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first_imgRelated Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… One of the world’s most revered cultures and religious histories has been threatened with death and extinction in Tibet for decades at the hands of the authoritarian Chinese government; Groupon’s Super Bowl advertisement about Tibet (below) was based on a joke drastically reducing the seriousness of that suffering. Not all hope is lost, the ad says, because at least there are still refugees that will cook discounted food for White people! Many people on Twitter reacted very negatively to the ad. This is my best explanation why it was offensive. Not everyone agrees – we’ve got a debate going in comments below which we invite you to participate in.The joke was intended to be absurd, but the absurdity presumed a lack of seriousness in the whole matter. It was an attempt at post-serious humor – but most people with common sense agree that the struggles of Tibet still deserve respect and seriousness. The joke is on anyone who really cares. It came across as the kind of out-of-touch humor that overprivileged, spiritually mean, advertising industry creatives (specifically, the kind that kids refer to as “douchebags”) would come up with. That’s one explanation why the commercial was offensive, but view it below and offer your own if you like. Another perspective: As Rabbi Eliyahu Fink said on Twitter tonight, “Amazing. More people are offended by Groupon’s ads than the coarse objectification of women in EVERY SINGLE OTHER AD!” marshall kirkpatrick 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting As the industry blog PaidContent says, Super Bowl XLV: The People Of Groupon Are In Trouble. The Groupon ad was created by well-known advertising firm Crispin Porter & Bogusky, makers of the Subservient Chicken ad for Burger King, and others. There’s a line between “wacky” on one side and stupid on the other. Sometimes, in today’s cultural climate, it’s hard to tell one side from another. Sometimes it’s not so hard. The rise of non-traditional voices in the media, thanks to the proliferation of social media publishing tools (along with other factors), has caused some people to be confused about whether or not basic human decency remains important. E.g. “Anyone can be media now, so media can say anything!” Maybe they never really got it in the first place. Groupon ran a number of ads tonight and the website for the campaign includes calls to donate to charities related to the issues parodied. Groupon was born as a website called The Point, which let people vote on non-profit issues that needed attention – but has since become an email coupon service that some have said is now the fastest-growing business in history. Tags:#Analysis#web last_img read more

first_imgLawmakers and climate activists in Massachusetts are urging state regulators to add a net-zero provision to statewide building codes. The Massachusetts Climate Action Network, a nonprofit advocacy group, is circulating a letter asking the state’s Board of Building Regulation and Standards to add a net-zero clause to the state’s “stretch” code. Two legislators are pitching the same idea. The stretch code is a second and more stringent tier of the state building code. While Massachusetts towns and cities aren’t required to adopt the stretch code, 262 of the state’s 351 towns and cities have opted to accept this tier of the code. It requires greater energy efficiency in new buildings than the Massachusetts base code.RELATED ARTICLES2019 Is the Year of Energy CodesA Better Way to Encourage Efficient New HomesA Certification Program for Net Zero Energy ProjectsA New Guide for Net Zero BuildersA Business Model for Net-Zero Energy Districts The Climate Action Network organized the appearance of some 40 supporters before a May 7 meeting of the building standards board to speak in favor of a net-zero requirement, Energy News Network reported. At the same time, two state legislators have filed a bill that would require the board to adopt a net-zero stretch code. New buildings would have to meet their energy needs with renewable energy sources, both on and off site. The Network’s letter doesn’t contain any details on the net-zero provision or how it would be phased in. It leaves those details for later, but the group argues that the change would clear the way for Massachusetts communities seeking more aggressive carbon reductions. Legally, communities can’t adopt energy provisions that are any more stringent than the current version of the stretch code. As a result, communities that want to require higher energy efficiency or carbon-natural buildings can’t really move ahead. “We believe that this reform will help achieve the energy efficiency goals we have as a Commonwealth, and encourage Massachusetts communities to develop better, safer, and more climate-friendly buildings,” the letter reads. Rebecca Winterich-Knox, an organizer for the Climate Action Network, said in an email that details of the net-zero requirement would be worked out during the regulatory process in conjunction with the state’s Department of Energy Resources. Not everyone thinks net-zero is a good idea Paul Eldrenkamp, whose firm Byggmeister specializes in high-performance remodels, told Energy News Network that a net-zero requirement doesn’t necessarily mean buildings will use less energy. With enough room on the roof or in the back yard, homeowners with big, inefficient houses could meet a net-zero requirement simply by adding more solar panels. “One of the unintended consequences of net-zero would be that you could build worse buildings and put more [solar] on them,” he said. “I am not a big fan of zero net energy as a building standard.” Eldrenkamp said he would prefer a building code that requires lower energy consumption, such as the Passive House standard. He also said it’s important to chose building materials carefully to reduce the amount of carbon construction adds to the environment. “If we’re investing a huge amount of carbon upfront in buildings that are going to have low operating carbon, we’re better off not building at all,” Eldrenkamp said. In a telephone call, Eldrenkamp said that over time there’s been a convergence of the base and stretch codes in Massachusetts. The International Residential Code and the International Energy Conservation Code are updated every three years, and Massachusetts has followed suit. As a result, the base code has gradually evolved while the stretch code has not been rewritten since it was first enacted as part of the Green Communities Act of 2008. The question now is what a new stretch code should look like, and a net-zero requirement as emerged as one possibility. But, Eldrenkamp said, the proposal has the effect of lumping renewable energy and building performance standards together when they should be addressed separately. “I don’t agree with that,” he said. “Intuitively it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I want consistently good buildings, and I want the whole region working on decarbonizing the grid. I think those two efforts can best be achieved if we’re not trying to conflate or combine the two.” Winterich-Knox said the proposed legislation includes a three- to five-year phase in period for the net-zero requirement for communities that have adopted the stretch code. “But to retain Green Community status,” she said, “all municipalities would have to adopt updated versions of the stretch code.” The net-zero provision would apply to all buildings, residential and commercial. “We believe Passive House standard buildings are the easiest way to get to Net Zero and are proponents for Passive House,” she said. “However, we are focused more [on] making the overall building stock more efficient than on single-family homes.” Stretch code update is possible this year Despite the public push by the Climate Action Network, the building regulations board doesn’t actually have a formal proposal to consider, its vice chairman says. “Nobody as yet has put forward a proposal for discussion about the stretch energy code,” Kerry Dietz, an architect, said in a phone call. “Discussions that have been happening are — basically, at a public hearing, a whole bunch of people were saying to the board that we want a stretch energy code, not what’s in it. There’s no language in front of the board right now.” The board has an energy advisory committee, with representatives from across the industry, that has just completed writing state amendments to the 2018 IECC. Dietz said that group should be authoring a new stretch code for the state, but so far that’s not happening. As to the gradual convergence of the stretch and base building codes, Dietz said that as the family of ICC codes have changed on a three-year cycle, so has the stretch code. “The stretch code has always said, ‘Do better than the base code,’ so the benchmark has been moving,” she said. “What many builders are saying is, ‘Well, we can’t go any further.’ That’s the argument from the industry. We can’t get any better than what the 2018 IECC already says to do … It requires us to do so much.” When is the state likely to revise the stretch code? With any luck, by the end of the year, Dietz said. But for now, she added, “there is nothing in front of the board.”last_img read more

