Blooming GloryKaas PlateauIf Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand seems like a distant dream which requires too much planning, you are going to love this smaller version near Pune. The Kaas Plateau, 100 km away from the city, is where acres of fields come alive with a burst of colour after,Blooming GloryKaas PlateauIf Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand seems like a distant dream which requires too much planning, you are going to love this smaller version near Pune. The Kaas Plateau, 100 km away from the city, is where acres of fields come alive with a burst of colour after the first two months of rain. It is a stunning sight with multihued flowers carpeting large stretches of the valley. Accounts by botanists claim there are over 1500 types of plants here, including a few endangered species and some medicinal plants. The first blooms appear by August once the monsoon recedes, and the floral fiesta lasts for a little over a month.If you know your Botany, you can spot Smithia Hirsute, Senecio Grahami and Utricularia Purpurascens, which grow in large numbers here. With large amounts of wild growth, the plateau turns into a haven to spot a variety of butterflies, insects and reptiles, and the surrouding lush green hills become home to many exotic birds, including the Malabar Crested Lark, Indian Robin and Crested Bunting. However, there have been growing concerns about preserving this ecosystem with tourist traffic growing each year, resulting in damage of the flowers. Word of caution if you’re going there-spray on an insect repellent to prevent bites; wear comfortable shoes for the long walks; and do your bit for conserving the valley by not damaging the flowers. Monsoon Perks: Bird such as the Malabar Crested Lark and Indian Robin flock here during the rainy season. Don’t Miss: A trip to the Sajjangad Fort or Kanher Dam. Getting There: It is 100 km from Pune and the nearest town is Satara, 25 km away where you can find accommodation. Contact: kas.ind.in or Deputy Conservator of Forests 233614Rain DanceLavasaWant to play golf when it’s pouring? Or feel like splashing around without having to worry about muck and dirt? Drive out of the city to Lavasa if you want to enjoy the monsoon season without the stress of traffic jams and flooded roads. The tourism wing of Lavasa has come up with a bunch of activities, called the Mesmerizing Monsoon, for those who love the outdoors and rains. They have something for every budget, with activities starting at just Rs 500. Surrounded by flora, fauna, green-laden hills and over 100 waterfalls, Lavasa is just the place to be during the monsoon season.advertisementWater sports are an all time favourite here. So besides kayaking and boating, you can enjoy the large, newly-constructed Splash Pad, which will start hosting rain parties this year. You can also opt for the the indoor golf facility, and tee away even when its pouring. The highlight is the Waterfall Safari, where the team takes you in a gypsy loaded with a picnic basket to the main waterfalls. A steaming cup of tea or a quick snack will be ready for you once you step out of the waterfall. Rajiv Duggal, head of Lavasa Tourism, also recommends the Segway Tour, where you, along with a professional guide, take off on a tour of the hill city on the popular battery-operated vehicle. Apart from this, you can also enjoy some adrenaline pumping activities such as rock climbing, trekking and jet skiing. Monsoon Perks: The Waterfall Safari that takes you to key waterfalls in Lavasa with a picnic basket. Starts at Rs 1,500 for four in a gypsy for two hours. Don’t Miss: The Splash Pad to enjoy the rains and the Segway Tour around the hill city. Getting There: A little over an hour’s drive from Pune. Take the Chandani Chowk road, pass though Pirangut and the Temghar Dam. Contact lavasa.comInto The WildLong DrivesThe earthy smell of wet mud is one of the most unforgettable childhood memories for most of us. In fact, we still perk up and get alert like a dog as soon as the first few drops fall. And if the concrete city robs you of such little pleasures of life, take to the wheel and set off to soak in the earthy aromas and lush greens of the great, wild landscape of the Western Ghats. Though offering spectacular views throughout the year, the Ghats truly come alive during the monsoon months. Whichever direction you head outside of Pune, you’re sure to find it an enjoyable ride. If you think the drive to Mulshi is done to death, then take the road less traveled and head off southwards towards Saswad. Drive through the countryside with farms and open fields with cattle grazing, offering a picture postcard view. Meander through the Dive Ghat, which turns enchantingly scenic with the first showers, covered with a thick carpet of trees and plants and a shroud of fog. In the monsoon, the hills become home for various birds, insects and flowers, so make short stopovers to spot some birds or the newly bloomed colourful wildflowers.advertisementWhen you’re travelling through the mountains in the monsoon, there’s every chance of spotting waterfalls or at least a few streams trickling down the slopes, making it a photographer’s paradise. To add to the romantic charm of the rains, stop by at the fresh water body, locally known as the Mastani Lake. Legend has it the famed couple, Bajirao Peshwa and Mastani, came here to enjoy some quiet time.If you want some more dose of history, then drive down further to Fort Jadhavgadh. The former residence of Pilaji Jadhavrao, a noble in the Maratha empire, the fort, in its revamped avatar, classily blends the old-world charm with modern amenities. The fort’s museum has utensils of the original owners and other everyday paraphernalia. Walk through the rooms and balconies where war strategies were discussed or sit down for a traditional Maharashtrian meal in the fort’s cosy restaurant. If you want to extend your getaway from the city, then stay back in their well equipped rooms (or tents, if you are more of an adventurer).Fort Jadhavgadh also offers a Monsoon Rejuvenation Package with special activities on weekends such as bullock cart rides, musical nights and pottery sessions.Monsoon Perks: Fort Jadhavgadh has monsoon packages starting at Rs 11,999 for two nights in the royal tents with complimentary wine tastings and a spa treatment. Don’t Miss: The guided treks and a visit to a 300-year-old temple. On Getting There: Take the Hadapsar-Saswad road Contact: 9987573815Adrenaline RushMonsoon TreksA trek up to the numerous forts in the monsoon promises you a heady cocktail of scenic beauty in the backdrop of fog, lush green hills and downpours. And the Western Ghats are blessed with numerous such forts, making it easy for you to plan a weekend adventure. But to ensure your trip is free of unwanted hurdles, invest in good trekking gear and rain wear before you head out.One of the favourites is the Raigad trek, which falls into the easy-moderate category in the difficulty level. But for those who can’t trek uphill, there is a ropeway which takes you to the fort gates within minutes.Viewing points such as Bhavani Tok, Hirkani Buruj and Takmak Tok offer a spectacular view of the region. A must-do here is watching the sunset from the Takmak Tok. There are other monsoon trek to arishchandragad and Torna as well. Another favourite is the Malshej Ghat. With nature at its best during the rains and the migratory flamingoes making it their abode, this is a treat for hikers and trekkers.Monsoon Perks: The picturesque waterfalls along the way. Don’t Miss: The view of the mountains on a foggy day from Konkad Kada atop Harishchandragad. Getting There: Rajmachi is 75 km from Pune near Lonavala while Visapur Fort, at 60 km towards Pune, is close to the Mumbai-Pune Highway.advertisement
LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Creamline gets back at PetroGazz Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Ara Galang, shaking off the injury bug that has weighed her down the past seasons, showed how deadly she can be when healthy as she powered F2 Logistics to a 25-9, 23-25, 25-22, 25-16 victory over Foton in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference on Saturday night at Imus City Sports Complex in Cavite.The Cargo Movers stayed unbeaten with their third straight win to keep the tournament lead.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP “I just do whatever is asked of me by coach [Ramil de Jesus],” said Galang, who scored 19 points. “I’m willing to try whatever coach instructs me.”Against Foton, Galang was tasked to keep the tall Tornadoes busy with her offensive threat, allowing the likes of Kalei Mau, Aby Maraño, setter Michelle Cobb and libero Dawn Macandili to do their jobs.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsThe talented Foton lineup still struggled with its chemistry and got blown off the first set as the Cargo Movers scored four kill-blocks and four aces. Foton dropped to 1-2.Earlier, Jorelle Singh provided the spark PLDT Home Fibr needed in scoring a come-from-behind win over Sta. Lucia Realty, 22-25, 20-25, 25-16, 25-20, 15-8. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess MOST READ View comments
