Coco Capsule

first_imgNo related posts. The overcast days of an early green season have left many of us up in the air in terms of what to do with spare time. Sunning at the beach is certainly out, as is hanging clothes out to dry. So try some of these:Go out to dinner. Luperon has made arrangements with  several of the area’s best restaurants to provide free corkage on selected wines sold at the grocery. The offer is good at Las Olas on Wednesdays, Citron on Thursdays, Café de Playa on Fridays and Ginger on Saturdays. This promotion will continue through the end of July.See new art. Hermán Pérez’s “Eyes of the Soul” is on display at the Hidden Garden Art Gallery through August 1.Take a class. Pacífico Beach Club has popular cooking classes with chef Guillermo Vindas. On June 25, the 6-8 p.m. class will focus on Asian cooking. The cost is $32 and reservations can be made at 2670-2217.Take a hike. Despite the mud, this weather is perfect to explore any of the area’s national parks on foot. And given the number of spas and restaurants hidden in the hills, any one of the day trips you choose will satisfy.–Kent Cartheykcarthey@aol.com Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Arenal Report

first_imgNo related posts. The Arenal area is blessed with many people who care deeply about animals. Judy Reisman, Dr. Josué Rivera at Supervet and Gloria Dempsey have offered this advice to pet owners in the area:All pet owners should keep activated carbon on hand at all times. Activated carbon absorbs toxins and poisons in the gastrointestinal tract. If your pet is bitten by a poisonous snake, is intentionally poisoned, or licks or eats a poisonous frog or toad, the activated charcoal may be the difference between life and death. However, as Gloria noted, pets bitten by poisonous snakes require snake anti-venom as soon as possible. Supervet sells a sachet, to which you add water. You can also get a version sold in pill form for humans at the regular pharmacy. You crush the pill and add some water, and then drip the mixture down the throat using a syringe.Another trick for ticks is smearing the affected area with lard. It can be a vegetable lard, but not butter. If the ticks are in the ear canal, where they often hide, you can gently insert a Q-tip. The grease will suffocate ticks and they will fall out.If you are looking for a dog or a cat for your home, consider adopting a stray. Many of the vets in the area keep stray animals looking for good homes.  You can also contact Michele Glenn at Micheleglenn3@hotmail.com.-Lynn Farris LynnFarris@ymail.com Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Jacó Happenings

first_imgNo related posts. Freddy “Salsiboy” Camachois organizing a special surf tournament for the end of the year and he is hoping to get sponsors. The two-day surf event will be held Dec. 28-29 in Jacó Beach in front of Malecón Restaurant. Not only is he looking for sponsors, he is asking that people donate old boards, leashes, fins and surf equipment for prizes for participating kids. For more information, contact Freddy at 8881-7209.The Jacó Puppet Factory is offering an activity program the week of Dec. 17-21 for children aged 7-10 every day Mon.-Fri. from 1-4 p.m. They offer puppet making, singing activities and exercises such as yoga poses and dance movements suitable for children. They will also be making Christmas tree decorations. Teacher Kathleen Heinemanhas has more than ten years teaching experience while teacher Lalena Bennett has theater and dance experience and is a freelance artist. They are located at Casa Lalena in Playa Jacó off of the Pops road opposite of Soda Garabito. Cost is $20 per day with a minimum sign-up of two days required as many of the puppets take two days to make. Call now to reserve a spot. The program will start again after Christmas on Wednesday, Dec. 26. Contact Lalena at 8861-7149 or 2643-6074, and Kathleen at 8580-8481.If you are looking for a road trip: This weekend down in Palo Seco in Parrita in front of the Hotel La Isla, the Circuito Nacional will be starting the National Surf Circuit. Mark your calendars for JungleJam, which will be in town again here at Docelunas Jan. 17-20, 2013. The line up will be featuring Billy Kreutzman from the Grateful Dead, Otiel Burbridge from the Allman Brothers and Scott Murawski from Max Creek. The Ryan Montbleu Band and ZAC Deputy will round out the bill for the U.S. bands, and there will be some other local bands filling in. Thursday is a fan club/VIP ticket holder show, Fri.-Sat. is 7 a.m.-1 p.m., and Sunday is family-friendly. Kids under 14 get in free and there will be face painting, puppet people and stuff for kids to do. Sunday runs from 3-11 p.m. and was a huge hit last year. For more information or to get tickets, contact DoceLunas at 2643-2211.Lastly, the administrative offices of the Garabito Municipality will be closed from Dec. 21-Jan. 2.christina_truitt@yahoo.com Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Central American Games kick off

first_imgThe Central American Games arrived in Costa Rica Sunday in a literal blaze of glory when a stray firework set the roof of the National Stadium alight. Despite the scare, no one was injured and the games continued Monday as planned, featuring competitions in 26 different sports.El Salvador’s Ramón Cruz claimed the first gold medal of the games on Tuesday by hoisting a 90-kilogram dumbbell in a weightlifting event. Costa Rica claimed its first gold later that day at the hands of judo fighter Julián Sancho.“It’s a huge honor to win the first gold for Costa Rica,” the 17-year-old told the press following the event. “It is something that I will remember forever.”Claiming the most Costa Rican gold medals is synchronized swimmer Violeta Mitinian, who earned her third in solo free swim on Wednesday night. Right on Mitinian’s tail is fencer Dirley Yepes. The current Central American fencing champion has laid claim to two golds and is the favorite in two more events.Costa Rica also scored a gold medal in men’s team gymnastics and team equestrian, and speed skater Susan Piedra pulled out an amazing, first-place finish at the last second in the 15,000-meter elimination race. Costa Rica also has claimed silver and bronze medals in weightlifting, racquetball and table tennis.While the country has seen some success in individual sports, several of the Costa Rican teams have struggled to avoid elimination in tournaments. The women’s softball team was eliminated in the first round of games, losing to Honduras, Panama and Nicaragua. The men’s pingpong doubles team also fell to Nicaragua on Wednesday night.Costa Rica came out strong in the soccer events with the women’s team taking down Belize in a whopping 14-0 win Wednesday night. The men’s indoor soccer team also won their first game, beating El Salvador 4-0. Both the men’s and women’s handball teams lead their respective tournaments, which conclude Friday night.All other sports will begin next week, and the games will conclude on March 17.More pictures: Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Tropical Storm Boris downgraded after affecting close to 100000 in Guatemala