first_imgOn its way out the door, the Obama Administration greenlit 10 sites across the United States that will become “proving grounds” for autonomous cars, including one in Michigan and two in California.The Department of Transport (DoT) announced its picks one day before Obama left office, one of the hundreds of pieces of legislation passed in the last days of the administration.See Also: Google’s Waymo self-driving cars kept offline to avoid hackersWillow Run, an old B-24 bomber plant in Michigan, will be the flagship proving ground. The American Center for Mobility is converting the 311-acre site to test autonomous cars from Ford, General Motors, and Hyundai.The state of Michigan is bankrolling the effort, to the tune of $80 million, in the hope of bringing automotive jobs back to Detroit. It expects the site to pay for itself after a while, through federal grants and possible payments to test vehicles.Michigan has already pushed through meaningful legislation to legalize self-driving cars in the state, and some auto and tech firms have moved their autonomous operations into Detroit.What will Trump do?A decommissioned Naval base in Concord, California, will also be redeveloped for autonomous vehicle tests. Other sites in Arizona and Washington were chosen, but the DoT have not said how much will be spent to convert the sites for autonomous testing.“The designated proving grounds will collectively form a community of practice around safe testing and deployment,” said ex-U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. “This group will openly share best practices for the safe conduct of testing.”The Trump Administration has not said anything about the onset of autonomous cars, but considering his commitment to bringing jobs back to U.S. citizens, the administration could most likely be against any further development of autonomous technology. That could be an issue for the auto and tech firms that have spent millions preparing for the self-driving revolution. Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Related Posts Tags:#automotive#Autonomous car#California#cars#GoMentum#Internet of Things#IoT#Obama#Self-Driving#Silicon Valley#Willow Run center_img David Curry IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…last_img read more

