Sunday, March 24th, 2019 | Author:

Friday, December 14, 2007

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic condition causing benign tumors (neurofibromas) to grow along certain types of nerves and, in addition, it can affect the development of bones or skin. There are several variants of the disease but type 1 and type 2 NF account for the vast majority of cases.

The disease manifestations can vary from very mild to severe. Major symptoms include growths on and under the skin; skin pigmentations called café au lait spots in type 1; acoustic nerve tumors and consequent hearing loss in type 2. Growths can affect nearly all parts of the body, and pressure on nearby structures can cause a wide variety of complications. There is a small risk that the tumors transform into malignant cancerous lesions.

NF is one of the most common single-gene human diseases; around 1 in 2,500-4,000 live births are affected by NF-1, whereas NF-2 occurs in about 1 in 50,000-120,000. Both type 1 and 2 are autosomal dominant conditions, meaning that only one copy of the mutated gene need be inherited to pass the disorder. A child of a parent with neurofibromatosis and an unaffected parent will have a 50% chance of inheriting the disorder. The gene responsible for NF-1 and possibly NF-2 is thought to function as a tumor suppressor gene.

In most cases of neurofibromatosis 1, patients can live normal and productive lives. In about 25-40% of patients there is an associated learning disability with or without ADHD. In some cases of neurofibromatosis 2, the damage to nearby vital structures, such as the cranial nerves and the brainstem, can be life-threatening. When tumors are causing pain or disfiguration, surgery is thus far the only proven beneficial treatment option.

Reggie Bibbs is a 43-year-old-man living in Houston, Texas. Mr Bibbs was born with a genetic disease called neurofibromatosis (NF), which causes him to develop tumors on his body (see infobox on the right). NF can be a subtle disease, but in Bibbs’ case it has left him with a disfigured face and deformed leg. But he is happy with the way he looks, and doesn’t want to change his appearance to please other people. He has launched a successful campaign entitled “Just Ask”, and that’s just what Wikinews did in a video-interview.

The interview was prepared by Wikinews reporter Michaël Laurent with the help of Bertalan Meskó (who has a popular genetics and web 2.0 blog). Their questions were sent to a close friend of Mr. Bibbs, Lou Congelio, who kindly conducted the interview.

Contents

  • 1 Infobox: What is neurofibromatosis?
  • 2 The interview
    • 2.1 On neurofibromatosis
    • 2.2 Growing up
    • 2.3 A head to toe body tour
    • 2.4 The daily life of Reggie Bibbs
    • 2.5 Raising awareness and his campaign
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

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Friday, March 22nd, 2019 | Author:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A police officer has shot and killed his wife and two of their children at the train station in the French city of Noyon in the department of Oise, the local prosecutor said, after the wife had informed the officer of her intention to separate from him. Their sons were aged three and five; a third child, twin to the five year old victim, survived the attack and is in the care of child services. The killings took place around 11:30 local time (0930 UTC) on Sunday.

The wife, born in 1983, called the gendarmes (police) in the morning, and they arrived to find her explaining to their five children about the domestic argument which had escalated. The husband returned while the police were present, and they reported he seemed calm and did not interfere with the children being moved to a neighbor’s home, so they departed. The woman reportedly chose to leave her house when her husband was not there, and headed to the station, where the husband awaited them armed.

After assassinating his family, the police officer committed suicide. The wife’s family lived in Guiscard, near Noyon. The station at Noyon was closed after the incident. Late on Sunday, the police were searching for a witness who escaped after observing the events.

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Friday, March 22nd, 2019 | Author:

Friday, May 11, 2007

At least two Kentucky Fried Chicken [KFC] restaurants, operated by G & H Restaurant Specialties, have closed in Buffalo, New York “for remodeling,” according to signs placed on the front doors of at least one location on Elmwood Avenue and Bryant Street in Buffalo. The other KFC is located on East Delavan Avenue, also in the City of Buffalo.

Despite the claim of closing for remodeling, the Erie County Health Department says that several health code violations were found at both locations. The most recent violation was logged by the health department in March at the Elmwood location for failing to keep food stored at correct temperatures. Violations were also cited for failing to keep cooking supplies and equipment sanitary and for not supplying hot water to the bathroom for employees.

G & H Restaurant Specialties has not released a statement regarding the violations, but the corporate offices in Louisville, Kentucky for KFC said, “our franchisee has finalized a plan for some structural repairs… The units will be temporarily closed while these building maintenance issues are addressed. [They will be] re-opened as soon as the repairs are complete.”

