Survey reveals SoCal drivers admit to using smartphones while driving

first_img April 3, 2019 KUSI Newsroom Survey reveals SoCal drivers admit to using smartphones while driving KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – April is National Distracted Driver Awareness Month. The Automobile Club of Southern California released a survey showing that 10% of adult drivers use their smartphones while driving.Drivers who are more likely to drive “in-texticated” are between 25-to-39 years old.About 10% of drivers who were in a car crash in the last five years believe smartphone distraction was a factor. Posted: April 3, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Who Will Replace French at Penton

first_imgSEE RELATED: French’s memoIt’s been a few hours since John French announced to staffers through an internal memo that he was stepping down as CEO of Penton Media, yet industry observers have already begun speculating about who will succeed him at the helm of one of the biggest b-to-b publishers in the country.In the memo, French indicated that he will stay on as a member of Penton’s board of directors and will remain CEO until a replacement is made. A Penton spokesperson told FOLIO: that the search is set to begin, and that while the company “will explore all of its options,” the focus will be on external candidates.“I think they’ll look at combination of people with business media and information experience and also people who have deep experience in nontraditional b-to-b media, including e-media,” says Oakstreet Media CEO, and former Penton CEO, Tom Kemp. “Are they going to look at someone like [Jordan, Edmiston Group managing director] Michael Marchesano? Who knows? Whoever the replacement is will be a surprise, I think.” “Looking around, there doesn’t seem to be too many options,” says another industry source who wished to remain anonymous. “Who’s out there now, and available, who would be interested in running a large multi-vertical, print centric publishing company like Penton? It’s not clear.”Another source said it’s possible—perhaps likely—that Penton will reachoutside the ranks of print-centric b-to-b media and seek an executivewith an interactive media experience. If so, Penton would be attemptinga move that has almost always failed in the past. In the late-1990s, ahandful of b-to-b media companies brought in e-centric executives, mostnotably Cahners Publishing, which hired Marc Teren. Teren left after abrief and apparently stormy tenure.Tough Job, Tough Year Whoever gets the job will be inheriting a company that has gone through a number of dramatic changes this year. Early last month, Penton laid off 42 staffers in an effort to reduce costs. In April, French called for salary and hiring freezes, and has launched a company-wide revenue reforecast for the remainder of 2008.The company-wide reforecasting is ongoing, according to the Penton spokesperson.“Media in general right now is going through huge secular changes as it transitions from traditional properties to digital, which is complicated by tough economic times,” Kemp says. “From Penton to Ziff Davis Media to Hachette, you name it—being a CEO of any traditional media company these days is a tough job.”Where Did It Go Wrong? Meanwhile, there is speculation about precisely why Wasserstein and French decided to part ways. The company’s revenue shortfalls are well-known, thanks to French’s memos to employees. What is less well known, one source said, is the trouble the company is having in the back-office services area. When Penton merged with Prism Business Media, the internal goal was to save approximately $10 million in support services such as accounting and circulation. “They’ve had problems integrating the business,” the source said. “They shut down accounting in Overland Park, Kansas, and fired all the people there. They tried to do a huge merger too quickly just to get the cost savings. And it’s been a mess. That’s what you don’t hear. Internal management can’t get the information they need to run the business.”last_img read more

BRAC Round Would Free up Funding for Enduring Facilities James Says

first_imgAt a hearing Wednesday of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James pointed to the extra dollars a BRAC round would make available for the service’s remaining facilities as the main impetus for pursuing additional base closures.“We have an ever-shrinking pot of money for infrastructure improvement and we’re spreading it out way, way thin. And if we could reduce that overall footprint of infrastructure, we would have more money to keep up and improve the facilities that we really need going forward,” James said in response to a question from Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.).The secretary made clear the urgency of the matter. “I’m worried about infrastructure across the Air Force,” she said.James’ argument for a new BRAC round in 2019 — proposed in the Obama administration’s fiscal 2017 budget request — echoes that of Army officials who have referred to the $500 million that service is spending each year on unneeded facilities.In her opening remarks, James thanked the panel for supporting a moderate increase in the Air Force’s active-duty end strength in FY 2016 from 311,000 to 317,000, and said it was likely the service would need to grow further in FY 2017.“To underscore, we simply cannot go any lower,” she said. “And in reality, in our opinion, we believe that mission demands in FY ‘17 are going to require us to likely grow more in FY ‘17. And so, to meet these demands, I plan to take a judicious approach to incrementally increase our total force beyond the current levels, provided, of course, that we can attract the right talent,” James said.Much of the gains are due to increased demands for cyber and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.Written testimony and a webcast of the hearing on the Air Force’s budget request are available on the committee website. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Celebrate St Patricks Day Early With A Dinner Dance At Shriners Auditorium

first_imgShare this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington-Tewksbury Chamber Of Commerce To Hold Music Bingo Bash On March 8In “Business”Wilmington-Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce Announces 11th Annual Comedy NightIn “Business”COMING TO THE SHRINERS: Women’s Roller Derby On August 3In “Sports” WILMINGTON, MA — The Shriners are holding a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at the Shriners Auditorium (99 Fordham Road). A social hour begins at 6pm. Dinner starts at 7pm.The evening features an Irish dinner; music; and prizes. Tickets cost $25. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact 978-657-4202 x 216.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.last_img read more

