Men Kings of Valentines Day

first_img Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#magneticmedianews Toast to the men… who also deserve to have a Happy Valentine’s Day!#MagneticMediaNewscenter_img Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, February 14, 2017 – It is Valentine’s Day – the day of love expressed with the purchase of candies including chocolates, marked with elaborate dinners and spa treatments and adorned in bouquets of fragrant fantastical roses.  Here is an interesting tidbit from the society of American Florists; In 2010  an estimated 198 million roses were produced for the Valentine’s Day holiday and men purchase about 75 percent of the 110 million roses sold in the U.S. at this time every year. The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provolast_img read more

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2019-09-17

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Star Wars Resistance Episode 16 The New Trooper creates First Order chaos

first_img 23 reasons Star Wars is better than Star Trek Commander Pyre is throwing his weight around on the Colossus. Lucasfilm Knocking out the bully leads to trouble… and opportunity.The 16th episode of CGI animated series Star Wars Resistance sees the First Order continuing its totalitarian tactics on the Colossus refueling platform.After lone Stormtrooper CS-515 (Steve Blum) gives fugitive children/First Order victims Eila (Nikki SooHoo) and Kel (Anthony Del Rio) a hard time, a brief tussle leaves him unconscious. The kids rush to Resistance spy Kazuda Xiono (aka Kaz, played by Christopher Sean) for help.Kaz ends up donning 515’s armor and takes the opportunity to learn more about the First Order’s plans for the platform.spoilers-starwarsThe First Order basically refuses to leaveCaptain Doza (Jason Hightower) confronts the First Order’s Commander Pyre (Liam McIntyre) about its continued presence on the platform after the escape of the pirate spy it came to find, but Pyre claims he intends to hunt down the spy’s accomplice and feigns deference to Doza’s authority (but later kicks him out of his own office).It’s pretty obvious that Doza doesn’t believe him… but when will he take action? The citizens of the Colossus are getting sick of the First Order too, as evidenced by their protest.Also, we got a tease about Doza’s time with the Empire — he tells Pyre that his decision to leave was a “personal choice.”zro-ff-002195Stealing a Stormtrooper’s armor… where have we seen that before? Lucasfilm It’s coming in full force… and now we know its planKaz manages to infiltrate Pyre’s briefing and before getting found out learns that a full garrison is on its way. He escapes after Pyre orders “a full mental wipe and reprogram,” which sounds pretty dark.He also discovers (via a stolen data rod) that the First Order is preparing its fleet for war — we must be getting very close to the events of The Force Awakens — and reasons that it plans to use the Colossus as a refueling point. Now playing: Watch this: Tags 5:26 23 Photos Kaz has some excellent comedic moments too. He tells janitor Opeepit, who’s scrubbing the floors by hand, that he’d have an easier time if he had a floor sweeper… even though he knows the First Order seized it from him (what a jerk!). He also has a fun confrontation with a First Order BB unit, and waves to an unknowing Torra Doza (Myrna Velasco) as he passes her room in full Stormtrooper armor.Star Wars Resistance airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the Disney Channel, DisneyNOW and Disney Channel VOD, and you can check out the official episode guide.. Sean also chatted about this episode on the excellent Ion Cannon podcast — give it a listen! TV and Movies Culturecenter_img Post a comment Share your voice Tam’s getting a new perspectiveTam Ryvora (Suzie McGrath), Kaz’s fellow mechanic, was happy enough to see the First Order making the platform safer, but hearing Eila and Kel’s tale about the militant group wiping out their family gives her pause. She may yet see the truth about the group, and it’s likely she’ll end up joining the Resistance.zro-ff-002203Opeepit the janitor has a thankless role, and Kaz makes it even harder. Lucasfilm Neeku’s coming into his ownOverly literal mechanic Neeku Vozo (Josh Brener) is pretty great this episode, knocking out 515 several times.”Well, I didn’t want him to kill us, Kaz!” he says after hitting the trooper with a wrench.He also agrees with Tam that the First makes him feel safer, “in a threatened by the military kind of way” — sounds like the sentiment of a future Resistance member. Star Wars land: What to expect in Galaxy’s Edge 0 Disney Star Warslast_img read more

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2019-09-10

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For 99 this batterypowered security camera fits over your front door

first_imgRemo+ In this day and age, a front-door security camera probably makes sense. However, unless you’re willing to wire it to your home network — a pretty big installation hassle — Wi-Fi connectivity can be problematic.Here’s a product I didn’t know existed until today, and that solves the Wi-Fi issues in a clever way. For a limited time, and while supplies last, eBay has the Remo+ DoorCam over-the-door security camera for $99 shipped. Original price: $199.See it at eBayThis is clever. The camera part sits on the outside of the door, while the batteries and other electronics are on the inside. That means you should have no problem getting a solid Wi-Fi signal.I have limited experience with security cameras (and no experience with this product), but I will say this: I tried a Blink XT outdoor camera just outside my front door and placed its sync module just inside the door. The connectivity was terrible, to the point where the XT’s batteries typically died in about a month and I constantly received no-signal errors from the app.CNET hasn’t reviewed the Remo+, but this preview from late 2017 provides a lot of details. Meanwhile, around 37 buyers on eBay collectively rated it 4.6 stars.The key thing to know is that, as with most products like these, cloud storage for video recordings isn’t free: It’ll cost you $3 per month or $30 annually. Also, the inside module is pretty large (in part because it has to accommodate three D batteries, which should last you about a year), so it looks like a brick on the back of your door.If you’ve tried one of these yourself, by all means hit the comments and share what you do or don’t like. I like the concept on paper, and $99 seems like a reasonable price.Your thoughts?Bonus deal: If you’d been hoping to snag an iPhone SE before Apple clears them out for good, here’s good news: For a limited time, the iPhone SE is back on stock, starting at $249.See it at AppleThat’s for the unlocked 32GB. You can also get it with 128GB for just $299. Although these are all to be found in Apple’s online clearance store, they’re new, not refurbished.Might there be a new entry-level iPhone coming later this year? It’s definitely on Scott Stein’s wish list. If that happens, SE prices could dip a little further still — though I kind of doubt it. I think if you want a small but capable iPhone, this might be the time to jump.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! • $999 Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors See It Apple iPhone XS Sprint See It reading • For $99, this battery-powered security camera fits over your front door See it $999 $999 Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Security Cameras Phones CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? 28 Comments Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it $999 Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Apple Best Buy Apple See It Boost Mobile Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) See All The Cheapskate Share your voice Tagslast_img read more

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2019-09-10

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Intel Core i99980HK leads secondwave ninthgeneration CPU blitz