The health department also gave violations out to the East Delevan store for failing to maintain a clean floor throughout the restaurant and for not stopping food from becoming contaminated. Several rat traps were also found inside the storage cooler and around the kitchen area, but the establishment was “not free of rodents,” said Commissioner of the Erie County Health Department, Dr. Anthony Billittier.

Billittier also said that caulking and traps were seen on the outside of the East Delevan restaurant, which was an attempt to keep the rats out. “It shows that they’re trying to take care of a problem. But it also shows that they have a problem.”

As of Thursday, May 10, 2007, the Elmwood KFC has yet to reopen. It is not known if the East Delevan location opened today or not.

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Friday, March 22nd, 2019 | Author:

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Submitted by: Matt DeAngelis

Reading the Google hit piece that appeared in Barron’s this week got me thinking about the whole pay-per-click model. Pay-per-click (PPC) has been around for more a decade, and while Google has made some positive changes to it, it’s showing its age.

If you think of the Internet advertising process as a series of actions, it would go like this:

Impression -> Click -> Action

Back in the old days the metric was CPM (cost per thousand), and advertisers paid per impression (getting the ad on the screen). CPM favored the publisher over the advertiser, as the publisher’s responsibility ended at the first part of the process. DoubleClick, an early ad serving company, came up with their DART system to match the right advertiser with the right screen in order to maximize the return on CPM.

PPC moved the metric forward in the process, measuring success (and payment) based not on how many times the ad was served, but how many times it was actually clicked. When most people think of PPC they think of Adsense, Google’s contextual advertising engine. But PPC is employed in banner advertising, on big ad farms like Doubleclick and other companies, and in some affiliate programs, though the number seems to be waning.

The latest incarnation of search engine based PPC (thanks to Google), works like this: you select keywords that you think people will use to search for stuff related to what you sell. For example, if you sell pretzel dough you might want to advertise under pretzels or making pretzels or something along those lines. Selecting keywords is way beyond the scope of this article, but there are plenty of companies out there that make a living helping you pick keywords. Anyway, you then bid on those keywords and your ad is shown on the page with the search results.

With Adsense Google moved the context from the search engine results page to your web site content. It reads your site and decides what keywords to use to display advertising on your site, just as it would with a Google search.

YouTube Preview Image

For affiliate programs it’s a little different, but the concept is the same. You choose the ads (or pay someone a piece of the action to choose the ads for you), and they get displayed on your pages. Rather than selecting the keywords explicitly, you are selecting the ads based on what you (or your agent) thinks people who have chosen to read your content may have an interest in seeing.

When someone clicks on the ad, you get paid. It’s that simple.

For Adsense, appearing first on the list makes all the difference. A study suggests that being the #1 choice increases your chance of being clicked by up to 40%, because a lot of people don’t look past the first entry (I always check the first few). The difference in bids between the first position and second position could be staggering. For example, 1900 people searched Google for the word tax yesterday. The top spot in Adsense would have cost you $25.12. Positions 2 and 3 drop to $6.96, and 4 and 5 would have cost you $4.24.

My experience with Adsense tells me that in this case the first position would probably pay Google close to $10.

As the publisher, this is a home run. Every time the person clicks I get a $5 bill. God, what a country!

As the advertiser, $10 to get the person in the door seems like a lot of money to me. If I’m selling a high margin item (like maybe tax software or one of those quickie tax loans), it seems like it may be okay.

But I still have to get them to buy. Conversion rates (getting the person to take some action once they’ve clicked on the ad and gone to your site) vary wildly, but I always use 1.5 – 3% of those who click on an ad. That means that 97 – 98.5% of the people who click on the ad do not buy. Let’s use 2% as an example. That means that for all the five dollar bills flying into the publisher’s pocket, only about 2 people out of every hundred will buy anything. So for every $1000 I spend I get 20 sales. That means that every sale costs me $50. Your results will vary, of course, depending on how targeted your keywords are and your industry and offer. Get the conversion up to 5%, for example, and you will be down to $20 per sale, which is a little better. I am designing a what-if tool to help with this, and I’ll post it when it’s ready.

One of the reasons for low conversion is probably click fraud. If an unscrupulous person wants to make money in PPC, all he needs to do is find a bunch of people (or computers) to click on the ads on his website continually, and he’ll reap the rewards.