Nonsubsidised LPG gas cylinders to cost Rs 100 less

first_imgNon-subsidised LPG gas cylinders will be available for Rs 637 per cylinder instead of Rs. 737.50.ReutersIn a major relief to households across the nation, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has declared that the price of non-subsidised cooking gas cylinders (LPG) will be cheaper by Rs 100.50 per cylinder from Monday, July 1. With this, the non-subsidised LPG gas cylinder will be available for Rs 637 instead of Rs. 737.50.The decision to cut rates was taken in view of softening LPG prices in the international market and a favourable dollar-rupee exchange rate, according to a press release by IOC. “Price of Non-Subsidised LPG in Delhi will decrease by Rs 100.50 per cylinder from 1st July. Upfront cash payment by consumer of domestic LPG will reduce by Rs 100.50 per cylinder,” said IOC in a statement.Indian Oil Corporation: As domestic LPG prices are subsidized by the Government, the effective price after subsidy to consumer will be Rs 494.35 per cylinder for the month of July 2019. https://t.co/2YQs6da0Jw— ANI (@ANI) June 30, 2019The release further stated: “As domestic LPG prices are subsidised by the government, the effective price has come down to Rs 494.35 per cylinder with this rate revision. The balance amount of Rs 142.65 per cylinder would be borne as subsidy by the central government and transferred to the consumer’s bank account after the purchase of a refill.”The recent development, which has been welcomed by the households using LPG gas cylinders, comes days ahead of the Union Budget on July 5. The budget for the financial year ending March 2020 will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This is also the first budget of the Narendra Modi government after BJP came back to power in a landslide election win.However, LPG saw a price hike of 3.65 percent with effect from June 1 and the recent cut comes exactly after a month. Indian Oil said that amounted to an increase of Rs 25 per cylinder as compared to the last month. In any case, depending on changes in the average international benchmark LPG prices and foreign exchange rates, the extent of the subsidy varies from month to month.last_img read more

Houston Gets Ready for Super Bowl LI

first_img Share X Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:44center_img Ed MayberryMayor Sylvester Turner, with Sallie Sargent, president and CEO of the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee. “Are you ready for some football? All right, all right!” Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston Super Bowl host committee discuss the city’s preparations for Super Bowl 51, which takes place at NRG Stadium on February 5th.“I want all of you to know that our city departments, from police, fire, emergency management and special events, have been working tirelessly for some time to make sure that our city is prepared for the big game,” said Turner.  That includes the rail system. The Red Line was new with the 2004 Super Bowl, handling some 65,000 passengers. METRO’s chair Carrin Patman said now there are three lines visitors can use.“Please know that we are getting our game plan together to make transit the best option for getting to the Super Bowl and all the wonderful events surrounding this mission,” Patman said. Houston Police delegations have been visiting other Super Bowl cities to see how security measures are implemented, according to HPD’s Matt Slinkard.“To see how their command and control operations work and how they respond to the various challenges that you face during Super Bowl week. Anything related to security, as well as traffic, transportation, mobility, how you move people in and out of events and around your city in such a busy time,” said Slinkard, Assistant Chief of Homeland Security at the Houston Police Department. In the days leading up to the big game, several events will be part of the Touchdown Tour, bringing interactive games, food and music into neighborhoods.“Not many citizens will be able to attend the Super Bowl, so we’re bringing the excitement of the game into 11 Houston neighborhoods. This unique experience happens over two days in each of the 11 targeted neighborhoods,” Mayor Turner said. The tour launches this weekend at Mason Park, and will be at other locations each weekend until the big game. last_img read more

DNA found in lake bottom offers historical clues regarding impact of an

first_img The researchers note that understanding the full impact of an invasive species on an environment is difficult, involving many factors, one of which is generally a long timescale. In this new effort, the researchers found an environment with few interacting variables and a natural historical record—DNA found in a lake bottom.The environment was the Kerguelen Islands, situated in a remote southern part of the Indian Ocean. The invasive species was a type of rabbit introduced to the islands as a food source in 1874 by a group of scientists—they were there to study the transit of Venus, but they left behind several rabbits that quickly multiplied because there were no predators. Since that time, the rabbits have spread across much of the main island of Grande Terre, wreaking havoc on the delicate ecosystem.To learn more about the impact the rabbits have on the island, the researchers collected samples from the bottom of a lake which contained samples of plant DNA. They found samples dating back several hundred years, and were able to follow the events that had transpired.They deduced that the region had been relatively stable for hundreds of years prior to the arrival of the rabbits. Then, in the early 1940s, when the rabbits made their way to that part of the island, things changed. Prior to their arrival, the dominant plant was Azorella selago—after their arrival, plant diversity plummeted. They also noted that erosion dramatically increased, as well.The team notes that erosion did eventually level off, but the ecosystem was unstable, and remains that way today in spite of efforts to eradicate the rabbits by the French Government. Instead, due to more human traffic in the area, other invasive species have made their way to the islands. Still, the island offers a unique opportunity to study the impact of an invasive species in a near-pristine environment. Citation: DNA found in lake bottom offers historical clues regarding impact of an invasive species (2018, May 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-dna-lake-bottom-historical-clues.html Invasive Burmese pythons shown to be reducing marsh rabbit population in Everglades Journal information: Science Advances A team of researchers from France, Italy and Norway has found a natural historical record of the impact of an invasive species of rabbit on a remote Indian Ocean island. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the researchers describe their efforts to learn more about the environmental impact of an invasive species. Credit: CC0 Public Domaincenter_img Explore further © 2018 Phys.org More information: Gentile Francesco Ficetola et al. DNA from lake sediments reveals long-term ecosystem changes after a biological invasion, Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar4292AbstractWhat are the long-term consequences of invasive species? After invasion, how long do ecosystems require to reach a new equilibrium? Answering these questions requires long-term, high-resolution data that are vanishingly rare. We combined the analysis of environmental DNA extracted from a lake sediment core, coprophilous fungi, and sedimentological analyses to reconstruct 600 years of ecosystem dynamics on a sub-Antarctic island and to identify the impact of invasive rabbits. Plant communities remained stable from AD 1400 until the 1940s, when the DNA of invasive rabbits was detected in sediments. Rabbit detection corresponded to abrupt changes of plant communities, with a continuous decline of a dominant plant species. Furthermore, erosion rate abruptly increased with rabbit abundance. Rabbit impacts were very fast and were stronger than the effects of climate change during the 20th century. Lake sediments can allow an integrated temporal analysis of ecosystems, revealing the impact of invasive species over time and improving our understanding of underlying mechanisms. 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.last_img read more