In the recent past, the compact SUV invasion has gathered quite a bit of steam. Waiting lists for every compact SUV launched in India have gone through the roof and in some cases things get ugly with waiting lists stretching as long as nine months!So in such a lucrative market, it is lethal not to have one in the portfolio. Ford was one of the manufacturers who started it all with the EcoSport, which too had a massive waiting list. Then Mahindra joined the party with the big and butch TUV 300 (it again has a waiting list) and now comes the Maruti-Suzuki Vitara Brezza (which too has a big waiting list). But the big question is that whether you should buy the new Brezza or go in for the TUV or the EcoSport. Let us help you in making this decision.The Brezza is based on Suzukis global c-platform and is a monocoque like the ecosport. the tuv 300 is based on a ladder frame chassis and at the same time is RWD. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)The Maruti-Suzuki Vitara Brezza is the newest kid on the block. It boasts of a new age design and combines compactness and style together. The Brezza is based on Suzuki’s Global C-platform which also serves the European Grand Vitara. So with an SUV in its genes, the Brezza looks and feels proper.The Brezza comes with a simple dash design. Controls are placed in usual positions and this makes it easy to use. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)The front end is bold complete with a chrome grille and sleek projector headlamps. In profile the Brezza looks good thanks to the blacked out pillars which envisage a floating roof design. At the back too, the design is very proportionate and overall thanks to the short overhangs, the Brezza does look like a proper SUV.advertisementThe TUV 300 comes with a simple dash design. Controls are placed in usual positions and this makes it easy to use. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)The EcoSport has a snazzy dash and it does take time to get used to the stylish setup. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) The TUV300 boasts of a brand new design. Big and boxy is how I would like to refer to it. But at the same time it does have a brutish charm to it much like one would expect from a full-blown SUV. The front end gets a large five slat grille flanked by large headlamps. The headlamps also offer static cornering lamps which light up at corners and are a truly handy feature. Viewed from the sides, the TUV has rather slab sides. There aren’t many curves to caress but what is impressive is the lack of overhangs.1. The Vitara Brezza comes with the tried and tested 1.3-litre diesel engine. Also Maruti-Suzuki has decided to launch only diesel variants for the Brezza. 2. The EcoSport has the largest engine here, a 1.5-litre oil burner. Thanks to it being compact, the power-to- weight ratio is a rather respectible 71bhp/tonne. 3. The TUV 300 gets a 3-cylinder motor displacing 1.5-litres. However it has to lug a substantial kerb weight which affects performance. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) At the back, the centre of attraction is the tailgate mounted spare wheel. But what can really transform the look of the TUV is the accessory package offered by Mahindra. Roof lights, flared wheel arches, a bull bar, Mahindra has something for everyone and many of the TUVs we have spotted on the roads sport many of these accessories and the SUV does look very different.The Ford EcoSport also has a rather sporty design. The company has recently given it a minor upgrade and added features which make it ready for the competition. The bold grille and sleek headlamps have made the EcoSport a design icon. In profile it is a right mix of flared arches and also prominent lines. The EcoSport also comes with a tailgate mounted spare and we still like the small button incorporated within the tail lamp to open the boot.The ecosport is the fastest to 100kmph and at the same time the most powerful followed by the brezza and the tuv 300 respectively. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)When we come to the hard figures and facts of size there is much that differentiates these three compact SUVs. Dimensions reveal that the TUV is the largest of the lot. It is the tallest and also the widest at 1,839mm and 1,835mm. It also boasts of the longest wheelbase at 2,680mm. The EcoSport’s overall length at 3,999mm is the longest, which is surprising. The other big differentiator is the fact the TUV is based on a ladder-frame chassis while the other two are monocoque. Also the TUV is a rear-wheel drive while the other two are front-wheel drives.advertisement1. The unit on the Brezza offers Apple CarPlay. 2. TUV does not offer a touchscreen. 3.The EcoSport has a smart dash design. 4. The instrument panel on the Brezza is the funkiest of them all and comes with five changeable colours. 5. The TUV info display also includes a gear position indicator. 6. Not much glitz but yet attractive is the EcoSports instrument panel. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb) The interiors of the Brezza are designed to suit its snazzy exteriors. Although major components are brand new, the Brezza feels surprisingly familiar. There are two glove compartments and next to these sits the large touch screen display which also offers sat nav and Apple CarPlay. Right below the screen sits the control panel for the climate control system. The buttons are large and rather easy to use. The steering is from the Maruti-Suzuki parts bin and also incorporates controls for audio, Bluetooth and cruise control.1. Brezza rides on 215/60 R16 Apollo Alnac 4G tyres. Alloys look smart as well and fills up the wheel wells. 2. The TUV300 uses Ceat Czar tyres. The tyre size is 215/75 R15. The wheel wells still look empty though. 3. The Ford EcoSport rides on 205/60 R16 Goodyear Assurance tyres and overall wheel-package looks good. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)The instrument panel is a twin pod affair and at the same time offers up to five display colour options. When it comes to space the Brezza sure feels compact. However the seats are comfortable for both short hops and long distance driving. We also liked the driving position which is high much like what should be in a SUV. At the back the Brezza does not feel as spacious as the TUV much because of the low roofline. But on paper it is at par. Getting into the cabin of the TUV requires one to utilise the side step. Once in, the seat feels large and comfortable. Up ahead there is a smart looking two-tone dash. The piano black centre console looks good too and houses the infotainment system. The instrument panel is a twin pod affair with a digital read out for fuel, temperature and trip in the middle. The view around is also clear and the edges of the bonnet are visible too. The back seat is a bit flat but there is ample room all around. The boot of the TUV comes with two foldable jump seats. The low floor aids space and two adults can be “shoved” in for short rides. However, we must add here that the two seats at the back do not offer seat belts and hence Mahindra calls it a 5+2 arrangement. Getting into the EcoSport is a much easier affair thanks to the clever design. The seats are more compact units and offer a lot more support and this is especially the case in context of the front bucket seats.The EcoSport thereafter gets a snazzier dash design. It also comes with its very own display which sits atop the dash and a plethora of buttons which do take time to get used to. Ford has also added a lot more features like automatic wipers and an upgraded Sync system.advertisementBrezza: The Brezza is the only one here which does not get a tailgate-mounted spare. The Brezza is also surprisingly spacious especially at the back. Headroom at 980mm is best-in-class. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)The Brezza comes with the tried and tested 1.3-litre diesel engine which generates 90bhp and ensures that the Brezza feels sprightly to drive. There is lag till the 1,800rpm range after which the turbo is ready to unleash power and from then on the Brezza gathers speed rapidly. This also means that in case you have not downshifted and let the rpm drop below 1,800rpm progress is not as rapid. The only solution is to drop down a gear and allow the revs to rise and then you are good to go. However on the highway it is not much of a bother as speeds are relatively higher and this means that this kind of situation will be rare.TUV300: The TUV comes with a side-mounted tailgate which also houses the spare. The TUV feels a lot more spacious inside. Seats are large and flat and offer little support at the back. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)The TUV comes with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder oil burner, which does emit the standard diesel crackle at start-up. But it does settle down quick. The gearbox feels a bit sticky though it slots in easy. Take off from standstill is adequate and it gets up to speeds with relative ease. The other thing which impressed us was the seamless power delivery. It does not come as a lump and is very linear. Therefore no turbo lag is felt.EcoSport: The EcoSport still looks smart with the tailgate mounted spare. Space especially at the back is not the EcoSports forte. There is limited knee and headroom with comfortable space only for two. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)There is also loads of torque which kicks in at lower revs and that eliminates the need to downshift on a regular basis. Even when in top gear just a dab on the throttle ensures a quick speed up. The TUV also boasts of a rather good NVH package. At 100kmph, the engine is barely audible inside the cabin. At around 120kmph is when you can hear it clearly.Vitara Brezza vs TUV300 vs EcoSport. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)The EcoSport feels lively from the word go. It is more powerful and light as well, by as much as 300kg when compared to the TUV. Therefore, in the sprint to 100kmph, the Ford outpaces the TUV and the Brezza too. It is also more car-like to drive. The engine feels slightly more refined and the gearbox is slicker too.The Brezza and EcoSport are also better handlers. The stiff setups ensure that both these SUVs are fun to drive, even up to your favourite hill station. The TUV on the other hand has a soft setup which works wonders at slower speeds by absorbing most ruts and bumps but displays prominent body roll on the go.Though much to the Mahindra’s advantage is the feeling of being able to go anywhere without breaking something. Last but not the least, we come to the steering setups. The Brezza comes with a responsive steering which makes driving fun. The TUV though feels slightly heavy at most times, especially around the city. The best of the lot is surely the EcoSport. VerdictThe last time we compared the TUV and the EcoSport, the EcoSport lost out because of overall purchase cost. But now after the Vitara Brezza was launched, Ford slashed prices and this has given it that edge where it pips the TUV300.The EcoSport is for those who want a compact SUV which offers good ride and handling. The TUV300 on the other hand is the one to have if you desire lots of space and of course two additional seats.But the winner of our test is the new Vitara Brezza. Maruti-Suzuki has taken its own time to come up with a compact SUV but they have got it spot on. It is reasonably spacious and offers a good blend of performance and efficiency too.