first_imgCreative Commons Licensing Flickr CAI “Best Practices” conference, Nov 2008 – 02 by Ed YourdonBy Robin Allen, MSPH, RDN, LDNPreviously as an Administrative Dietitian working in a major university’s dining services, I implemented “point of service” food item nutrition labeling. The intent was not just to point out calories but to provide complete nutrition information for our consumers that included not only college students but faculty and staff. Everyone loved the nutrition labeling except for those students with eating disorders and their health care providers on campus. Many expressed concern that putting calories on the menu was a “trigger” for people with eating disorders. Menu labeling was indeed a touchy subject! Do we change everything for those few? We had the information online, but most people were not aware or did not take the time to look up the items. I chose to continue the food labeling since most people were very appreciative of the information being provided. I also knew mandatory food labeling was on the horizon and indeed had been implemented in many states. Those poor students with eating disorders were going to face with food labels whether it was at school or throughout their daily lives. Some students I indeed worked with to help them handle the nutrition information and use it appropriately.We also learned a great deal about the foods we were serving. Some foods we had thought would be a “healthier” option was worse than the “non-healthy” food item due to food preparation techniques. Some days there would have been nothing to eat if you were looking for a lower fat, moderate in sodium diet. Menu labeling forced us to take stock and re-examine our menus to ensure were at least offering some healthier alternatives. Our goal was not to make everyone eat “healthy” but to at least provide the option and the information to make healthier food choices. Still, when finals week rolled around, all good intentions went out the window and the consumption of french fries, chicken tenders, and pizza skyrocketed! Stress eating is alive and well during finals week.What are the advantages and disadvantages of menu labeling? The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, passed in 2010 required calorie labeling of menus. The requirement for calorie labeling was done to help stem the obesity epidemic and to help consumers make informed and healthier decisions about foods they eat.Some Advantages:1. May promote healthier choices by providing the public with more information to better understand what they eat.2. Provides consumers a guideline on what is a healthy caloric intake based on an average 1,800-2,000 calorie per day diet.3. Focuses on the prevention of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.4. Provides nutrition education by requiring the visible display of calorie information and written information on other nutrients upon request.Some Disadvantages:1. There is an additional cost to restaurants and supermarkets for analyzing their food products to determine calorie information; printing new menus, food boards, displays, etc.2. There is a fear that sales of higher calorie foods will drop, which are frequently the most profitable.3. Consumers are not always aware of what is a “beneficial” food or “empty” calories.4. To analyze menus from scratch is very time-consuming and labor intensive.December 1, 2016, is the compliance date given by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for those restaurants to implement menu labeling. Food service operations covered under this ruling will have to list calorie information for standard menu items on menus and menu boards and a brief statement about suggested daily caloric intake. Nutrient information such as total calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, fiber, sugars, and protein will have to be made available in writing on request. This FDA rule applies to food service operations that are part of a chain of 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name, and offering the same menu selections.Is the labeling of calories on the menu effective in helping consumers to make healthier or different food choices? One study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics indicated people who use menu calorie labels is associated with purchasing fewer calories. However, there are significant socioeconomic differences among customers who notice and use menu calorie labels. Targeted education programs may be needed to improve the use of menu labeling across all sociodemographic groups. Another study from New York University (NYU), found no significant differences in calories purchased before and after menu labeling was required in New York. Adolescents reported that taste was the most important factor in meal selection. This study was primarily conducted in low-income areas.Does menu labeling lead people to make healthier food choices? Do people even know what the labels mean? Are the labels accurate? How do we help our patients navigate the new menu labeling requirements to make healthier choices? Does putting the calories on the menu cause problems or “trigger” eating disorders?There are many unanswered questions, and this topic is now being studied extensively.Tune into our free webinar on October 20, 11:00 pm ET to get the most up to date information on menu labeling.Resources:Elbel, B,  Gyamfi, J, and Kersh, K. Child and adolescent fast-food choice and the influence of calorie labeling: a natural experiment. International Journal of Obesity (2011) 35, 493–500; doi:10.1038/ijo.2011.4; published online 15 February 2011Green, J E, Brown, AG, Punam O. Sociodemographic Disparities among Fast-Food Restaurant Customers Who Notice and Use Calorie Menu Labels. Jn of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2015-07-01, Volume 115, Issue 7, Pages 1093-1101.Read more here.FDA on Food LabelsThis post was written by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter and on LinkedIn.last_img read more

first_img Categories: News State Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama, was recently invited by Sara Piersma, a 10-year employee at Shop-n-Save, to share her work day as part of the “Take Your Legislator to Work” campaign during the October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council has sponsored the campaign to celebrate the achievements of people with disabilities. At Shop-n-Save with Piersma, Franz was given a store tour, received tutoring in grocery scanning, proper bagging techniques and customer service. 28Oct Rep. Franz shares local worker’s day on the joblast_img read more

first_img Legislation approved Wednesday with bipartisan support in the Michigan House of Representatives provides a framework for transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, to operate in Michigan.House Bills 4637-4641 establish procedures allowing TNCs to operate under a uniform statewide regulatory system. HB 4640, sponsored by state Rep. Tom Barrett, amends the Insurance Code to allow for TNC passengers to be treated the same as taxicab passengers in cases of accidental injury.“This bill provides a common-sense safeguard for passengers and other drivers,” said Rep. Barrett, R-Potterville. “Passengers will now be treated the same as if they were in a taxicab or bus.”Under this legislation, TNC passengers will be covered by their own auto insurance in the case of an injury. Those who do not have insurance will be covered by the driver’s insurance.The bill package also exempts TNCs from the limousine transportation act, and allows TNCs to operate in Michigan through a permit issued by the state’s department of transportation.The TNC legislation now moves to the Senate for further consideration.### 18Jun Michigan House approves TNC package Categories: Barrett Newslast_img read more

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