Ferrari convertible crashes into divider bizman dead

first_imgKolkata: A 30-year-old Kolkata businessman was killed while his companion, a 21-year-old woman critically injured after a Ferrari sports car they were travelling in toppled on National Highway 6 at least 6-7 times before hitting a divider. The intensity of the accident was so high that the frontal portion of the high-end Ferrari California T was reduced to a lump of mangled metal. The railing of the divider pierced into the vehicle resulting in the bursting of the airbag on the driver’s side. The deceased, Shibaji Roy (30), was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident while his friend Ashna Surana (21) was sitting next to him. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe accident took place at Pakuria area of Domjur at around 9.30 am on Sunday. According to the police, the victims went to Dankuni to have food along with a few of their friends as they used to on a regular basis on Sunday morning. It was learnt that Roy’s friends who accompanied him were in other cars on their way back home.The Ferrari California T is a two-door, hardtop convertible sports car that makes over 552 horse power.The exact cause of the accident is yet to be confirmed by the Howrah rural police after a forensic test. Sources said the two-seater Ferrari crashed after the driver lost control over the vehicle. The nature of the accident suggests that it was running at a minimum speed of 150-170 km per hour at the time of the accident. Police are investigating every possible angle that might have led to the fatal accident. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIt was learnt that Roy, a resident of a Triangular Park area, and a high-profile businessman had at least 8 high-end cars in his possession. He belonged to a group that used to go out frequently, particularly on Sundays. According to local sources, people often indulge in car racing along the National Highway 6.The way the car was damaged indicates a terrible crash as it hit the side of the road, smashing the driver’s door and the entire front was completely crushed. A metal pipe, about 6 inches thick, was seen to have pierced the bonnet of the vehicle. According to a senior police officer of Howrah rural police, the sports car was coming at a high speed from Dankuni and hit the divider while approaching a bridge at Pakuria on National Highway 6 at Domjur. Soon after the accident, the car landed upside down on the ground with a thud, the officer said.The locals rushed to the spot immediately. Senior police officers reached the spot and began with the rescue operation. The victims were removed from the mangled portion of the car with the help of the gas cutter.They were rushed to a private hospital where Roy was declared brought dead while Surana is undergoing treatment and is under ventilation support. Her condition is stated to be critical. According to hospital sources, she has multiple injuries in her body. Police are expected to conduct a forensic test on the mangled parts of the Ferrari. The accident caused a major disruption to traffic movement along the arterial road for around 30 minutes, a senior police officer of the district added.last_img read more

October 13 2005 Colly Soleri Music Center w

first_imgOctober 13, 2005 Colly Soleri Music Center welcomes back HUMAN NATURE Dance Theater. This is the 11th year that this group from Flagstaff, AZ comes for a 7-day workshop. Morning, afternoon and evening practice and performances accumulate in a public performance on Saturday evening, October 15. 2005. The performance this year, TOUCH AND GO takes a humorous yet sensitive look at how we relate to each other. How do we touch each other? What is taboo? What connects us? It addresses intimacy, attraction, sexuality, aggression, tenderness andloss. The show is challenging, bold and full of questions. Dinner will be served at 6:00 pm and the performance starts at 7:30 pm. Arcosanti Chef Eleanor Gillis Menu for this event is: Roasted Eggplant Coconut Soup, Mixed Green Salad with Sweet Pecans, Blue Cheese, Pears and Arcosanti Peach Vinaigrette Dressing, Crispy Polenta Rounds, Green Beans with Mustard-Dill Sauce, Butternut Squash with Creamy Leeks, Pork stewed with Fruit and Port and Bread Pudding with Lemon Sauce. For more information on please click Human Nature Performance. [Photo & Text: sa]last_img read more

French live and catchup TV steaming service Molo

first_imgFrench live and catch-up TV steaming service, Molotov, has passed the one million user mark, six months after its launch.The OTT TV service said the average age of its users is around 35 years old, while the average audience age on TV is 51 years old.Molotov first launched on Apple platforms before arriving on Android devices last November then on connected TVs in December.Some 40% of users are watching vi smartphone and the same proportion via tablets, with 20% tuning in on connected TVs.The daily average viewing time is around 80 minutes with some variation by device. On smartphone the average is 40 minutes and on connected TVs and 160 minutes.According to Pierre Lescure, the former CEO of Canal+ and one of the three cofounders of Molotov, “the audience is particularly young and its fast adoption shows it is attractive among younger viewers, bringing millennials back to TV.”New social functionalities will be deployed soon. Molotov will also pursue discussions and partnerships with TV channels to expand its content offering on the international market.last_img read more

