s device converts light into electrical signals by exploiting the unique attributes of this material. Says Exeter physics professor Saverio Russo, “This new flexible and transparent photosensitive device uses graphene and graphExeter to convert light into electrical signals with efficiency comparable to that found in opaque devices based on graphene and metals.” At just a few atoms thick, it is ultra-lightweight and portable. Applications? How about photovoltaic textiles that enable your clothes to act as solar panels and charge your mobile phone while you’re walking down the street? Or an intelligent window that can both harvest electricity and display images, all while remaining transparent to the outside? “Smart clothing”—that can monitor a wide range of our functions as we go about our daily lives—is another recent development. Normally, it’s created by weaving conductive materials into fabrics. But that results in flexibility limitations, and it can only be achieved when the conductors are integrated into the design of the clothing from the start. But now, scientists at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have come up with a way to print silver directly onto fibers. The technique involves chemically bonding a nano‐silver layer onto individual fibers to a thickness of 20 nanometers, so that the conductive layer fully encapsulates fibers and has good adhesion and excellent conductivity. Chris Hunt, NPL’s lead researcher on the project, says: “The technique has many potential applications. One particularly exciting area is wearable sensors and antennas which could be used for monitoring, for example checking on patients and vulnerable people; data capture and feedback for soldiers in the field; and performance monitoring in sports. It offers particular benefits over the ‘weaving in’ approach, as the conductive pattern and flexibility ensures that sensors are always positioned in the same location on the body.” Or, how about having a touchscreen on your shirt sleeve? Further possibilities for printed metal inks are being pursued. Scientists at the American Chemical society have employed copper nanosheets, which are inexpensive and highly conductive, as a flexible circuit ink. They took the copper nanosheets, coated them with silver nanoparticles, and incorporated this material into an ink pen, using it to draw patterns of lines, words, and flowers on regular printer paper. Then, to show that the ink could conduct electricity, they connected a battery and lit up an LED at the drawing’s center. Courtesy Northwestern University The battery will continue to work—illuminating that LED—even when stretched, folded, twisted, or mounted on a human elbow. Power and voltage are similar to a conventional lithium-ion battery of the same size. It will stretch up to 300% of its original size with no loss of efficiency and can function for eight to nine hours before it needs recharging, which can be done wirelessly. So far, batteries—which presently power nearly all portable devices—have maintained their edge over supercapacitors for a couple of reasons. One, they’re way cheaper. And two, supercapacitors have low energy density, meaning that the amount of energy they can store per unit weight is relatively small. On the plus side, supercapacitors can be charged quickly and don’t lose their storage capabilities over time. They can literally last for millions of charge/discharge cycles without losing energy-storage capability, whereas the same process in batteries is slow and degrades their internal chemical compounds over time. Should supercapacitors overcome their deficiencies, however, they could be the wave of the future… in which case, we will need flexible ones. A group at the University of Delaware is experimenting with just such a device, using carbon nanotube macrofilms, polyurethane membranes, and organic electrolytes. Research is in the early stages, but the group says that the supercapacitor it’s developed in the lab has achieved excellent stability in preliminary testing. Meanwhile, a team of researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden announced last year that they have created a powerful micro-supercapacitor, just nanometers thick and less than half a centimeter across. And it’s bendable. Tests on the new device showed that the tiny power supply can store more energy and provide more power per unit volume than state-of-the-art supercapacitors. Team members are now working on ways to bring down its cost. Another power source that can be harnessed is the sun, through a flexible, transparent, photosensitive device developed at the University of Exeter in England. The device converts light into electrical signals by exploiting the unique properties of two “miracle” carbon-based materials: graphene and graphExeter (developed at the eponymous university). Carbon is a unique element in that its atoms can arrange themselves in many different ways (tubes, spheres, sheets, cubes, meshes), known as allotropes. Each of them, from graphite to diamonds, has distinctive properties. As depicted below, graphene is a carbon allotrope in which the atoms are arranged in a single layer in one plane. It is the thinnest known conductive material. “C’mon Sis, quit crumpling my computer!” It may seem unlikely that those words might soon issue from a young fellow’s mouth. Yet they could, in the not-too-distant