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Got Pimples? You May Need Better Bacteria

first_imgIf you were plagued by pimples in your teen years, you may have bacteria to blame—but not all of them. Researchers have found that not all strains of the bacteria commonly associated with acne are created equal: Some may cause problem skin, but one appears to protect the skin and keep it healthy. The discovery may help dermatologists develop new, strain-specific treatments for acne, a common but potentially disfiguring disorder.Although acne is practically a rite of passage—more than 80% of Americans suffer from the skin condition, which can cause pimples, cysts, and red, inflamed skin, at some point in their lives—it’s not entirely understood. Past studies have pointed to Propionibacterium acnes, a bacterium that lives in the skin’s follicles and pores, as a potential culprit, but that work had not precisely revealed its role. So molecular biologist Huiying Li of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues decided to take a closer look at the microbe.Armed with over-the-counter pore-cleansing strips, they sampled bacteria from the noses of 101 people, 49 of whom had acne and 52 of whom had clear skin. Then, they examined the bacterial DNA, looking for patterns or variations in the microbes’ genes that would help them identify specific strains of bacteria.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Whether they had clear or pimply skin, all the study participants sported similar abundances of P. acnes living in their pores, but not all of the strains were the same. The researchers found a number of different strains of the microbe, including 66 that had never been identified before. When they sequenced the genomes of each strain and compared them, they discovered that two of the strains, RT4 and RT5, were found predominantly in people with acne—and that one strain, RT6, was found almost exclusively in people with clear skin. Because this “good” strain contains genes known to fight off bacterial viruses and other potentially harmful microbes, the researchers suspect that it may actively ward off the “bad” strains that are associated with disease, thereby keeping skin healthy.”Just like good strains of bacteria in yogurt, for example, are good for the gut, these good strains of P. acnes could be good for the skin,” says Li, whose team reports the findings today in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.Acne is now often treated with antibiotics or other antimicrobial drugs. The team suggests that further studies of strain differences could lead to probiotic treatments for acne, which instead boost or supply beneficial microbes. Lotions or medications that target bad strains of bacteria or foster good ones could offer a gentler and more effective way to ease problem skin, Li says.”This is a great study—it was very carefully done, it addressed an important organism in the human microbiome, and it produced some very interesting results,” says Martin Blaser, a physician and microbiologist at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City. He notes that the work has some limitations: It doesn’t prove that the bad strains of P. acnes are actually causing acne, and it doesn’t explain why some people carry certain P. acnes strains and others don’t. “But they found some strong associations,” he says, “and this is a good beginning.”last_img read more

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One of the world’s most popular trees arose near the Arctic Circle

first_img By Elizabeth PennisiSep. 26, 2017 , 3:54 PM This white oak’s ancestor came from the Far North.  One of the world’s most popular trees arose near the Arctic Circle It’s the national tree of the United States, Germany, and a dozen other countries—as well as the stuff of corks and fine wine barrels—yet little is known about where the North American oak tree came from. Now, biologists have pieced together the past of the most dominant species of oaks and come to a startling conclusion: The mother of all oaks didn’t arise in the tropics, as many botanists thought, but rather near the Arctic Circle, then spread southward.“This is perhaps the most spectacular example to date for a [tree] where ecological opportunity in the south allowed explosive species diversification,” says Toby Pennington, a botanist at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work.To reconstruct the mighty American oak’s history, Andrew Hipp, a plant systematist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, and colleagues obtained tens of thousands of pieces of DNA from 300 trees representing 146 oak species. That enormous amount of genetic material allowed the team to conduct comparisons that revealed which species are most closely related, and avoid the confusion created by genes that jump between the branches of a family tree when two species interbreed. “This is a demonstration of the power of next-generation sequencing techniques to unlock some previously intractable problems,” Pennington says. Hipp’s team also used oak fossils to help it date when certain branches of this family tree arose.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Some 45 million years ago, the first American oaks populated what was a temperate environment in northernmost Canada. This ancestor eventually divided into the red and white oaks, today’s most dominant species of oak, Hipp and his colleagues report this month in New Phytologist. As North America chilled, “tropical trees there started dying off and the oaks were able to spread across the continent,” explains co-author Jeannine Cavender-Bares, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Both types of oak spread first to California as polar ice caps expanded, and some of both kinds wound up east of the Rockies and headed to the East Coast and eventually to Mexico. Both kinds of oaks were able to spread easily—thanks to their hardy acorns and wind-assisted pollination—and thus were shoe-ins for adapting to the range of environments to the south, she adds.To most people, red and white oaks seem pretty similar, save for the shapes of their leaves, and one might expect they would compete with each other for space in the forest. To the contrary, the reds and whites likely helped each other get started, as both depend on the same underground fungi to grow, Cavender-Bares says. So if whites were present, reds could easily get established, for example. Furthermore, the two kinds are susceptible to different pathogens, and red oak seeds take 2 years to mature whereas white oak seeds take only one, so they may complement each other in a landscape, she notes.Today, both red and white oaks have subgroups in California and in the eastern United States. Both groups are also quite diverse in Mexico. “The two have done it in parallel,” says co-author Paul Manos from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. And in doing so, he says, these magnificent trees have shaped landscapes across North America and Mexico. MICHAEL MELFORD/National Geographic Creative last_img read more

