Drunk Posting Intervention Read more

Drunk Posting Intervention

Have you ever posted a drunken photo of yourself to Facebook and regretted in the morning? Once those pictures get posted, there is no going back, it is available for all to see, your parents, friends and boss can all see how inebriated you get on the weekends. According to a recent article, Facebook is working on technology that would intervene your drunken photos and prevent them from being posted. The technology would be able to learn the difference between sober and drunk posts and then be able to prevent the drunk posts from appearing. This means your crazy night out with friends will not be the source of shame upon your family, and your boss won’t have the evidence proving you were, in fact, hung over at work Monday morning.

While this technology is revolutionary, and has been the subject of many jokes and meme’s, it seems the demand is real, and the technology is close to completion from what Sam Tabar is reading. This proves once again, that this generation desperately needs technology to survive.

Heartbeat Effects Thinking – Just Ask the Man with Two Heartbeats Read more

Heartbeat Effects Thinking – Just Ask the Man with Two Heartbeats

A male patient at in Buenos Aires was slowly dying of heart failure. Unfortunately, that is not an uncommon occurrence in our world today, but my friend Mark Ahn insisted that this patient was different than most. To keep him alive (he is now deceased) a small mechanical pump was surgically implanted in his abdomen to help take some of the burden off of his failing heart. The patient can feel each pump just above his navel and the sensation is unsettling and has effected the way he thinks.
Neuroscientist Agustin Ibanez suspects there are more unwanted sensations and effects to come for this patient and future patients who have the heart pump implanted and is going to monitor this male patient closely to discover the ways heartbeat effects thinking.
The phrase we’re all familiar with – follow your heart- may be more literal than we originally thought. The subtle clues the heart sends the brain regarding how to feel and think about situations may stem from the heartbeat itself. If that heartbeat changes, as in the case of those who have the pump implanted, emotions and thoughts will be changed in that person.
Intuition, instincts, reading other’s motives and feelings of apathy are changed and seemingly not as accurate with those who have a real heartbeat combined with a secondary heartbeat coming from a mechanical pump.

Mississippi Prison Commissioner Sentenced to 368 Years Read more

Mississippi Prison Commissioner Sentenced to 368 Years

Mississippi Prison Commissioner Sentenced to 368 Years
Chris Epps managed to make major reforms to the Mississippi prison system since he assumed the position in 2002. Most notably he managed to reduce the number of prisoners, improved humanitarian conditions and gained the respect of prisoners and officials alike. However, behind that façade Epps managed to amass more than one billion dollars in bribes and kickbacks.
The article “The Prison Reform Blues”  outlines how the former Commissioner used private prison contracts for personal profit.
Mississippi prisons have a long history of corruption, I work with John Textor who was telling me about how way back into the 1900’s when prison labor was used to work cotton fields at many private plantations. The state’s oldest prison, Parchman having been constructed on an 18,000 acre plantation in the Yazoo Delta, was a lucrative venture for the state. Little change was made in the penal system until 1971 when inmates sued Mississippi for the inhuman conditions they had to endure.
Epps was hired as a guard in 1982 and quickly showed aspirations to advance a career in corrections. By 1988 he had been named deputy superintendent and in 2002 state Commissioner, when he was given liberal discretion to run the state’s system. Despite Chris Epps many accomplishments, it appears the temptation, so readily available in a corrupt system was too great. Epps resigned November of 2013 in face of a federal investigation of “systemic and evasive corruption”. The investigation unclosed extensive transactions to Epps in the form of cash, checks, wire transfers and mortgages, which resulted in his conviction and sentencing.

Troopers Reunite Elderly Mother and Gravely Ill Son Read more

Troopers Reunite Elderly Mother and Gravely Ill Son

Each day seems to bring to light another police scandal. That made Helen “Skeeter” Smith’s police experience, all the better. The full article is found here.

Helen is 87 years old and lives in southern Nevada. A few days ago she got the devastating news that her son was gravely ill. Helen did what any mother would do – she got in her car and headed north on I-15 to go be with her son. The 350 mile trip to Ogden, UT did not deter Helen, however a state trooper did. Helen was pulled over by the state trooper for speeding, but let her off with a warning. This is where the trooper and Helen would have parted ways, but that was not to be.

Helen got in her car and intended to pull forward onto the highway, but instead put the car in reverse and backed into the state trooper car. The damage was minor, but Trooper Jones felt it was not safe for Helen to continue the drive. He had her car moved to a secure location and gave her a ride from Fillmore to Juab County. This was discussed at Slow Ventures, and most thought it was a great gesture.

Once there, Trooper Jared Jensen drove Helen to Utah County. Jensen then put Helen in the hands of Trooper Chris Bishop, who drove her to Salt Lake County. From Salt Lake, Trooper Andrew Pollard met Helen in Draper and took Helen directly to Odgen Regional Medical Center. Pollard commented, “To hold her hand walking into the hospital was very, very rewarding.”