future. And it’s because of the hottest trend in consumer products today: Flexible electronics. Some stunning advances in materials technology have made possible a lot of things we never expected to see (or maybe only dreamed of). They are about to lead to a flood of everyday electronic items that you can bend, stretch, crumple, and fold (but not spindle or mutilate). This is a big, big business. One analysis projects that the global flexible electronics market will reach $13.23 billion by 2020, at an estimated CAGR of around 22%. And that’s probably conservative. There’s so much going on in this sector that it’s hard to decide where to begin. But that crumply computer is as good a jumping-off point as any. Remember the old days, when people read newspapers on the train to work, then rolled them up and stuffed the parts they weren’t finished with into their back pockets? The newspaper of the future is going to be kinda like that. Neatly rollable, adaptable to a back pocket. It’s just not going to be made of paper. A September 2013 article from Science Daily asks us to envision “an electronic display nearly as clear as a window, or a curtain that illuminates a room, or a smartphone screen that doubles in size, stretching like rubber.” At UCLA, for example, scientists have fabricated “an elastomeric polymer light-emitting device (EPLED)” that can be repeatedly stretched, folded, and twisted at room temperature while still remaining lit and holding its original shape. The material has a single layer of electro-luminescent polymer sandwiched between a pair of transparent elastic composite electrodes that are made of a network of silver nanowires inlaid into a rubbery polymer. (The EPLED is a type of polymer light-emitting electrochemical cell [PLEC] device. Research is also ongoing in the development of flexible versions of organic light-emitting diode [OLED] displays commonly found in today’s smartphones, but the UCLA team chose PLECs instead because they’re easier to fabricate and simpler to work with.) The developers stretched and re-stretched their PLEC display 1,000 times, extending it 30% beyond its original shape and size, and it still continued to work at a high efficiency. In another test to determine the material’s maximum stretch, the researchers found it could be stretched to more than twice its original size while still functioning. It can also be folded 180° and twisted in multiple directions. Qibing Pei, UCLA’s principal investigator on the project says confidently that “[W]e believe that fully stretchable interactive displays that are as thin as wallpaper will be achieved in the near future.” Roll up the news and take it with you? That may not be far off. Samsung is also working on a flexible screen. The company is mounting its display on silicone that can be bent in half 100,000 times (Samsung claims), yet suffer a loss of light intensity in the crease zone of just 6%—all but undetectable by the human eye. Think of a smartphone whose screen size could be doubled by simply unfolding it. And the technology can be adapted to simple lighting, too. Is this your next desk lamp? Of course, as our electronics become flexible, so must their power supplies, especially in the case of mobile devices. How that power is delivered will depend on how the war between batteries and supercapacitors is ultimately resolved. But scientists are currently working on flexible versions of both. In early 2013, collaborating researchers from Northwestern and the University of Illinois unveiled the first stretchable lithium-ion battery. American Chemical Society To test the ink’s flexibility, the researchers folded the paper 1,000 times, even crumpling it up, and demonstrated that the ink maintained 80-90% of its conductivity. But perhaps the most exciting roles flexible electronics will be playing in the years to come are in the realm of medicine. Because the human body is always in motion, the design of wearable health monitors and implants must take that into account. Yong Xu of Wayne State University has pushed the research forward by inventing a method for fabricating high-performance and high-density semiconductor circuits, and bonding them to flexible substrates. “The ultimate goal is to develop flexible and stretchable systems integrated with electronics, sensors, microfluidics, and power sources, which will have a profound impact on personalized medicine, telemedicine, and health care delivery,” Xu says. Surgery could be transformed. Consider what happens today after a doctor operates to remove a tumor from a patient’s liver. Even after following up with radiation and/or chemotherapy, the surgeon can never be positive that the treatment was successful. “But,” says Tom Jackson, an engineering professor at Penn State, “suppose I could apply a flexible circuit to the liver and image the tissue. If we see a new malignancy, it could release a drug directly onto that spot, or heat up a section of the circuit to kill the remaining cancerous cells. And when we were done, the body would resorb the material. “What I want is something that matches the flexibility and thermal conductivity of the body,” and conventional silicon technology is too rigid and thermally conductive for work like that. Jackson is going to get what he wants. Yes, conventional silicon tech is inappropriate for many uses in and on the body. But might