Chinese company Oppo on Friday launched the lower mid-range 4G phone, A37 in India at a price of Rs 11,990. The Oppo A37 will be available for buying from July 1 in the colours Gold and Grey, the company informed.The Oppo A37 comes with a 5-inch HD IPS 2.5D display with a 720×1280 pixels resolution and a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protective covering on the front. It is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory which is further expandable by up to 128GB via microSD card.The duaSIM phone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop-based ColorOS 3.0 and supports 4G LTE connectivity.The Oppo A37 sports an 8-megapixel camera on the rear with LED flash along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with screen flash. The phone is backed by a 2,630mAh non-removable battery.Also Read: Oppo launches all-metal midrange A59 phone with 3GB RAMOppo recently launched the A59 in China at a price of 1,799 Yuan (roughly Rs 18,306) with no word on its global availability and pricing yet.The A59 comes with a 5.5-inch HD IPS display with a 1280×720 pixels resolution and is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 processor coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal memory which is further expandable via microSD card.It sports a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with PDAF along with an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The phone is backed by a 3,075mAh battery. It also includes a front mounted fingerprint scanner.
(REOPENS DEL 34) (REOPENS DEL 34) In the most recent matches they have played together, Bopanna and Paes lost the doubles rubber against Czech Republic but made a remarkable recovery from being down two sets to win against Serbia. Paes arrived in Chandigarh yesterday and they practiced for about an hour and a half but rain prevented them from training together even as Paes had a hit on hard courts. On being asked if they have a realistic chance of reaching the medal round in Rio, Bopanna said getting a good draw will be crucial. “When we go into a tournament, I am not just looking at winning a bronze medal. Either I am going all the way to top or not go at all. The goal is to do the best we can. We have to take one match at a time. The competition is very high. We are hoping to be seeded. Also we need a little luck in the draw. Thats part of whole thing.” Talking about the tie starting tomorrow, Bopanna said the grass is the best choice for India. “We all discussed as a team and chose grass because it is an advantage. Looking at the fact that their number one players favourite surface is hard courts, we decided grass is the right surface for us. “Thats why you have advantage of playing Davis Cup at home. The tie was right after Wimbledon. Ramkumar and Saketh have played on grass for a month coming into this tie. Grass clearly is the best surface for us,” he asserted. However, Bopanna said it will be some task for the Indians in the tie. “We might be favourites in rankings. But I have proved it myself wrong by beating higher-ranked players in Davis Cup. Rankings go out of the window in Davis Cup. You have to play best tennis. There is a lot of pressure, you are playing for the country, a lot of expectations are there. “The Koreans are here for last 10 days, they are going to be a tough team. We have played them numerous times. I know we have to play our best to beat them.” PTI AT PM PMadvertisement
PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:50Trending Articles00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games LATEST STORIES Guiding her through her preparations are two Japanese coaches Yuhei and Akio Usami aside from her personal coach John Duenas.“We’re currently in the thick of our preparations, which means mileage is getting higher, track workouts are getting harder, legs are getting heavier, miles per miles per week, long runs, long intervals, being able to run on tired legs, mind over matter going to our peak period,” said Tabal.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practice“I have never been this focused and motivated to train harder for this was my longest SEA Games’ preparation,” added Tabal, who is aiming to replicate her dominant SEA Games win in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Tabal won the gold two years ago by a mile with second-placer Hoang Thi Thanh of Vietnam finishing seven minutes later. She was also nearly 10 minutes ahead of Natthaya Thanaronnawat, the 2015 gold winner from Thailand. Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Tale of 2 Cities: Sapporo likes race move; Tokyo not much FILE -mMary Joy Tabal rules women’s marathon in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Olympian marathoner Mary Joy Tabal has buckled down in her buildup for the Southeast Asian Games which will be held here later this year.Tabal is maximizing all the help she’s getting in her bid to defend her SEA Games title.ADVERTISEMENT This jewelry designer is also an architect Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Becoming his own man View comments Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? MOST READ “Our daily routine would be, training twice a day but a certain period where we need to spend for a 10-day training camp, we train thrice a day. During this time, we are taught how to overcome fatigues, and discipline for ourselves, discipline for the training program,” said Tabal, who is up as early as 5:30 a.m. to train in a stretch that takes her until 4:15 p.m.With all the hard work she puts in, Tabal has all the reasons to be confident about keeping the gold at home.“I have nothing else in mind now than gold. I only have to focus on this event, so I will be giving everything can,” Tabal said.“For now, I don’t really focus on who’s my biggest opponent, because for me, every representative from each nation is my competitor for the gold. I just focus on getting better, stronger and preparing my body for the action.”ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics
Learning how to save money is a skill a person can learn at just about any age, but the younger the lessons begin, the better children will be at it when it’s time to leave the nest.Many parents find that talking to children about money is awkward, but it’s just as important to talk to your kids about money as it is to talk to them about the facts of life or drugs.If you look back at your younger years and cringe at how you handled money, recognize the opportunity you have to help your children do better.Here are 12 age-appropriate ways to teach children how to save money.Set a Good Example for Children Whatever Their AgesManaging money successfully is about making good decisions.Obviously, your preschooler won’t understand your bank statement, but you can use everyday situations to talk to kids about money on their level.Older kids are very aware of your attitude toward money, and they will notice if you talk about how to save money, yet constantly make impulse purchases, so make sure your actions match your words.Provide Your Young Child with a Piggy BankUp through the early elementary years, this can be a good teaching tool.Preschoolers like the sound of the coins dropping in, and kids in early elementary grades understand that as Piggy gets heavier, they’re saving money.Savings goals should be very simple: When Piggy is full, you’ll help your son count his money and let him spend some of it.Teach Young Children Money is Used to Buy ThingsEarly elementary aged children can learn to identify different bills and coins.Once they reach the age of seven or eight, they can understand simple equivalences, like four quarters is equal to one dollar.Playing “store” or “restaurant” helps reinforce this knowledge.Explain that Sometimes You Have to Save for What You WantEven kids under eight years old can understand that they don’t have enough to buy the action figure they want but they can save their allowance until they do.Depending on a child’s maturity, she can start receiving an allowance around ages six to eight.As Children Get Older, Teach Comparison ShoppingWhen your nine-year-old is at the supermarket with you, you can point out when you discover something on your list that’s on sale, and that comparing prices is important in learning how to save money.Give Your Tween Increased ResponsibilityRequiring your children of around nine years old and up to pay for their own extras, like games and non-essential clothing, helps increase their incentive to save.Teach Tweens to Allocate Money for Spending, Saving, and GivingChildren in this age group can understand the concept of using some of their money to help others.When they have a little bit of their “helping” money saved, you can go with them to donate to a charity drive, church, or animal shelter.Introduce the Bank AccountMany credit unions offer account programs for tweens with special incentives, like sign-up bonuses and small prizes.Tweens can understand that banks pay them a little bit for every dollar they deposit, and that they can use that money later.They can also learn to set aside part of their allowance to put into the bank.Explain the Risks of Online Shopping to AdolescentsFrom age 11 or 12, kids should know that entering credit card numbers and personal information online is dangerous, because people can steal that information and use money that doesn’t belong to them.Make a strict rule about online purchases: Who they have to ask, and why Mom or Dad has to be there when the purchase is made.Teach Teens the Basics of Credit CardsThey’ve probably seen you use credit cards and know they’re convenient, but they may not understand the costs associated with credit cards.Explain the difference between credit and debit cards and how people can use credit cards responsibly.Teens should understand that using a credit card is like taking out a loan.Give Your High School Student More ResponsibilityGive your high schooler more autonomy over spending. If you provide a certain amount of gas money each week, emphasize that if he uses it all, he’s walking or biking.Some high schoolers can manage a monthly budget, and this can be terrific practice for their college years.Making mistakes now is much less painful than when they’re away from home for the first time.Teach Your Motivated High Schooler Basic InvestmentSome high school students are interested in investments, and you can help them track stocks or even buy a small number of shares.If your teen chooses to set aside money to invest, help her with online resources for new investors. Be sure she understands the risks that go along with investment.Teaching your children how to save money isn’t a one-time talk. It starts when they’re young and continues as they grow and learn.Learning how to save money requires practice, and it often includes mistakes that turn into lessons. With age-appropriate instruction, your children will be less naïve and savvier once they reach adulthood.Mary Hiers is a personal finance writer who helps people earn more and spend less. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Post navigation