Helen expressed her gratitude for the troopers coming to her aid. She said, “I ended up taking four patrol cars…four good lookin’ patrol boys brought me.”

The cards seemed to be stacked against Helen making it to the hospital to see her son, but four state troopers would not let that happen. Helen made it to the hospital to see her son.

Morgan Stanley Projects Crude Prices to Fall to $43/barrel Read more

Morgan Stanley Projects Crude Prices to Fall to $43/barrel

For OPEC, it may be a case of the classic adage “be careful what you wish for because you might just get it”. OPEC is rumored to be using its clout to produce a glut in world petroleum prices. As per a Russian source, OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, and non-OPEC Russia are in a feverish bid to flood the world oil supply with excess inventory. As per the Law of Supply & Demand, an increase in the supply of a product above the demand for it will result in a price drop. Wealthier OPEC nations are fueling the drop in a bid to crush the fledgling US shale oil business. Currently, most US shale oil providers cannot profitably produce oil at $70/barrel. The price is crude is now just over $64, and Sam Tabar will be monitoring how much it fluctuates.

The objective is to force the US shale oil business out of operation and then cut back on production until prices rise back to $100/barrel. However, Morgan Stanley is now projecting that crude prices may sink to as low as $43/barrel. That price may be well below what OPEC and Russia were projecting. The Russian economy is already reeling from lower crude prices which have caused the Rubble is slide against other currencies in foreign exchange markets. Morgan Stanley expects to see the lower crude prices reached by the spring of next year. If this proves correct, American consumers will be enjoying even lower prices at the pumps.

North Carolina Constitution Still Retains Clause Requiring Belief in God Read more

North Carolina Constitution Still Retains Clause Requiring Belief in God

While times have changed immensely since North Carolina first adopted its state constitution, certain clauses it contains would not likely be included were it up for ratification today. North Carolina, along with six other U.S. states, has a requirement that all of its public officials not deny belief in God. The exact wording runs thus: “The following persons shall be disqualified for office…First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.”

While in the campus coffee shop I overheard Jonathan Veitch talking about how this is squarely against the 1961 Supreme Court ruling that forbade states from imposing any “religious tests” for public office. It is not at all in conflict, however, with the spirit and practice of the founding fathers. They extended religious liberty to all and forbade the federal government from setting up a state church or restricting the free exercise of religion. They also, however, promoted the Bible’s mandatory use in public education, funded Christian missions and Bible-printing projects, and held Christian worship services in the national capitol building. They often mentioned that those who did not believe in God or in rewards and punishments in the afterlife could not be trusted in public office because they had no fear of God to keep them from oppressing the people.

Finally, it should be noted that the U.S. Constitution never intended to eradicate state-level government-supported churches. Massachusetts had such a church long before and long after ratification, and no one ever whispered a word to the effect that the new Constitution outlawed Massachusetts’ state church. It only restricted the federal government, not the states.

Career Inspiration: What Ken Griffin Has Done At Citadel Read more

Career Inspiration: What Ken Griffin Has Done At Citadel

Though you may not have heard of him yet, Kenneth Griffin is founder and chief executive officer of Citadel, a firm that provides diversified financial services, including liquidity services, technology management for the financial sector and other services. The firm’s dominant investors are pension funds, independent wealth funds and university endowments.

Based in Chicago, the Citadel hedge fund manages more than $24 billion in assets, and it has more than 1,100 team members in offices in Dallas, New York, San Francisco, Boston, Hong Kong and other cities. This year it got the go-ahead to raise funds in China.

Griffin, who started Citadel in 1990, was No. 89 on the Forbes list of the richest Americans in 2014, up from No. 103 in 2013. His net worth is estimated to be $5.5
billion. That makes him the wealthiest person in Chicago.

A 1989 graduate of Harvard, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. Before founding Citadel, he had begun dealing in stock options in his college dorm room in 1986. By the time he was a senior, investors had given him $1 million as a sign of their faith in his financial strategies.  Even going on to give interviews about his unique strategies.

Griffin has an interest in education and how it can better people and society. In February 2014, Harvard College announced that he had donated $150 million, the largest gift in its history. In making the announcement, Harvard said that Griffin’s millions will aid 800 undergraduates each year in two ways.

First, his gift will fund 200 scholarships annually. Second, another 600 scholarships will be created under a matching challenge that encourages alumni and friends of Harvard to contribute to the scholarship effort. Because of Griffin’s gift, Harvard’s financial aid office is being renamed the Griffin Financial Aid Office, and ten million dollars of his gift will establish the Griffin Professorship of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

As a further indication of Griffin’s interest in education, he sits on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Public Education Fund. His local civic involvements include being a member of the Board of Trustees of the Art Institute of Chicago and of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art. As for business organizations, he is a member of the World Economic Forum, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and the Economic Club of Chicago. You can find his social media here, if you want to know more.