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Tax filing season starts now! Reduce your pain with these simple tips

first_imgIt’s “officially” tax season—the IRS has already started accepting returns for the 2014 tax year—so there is no time like the present to get your report ready for Uncle Sam. Ideally, freelance professionals should plan and think about their tax situation all year long. However, if taxes have not been on your radar until recently, you may find it helpful to take note of the following tips to make tax season as pain-free as possible.1. Expect your tax refund to be delayedRight out of the gate this year, the IRS is telling taxpayers that they will likely wait at least an additional week for their tax refunds. This is due to budget cutbacks in overtime and temporary staff hours which, according to the IRS commissioner, will also reduce taxpayers’ ability to get assistance by calling the agency.Given these anticipated delays, the best course of action is to file your taxes now, and if you need help, consult a qualified tax professional to assist you in navigating the new tax laws. Taking a proactive approach to getting your taxes done will ensure that you don’t pay more tax than you legally have to.2. Prepare for additional paperwork due to the Affordable Care ActAlthough the news media and politicians have been talking about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on taxpayers for a couple of years, this tax season is when the rubber hits the road for the average individual taxpayer. Everyone is required to report their healthcare status this tax season on Form 1040 (the individual tax return) and there are several new forms that you may be required to complete related to your health insurance coverage.Of these new forms, Form 1095 is of particular importance because it states the payments you have made for your health insurance, and it will be used to determine if you qualify for the Premium Tax Credit (PTC), or if you owe money due to overpayments of the PTC (reported on Form 8962). If you receive Form 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C in the mail, be sure to keep it with your tax documents so you will be prepared to report this information on your tax return.Keep in mind that if you still don’t have health insurance, this is the year that you will be required to pay the fines imposed by the Affordable Care Act. The amount of the tax levied on you will depend on your income, and how many people are in your household. If you are paying the penalty this year, you may want to consider how you will handle your health insurance over the next couple of years as well, because the penalty will increase progressively through 2016.3. Consolidate your information prior to filingWhile there is no question that filing your taxes sooner rather than later is advantageous, it is also important to make sure you have everything you need to file a complete and accurate tax return before you get started. If you piled all of your receipts and other pertinent papers in the proverbial shoebox throughout the year, it’s time to sort through them and make sure you have the documentation you need to provide all required information and substantiate any potential deductions.If you are having your return prepared by a tax professional, you may pay a little less if you have your information organized and consolidated before they begin working on your behalf, since their time won’t be spent digging for information.4. Don’t claim what you can’t corroborateWhile this tip may seem like common sense, a surprising number of individuals don’t take it to heart. Simply put, don’t be tempted to claim deductions for expenses that you do not have proper documentation for. Lost a receipt for a fancy client dinner? Unless you can obtain a duplicate copy of the actual receipt from the establishment at which you dined, you are better off cutting your losses rather than making an unsubstantiated tax deduction. In general, a credit card statement alone is not enough to satisfy the “burden of proof” imposed on taxpayers by the IRS. For most expenses, including those for travel, entertainment, gifts, and auto expenses, you need detailed records of the activities along with original receipts.Join the nation’s largest group representing the new workforce (it’s free!)Become a member5. Put personal security firstWhile filing your taxes electronically is faster, more convenient, and usually more secure than filing with paper forms, if you choose this option it is still important to keep your personal security in mind. If you are filing your own taxes online, be sure to keep your login credentials private. If you are having a tax professional file on your behalf, be sure they are following appropriate security protocols in their practice. In addition, once your return is done, securely store your supporting documents for the required period of time, and dispose of any sensitive documents you no longer need by shredding them before they hit the recycling bin.By all accounts, this tax season may be one of the most challenging we have seen in several years. The combination of IRS delays, new tax laws, and the usual confusion and questions that arise when interpreting the tax code can result in serious frustration — and costly errors. Freelance professionals often have an added layer of complexity when it comes to filing their personal tax returns, depending on how their businesses are structured. If you are considering getting some help from a tax expert, now is the time to reach out and get the assistance you need before the peak of tax season is here.Jonathan Medows is a New York City based CPA who specializes in taxes and business issues for consultants across the country. His website, www.cpaforfreelancers.com, has a resource section with how-to articles and information for freelancers.last_img read more

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Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul’s in-flight conversation: Who’s more excited about going to Bengaluru?

