Self Help Tips – Post-Hurricane Matthew: How to Prepare Your Home for Storms – Home

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(NewsUSA) – Sponsored by GAF – Risk mitigation.

It’s a phrase that comes up after every major storm — Hurricane Matthew being only the latest — as homeowners are warned that all too many houses are simply no match for high winds, and that prudence dictates they act to help protect themselves and their property from future storms.

Think those warnings are needlessly alarmist?

Probably so did all those New Yorkers who believed that a Hurricane Sandy could never clobber their city.

So what should homeowners do, proactively, to increase their odds of beating Mother Nature? Read on.

* Clean your gutters. Even in perfect weather, Angie’s List says you’re looking at a potential “nightmare” if they’re so clogged with mounds of leaves, sticks, and other debris that it causes your roof to leak. Factor in a hurricane-strength rainstorm, though, and the very roofing system component meant to control the flow of all that water — thereby protecting your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape from flooding — can suddenly be rendered about as useful as a virus-infected laptop.

“If you let gutter cleaning go by the wayside, it can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars,” the website cautions.

* Reinforce windows. Need we say anything more than flying shards of glass?

Didn’t think so, which is why the Federal Emergency Management Agency — in describing windows as “particularly vulnerable” — recommends springing for either impact-resistant glazing or permanent storm shutters. (A grief-saving tip from FEMA: “Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.”)

* Make sure your roof is in good condition. Even though a manufacturer’s warranty typically doesn’t cover roof damage caused by disasters like hurricanes — check your home insurance policy for that — experts date what they call an “upsurge” of interest in stronger roofs back to 2011’s Hurricane Irene. News footage of all those battered homes in states such as Delaware, North Carolina and Virginia was that gut-wrenching.

“If you are going to replace your roof, consider shingles that have passed the UL2218, Class 4 impact test, the toughest in the industry,” says Jason Joplin, program manager of the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence. Joplin especially likes the Timberline ArmorShield II line of shingles from GAF (, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, which — in addition to looking good — are made with what he describes as “a rubber-like material for enhanced flexibility and durability during extreme weather conditions.”

Added bonus: Depending on where you live, the shingles may also qualify for significant discounts on that homeowners insurance of yours.

* Trim weak tree branches. Not to belabor the dangerous projectile angle, but ask yourself this: Unless you’re 5 years old, would you want even Santa Claus crashing into your house at hurricane-strength speeds?

And while you’re mulling that one over, remember that Matthew might not be it for this year. Both the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific hurricane seasons run through November 30.

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Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Technology News – Protecting Seniors Online from Scams, Hacks and Tax Fraud – Seniors

(NewsUSA) – The vast majority of seniors today are using the Internet at least once a week to check email, pay bills online and keep in touch via social media. But all that time online puts them at risk for scams and hacks, such as tax fraud.

In fact, a new survey by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network, found that 67 percent of surveyed older adults have been the victim of an online scam or hack.

Encouraging seniors to practice cyber security can go a long way toward protecting their identity and sensitive financial information. Home Instead collaborated with the National Cyber Security Alliance to create Protect Seniors Online, available at, a free resource that educates older adults about cybersecurity. Here, seniors can test their cybersecurity skills with the “Can You Spot an Online Scam?” quiz.

Older adults can take the following steps now to protect themselves online:

*Password protect and secure devices, accounts. Lock all devices (including computers, tablets and smartphones) with secure passwords in case devices are lost or stolen.

*Think before clicking. When faced with an urgent request — like emails asking for money — think before clicking or get a second opinion. Clicking on links is often how scammers get personal information. When in doubt, trash an unusual message.

*Share with care. More than half (51 percent) of seniors surveyed by Home Instead use social media to stay connected. Use care when sharing personal information, adjust privacy settings to limit who can see your information, and turn off location sharing.

*Use security software. Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software and program it to run regularly. And be wary of pop-up ads or emails, many of which contain malware that can infect computers.

*Log out. Log out of apps and websites when you are finished. Leaving apps and websites open on computer screens could make you vulnerable to security and privacy risks.

*Recommend support. Older adults who live alone may need help from a trusted source — such as a family member, tech-savvy friend or professional caregiver –to serve as a second set of eyes.