first_img 4.3 6/12 For ninth-generation, many of these are minor bumps over their predecessors, albeit not all in the same way. For instance, the mobile i7-9750H has a slightly faster boost clock of 4.5GHz to the i7-8750H’s 4.3GHz, plus an extra 3MB of cache, while the i5-9400H just gets a tiny bump of 0.1MHz in the boost clock.However, the supporting chipset for the ninth-gen mobile processors brings support for Wi-Fi 6 AX200, Intel Optane H10 (which can integrate the storage cache with the SSD), and 128GB RAM.Keep in mind that these are the higher-end processors designed for larger laptops, not the Y and U series processors which power slim or light laptops like ultraportables. Those usually show up near the end of August, in time for you to put sleek, tiny notebooks on your holiday shopping list.Nevertheless, these new processors will be everywhere by the end of May, if not earlier. Intel and Nvidia simultaneously announced their newest mobile parts, guaranteeing a deluge of gaming system updates. Asus, Razer and Lenovo were only a fraction of the gaming notebook makers who told us of their plans in advance.Despite the small advance ninth-generation conveys as well as its certain ubiquity, you’ll probably be able to pick up an older eighth-gen laptop on sale from any major manufacturer in the coming months. However they won’t have the latest generation of Nvidia graphics — no one’s going to put a new GPU with an old CPU, though that’s a marketing, not technology, issue — and that’s something you might miss.As with the mobile processors, what’s most interesting about the desktop CPUs is the arrival of the eight-core/16-thread i9-9900 variants in lower-power, locked versions — in other words, designed for compact desktops and all-in-ones (i9-9900T) or content-creation desktops which don’t require the thermal flexibility to support an overclocked i9-9900K (the i9-9900), and can therefore be smaller but not sacrifice that 5GHz maximum boost. Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: 5.0 i9-9980HK Asus updates every gaming laptop it can think of Base clock Tags i5-9400H Cache The convertible Asus ROG Mothership GZ700GX and its clamshell alter ego, the ROG G703, are among the first to pack the Core i9-9980HK processor. Mark Licea/CNET Intel launched its ninth-generation (aka Coffee Lake refresh) desktop CPUs in October 2018 with its most powerful offerings, and true to form now hits us with its mobile analogs, the H series Core i9, i7 and i5 processors, as well as the stragglers — all 18 of them — of the desktop versions. The eighth-generation Coffee Lake rollout was more notable, bringing with it six- and eight-core processors after years of plodding along with two or four cores. The new top-of-the-line mobile processor, the Core i9-9980HK, is probably the most welcome. Maybe we’ll soon see the monster portables like the Alienware Area-51m, which use the power-guzzling-for-a-laptop i9-9900K desktop processor, switch over so that they don’t need two power connections. Although the Asus ROG Mothership GZ700GX and its clamshell sibling the ROG G703 both use the i9-9980K and still need to double up on the power, so maybe not. Laptops Components Gaming Desktops 4/8 Asus unleashes a barrage of ROG gaming laptops for spring 2.4 1:51 4.6 12MB i7-9850H 12MB 4.8 4.5 4/8center_img New ninth-gen mobile processors 8MB 2.5 2.3 8/16 16MB 6/12 8MB 4.1 Boost clock Asus Intel Lenovo Nvidia Razer i9-9980H 2.6 16MB 8/16 i7-9750H 53 Photos Cores/threads 2.6 2.4 Post a comment 0 i5-9300Hlast_img read more

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2019-09-10

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256 officials promoted to deputy secretaries

first_imgThe government has promoted 256 senior assistant secretaries to deputy secretaries and 574 assistant professors to associate professors, according to UNB.The public administration ministry and education ministry have issued separate notifications in this regard.Those promoted in the civil administration are currently posted in different districts as additional deputy commissioners and in different ministries and organisations.last_img

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2019-09-03

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Confident bosses instill creativity in team workers

first_imgConfidence is the key to making successful and creative leaders which may directly translate into good performance by their subordinates, says a study that examined productive teams at modern workplaces.“When leaders feel confident that they can produce creative outcomes, their subordinates become more creative. It’s that simple,” said study author Dina Krasikova from University of Texas at San Antonio.  Usually, creative leaders have the proper experience to fuel their ideas.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’As a result, they’re more confident. Also, leaders become more confident in their creativity when it is recognised by the senior management.  But what surprised Krasikova is that a leader’s creativity and confidence is contagious.“A factor in this is the power of positive thinking,” said Krasikova, an expert in leadership, in a paper published in the journal Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes. “Leaders can imbue their subordinates with confidence and creativity just by setting an example themselves,” she added. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe study also found that ineffective or abusive leaders create stressful situations for their employees by humiliating them in front of others, playing favourites or not giving their subordinates proper credit for their work.“When you feel stressed, you feel helpless and your productivity and creativity is diminished,” the researcher said. “Many times this originates with the leader. For example, you might come to work unsure of what you’re supposed to be doing because you get conflicting expectations from your direct supervisor or your boss. The solution is clear roles and communication,” she added.Interpersonal relationships between leaders and subordinates, too, play an important role in the team’s performance. “When a confident, creative leader also has good relationship with subordinates, it has even a stronger impact on subordinates’ creativity,” Krasikova said.last_img read more

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2019-08-31

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Google to Make Glass Available to the Massesfor One Day Only

first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free Ok, geeks. Next Tuesday’s your chance.On April 15, Google Glass will be available to everyone in the U.S., not just a handpicked group of “Explorers.”The catch? The price isn’t any lower, which means it’s only available for those with a disposable $1,500. In addition, if you want to join the “Explorer” club, you’ll need to act fast once the clock strikes 6 a.m. PST that morning – according to a Google+ post, supplies will be limited. You can sign up for a “reminder to purchase” here.Google may be known for its cutting edge technologies (and awesome cafeterias), but this is marketing gold.Related: Google Gets Defensive About Google Glass ‘Myths’With a full-fledged consumer release still months away, a limited-day sale allows Google to get more Glass out there for testing and development purposes ahead of the official launch.Google’s high-tech specs have been popping up lately, pilot-tested for everything from police patrols to airport check-ins. Now, news comes that New York City health inspectors may also begin donning Google’s goggles to record restaurant site visits. The year-long trial program, the New York Post reports, would require 10 percent of the 160 health inspectors to wear video devices.For those of you planning to purchase your very own Google Glass come Tuesday, just remember: Don’t be a Glasshole.Related: Coming Soon: Google Glass Ray-Bans April 11, 2014last_img read more

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2019-08-30

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Facebook Apple Spotify pull Alex Jones content

first_imgSocial media platforms have come under considerable criticism for allowing controversial media outlets for as long as ‘fake news’ has been in the public lexicon. But over the past week, major actions against Alex Jones’ content channels suggests that things might be changing. Apple has pulled 5 out of Jones 6 podcasts from iTunes (first reported by Buzzfeed News), while hours later on Monday 6 August Facebook announced it was removing four of Jones’ pages for breaching the platform’s content guidelines. Alongside Facebook’s and Apple’s actions, Spotify also made the decision to remove Jones’ content from the streaming platform and revoke his ability to publish “due to repeated violations of Spotify’s prohibited content policies” according to a Spotify spokesperson. This news comes just weeks after YouTube removed a number of Infowars videos over ‘hate speech’ and initiated a 90 day ban on Infowars broadcasting live via YouTube. Unsurprisingly, the move has come under attack from those who see the move as an example of censorship. Even people critical of Jones’ politics have come out to voice their unease: However, elsewhere, the move is viewed positively with commentators suggesting social media platforms are starting to take responsibility for the content published on their systems. One thing that can be agreed is that the situation is a little confusing at the moment. And although it’s true that it’s time for Facebook, and other platforms to take more responsibility for what they publish, there are still issues around governance and consistency that need to be worked through and resolved. Facebook’s action against Alex Jones – a recent timeline On July 27, Alex Jones was hit with a 30 day suspension by Facebook after the company removed 4 videos from its site that contravened its content guidelines. However, as numerous outlets reported at the time, this ban only effected Jones personally. His channels (like The Alex Jones Channel and Infowars) weren’t impacted. However, those pages that weren’t hit by Jones’ personal ban have now been removed by Facebook. In a post published August 6, Facebook explained: “…we removed four videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies. These pages were the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page…” The post also asserts that the ban is about violation of community standards not ‘false news’. “While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred today’s removals were related to this.” Apple’s action against Alex Jones Apple’s decision to remove 5 of Alex Jones podcasts is, according to Buzzfeed News, “one of the largest enforcement actions intended to curb conspiratorial news content by a technology company to date.” Like Facebook, Apple’s decision was based on the content’s “hate speech” rather than anything to do with ‘fake news’. An Apple spokesperson explained to Buzzfeed News: “Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users… Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.” Spotify’s action against Alex Jones’ podcasts Spotify removed all episodes of The Alex Jones Show podcast on Monday 6 August. This follows the music streaming platform pulling a number of individual episodes of Jones’ podcast at the beginning of August. This appears to be a consequence of Spotify’s new content guidelines, updated in May 2018, which prohibits “hate content.” The takeaway: there’s still considerable confusion over content What this debacle shows is that there’s confusion about how social media platforms should deal with content that it effectively publishes. Clearly, the likes of Facebook are trying to walk a tightrope that’s going to take some time to resolve. The broader question is not just do we want to police the platforms billions of people use, but how we do that as well. Arguably, social media is at the center of today’s political struggles, with many of them unsure how to manage the levels of responsibility that have landed on on their algorithms. Read next Time for Facebook, Twitter and other social media to take responsibility or face regulation Why Wall Street unfriended Facebook: Stocks fell $120 billion in market value after Q2 2018 earnings call Spotify has “one of the most intricate uses of JavaScript in the world,” says former engineerlast_img read more