Tropical Storm Boris downgraded after affecting close to 100000 in Guatemala

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica nearing record rainfall for May Caribbean, Northern zone residents get a break from the rain, but that could change on Wednesday El Niño in Costa Rica: We haven’t seen the worst of it yet, say experts ‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Patricia threatens Mexico coast TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ — A storm named Boris lingering off Mexico’s west coast was downgraded to a tropical depression on Wednesday, but is still packing heavy rains that could cause deadly flash floods and mudslides.The warning from the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Boris could dump as much as 20 inches (50 cm) of rain in some parts of the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca. Boris was expected to make landfall later Wednesday, according to the center’s tracking map.The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of almost 55 kilometers (35 miles) per hour, down slightly from Tuesday. It was still moving toward the north at seven kilometers (five miles) per hour.But Boris is expected to weaken later Wednesday.In Guatemala, rough weather produced a landslide that killed five people near the Mexican border on Saturday.The national disaster relief agency said as many as 100,000 people have been affected by bad weather that has caused damage to homes and roads. Schools have also been closed in parts of Guatemala.Last week, the remnants of Hurricane Amanda were blamed for three deaths in Guerrero and the neighboring state of Michoacan. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Municipalities challenge moratorium on solid waste gasification projects

Municipalities challenge moratorium on solid waste gasification projects

first_imgRelated posts:Citizen group voices support for government moratorium on thermal conversion of solid waste to electricity Government, environmental groups agree to temporarily postpone approval of waste gasification Costa Rica to sign loan with Japan for expansion of geothermal energy projects San Ramón public school receives landmark solar panels The National Association of Municipalities (ANAI) on Wednesday will present a complaint to an administrative court challenging a moratorium on the use of trash to generate electricity. The temporary ban was decreed by the Environment Ministry last June.A group of mayors and lawmakers from several political parties on Tuesday evening held a press conference at the Legislative Assembly, where ANAI Vice President Gilberto Monge cited the use of the technology in several countries, mostly in Europe.He also noted that the country’s Solid Waste Management Law already regulates thermal processing of waste in Costa Rica.The municipalities’ plan, which aims to allow local governments to generate electricity through waste gasification, was halted by the environment and health ministries, which cited technical and scientific questions about the procedure and its potential impact on the environment.Recommended: Facing closures of makeshift garbage dumps, Costa Rican municipalities scramble to manage trashIn July, Environment Minister Édgar Gutiérrez told La Nación the studies that had been submitted regarding the decomposition of solid waste “were not serious and did not reflect the degree of contamination the procedure could generate.”Monge claimed the municipalities’ plan has information that contradicts arguments in the moratorium. “But we never received a response [from the ministries], and we decided to take legal action,” he said at Tuesday’s press conference.“We believe the decree [for a moratorium] has legal and constitutionality flaws, because it limits the freedom of trade and contradicts Law #7200, which allows the Costa Rican Electricity Institute to purchase electricity,” Monge said.“We have studies showing this process of electricity generation is not harmful to the environment, and we know that garbage dumps and electricity generation using fuel currently produce more pollution in comparison,” Monge said.Several lawmakers including Otto Guevara from the Libertarian Movement Party, Johnny Leiva and Juan Marín from the National Liberation Party, and William Alvarado from the Social Christian Unity Party, support the mayors’ initiative and have joined them in asking the administration to cancel the decree. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

FIFA Sponsor pressure mounts ahead of World Cup draw

FIFA Sponsor pressure mounts ahead of World Cup draw

first_imgRelated posts:Chuck Blazer: The whistleblower at epicenter of FIFA arrests Blatter wins FIFA vote amid corruption storm FIFA’s Blatter shocked by US anti-corruption tactics Swiss prosecutors probe 53 ‘suspicious’ FIFA cases See also: Costa Rica football federation requests overhaul of CONCACAF officiatingST. PETERSBURG, Russia – FIFA will meet with key sponsors Visa, McDonalds and Coca-Cola next month as world football’s governing body continues to come under pressure following a series of corruption scandals.Just 24 hours before the first official event for the Russia 2018 World Cup with the qualification draw in St. Petersburg, secretary general Jerome Valcke said the three major sponsors had written to express their concern.The parties are expected to meet in August to discuss the reform procedures outlined by outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter this week.“There will be a meeting next month in August between all the FIFA partners and FIFA along with the legal and marketing departments,” said Valcke. “The issue is to make sure from their side that the reform process ongoing should be through an independent body.”Blatter’s proposed reforms include limits on terms for leaders, tougher background checks on executive committee members and the publication of salaries of top officials.However, VISA chief executive Charlie Scharf believes that meaningful reform can only be carried out by an independent body and take place once Blatter is removed.“Two things need to happen to ensure credible reform,” Scharf said in a statement on Friday. “First, an independent, third-party commission led by one or more impartial leaders is critical to formulate reforms. Second, we believe no meaningful reform can be made under FIFA’s existing leadership.” FIFA headquarters in Zurich. Michael Buholze/AFPThere was another embarrassing development for FIFA on Friday as Brazil and Zenit St. Petersburg forward Hulk was pulled from the lineup to conduct the draw.The 28-year-old was set to feature alongside the likes of compatriot Ronaldo and Samuel Eto’o, but has been replaced by former Russia captain Alexey Smertin.Hulk has been an outspoken critic of the racist abuse he and other players have repeated suffered while playing in Russia.“If this happens during the 2018 World Cup it may become a serious problem as the whole world will be able to watch it,” he said this week.However, the head of the Local Organizing Committee, Alexey Sorokin, insisted that it had been Zenit coach Andre Villas-Boas’s decision to pull his star out of the draw proceedings as his side face Ural in Ekaterinburg over 1,000 miles east of St. Petersburg on Sunday.“Hulk was among those who agreed to participate, but very recently we found out that the coach of Zenit made the decision based on purely sporting reasons to withdraw this player from taking part in the draw show,” he said.The full schedules for the World Cup and the 2017 Confederations Cup were also unveiled on Friday.Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium had already been allocated the opening game, a semi-final and the final with St. Petersburg hosting the other semi-final.Kazan, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Moscow’s Spartak stadium will be the hosts for all 16 Confederations Cup matches and the four World Cup quarter-finals.All 12 stadia will host four group matches for the World Cup with only Kaliningrad, Volgograd and Ekaterinburg missing out on the knockout stages.Former world champions France and Italy face a potential tricky task just to make it to the finals, though, as they were confirmed as second seeds for the European qualifying draw.England and Wales are among the nine top seeds alongside Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Romania and Croatia.Read all our FIFA coverage here Facebook Commentslast_img read more