Barron’s believes that the smart money is getting out of PPC. They cite FTD as an example:

Flower giant FTD Group (FTD) recently complained about the high price of search advertising. “During the Christmas season, certain online search engine costs increased significantly over the prior year, and as such we made the decision not to pursue the resulting high-cost order volume,” said Michael Soenen, chief executive officer.

First off, let me just say that as an advertising exec I pitched FTD, and they didn’t strike me as the brightest bulbs in the chandelier. That being said, it’s easy to see why FTD wants out. Being #1 or #2 in the keyword Flowers around Valentine’s Day would have cost between $6.25 and $10.00. There were 100,000 searches on the days close to VD on that keyword, and 11,500 on Flowers Delivered, which would have cost between $5.03 and $6.72.

Some simple arithmetic shows me that FTD nets about $6.20 per transaction across its network. So the transaction is either a wash or a loss. FTD is the number 1 ad on Google for their keywords, so I guess they decided to eat that first transaction, counting on continuity to save them. According to Barron’s this isn’t going to work either:

One industry executive noted that the lifetime value of a customer acquired through Google for his/her business had approached zero. Oops. So much for that theory.

So the answer seems to be that the big guys are getting out. Using the flowers example, though, the top 5 ads are FTD, ProFlowers, Hallmark, 1-800-Flowers and Teleflora. So I guess it’s going to happen over time.

So where is the future? According to the inventor of pay-per-click himself, Bill Gross (formerly of GoTo.com), the future is in pay-per-action, which moves the metric down to the final part of the Internet advertising transaction, where we think it belongs. There’s a terrific article on Seochat.com that has more information on this.

Pay-per-action is simple…both parties have a stake in the outcome of the click, whether that is a sale, a lead, or even an instant telephone call (more on that in part 2). We think this is going to be the next big thing, and it’s already happening.

About the Author: Matt DeAngelis runs

AffiliateBlog.com

. Matt is the former Chief Technology Officer of Modem Media, a pioneer in the Internet ad space. As a foot soldier in the Internet revolution, Matt devised the technology behind ad campaigns and online presence for a good portion of the Fortune 100, including AT&T, GE, John Hancock, Delta Airlines and Compaq.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=38105&ca=Marketing

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Thursday, March 21st, 2019 | Author:

Friday, November 6, 2009

A 1965 Volkswagen minibus that was stolen in 1974 has been recovered by customs agents in Los Angeles. The vintage minibus was in pristine condition, valued at $25,000, and was found during a routine inspection of a shipping container scheduled for departure to The Netherlands. A routine computer database search on its vehicle identification number flagged it as having been stolen from a vehicle upholstery shop in Spokane, Washington on July 12, 1974. A custom restoration business in Arizona was attempting to deliver it to overseas clients last month when authorities intercepted the vehicle.

“Pretty amazing, isn’t it?”

The theft appeared on the National Insurance Crime Bureau database, which is used by border authorities and contains all stolen vehicle records. Most police databases remove unsolved vehicle thefts after five years.

The California Highway Patrol does not suspect the restorer of wrongdoing, according to investigating officer Mike Maleta. Possession of the vehicle apparently changed several times. Police in Spokane have not yet located the rightful owner, whose identity has not been released to the press. Maleta hopes that a trail of registration documents and interviews will uncover the thief.

“[The restoration firm owner is] a victim himself. He was an innocent purchaser…”

The Allstate insurance company paid $2500 shortly after the theft occurred and wants to take possession of the vintage minibus. Allstate spokeswoman Megan Brunet expects that after the necessary paperwork is processed the firm will sell it at auction.

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Thursday, March 21st, 2019 | Author:
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Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 | Author:
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Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 | Author:

Sunday, June 5, 2005File:Robert Mugabe.jpg

200,000 people living around Harare, Zimbabwe have been evicted from their homes, which have been targeted in a demolition programme by the government. Most have been forced to sleep out in the open while rental prices in the city have skyrocketed.

The operations have targeted at least six Harare suburbs: Hatcliff extension, Epworth, Dzivaresekwa, Glenorah, Glenview, Budriro and Mbare.

The official government newspaper, The Herald, says that 22,735 people have been arrested in the drive against “illegal structures, businesses and criminal activities”.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) are pressing for the government for a six month waiting period to give residents time to make new housing arrangements. ZimRights director Munyaradzi Bidi told the IRIN news service: “About 200,000 people have been affected in the demolition drive — and many of them have papers to prove that they were legal occupants with lease agreements”.