there be a new form of silicon that captures its stability, efficiency, and low cost, yet bends and stretches? Indeed there is, says John Rogers, a cutting-edge materials scientist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Rogers’ team has found a way to trick silicon into a more malleable form. Rather than making transistors from conventional wafers, they slice the material into sheets several times thinner than a human hair. “At this scale,” Rogers says, “something that would otherwise be brittle is completely floppy … [in the way that] a 2-by-4 is rigid, but a sheet of paper is not—similar materials, just different thicknesses.” The applications he’s working on are truly mind-blowing. Here are just a few: Imagine a sensor array that can precisely mold to the shape of an organ. Start with the heart. Sensors made of a stretchable, lightweight material and embedded with electronics could wrap around a beating heart like a glove, providing real-time measurements of cardiac activity. The goal, Rogers says, is to detect early signs of arrhythmia and deliver coordinated voltages across the entire organ, rather than administering massive shocks at a few points, as current defibrillators do. Collaborators at Washington University in St. Louis have tested the device, which he calls an “artificial pericardium,” on rabbits and on human hearts removed from transplant recipients. Trials in live patients could be just around the corner. He and his colleagues have also created an electronic “second skin.” It’s a wireless circuit board less than a micron thick that can be stamped directly onto the skin and sealed with a spray-on bandage. The device could enable doctors to monitor a wide range of biological functions, including heart rate, skin temperature, muscle activity, and hydration, for starters—and it conforms so well to the shifting creases and troughs of human skin that it can stay on for up to two weeks before it is sloughed off. It can also send small electric currents to stimulate muscles as part of a physical therapy regimen. And its noninvasiveness makes it especially useful in neonatal care. Finally, Rogers is well on the way to developing Prof. Jackson’s desired resorbable devices. These “transient electronics,” as he calls them, could monitor and prevent infection at surgical sites, then melt away according to a set schedule of days or weeks. And—made up of ingredients found in antacids and vitamin pills—they’re harmless to the human body. During a talk at an electrical engineering conference, a skeptical colleague bet Rogers that he wouldn’t dare swallow one of his transient devices on stage. Rogers won that bet. The shift to flexible electronics is a trend that means a financial windfall for companies poised to cash in on it. One of them—our July recommendation—presently sits in the BIG TECH portfolio. This company makes equipment used to encapsulate organic light-emitting diodes, part of the process that enables electronics to be folded or rolled. As demand for flexible devices takes off, so too will demand for this company’s equipment. For access to this recommendation, simply sign up for a risk-free 90-day trial of BIG TECH.
New evidence proves that the controversial outsourcing contractor Atos should be stripped of all of its disability benefit assessment contracts, say disabled campaigners.Fresh concerns about the behaviour of Atos and its assessors emerged after Disability News Service (DNS) revealed last week how an Atos nurse repeatedly lied about a disabled man he was assessing for personal independence payment (PIP).The nurse, who is believed to be still carrying out assessments for Atos, stated in his report – in addition to a string of other incorrect statements – that Colin Stupples-Whyley had attended the PIP assessment alone, even though his partner had sat with him throughout the interview.Now, following the publication of that story, other disabled claimants have come forward to describe to DNS how their Atos assessors “lied” about them in benefit assessment reports.Former nurse Sue Hardy, who lectured on nursing for 22 years at the University of Bedfordshire, until she was forced to retire due to ill-health in 2013, said she was appalled when she read the report written by the Atos nurse who assessed her for the out-of-work disability benefit employment and support allowance (ESA).The report was littered with errors, but most worrying was the cognitive tests section, which was filled in by the assessor even though none of the tests had been carried out.Hardy, who was accompanied by a friend to the assessment, said: “This nurse lied on my assessment form. Having just had to give up my 35-year career as a nurse and senior lecturer, I found her assessment erroneous in many areas.”She appealed against the decision to place her in the work-related activity group of ESA, and won her appeal at tribunal, but also lodged a complaint with Atos, and with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).In the NMC complaint, she said the assessor had “completely fabricated, and invented the results of the cognitive assessment”.She told DNS: “I think Atos is a joke. How many people out there are being denied a fair assessment?“Nurses have a duty of care to all patients and clients and are bound by their code of conduct.“To omit an assessment or part thereof is negligence, and thus that duty of care is broken.