After 80 days investigation continues into US man missing in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Police investigate disappearance of US expat in Costa Rica Costa Rica police chief accused of illegally detaining US expats subject to court-ordered restrictions Family of US hiker disappeared in Costa Rica passes another dark anniversary US man dies in boating accident in Costa Rica, marking third deadly incident this month Brian Lynn Hogue went missing while traveling between San José and Guápiles, where he lived, on June 1, 2015. (Courtesy OIJ)More than two months after his father disappeared, Jeff Hogue hasn’t lost hope. As Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) continue to search for Brian Hogue, who has been missing since June, Jeff Hogue traveled to Costa Rica to meet with his father’s friends in search of clues to his whereabouts.Brian Hogue, a 64-year-old U.S. citizen and Costa Rican resident living outside the Caribbean slope town of Guápiles, was last seen in San José on June 1 driving a gold 2002 Suzuki XL7. Hogue has lived in Costa Rica for five years near Guápiles, 68 kilometers northeast of the capital, with his wife and their son. He also owns property on the Nicoya Peninsula, near Cóbano, Puntarenas. When Hogue did not return from a trip to his Cóbano property, a neighbor reported him missing on June 12.The family is offering a ₡2.5 million reward for anyone with information on his whereabouts.Jeff Hogue said his father loves Costa Rica and is a proud member of his community. He said his father and stepmother had planned to retire here on a farm they own in La Marina, Guápiles.OIJ spokesman Marco Monge told The Tico Times in an email Thursday that the case is under investigation. He had no further comment.Jeff Hogue said he is hopeful OIJ investigators will find his father, but as the search continues into its second month, he is concerned that foul play may be to blame.“If we can’t solve this, Costa Rica’s reputation could change from one where people go to get away to where you disappear,” Hogue said.Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Brian Hogue should contact the OIJ’s confidential hotline at 800-8000645 or email cicooij@poder-judicial.go.cr. The family has set up a separate email and phone for information related to Hogue’s disappearance at +(506) 4001-7998 or findbrianhogue@gmail.com. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Video of turtle torture highlights common practice in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Victim testifies in Jairo Mora murder retrial Suspects in slaying of sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora will stand trial Delays and blunders: A timeline of the Jairo Mora murder trial in Costa Rica Verdict in second Jairo Mora trial expected Tuesday A video of young men merrily dragging a live sea turtle behind a car in Costa Rica went viral after well-known environmental lawyer Álvaro Sagot posted it to his Facebook page earlier this week.The widespread outrage provoked by the shared video spurred a police investigation. Agents from the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) determined that the video was several years old, but were still able to track down two suspects using the license plate number of the car in the video.OIJ officials said in a statement that one of the suspects has received a citation and will be required to appear in court, while the second suspect is already in prison on drug trafficking charges.Despite the outcry, dragging turtles behind cars is a common method of killing or torturing turtles in certain parts of Costa Rica. Green turtles, the species of turtle in the video, are sometimes killed for meat here.The video’s surge on social media coincided with the close of the trial for the murder of sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora. Four sea turtle poachers were convicted of the 2013 murder, which, like the video, took place on Moín Beach.Mora suffocated after being tied up and dragged through the sand, much the same way as turtles, like the one in the video, are sometimes dragged by poachers. Though judges and prosecutors disagree over whether Mora was dragged by a vehicle or by two people on foot, parallels between his murder and this manner of killing turtles were made several times during the trial.“They killed him just as they would a turtle,” lead prosecutor Miguel Ramírez said during his closing arguments. “How fitting that they killed a man who dedicated his life to turtles in just the same way.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