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2019-08-26

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Cancun is well on its way to another recordbreaking year

first_img Thursday, September 29, 2016 CANCUN – Mexico’s #1 destination shows no signs of slowing down, says the Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau, which recently announced a 2% increase in visitors between January and May 2016 when compared to the same period last year.Arrival data shows that U.S. visitors set a record with 1,057,999 visitors, up 5% when compared to the same time frame in 2015. Other countries included in the top visitors list were Great Britain (49,918 visitors), Argentina (29,575), Brazil (28,054) and Colombia (21,540).“The destination continues to evolve year-after-year, always offering visitors fresh reasons to come back again and again,” said Jesus Almaguer, CEO of the Cancun CVB. “Cancun’s constant commitment to the expansion and diversification of its tourism offerings will lead the city into yet another record-breaking year in arrivals.”Some of the most recent updates in terms of renovations, openings and new builds for Cancun include the adults-only Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, which opened in May in Puerto Morelos, and Turquoize at Hyatt Ziva Cancun, an adults-only haven situated in the heart of the resort that opened in July 2016. Also, Temptation Resort & Spa Cancun has closed for a multi-million-dollar renovation project and will reopen in fall 2017.More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaAs Cancun continues to expand its offerings, the lift on flight restrictions established by the U.S. and Mexican government in August will ease travel for visitors by providing them with more travel options and possibly more affordable airfare. Following the announcement, several airlines have jumped at the opportunity to expand into previously unserved cities.Some of these new routes include flights from Kelowna, BC on Sundays with Sunwing Vacations (running from Nov. 6, 2016-April 9, 2017), and daily non-stop flights from JFK New York with Delta Airlines (beginning Dec. 17, 2016).For more information on travel to Cancun, go to www.cancun.travel. Cancun is well on its way to another record-breaking year Share Travelweek Group Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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2019-08-20

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200 pilots conveniently call in sick forcing ailing Air Berlin to scrap

first_img Share BERLIN — Bankrupt German airline Air Berlin says its existence is threatened by an apparent wildcat strike after 200 pilots called in sick on short notice Tuesday.The ailing carrier was forced to cancel more than 100 flights including trans-Atlantic connections, causing chaos at several German airports.The airline’s chief executive, Thomas Winkelmann, accused pilots of “playing with fire” as the cancelled flights would cost the company several million euros (dollars), making it less attractive to potential buyers.“A stable operation is an essential precondition for successful negotiations,” Winkelmann said. “This is the only way we can protect as many jobs as possible.”German media reported that the airline is in a dispute with pilots about the transfer of staff to a new owner.Air Berlin declared bankruptcy last month following years of losses and the decision of its biggest shareholder, Gulf airline Etihad, to cease payments. Bids to take over Air Berlin must be submitted by Friday. Source: The Associated Press Tuesday, September 12, 2017 Tags: Air Berlin, Travel Alert 200 pilots conveniently call in sick, forcing ailing Air Berlin to scrap flights << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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2019-08-19

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Trafalgars 2020 USA Canada includes new State Explorer trips

first_img Travelweek Group Tags: Trafalgar << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by TORONTO — Trafalgar has released its 2020 USA & Canada program, including new trips and experiences. The company says clients can save 10% off per person on select 2020 USA & Canada trips when paid in full by Dec. 18, 2019. The release of the 2020 program includes the introduction of new ‘Active’ itineraries featuring a walk or a hike most days. Guests can take on different trails best suited to their fitness levels, says Trafalgar. Meanwhile ‘State Explorer’ trips, as the name suggests, give clients a deeper look at specific states and what makes them so unique, in Hawaii, Colorado, California and Massachusetts, home of Martha’s Vineyard.Trafalgar has also announced a brand new concept for its ‘City Explorer’ trips to San Francisco and New York. Trafalgar travellers can choose from included ‘Daily Choice’ options, to tailor their days with hand selected inclusions. New York’s various boroughs and San Francisco’s various districts are all explored with the expertise of ‘Local Specialists’ who are experts in each of these areas, says Trafalgar.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next month“Canadian guests today want a deeper travel experience, as well as seeing all the sights they’ve always dreamed of, and Trafalgar has the balance right,” says Trafalgar’s Global CEO, Gavin Tollman. “We are constantly innovating to offer our guests new, eye-opening experiences expertly planned out by our passionate North American team and are so excited to share the connections we have in this part of the world. Our new JoinTrafalgar trip, deep diving into USA’s Native American culture in particular is something truly different, which we know guests will absolutely love.”Highlights for the 2020 lineup include the new Scenic Wonders of Newfoundland, Labrador and Ile Saint Pierre, an overnight stay in Martha’s Vineyard as part of Trafalgar’s ‘Stays with Stories’ collection and a visit to a family-owned Okanagen Valley winery on The Great Trans-Canadian Journey.center_img Trafalgar’s 2020 USA & Canada includes new ‘State Explorer’ trips Wednesday, June 19, 2019 Sharelast_img read more

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2019-08-19

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By Doug Casey Casey Research Legendary contrari