first_imgHardik Pandya, KL Rahul and Axar Patel are new-age cricketers. They are intensely competitive on the field, play with aggression and play to win. But they are absolute charmers away from the glare and they turned on their charm on the flight from Indore to Bangalore.Pandya’s all-round heroics helped India demolish Australia on Sunday to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series. More significanty, Pandya’s blistering 78 came at No.4, a spot KL Rahul has been trying to make his own in the ODI side.However, Pandya’s instant success at the crucial spot did not faze Rahul, who got together for an interesting in-fligt chat.  Rahul is a Bangalore local but he revealed Pandya was more excited about going to the City of Gardens than anyone else. What’s the reason, the batsman asked with a cheeky grin?”I love the city – good food, good restaraunts, good hotels, I love the team hotel – you always take me out. It’s better to go out and eat food than sitting at the hotel. Besides, I get to drive your car,” Pandya said.So, was Rahul as excited about going home? “I was in Bangalore before the series started and met family and friends..Watch @klrahul11, @hardikpandya7 & @akshar2026 have fun in the flight from Indore to Bengaluru – by @Moulinparikh https://t.co/DVlNtEBESG pic.twitter.com/WxALn9svUW- BCCI (@BCCI) September 26, 2017″I am ok (not too excited). My best friends, my boys are away. They are not in town so am not over the moon to go to Bangalore. But I get to play with my dog, drive my car and I am looking forward to being good host and take everyone out,” he said.advertisementPandya and Rahul also turned their attention to Axar Patel, who was sitting next to the duo. And they figured out why Axar was called Axar.Sample this: “I needed a passport for the Under-19 World Cup, My dad needed urgent documents for the passport and my school- prinicpal spelt my name Axar. Ever since, I have been spelling it that way too,” he said.India take on Australia in Bengaluru on Thursday and would look to take a 4-0 lead to maintain their top spot in the ICC’s ODI rankings.last_img read more

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Watch: Ziva accompanies MS Dhoni for last walk to Pune dressing room

first_imgMahendra Singh Dhoni’s daughter Ziva has undoubtedly been the flavour of the Indian Premier League this season. Her antics on and off the stage have won her a million of hearts.The father-daughter duo have been spotted on a number of occasions on and off the cricket field after Chennai Super Kings’ matches this season.Dhoni has also been constantly flooding social media with adorable videos of Ziva, which is quite unlike him considering the fact that the he isn’t wasn’t active on social media as some of his colleagues before IPL 2018.Ziva’s videos have been a sensation on the internet with everyone going into a meltdown over her cuteness. And on Monday, Captain Cool himself posted a video on Instagram which shows Ziva accompanying him up the dressing room stairs for one last time in Pune this season.Dhoni also thanked Pune fans after the final league game at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium.”Ziva gives me company for the last walk to the Pune dressing room for this season. Thanks a lot PUNE for supporting us and turning the whole stadium yellow, hope CSK entertained you guys enough,” Dhoni wrote in his post.The 36-year-old was also seen playing with Ziva after CSK’s win over Kings XI Punjab.advertisementEven Deepak Chahar and Lungi Ngidi were seen playing with Ziva on the field. As Ziva walked around the field with Dhoni, she was seen laughing and playing with Chahar.Earlier this month, Dhoni had posted a video on Instagram, where she could be seen dancing and cheering “CSK! CSK! CSK! CSK! Papa come on”.As the Indian Premier League involves a lot of travelling, the families have been tagging along with the cricketers and friendships and bonds being created between the children.Earlier, another video of the internet darling had gone viral in which she was being attended to by her father. The CSK skipper had posted a video in which he was seen drying Ziva’s hair with a hair dryer.Meanwhile, CSK bid adieu to their adopted home in Pune with a resounding 5-wicket win over KXIP in the final league match on Sunday.CSK, who returned to the IPL after serving out their two-year suspension, played just one match in Chennai this season before shifting base due to the Cauvery water issue in the city.But the shift to Pune has proved to be extremely lucky for CSK since then as they won 5 out of their 6 matches here.As a mark of gratitude, Dhoni even gave away some prizes to the Pune groundstaff along with cheques of Rs 20,000 to each member after Sunday’s match. He also got down to some pranks and teased a few of the staff, who were star-struck in the presence of India’s greatest cricket captain.The yellow brigade will next face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first Qualifier on May 22 after which Kolkata Knight Riders will take on Rajasthan Royals in the Eliminator on May 23.last_img read more

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Bringing Ecosystem Markets to Scale in the Southern United States