5 questions for Costa Rican illustrator Stephanie Chaves

5 questions for Costa Rican illustrator Stephanie Chaves

first_imgIt’s a beautiful, warm morning at the Mercado Central in downtown San José. The characteristic noisy environment of the city market is infused with a delicious coffee smell, and Costa Rican illustratorStephanie Chaves is talking quite happily about her lively and colorful art.This vibrancy has accompanied Chaves throughout her life. Her parents have always worked at the Mercado Central, and she was raised within this energetic and noisy ambiance. Her love for both the arts and for San José bear the direct influence of her parents. Within her works she has constantly implemented these passions through the use of a bright color palette combined with thick black lines and dots.Chaves, 26, discovered her talent as an artist at the age of five.“I think I owe everything to a novice. I had made a drawing and she noticed I had potential [as an artist], so she told my mother to take me to art classes. From then on I went to art classes and workshops at La Casa del Artista, the Calderón Guardia Museum and other places,” Chaves remembered.She went on to study graphic design at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and began her career as an illustrator with an ambitious project focused on sexual education. Chaves is the first erotic illustrator in Costa Rica and has participated in various art exhibits in Spain, El Salvador, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Mexico and Italy. She has also collaborated with businesses such as Nature Air – her illustratoin based on regional flora and fauna can be seen on one of the company’s planes – and Cosechas, as well as painting a mural in San José near the Legislative Assembly.The Tico Times sat down and spoke with Chaves about her social concerns represented through colors and vibrant illustrations. Excerpts follow.How do you choose your color palette?Graduating from graphic design at the UCR gave me a lot of the bases I now have. I learned how to create the color palette, the color scheme, textures, tension and rhythm in a composition. That helped me to do it now in an intuitive manner. Now I don’t think about it and it just flows.The color palette is a constant experimentation for each new piece. I do it based on what I’m feeling in the moment… [although] since I started studying, people always said that when I’d graduate they would know it was my work because of the colors.For me, colors are life… What I want with colors is to capture people’s attention so that they’re more open to the concept of sexual education. Chaves won Nature Air competition; her work is now displayed on one of the company’s planes. (Courtesy Stephanie Chaves)What is your creative process?My process is very influenced by my context. I can’t keep aside or avoid being influenced by it. Right now we might be speaking about something super fun and I’ll need to illustrate it or, maybe, I’ll hear something ironic.There other times when I get angry about something and I want people to notice that that action is wrong. These past few days I’ve been working on a calligraphic line for shirts with the message: “No more hatred between women.” I’ve got to tell people about it because it really makes me angry and people are used to seeing women as docile and calm. You simply can’t go down the streets pointing out people and mocking them… Other women mock me, I get angry, I don’t want this to happen and then I conceptualize it. Chaves’s collaboration with local smoothie business Cosechas. (Courtesy Stephanie Chaves)What is your research process when you choose a topic for a piece? If it’s a topic I know a lot about I research on the internet, check out books from the UCR and get really acquainted with the subject. For example, with abortion I haven’t done any illustrations yet because I’ve got to do much more research.If there’s an earthquake and you see that everything is falling, you’d get the children out first because they’re people and you wouldn’t want them to die. However, if the same thing happened and there are in vitro fertilization test tube babies, would people [rescue them]? No. No one would say, “Save the in vitro fertilization test tube babies!” Why is it that when a fertilized embryo is inside a woman’s body it’s considered abortion and murder, but when it’s in vitro fertilization no one cares about it? I find it fascinating to research this because you’ve got to expand your panorama. You’ve got to read in favor and against the cause from reliable sources.Why did you choose sexual education as your main topic?Sometimes I say it’s because of my parents and the church. I was really never taught about these things, but then I realized that it’s because nothing very strongly related with this has ever happened to me. I was never abused or assaulted. I feel I can speak on behalf of those who have suffered, and it really makes me angry that these things happen. It makes me angry that they’ve suffered and can’t speak about it because they feel helpless. It’s not fair. I feel no one is addressing this and someone should do it.I always felt this necessity to educate about sexuality. It was a task that was easy for me to do and I love doing it. I’ve also got the humor you need to address this topic. Men sometimes tell me that I’m weird for addressing it, and ask me why I do it. I then ask them if they’d like for people to whisper in their ear that they have a nice ass… Their reaction is the same as mine: they get scared.I also used graphic design to educate rather than to sell. I wanted to teach about sexuality, eroticism, human rights and sexual diversity. When you allow yourself to constantly see the penis, vaginas, vulvas, breasts and the buttocks on a graphic and visual level, you’ll not only begin to accept it, but you’ll also begin to speak about it as something normal and as a human need. Related posts:5 questions for Costa Rican street artist MUSH 5 questions for a U.S. painter and writer in Costa Rica 5 questions for a Costa Rican painter 5 questions for a Costa Rican musician: blind artist Gerardo Mora Chaves’s illustrations seek to be inclusive of people with different sexual identities. (Courtesy Stephanie Chaves)How do you think that your art can cause an impact on the country and the world?I believe that artists, illustrators and graphic designers have the advantage that an image is something instantaneous. It can reach any part of the world within seconds. In an ideal world, I’d like all artists to identify with some social cause and create a project whose main purpose is to educate people, whether it is transgenics, indigenous peoples, teaching people about the Bribri language or speaking about gender wage gaps… there are many things that can be spoken about.Images are very powerful. If all those of us who create visual art used it to educate, the social burden would be lessened for all of us. Images can create great changes, but it’s all up to you. (Courtesy Stephanie Chaves)Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at kstanley@ticotimes.net. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

NordVPN Is Creating a New Generation Password Manager

NordVPN Is Creating a New Generation Password Manager

first_imgNordVPN is creating a new generation password manager NordPass. NordPass will have a full range of features to ensure that passwords are as secure as possible. Its easy-to-use interface makes staying secure effortless.“We can secure your connections with NordVPN and we can secure your files with NordLocker, but you still need a strong password for both. Passwords are the front line for your online account security. That’s why we’re introducing NordPass,” says Marty P. Kamden, CMO at NordVPN. “It all started when we were looking for a safer and more productive way to deal with passwords within our company. In the end, this initiative has grown into something pretty exciting, which we decided to expand beyond the bounds of our company.”NordPass will remember and autosave all passwords, autofill online forms, and allow to save private notes. Additionally, the new tool will generate strong passwords on the spot. NordPass will support major operating systems, offering browser extensions as well as native mobile and desktop apps.NordPass is created using the latest security practices and industry standards. It uses powerful Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256-GCM) encryption with Argon2 for key derivation, which is virtually unbreakable. Additionally, the new tool will have zero-knowledge encryption process to ensure ultimate security.“Zero-knowledge encryption means you own the key to your passwords. By the time your data reaches our servers, it’s already encrypted on your device, which means we have zero knowledge about the items saved in your vault. We couldn’t see your passwords even if we wanted to,” explains Marty P. Kamden, CMO at NordVPN. “And these are only the essential features that come with the first version of NordPass. We’re very eager to expand its capabilities in the near future.”At the moment, NordPass is going through internal stress-tests. It is expected that the first beta version will be released this autumn. Signup for early access is now available on NordPass’ official website: nordpass.com.NordVPN is a trusted online privacy and security solution, used by over 12 million internet users worldwide. It offers military-grade encryption with advanced privacy solutions and is recognized by the most influential tech sites and IT security specialists.A few weeks ago, NordVPN introduced another cybersecurity tool – NordLocker. NordLocker will secure files stored on a user’s computer or in a cloud with end-to-end encryption. It is expected, that first beta version of this product will be released this July.last_img read more