“Atos employ nurses alongside doctors and physiotherapists, who are bound by similar codes of conduct.“So if the nurses are being caught fabricating assessment results, what about the other disciplines?“It is very worrying, and Atos obviously can’t perform these assessments to the required standards, resulting in people missing out on their benefits.”Although Atos handed over the ESA contract to another company earlier this year, it still has two major contracts to carry out PIP assessments.Colleen Hardy [no relation to Sue Hardy], from Kent, has described how a report written by the Atos physiotherapist who assessed her was littered with either basic errors or deliberate untruths about the impact of several chronic health conditions, including depression, anxiety, a thyroid disorder, and fibromyalgia.She was accompanied to the Atos building for the assessment by both a community psychiatric nurse and a friend, and both of them were able to dismiss the assessor’s claims that she had climbed a flight of stairs without help and by holding onto the bannister.Hardy later told DWP that the assessor was “either unqualified to give an informed opinion or she is being blatantly misleading and/or obstructive with the actual evidence”, and that she had simplified the impact of the fibromyalgia to a “ridiculous extent”.She said: “When I received my copy of the report, I was gobsmacked. It was full of inaccuracies and, let’s call a spade a spade here, lies!”As a result of the assessment in July 2012, she was removed from the support group of ESA and placed in the work-related activity group.After she appealed, a tribunal ruled that the original report was accurate, but still placed her back in the support group, although it did not reimburse her for the benefits she had lost in the meantime.Hardy said: “Atos and all involved never once explained any of the outlined inaccuracies in that report and stood by the physiotherapist completely.“I lost a fair amount of money, I lost confidence and my health suffered so much. This was all after the assessor deciding – despite all the professional opinion to the contrary she was shown – that in three months’ time I would be fit enough to work.”She added: “I can’t believe that Atos are more than happy to allow a liar to continue working for them.”Three other claimants have also come forward to accuse Atos assessors of lying in their reports.One told DNS how her Atos assessor asked her three questions, two of which required one-word answers, and then told her that her medical records answered all of the other questions.After giving the assessor a two-minute rundown of her week, she was “ushered out” of the assessment.She said: “When I was told I had (of course) failed the test, scoring the usual ‘0’ for mental health issues, I was shocked to read the report, which stated the interview had lasted 25 minutes, and a whole raft of questions had been asked!“To say the least, I was gobsmacked at this thick tome of utter fabrication.”Another claimant, with conditions including diabetes, a chronic degenerative disease that has ruptured all but two of the discs in her neck, arthritis, high blood pressure, and panic attacks, was told she had scored zero points in her assessment.She said: “The tissue of lies was unbelievable. It’s a bloody farce, the whole thing.”Among the inaccuracies in the report, the assessor claimed the claimant had opened the door to the assessment centre, when her daughter had done so, and that she had no problem removing her coat and undoing the buttons, even though she had not been wearing a coat.She said: “There was nothing to indicate any of the responses I’d given. They also stated I had no problems getting on the couch, [even though] they had to get me a step and she had to help me down.”A third claimant – the fifth in all to describe their experiences – described how an Atos doctor wrote in his report that he had performed “squats” in front of him, and “repeatedly climbed on and off the assessment couch without problems”.He said: “Not only is it impossible for me to squat, but the assessor actually had to provide me with steps to get onto the couch and help (alongside another person)… lift me on and off.”Although a tribunal subsequently found the report to be accurate, despite a witness and statements from specialists and doctors saying it could not have happened, the assessment was subsequently “completely dismissed” at a supersession – which allows DWP to change a benefit decision if a claimant’s circumstances change or if the decision was made without knowledge of the full facts – requested by his MP.He said: “The whole system is obscene and bordering on corrupt.”Rick Burgess, co-founder of the campaign group New Approach, said he was now hearing of many PIP claimants who were experiencing the same kind of “fraudulent healthcare professional reports” that ESA claimants had been subjected to, allowing DWP decision-makers to disallow their claims.He said: “I have yet to meet someone who thought their report accurately recorded the assessment and their impairment/illness. Seriously, no-one!“Sadly, the abuse and horror that was meted out to ESA claimants is now going to come to DLA/PIP claimants on a scale hitherto unseen.“I think many who have not experienced a work capability assessment and tribunal have been sceptical of the reports of abuse and fraud from Atos and the DWP, but unfortunately that will be happening to those making PIP claims now.