first_imgBy Doug Casey, Casey Research Legendary contrarian investor and the original International Man Doug Casey takes aim at the US Constitution, from its sneaky beginnings to its encroachments on individual liberty and free markets. Louis: Doug, we’ve threatened to talk about the Constitution many times. Since there’s  increasing interest in the country’s economic and political future, maybe now is a good time to put that into a fuller historical context.. Doug: Good idea. I confess I suspected this was coming up, so I just now read the Constitution again. This is actually something I recommend to everyone. Unfortunately, the Constitution is now a dead letter, but reading it is instructive in a number of ways, and it only takes about ten minutes. One should know the law of the land, even if it no longer applies. That will probably be enough for one conversation, but we should probably also take up the amendments, especially the Bill of Rights, in a future conversation, and then maybe another on the Declaration of Independence – another short document everyone should read. L: Well, some might argue that since the Constitution was ratified with the Bill of Rights attached, they really ought to be considered together, but I’d certainly agree that the later amendments – like the ones establishing and repealing Prohibition – should be a separate conversation. Doug: Thank heaven for the Bill of Rights; it slowed the descent of the US considerably, while it was still taken seriously. So, where to begin… L: How about with the fact that there wasn’t supposed to be a constitution? The Continental Congress authorized delegates to gather to amend and improve on the Articles of Confederation, not to replace them with a new form of government. Doug: I’ve read that James Madison of Virginia showed up with a document called the “Virginia Plan,” bearing close resemblance to the current Constitution, except that it clearly described a single, national government. That didn’t sit too well with the more independent-minded delegates, so they struck the words “national government” and replaced them with “United States,” which went over a lot better. Now, I wasn’t there – and the convention was held behind closed doors – so I hope readers will give me a little wiggle room if they read a book that tells a different story, but my impression has long been that the adoption of the Constitution was actually something of a coup. It replaced a confederation of separate governments with a single super-government. Many people didn’t realize this at the time, or they would have objected. The War Between the States demonstrated the reality of the matter, when people did object. L: I think I’ve read the same books you have. Or maybe I’m just remembering our conversation on the Civil War. Doug: People often gush about what a wonderful thing the Constitution is, but I’ve always suspected that US and world history would be different – and better – if those delegates had done as they were told and just smoothed over the rough spots in the Articles rather than replaced them with the Constitution. Greater independence among the states could have led to more innovation, and I doubt there would have been the unpleasantness of 1861-’65. People with differing ethical values and economic interests would not have been forced to obey the same laws. L: Perhaps. But they did, and we’re stuck with the Constitution we have, for now. Doug: For now. Sometimes I think those who’ve called for a new constitutional convention are on to something, because the one we have now has fallen into almost complete disuse. People talk as though it were carved into the sacred bedrock of the universe, but few people have actually read it, and most of those who have seem to spend their time trying to figure out ways to get out of the clear and simple rules it set out, rather than abide by it. People talk about how it should be a “living document” that evolves with the times. But those people almost always want to abolish what few limitations there are on the government. They want to change the actual working parts of the Constitution, the ones that define and shape the government, not the tedious pages with “Robert’s Rules of Order” type stuff governing how motions are passed in Congress and the like. Curiously, this trivia – about how the president of the Senate is elected and so forth – is the only part of the Constitution that the government still adheres to. It follows the trivia fastidiously but disregards the important parts that designate what the government may and may not do. L: Ah, the irony. But a constitutional convention is a terrible idea, Doug; you know that if we had one now, we wouldn’t get anything like enumerated and restricted powers or the Bill of Rights. The average “educated” person in the US has been taught that the Great Depression proved that capitalism doesn’t work; and the average couch potato believes that work is a tedious imposition to be avoided, rather than a virtue. If a new constitution were drafted today, we’d get unlimited and expansive powers and a Bill of Entitlements. Doug: [Sighs] You’re absolutely right. All institutions – countries, companies, clubs, whatever – inevitably degrade and become corrupt over time. That’s one reason why revolutions occur in countries. But okay, let’s look at the one we’ve got. Some things stand out. Let’s start with the item you tripped over, the power given to Congress to regulate commerce with foreign nations, Indian tribes, and between the states. That was a problematical idea from the get-go. There should be separation of economy and state for the same reason that we have separation of church and state. And there should be a separation of state and education, and everything else that might be provided by society. Otherwise the state will insinuate itself and eventually try to usurp the whole area. Even though the founders’ idea of “regulate” was very different from the current one of total control, it left the door open to misinterpretation. In those days it meant simply to “make regular” or to normalize. The idea, as I understand it, was to ensure a level playing field between the states, since some of the states had sweetheart deals with some states and trade barriers with yet others, greatly complicating business concerning them all. Over the years, this concept has devolved into a blanket power to control every minute detail of any good or service that might cross state lines – or might not even do that, but could affect prices in other states simply by existing wherever it is. What was a very reasonable intent has opened Pandora’s box. And now corporatists, lobbyists, bureaucrats, and influence-peddlers completely control the coercive power of the state and use it to destroy their competition and enrich themselves. L: As opposed to beating the competition in a fair contest in the marketplace. Doug: Yes; we’re told competition is supposed to be “fair,” not “cutthroat” – although both terms are ridiculous misnomers. But Article I, Section 8 is full of things that have been perverted or really shouldn’t be there to start with. It says the Congress has the power to coin money and regulate its value, as well as establish weights and measures. Any sensible person could have told the guys who wrote this that that’s like asking the fox to guard the henhouse. Money is a market phenomenon that’s quite capable of orderly evolution in a free-market environment. Governments are not necessary to establish money and should never be trusted with a monopoly power over money – when they have it, they always abuse it and debase the currency. It happened in ancient Rome and has happened again and again throughout history; it’s the easiest – but also the most destructive – way for the state to get revenue. L: Fine, but you’re an anarchist, and the writers of the Constitution were not. They were practical men of their day, trying to set up a system they thought would work. Keeping the state’s grubby hands off the money supply was not an idea they would have been familiar with… Doug: Not really. Bank notes back then were issued by private companies – banks, gold- and silversmiths, and such. They issued notes stating that so-and-so had X amount of gold or silver on deposit. Many people used all sorts of gold and silver not issued by nor regulated by their local governments for money. If memory serves, in the original colonies that formed the United States of America, Spanish pieces of eight were among the most common items used for money. The framers of the Constitution should have known better. And maybe they did; the Constitution