The Libra Coin Risks Associated with Stateless Money

The Libra Coin Risks Associated with Stateless Money

first_imgBy: Samson Williams, Board Member, Crowdfunding Professionals Association (CfPA) The purpose of this article is two-fold:— In follow up to the CfPA’s memo on Acknowledging Risk of Stablecoins in April 2019, the CfPA continues to urge Congress and our regulators to gain a greater understanding of the realities of so-called stablecoins, the financial and economic risks stablecoins may create, and to determine to what extent multi-national, global corporations have the legal standing to create money out of thin code.— Highlighting the potential risk of global corporations “printing” their own money and how that capacity may negatively impact not only the USD but also potentially undermine US global economic policy and the funding of startups and entrepreneurial businesses domestically.Like any technology, blockchain can and may be used to improve a variety of operational, identity, security and technology challenges that the future of digital banking, businesses and society face. Blockchain technology is also poised to create new and increasingly clever methods and economies for value, commodities, assets, securities and a slew of yet-to-be-discovered financial instruments and products.However, no leap in technology and finance is ever made without risk. The risks are even more emphasized when dealing with rules that are built for previous-gen technologies.  As policymakers and stewards of the current and future digital economy and ecosystem, we have an obligation to our constituents and the global banking and finance community to guide the growth and adoption of emerging Fintech in a safe and sound manner.To that end, three areas that have the potential for regulatory and compliance issues arise from Facebook’s Libra Coin:What is the Libra Coin? Based on the concept of a “stablecoin,” Facebook proposes to launch a “global currency.” However, with no standard definition or regulatory framework for defining what a “stablecoin” is, many questions arise, such as:— What risks are associated with stablecoins?— Who will bear those risks?— What happens in the event that Facebook’s stablecoin turns out to suffer the same volatility of traditional fiat currencies?— Most importantly, is Facebook’s Libra Coin a currency…just because Facebook says so?— How does Libra coin intend to generate returns on the reserves?— What are some of the tax implications that Libra will face?Understanding the nature of so-called stablecoins and the associated risks should be a priority for regulators. In addition to a clear definition of stablecoins and what “qualifies” to be classified as a stablecoin, consumers also need to understand the implications of using stablecoins and the Libra Coin.— Is the Libra Coin a commodity?— Is it an asset?— Is the Libra Coin property, on par with other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin?— How is the Libra Coin treated from a tax perspective?— Will Libra Coins be FDIC insurable?We urge regulators and lawmakers to take the time to understand the potential implications if even a small percentage of the three billion Facebook users, adopt Libra Coin as a currency.What is the Libra Reserve? According to Facebook’s Libra White Paper, the Libra Reserve is a Swiss-based entity who will issue the Libra Coin. This entity and concept creates a very simple question,— “Does a foreign-based corporation have the standing to create its own sovereign currency?”This is a simple question which will have serious ramifications as the creation and use of digital currencies and cryptocurrencies created by stateless, multinational corporations increase in frequency and use. Today, it is Facebook. Tomorrow, could it be Huawei?Facebook’s take on Crowdfunding and Access to Capital.  We believe that many more people should have access to financial services and to cheap capital. (Page 2 of Libra White Paper). How will the Libra Coin and a global audience impact equity and debt crowdfunding in the USA? This is to be seen. However, in Facebook’s own words, Know Your Customer checks will not be required to hold Libra Coin.Again, we encourage further exploration and discovery to allow regulators, industry partners and consumers to better understand the full potential impact of allowing a private corporation to mint money, under its own direction. We specifically encourage the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, as well as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to take an active leadership role in understanding the full implications of the Libra Coin on regulated crowdfunding in the USA and globally.ConclusionFacebook is pushing the envelope of stateless money, blockchain technology and emerging financial instruments. As Facebook and other private organizations seek to innovate, we implore regulators and lawmakers to enable innovation in as safe, sound and responsible manner as possible.To do this, consumers, industry stakeholders and regulators must have the fundamental questions posed above answered. Unlike Pandora’s box, regulators have the means of intervening for the benefit of the global community and getting these fundamental questions answered before it’s too late. We encourage you to do so now and without delay.Special thanks to the following individuals for providing their expertise and insights into drafting this memo:Maureen Murat, Esq., Of Counsel, Cogent Law Group, mmurat@cogentlaw.coOlta Andoni, Esq., Head of Blockchain Practice at Ziliak Law, LLC, Oandoni@ziliak.comSamson Williams, Adjunct Professor, UNH School of Law, samson.williams@law.unh.eduAnne (Adamson) Veerpalu, Estonia Legal Hackers, anne@veerpalu.eeCrowdfunding Professionals Association (CfPA.org)last_img read more