“The government has a target to cut half a million [PIP] claims… the only way to do that is to commit medical/welfare fraud on disabled people on a massive scale; just as they do with ESA.”Lawyer and benefits expert Nick Dilworth, also a co-founder of New Approach, said he had helped hundreds of disabled people with appeals and requests for reconsiderations of benefit decisions, mainly those who had undergone testing for ESA eligibility by Atos.He said it was “commonplace for question-marks to be raised by clients over inconsistencies in what had been said with the healthcare professional conducting face-to-face assessments”. He said: “Clients would regularly allege that Atos lied over how long they had remained sitting or standing or [had been] seen walking from waiting areas to the examination room. “The amount of time a claimant was reported as ‘sitting continuously’ simply wouldn’t tally with the timing on the ESA85 [assessment form] detailing how long the assessment lasted. “You could see the same report remarking on how, within the same time, the ‘claimant rose unaided several times’; it didn’t add up.”He said it was too early to say whether PIP assessments were any better than those for ESA.Dilworth said he had been impressed when he attended an Atos PIP assessment, although “others have told me the whole report is ‘a complete joke’”. Linda Burnip, a co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said: “Sadly none of these complaints about the appallingly low standard of Atos assessors comes as a surprise.“Atos has consistently failed to meet the terms of their contracts for PIP assessments, with inaccessible centres still being used in many parts of the country.“They are still unable to attract high-calibre staff and they should be stripped of the PIP contracts with immediate effect.”John McArdle, co-founder of the Black Triangle campaign, said he agreed with Hardy’s concerns about assessors who were doctors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, as well as nurses.He said: “Private companies should be driven out of anything to do with the assessment of disabled people, because their first duty is to shareholders, to maximise profits.”He said the concerns raised with DNS were just “the tip of a massive iceberg”.He said: “Atos are still employing people who are demonstrably liars. It shows the General Medical Council [for doctors] and the NMC are not doing their job.”DPAC researcher Anita Bellows added: “We have received similar complaints about PIP assessments.“I would advise claimants to request the assessment to be audio-recorded and to bring somebody with them.“If they are unhappy about the outcome, they should request the assessor’s report. In the meantime, this needs to be formally investigated.”An Atos spokeswoman said: “All assessment services for ESA transferred to a new provider earlier this year.“As part of that process, we transferred all the claimant data we held to the DWP.“Therefore we now have no way to look back at these cases and investigate but can assure you that we had a stringent complaints policy in place when we ran the contract and all complaints made were fully investigated.”When asked if that meant that Atos had no record of complaints made against its staff while it was carrying out the WCA contract, she declined to comment.An NMC spokeswoman said the organisation did not have any data on complaints about Atos assessors, and could not confirm any details about a specific complaint unless it reached a “fitness to practice” hearing.
For many investors, making a positive social impact is becoming increasingly important. For some, doing good has become as essential as doing well. This goal is at the heart of impact investing, which the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) defines as investing “with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside financial return.”The pursuit of this so-called double-bottom-line is the Holy Grail for the impact investing industry. However, the challenge still facing many investors is how to make a significant impact without sacrificing returns. This is especially true of institutional investors, who often need to write eight- or nine-figure checks in order to justify an allocation.Cannabis is one of the few industries that satisfies all of the above conditions, making it the perfect impact investment. First, let’s discuss financial return: Analysts at Cowen & Co. estimate that the U.S. market for cannabis will reach more than $50 billion by 2026, up from about $9 billion today. Although cannabis is still a nascent market, global consumer demand is well-established. According to recent polls, approximately 1 in 8 U.S. adults consider themselves regular consumers. Despite the many risks unique to cannabis investment, investors who get in early may be able to enjoy hyper growth returns reminiscent of the dot-com boom.Related: Getting Healthy, Not High: Using Cannabis to Fight CancerSecond, let’s discuss social impact. I asked Emily Paxhia, founding partner of Poseidon Asset Management, a prominent cannabis investment fund, for her take on the matter. “Investing in cannabis is rewarding not only for the returns we see, but also for the social and environmental benefits. While it might not seem like