Fun fact: Cleopatra, the infamous last queen of Egypt, reportedly took daily baths in donkey milk to maintain her smooth, glowing skin.This might just seem like a crazy beauty hack used before things like bath bombs and moisturizers were invented, but it’s actually pretty legit, thanks to milk’s secret ingredient: lactic acid.What is lactic acid?Lactic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is found naturally in milk, fruits, vegetables, and other botanicals.Lactic acid is a larger molecule compared to other AHAs like glycolic acid. The size diff means it releases into your skin more slowly—making it one of the gentlest AHAs out there. What does lactic acid do, exactly?Lactic acid is an exfoliant, and is generally recommended to improve acne, discoloration, and fine lines and wrinkles on sensitive, dry and mature skin types that may be easily irritated by other more aggressive acids in this group. Along with increasing cell turnover and stimulating collagen production like its fellow acids, lactic acid also ups the natural barrier lipids in skin, which prevents water loss and helps hydrate your skin.It’s especially good for treating bumpy skin without exacerbating dryness, says Debra Jaliman, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.How do you use it?Like with other alpha hydroxy acids, look for a lactic acid peel or other products that you use a couple of times a week for deeper exfoliation, says Jennifer MacGregor, M.D., Union Square Laser Dermatology. It’s often combined with low percentages of other alpha hydroxy acids for best results.FYI: If you’re a vegan, you might want to skip this ingredient. While most lactic acids found in skin-care products come from beets, the Environmental Working Group notes that there is still a risk that it could be from an animal source. Use other, plant-based alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic or citric acid instead.Source
A daytime nap may sharpen your mind – but it also enhances false memories, a new study has found.Sleep is crucial for allowing the brain to clear out the overwhelming amount of information we have gathered during the day, allowing us to focus and digest more information. However, a new study by Lancaster University found that a nap of one hour and 45 minutes can lead you to mis-remember your experiences – even believing some things happened that didn’t. This grogginess, akin to the effects seen from oversleeping at night, particularly affects the right side of the brain, which is responsible for imagination, creativity, and a more fluid language network than the, broadly-speaking, logical left side.‘The study is a great demonstration of the benefits of a daytime nap in terms of consolidation,’ co-author John Shaw, a PhD student in the psychology department, told Daily Mail Online. ‘But it highlights that the type of information we consolidate may undergo a change from the literal representation to a more abstract or gist-based form.‘This is a great mechanism for general memory but the study does demonstrate the downside to this, with retrieval errors possible.’ The right side of the brain is already known to contain more false memories than the left, regardless of sleep.There are many theories as to why, but Shaw believes it has something to do with the way the right side of the brain collects everything in a ‘gist-based form’, rather than as prescriptive words, as happens in the left side.‘The hemispheres are different,’ Shaw explains. ‘The left has a “narrow” language network, where if you are presented a word (e.g., foot), it may trigger associations to other closely related words (e.g., toe, ankle, sock). ‘In the right language network, these associations can be more broad, so for the same word, it may trigger associations that you may not immediately think of (e.g., ball-football, inch (foot/inch as a unit of measurement).‘So the right hemisphere transforms the words in a more gist-based form and as a result is more susceptible to these retrieval errors where we are confident of remembering something we never saw.’ However, until now it was not clear how sleep affects this jumbling and clarification of information – whether it affects memories in both sides of the brain or more heavily on the right.This study, Shaw says, shows the right is the most affected by a daytime nap, and that is why it has such a strong impact on false memories, as well as sharpening real memories.‘In day-to-day life, where we can use both hemispheres, it allows us to get the old word and the gist of the information together,’ he explains. ‘But here we’ve seen that the right hemisphere in particular promotes this gist form after sleep.’To investigate, Shaw and Professor Monaghan tested two groups of people – one that to a nap of up to an hour and 45 minutes, and one that stayed awake all day.Before the nap, both groups were given a word test.They were asked to focus on a central point on a computer screen as 48 words appeared on the left or right of the dot. They were then instructed to press a yes or no key according to whether they had previously seen the word or not.The test words contained lists of related words such as ‘bed, rest, awake, tired, dream, snooze, nap, snore.’After the nap, the participants were asked to recall words which were part of the original list (seen-old), not related to the list (unseen-new) or not previously seen but related to the theme of the list (unseen-lure words e.g. ‘sleep’).The group which had had a nap was ‘significantly more likely’ to see ‘unseen-lure’ words as old, thinking they had seen them before when they had not.Analyzing their brain activity, the team found this effect on memory was only really seen in the right side of the brain. According to Professor Monaghan, this showed how memory blurs as our brains are trying to sift through relevant and irrelevant information. ‘Our memory gets knitted up with all the things we already know, so we tend to store the gist of the information rather than the particular information,’ he told Daily Mail Online. ‘We had an inkling that the right side of the brain would be involved in false memories (or memory for the gist of the information rather than the particular information) more than the left side of the brain, because previous studies have shown that we do have more false memories in the right half of our brain than the left even without sleep. ‘But our study shows that sleep magnifies this effect: processes in the right hemisphere of the brain are especially boosted by sleep.’ Source
When more than 1,200 land rights experts converge on the World Bank’s Washington, DC headquarters today for the 18th Annual Land and Poverty Conference, participants from government, civil society groups, private sector and donor agencies will focus on how they can use data and other evidence to reform land policies, identify strategies for expansion and find ways to monitor progress.While conference participants from around the world have in previous years presented and discussed new information on individual private property rights and state land, here are some important numbers about Indigenous and community land rights, the world’s most common form of tenure.50%The proportion of the world’s land held by Indigenous Peoples and other local communities.The precise amount of communal land is not known, but many experts argue that at least half of the world’s land is held by Indigenous Peoples and other communities. Some estimates are as high as 65 percent or more of the global land area. Indigenous Peoples hold an estimated 20 percent of the Earth’s land mass, one-half to one-third of the world’s collectively-held land. Communal land is found in all continents of the world except Antarctica, with the largest area located in Africa. LandMark, the global platform of indigenous and community lands, provides maps and other critical information on these lands.2.5 billionThe number of people who depend on indigenous and community land.Up to 2.5 billion men, women and children, including more than 370 million indigenous people, rely on land, natural resources and ecosystems – forests, rangeland and wetlands – that are held, used or managed collectively. With a current world population of about 7.5 billion people, about one in three people is dependent on communal land for their wellbeing and livelihood.10%The share of the world’s land legally owned by Indigenous Peoples and other communities.Globally, Indigenous Peoples and local communities have formal legal ownership of 10 percent of the land, and have some degree of government-recognized management rights over an additional 8 percent. Two-thirds of the global land owned or controlled by communities is in five countries: China, Canada, Brazil, Australia and Mexico. That means at least one-third to one-half of the world’s land is held by Indigenous Peoples and local communities informally, under customary tenure arrangements alone. Without legal recognition, Indigenous Peoples, communities and their lands are “vulnerable to illegal, forced or otherwise unjust expropriation, capture and displacement by more powerful interests.” 24%The amount of climate-warming carbon stored in collectively-held tropical forests.At least 24 percent of the carbon stored above ground in the world’s tropical forests (not counting the carbon stored in the soil) is in the collectively-managed lands of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Indigenous and community lands contain at least 54,546 million metric tons of carbon (MtC), equivalent to four times the total global carbon emissions in 2014. One-tenth of the total carbon contained above ground in tropical forests—22,322 MtC—is in collectively managed areas that lack formal, legal recognition. Considerable carbon is also stored in indigenous and community lands that is not tropical forestland. In addition to carbon sequestration, indigenous and community lands also protect other ecosystems that provide critical local, regional and global ecosystem services. For example, most of the world’s forests are found on communal lands, and indigenous lands alone hold 80 percent of the planet’s biodiversity. 50%The reduction in deforestation rates in the Amazon on securely held indigenous lands compared to deforestation rates on similar land without security.In many areas in Latin America and around the world, annual deforestation rates on tenure-secure indigenous lands are significantly lower than on similar land that lacks tenure security. For example, in Bolivia, the average deforestation rate – between 2000 and 2012 – inside tenure-secure indigenous lands was 0.15 percent, while the rate outside indigenous lands was 0.43 percent. In Brazil, the deforestation rate inside tenure-secure indigenous lands was 0.06 percent, compared to an outside rate of 0.15 percent. And in Colombia, deforestation inside tenure-secure indigenous lands was 0.04 percent, while the deforestation rate outside was 0.08 percent. Tenure security provides Indigenous Peoples and communities greater assurance that they will benefit from investments in their land.1%The costs of securing indigenous lands in the Amazon as a percentage of total benefits derived from these lands.In Amazonian countries, the cost of securing indigenous lands amounts to less than 1 percent of the total environmental benefits derived from these lands. Secure indigenous lands provide important and valuable ecosystem services, including regulation of local climate dynamics and water cycling, carbon sequestration, and recreation and tourism. In Bolivia, Brazil and Colombia, these benefits are estimated to range between $1845 to $4158 per acre or a total of $679 billion to $1,530 billion for the next 20 years (and considerably more if social and economic benefits are included). In contrast, investments in tenure security are estimated at only $18.21 per acre in Bolivia, $27.52 per acre in Brazil, and $2.43 per acre in Colombia (the calculated sum of discounted total costs for a 20-year period). Tenure-secure indigenous lands provide low-cost forest conservation investments for governments.These numbers speak for themselves: formal government recognition of collectively-held lands makes economic, environmental and societal sense. Governments and their partners should support Indigenous Peoples and other communities to protect and safeguard their lands.