Human General Intelligence — HGI Versus HI The Age of The Polymath

Human General Intelligence — HGI Versus HI The Age of The Polymath

first_imgIf you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) also known as “Weak AI” or “Narrow AI” is the artificial intelligence that is prevalent in our world today.Narrow AI is AI that is programmed to perform a very specific task extremely well. The more specific the task, the easier it is for a human to programme the machine.Artificial General Intelligence AGI or “General AI” is where a machine can perform a variety of tasks comparable to a human.“Strong AI”, “Super AI” or “Superintelligence” is artificial intelligence that can outperform human capabilities, but we are not there yet.Moravec’s Paradox is the discovery by artificial intelligence and robotics researchers that, — contrary to assumptions — high-level reasoning requires very little computation, but low-level sensorimotor skills require enormous computational resources. This means it is harder for AI to perform general tasks than it is for AI to perform specific tasks.For example, it is easier for an AI to learn what a surgeon does in surgery than it is to learn what the surgeon’s personal assistant does in their day-to-day tasks. The personal assistant must manage a very diverse workload, full of less economically valued, but quite complex tasks that require dozens of skills like creativity and empathy — skills that computers will never have. In comparison to a personal assistant, the surgeon’s tasks are relatively easy for AI. To an AI, surgery is a simple case of data in, probabilities out.The job of a personal assistant pays less than that of a surgeon not because they require fewer skills, but because the skills needed to be a personal assistant are widely available, whereas comparatively few people have the less common ability to perform surgery.In 1966, philosopher and polymath Michael Polanyi argued that there is a vast realm of human knowledge that consists of learning and skills that lie beyond our explicit understanding. In other words, there are many tasks we understand intuitively how to perform but cannot verbalise the rules or procedures behind those tasks. For example, articulating every element of how you drive a car from point A to point B is quite difficult, there are many nuances that we take for granted. Polanyi’s paradox is considered a major obstacle in the fields of AI and automation since the absence of consciously accessible knowledge creates tremendous difficulty in programming.Polanyi’s Paradox is relevant in what previous innovation show guest Calum Chace describes as “the economic singularity” and “technical unemployment”, where AI and automation will replace low and high-skilled workers alike. In line with the Polanyi Paradox, a general rule of thumb is the more difficult it is to describe your role the less replaceable your role will be in the future.With all this in mind, a new paradox comes to the fore. Today, hyper specialism means job security and higher economic value. Tomorrow, the more specific the task, the more programmable the task. The more programmable the task, the more replaceable the role.HGI V HI AlphaCoders Artificial IntelligencePolymathBusinessInnovationSociety Do you feel restricted by your career, by your workplace identity?Do you feel you are not doing what you would really like to do?Are you good at many things, but feel you cannot do them for fear of appearing odd or going against the grain?You may just be a polymath and that is a major gift!Every human is born with multifarious potential.Why, then, do parents, schools and employers insist that we restrict our many talents and interests; that we ‘specialise’ in just one?We’ve been sold a myth, that to ‘specialise’ is the only way to pursue truth, identity, or even a livelihood. Yet specialisation is nothing but an outdated system that fosters ignorance, exploitation and disillusionment and thwarts creativity, opportunity and progress.Following a series of exchanges with the world’s greatest historians, futurists, philosophers and scientists, Waqas Ahmed has weaved together a narrative of history and a vision for the future that seeks to disrupt this prevailing system of unwarranted ‘hyper-specialisation.’In The Polymath, Waqas shows us that there is another way of thinking and being. Through an approach that is both philosophical and practical, he sets out a cognitive journey towards reclaiming your innate polymathic state. Going further, he proposes nothing less than a cultural revolution in our education and professional structures, whereby everyone is encouraged to express themselves in multiple ways and fulfil their many-sided potential.Not only does this enhance individual fulfilment, but in doing so, facilitates a conscious and creative society that is both highly motivated and well equipped to address the complexity of 21st-century challengesWe discuss:What is a Polymath?How did we get to this age of specialisation?Polymaths through timePolymathy as a giftPolymaths in an age of Artificial IntelligenceEducational ReformWorkplace ReformSocial ReformA cognitive Revolution?Have a listen:Web http://bit.ly/2FwsOJwSoundcloud https://lnkd.in/gBbTTuFSpotify http://spoti.fi/2rXnAF4iTunes https://apple.co/2gFvFbOTunein http://bit.ly/2rRwDadiHeart http://bit.ly/2E4fhfl On this week’s innovation show we speak to author “The Polymath”, Waq?s Ahmed. A polymath is “a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas”. I genuinely believe that the development of a multitude of skills will safeguard roles in the future.On this week’s innovation show we speak to author “The Polymath”, Waq?s Ahmed. A polymath is “a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas”. I genuinely believe that the development of a multitude of skills will safeguard roles in the future.Waq?s outlines how the workforce has evolved to the point at which we are at today, a workforce focused on specialisation rather than polymathy. Specialisation comes from an outdated system from the industrial revolution, where we programmed to each have a role in the assembly line.Through a cocktail of education, socialisation and industrialisation we have arrived where we are today, where many of us have climbed to the top of our ladders of specialisation, only to realise the ladder is against the wrong wall.When you look at a job spec, it usually lists a series of tasks for the successful candidate. This is important in the future for two reasons. The first is that we must realise that AI will not wipe out “jobs” in the first instance, it will wipe out the tasks that we do as part of jobs.You will already have experienced the gradual integration of technology as AI progresses. Do you work in a bank? Have you noticed how gradually some of your colleagues have moved roles and some of their former tasks are now completed by a computer? We will increasingly witness the introduction of AI in such a way over the coming decade.What does this mean for us now and for our coming generations?Task-specific roles are akin to narrow AI, where the tasks are narrowly defined. Task-specific roles are at risk of replacement. For the sake of this Thursday Thought, let’s call this “Narrow HI” as in Narrow Human Intelligence. This is where the specialist is at risk.Roles entailing a multitude of disciplines are akin to AGI or artificial general intelligence. In this hypothesis, let’s call this Human General Intelligence or HGI. HGI is the realm of the Polymath. The combination of the tasks, skills and passions pursued by the Polymath might just be the key to labour force longevity.The Magic (Polymath) Happens at the Intersections There is an adage in innovation that magic happens at the intersections.When you explore many innovations and discoveries, they often happen at the intersection of one discipline with another.This happens when a polymath like Steve Jobs meets a polymath specialist like Steve Wozniak.Jobs was interested heavily in calligraphy and design, he understood technology and he excelled at product development and marketing. Wozniak was a renowned inventor, tinkerer and computer engineer. When they met, the magic happened at the intersection of their passions.The polymath connects seemingly unconnected dots, that others may not consider as interconnected. Other times, it is because the polymath who possesses a wide variety of skills, specialities and passions can see through a very unique series of lenses.While such fusion is at the heart of innovation, it is becoming increasingly important for careers of the future. There is no doubt that the labour market of tomorrow will become a co-opetition between humans and robots, like any change it will happen gradually at first and eventually permeate society.It is important for humans to upskill in a variety of realms. Yes, we will need skills such as empathy, emotional intelligence and intellectual creativity, but in addition, we will need to pursue passions that intrigue us and draw forth our curiosity.“This is What it Looks Like When The Future Comes For You”center_img Ken Jennings is known for holding the longest winning streak in history on the US quiz show Jeopardy. Jennings is also known as the player who was famously beaten by IBM’s artificially intelligent machine known as Watson. In his TED talk, Jennings explained how felt when he realised Watson was beating him and would soon replace him in the thing he was once best at…“And I saw this line coming for me. And I realised, this is it. This is what it looks like when the future comes for you. It’s not the Terminator’s gunsight; it’s a little line coming closer and closer to the thing you can do, the only thing that makes you special, the thing you’re best at.”The thing we are best at may be the very thing that trips us up. We never can rest on our laurels. We should consider upskilling beginning with those subjects that tease our curiosity and those things that drive us. One thing is sure in the future, learning will need to part of everything we do. I leave with a quote from William Pollard.“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. “ — William Pollard “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” — Robert A. Heinlein “Artificial intelligence will replace tasks, not jobs.” — Joe McKendrick Human General Intelligence — HGI Versus HI & The Age of The Polymath More about Waq?s here: https://www.the-polymath.com/authorlast_img read more