gives Congress the power to coin money, but it doesn’t forbid anyone else from doing the same thing. So anyone could have gone into the business of minting coins for use as means of exchange and stores of value. The market would decide which were the most reliable. L: I wonder when and how competing with the government on that front became a crime. Doug: I’m not sure it is, even today. What the government has done to people who’ve issued private money in recent times, like the creators of the Liberty Dollar, is to prosecute them for counterfeiting, which is spelled out as a crime in the Constitution – but only if you counterfeit the currency of the United States. During the War Between the States, a printer in Philadelphia hit upon the idea of counterfeiting Confederate currency and made a huge amount of money for himself. He was never prosecuted. Washington overlooked it because it aided its war effort. But by late in 1863 it was no longer even worth the man’s effort, because the Confederate dollar had lost so much value – due mostly to the foolish policies of the Confederate government in Richmond. I suspect that was a major, but generally overlooked, contributing factor to the collapse of the South. L: I’ve long thought the North’s victory was largely economic, not military. “Unconditional Surrender” Grant’s bloody march into Virginia was an insanely expensive way to beat Lee. Anyway, you may be right about counterfeiting, but everyone has gotten the message: Money is the state’s turf, and woe unto ye if you trespass. Doug: Yes, we live on a prison planet. Trapped here by the aberrations of human psychology. L: So, what else would you list among Doug Casey’s top ten gripes with the US Constitution? Doug: The provision to establish post offices and post roads. The post office is a paragon of inefficiency and bad service, was never necessary as a government function, and absolutely should never have been a monopoly. And the first roads in America were private toll roads. L: I remember reading that Lysander Spooner competed with the US Post Office in the 1840s, and did a better job at lower cost until the government shut him down. Doug: Once again, the power to establish post offices and post roads is given, but the authority to crush private competition is not. The first power was later interpreted to include the second, and so it’s been with everything in the Constitution ever since it was written. Things like this and the power to coin money were the camel’s nose under the tent flap; now the state camel has filled the tent, and there’s hardly any room for individual freedom. L: Okay, what else? Doug: The item setting up copyrights and patents was, at least arguably, another mistake along these lines, and for the same reasons. As a writer who wants to benefit from the effort I put into using words to communicate valuable information, I’m a bit ambivalent about that, but I don’t see how it’s possible for anyone to own an idea, and I’m sure getting the government involved is a bad move. L: We published a conversation with our friend Paul Rosenberg on the subject of “intellectual property.” His conclusion was that the state’s involvement has become useless anyway. All creators can do now is adapt to the marketplace. Doug: It’s interesting to me that in spite of all the hand-wringing on this subject, the ongoing demise of patents and copyrights has not stopped inventors from inventing, nor musicians or writers from creating. In fact, wikis and open-source projects have created many valuable things. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks really just turned into a bonanza for lawyers. I do want to benefit from my intellectual work, but I suspect Paul is right; all we can do is adapt. It’s also interesting to me that aside from counterfeiting, which we’ve already mentioned, there are only two other crimes mentioned in the Constitution. One is piracy, and the other is treason. Today, nobody knows for sure how many crimes there are on the books, but it’s thought that there are over 5,000 crimes defined in federal law. I’ve read that the average US citizen breaks three federal laws every day, intentionally or otherwise. And now many federal agencies have armed – sometimes heavily armed – branches that round up people and prosecute them for these so-called crimes. I suppose I could live with just three federal laws – piracy, counterfeiting, and treason would be easy to remember, at least. L: But counterfeiting wouldn’t be a federal crime if we got the government out of the money business, as you suggest. Doug: That’s right, and piracy could be handled by letters of marque and reprisal, as it was in the old days. L: What about treason? Doug: Well… you could look at that as the state’s right to self-defense – but let me just ask: when the state becomes unjust, what is a just man or woman to do? L: On an ethical plane, the answer is clear, but on a practical plane, that’s a tough one. Doug: Indeed. Another thing worth covering is the power to declare war. The authors of the Constitution were rightly worried about leaders with the power of kings to plunge nations into war for personal or imagined grievances, so they gave the power to declare war to Congress. But like everything remotely sensible about the Constitution, that too has been set aside. The US has had numerous wars, one after the other, for decades – but the last time Congress actually declared war was World War II. L: Really? I thought Korea was declared. Doug: No, that was a “police action.” Technically, it was a UN police action against North Korea, but in reality it was a war between the US and China. At any rate, it’s just another example of how thoroughly ignored the Constitution is in the US. The president can now unilaterally send US troops anywhere to do almost anything. In fact, he can do almost anything, period… at least, if media lapdogs are able to justify and rationalize it. L: Wasn’t it Henry Kissinger who said that doing something illegal was no problem and that doing something unconstitutional just took a little longer? Doug: “The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer.” You’ve got to admit Henry is a clever guy. Come the day I write an obit for him, perhaps I’ll subtitle it: Comedian and War Criminal. L: Okay, okay, I get the picture. I don’t think we need to go through every clause to see how far the US has fallen from the America That Was. That prompts me to say to those who think this conversation shows that we hate America that just the opposite is true. Personally, I love the idea that was America, and I still love the land of America, from sea to shining sea. What I loathe and despise is the corruption being visited upon her by the maggots in Washington, D.C. who’ve been gutting all that is good and noble about her. At any rate, we’ve been saying for a long time that all is not well in Mudville. Are there any practical implications to this conversation? Investment implications? Doug: It’s yet another sign that the US has gone way beyond the point of no return. You can’t make a sensible investment in a country which doesn’t have the rule of law; you can only speculate – which is to say, try to capitalize on politically caused distortions in the market. There’s no way the US federal government can or will return to observing the Constitution; it’s just something it pays lip service to – and then only rarely. When you’re on a slippery slope that’s rapidly turning vertical, it’s no longer a question of if there will be a painful stop at the bottom, only when. L: Does your guru sense give you any feeling for how close we are to that crash? Doug: You know I don’t like to predict what and when at the same time, but I can’t make myself believe it can be put off too much longer – a couple of years at most. And it could still quite possibly happen this year. L: In which case we invest for crisis, as you’ve been saying all along. Doug: Yet another reason, yes. We’re headed for a genuinely historic time of troubles. L: Roger that. Until next week, then. Doug: Travel safe, and see you soon. Personally, I dread and despise the interrogation and searching one gets from ICE when entering the US. But I suppose it’s no more degrading than the grope from the TSA. No problem though – it must be somewhere in the Constitution. I better read it again. L: Sure, Doug, it’s right next to the clause granting everyone free health care, free education, and a free lunch. Doug: [Laughs] [The government’s trampling of the Constitution threatens to wipe out the wealth of countless savers, but you can protect yourself if you act in time.]last_img read more