first_imgFor the most part, Ecosystem Markets still linger in the early stages of development. There is much more theoretical work to be done to set up environmental credit markets, including carbon offsets and payments for watershed services. But more pilot projects can also help these markets evolve and show how they might work in the real world.Development pressures in the U.S. South often mean that forests are worth more cut down than left standing. In the U.S. South alone, the U.S. Forest Service estimates that suburban encroachment will convert approximately 31 million acres (approximately 14 percent of 2010 southern forest area) of southern forests to development between 1992 and 2040.Over the last three years, an initiative at the World Resources Institute (WRI) called Southern Forests for the Future has worked to identify and pilot alternative revenue streams that could change the balance sheets for private landowners, and help them keep their forest as forest. These include payments for ecosystem services, tax benefits, and conservation easement revenue. WRI has also been involved in pilot testing a number of these initiatives; this post provides an overview of these initiatives and how to find out more information about them.The Carbon CanopyThis initiative, led by the Dogwood Alliance and office products company Staples, Inc., seeks to leverage markets for ecosystem services to increase the area of southern U.S. forests certified under sustainable management. Currently, the Carbon Canopy has projects under development that span approximately 26,000 acres in Appalachia. In order to increase the number of acres under sustainable certification, the Carbon Canopy’s initial focus has been on linking forest carbon offsets generation―that meet the requirements of the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) and Californian Air Resources Board (ARB)―and certified forest management standards (based on the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard).The issue brief discusses the Carbon Canopy’s experiences since its inception in 2009. It highlights a number of insights for other organizations seeking to build and expand markets for forest carbon offsets linked with forest certification. These insights apply to building demand, ensuring supply, and creating the transactional infrastructure for such markets. For instance, as profiled in the brief, organizations seeking to replicate the Carbon Canopy approach should:Actively recruit buyers with a potential business case for purchasing forest carbon offsets, certified products, or both to build demand. One set of prospective buyers is companies that have established voluntary targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.Invest significantly in educating woodland owners about sustainable forest management certification and forest carbon offsets in order to build supply. One effective practice is to leverage existing woodland owner networks for educational outreach.Engage experts on both the forest certification and forest carbon project development standards early on in the process to inform the development of the pilot projects. This helps ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible from start to finish.Access the full webstory and issue brief on Carbon Canopy hereGopher Tortoise habitat credit tradingThis initiative, which examines a market-based approach to conserve gopher tortoise habitat, can serve as a model for wildlife habitat conservation across the country.Hundreds of imperiled wildlife species in the U.S. are candidates for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), but landowners often have very little financial incentive to protect them.Moreover, a recent court settlement requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to make initial or final listing decisions on hundreds of candidate species by September 2016. As USFWS accelerates listing decisions in the next few years, landowners with candidate species on their property face considerable uncertainty in their land-use planning.That’s why WRI and its partners, including Advanced Conservation Strategies and the American Forest Foundation, saw an opportunity to set up a candidate conservation marketplace; a scalable, voluntary, and science-based market mechanism to spur conservation for imperiled species prior to their listing under the ESA.Under this model, private landowners who conserve, manage, or restore gopher tortoise habitat on their properties can receive “credits” that they can sell in the marketplace. This approach may allow federal and private project developers, such as solar, wind and natural gas developers, to manage their environmental risk by investing in conservation on private lands in return for regulatory certainty from the USFWS. By protecting the gopher tortoise habitat now, the goal is to keep the species from being listed under the ESA.The issue brief details this ongoing pilot initiative in Georgia and Alabama. Initial pilot transactions are intended to take place in 2012. Pilot partners are working with the U.S. Army, which is trying to proactively manage gopher tortoise habitats before federal listing under the ESA becomes necessary and potentially leads to a loss of training grounds.Access the full webstory on Gopher Tortoise habitat credit trading herePayments for Watershed Services – Three InitiativesForested watersheds in the South provide numerous services to the region. They purify water, control flooding and erosion, and provide recreational opportunities. Yet, despite their value, many watersheds are under threat from development and poor land management.“Payments for Watershed Services” (PWS) programs are one strategy to mitigate these threats. Though a PWS program, landowners receive financial incentives to conserve, sustainably manage, and or/restore watersheds to yield ecosystem service benefits.For example, in Maine’s Sebago Lake Watershed, WRI conducted a preliminary economic analysis of how the city of Portland, Maine could minimize costs to meet EPA water quality requirements by investing in green infrastructure elements, rather than investing in a water filtration facility.WRI worked with partners, including the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, to identify green infrastructure elements that would help maintain or improve water quality into the Sebago Lake watershed. These elements include conservation easements, forest certification, streamside forest buffers, culvert replacements, and reforestation. Our preliminary results indicate that investing in green infrastructure could represent a cost-savings of $68 – $72 million (or 51% – 76%) over a 20-year period.We also estimated ancillary benefits that result from investing in green infrastructure including carbon sequestration and landlocked salmon habitat provision. Together, these two services have an estimated present value of $75-125 million. WRI’s methodology described in the issue brief and in other ongoing WRI research can be replicated for water utilities in other watersheds and provide the basis for scaling up demand for PWS.WRI has also been involved, as part of the Southern Forests for the Future initiative, in two other PWS initiatives:A Unified Development Ordinance in Raleigh, North CarolinaA Beneficiary Analysis of the Upper Neuse River Watershed in North CarolinaConcluding thoughtsTogether, these three initiatives form the basis of an effort amongst a number of partner organizations working in the southern U.S. to scale up innovative pilot mechanisms to keep forest as forest, while also building the case for ecosystem market evolution in a broader context.Access the full webstory on Payments for Watershed Services hereThese three issue briefs are part of the Southern Forests for the Future Incentives Series, about innovative financial mechanisms designed to help private landowners in the southern United States sustain their forests. To access these briefs and other issue briefs in the Southern Forests for the Future Incentives Series, and to learn more about southern U.S. forests, visit: www.SeeSouthernForests.org.Developed by WRI with support from Toyota, this interactive site provides a wide range of information about southern forests, including current and historic satellite images that allow users to zoom in on areas of interest, overlay maps showing selected forest features and drivers of change, historic forest photos, and case studies of innovative approaches for sustaining forests in the region. To order free hard copies of this issue brief, and other briefs in the Southern Forests for the Future Incentives Series, please contact us.last_img read more