impact investing at first glance, there are additional positive outcomes to capitalizing the cannabis industry. We have seen communities benefit from job creation, reduced opiate addiction and advances in criminal justice reform.”Here are examples of how cannabis can generate significant positive social impact:Public HealthThe medical benefits of cannabis are well-documented, and millions of patients have now embraced cannabis as a cheaper, safer and more effective option to help treat severe illnesses such as cancer, epilepsy and PTSD.With proper R&D and regulation, cannabis will regain its place as a mainstay in the medicine cabinets of every American household –a status the plant enjoyed prior to prohibition. Medical marijuana also represents one of the only viable, scalable solutions to the opiate epidemic, which experts estimate is costing the U.S. more than $500 billion in economic productivity each year (to say nothing of tens of thousands of overdoes deaths).Related: Minnesota Study Adds to Growing Evidence Medical Marijuana Reduces Opioid UseCriminal Justice ReformThe war on drugs has really been mostly a war on young people of color. Even though cannabis consumption rates are nearly uniform across races, black and brown Americans are anywhere from four to 10 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana use or possession, depending on geography. There are today more than half a million Americans serving sentences in federal prison for possession of marijuana. The mass incarceration and criminalization of drug users may be great for the prison industry, but for the rest of society it fuels systemic racial and economic inequality which is destructive to our nation’s values and well-being.As legalization advances and prohibition eventually ends on the federal level, the millions of lives damaged by the war on drugs will be able to receive some healing, support and perhaps participation in the now booming industry. Furthermore, the policy shift around cannabis represents an opportunity to institute a more compassionate, harm-reduction approach toward drug users. Imagine if instead of criminalizing, punishing and dehumanizing people who suffer from substance abuse problems, our institutions provided counseling, mindful care and rehabilitative treatment.Related: What Every Cannabis Entrepreneur Needs to Understand About the Cole MemoAgriculture & SustainabilityHemp was farmed in most parts of the country from earliest colonial time right up until the onset of cannabis prohibition in the early 1900s. Hemp is easier and cheaper to grow than cotton or corn, is far less harmful to the surrounding environment and much more versatile for a wide range of textiles. Hemp is used to make products as varied as footwear, luggage, clothing, rope, paper and plastic.Compared to cotton, hemp requires about two-thirds as much water to grow and one quarter as much water to process. One acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as two to three acres of cotton. Hemp fiber is also stronger than cotton and lasts twice as long. Industrial hemp has the potential to revive entire agricultural communities.Hemp can even be used to remove toxic chemicals from the ground or surrounding streams. A joint effort in 1998 to decontaminate the area around Chernobyl found that hemp plants can absorb large amounts of radiation through its roots, effectively removing many of the contaminants in the water and soil. Hemp has also been proven to absorb heavy metals from soil, making it a potentially cost-effective solution to cleaning up the thousands of contaminated sites scattered around the country. Currently, America is the world’s leading importer of hemp.Related: Hemp Is the Multibillion-Dollar Cannabis Opportunity Few Have Heard AboutFood & NutritionHemp is also a superfood. Hemp seeds are high in fiber, iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, zinc, vitamin E and magnesium. The plant contains all 20 amino acids, including nine of the essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce. Compared to other popular sources of nutrition such as chia seeds, quinoa and flax seeds, hemp seeds provide as much as 75 percent more protein. It’s no surprise, then, that hemp seeds are often used in protein powers and health foods such as energy bars. Hemp seeds can also be used by farmers as animal feed for horses, cows and chickens — likely a healthier choice than what they’re fed today.Many investment firms have already taken steps toward growing the cannabis industry. By viewing cannabis through the lens of both its financial and social potential, investors have an opportunity to make a positive and long-lasting impact. To view cannabis as anything other than an impact investment is to be missing the bigger picture. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Listen Now Cannabis Perhaps the final unhappy irony of cannabis prohibition is that the plant is a benign substitute for many problematic products and raw materials. May 21, 2018 Michael Zaytsev Image credit: Norman Posselt | Getty Images For the Perfect Social-Impact Investment, Look No Further Than Cannabis 6 min read Green Entrepreneur Podcast Business Coach and Cannabis Author Next Article Guest Writer Each week hear inspiring stories of business owners who have taken the cannabis challenge and are now navigating the exciting but unpredictable Green Rush. –shares Add to Queue