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2019-08-04

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You can read all about our specific stock picks e

first_img You can read all about our specific stock picks, exactly how you can access them, and much more in the new special report, Crisis Investing in Cyprus. Click here for more details. Inside this new guidebook, Doug and I take a firsthand look at the economic turmoil and opportunity left in the wake of the crisis. This is a must-have resource for anyone interested in speculative opportunities. I think you will be as excited as we are once you learn about the crisis-driven bargains that we found and detail in Crisis Investing in Cyprus. Recently, legendary crisis investor Doug Casey and I put our boots to the ground in Cyprus to search the rubble of one of recent history’s most significant financial crises—the financial collapse and bank deposit raid in Cyprus—for incredible bargains. And we found them. In this newly released video interview below, Doug and I detail the tremendous speculative opportunities available on the Cyprus Stock Exchange.last_img read more

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2019-08-04

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In This Issue Fed loses patience Lower pr

first_imgIn This Issue. * Fed loses patience * Lower projections * Dollar took a big hit * Norges and SNB hold And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts.Roller Coaster Ride.Good day.And welcome to Thursday morning. I’ll let Frank Trotter greet you this morning, so take it away Frank. “San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina – The day dawned early for us in Cafayate, and brilliant.  To the west behind our villa the snow-capped peaks of the Andes made a rare appearance.  Cachi Mountain, 90 miles north at the head of the valley stood imposing.  A rain last night in the Quebrada provides some excitement as I drove to the airport.  Mud and rock slides had been mostly cleared by crews leaving pools of water and slippery spots on the winding canyon road.  Glad we didn’t meet a tour bus or a semi in the midst of one of those surprises. A scene at the airport made me think of the late Hy Minsky, a former colleague and well known and respected economist.  According to my posthumous application of his research, the run up in housing prices well above the inflation rate that caused the crisis in 2008 was created by a series of events.  First, major changes to government policies concerning acceptable mortgage transactions in 1992 and 2008.  Additional regulatory changes on the same topic in 1997 and 1998 added fuel to the fire.  Second, the fiscal deficit expansion starting in 2002 generated by the otherwise welcome tax cuts that have been covered so frequently here, threw on a few more logs allowing individuals to spend the extra income including buying homes at higher and higher prices.  Next the monetary base expansion post 2001, accompanied by a sporty multiplier worked as traditionally modeled helping to boost prices generally, including housing.  Finally let’s not forget credit – they lynchpin of Minsky’s work.  Banks and other lenders reacted to clients requesting liquidity from their newfound home values providing loans based on the newly inflated values, and of course some lenders pushed this way too hard as we have seen.  So we have all the pieces in place – unjustified asset price increases, significant government stimulus, and a massive credit expansion creating a top heavy leverage.  The story is told time and time again. In Salta at the airport there is a protocol.  Everyone sits at the gate inside security until it is almost time to board.  Then we passengers are to line up in three places based on our seat assignment, and standing.  It’s a little like the Southwest Airlines A, B, and C lines before they instituted the line-up by number protocol.  The Minsky Moment comes when the first person (that would be me) stands and joins the appropriate line.  Inside of 2 minutes everyone is on their feet and in line – a truly entertaining spectacle that I love to create.  In financial markets there are a few who exit early – maybe they sold their homes in 2007 in wonderment of the price irrationality.  Then a few more, then almost everyone has a for sale sign in the yard creating a tumbling price market.  When the asset is highly leveraged this effect compounds, in the USA creating 2008 for example.  Looking out over the landscape I note that we have seen 6 excellent years in the equity markets, accompanied by an increasing leverage that I spoke about in the Pfennig last Sunday.  Do the markets keep on their upward path or does someone rise from their seat and get into the B line?” What a difference a day makes! As soon as I saw the headline where the Fed removed patient from their language, I was prepared for the worst. The trading screens lit up like a Christmas tree, but all of the action wasn’t consistent with how the script was supposed to play out, according the most market pundits leading up to the meeting. Yes, the numerous calls that patient was to be removed came to fruition but the Fed really shook things up when they came off as having a dovish undertone. Chuck took some time out of his vacation and had this to share with us. “I thought I would throw my 2-cents in this whole FOMC meeting yesterday.  Well, I see that the FOMC and their fearless leader, Janet Yellen, has lost her patience with the kids.  But, also said that she and her band of merry Fed members decided that they were going to remain cautious on a timeline for raising key interest rates.  They are still wanting to see inflation, as measured by the stupid CPI, reach 2% (it’s presently lagging below that number, somehow. )  and the economic data strengthen before moving rates higher. so why drop the word that so accurately describes what they are being?  Patient?   At the last meeting, they threw out using the phrase “considerable time” and now they’ve thrown out “patient”, one would think that they are simply greasing the tracks for a rate hike at the next meeting, why wait until June?   But then there’s that use of the word “cautious” .  And here’s where I think the FOMC is hedging their bet.  For if the data including inflation doesn’t respond accordingly, the FOMC could point to it and say, “wasn’t it good that we were cautious?”  And if the data does, miraculously respond accordingly, then they can simply say, ” it didn’t hurt that we were cautious”.  As I’ve told you before, my dad used to say to me, “Chuck, money talks, and B.S. walks”.  I don’t know why that saying just came to me, for I would never tie that to what is being said about rate hikes.  Never! Never I tell you! You can’t make me! No way! I’m not going to do it!… And the markets? Well, the dollar got sold like funnel cakes at a state fair after the Fed’s admission that the economy had slowed. It was quite the scene.  And last I looked Gold rallied $23.  But you have to ask yourself this. Why on earth would traders throw their positions in dollars away, when they put all their convictions into believing the Fed is going to hike rates this year eventually? Well, have you ever heard of a short squeeze?  It’s all about being short and having to cover, which leads to a price rise and that causes other shorts to have to be closed out and before you can shake a stick, the short positions have been squeezed out.   That’s what all this looks like to me, no change of heart, no having a V-8 head slap that the dollar’s rally has all been fabricated. At least not yet. that is.” Thanks again Chuck. Aside from the Fed meeting, it was a quiet day for data since a report of last week’s mortgage apps was the only other player in the lineup. Obviously, the Fed meeting far outweighed the drop in mortgage apps, but I at least wanted to mention it. We don’t have any US data due out tomorrow, so today’s weekly jobs numbers, current account balance, and leading indicators will wrap it up for this week. Moving back to the Fed, removal of the magic word (patient) had been interpreted as a rate hike was only two months away but downgrades made to both growth and inflation expectations pretty much ruled that out. With that said, calls for a June hike are now being pushed to September or December. In a portion of its statement, the Fed said the committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2% objective over the medium term. They went on to say inflation has declined further below the committee’s longer run objective. As far as inflation is concerned, its pretty tough for a central bank to justify a rate hike when inflation is being reported as low as it is. The big market mover was the new look of the dot chart in which all of the Fed members plot where they see interest rates going forward. The median estimate for the Fed funds rate projection for year-end dropped nearly in half to 0.625% from the previous 1.125% forecast. The 2016 figures were also chopped as they now see rates at 1.875% instead of the previous estimate of 2.5%. In other words, interest rates are expected to increase, but not nearly as much or as steep. As far as the currency market is concerned, I saw a report saying the dollar had its worst one day performance six years. With the way currencies had been getting beaten up, yesterday’s reprieve was very much needed. Just about every currency had gains of at least 1% on the day and more than a handful of them put up over 2% gains. As Chuck mentioned, the weeks leading up to this meeting saw the market getting overloaded on long dollar positions so the closing of those trades that were made with the anticipation a June hike was a sure thing had fueled a majority of the large gains yesterday. At one point, the euro was in the top spot among the various currencies as it traded over 1.09 and a sat on a 3% gain. Prior to the Fed statement, the Brazilian real was down about 1% and fell to a 12 year low as Fitch said they are reviewing the nation’s credit rating so there’s concern its current investment grade status could be in jeopardy. The Swedish krona was also firmly entrenched in negative territory during early trading after the central bank cut rates again and pushed the benchmark repo rate further into negative territory to -0.25%. Even with the bad news, both currencies still put up over 1% gains yesterday. Other than that, the Fed meeting was in the captain’s seat steering the currencies higher. As I came in this morning, the initial knee jerk reaction of the Fed meeting is behind us and the market has attempted to digest the happenings of yesterday. The dollar has been able to gain back a good chunk of ground so far this morning as the euro is trading around 1.0720 and the dollar index has settled in the mid-98 range. After all of the dust settled, the markets are back to counting their chickens before they hatch as rate hike prospects are still on the table. The Fed didn’t specifically rule out a June hike, but some economists are still hanging on to that glimmer of hope for some reason, but the expectations are that we will see at least one rate increase this year. The Norwegian krone has honors this morning with a 1.36% gain, and the only currency in positive territory, as their central bank, Norges Bank, surprised the markets by keeping rates on hold at 1.25%. Policy makers said if economic developments are broadly in line with projections, the prospects for a reduction in the key policy rate are present. In other words, we are going to see a rate cut as soon as the next meeting. The Swiss National Bank met as well and kept rates on hold but cut growth and inflation expectations. It was also mentioned they will remain active in the foreign exchange market, as necessary, in order to influence monetary conditions and was in response to the rise in the franc after the cap was lifted. This translates into we don’t want the franc to appreciate.That does it for today, so until tomorrow, have a great day!Currencies today 3/19/15. American Style: A$ .7656, kiwi .7386, C$ .7864, euro 1.0649, sterling 1.4837, Swiss $ 1.0070,  . European Style: rand 12.2705, krone 8.0872, SEK 8.7216, forint 285.01, zloty 3.8837, koruna 25.755, RUB 60.12, yen 120.91, sing 1.3859, HKD 7.7595, INR 62.59, China 6.1460, pesos 15.3135, BRL 3.2598, Dollar Index 98.96, Oil $42.81, 10-year 1.94%, Silver $15.84, Platinum $1,114.10, Palladium $771.10, and Gold. $1,162.40Mike Meyer Vice President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

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2019-08-04

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Chances are you havent heard about nootropics ye