This article is part of a series of blog posts examining the One Map Initiative at the local level. This post focuses on a conflict between a palm oil company and a small community in South Sumatra. See here for related blogs on land-related conflicts involving other stakeholders and how the One Map Initiative aims to resolve them.The lands along the Musi River, which spreads across four provinces in Sumatra, Indonesia, once produced a bounty of rice and tropical fruits. Residents of villages like Ulak Teberau, in South Sumatra, relied upon these crops and the surrounding environment to earn their living. But today, 20 years after an oil palm plantation was established nearby, many of its residents are losing access to the abundance that sustained them.South Sumatra’s Musi River. Photo by Dean Y. Affandi The villagers’ troubles started back in 1997, when a palm oil company secured a concession license to manage about 10,000 hectares of land in Musi Banyuasin District. Over the next two decades, the firm extended its reach, managing more land than its license allowed―and taking away the villagers’ lands. Residents claimed that the company unlawfully appropriated more than 3,000 hectares which once belonged to them. “The oppressors never left, only their skin color changed,” said Ruslan, 55, a resident of Ulak Teberau.The land in dispute is now a degraded marsh that is no longer productive or accessible to the villagers, thus undermining the well-being of nearly 400 households in the village.Ruslan said that his livelihood options are now severely limited due to the lack of access to surrounding lands. “Now, every time we want to fish, we have to gain permission from the company. This is not right. Our family has been living here ever since before this country gained independence.”The Crux of the ProblemA marsh replaced a once-productive farming area in Ulak Teberau, where villagers are challenging a land grab by a palm oil company. Photo by Roberto Hutagalu Land governance in Indonesia is tremendously complex, with an broad array of stakeholders, institutions and legal instruments. Age-old patterns of patronage, bribery and misappropriation further complicate the situation.The Musi Banyuasin District is a case in point. An inquiry by the land agency, villagers and the local council in 1997 concluded that the area cultivated by the licensed palm oil company was almost twice as large as the permit allows. WRI’s interaction with stakeholders uncovered information and supporting documents showing that, in 2014, the local parliament was on the verge of issuing a recommendation to the local government to stop the firm from operating in the area. Yet the local parliament dropped the recommendation. Sources indicated that payments were made by the plantation company to some high-ranking officials in the local government, local parliament and land agency.A lack of unity among residents in Ulak Teberau may have contributed to the prolonged dispute. Despite anger towards the palm oil corporation, villagers have not worked together to claim their rights. The community is fragmented, divided between those with official land-ownership documents and those who have none. Those lacking proper documents tend to accept the situation, without any interest in defending their land. Women and young people are generally disconnected from the conflict because they have never been involved by the village leaders in any decision-making process.Steps to Resolving Land ConflictsTo address this problem, issues of land access and ownership need to be understood in all their complexity: one-dimensional political, economic or legal models will not suffice. What’s necessary is a participatory and responsive approach based on careful assessment of the local situation.Indonesia’s government is taking steps to address the root causes of land conflicts in villages like Ulak Teberau. It has identified inaccurate, incomplete and outdated maps as one of the primary drivers of agrarian and natural resource conflict in the country. The government’s finding underlines the importance of the One Map Initiative at the Local Level, a collaborative effort to implement One Map Policy at the local jurisdiction facilitated by WRI, which seeks to establish agreed-upon maps to help resolve land disputes. President Joko Widodo stated in June this year that “the One Map Policy will facilitate the resolution of conflicts arising from overlapping land use and assist in the settlement of borders throughout Indonesia.”At the sub-national level, the district government of Musi Banyuasin has recently established a specific task force mandated to resolve agrarian and natural resource conflicts in the area. For the community of Ulak Teberau, this process could lead to the development of its own One Map, which would provide a reference for all stakeholders. The process has the promise to settle a 20-year dispute and mitigate future land-related conflicts.WRI Indonesia’s One Map Initiative is working at both national and sub-national levels to support villages like Ulak Teberau in four provinces across Indonesia. By ensuring access to credible data, enhancing natural resource management and improving communication among stakeholders, our hope is to encourage a One Map Policy that could resolve disagreements over land assignment and restore justice for local citizens to enable the achievement of a more sustainable land use.
Table 1: Change in rankings of countries’ GHG emissions between 1850 and 2014. Filter by different metrics, including largest and smallest change in rank and by today’s largest emitters. Note: The rankings in Chart 2 and Table 1 are based on GHG emissions excluding land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF) from PIK-PRIMAP dataset, accessed through Climate Watch. LULUCF emissions are excluded since emission estimates for this sector have high levels of uncertainty in the early years. The European Union is included in the ranking in addition to the 28 EU member countries. If EU is excluded, the top 10 largest emitters will also include Mexico, which is among the ‘top 10 rise in GHG ranking’. Chart 1: ranking of countries by greenhouse gas emissions over time, 1850-2014. Visualization developed by Mahfooj Khan in collaboration with Viz for Social Good. Note: The rankings from 1850-2014 in this chart are based on GHG emissions excluding land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF) from PIK-PRIMAP dataset, accessed through Climate Watch. LULUCF emissions are excluded as estimates for this sector have high levels of uncertainty in the early years. If those emissions were included, the GHG emissions of countries like Indonesia, Zimbabwe, and Brazil would be larger. The European Union is included in the ranking in addition to the 28 EU member countries. Developing countries have seen significant emissions growth in recent years, but in per capita terms the picture is much different. For instance, while India’s overall emissions are climbing upward, their per capita emissions have stayed well below the other top emitters; the United States’ per capita emissions are currently more than seven times that of India.However, per capita emissions of other emerging economies like Indonesia, China, and Iran are creeping upward and have exceeded those of some developed countries, as well as the average per capita emissions of the European Union.49 Countries Have Peaked Emissions, and the List Keeps GrowingWRI analysis finds that 49 countries were able to peak their emissions by 2010 and four more are expected to peak by 2020. According to countries’ climate commitments under the Paris Agreement, seven of the current top 10 emitters (China, the United States, Russia, Japan, Brazil, Germany and Mexico) have peaked or have commitments to peak their emissions by 2030. Chart 3: Change in rank over 1990-2014 of the top 20 emitting countries in 2014. Visualization developed by Neil Richards in collaboration with Viz for Social Good. Note: The emissions data from 1990-2014 in this chart are based on GHG emissions including land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF) from PIK-PRIMAP dataset, accessed through Climate Watch. The world now pumps 40 times more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere than we did back in 1850. While emissions have increased dramatically over this time, those responsible for the largest shares of emissions haven’t changed as much as one might expect.Seven countries have consistently been among the top emitters on an annual basis and have driven emissions growth since 1850—namely the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Russia, and more recently India and China. In comparison, if you rank countries from largest emitters to smallest, three-quarters of the 50 lowest emitting countries in 2014 are the same countries as in 1850.Chart 2: Biggest changes in the ranking of countries’ GHG emissions between 1850 and 2014. Which countries have emitted the most greenhouse gases? The quick answer is, “It depends.”A more definitive response is tougher than you may expect. Many factors inform the answer. What time frame are you considering? Do you want to count cumulative emissions of a country over a long period of time, or only look at current annual emissions? And do you include emissions and removals from things like land use change and forestry? Or perhaps you want to know whether and when a country’s emissions have peaked?The five visuals below help answer this question, taking into account each of these different factors. All of the visuals were created using data from the powerful Climate Watch platform.Top Emitters Remain Dominant—With a Few Notable Changes A few countries stand out for the significant changes in rank they have experienced. Most of the biggest jumps are observed in oil and gas producing countries—almost all the countries with the largest increase in rank have petroleum products as a main export. At the same time, the breakup of the Soviet Union contributed to major declines in Lithuania, Tajikistan, Latvia, Moldova and Georgia.Perhaps the most important takeaway from Chart 2 is how consistent the top ten emitters have been over the years. Six countries or blocs that were top emitters in 1850 remain so over 160 years later – the European Union, China, Germany, India, Russia and the United States.1990-2014: Emissions Continue to Rise Despite growing international concern over climate change, global emissions have continued to rise steadily. The world’s total emissions have increased by 31 percent (including emissions from LULUCF) between 1990 and 2014. Growth has been driven by major economies such as China, which surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest emitter in 2005, although the U.S. remains the largest emitter in cumulative terms. While many of the largest emitters in 1990 had fallen back a bit by 2014, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Pakistan, and Nigeria jumped ahead by at least 10 places over those 25 years, landing them among the top 20 largest annual emitters in 2014.Countries’ GHG Emissions Per Capita Tells a Different StoryChart 4: Per capita GHG emissions of top 10 emitters, 1990-2014 Note: The top 10 emitters, as well as the emissions data from 1990-2014 used in this chart are based on GHG emissions including land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF) from PIK-PRIMAP dataset, accessed through Climate Watch. Population data is based on World Bank World Development Indicators. If European Union is not counted, the group will include Germany instead, whose per capita emissions in 2014 is around 10 tCO2e. Chart 5: Greenhouse gas emission peak dates and country-level emissions. Visualization developed by Carbon Brief and peak dates based on the WRI Turning Points report. Note: Country emissions from 1990-2015 based on date from PIK and UNFCCC. Some major emitting countries like the U.K., France, Brazil, Spain and Canada have been able to sustain their economic growth and at the same time peak or even decrease their level of emissions. The fact that a quarter of all countries’ emissions have peaked their emissions is encouraging. Peaking is just the first step towards making deep, rapid emission reductions necessary to achieve an emissions trajectory consistent with long term low carbon future. Countries must make and achieve commitments to peak their emissions as soon as possible, set their peaks at lower emissions levels, and commit to a significant rate of emissions decline after peaking.This is just a taste of the climate data you can explore and draw insights from on Climate Watch. We encourage you to visit the platform yourself and see what you discover.