To explore additional Protect Seniors Online resources, including the interactive quiz, visit

A Home Instead office near you can be found by visiting

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Business News – Optimism About Farm Economy Remains Robust, Says New Economic Indicator – Business

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(NewsUSA) – One year ago, Purdue and CME Group launched the Ag Economy Barometer, the first economic indicator to help gauge the monthly outlook of the U.S. farm economy. Since its inception, the barometer has measured farmers’ sentiment through market-moving events — such as Brexit, the U.S. presidential election and key agricultural reports — and continues to be an important tool for taking the temperature of the nation’s agricultural sector.

Each month, the barometer measures the confidence of 400 food producers regarding the farm economy and key economic drivers, resulting in a barometer reading that represents sentiment. The barometer reading is published on the first Tuesday of each month, indicating whether sentiment has improved or declined month over month or above or below the baseline score of 100.

Since Purdue and CME Group started fielding this research, the barometer has seen a significant rise in producer optimism from 116 to 130 points, due to unexpected factors beyond commodity prices. Sentiment began rising steadily after the U.S. presidential election in November and reached an all-time peak of 153 points in January, when Donald Trump took office.

“Over the last year, we learned that producer expectations are a driving force of sentiment, not solely day-to-day changes in commodity prices or even overall profitability,” says Jim Mintert, director of Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture and principal investigator for the barometer.

“While near-term economic conditions in agriculture barely changed around the election, producers’ attitudes improved with expectations of less regulation and tax reform down the line.”

“Agriculture is a key component of the global economy, so understanding the health of the farming community is critical to get the full picture,” says Fred Seamon, CME Group executive director of commodity research & product development.

“We’re pleased that the barometer is providing vital insight into an industry on which consumers so heavily rely, and will continue to do so.”

Results for the Ag Economy Barometer are tabulated and published on the first Tuesday of each month by Purdue University. To learn more about the barometer, survey methodology or to view the most recent results, visit

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Sherwood Park Alberta Hourly Weather Forecast

your Hourly Forecast for Sherwood Park Alberta   

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta,Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.

68,782 (2015)

70.98 km²

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Originally posted 2017-03-29 22:44:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Heavy Construction News – The worlds biggest Wheel Loader

Biggest wheel loader in the world 70 yard super high lift LeTourneau L2350 The L-2350 wheel loader, with an operating capacity of 72,574 kg (160,000 lbs.), can center load haulage trucks with payload ratings ranging from 320 to 400+ tons. The most powerful and productive wheel loader in its class, the L-2350 is part of … Continue reading “Heavy Construction News – The Biggest Wheel Loader in the World”


Originally posted 2017-04-22 22:24:30. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Heavy Construction News – Study helps explain why uranium persists in groundwater at former mining sites — ScienceDaily

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Decades after a uranium mine is shuttered, the radioactive element can still persist in groundwater at the site, despite cleanup efforts.

A recent study led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory helps describe how the contaminant cycles through the environment at former uranium mining sites and why it can be difficult to remove. Contrary to assumptions that have been used for modeling uranium behavior, researchers found the contaminant binds to organic matter in sediments. The findings provide more accurate information for monitoring and remediation at the sites.

The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In 2014, researchers at SLAC’s Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) began collaborating with the DOE Office of Legacy Management, which handles contaminated sites associated with the legacy of DOE’s nuclear energy and weapons production activities. Through projects associated with the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act, the DOE remediated 22 sites in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico where uranium had been extracted and processed during the 1940s to 1970s.

Uranium was removed from the sites as part of the cleanup process, and the former mines and waste piles were capped more than two decades ago. Remaining uranium deep in the subsurface under the capped waste piles was expected to leave these sites due to natural groundwater flow. However, uranium has persisted at elevated levels in nearby groundwater much longer than predicted by scientific modeling.

In an earlier study, the SLAC team discovered that uranium accumulates in the low-oxygen sediments near one of the waste sites in the upper Colorado River basin. These deposits contain high levels of organic matter — such as plant debris and bacterial communities.

During this latest study, the researchers found the dominant form of uranium in the sediments, known as tetravalent uranium, binds to organic matter and clays in the sediments. This makes it more likely to persist at the sites. The result conflicted with current models used to predict movement and longevity of uranium in sediments, which assumed that it formed an insoluble mineral called uraninite.