75 jobs by end of 2020 announced by Spearline at official opening

75 jobs by end of 2020 announced by Spearline at official opening

first_img75 jobs by end of 2020 announced by Spearline at official opening of new headquarters following multi-million euro investment Ambassador Daniel Mulhall officially opens new Spearline headquarters in SkibbereenToday, Daniel Mulhall, the Ambassador of Ireland to the United States of America, officially opened the new Spearline headquarters in Skibbereen, Co Cork. The event was attended by over 200 guests and the technology company announced ambitious growth plans to double its workforce which will lead to significant job creation in West Cork.Speaking at the official opening, Councillor Joe Carroll, Deputy Mayor of the County of Cork said, “This is a building which is steeped in history. It has played a central role in this town of Skibbereen for more than 170 years. That such a personal link has been retained between the personnel of Spearline (the CEO and many team members are past pupils) and the town of Skibbereen is something very special. It is fitting that this building which operated for so long as an educational facility should now be used for technological advancements and innovation. It is encouraging to see Spearline’s successes as a major employer locally, nationally and internationally.”Speaking at the event, Daniel Mulhall, the Ambassador of Ireland to the United States of America said, “I am delighted to be involved in the opening of Spearline’s new offices in Skibbereen. I applaud the company for this rapid growth and for its success in servicing clients all over the world from its base in West Cork. It is an example of an innovative and dynamic Irish company with ambitious plans for the future. As Ambassador, I have always made it a priority to support Irish companies in their export effort and wish Spearline well for the next phase of its development.”Announcing Spearline’s plans for future job creation, Kevin Buckley, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Spearline said, “Following a multi-million euro investment, we are delighted to officially open our new headquarters today.  This move allows us to stay true to our roots and create employment. By the end of 2020, we will have doubled our workforce with the creation of 75 additional jobs, half of which will be here in Skibbereen. We have plans to expand across the entire business – development, product, support, sales, marketing, customer engagement, operations, HR and finance. As our global customer base increases so too will our team.”Speaking about Enterprise Ireland’s ongoing support of Spearline as it continues to expand, Martin Corkery, Regional Director, South & South East Regions, Enterprise Ireland said: “Supporting indigenous companies like Spearline, which is making its mark on the international market, is a key focus of Enterprise Ireland. Spearline continues to expand and evolve its business at a steady rate in response to global demand, particularly in the USA. By cultivating its global footprint, Spearline is creating opportunities and regionally based jobs.This is a company with global ambition, working hard to expand in new markets and deliver success in business. We very much applaud the efforts of everyone involved in reaching this stage and in delivering additional employment to Skibbereen through the opening of Spearline’s headquarters.We look forward to continuing our relationship with the company as it enters the next phase of its growth.”Speaking about the history of the 173 year old building, Terri Kearney, Director at Skibbereen Heritage Centre, said, “The old school building, now renovated and reborn as Spearline’s new premises, opened as a national school during the Great Famine when the children were fed as well as educated. The building was later a base for other schools which taught diverse subjects including Greek, Latin, and art.This old school building has been the scene of many dramatic events over its long history, including a riot during the Great Hunger in 1846 and a tragic accident in the early months of the Civil War in 1922.”Spearline is a technology company that proactively monitors phone numbers for audio quality and connectivity globally. It is headquartered in Skibbereen, Co Cork and has offices in Waterford, Romania and India. The Spearline platform enables enterprises and telecommunications service providers to test connectivity and quality on global telecoms networks, testing automatically at volume.Spearline has conducted millions of test calls worldwide, resulting in billions of data-points. It has global network coverage and operates a 24 hours per day, 365 days per year support service for its international customers.More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => Irish Tech News now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCockinglast_img read more