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Matthew Horwood obituary

first_imgShare on Pinterest My father, Matthew Horwood, who has died of prostate cancer aged 66, worked as a teacher for almost 40 years, and in retirement served first as a town councillor, then mayor of his home town of Southwold, Suffolk. Matthew was born in Walberswick, one of three children of Donald Horwood, a schoolteacher, and Irene (nee Harbert), who worked with children with special needs. He grew up on the banks of the Blyth estuary, where he learned to sail. He attended schools in Walberswick, Southwold, Reydon and Beccles, before moving to London to study drama and English at the Central School of Speech and Drama.Matthew graduated in 1973 and took his first teaching job in Lowestoft. After a year he decided he needed a break from education and joined Birdseye frozen foods. He was even featured in the staff magazine, which highlighted him and another teacher as evidence of Birdseye attracting “intellectuals”. He lived up to this label by reading War and Peace in its entirety while on the factory floor.After leaving Birdseye in 1975, Matthew taught at special schools in Suffolk and London for the rest of the 1970s. In 1974 he met Jane Blythe, and they married in 1980. They moved back to Suffolk where Matthew taught in Southwold and Lowestoft, before being appointed headmaster of Ringsfield primary school in 1995. He finished his career as headmaster of Grove primary school, Carlton Colville, where he worked from 2003 to 2012.Outside work, Matthew was a passionate sailor. He was given his first boat for his 21st birthday, a Mirror 14, which he took to a national championship in Plymouth, finishing a very respectable 16th out of 60. He was a national champion in a Silver Streak (a small, two-person sailing dinghy), and participated in many other races and contests. In retirement he fulfilled a lifelong ambition to own his own sailing cruiser – Phantom, which he moored at Orford.In 2015 Matthew was elected to Southwold town council. He was astonished by the amount of support he received, convinced there had been an error in the count; in 2017 he was elected the town mayor. He had always been at the forefront of his local community, and dedicated his mayoral year to highlighting the work of community volunteers and raising money for youth services in the town, which have been starved of funds in recent years.He is survived by Jane, their children, Charles and me, and their grandson, Joseph; and by his brother, Ben, and sister, Caroline. Share on Facebook Local government obituaries Sailing Reuse this content Teaching Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Other lives Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share on Messenger Topicslast_img read more

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Precautions Advised for Snow Storm

first_imgA blizzard warning has been issued for Wednesday, March 26, and the Emergency Management Office and RCMP are advising Nova Scotians to take precautions. “We are monitoring the storm closely to ensure we have the most up-to-date information,” said Lena Diab, Minister responsible for the Emergency Management Office. “With heavy snowfall and very high winds a possibility, it’s important to prepare emergency kits that include enough supplies for 72 hours.” An emergency kit should include a flashlight, crank radio, water, a first-aid kit and food that will not spoil. “We ask people to use good judgment before they consider venturing out tomorrow, and to pay attention to the watches and warnings,” said Supt. Darrell Beaton, acting officer-in-charge of criminal operations for the RCMP in Nova Scotia. “If you travel, there is potential to get stranded and place yourself in harm’s way.” Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Geoff MacLellan said expected strong winds could make driving hazardous. “Stay off the roads if possible but, if you must travel, check the 511 road information line for updates,” said Mr. MacLellan. “Be especially aware for possible closures in windy areas such as the Canso Causeway, the Cobequid Pass, and the Tantramar Marshes.” The public should take precautions for potential storm surges, particularly in flood-prone areas. Nova Scotians are also urged to stay away from beaches and the water’s edge. People are encouraged to check on those who may be vulnerable or living alone, to see if they need assistance. Pets should also be brought indoors. For more information on emergency preparedness, visit http://novascotia.ca/just/EMO/prepare_for_an_emergency/ .last_img read more

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Frank Lampard returns to Chelsea as manager

first_imgLondon: Frank Lampard promised to keep Chelsea competitive at the top of the Premier League after his return to the club as manager on a three-year deal was confirmed on Thursday. Lampard won 13 trophies in 13 years and became Chelsea’s all-time leading marksmen with 211 goals from midfield during a decorated playing career at Stamford Bridge. However, the former England midfielder has just one season of managerial experience having led Derby County to the Championship play-off final in May, when they were beaten by Aston Villa. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football togetherLampard faces what he described as the biggest challenge of his career with Chelsea having lost their best player of recent times in Eden Hazard to Real Madrid last month and serving a two-window transfer ban that prevents him from making new signings. However, he believes Chelsea can remain in the Premier League’s top four. “We want to be playing Champions League football year in, year out for sure. I think that is something that should drive us all on. We want to develop players and be competitive,” said Lampard. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open”Of course there are variables, we know at the moment there is the transfer ban, we know about the situation. We know Man City and Liverpool pulled away last year and we should be realistic about that, but we should never stop trying as Chelsea to be up there and I think we should be.” Lampard succeeds Maurizio Sarri, who left England to take over at Juventus last month. Sarri led Chelsea back into the Champions League next season thanks to a third-place finish in the Premier League and also won the Europa League during his sole season in charge.last_img read more