Casey Researchs Chief Energy Investment Strategis

first_imgCasey Research’s Chief Energy Investment Strategist, Marin Katusa, whose portfolio profited nicely the last time the uranium bull broke loose a decade ago, recently interviewed a group of world-renowned energy experts to discuss the prospects for the sector that some considered doomed by the Fukushima disaster. Anti-nuclear power sentiment has by no means evaporated, but Katusa sees clear signals that the bulls are ready to run, not least of which is the recent attack on the Somair uranium mine in Niger. Why? First, the 20-year Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) Program agreement between the U.S. and Russia, aka “Megatons to Megawatts,” expires this year. Second, the end of that program will allow Russia to sell its coveted uranium, which currently powers one of every 10 homes in the U.S., to the highest bidder. With 200 nuclear power plants under construction or on the drawing boards, China is likely to be first in line, with India and even oil-rich Saudi Arabia on its heels. Third, the increase in nuclear plants being built around the world will stimulate huge demand while supply inevitably dwindles. Because it can take a decade to bring a uranium mine on-line, new mining production can’t grow fast enough to meet the demand. Fourth, like it or not, nuclear energy is clean—while the average coal-fired power plant in the U.S. emits nearly 4 million metric tons of CO2 each year, nuclear power plants emit no carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury or other toxic gases. Finally, last Thursday, an Al-Qaeda splinter group attacked the Somair uranium mine in Niger—owned by French uranium giant Areva. This will further disrupt global uranium supplies and emphasizes what the energy experts have been saying: Uranium is prime for price increases. Casey Research agreed to share Katusa’s segment with Sprott U.S. Holdings Chairman Rick Rule with The Energy Report readers and invites you to listen to the rest. Marin Katusa: We first met 10 years ago, when you were begging people to buy uranium companies, and the market boomed. Those of us who followed your advice made a lot of money. Are you expecting a replay in that market? Rick Rule: I think so. The similarities are interesting. At that time, the price of uranium on the market was less than what it cost to produce it, which meant that one of two things would happen: Either the uranium price would go up, or the lights would go out. Those were the only two choices. We’re in a situation now where the uranium price on world markets is lower than what’s required to bring online the supplies needed to keep the lights on around the world. So once again, either the uranium price goes up, or the lights go out. I think the price will go up. MK: What can you tell investors who are nervous about uranium? Nuclear power is unpopular. Why should investors expect its feedstock to have this massive bull market? RR: You make money in financial markets by buying low and selling high, and you can’t buy low when something is universally loved and every investor is competing with you. You have to buy things when they are unloved. In natural resources, you can be a contrarian or a victim. You had the good sense of getting into the market when uranium was cheap, and you also had the good sense to get out when everybody else was flocking in. You did what you were supposed to—buy it when it was out of favor and sell it when it came into favor. It’s out of favor again. You will make money buying it now and selling again when it returns to favor, because it will. MK: Are you currently investing in companies that are exploring for and producing uranium in the junior resource sector? RR: We are. We are investing in the broader junior resource sector because it is universally unloved, and we are specifically investing in the uranium sector. We invest in any commodity where the selling price on global markets is less than the cost of production and where we see ongoing demand. The price has to rise to meet demand. MK: Considering that China is on its way to building twice as many nuclear reactors as America, India is building theirs and Saudi Arabia—which is so rich in oil and gas—is planning on building 16 nuclear reactors, does that make the argument for uranium better today than it was 10 years ago? RR: I wouldn’t argue that it’s better, because the situation 10 years ago was superb. But it doesn’t have to be better. A lot of people added a zero to their net worth as a consequence of that market. If they increase their net worth only five times, would that be sufficient? MK: I think it would. Like uranium, the junior resource sector is not popular. How would you advise people to invest in that sector today? RR: They have to invest in themselves before they invest in the sector. They have to get educated about natural resources and you don’t get educated about natural resources in The Wall Street Journal. These businesses differ from other businesses. You need the courage and the common sense to invest in contrarian fashion. You need to buy out-of-favor sectors and once your thesis has been vindicated and you’re feeling smart, you need to sell those sectors. It’s very important that you both buy low and sell high. Industry cycles in natural resources are very predictable, and after you discipline yourself, find information sources you can trust and figure out how to use those information sources, you will find the sector extremely generous. MK: What is the most important factor when you look at a company? When Rick Rule and Sprott write a check with their own money into a company, what’s the most important element of that investment decision? RR: If it’s a speculative, junior company, the three most important factors are people, people and people. In the uranium sector for example, when the resource became popular in the middle part of the last decade, there were 500 junior uranium companies but only 20 competent teams. MK: And of those 500 companies, about 480 disappeared. RR: Another thing that argues in your favor today is that you’re now able to come in and buy companies with $50M market caps that spent $250–300M they raised cheaply during the boom. Those are very attractive propositions. MK: Can anything derail this nuclear renaissance? RR: If there’s a black swan on the nuclear side, it would be another event like Fukushima, Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. On the financial side, it would be another 2008-style psychotic break. But if that happened, your uranium portfolio would be probably the least of your concerns. MK: As always, Rick, it was a pleasure. Thank you. Uranium prices have nowhere to go but up. Rick confirmed that, as do the other experts in the videocast. Listen for the insights from: Spencer Abraham, who served as the 10th U.S. Secretary of Energy (2001-2005) during the George W. Bush Administration. Lady Barbara Thomas Judge, chairman emeritus of the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority, chairman of the Pension Protection Fund, and U.K. business ambassador on behalf of U.K. Trade and Investment, and is an appointed member of the TEPCO Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee. Herb Dhaliwal, former Canadian minister of natural resources and senior regional minister for British Columbia. Amir Adnani, co-founder and CEO of Uranium Energy Corp. (UEC:NYSE.MKT), which operates North America’s newest uranium mine; located in South Texas, it’s the first new uranium production in the U.S. in seven years. Casey Research has identified the top three undervalued uranium stocks that you should invest in right now to be well positioned for the coming uranium bull market. Compiled into a special report, Three Must-Own Uranium Stocks, Casey is making this time-sensitive special report available exclusively for viewers of this webinar.last_img read more