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Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 | Author:

Monday, September 20, 2010

One of London’s most well known murals could be restored after years of neglect if plans by a group of community activists gain public support. The Fitzrovia Mural at Whitfield Gardens on London’s Tottenham Court Road was created by two mural artists and commissioned by Camden Council in 1980, but the mural has since decayed and been vandalised.

Plans will be presented at a public meeting this Tuesday, to include details of the restoration and promote local public space in contrast to potential commercial developments and the focus of the London 2012 Olympics. If enough funds are raised from charitable trusts and public donations the mural could be restored during the summer of 2011.

Plans to be put forward by the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, and the London Mural Preservation Society, will present ways to fund not only the restoration work but also projects to raise awareness of conservation, heritage, and the residential and working community. The heritage and mural project hopes to involve many local people who could learn new conservation skills. Also planned are workshops with local children to involve them in their heritage, an exhibition by local artists, guided tours and a celebratory event at the end of the restoration project. In addition to this, a booklet would be produced containing collected oral histories of the people involved and a preservation trust to protect the mural in future years.

The playful painting was created on a Camden Council-owned building in 1980 by artists Mick Jones, (son of the late Jack Jones, trade union leader) and Simon Barber and is a mash up of scenes depicting problems faced by the neighbourhood over the preceding decade.

There is also a caricature of poet Dylan Thomas, who lived in Fitzrovia, and a mocking portrayal of then leader of the Greater London Council, Conservative politician Horace Cutler, who is pictured as a bat-like creature. Other characters include an anonymous greedy developer and a property speculator counting piles of cash.

Peter Whyatt of the neighbourhood association is jointly leading the project to restore the mural. Yesterday he told Wikinews he had a number of concerns about the possible success of the project.

“There are a great number of problems with getting this project off the ground and we also need to act pretty quickly for a number of reasons,” said Mr Whyatt.

“Firstly the mural is in a terrible state and deteriorating quickly. There is more graffiti being daubed on the site every month because one bit of graffiti attracts another bit. We really need to start the work in the next 12 months because going through another winter with the condition of the wall will causes more problems and inevitably more expense. We want to keep as much original artwork on the site as possible to keep the costs down. This is a big mural and it will be expensive to restore,” he continued.

“And that brings me to my second concern: cost. If we don’t get other community organisations on board to bid for money for this with us and to involve their beneficiaries and volunteers, it will be very difficult to secure the money needed. Money is very tight at the moment because to the current financial climate. We need to get support at this meeting on Tuesday and some firm commitments from people and organisations to get involved.

“Lastly there is a danger of a commercial development on the site. A public-private partnership to create a new art feature. Because of the existing mural’s subject matter – it mocks property speculators, and land developers, etc – a commercial scheme probably backed by a property developer would not want to restore the mural’s original message. They’d want some “good news” scheme, some greenwash idea that paints them in a positive light.

“However, despite these problems, Camden Council have offered to do a condition survey on the mural. This will save us a lot of money. But having said that there are five council departments to deal with to get permission for this restoration work, and they don’t always talk to each other.

“But if the public and local voluntary organisations show their support, we can make it happen,” Mr Whyatt concluded.

The mural restoration will be just one part of a year long project of heritage and conservation awareness-raising. “The project is not just about the mural but also wider plans to promote awareness of heritage and conservation in an area of London under threat from commercial development. In fact the bulk of the project is about the heritage and conservation and the mural is just one part of it, and the most visible because of its situation,” Mr Whyatt later added.

There will be a public meeting about the heritage and mural project at 7.30 pm tomorrow (Tuesday), at the Neighbourhood Centre, 39 Tottenham Street. The public can also comment about the proposals on the Fitzrovia Heritage and Mural website.

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Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 | Author:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Environmentalists in Brazil are urging the country’s residents to urinate in the shower while washing themselves, to help conserve water and save the rainforest. Television ads being aired in the country claim that by doing so, the nation could save over 1,000 gallons of water per household each year.

SOS Mata Atlantica ran the ad campaign in an attempt to use comedy to get people to reduce the amount of water they use. “[The ad is] a way to be playful about a serious subject,” said Adriana Kfouri, a spokesperson for Atlantica.

The animated ad narrated by children shows people, including a trapeze artist, an alien and dancers, all taking a shower while at the same time, urinating in it. The ending of the ad then states, “Pee in the shower! Save the Atlantic rainforest!”

Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London, England, proposed a similar campaign in 2006. He said urine should be classified as a “green waste” and that “there is no earthly reason that you need to flush the loo if you have merely urinated. That’s a huge saving of water.”

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