first_imgChances are, you haven’t heard about nootropics yet. They’re still pretty far out of the mainstream. But they’re beginning to gather some steam as they head for the public consciousness (pun intended), and it seems likely they’ll be getting increasing press in the near future. So what are they? Wikipedia says nootropics are also known as “smart drugs, memory enhancers, neuro enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and intelligence enhancers,” and “are drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals, and functional foods that improve one or more aspects of mental function, such as working memory, motivation, and attention.” The term was coined in 1972 by Romanian psychologist Corneliu Giurgea and is a synthesis of the Greek words for “mind” and “to bend or turn.” Giurgea synthesized piracetam, the first nootropic, in 1964, and he subsequently established a set of criteria these drugs should meet. For him, nootropics must enhance learning, increase the coupling of the brain’s hemispheres, and improve executive processing (which involves tasks such as planning, paying attention, and spatial awareness). It was also important to him that the drugs be nontoxic and nonaddictive. As he put it in his book Fundamentals to a Pharmacology of the Mind: “Man is not going to wait passively for millions of years before evolution offers him a better brain.” That seems inarguable. History affirms that there’s a basic human drive to improve ourselves between the ears. But can nootropics actually accomplish this? Before answering that question, a distinction must be made. Wikipedia’s definition features synonyms such as “cognitive enhancers” and “smart drugs.” This is a source of some confusion, since much of what you may read on the subject of nootropics includes in that category such prescription drugs as Adderall, Ritalin, and the like. These are amphetamines or amphetamine-like substances that were originally intended to treat specific conditions, such as ADHD, sleep apnea, shift-work disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, and narcolepsy. But they are increasingly taken these days for off-label purposes. Adderall, for example, is as freely available as pot on college campuses at the moment. It’s the drug of choice as a study aid, especially when deadlines are involved. Amphetamines have the brief but efficient effect of promoting mental clarity and enabling increased focus. In that sense, they are cognitive enhancers, but they are often erroneously classified as nootropics, which, as Giurgea posited, must be nontoxic and nonaddictive. These medications are neither, plus they carry the risk of serious side effects. A nootropic, on the other hand, is a nutritional supplement designed to improve brainpower in healthy adults over extended periods of time—safely. Even excluding the aforementioned prescription drugs, the range of potential nootropics is wide. A whole host of naturally occurring foods and herbs—everything from ginseng to krill oil, grapeseed extract, yerba mate, even licorice, and many, many more—are touted as having nootropic properties. But for our purposes, let’s concentrate on the newer, more exotic compounds that are attracting the most attention. A sampler (with acknowledgments to Nootriment, the most comprehensive website out there): The “racetams.” As noted above, piracetam was Giurgea’s original creation, but its group now includes many newer arrivals that purport to be stronger and/or better, such as aniracetam, oxiracetam, coluracetam, nefiracetam, and pramiracetam. Racetams work by increasing levels of neurotransmitters and other chemicals required for proper brain function. Tests have shown that they improve cognitive function and increase the communication between the two hemispheres of the brain. Noopept. The newest kid on the block. Not technically a racetam, though it is derived from this class and has similar mechanisms of action. Said to be over 1,000 times more concentrated than piracetam. Seen as being effective for disorders such as depression and anxiety. It activates receptors for dopamine as well as selective serotonin receptors and increases levels of nerve growth factor, which is a hormone involved in the maintenance and repair of healthy brain cells. Choline. A compound that naturally occurs in many foods and has been added to the B-complex family of vitamins. It’s the precursor of acetylcholine, a crucial brain chemical necessary for the development and maintenance of healthy brain-cell membranes to ensure effective signaling, structural integrity, and neuronal fluidity. Those heavily involved with nootropics (so-called “noonauts”) usually take a combination of ingredients—a practice called “stacking”—and some form of choline is part of every stack. Pyritinol. A synthetic derivative of Vitamin B6, pyritinol is a precursor of dopamine, which it transforms into once it successfully crosses the blood/brain barrier. Pyritinol can improve attention span, facilitate recall, elevate mood, and eliminate hangovers. It also aids in glucose uptake, which can be beneficial during periods of mental strain that diminish the glucose stores on which the brain depends for its energy. Vinpocetine. A biosynthetic derived from an alkaloid found in the periwinkle plant. It’s a cerebral vasodilator that improves and increases blood flow specifically to the brain; blood pressure in other parts of the body is not affected. It’s been shown to increase the levels of many of the most important brain neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, noradrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine, as well as ATP, the primary source of intracellular energy. Adrafinil. The precursor to the prescription medication modafinil. Modafinil—possession of which is a felony without a prescription—belongs to a class of drugs known as “eugeroics,” which promote mental alertness without the side effects of amphetamines, for which they are used as a substitute. It stimulates hormones like epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. The jury is out on modafinil’s long-term safety and susceptibility to abuse. But committed noonauts take it (or adrafinil) anyway. All of this leads to some big questions. First, of course, is: do nootropics work? The answer: probably. While the evidence with some is anecdotal, there has been a surprising amount of scientific research done on others. Citations are available on the Nootriment website (although you have to dig around a bit to find them). Second, are they safe? They seem to be. But since nootropics have only arrived relatively recently, long-term effects are generally unknown… so we can’t be sure. And of course, the consequences are unpredictable if someone mixes up a big stack combination of his or her own devising. Third, are they legal? Yes. Apart from prescription drugs like Adderall and modafinil, possession of nootropics in any amount is legal for US citizens. However, they cannot be marketed as supplements, but only for purposes of “education and research.” This restriction is the responsibility of the seller and doesn’t apply to the consumer. Note also that other countries may have different laws. Finally, is there any way to invest in nootropics? Since they’re already very popular in Silicon Valley, it’s likely just a matter of time before acceptance becomes much more widespread. They could develop into very big business indeed. But it’s not one that many public companies are jumping into. One problem is likely the constraints on vendors’ abilities to market these substances as supplements. But almost certainly, the primary reason is that nootropics are already in the public domain, and exclusivity cannot be had. Most manufacturing is done in China and India. Thus, for example, while a big drug company like Belgium’s UCB does make piracetam, it’s a very small part of UCB’s business. The only pure play we can find is Optigenex Inc. (OTC Pink: OPGX), makers of AC-11, a patented botanical extract that’s the main ingredient in a nootropic blend called AlphaBrain, from private company Onnit Labs. It trades for about a penny a share with close to zero volume. Not a very good bet. It’s possible that a way to profit from nootropics will crop up in the future, as (and if) the drugs catch on. But that remains to be seen.last_img read more

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2019-08-04

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In This Issue UK election results send pounds