Different chemical forms of the element vary widely in how mobile they are — how readily they move around — in water, says Sharon Bone, lead author on the paper and a postdoctoral researcher at SSRL, a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

Since the uranium is bound to organic matter in sediments, it is immobile under certain conditions. Tetravalent uranium may become mobile when the water table drops and oxygen from the air enters spaces in the sediment that were formerly filled with water, particularly if the uranium is bound to organic matter in sediments rather than being stored in insoluble minerals.

“Either you want the uranium to be soluble and completely flushed out by the groundwater, or you just want the uranium to remain in the sediments and stay out of the groundwater,” Bone says. “But under fluctuating seasonal conditions, neither happens completely.”

This cycling in the aquifer may result in the persistent plumes of uranium contamination found in groundwater, something that wasn’t captured by earlier modeling efforts.

“For the most part, uranium contamination has only been looked at in very simple model systems in laboratories,” Bone says. “One big advancement is that we are now looking at uranium in its native environmental form in sediments. These dynamics are complicated, and this research will allow us to make field-relevant modeling predictions.”

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But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Originally posted 2017-02-02 21:32:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Self Help Tips – Foodies Flock to Greater Fort Lauderdale’s Dining Destinations – Food

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(NewsUSA) – The Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida area has become a hotbed of new dining options that embrace traditional favorites and current food trends, from farm-to-table spots to breweries and gastropubs.

Many Fort Lauderdale eateries will be showcased in the Taste Fort Lauderdale event in conjunction with the South Beach Wine & Food Festival from February 22-26, 2017.

Other events featuring Fort Lauderdale’s food scene include the Las Olas Wine and Food Festival in Spring 2017 and an annual, popular dining promotion in August and September 2017.

In addition, food trucks from Greater Fort Lauderdale eateries make regular appearances at sports events, concerts, and other entertainment venues.

A sample of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s food options include the following:

Waterfront: Many Fort Lauderdale eateries offer waterfront views or even dockside dining for boaters on the area’s waterways, including the Blue Moon Fish Company.

Italian: Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar & Pizzeria presents homemade pastas, wood burning Neapolitan pizzas, home- cooked Sicilian comfort food and Chef Louie’s house-cured salami. And it boasts an outdoor piazza with a fire pit and bocce ball court.

Brunch: O-B House, in Fort Lauderdale’s historic district, Himmarshee Village, offers breakfast favorites using fresh, local ingredients and is famous for its deep-dish corn pancakes.

Bespoke cocktails: Apothecary 330 has 250 bottles of rare and specialty liquors and innovative libations served up by the speakeasy’s “bar chefs.”

Craft beer: The Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park is the destination’s first industrial microbrewery.

Seafood: Lighthouse Point’s Cap’s Place, Broward County’s oldest restaurant and a national landmark that opened as a speakeasy in 1928, offers fresh seafood prepared in a variety of ways, including broiled, char-grilled, baked, pan-fried, pan-roasted, deep-fried, Johnny style, classic scampi style or blackened Cajun style.

Health-conscious: Green Bar & Kitchen, a plant-based superfood cafe with two locations in Fort Lauderdale, serves a gluten-free menu that includes dairy-free, nut-free ice cream.

Asian: Kuro, located at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, presents Japanese cuisine featuring contemporary artisanal dishes using both locally-sourced and imported ingredients directly from Japan.

Coffee: Don’t forget the coffee. Fort Lauderdale favorites include Grind Coffee Project, where patrons can enhance their brew with toppings including Nutella, balsamic vinegar and candied bacon.

For more information about the Fort Lauderdale dining scene and the area in general, please visit

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Construction Videos – Terex® TLB840R Backhoe: Rugged, Economical, Rental Tough

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“Terex knows what the rental channel demands – versatile, dependable machinery that yields a high return on investment. That’s exactly what the new Terex TLB840R backhoe delivers. It’s the first time we’ve applied our 55 years of backhoe experience to build a machine specially tailored to rental needs –it’s a game changer for the industry and our Construction segment” – Ron DeFeo, Chairman and CEO, Terex Corporation


Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.

Technology News – The Top State for Robotics Innovation? Florida Will Surprise You – Technology

(NewsUSA) – Lifelike animatronics, next-generation “surgeons” and mechanical warfighters — words that might create visions of a Sci-Fi blockbuster. However, these innovations in high-tech robotics are real and you need look no further than Florida to find them. The history between the state and robotics is a long one. Since the birth of IBM PC in Boca Raton in 1981, the “Second Machine Age” has been thriving in the Sunshine State.