first_img – — A World Gone Mad Even a cursory glance at the headlines should give any thinking person pause. While I consider myself an optimist over the long run, I am considerably less so over the short-to-intermediate period. Of course, these things are all relative and, in many cases, based on geography. Living in Aspen, provided you can afford it, would give you an entirely different perspective than what you’d have from living in the ’hood of Chicago or Detroit. In Aspen, your biggest challenge of the day might be deciding which upscale hash house to dine at. By contrast, in Chicago or Detroit that challenge might be getting to the grocery store and back in one piece. Likewise, living in Argentina, especially as an expat with a few bucks in your jeans, life runs to the idyllic with a rare cultural harmony. In Europe, on the other hand, the citizenry is under siege from a politically contrived invasion from the Middle East and Africa. Life(style) & Liberty In Argentina, people enjoy an extremely high quality of life thanks, in no small part, to low prices and the excellent quality of the food (and wine, for that matter…) which is among the best in the world. This is especially true in a small town such as that of Cafayate, where a group I am part of has built a truly exceptional lifestyle community. In Cafayate, most of what you eat comes from family farms in the valley or just beyond. Back in the “first world” the opposite is true, with high prices and increasingly low-quality produce and meat, as often as not coming from industrial-scale operations. Then there is the steadily encroaching police state in the United States and, increasingly, in Europe. In these places, people are actively afraid of the militarized police. Here in Argentina, outside of some of the more densely populated barrios in Buenos Aires, the crime rate is among the lowest in the world. In the scenic Northwest where La Estancia de Cafayate is located, crime is pretty much non-existent. In the U.S., a dangerous meme has arisen that the military and police should be treated like a special class. Here, as blowback to the excesses of the military government 30 years back, the police and military are reviled or simply ignored by the public, relegated to a far more appropriate role as night watchmen. A Refreshing Lack of Political Correctness Sometimes I can’t believe the articles people email me from the U.S. can be true, but they are. For example, about how one public figure or another has their career ruined for the ginned-up “offense” of speaking their mind about a politically sensitive topic. There is even talk about arresting people who doubt the bad science behind global warming. And a truly perverse culture has grown up around universities where even the slightest perceived slight, a “microaggression,” of a real or fabricated minority sets off a firestorm. I’m happy to report that, so far, political correctness has gained almost no foothold here. I always find it amusing that people still call each other by nicknames such as gordo (fatty), negro (dark-skinned), flaca (skinny), pelado (baldy), and so forth. And no one gets offended in the slightest. Just as it should be. But I fear things in the degraded democracies are only going to get worse. Fortunately, Argentina saw the light and got rid of its version of Hillary Clinton and, hopefully, won’t make that mistake again for many years to come. It Gets Worse Nobody would deny that there is the equivalent of a terrorist Olympics under way. No one can know where these malcontents are going to strike next, or how. But you know the next attack is coming, and that they will continue to come, probably for decades. Of course, the odds of you or anyone you know dying from a terrorist attack are approximately the same as hitting your head after slipping on a toad. The real danger is from the inevitable overreaction of the Deep State, the thick layer of bureaucracy now running the world, to these attacks. Imagine the immediate consequences of a large bomb going off in a major seaport? Or a successful drone attack on some high-value target? Or, or… If the attack is serious enough, and sooner or later it will be, legions of security apparatchiks would slam the borders shut before your morning coffee hit the counter. Remember the empty skies after 9/11? Personally, I just don’t want to live in that world. And, so, I don’t. Doug Casey Editor’s note: Today and tomorrow, we’re sharing an insightful piece from Casey Research founder Doug Casey on his favorite place in the world. As you’ll see, it’s a place well worth hearing about. Doug is well traveled, having been to 155 countries, many of them numerous times. But he decided to build a freedom-lover’s paradise here… What my favorite place in the world doesn’t have…  Cultural conflicts  An immigration crisis  Political correctness  High prices What it does have will surprise you… Reading the news while enjoying a cortado at a café in my favorite place in the world often causes cognitive dissonance. How, I ask myself, can life here be so tranquil when the rest of the world appears gripped by madness? As you might suspect, the café is located in Argentina. Sure, until recently, we had to put up with the antics of La Presidenta, Cristina Kirchner. But she was largely a bad joke ignored by Argentines with any intelligence. She’s gone now, replaced by the free-market-oriented engineer Mauricio Macri. While one can never know how these things turn out, from what I’ve seen so far, I think he’s going to make a huge difference in pretty much every way that counts. Maybe Argentina won’t return to its former position as the sixth-largest economy in the world, as was the case in the early 20th century, but the conditions are right for the economy to do a rocket shot. That’s usually the result when a new team sweeps away the spaghetti string of truly stupid socialist policies and lets an economy breathe. China’s decades of stunning growth following Deng’s liberalization provides a useful lesson. An Embarrassment of Riches Then there’s the proven fact that Argentina has an abundance of natural resources including gold, copper, oil, and natural gas. And there’s the famed Argentine agricultural land stretching from one end of the country to the other. There are few countries in the world with the ability to be completely self-sustaining—Argentina is one of those. Of personal importance to me, it also has a well-educated population, the most sophisticated in South America. Anyone worth knowing down here speaks two, three, or more languages. That is due, in part, to the country’s legacy as one of only a handful of immigrant cultures in the world. Just like the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. What these countries have in common (besides geographically secure borders) are that, in the early days, hardworking settlers from around the world flocked to the country’s wide-open spaces. In the case of Argentina, the indigenous population was largely overrun (it happens) by Spaniards, English, Italians, Germans, Irish, French, etc.—rugged pioneer types who set out to the new world to make their mark. Unlike the current mess in Europe where the immigrants have brought their bad habits with them and refuse to assimilate, in Argentina the newcomers culturally assimilated into the modern Argentine. Generally speaking, a confident, lively, and fun-loving sort who, like the Europe of old, work to live, not the other way around. Returning to the beginning of this letter, Argentina is a “café society,” where people love sharing ideas over leisurely lunches and late dinners. They enjoy life a lot, even when saddled with a poor government such as the one we’ve just seen the back of. There is a reason that, out of all the places in the world I really enjoy, Argentina has filled that spot for many years now. There are other reasons I’ll get back to in a moment but first, back to the cognitive dissonance. Wall Street’s Dirty Little Stock Pattern On April 25, 2016, FINRA required Wall Street to release additional proprietary data on their “secret” trading activity. For more than a decade, Wall Street kept this data on how the most profitable firms invest to itself. And the pattern our research team uncovered when they analyzed it for the first time shocked us… YOU can use it to predict, several days in advance, which stocks are setting up to soar on the stock market.center_img Recommended Links Bonanza-Grade Gold Discovery Now Set To Go LIVE Everyone knows that deadlines in mining—just like technology and biotechnology—can mean huge gains for small stocks that own big breakthroughs. We have been tracking one such breakthrough—and a looming deadline. This is the richest gold discovery we have ever seen in person. The last time something like this happened in 1988, investors in a company called Stikine Resources saw once-in-a-lifetime gains as the stock shot from $1 to $67 per share—a 6,600% increase. Click here for the full story. Editor’s note: Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow, where Doug will explain more about his favorite place…and how you can join him and a group of friends and guests there for an exclusive weeklong event next month.last_img read more