978-0-470-49931-3pg16wd5let1pg34wd13let3pg43wd35let4pg59wd8let4pg60wd1let4pg66wd28let2pg88wd8let7pg100wd24let2pg119wd4let 4pg132wd4let9 Alternate Reality Game I am sorry to announce that HubSpot has At this time, we are legally unable to say much about what is going on, but we will do our best keep the community informed. Topics: letter earlier today. after receiving a temporarily closed Inbound Marketing University Inbound Marketing — it is not real, it’s for fun! Find out more Please help us . We hope you will play along and solve the mystery. save IMU here cease and desist Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack . Originally published Jun 2, 2010 10:21:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 EDIT: Please note that this post is associated with an
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Google indicated it will be rolling out the new +1 button features over the next week or so.Huge Benefits for Marketers The +1 was already powerful for marketers, with the button now embedded on more than 1 million websites and generating a total of 4 billion daily views. We also reported two weeks ago that websites that use Google’s +1 button generated 3.5 times more traffic from Google+ than websites that don’t have the button installed. This is impressive as is, but the button’s newest features will undoubtedly make the button even more powerful.With users’ new ability to share content on the web with their Circles, your content’s potential to spread even further and reach more people increases dramatically. If you don’t already have the +1 button installed on your website/blog, don’t hesitate any longer. You’re likely missing out on a major opportunity to expand the reach of your content and increase traffic and leads, especially now. Originally published Aug 25, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 The +1 button just got a makeover! Starting yesterday, Google started rolling out new features that allow users to use the button to share a web page directly to Google+. Similar to Facebook’s sharing button, when on a web page, clicking the +1 button will also offer the option to ‘Share on Google+.’ Doing so will allow the user to add a comment, choose a Circle to share it with, and share!This is a step up from the +1 button’s previous functionality, whose sharing power was limited to a tab on the user’s Google+ profile. Below is a video overview of the +1 button’s new functionality.The New Functionality Highlights 2 New FeaturesSharing With Google+ Circles: As we mentioned, the ‘Share to Google+’ option now included as a function of the +1 button allows users to select specific Circles to share web pages with on Google+ and enables the user to add a comment as well.+Snippets: Users will also notice that when they click the ‘Share to Google+’ option, the web page’s title, an image, and a description automatically gets pulled in, just as Facebook’s sharing feature does. Google also announced the ability for publishers to customize the code of their +1 button to modify what automatically gets pulled into a +snippet. Social Media Engagement Topics:
Marketing departments, whether one person or one hundred, have kiiiind of a lot of balls to juggle.Lead generation, PPC, SEO, website design, social media, PR, content creation. Yeah, I’d call that a lot of balls (and that’s not even all of them).It’s no wonder that sometimes all of it can’t get done with just the people you have in house. Maybe your current team doesn’t have the skills to do it, they don’t have the time to do it, or you don’t have the budget to hire more in-house staff to do it. And that’s why we outsource.Thing is, outsourcing’s not always a good idea. Then again, sometimes hiring someone in house is way more trouble and cost than it’s worth. So how do you know which route to choose?We’re going to break down all those marketing tasks that are on your plate that can be successfully outsourced, and help you decide in which scenarios it’s better for you to keep it in house, and when it’s better to outsource it to an agency or contractor. And if you have some of these tasks covered already, feel free to scroll to the specific function(s) you need help with.Lead GenerationWait, you can outsource lead generation? Sure can. Let me explain. Ideally, most of your leads are coming from inbound marketing — people who raise their hand to say they want to hear from you by doing something like filling out a form on your website. So to say that you’re outsourcing lead generation as an inbound marketer is kind of like … outsourcing all of your marketing. The thing is, a lot of the people who outsource lead generation are really talking about outsourcing cold calling or appointment booking, so it’s aspects of the lead generation process that are being done outside your office’s four walls. Here are some instances where outsourcing lead generation might make sense, depending on the structure of your sales organization and the product or service you’re selling:Verifying Contact Information: If you have a high volume of leads coming in and a problem getting quality contact information, you could outsource this function so your sales organization only works with verified contacts.Qualifying Leads: Similarly, organizations with a high volume of leads don’t have time to qualify all of them manually, and sometimes, your marketing team isn’t sure how to go about it. Working with a consultant or agency that can help with your lead qualification might be worth it to improve sales efficiency.Booking Appointments: There are plenty of services out there than can handle appointment books for your sales team, whether they’re in-house or field sales reps. This saves them from the more tedious up-front work that takes time away from closing deals.Pointclear interviewed one Karen Hayward, EVP and CMO for CenterBeam, who had a great quote on this idea of outsourcing that should help organizations vetting good service providers. “It’s no longer enough for a provider to be experienced in a single area like teleprospecting or telesales. Best-practice expertise in all areas — market identification, database management, process management, recruiting and staffing, training, program management, and data analysis and content — is now the key to a program’s success.” That means if you don’t have a solid lead generation and qualification process already, and your prospective service provider isn’t capable of helping you sort it out, you might not be ready for outsourcing quite yet. For outsourced lead generation to work, the process has to be rock solid both internally, and with your vendor.And, of course, you need to ensure that outsourcing this work really does increase sales and marketing efficiency, and the revenue you generate is still significant enough to warrant the cost of outsourcing. In fact, keep that caveat in mind for all the processes you experiment with outsourcing.PPC CampaignsA lot of marketers make the mistake of thinking that, once you set up your AdWords or social media PPC campaigns, it’s like a light switch. Just turn it on when you want leads, off when you’re done, and you’re good to go. It’s an oversimplification of the process, though. Proper PPC campaign management takes consistent monitoring, otherwise you can find yourself wasting money really fast.If you don’t have the 1) ability or 2) time to do what it takes to manage PPC — and paid lead generation is of significant impact to your marketing strategy — I think it’s worth the investment to outsource it to an agency that knows what they’re doing. Keep in mind that many agencies have minimum budgets you’ll have to invest in the campaign, as well as the additional cost of maintenance that comes with agency work. So if PPC is critical to your marketing strategy, this additional cost to maintain your campaigns could be worth it — especially because you don’t want a novice managing big PPC budgets.Whichever way you opt for, make sure the in-house or external PPC pro is actually a PPC pro. If you’re having trouble figuring it out, reference this blog post that has some questions you can ask to help you differentiate PPC pros from PPC posers. Or if you’re trying to tackle PPC yourself, take a look at this template that should help you manage your campaigns more effectively.SEOWhere most companies go wrong when outsourcing SEO — or frankly, when hiring an in-house SEO professional — is focusing just on keywords. SEO is about more than just creating content around specific keywords; you need someone, or a team of people, who understands on-page SEO, technical SEO, and even has a flair for co-marketing to help you build quality inbound links.So whether you’re outsourcing or keeping SEO in-house, it’s critical you really vet your provider to make sure that:They’re not selling you on rank. If a potential hire or service provider is building value around SERP rank, they’re not up to date on SEO best practices.They have a comprehensive skill-set, in both on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.They definitively do NOT have a comprehensive skill set, and you are knowingly hiring them to only focus on one particular area of your SEO.And if you even look to outsourced link builders, tread extremely cautiously. If there is absolutely any talk of black-hat tactics, like link farming or link buying, run for the hills!Social Media & PRSocial media has to be, duh, social. In my opinion, the best social media accounts are handled in house, because there’s an in-house community manager that “gets” the organization’s personality in a more intimate way than any outsourced service can. Is it possible for you to outsource social media management to an agency or consultant? Sure. But you need to have a solid grasp on your brand’s personality in order to do a hand-off to someone who isn’t involved in the daily minutiae of your business that typically helps paint a more complete picture of what a company thinks like.It’s also critical to establish terms and best practices up front if you’re outsourcing social media. For example, what’s your stance on social media automation? Are you okay with someone automating your updates? We’ve seen it go haywire in the past — you might recall AT&T’s debacle with outsourced social media automation in which automation actually