Florida’s robotics revolution covers a lot of ground, including mobility assistance and research, but a common theme found in the state’s innovation reliance on technology that defies human capabilities, including in the life sciences. Seamless procedures on the spine, cancer cells and more have been enhanced by robotics at the Florida Hospital Global Robotics Institute and Mazor Robotics, both in Orlando. Similarly, Kissimmee-based Photon-X explores the science of photonics, such as fiber optics, in applications for robotics surgery.

According to Photon-X President and CEO Blair Barbour, “Medical robotics is the next generation of surgery. The technology is perfected to eliminate human error from procedures, making it possible to enhance surgeries and surgeon capabilities with better hand-eye coordination. Tests have proven that patients also heal faster through robotic surgery.”

The Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) in Pensacola takes a different approach to defying human capabilities. By pairing scientists and robots to develop systems using complicated human thought process and versatile machines, IHMC develops systems that save lives in situations where help is needed but the risk is too great for human response, including in nuclear meltdown sites and space exploration.

To develop the groundbreaking technology that Florida has become known for, the world’s most talented scientists are required, and the state has made it possible to attract and retain that talent. Says Julie Sheppard, general counsel of IHMC, “Being in Florida helps us with our recruitment. In addition to the exciting work, IHMC is able to hire top talent due to Florida’s weather, our affordable housing and all the access to waterways for recreational purposes. We are especially appealing to scientists from cities with a higher cost of living because we offer our employees a more attractive lifestyle.”

Homegrown talent is cultivated at colleges throughout the state, including the Tallahassee-based Center for Intelligent Systems, Control, and Robotics (CISCOR), a cooperative program between Florida A&M University and Florida State University. As one of the top schools in the country for development and implementation of robotics technology, CISCOR’s students focus on studying mechanical design and human-robot interaction, including mobility in complex environments.

In addition, the Army has collaborated with students to develop automated motion planning, terrain classification and design and modeling of four-legged robots.

For more information about high-tech robotics in Florida, visit

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Construction Women Push To Earn What They’re Worth | 2017-05-08

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Noting their contributions to “the power of the purse” for their employers, women in construction are pushing for parity in compensation, which continues to lag behind that of male peers.

Despite numerous studies that show the business value of diverse management and professional teams, a gender-based wage gap still dogs women in the business world, said Carey Smith, president of the federal business unit of Parsons Corp. She made those comments to nearly 400 attendees at ENR’s Groundbreaking Women in Construction conference, held May 2-3 in San Francisco.

According to Smith, the gender pay gap in construction—with women earning 93¢ for every male dollar—is narrower  than the business average of 82¢ per dollar, “but it’s not where we need to be.”

Smith noted the “amazing statistic” that companies diversified by gender and ethnicity outperform peers by 15% and 35%, respectively, citing research by consultant McKinsey.  “According to the study, womens’ equality could add $12 trillion to global economic growth,” she told attendees at the event, which is co-sponsored by law firm Peckar & Abramson.

A panel of mixed-gender professionals outlined examples of how the “diversity dividend” works in their companies.

Lisa Mingoia, corporate counsel at Skanska, said the diversity of its presentation team was a factor in its win of a key construction role on the multibillion-dollar renovation of LaGuardia Airport in New York City, set for completion in 2021.

“Having a female executive is the single most important way to drive organizational change,” said Laura Abrahamson, AECOM senior vice president and associate general counsel, adding that 45% of the giant AE’s staff is female and that women make up 43% of its leadership.

“Intentionalness sets AECOM apart,” she told attendees.

Jon Michael Pardo, chief human resource officer at Spain-based contractor Dragados, echoed that contention, noting the diversity strength in its team that successfully competed for construction of a new Chesapeake Bay tunnel.

“Europeans have a better model for women in executive roles,” he claimed. “In the U.S., we’re getting there.”

Pay Gaps in Industry Sectors

Even so, presenters noted evidence of pay gaps in industry sectors. A 2015 study of 2,200 male and female structural engineers revealed a $52,000 gap at the principal level, despite faster advancement of women at lower levels, said Angie Sommer, an associate at ZFA Structural Engineers who co-chaired the survey project, which also looked at practitioner engagement.

She said a more detailed study of the compensation gap results will be conducted this year but noted the difficulty of finding competitive compensation data. “It’s always been a taboo subject,” she told attendees.