• International Speculator editor Dave Forest says

first_img• International Speculator editor Dave Forest says trade war fears are overblown… Dave is our in-house geologist. He knows more about commodities than anyone I know who’s not named Doug Casey, of course.And he had this to say about the trade war recently:Trade war fears are overblown. The U.S.-China trade dispute is no excuse to sit out the coming bull market in commodities. This is a trend you’ll want to keep on your radar for the foreseeable future.And there’s a simple reason for this.• China can’t afford to let the trade war escalate… It has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. And it will soon have the largest middle class in the world.But its economy would come to a standstill without copper and nickel. Not only that, China gets most of these base metals from other countries.See for yourself. This is a chart that Dave and his team put together recently. The orange bars represent refined production, a proxy for demand. The blue bars show mine output, or domestic supply.You can see that refined production far exceeds mine output. This tells you just how much China depends on foreign sources for copper.• China’s nickel supply is even more dire… According to Dave, domestic mines supply only 14% of China’s nickel needs. Take a look.To make a long story short: China simply cannot allow the trade war to escalate. If it does, its entire economy would unravel.It shouldn’t come as a surprise that China is trying to deescalate matters. Dave wrote in last month’s issue of International Speculator:On September 30, China’s Ministry of Finance announced it is reducing general import tariffs on base metals and steel from 11.5% to 8.4%. The Ministry also announced duty cuts on a wider slate of minerals and gemstones from 6.6% to 5.4%.It’s also worth noting that China originally planned to impose a 25% tariff on liquified natural gas but later dropped the rate to 10%. Of course, supply is only one side of the coin…• Demand also needs to be strong for base metals prices to rise… I bring this up because many people think China’s economy is headed for a “hard landing.”But once again, Dave sees the situation differently:Recent reports from China suggest the government is moving quickly to cushion any blow from a trade-related economic slump.For one, officials at the national level have pushed forward new bond financing for local government infrastructure projects. That’s in stark contrast to the first half of 2018, when federal officials had been tightening financing to local developers.The Chinese government now appears intent on launching a new wave of economic stimulus projects. Approvals from China’s National Development and Reform Commission have seen a sharp lift since July – coinciding almost exactly with the escalation of the trade war.In other words, Dave believes China’s economy is in much better shape than people realize.When you combine that with lower tariffs, you have the ingredients for much higher metals prices.Most people don’t realize this. All they hear about is how the trade war is intensifying and how China is headed for a major economic slowdown. But Dave says those fears are wildly overblown.• So consider speculating on these base metals if you haven’t yet… You can easily do this by buying shares in a major mining company.Just be sure to treat any bet on higher commodity prices as a speculation. Only bet money that you can afford to lose. Use stop losses. And take profits when they come.I also encourage you to check out Dave’s research. He recently recommended the top stock to own as the trade war unfolds. It’s in a prime position to help China… and it has massive upside ahead. International Speculator subscribers can access the issue here.If you’re not a subscriber, you can access this pick by signing up today. And that’s not the only money-making opportunity you can take advantage of… Dave just released a new video about a breakthrough in electric vehicle tech that needs to be on your radar today. Watch the video and learn more about a subscription here.Regards,Justin Spittler New Orleans, LA November 29, 2018P.S. I also recommend reading Dave’s recent essays below. They all show that the commodities sector is gearing up for a rally. Read on to see the top metals that need to be in your portfolio today… Legendary Growth Investor Announces Major BUY SignalJust released: Louis Navellier just posted critical research about a massive market shift dead ahead. His last major buy alert turned $100,000 into $1.2 million in about one year. Now he’s sharing a NEW Buy Signal that could be his biggest ever. Don’t miss this chance to get his new alert before it goes offline. “It’s Time to Buy Silicon Valley’s Favorite Metal” China to CEO of World’s #1 Electric Car Company: You Lose.In the race to make electric cars cheaper than gas and diesel vehicles, the winner was always thought to be the #1 U.S. electric car company. But what China will do any day now could catapult it to the #1 spot… and solidify its position as the world leader. Reader MailbagYour comments continue to roll in on Doug Casey’s interview on the migrant caravan…Hey Doug. Been reading your stuff for 10 years. Generally enjoy it. Loved Ayn Rand in my 20s… now I see where it falls apart. I’m a Canadian millennial. Anyways. This article lacked empathy. I like when you write finance/economy articles because there isn’t much emotion in it. But when you apply your logic and rational thought to sensitive human subjects like the caravan it just comes across as mean, uncaring, and unloving. The idea that everything should be private property so you can kick the mooching homeless off all lawns is sad. I get it. I remember how Ayn Rand taught me about moochers and they suck the producers dry, forever taking. As a white educated male, it made sense to me! But not everyone is like me. Maybe that homeless guy is mentally ill. Maybe he got sick and lost everything. I have friends who are on government handouts because they lost their jobs. They don’t like how it feels and actively look for work so they can get off the “dole” but they appreciate it in the meantime so they can feed themselves and keep a roof over their head. Yes, that intent of government spending CAN work.Anyways. Just please try and have a bit more empathy for people. At the end of the day who knows why we are here and for what purpose, so lead with kindness. Can’t hurt…— Mike Recommended Link — By Justin Spittler, editor, Casey Daily DispatchThe trade war has claimed its biggest victim.…Apple (AAPL).Apple sells the wildly popular iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. It’s one of the most recognized companies on the planet. It was the world’s most valuable publicly traded company until Microsoft (MSFT) overtook it on Monday.So how did a company this powerful get caught up in the trade war? Simple. On Monday, President Trump threatened to introduce a 10% tariff on consumer electronic products made in China.This would impact the iPhone and other Apple products…• Trump did this because he thinks the Chinese are screwing the U.S. on trade… But more tariffs wouldn’t just hurt the Chinese. They’d hurt everyday Americans, too.This is because tariffs make imported goods more expensive. And if the iPhone becomes pricier, people will think twice about buying one.That’s the last thing Apple can afford. Recommended Linkcenter_img “Is the “Donald Trump of Asia” About to Send Nickel to the Moon?” — “Revealed: Silicon Valley’s Plan to Transform the Mining Industry” • Demand for the iPhone appears to be weakening… I say this because some of Apple’s suppliers recently cut forecasts. Apple has also reportedly canceled a production boost for its new iPhone XR model.This tells us the new iPhone model isn’t selling as well as expected.That’s triggered a huge sell-off. In fact, Apple is now trading 23% below its peak in early October. But it will surely head lower if Trump makes good on his threat to hit the iPhone with tariffs.Of course, Apple isn’t the only company that’s been hit hard by the trade war. Harley-Davidson, MillerCoors, and Jack Daniel’s have all been caught on the wrong side of tariffs.• The trade war is also making resource investors nervous… Just look at what copper’s been doing recently. Its price fell about 16% after Trump hit nearly $50 billion worth of Chinese imports with a 25% tariff in June. Other base metals were also hit by trade war concerns. Nickel, for instance, fell by 32% after Trump announced tariffs in June. Zinc plunged 23% over the same timeframe.Those are huge declines for such short periods. But they were totally unwarranted.You see, none of those metals were targeted in tariffs. Instead, finished products like lasers and laundry equipment were singled out. Still, that didn’t stop many investors from dumping these metals. In other words, the trade war isn’t something resource investors should fear… It’s an opportunity.But don’t take my word for it… Details here View his announcement here I read your views on the “migrant caravan” and some thoughts immediately come to mind. First and foremost, and completely overlooked in your piece, is the fact that millions of indigenous peoples from Central America were dispossessed of their lands, forced into slave labor, and when they refused, were murdered by American financed, ultra-right wing, neo-Nazi governments. These governments were largely installed by the CIA, backed and financed by America. Justice? I had the pleasure to work in Guatemala for a short period of time, and learned firsthand of the situation there, now and historically.Secondly, and you make reference to it, the situation in Europe today, with perhaps millions of “migrants” from north Africa. I think maybe the time has come to recognize this problem for what it really is. These are not migrants, they are largely refugees, fleeing an area which has been bombed “back to the stone age” by American and NATO forces, illegally. They have no homes to go back to, infrastructure has been destroyed, places of worship bombed, markets bombed, schools and hospitals bombed. Families destroyed, killed, split.America and the NATO countries are beginning to pay for their aggressions, and rightly so. At some point, some very prominent American and European leaders might well find themselves before an international court, in a vain attempt to justify their deeds. These are not nice things to contemplate, but responsibility eventually comes home. — DonAs always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us at feedback@caseyresearch.com.In Case You Missed It…Last night, Doug Casey joined Bill Bonner and Mark Ford in what was one of the most important events we’ve ever held. If you missed it, you can watch a free replay right here.last_img read more