turned into outright SPAM. That’s an all too common instance of outsourced social media turning into a PR problem (hence my combination of the two in this section), that it’s critical you’ve set up damage control scenarios for. Be really clear about 1) what you want in terms of voice, personality, content, and methods of connecting with fans and followers 2) what you unequivocally don’t want, and 3) how to handle PR problems that arise in social media with either your in-house or outsourced community manager.Content CreationContent creation is one of the easiest things to outsource if you’re looking for a high volume of pretty good content. There are plenty of content marketplaces out there with freelance writers that you can pay pretty nominal amounts of money to create relatively good content — the kind that wouldn’t get you dinged by Panda or Penguin for using.But what about if you need A+ content? You can certainly outsource it and get premium results. But you’re going to have to pay premium prices for it, and you might not find your writers as easily as you did for your “pretty good” content. Similarly, to get an extremely high volume of A+ content while outsourcing, you’ll still need to hire in-house staff to recruit, train, manage, and edit the freelance writers, not to mention lay out the content strategy and methodology used to scale your outsourced freelance writing program.So, what does this mean? It means you could easily outsource content creation if you don’t need the cream of the crop for every single piece of content you publish. If, however, you view your marketing content creation more like a publishing house, you could certainly outsource the content creation — but you’ll still have to have at least one person, if not an entire editorial team in house, to help you manage the outsourced writers and the content creation process.Visual Content CreationSimilar to written content creation, it helps to have a brand strategy already sussed out if you’re going to outsource your visual content work. It’s much less time consuming for you to hand over a visual brand and style guide to a designer with things like preferred fonts and hex codes than to ask them to figure it out on their own. But I do think outsourcing design work makes a ton of sense, because keeping a creative team in house can be pretty cost prohibitive if you’re not in need of their expertise on a daily basis.Either way, make sure the person you choose knows how to not just make things look pretty and on-brand, but also function correctly. For example, your website shouldn’t be in flash — it’ll look pretty, but your organic search rankings won’t. Or maybe your email template looks mighty fine, but no one reading it on a mobile device can render it. These are the kinds of things you should consider when outsourcing … if you can’t find people to make your marketing beautiful, functional, and at your price point, I’d say it’s better to have something that’s done in house and functions than outsourced and breaking your bank. Even if it’s pretty 🙂 and right at your price point, it’s better to have something that works and isn’t beautiful than beautiful and isn’t functional.And remember — there are always things you can do to be your own little designer! Here are some resources and templates that can help you DIY:Ebook Creation TemplateInfographic Creation TemplateCall-to-Action in PowerPoint Tutorial13 Free Design ToolsVideo ProductionThis can overlap for visual content creation in a lot of respects, but video production is different enough from design work that I think it warrants its own section. People are often scared to create videos because they think they have to be perfect, and perfect costs a lot of money. But video content creation doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive, because it doesn’t have to be lit like a Hollywood movie set. Thus, I think it’s easier than many marketers think to create their own videos using free or cheap tools like Final Cut, iVideo, and Camtasia that are also very user-friendly.I also think, however, that there comes a time in the growth of your business when you need to step up your game. Perhaps you’re an enterprise organization that’s selling to high-profile B2B clients, for example. They might not find your unsteady camera hand so professional, nor will they be so forgiving of it. In instances like this, you might want to hire a professional to shoot, say, case study videos to help enable your sales team. Whether it’s worth it to hire a professional or keep it in house for things like this depends on whether you’re creating enough video content on a consistent basis to warrant it.So, do you see your video needs only increasing from here on out? Do you already have an in-house creative or design team on which it would make sense for them to join? Do you have a brand style guide already created that those in-house designers are following? It probably won’t be too hard to integrate a video professional into that team, and will be more efficient — if the volume of video you’re creating warrants a full time hire — to bring someone in house. If you’re still sorting all of these things out and don’t need a ton of video support, or alternately, don’t have an established brand style guide to which a video person will adhere, an outsourced creative agency could help you do all of that so you kick off your high-quality video production the right way.What parts of your marketing, if any, do you outsource? Are you happy with your outsourcing decisions? Why or why not?Image credit: StockMonkeys.com Topics: Originally published Dec 17, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Marketing Strategy Don’t forget to share this post! 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Topics: Native Advertising Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack If you use the internet (and since you’re reading this, I’m assuming you do) then you’ve likely encountered native advertising – whether you know it or not. You may have been on a site like Buzzfeed, reading a listicle called “25 People Having a Worse Day Than You” before realizing that it was a sponsored post promoted by an insurance company.When you discovered you were actually reading an ad, how did you feel? If the piece was entertaining enough, you may have viewed the the company in a positive light. On the other hand, if you felt like you just wasted 5 minutes of your life reading a boring article, you probably got mad and made a negative mental note about the company.Native advertising is hardly new. Since the early 1900s it’s been around in the form of advertorials, sponsored radio shows, and even infomercials. In the 2010s, native advertising as we know it took off, with sites like Buzzfeed pioneering the way with sponsored content. To some, it’s seen as an unobtrusive solution to advertising. To others, it feels deceitful.By definition, native advertising is advertising that takes on the form and function of the platform it appears on. Native advertising in the form of radio shows up as announcers talking favorably about a product sponsoring the show. Infommercials are just commericials for products turned into something that resembles a television show. Today, it most often means social media posts that show up on your feed or an article about a product or company showing up in your news source. The question remains. As marketers, how can we use native advertising in our strategy while staying current with trends without making the people we’re trying to sell to hate us?The GoodWith that said, native advertising isn’t always evil. As much as people hate it when it’s bad, they can really like it when it’s good. When it’s done well and makes sense for the brand, publisher and reader, native ads can be a win for your brand and a chance to spread awareness of your product or company.Native advertising has produced some high-quality ads like this Buzzfeed article sponsored by ACUVUE, titled “11 Impossibly Cool Facts You May Not Know About Your Eyes.” The content is relevant to the brand (a contacts lens company talking about eyes) and on top of that, the facts are actually interesting and worthy of reading. A reader wouldn’t be surprised to see ACUVUE sponsoring the article, and they’ll be pleasantly surprised when they find themselves interested in what it has to say.In this case, the choice of platform in supporting the ad. The ACUVUE article makes sense on Buzzfeed’s platform because readers aren’t looking for hard hitting news and they’re more tolerant to the content they find.While many native ads come across as entertainment, native ads can still be good journalism. The New York Times published an article paid for by Netflix to promote its series Orange is the New Black, titled “Women Inmates: Separate But Not Equal.” The article covers women’s issues in prison–the same topics covered by the show–in an honest and fact-based way. It made sense that someone who would be interested in reading the article might also want to watch the show (even John Oliver called this piece “as good as it gets” when it comes to native advertising… though in true fashion he still didn’t like it).This native ad was a win because it was appealing to an audience that would enjoy both the article content and the show, and it was displayed in a platform that made sense. The content was informative, and while it was clearly an ad for Orange is the New Black, the article itself wasnt promotional.The statistics point to native advertising’s continued growth. It’s projected that 8.8 billion dollars will be spent in 2018 on native advertising, and for good reason. 53% of users say they would look at a native ad over a banner ad, and they are 18% more to show purchase intent. Consumers themselves may say that they don’t like them, but advertisers are continuing to pour money into it.The EvilThere’s one big, fat, evil reason why people hate native advertising – it can make them feel cheated, lied to, and taken advantage of. As I mentioned before, reading an article (especially if the article isn’t well written) and finding that it’s an advertisement in disguise can make you feel tricked. As a brand, you don’t want to be associated with dishonesty in the eyes of the consumer.Because of this, native advertising has been the subject of quite a few angry rants. Take this segment from John Oliver’s show, “Last Week Tonight” where he says that even when native advertising is clearly marked as an ad, it doesn’t mean it’s trustworthy. He cites a study by IAB that found that half of viewers could not tell the difference between native ads and actual news, and points out the advertisers are banking on consumers being too unintelligent to know otherwise.And in typical South Park fashion, the show satirized native advertising with an episode called “Sponsored Content.” In one clip, Stephen talks about how he can’t seem to escape the ads.