Consumer Data Trust IndexConsumer Privacy Actdata privacyJebbitMarketing TechnologyNews Previous ArticleKsquare’s Google Analytics Connector 2.0 for Mulesoft 4.X Provides an Out-Of-The-Box Solution to Integrate Your Google Analytics Data With Your Other Business ApplicationsNext ArticleBen Abbatiello Departs SpotX, Joins Video Ad Tech Beachfront Jebbit’s Newest Consumer Data Trust Index Indicates Declining Trust in World’s Leading Brands MTS Staff WriterJune 14, 2019, 6:25 pmJune 14, 2019 Recent Survey Shows Broad Support for Data Privacy Legislation as Consumers Remain Leery of Brands Requesting Too Much InformationJebbit, the world’s leading declared data platform, announced the release of their most recent Consumer Data Trust Index, a report surveying consumer trust in 100 of the world’s leading public-facing companies. Adult consumers from the United States were asked to rate, on a scale of one to ten, their level of trust in brands to use their personal data in exchange for more relevant offers, goods and services. Consumers were also asked a variety of question to evaluate their motivations and concerns when sharing data with companies and brands. The recurring study, first published in 2018, shows a continued decline in trust by survey respondents in major companies.The three companies most trusted by consumers according to the Consumer Data Trust Index (CDTI) are Amazon, Microsoft, and UPS. For the second time in a row, Amazon was the only company to score higher than 6.0 in average consumer trust, demonstrating a continued lack of improvement in trustworthiness across the board among consumers. However, the comparatively strong results of companies like Amazon, UPS, Walgreens and Google also show the continued importance for companies to deliver value in exchange for consumer data.Marketing Technology News: Volly Launches Point-of-Sale Mobile App and Rebrands CRM Mobile AppIn response to the need to better safeguard consumer data and increase trust, and as new legislation like the California Consumer Privacy Act and Europe’s GDPR take hold in the marketplace, nearly three-quarters of survey respondents indicated their support for data privacy legislation at a federal level. Only five percent of respondents opposed such legislation.The CDTI continued to show poor results for Facebook following the company’s ongoing struggle with data privacy issues. Facebook fell six spots to 95th in the most recent survey, after having been ranked 89th in the previous survey and dead last in the first CDTI. This lack of trust was recorded in spite of Facebook’s increasing user base, indicating that users are not sufficiently motivated to stop using the platform even while they mistrust Facebook’s data practices.Marketing Technology News: PipelineDeals Launches the Women in Tech Scholarship“Jebbit’s Consumer Data Trust Index continues to offer a comprehensive picture of consumer attitudes with regard to the world’s leading companies and their data collection strategies. As overall trust continues to decline, brands must take the opportunity to demonstrate an equitable value exchange and regain consumer trust,” commented Jonathan Lacoste, President of Jebbit.Marketing Technology News: Idaptive Named a Leader in Identity-as-a-Service for Enterprise by Independent Research Firm
New way of fabricating aircraft wings could enable radical new designs, such as this concept, which could be more efficient for some applications. Credit: Eli Gershenfeld, NASA Ames Research Center “The research shows promise for reducing cost and increasing the performance for large, light weight, stiff structures,” says Daniel Campbell, a structures researcher at Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing company, who was not involved in this research. “Most promising near-term applications are structural applications for airships and space-based structures, such as antennas.”The new wing was designed to be as large as could be accommodated in NASA’s high-speed wind tunnel at Langley Research Center, where it performed even a bit better than predicted, Jenett says.The same system could be used to make other structures as well, Jenett says, including the wing-like blades of wind turbines, where the ability to do on-site assembly could avoid the problems of transporting ever-longer blades. Similar assemblies are being developed to build space structures, and could eventually be useful for bridges and other high performance structures. Artists concept shows integrated wing-body aircraft, enabled by the new construction method being assembled by a group of specialized robots, shown in orange. Credit: Eli Gershenfeld, NASA Ames Research Center A team of engineers has built and tested a radically new kind of airplane wing, assembled from hundreds of tiny identical pieces. The wing can change shape to control the plane’s flight, and could provide a significant boost in aircraft production, flight, and maintenance efficiency, the researchers say. ‘Morphing’ wing could enable more efficient plane manufacturing and flight “We’re able to gain efficiency by matching the shape to the loads at different angles of attack,” says Cramer, the paper’s lead author. “We’re able to produce the exact same behavior you would do actively, but we did it passively.”This is all accomplished by the careful design of the