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Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,705.00, up 70.06 points):Chalice Gold Mines (TSX: CXN). Metals and mining. Down four cents, 13.79 per cent, to $0.25 on 5.6 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financial Services. Up two cents, or 0.08 per cent, to $25.33 on 4.7 million shares.BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB). Wireless communications. Up 26 cents, or 1.86 per cent, to $14.21 on 4.5 million shares.Precision Drilling Corp. (TSX:PD). Oil and gas. Down 25 cents, or 6.44 per cent, to $3.63 on 4.4 million shares.Hydro One Ltd. (TSX:H). Utilities. Down 80 cents, or 2.10 per cent, to $37.30 on 4.3 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Down 14 cents, or 0.95 per cent, to $14.55 on 3.8 million shares.Companies reporting major news:DHX Media Ltd. (TSX:DHX.A, DHX.B). Entertainment. Up 32 cents, or 6.12 per cent, to $5.55 on 70,558 shares. The children’s entertainment company says it has launched a review of strategic alternatives including the possible sale of all or part of the company. The company says it has formed a special committee of independent directors to consider and evaluate its various options. It adds that its board has not set a timetable for the process nor has it made any decisions related to any alternatives. The company noted that there could be no assurance that the review will result in a transaction.Home Capital Group Inc. (TSX:HCG). Financial Services. Up eight cents, or 0.58 per cent, to $13.97 on 202,961 shares. The Toronto-based alternative mortgage lender says it has eliminated 65 jobs from its workforce as part of a program to cut $15 million in annual costs. The company says after factoring in the latest job cuts, the company’s head count has been reduced by 10 per cent since the end of June. Home Capital said Monday it cut the 65 full-time positions from its operational, sales and underwriting division.Jean Coutu Group Inc. (TSX:PJC.A). Drug store chain. Up 41 cents, or 1.69 per cent, to $24.71 on 1.5 million shares. Two of Quebec’s iconic retail brands are planning to merge with Metro Inc.’s $4.5-billion takeover offer for the Jean Coutu pharmacy group. Shareholders of Jean Coutu are being offered a combination of cash and stock worth about $24.50 per share. Three-quarters of the payout or $3.2 billion will be in cash and 25 per cent in Metro shares.last_img read more

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Record donation enables UN agency to provide food aid in 20 countries

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a donation of $196.6 million from Japan, the largest-ever single contribution to the agency, which will use it to provide essential food and nutritional assistance to millions of needy people in 20 countries in Africa and Asia.The funds will also support logistics operations in eight countries where WFP has projects.“We are extremely grateful for this substantial supplementary aid package and Japan’s continued commitment to promoting human security and peacebuilding,” said Mohamed Saleheen, Director of WFP’s Japan Relations Office. “This is proof of Japan’s strong leadership in global food and nutrition security.”The donation will benefit people in need in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger and Uganda.The channelling of funds to support food assistance programmes in Afghanistan and Pakistan reflect Japan’s desire to promote peace and stability in the region, according to WFP.The funds will be used to provide food to conflict and disaster-affected people, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable groups, including malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women. In Pakistan, the donation will be used to provide immediate food assistance, as well as recovery support to the survivors of last year’s devastating floods.In Africa, the contribution will support WFP’s programmes in 17 African countries where people are in need food aid because of conflicts and weather-related shocks such as droughts and floods.WFP’s logistics operations will also benefit from the donation, especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the agency runs the UN Humanitarian Air Service, which provides critical air transport and cargo services for the humanitarian community. 11 January 2011The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a donation of $196.6 million from Japan, the largest-ever single contribution to the agency, which will use it to provide essential food and nutritional assistance to millions of needy people in 20 countries in Africa and Asia. read more

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Maldives UN official urges all sides to form national unity government