“It’s like I’m in a black void trying to reach the news story, but then the next thing I know, I’m reading an ad for Geico. So I click out of that and try to read the news story, but it’s not a news story, it’s a slideshow.” It’s a familiar scene for many of us who spend time on the internet and feel attacked by advertisements.Ads are still ads, even when they come in the form of a trustworthy looking article. And when only 20% of people can point out a native ad (as you see if some cases), you come to an ethical dilemma. If you look at native advertising as a way to “camouflage your ads to make them look like news stories,” (as Ken Auletta of The New Yorker said in the John Oliver clip) your ad might fall into the evil category.One prominent, real-life case of native advertising gone wrong was an ad from the Church of Scientology. It was published online in The Atlantic, looking like a real article giving a rave review of the church’s leader. Eleven hours later, after the integrity of it was questioned, as well as dispute about the comment section moderation came up, the ad was pulled.Why was the ad so swiftly pulled? In this case, it came down to editorial integrity, and that the ad was not clearly marked as an ad. The article came across like a real endorsement of the Church by The Atlantic, when it was really just an ad. The Atlantic has since then created strict guidelines on native ads.How to Make it Work For YouHow do you make native advertising work for you? I’m not sure if there is a perfect answer for this that works for every situation.One thing I know for sure–the solution to getting consumers to enjoy native advertising lies in producing better content. If an article I’m reading is truly interesting, informative, and truthful, the fact that it’s an ad is okay with me. After all, aren’t we watching the Super Bowl commericals for the entertainment factor? We know we’re watching advertisements, yet we don’t let that take away from the fact that we’re enjoying them. In fact, in one survey consumers said they would actually trust a brand more if their native ad was high quality.Another option? Don’t create ads with the intention of tricking your audience. Those who can tell it’s an ad will see right through you, and those who realize it’s an ad after reading it will feel deceived. The negative view of your brand will stay with them long after they leave the page.So while the solution may not be, as John Oliver suggests, putting news in advertising, it might be creating better advertising and putting it in the right kind of news. If we as marketers focus on creating high-quality content that speaks to our audience, we just might come out on top after all. Originally published Mar 1, 2016 1:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017
We recently looked at Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington’s biggest strengths, and why he’s such a talented deep-ball threat. Washington isn’t perfect, though, and in this article we will discuss his biggest weakness, which isn’t necessarily his own flaw.Washington is the spread’s prototypical big-play receiver. Those receivers will often make their biggest plays on four routes: the streak, the skinny post, and the occasional slant and red zone fade. In most spread systems, the route tree will not be nearly as intricate or detailed as in an NFL system, and that’s especially true for outside receivers.The most common knock on possession receivers in a spread system is both a lack of precision in route running and a lack of diversity in routes. Washington gets almost all of his deep catches off of streaks and skinny posts, and in the red zone gets touchdowns off of fades and the occasional back-side slant tag.Look at Washington’s most common routes:In comparison to the most common NFL routes (some formation-specific):Here’s what NFL Draft analyst Jon Dove had to say about Washington’s limited route usage:“The concerns surround Washington’s game will be his route-running and ability to read coverages. Oklahoma State is one of those teams that run a wide-open spread attack where the receivers as asked to run a limited route tree. This could slow Washington’s transition to the NFL.”Washington is actually a better route runner than many scouts believe. Yes, the routes he runs are limited, but that’s only due to the offense that he plays in. Plus, he runs them well and should be fully capable of learning a more complicated NFL offense with time.But why is this important for college? Well, because of the way he’s used, certain teams can minimize his effectiveness with a good defensive game plan. Washington isn’t a volume receiver who catches 10-12 balls a game. In fact, out of the top 15 players in receiving yards in 2016, Washington was dead last with 71, which was way below the 95-reception average.Additionally, he has never had a double-digit reception game. To put that in perspective for Cowboy fans, OSU’s last great receiver, Justin Blackmon, had six double-digit games in both his sophomore and junior season.As mentioned earlier, teams who have bracketed Washington or spun coverage toward him have often limited his effectiveness. Look at the Kansas game, where he only had one reception for 9 yards, or the Oklahoma game in which he had only two receptions (of course OSU’s leading receiver only had three).This isn’t necessarily Washington’s fault. It’s a result of the offense that the Cowboys run, which is oftentimes hit or miss in the passing game with little intermediate concepts. The good news is that teams won’t be able to bracket Washington as much in 2017 because of how strong the receiving group is as a whole. Although more talent will likely mean a more balanced distribution of receptions across the position group (meaning fewer catches for Washington), it should ultimately prevent any more games where Washington doesn’t come up with any catches.Washington isn’t a perfect receiver and he doesn’t play in a perfect offense. He even has the occasional drop or lapse in concentration. But his talent is undeniable, and when the Cowboys are rolling and completing the deep ball, they’re one of the toughest teams to stop. Hopefully Washington will see yet another productive season in his final season at OSU. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Real Madrid Real Madrid team news: Ronaldo sits out Espanyol clash as Asensio starts Goal Last updated 1 year ago 01:55 28/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty Images Real Madrid Primera División Espanyol v Real Madrid Espanyol The Portugal star is rested for his side’s latest Liga test, as Zinedine Zidane rings the changes and gives the 22-year-old a chance to shine up front Cristiano Ronaldo will play no part in Real Madrid’s latest Liga outing as the defending champions take on Espanyol on Tuesday.Rested ahead of next week’s Champions League clash against PSG, the Portuguese forward was left out of the Madrid squad that visits Barcelona midweek.Marco Asensio is rewarded for his fine recent form with a place up front alongside Gareth Bale, with Karim Benzema left on the bench. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Zinedine Zidane makes a total of five changes from the side that beat Alaves on Saturday. Sergio Ramos returns to the first team, replacing Theo Hernandez, while Dani Carvajal drops to the bench in a further rotation. There is also no place for Casemiro, who dropped out of the squad with a stomach complaint. Marcos Llorente will start in the Brazilian’s place, a rare starting opportunity for the young midfielder in an unfamiliar Madrid line-up.Real Madrid XI: Navas; Nacho, Ramos, Varane, Achraf; Kovacic, Llorente, Isco, Vazquez; Bale, Asensio.Substitutes: Casilla, Theo, Carvajal, Benzema, Mayoral, Oscar, Ceballos.Espanyol XI: Lopez; David Lopez, Navarro, Aaron, Victor, Duarte; Darder, Sanchez, Piatti; Garcia, Gerard.
Transfers ‘I would always put Neymar on my team’ – Rakitic wants the Brazilian back at Barca Sacha Pisani Last updated 1 year ago 11:50 11/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Transfers Barcelona Málaga v Barcelona Primera División PSG Ivan Rakitić Neymar The midfielder talked up the possibility of the Paris Saint-Germain star returning to the La Liga leaders, who defeated Malaga 2-0 Saturday Former Barcelona team-mate Ivan Rakitic said he would immediately open the door for former team-mate Neymar to return to Camp Nou.Neymar left La Liga giants Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record transfer after the Ligue 1 powerhouse activated the Brazil star’s €222million buyout clause in August last year.The 26-year-old forward, who is recovering from a broken foot, has flourished in France but Neymar has been linked with a switch to Real Madrid amid reports he is unsettled in Paris. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Speculation has also linked Neymar with a sensational return to Barca, which head coach Ernesto Valverde rejected, though Rakitic talked up the possibility.”He has not told me anything, but if it’s up to me, I would open the door right now,” Rakitic told reporters following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Malaga.”Not only because of the relationship I have with him, but because of the type of player he is.”I would always put Ney on my team.”Neymar, who suffered a cracked metatarsal in PSG’s 3-0 victory over Marseille last month, has scored 28 goals across all competitions this season but saw his side fall to Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League. Barca, meanwhile, are 11 points clear atop the La Liga table after 28 matches and head into their round of 16 second-leg clash with Chelsea all square at 1-1.