Apple Considering Expansion Into Wearable Glasses

first_img This story originally appeared on Reuters Register Now » Apple Next Article Apple Inc. is considering expanding into wearable glass headsets and has talked about the project with potential suppliers, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.The wearable headset would show images, along with other information and may use augmented reality, according to the report.Chief Executive Tim Cook, who has been struggling with a slowdown in iPhone sales in recent quarters, said earlier this year that the company would continue to invest a lot into augmented reality.  Apple, the world’s largest technology company, has ordered a small number of near-eye displays for testing but has not obtained enough for production on a larger scale, the report added.Apple declined to comment.The move would make Apple the latest tech company to venture into wearable glasses.Alphabet Inc.’s discontinued its own wearable glass headset, Google Glass, and closed the social media account linked to the device earlier this year, ending its attempt to popularize the expensive devices with consumers.The device received plenty of attention when it was launched in 2012, but quickly ran into problems with its awkward appearance and privacy concerns over video recording.Snap, an $18 billion company which makes the popular messaging app Snapchat, also launched its own video-camera sunglasses last week.(Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr) Add to Queue Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business The wearable headset would show images, along with other information, and may use augmented reality. November 15, 2016 2 min read Apple Considering Expansion Into Wearable Glasses Reuters Image credit: Pres Panayotov / Shutterstock Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shareslast_img read more

Why restricting social media is not a solution to dangerous behaviours in

first_imgEarlier this month, in the Indian state of Rajasthan, bystanders took selfies while three men lay dying after a road accident. The week before, two men were beaten to death by a mob in the state of Assam after false rumours of their involvement in a kidnapping were spread on WhatsApp. And a study recently found that India is the world leader when it comes to selfie-related accidents. Selfie culture turns dangerousSuch is the explosion of selfie culture that young Indians have gone to great lengths in pursuit of the perfect shot. Sadly, an 18-year-old woman drowned after she and her friends fell into the sea while taking selfies in a Mumbai suburb. A young man died while taking a selfie on top of a train in Delhi.To curb this occasionally fatal quest for online “likes”, authorities are starting to take action. The Ministry of Railways issued a warning to young people taking selfies near train tracks, while the Mumbai police identified and publicised 16 selfie danger zones and the Karnataka government in southwestern India announced plans for a safe selfie campaign.Among other recent measures, the Hindu Kumbh Mela festival was declared a “no selfie zone” to avoid stampedes, and selfie sticks were banned at 46 museums across the country to protect archaeological artefacts.The backlash has also extended to college campuses. At many university colleges, selfies and mobile phones have been banned for reasons ranging from destruction of the academic culture to facilitating kidnapping and rape.Mob violence fuelled by WhatsAppAuthorities have also targeted WhatsApp, the largest online communication platform in India with over 200 million users. In recent months, some two dozen innocent people have been killed by angry mobs in India after false rumours of child kidnappings were spread on WhatsApp.To try to curb incidents of mob violence, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) recently mandated that WhatsApp “ensure that their platform is not used for such malafide activities”. In response, WhatsApp announced it would test a feature that would prevent Indian users from forwarding messages to more than five people or groups at once. In the highly militarised state of Jammu and Kashmir, a district magistrate has gone so far as to order all WhatsApp group administrators to register with the police.This idea that new media fans the flames of communal tension is also making internet shutdowns an increasingly common strategy in times of unrest. But feminists were not impressed, taking issue with the failure of the initiative to adequately address the issue, the invisibility of mothers in the campaign, and the hypocrisy of some supporters who had otherwise misogynist Twitter feeds. Actress Shruti Seth tweeted, “A selfie is not a device to bring about change Mr. PM. Try reform,” with the hashtag #selfieobsessedPM. Provided by The Conversation An edited video that sparked fears of child abduction on WhatsApp. New media, old issuesAre social media platforms really to blame for social ills, though? In a recent article, Divij Joshi, a research fellow at the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, argues that authorities in India should be focusing on the social issues contributing to mob violence, rather than the platforms used to inflame tensions and spread rumours.A similar point is made by a team of researchers from a global social media research project called Why We Post. Digital platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook make new forms of interaction between people possible. But, these researchers argue: “The platform is surprisingly irrelevant to finding explanations for why and how people use social media. It provides the place, but not the cause nor the explanation.”For example, in the South Indian field site for the project, researcher Shriram Venkatraman found that people connected mostly with others of similar social status online and some families restricted women’s access to the internet to prevent relationships with men. Social media does not create these class and gender inequalities. It is simply a new space where these old problems persist. Social media restrictions are not just ineffective solutions, they may also undermine India’s democracy. There is evidence that such restrictions are being used to silence voices critical of the government. As researchers from India’s Internet Democracy Project point out, the government and courts already have very broad powers to limit and censor online communication. Expanding these powers poses a serious threat to freedom of expression in the digital space. Social media for positive social changeRestricting access to social media also overlooks its potential for positive social change. New media is being used in India to enable young people and marginalised groups to tell their stories, for example, and to provide information on sensitive issues like mental health and sexual and reproductive health rights.Social justice organisations have also begun adapting their social media use to reach greater numbers of people. Japleen Pasricha, founder and director of Feminism in India, told me her organisation added WhatsApp to their social media repertoire at the end of last year, hoping to make their content go viral to “counter the sexist memes and jokes we all receive in various family and friends’ WhatsApp groups”.Some of this social justice work is aimed directly at transforming the way information technology is used in India. This includes tackling the gender gap in access to technology (71% of internet users in India are men) and educating young people about staying safe online.Social media may often be a tool for exacerbating the conflicts and reinforcing the inequalities of the offline world, but people across India are working to change this. Citation: Why restricting social media is not a solution to dangerous behaviours in India (2018, July 26) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-restricting-social-media-solution-dangerous.html WhatsApp curbs India service after lynchings Only around 30% of Indians have access to the internet and under 15% use social media, but social media and selfies have captured the public imagination. Some fear that the social media sensation has gone too far, encouraging dangerous behaviours and exacerbating tensions between groups. Others are using social media to bring about positive social change.Selfies: from pop culture to politicsSelfies have certainly become a much more prominent part of Indian society in recent years.Part of this has to do with Bollywood actors and other entertainers spreading the popularity of selfie culture through films, music and television. The chorus of the song “Selfie Pulla” from the Tamil movie Kaththi, for instance, is a catchy repetition of “Let’s take a selfie, pulla (girl)”. It also includes the lines, “Let’s live in Instagram, let’s shoot and snap every moment of our life”, and “Let’s share on Facebook to get unlimited likes and shares”.India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, is also a skilled social media user who has the second-highest Twitter following of any world leader (after a certain @realDonaldTrump) and is the most “liked” leader in the world on Facebook.But with this enthusiasm for social media has come criticism. In 2015, Modi encouraged fathers to send him photos of themselves with their daughters via Twitter, using the hashtag #SelfieWithDaughter. The initiative was part of efforts to reduce the preference for male children. 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. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Did We Mishear Neil Armstrongs Famous First Words on the Moon