13 February 2012All sides in the current political crisis in the Maldives must urgently reach agreement on forming an inclusive government of national unity, a senior United Nations official said today, calling also for a “credible and independent” probe into recent events in the Indian Ocean country. Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco told reporters in Malé, the Maldivian capital, at the end of a five-day visit that “there are no external solutions” to the country’s political problems.“All must work together, constructively, for the good of the nation,” he said. “We appreciate the need for healing and reconciliation in the wake of these traumatic events. We urge all to look forward now, in a spirit of national consensus and genuine cooperation.”Last week Mohamed Nasheed resigned as president of the Maldives after days of protests and tensions between the Government and military and police, and he was succeeded by his former deputy Mohammed Waheed Hassan. Media reports indicate that Mr. Nasheed has said his resignation was not voluntary and has since faced a warrant for his arrest. Fresh protests have also been held.During his visit to the Maldives Mr. Fernandez-Taranco met with key political figures, representatives of State institutions and civil society groups as part of his efforts to monitor recent developments. He said he stressed the need for calm throughout his discussions.“Both demonstrators and security forces must exercise utmost restraint. There is a need for sufficient space for a peaceful solution to the present crisis to take hold. Therefore, I call upon all parties to ensure that no incitements to violence and acts of violence occur.“The Maldives cannot afford a descent into violence and protracted instability that would jeopardize the progress achieved by the country since 2008, and its economic future.”The Assistant Secretary-General said that while there was “considerable controversy” over recent events, everyone he spoke with agreed on the importance of preserving democratic gains, upholding the constitution, protecting human rights and strengthening the rule of law.“There is an urgent need for all sides concerned to come to an agreement on forming a government, based on the principle of inclusiveness and national unity, and reach a consensus on the way forward,” he underlined.“There needs to be a credible and independent investigation by a national mechanism into the developments of the past weeks, and the events that led up to them.” read more

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Canadian Food Inspection Agency expands yogurt recall to Yoplait and Liberte

OTTAWA — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has added the Yoplait Minigo and Liberte brands of yogurt to a recall over concerns that pieces of plastic may be in the product.The national recall of General Mills Canada Corp. products includes some batches of Yoplait Minigo strawberry and raspberry yogurt in 90-gram pouches, as well as Liberte Greek yogurt in raspberry and coconut flavours in the 120-gram size.The recall follows a similar one by Ultima Foods last month over concerns about the potential of plastic pieces in seven Iogo yogurt products.The Iogo recall included 93-millilitre Iogo Nano strawberry, raspberry, vanilla and banana drinkable yogurt products sold in packages of six, and one-litre Iogo smoothie protein products with mango, strawberry-raspberry and strawberry flavours.

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UN policymaking body opens annual session in Vienna looks to tackle range

“The commitment of Member States to the balanced approach is clearly evident in the broad range of draft resolutions presented at this CND,” the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov told the nearly 1,000 delegates gathered in Vienna.Mr. Fedotov praised the Commission for its vital role as a policy-making body on narcotic drugs within the UN system as well as its support for his Vienna-based organization to achieve greater strategic and operational coherence.Working with the Commission had enabled UNODC to “put in place integrated, inter-regional responses linking UNODC’s country, regional and global programmes to confront the challenges of illicit drugs,” he said.The hard work of confronting illicit drug supply and demand, he said, went on every day and was the result of the commission’s and UNODC’s collective efforts.The Commission’s session, being held between 9 and 17 March in Vienna, will include a special four-day segment on preparations for the UN General Assembly special session on the world drug problem in 2016. Following this, between 13 and 17 March, the Commission’s regular segment will include deliberations on draft resolutions and the scope of the control of substances.This session brings together around 1,000 delegates representing Member States, inter-governmental organizations, civil society and the media for a global discussion on the world drug problem, according to UNODC. This year, the Commission discusses 12 draft resolutions including: Promoting evidence based treatment and care for young people affected by drug use disorders; Alternative sentences for drug involved offenders; Protecting young people and children, including from the sale of illicit drugs and new psychoactive substances online; Promoting the role of drug analysis labs as well as scientific research, and strengthening cooperation with academia; Promoting the use of the international electronic import and export authorization system for licit international trade in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances; Supporting alternative development, as well as international cooperation to respond to synthetic drugs; and Confronting financial flows linked to drug trafficking.UNODC’s work, Mr. Fedotov noted, sought to “protect the health of people; including those suffering from HIV or hepatitis; ensure access to treatment services and essential medicines; promote fundamental human rights; build viable alternative livelihoods and stop criminals from exploiting the vulnerable.”He also said that it had been 60 years since the General Assembly decided to establish the UN Narcotics Laboratory, which is the predecessor of UNODC’s Laboratory and Scientific Section.UNODC was established in 1997 as a result of the merging of the UN’s Centre for International Crime Prevention and the UN International Drug Control Programme. It was established by the UN Secretary-General to enable the Organization to focus and enhance its capacity to address the interrelated issues of drug control, crime and international terrorism in all its forms. read more

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State Supreme Court hears McCleary arguments

first_imgAn attorney for the state of Washington assured the justices of the state’s Supreme Court on Wednesday that lawmakers are making strides toward adequately funding the state’s public schools.“We have benchmarks, deadlines and a firm commitment by the Legislature to take action in the 2017 (session),” said Alan Copsey, deputy solicitor general, arguing that the court should purge the contempt order and lift the $100,000-a-day sanction it has imposed.But Thomas Ahearne, who represents the McCleary family and other plaintiffs suing the state for not fulfilling its constitutional duty to fully fund basic education, likened the debate to a merry-go-round going in circles.The state’s justices also appeared skeptical at times.“What happens if it doesn’t take place in the 2017 Legislature?” Justice Susan Owens asked Copsey, adding that she’s heard similar promises in the past that never materialized.The justices asked the attorneys whether the sanctions had been effective and whether the court should increase the stakes to spur legislators into action. The court’s goal was to determine whether legislators have a road map for fulfilling their 2012 McCleary mandate.last_img read more