Priya Kapila, compensation practice leader at industry management consultant FMI, noted the need for “objective measures” such as a company-wide pay equity analysis, and a look at issues related to “comparable worth” of job roles.

She also pointed to trends that show disparities resulting from different gender-based negotiating approaches and management aspirations, emphasizing that “recognizing high performers” is critical.

Pointing to the Obama administration push to level the compensation playing field through order and regulation, Kellie McElhaney, a consultant and professor in the University of California, Berkeley business school who has studied gender workplace trends, noted changes to come in the Trump government.

The president, in late March, revoked a 2014 Obama order that required wage transparency for workers of federal contractors and barred forced arbitration clauses in sexual-harassment settlements.

“I have lost faith in the government taking this on,” she said, although noting that activist investors and even municipal governments are stepping up to help “de-bias” corporate processes.

Parsons Corp. executive Smith said the administration promise of a huge infrastructure program would boost oportunities for women project leaders and business owners in construction. But Smith noted the funding battles that will delay it well into 2018 and other market growth impacts from “trade crises” and labor shortages.

For now, Smith called on industry CEOs to “take personal responsibility to drive diversity” in recruiting and retention through efforts such as targeted project assignments, mandated leadership training for diverse candidates and creation of affinity groups “as long as they don’t become social organizations.”

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Originally posted 2017-05-15 20:36:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Sunflower seeds traced as source of toxic mold, potent liver carcinogen — ScienceDaily – News

Michigan State University researchers have shown that sunflower seeds are frequently contaminated with a toxin produced by molds and pose an increased health risk in many low-income countries worldwide.

In the current issue of PLoS ONE, the team of scientists documented frequent occurrence of aflatoxin — a toxin produced by Aspergillus molds that commonly infect corn, peanuts, pistachios and almonds — in sunflower seeds and their products. This is one of the first studies to associate aflatoxin contamination with sunflower seeds.

The study was conducted in Tanzania, but the problem is by no means isolated there. Chronic exposure to aflatoxin causes an estimated 25,000-155,000 deaths worldwide each year, from corn and peanuts alone. Since it is one of the most potent liver carcinogens known, the research to detect and limit its presence in sunflower seeds and their products could help save lives and reduce liver disease in areas where sunflowers and their byproducts are consumed, said Gale Strasburg, MSU food science and human nutrition professor and one of the study’s co-authors.

“These high aflatoxin levels, in a commodity frequently consumed by the Tanzanian population, indicate that local authorities must implement interventions to prevent and control aflatoxin contamination along the sunflower commodity value chain, to enhance food and feed safety in Tanzania,” he said. “Follow-up research is needed to determine intake rates of sunflower seed products in humans and animals, to inform exposure assessments and to better understand the role of sunflower seeds and cakes as a dietary aflatoxin source.”

Smallholder farmers in Tanzania grow sunflowers for the seeds, which are sold to local millers who press the seeds for oil and sell it to local consumers for cooking. The remaining cakes are used as animal feed.

The seeds become infected by Aspergillus flavus or Aspergillus parasiticus, molds that produce aflatoxin. This contamination has been well studied in other crops, but there is little research published on sunflower seed contamination.

Juma Mmongoyo, a former MSU food science doctoral student and lead author of the study, analyzed aflatoxin levels of seeds and cakes in seven regions of Tanzania in 2014 and 2015. Nearly 60 percent of seed samples and 80 percent of cake samples were contaminated with aflatoxins.

In addition, 14 percent of seeds and 17 percent of cakes were contaminated above 20 parts per billion, the level considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Some samples had levels of several hundred parts per billion.

“Billions of people worldwide are exposed to aflatoxin in their diets, particularly in places where food is not monitored regularly for contaminants,” said Felicia Wu, the Hannah Distinguished Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition and Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at MSU and study co-author. “Our previous work with the World Health Organization on the global burden of foodborne disease showed that aflatoxin is one of the chemical contaminants that causes the greatest disease burden worldwide.”

To help solve that problem, Wu founded the Center for the Health Impacts of Agriculture. The center tackles global issues, such as antibiotics given to livestock and poultry that seep into soil and nearby bodies of water, and the association between malaria incidence and irrigation patterns in sub-Saharan Africa.

MSU scientists John Linz, Muraleedharan Nair and Robert Tempelman contributed to this study. Jovin Mugula of the Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania) also contributed to this research.

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Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.