first_img This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoHomeToGoVacation Rentals in US: The new way to travelHomeToGoUndoLivestlyThe List Of Dog Breeds To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndoSenior Living | Search AdsLuxury Senior Apartments in Rowland HeightsSenior Living | Search AdsUndo Melissa Michaud Baese-Berk, Associate Professor of Linguistics, University of Oregon On July 20, 1969, an estimated 650 million people watched in suspense as Neil Armstrong descended a ladder towards the surface of the Moon. As he took his first steps, he uttered words that would be written into history books for generations to come: “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.” Or at least that’s how the media reported his words.Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65950-neil-armstrong-first-words-on-moon.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  But Armstrong insisted that he actually said, “That’s one small step for a man.” In fact, in the official transcript of the Moon landing mission, NASA transcribes the quote as “that’s one small step for (a) man.” As a linguist, I’m fascinated by mistakes between what people say and what people hear. In fact, I recently conducted a study on ambiguous speech, using Armstrong’s famous quote to try to figure out why and how we successfully understand speech most of the time, but also make the occasional mistake. Our extraordinary speech-processing abilities Despite confusion over Armstrong’s words, speakers and listeners have a remarkable ability to agree on what is said and what is heard. When we talk, we formulate a thought, retrieve words from memory and move our mouths to produce sound. We do this quickly, producing, in English, around five syllables every second. The process for listeners is equally complex and speedy. We hear sounds, which we separate into speech and non-speech information, combine the speech sounds into words, and determine the meanings of these words. Again, this happens nearly instantaneously, and errors rarely occur. These processes are even more extraordinary when you think more closely about the properties of speech. Unlike writing, speech doesn’t have spaces between words. When people speak, there are typically very few pauses within a sentence. Yet listeners have little trouble determining word boundaries in real time. This is because there are little cues — like pitch and rhythm — that indicate when one word stops and the next begins. But problems in speech perception can arise when those kinds of cues are missing, especially when pitch and rhythm are used for non-linguistic purposes, like in music. This is one reason why misheard song lyrics — called “mondegreens” — are common. When singing or rapping, a lot of the speech cues we usually use are shifted to accommodate the song’s beat, which can end up jamming our default perception process. But it’s not just lyrics that are misheard. This can happen in everyday speech, and some have wondered if this is what happened in the case of Neil Armstrong. Studying Armstrong’s mixed signals Over the years, researchers have tried to comb the audio files of Armstrong’s famous words, with mixed results. Some have suggested that Armstrong definitely produced the infamous “a,” while others maintain that it’s unlikely or too difficult to tell. But the original sound file was recorded 50 years ago, and the quality is pretty poor. So can we ever really know whether Neil Armstrong uttered that little “a”? Perhaps not. But in a recent study, my colleagues and I tried to get to the bottom of this. First, we explored how similar the speech signals are when a speaker intends to say “for” or “for a.” That is, could a production of “for” be consistent with the sound waves, or acoustics, of “for a,” and vice-versa? So we examined nearly 200 productions of “for” and 200 productions of “for a.” We found that the acoustics of the productions of each of these tokens were nearly identical. In other words, the sound waves produced by “He bought it for a school” and “He bought one for school” are strikingly similar. But this doesn’t tell us what Armstrong actually said on that July day in 1969. So we wanted to see if listeners sometimes miss little words like “a” in contexts like Armstrong’s phrase. We wondered whether “a” was always perceived by listeners, even when it was clearly produced. And we found that, in several studies, listeners often misheard short words, like “a.” This is especially true when the speaking rate was as slow as Armstrong’s. In addition, we were able to manipulate whether or not people heard these short words just by altering the rate of speech. So perhaps this was a perfect storm of conditions for listeners to misperceive the intended meaning of this famous quote. The case of the missing “a” is one example of the challenges in producing and understanding speech. Nonetheless, we typically perceive and produce speech quickly, easily and without conscious effort. A better understanding of this process can be especially useful when trying to help people with speech or hearing impairments. And it allows researchers to better understand how these skills are learned by adults trying to acquire a new language, which can, in turn, help language learners develop more efficient strategies. Fifty years ago, humanity was changed when Neil Armstrong took those first steps on the Moon. But he probably didn’t realize that his famous first words could also help us better understand how humans communicate. [Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter to get insight each day]last_img read more