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State announces tentative deal with ExxonMobil to supply gas for Alaska LNG

first_imgAttorney General Jahna Lindemuth (left), ExxonMobil Alaska Production Manager Darlene Gates, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, BP Vice President of Commercial Ventures Damian Bilbao, and DNR Commissioner Andy Mack, during a signing ceremony for the Gas Sales Precedent Agreement with ExxonMobil and the Point Thomson Letter Agreement between the State of Alaska, ExxonMobil and BP on Monday, September 10, 2018 at the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy/Gov. Bill Walker’s office)In a hastily-assembled, early morning press conference on Sept. 10, state officials announced that they have settled on the terms of a gas sales agreement with ExxonMobil.Listen nowThe agreement is not binding, but is intended to supply gas for the Alaska LNG project.Though they would not share a copy of the agreement, officials say it contains key terms like the price for the gas and volume the company agrees to sell into the Alaska LNG project, which would build a pipeline to bring gas from the North Slope to Cook Inlet for export.The state and its Alaska Gasline Development Corporation are negotiating at both ends of the proposed pipeline, including final agreements to buy gas from producers and contracts for buyers for that gas.The gas sales agreement is also linked to production at the massive Point Thomson field on the North Slope. Exxon operates the field, though BP is a major owner as well.Production at the field has been a point of contention between the state and the oil companies for decades. A 2012 legal agreement set a timeline for bumping up production. Now, the state has agreed to suspend that timeline — so long as ExxonMobil and BP continue to negotiate gas sales agreements for the Alaska LNG project.The gasline corporation still needs to secure the federal and state permits to build the $45 billion project.  It wants a final investment decision by 2019 — so it can break ground that year and bring the project online by 2025.last_img read more

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New DocuSeries Promotes DCs Entrepreneurs

first_imgBy Christina Sturdivant Sani, Special to the AFROAs Washington’s creative economy thrives, four D.C.-area natives want newcomers to know that the city was cool before #madeindc was a slogan branded on t-shirts and coffee mugs.For decades, people have been putting down roots in the District, and the fruits of their labor are bringing more folks to the table. “We want to champion and document the creativity, attention to detail and hustle mindsets of D.C.’s entrepreneurs of color,” Matt Ashton, told the AFRO.A still from the ‘Set Up Shop’ documentary featuring Doyle Song, owner of Ward9 in Silver Spring, Maryland. (Courtesy photo)Ashton is one of four co-founders of Black-owned creative media company Fairground Times. “The depiction of millennials tends to vary in today’s media, but one thing others cannot doubt is our ability to create and innovate,” said Ashton. “Now is the time to tell these stories because we are best-equipped to tell them.”Fairground’s latest project is called Set-Up Shop, which Ashton directed. Streaming on YouTube, it features creative entrepreneurs who grew up in the D.C. area and remain, as well as others who are making their mark in other major cities like New York, Atlanta, and LA.“This is the first time we can actually get an in-depth look at our city’s history and culture on a modernized level,” said Donte Player, a co-founder and editor on the project. The series is meant to serve as moving storyboard and inspiration for people—from Generation X to Millennials—who are “bucking traditional careers to build independent ventures,” said Geronimo Collins, a co-founder and creative lead.“Everybody wants to see what they should be doing so that they can muster up the courage to move forward,” added Ryan Gordan, co-founder and videography lead. “Your testimony is one of the most important things you can share with the world.”“Set Up Shop’s” first episode features Doyle Song, owner of streetwear brand Enemies Forever. An Asian designer, Song has spent years in D.C.’s fashion and retail industry. “I’m really just a person who’s trying to progress our community as a whole where [we] can do things on a national level,” Song said, in the 20-minute film.“I might not be the guy who gets there but maybe I’ll inspire the kid who wants to be better than me,” he said. Meanwhile, the short film features a bevy of locals who vouch for his design aesthetic and loyalty to his brand.While the film ends with the opening of Song’s storefront at sneaker and apparel shop WARD9 in Silver Spring, Maryland, the story isn’t all glitz and glamour. And that’s the point.Many accounts of hometown heroes aren’t laced with setbacks. “We don’t see enough of the unsexy parts that go into making a name for oneself,” said Collins. “We’ll hear it rhetorically after someone has made it and even then, it’s another redundant cliché.” These perceptions leave many budding entrepreneurs with a false sense of what it takes to blaze a trail, he said, explaining why the documentary’s authentic storytelling is a reward for viewers. “You can do this but you gotta put the good with the bad to even get to great.”The next episode of “Set Up Shop” will showcase the restaurant industry, with hopes of equipping viewers with “both tangible and intangible takeaways that they could immediately add to their own respective creative arsenals,” said Ashton. “‘Set-Up Shop’ doesn’t seek to just entertain or educate, but also empower.”last_img read more