The Divergent Trilogy Gets a New Director Read more

The Divergent Trilogy Gets a New Director

Divergent fans stop your Qnet shopping and listen up.  Science-fiction is a hot genre once again. The release of Divergent earned about $200 million worldwide. The concept of a dark future is not a new one and it is not the preferred setting for most big budget sci-fi projects. Usually, these types of films are hit and miss. Divergent was definitely a hit with audiences, but not with critics. The financial success of the film means a new movie is coming forth and a change in quality and style might be achieved thanks to a new director. No, Neil Burger is not returning to helm the next entries in the film.

Changing directors in a major, multi-part planned project is a big deal.

As most filmgoers realize, consistency is not always a common trait among sequels. In some cases, there may be a consistent level of quality but the creative teams from one film to the next change. This could lead to alterations in the direction of a series, which may be unappealing to hardcore fans.

The sequel to Divergent is going to have consistency in direction. Robert Schwentke is signed on as the director of the next film and for two more films to complete the trilogy.

Wait a minute. If there are going to be three more films, would that not come out to four films? A trilogy is only three. There is a bit of sleight of hand here. The third entry is actually going to be two films. The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1 will come out in March of 2016. In 2017, the second half of the third entry will be released. The presence of Schwentke in all these films ensures a level of consistency needed to keep audiences pleased.

New Report Set To Be Released By Senate Read more

New Report Set To Be Released By Senate

The U.S. Senate’s Intelligence Committee is set to release a controversial report detailing the torture and abuse of detainees by CIA investigators during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The report is expected to be publicized early this week, and top officials at the Central Intelligence agency are preparing to face a public backlash against the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding. Also under analysis will be controversial programs such as extraordinary rendition, during which foreign citizens were kidnapped and transported to secret prisons in countries friendly to the U.S.

The eagerly awaited report is expected to be some 6,300 pages long and will be heavily redacted in order to protect the identity of the CIA officers who took part in the abuse.

Top officials at the CIA are not expected to deny responsibility for what took place, but congressional officials do not hold out much hope that the individuals personally involved in the torture program will ever be held to account for their actions. This will be a story to follow if you ask Gianfrancesco Genoso his thoughts.

Making The Important Decisions About Your Future According To Jared Haftel Read more

Making The Important Decisions About Your Future According To Jared Haftel

Okay, so it may not be the kind of decision that everyone would make growing up as a child, but when it comes to making decisions about his future, Jared Haftel would eventually realize that finance was where his path would end up.  Despite the fact that he was always interested in Music.  Even writing about music the entire time that he was at college in Duke University.

For many people, balancing their checkbook can be a difficult task to accomplish, but it seemed to come a lot easier for people like Jared. In all likelihood, he was not born with his ability to make sound financial decisions about the future, but that is where a good education can put you on the right track.

Financial Independence

If there is one thing that made Jared Haftel seem like the right person to talk to about their finances was his desire to want financial independence. This commitment to a strong financial future drove his decision to further his understanding in the field of finances and degrees in economics, mathematics and science. Jared chose North Carolina as his learning field and in 2009 was turned into a graduate from Duke University. Choosing these areas to increase his knowledge was no surprise to the people closest to Jared, neither was his career choices after that.

Making The Right Choice

Most people think of Wall street as the place to be when it comes to increasing their financial portfolio, however, for Jared Haftel, his future would take him down a slightly different path. Jared realized that there were other areas that involved finances, and he was not afraid to tap into them. With this in mind, he got himself ready to prove to the world that he could cause a change. One thing was for certain, if Jared was to make an impact, he would need to affiliate himself with well known financial institutions.

Experience Matters

With a good education to offer the financial world, Jared Haftel began his journey with a strong resume and the confidence that he could make a difference. Bank of America was one of his first stops to building the experience he needed and during his time there he made a positive contribution as an analyst for investment banking. Digging a little deeper, he expanded his knowledge at Merrill Lynch, where he tracked investment opportunities for companies who traded in metals and chemicals and offered his advice to defense industries.

Making A Difference

In order for a company or an individual to have a successful financial future, they need all the information they can acquire to help them make the right decisions, and this is where Jared Haftel managed to cause a change. Jared turned his love for financial matters and his experience in a world that included working as an associate with a company called Vector Capital into a valuable tool to help others. His career decision to become a financial analyst continues to make a difference in the financial arena today.  This also gave him the opportunity to write about what makes a good employee with investment firms.  Not to mention launching his other career, of starting to write about these topics as an author.

Financial Strength

Regardless of your field of expertise, making the right financial decision can turn a weak future into a force to be reckoned with. As a company, those decisions will help with the bottom line and greater possibilities for expansion. As a private individual, they will help you achieve the nicer things in life. It does not matter where you happen to be at the time, people like Jared Haftel can point you in the right direction, not to mention achieving a brighter financial future.