relative positions of struts with different amounts of flexibility or stiffness, designed so that the wing, or sections of it, bend in specific ways in response to particular kinds of stresses.Cheung and others demonstrated the basic underlying principle a few years ago, producing a wing about a meter long, comparable to the size of typical remote-controlled model aircraft. The new version, about five times as long, is comparable in size to the wing of a real single-seater plane and could be easy to manufacture.While this version was hand-assembled by a team of graduate students, the repetitive process is designed to be easily accomplished by a swarm of small, simple autonomous assembly robots. The design and testing of the robotic assembly system is the subject of an upcoming paper, Jenett says. This story is republished courtesy of MIT News (web.mit.edu/newsoffice/), a popular site that covers news about MIT research, innovation and teaching. For testing purposes, this initial wing was hand-assembled, but future versions could be assembled by specialized miniature robots. Credit: Kenny Cheung, NASA Ames Research Center While it would be possible to include motors and cables to produce the forces needed to deform the wings, the team has taken this a step further and designed a system that automatically responds to changes in its aerodynamic loading conditions by shifting its shape—a sort of self-adjusting, passive wing-reconfiguration process. Wing assembly is seen under construction, assembled from hundreds of identical subunits. The wing was tested in a NASA wind tunnel. Credit: Kenny Cheung, NASA Ames Research Center Provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology The new approach to wing construction could afford greater flexibility in the design and manufacturing of future aircraft. The new wing design was tested in a NASA wind tunnel and is described today in a paper in the journal Smart Materials and Structures, co-authored by research engineer Nicholas Cramer at NASA Ames in California; MIT alumnus Kenneth Cheung SM ’07 Ph.D. ’12, now at NASA Ames; Benjamin Jenett, a graduate student in MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms; and eight others.Instead of requiring separate movable surfaces such as ailerons to control the roll and pitch of the plane, as conventional wings do, the new assembly system makes it possible to deform the whole wing, or parts of it, by incorporating a mix of stiff and flexible components in its structure. The tiny subassemblies, which are bolted together to form an open, lightweight lattice framework, are then covered with a thin layer of similar polymer material as the framework.The result is a wing that is much lighter, and thus much more energy efficient, than those with conventional designs, whether made from metal or composites, the researchers say. Because the structure, comprising thousands of tiny triangles of matchstick-like struts, is composed mostly of empty space, it forms a mechanical “metamaterial” that combines the structural stiffness of a rubber-like polymer and the extreme lightness and low density of an aerogel.Jenett explains that for each of the phases of a flight—takeoff and landing, cruising, maneuvering and so on—each has its own, different set of optimal wing parameters, so a conventional wing is necessarily a compromise that is not optimized for any of these, and therefore sacrifices efficiency. A wing that is constantly deformable could provide a much better approximation of the best configuration for each stage. The individual parts for the previous wing were cut using a waterjet system, and it took several minutes to make each part, Jenett says. The new system uses injection molding with polyethylene resin in a complex 3-D mold, and produces each part—essentially a hollow cube made up of matchstick-size struts along each edge—in just 17 seconds, he says, which brings it a long way closer to scalable production levels.”Now we have a manufacturing method,” he says. While there’s an upfront investment in tooling, once that’s done, “the parts are cheap,” he says. “We have boxes and boxes of them, all the same.”The resulting lattice, he says, has a density of 5.6 kilograms per cubic meter. By way of comparison, rubber has a density of about 1,500 kilograms per cubic meter. “They have the same stiffness, but ours has less than roughly one-thousandth of the density,” Jenett says.Because the overall configuration of the wing or other structure is built up from tiny subunits, it really doesn’t matter what the shape is. “You can make any geometry you want,” he says. “The fact that most aircraft are the same shape”—essentially a tube with wings—”is because of expense. It’s not always the most efficient shape.” But massive investments in design, tooling, and production processes make it easier to stay with long-established configurations.Studies have shown that an integrated body and wing structure could be far more efficient for many applications, he says, and with this system those could be easily built, tested, modified, and retested. Explore further Citation: MIT and NASA engineers demonstrate a new kind of airplane wing (2019, April 1) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-mit-nasa-kind-airplane-wing.html 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.
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