How surfer survived shark attack

How surfer survived shark attack

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite According to Fanning, he was about to start paddling to catch a wave when he sensed something behind him. The shark grabbed the leash that tethered the surfer to his board and began pulling him under. The Aussie surfer punched at the shark as the leash snapped. Rescue personnel reached him within seconds and pulled him unharmed from the water.View the replay from the WSL’s streaming below on a Vine that has over 17m views. This story was run in our sister newspaper, the North Coast Courier  It featured a video of Australian surfer and three-time world champion Mick Fanning fighting off an attack by a shark on live television during the final of the JBay Open surfing competition in Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, on Sunday.The World Surf League (WSL) called the contest off for the day after the attack on the 34-year-old surfer. It was later agreed that the two front-runners, Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson, would accept joint second place, with no winner being declared. Nobody was eager to get back into the water after the attack!The incident, which was caught on camera during the live streaming of the event, sees the shark approach Fanning from behind and he reacts quickly to try and get away.Fanning miraculously escaped uninjured, but the shark managed to rip off and snap the surfer’s leash.center_img The four things Fanning did that saved his life:1) He hit back at the shark, making the shark realise it could get hurt.2) He used his board to keep the shark away.3) Once off the board, he did not panic and tried to body surf to safety rather than splashing about. He even warned fellow surfer Jullian Wilson who was unaware of the danger.4) Most importantly, he got out of the water fast!See in-depth story HEREFor the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.last_img read more

Snow warning for parts of the Drakensberg

Snow warning for parts of the Drakensberg

first_imgSnow has already fallen in the extreme south-western parts of KwaZulu-Natal, North Eastern Cape and Lesotho today (Monday). Light snow is expected later today over parts of the Drakensberg.More snow is predicted for tomorrow (Tuesday) in the same areas.Snow in the Drakensberg will bring cold weather to Ladysmith.(Snow and weather forecast sourced from South African Weather Services reporter Cobus Cronje)For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img read more

Shack burns to the ground in Colenso

Shack burns to the ground in Colenso

first_imgA small shack was completely burnt to the ground when a fire ravaged it on Friday afternoon in the Top Rank area of Colenso.It is alleged that children were playing with matches outside the shack when the grass caught alight and spread to the shack burning everything in it. The shack was used for storage of household equipment. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The fire also spread to the main shack but timely response of Johannes from Fire and Emergency Services saved the shack and all the contents within it.No injuries were sustained and the fire was extinguished.For the latest news visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.last_img read more

Sad to see cemetery looking so terrible

Sad to see cemetery looking so terrible

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Ladysmith Cemetery is in a sorry state, and local residents say it’s getting worse all the time. Dense vegetation covers graves and families going to pay their respects to loved ones find themselves having to move rubbish and overgrown grass to get to the tombstones.People are disgusted with the state of the cemetery and would like to know why the premises is in such a terrible state of disrepair.A Ladysmith Gazette journalist paid a visit to the cemetery and was also shocked to see that the majority of graves had not been cleaned.In fact, in many instances, you couldn’t even see that a grave was there, with long grass covering the area and sometimes no tombstones at all.“This should be a top priority for the municipality. Not only are they getting paid to do it, but they need to have respect for the dead,” said one concerned resident who often goes to put flowers on a loved one’s grave. Over the years, the size of the cemetery has been extended and therefore requires a lot of care and attention. People spend money to make the graves of those who have passed on look presentable, only for tombstones to be callously vandalised on a regular basis.Another suggestion many have put forward is that a security guard should be placed at the cemetery to put an end to vandalism and ensure that the area is safer to visit. This is especially the case at night. “I really hope our cemetery gets the attention and care it needs. I know a graveyard is for the dead, but it’s important for the living as well,” added the resident.last_img read more

Update Security guards to appear in court for Plaza murders

Update Security guards to appear in court for Plaza murders

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite 4 security guards will appear in the Ladysmith Magistrate’s Court today (Tuesday) after a brutal attack on 2 robbery suspects at the Plaza shopping complex on Saturday morning.Police say that the security guards, aged between 21 and 55, were arrested shortly after the assault.2 men were beaten with sticks and stones, and died at the scene.The suspects were arrested shortly after the attack and have been charged with 2 counts of murder.last_img read more

Shock passing of LHS teacher

Shock passing of LHS teacher

first_imgClassed by the education department as a “Master Teacher”, she was always striving to improve her qualifications, achieving a Bachelor of Education Honours in 2003 and an Advanced Certificate in Education from the University of Johannesburg in 2006.She started each morning at home with a praise worship…She took an active interest in all her students’ lives and was known to pitch up unannounced at house parties to lead estranged pupils home with a strong lecture… There was no pulling the wool over her eyes.But as strict as she could be when required, her heart would melt at the suffering of those in need.She fostered several children and took care of many more behind the scenes, asking for nothing…She leaves behind a larger-than-life family of children, both hers and those she directly and indirectly touched.Go with God, Mrs Cele – you have earned your place at His side. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Mrs Cele was a one-of-a-kind teacher who achieved many firsts in her career, most notably being the first black teacher employed at LHS.But more importantly than achieving such an academic milestone, she was a mother to all the pupils she taught, a confidant and a friend – a truly caring soul in a sea of educational formality.Mrs Cele passed away on Wednesday morning at her home in the arms of her family after suffering a suspected stroke / heart attack.Staff and pupils at Ladysmith High School were clearly devastated by this sudden loss.The school’s flag flew at half-mast, a fitting tribute to a teacher who did so much to bring life to the spirit of the “Rainbow Nation” at the school.Gladiness Sindi Cele was more than an IsiZulu teacher at Ladysmith High School, she was a mother to all and a shining light – a beacon of hope for those in need.Always with a smile on her face, she greeted each day as an opportunity to teach, share, worship and love…She was appointed as the first IsiZulu teacher at Ladysmith High School on January 15, 2007, by then principal Dr Liversage.Her academic credentials were beyond reproach…last_img read more