first_imgIn This Issue. * UK election results send pounds soaring! * Chinese exports and imports disappoint. * Catching up with Don Brash. * Gold continues to find shaky ground….And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts.A Jobs Jamboree Friday.Good day.. And a Happy Friday to one and all! I’m a little shaky this morning, so right now, I could go either way, good or bad day, so let’s just hope for the good day, and move on. I was treated by friends Kevin and Lisa to the baseball game yesterday. A beautiful day, a wonderfully pitched game by my beloved Cardinals, and a win to finish up a 3 of 4 series with the Cubs, and a 9-2 home stand. I absolutely love baseball parks, when you first walk in you get the aroma of hot dogs, and other things being cooked, then you come out of the tunnel and see the lush green field, and the crack of a bat hitting a ball, people cheering. Well, there have been some developments and news overnight, so I better stop talking about baseball parks and get to work! Front and Center this morning. Well, it appears that all the talk about a toss-up vote in the U.K. was just that, talk. Because. The Conservatives of PM Cameron picked up enough seats to probably not only for a Government, but also have a majority Government. And the pound sterling (pound) has gone on a moon shot higher! The pound is up 2 full cents overnight and looks like it wants to go even higher when the election results are confirmed.  This election result is a HUGE surprise to everyone that was following the run-up to voting, so the knee-jerk reaction by pound traders is probably to be expected. As far as the rest of the currencies this morning, we’re seeing some dollar strength ahead of the all so important Jobs Jamboree here in the U.S. this morning. Remember Fed member, Lockhart told us that this April report will be a key in decided whether rates will be raised in June or not. For those of you who give a hoot (because I’m not one!) about what the BLS surveys and hedonic adjustments have to say today, the expectations are for 228,000 jobs to have been created, whether out of thin air or not…  You know, one thing that the media or markets fail to discuss every month when the jobs report prints, is the fact that Manufacturing Jobs here in the U.S. are dropping and simply not adding to the jobs total.  I find this to be very scary for the U.S. going forward. But since the markets and media don’t seem to think it’s a problem,  I’m probably just making a mountain out of a mole hill. The Chinese printed some very weak data last night that not only signals that the slowdown in China continues, but that the global economy / growth, is also going to continue to slowdown. China’s exports unexpectedly fell in April by 6.2% from a year earlier. Imports also fell 16.1% VS a year ago, which shows the domestic economy is as slow as molasses. And all the good performance of the renminbi / yuan this week was stopped and the currency was weakened on the data last night. Here in the U.S. Consumer Credit (read debt) spiked in March from $14.789 Billion to $20.523 Billion.  Now this spike could be viewed two ways. I’ll let you decide for yourself which way you think it should be viewed, and then take a guess at which way you think I view it.  Here we go. 1. This is evidence consumers are beginning to feel confident about taking on debt, to finance purchases, which could revitalize the economy.  OR 2. That Consumers are using their credit cards just to survive. The euro is down another ½-cent this morning. Greece, the Jobs Jamboree, China’s slowdown, it’s all piling up on the poor beleaguered euro, after having a nice recovery in April the euro is back to taking hits to the midsection..  But that could all change today, should the Jobs Jamboree disappoint.  But like I said the other day, I’m convinced that the BLS will see to it that the Jobs Jamboree is not disappointing!   The yield on German 10-year Bunds spiked from .50 to .78 in one day’s trading yesterday, and then settled down a bit. it was a crazy day all around the world with spikes in all asset classes good and bad. Here in the U.S. the 10-year Treasury saw a two-day spike that took the yield from 2.13% to 2.27%, only to see it settle down to 2.15% this morning.  And the price of Oil which had spiked earlier this week to $61.90, has fallen back to $58.88 this morning..  Apparently, the U.S. production has slowed, but the stockpiles of Oil continue to rise. In fact the stockpiles are more than 100 Million barrels above the 5-year average for this time of year. The Aussie dollar (A$) is basically flat to up a bit this morning, as the A$ attempts to gain back the lost ground this week after hitting 80-cents earlier in the week. The A$’s kissin cousin across the Tasman has seen its value whacked this week, after Traders felt the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ)  might be considering a rate cut soon. Longtime readers, and I mean longtime, will recall when Don Brash was the Gov. of the RBNZ, and how I always talked about him in high regards, as a Central Banker that believed in instilling the pride of a country with a strong currency.  Those types of Central Bankers (and there were few even then!) don’t really exist any longer, as all have gone to the same Central Banker College, where they teach them how to debase their currencies as a means of promoting economic growth, and exports. Isn’t there anyone out there that didn’t go to this college?  Maybe I’ll start my own college for Central Bankers! HAHAHAHAHAHA! As if! I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy! – Wayne and Garth! Well, I told you all that to tell you that I was in contact with Don Brash yesterday. He was kind enough to send me birthday wishes last month, and so I sent a note of thanks to him and asked him to “come on our show”.  That won’t work right now, but maybe sometime in the future it will be worked out.. I tell you when it does, it will be a HUGE treat for you dear readers, for this man not only has his finger on the pulse of the economy, the central bank, but also the country’s politics. So, I look forward to when he is ready to “come on our show”. Gold is flat to up a buck or two this morning. No big shakes, at least not right now ahead of the Jobs Jamboree. Like I said above, I suspect the BLS will make certain that the Jobs Jamboree doesn’t disappoint, and if that holds true, then I would suspect that Gold would get whacked today.  Of course the opposite could occur should we get disappointed.   The other day I talked about how I hadn’t seen any articles on bullionstar.com that Google+ posts by Gold researcher, Koos Jansen, and then voila! I find one! Apparently Koos Jansen got interviewed by the largest Newspaper in the Netherlands. And apparently, Koos Jansen, isn’t his real name! it’s Jan Nieuwenhuijs.  So, Koos, or Jan, titled his interview “China Conquers The World With Gold”.  So, I read through the interview. great stuff. as always I must say!  Here’s a snippet for the article that can be read in its entirety here or you can settle for my snippet!  https://www.bullionstar.com/blogs/koos-jansen/biggest-newspaper-netherlands-interviews-koos-jansen/ When asked about Gold’s relevancy in today’s world. “Oh it’s relevant, the base of each financial system remains confidence. Throughout history goldsmiths and banks could create a multiple of the gold in their vaults as paper and book money. But the people knew that there was always a partial backing held in reserve. The United States dollar was backed by gold until 1971. Money has been printed full speed since then. As the European Central Bank is now doing in the Eurozone. Through leverage massive debt structures are built that are not sustainable. For the moment, the Chinese support the United States dollar. But its leaders want absolutely no more dollars. They buy gold. On a massive scale. However, only half of Chinese gold demand turned out to be in the books.” – Koos Jansen I’ll skip the U.S. Data Cupboard talk today, since it’s all about the Jobs Jamboree today anyway. So, let’s hit the recap, and then the Big Finish! To recap. the U.K. election was everything but a toss-up as was talked about leading up to the vote. The Conservatives appear to have won a majority and will be able to form a government, which has allowed the pound to jump 2-cents overnight. Now that the election is over, the focus switches to the U.S. Jobs Jamboree, which is expected to show 228,000 jobs created in April. And Chuck believes the BLS will make certain they don’t disappoint us!  And Chinese exports and imports slump indicating that not only is the Chinese economy slow, but the global economy is also slow. For What It’s Worth. Dear reader, Bog G. sent me a link to an article on zerohedge.com  and it plays well with the Jobs Jamboree print today. So, here are some snippets, and of course you can read the whole article here: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-07/texas-job-recession-now-literally-chart “But while there may be massive confusion when it comes to the data propaganda and the clear agenda behind the seasonally-adjusted, policy-specific government data, there is no confusion when it comes to one thing: the job recession in Texas has not been this bad since the last of the second Great Depression. Recall what we said last month when we “welcomed” Texas to the recession with some 47,043 layoffs through March: … when broken down by state, things get bad for Texas, very bad. As in recession bad, because with 47K total layoffs, or 10K more than all energy-related layoffs, in just this one state so far in 2015, it means that the energy sector weakness has moved beyond just the oil patch and has spread to the broader economy and related industries in the one state that until recently had the best jobs track record since Lehman. Fast forward to today when we find that what we thought was bad for Texas with 47K layoff announcements in the highest-paid energy sector, just got far, far worse when in its monthly update earlier today, Challenger announced that just in the month of April another 22,760 jobs were lost in Texas, bringing the total to a whopping 69,803 layoff announcements.” Chuck again. But I’m sure the BLS has an answer or solution to this report of all these layoffs. Currencies today 5/8/15. American Style: A$ .7910, kiwi .7440, C$ .8265, euro 1.1225, sterling 1.5430, Swiss $1.0820, . European Style: rand 12.0380, krone 7.4590, SEK 8.2740, forint 270.65, zloty 3.6245, koruna 24.4120, RUB 50.55, yen 120.15, sing 1.3295, HKD 7.7540, INR 63.93, China 6.1147, pesos 15.29, BRL 3.0250, Dollar Index 94.76, Oil $58.88, 10-year 2.15%, Silver $16.37, Platinum $1,136.66, Palladium $786.80, and Gold. $1,186.62 That’s it for today.  Well, this Sunday is Mother’s Day, so it’s Mother’s Day Weekend. It’s supposed to be a rainy weekend, so hopefully that’ll end by Sunday, for the moms deserve a beautiful day.  For all of you who still have your mom around. Give her a Big Hug and tell her you love her.  I lost my mom on New Year’s Eve 1997, but I never quit thinking about her, and how she was my biggest fan, and how she would sit in the basement while we would play our guitars, and tell us how good we sounded. In those days, our Little League (Khoury League) started their games on  Mother’s Day Weekend. We would almost always spend that Mother’s Day Weekend at the ballpark, while I played baseball. So. I miss my mom, even though it’s been so long now that she’s gone. I think she would enjoy this little poem and for all you moms out there, I hope you do too! Of all the Special joys in life, The big ones and the small A mother’s love and tenderness Is the greatest of them all. There is no blessing Quite so dear. As a mom like you To love year after year. Happy Mother’s Day to all you  beautiful moms out there! Chuck Butler Managing Director EverBank Global Marketslast_img read more

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2019-08-04

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Cancer drugs that speed onto the market based on e

first_imgCancer drugs that speed onto the market based on encouraging preliminary studies often don’t show clear benefits when more careful follow-up trials are done, according to research published Tuesday. These cancer drugs are granted accelerated approval to give patients faster access to the treatments and to allow drug companies to reap the economic rewards sooner. As a condition of this process, the Food and Drug Administration requires drug companies to conduct more research, to confirm whether the medications actually work and are safe.In 2018, the FDA looked back on 93 cancer drugs granted accelerated approval and touted that only five had been removed from the market over a 25-year span. A research team at Harvard Medical School’s Program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law dug deeper to see what had happened with the rest.In the follow-up studies, only 19 of the 93 drugs clearly extended the lives of the patients taking them, according to the study, published in the latest JAMA Internal Medicine. For example, Genentech’s Avastin, or bevacizumab, won accelerated approval to treat the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma, but the drug did not extend the lives of patients in a follow-up study.Sometimes patients value drugs because they improve their quality of life. This drug didn’t do that either, yet the FDA left it on the market as an approved treatment for glioblastoma.”So that was the most baffling thing,” says Bishal Gyawali, an oncologist on the research team. “I find it very difficult to understand.”The researchers said follow-up studies for these cancer drugs often didn’t even use overall survival or improved quality of life as the benchmark.Instead, many used the same measure that formed the basis for their preliminary approval — for example, tumor shrinkage. Those targets, called “surrogate endpoints,” often don’t predict who will live longer or more comfortably. “How can we use the same surrogate endpoint and say they have clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial?” Gyawali asks, when that endpoint clearly wasn’t sufficient for full approval of the drug at the outset. (Gyawali is now at Queens University in Ontario.) “The reason for giving these approvals should be transparent,” he says, but the FDA doesn’t explain its reasoning.A second study in the same issue looked at cancer drugs approved based on a specific surrogate endpoint called “response rate.” Response to a drug can be anything from spectacular and complete remission to weak and transitory shrinkage of a tumor. And these responses don’t necessarily mean people will live longer or be more comfortable.The study looked at 59 cancer drugs approved initially on the basis of their response rate and found that just six eventually won regular approval based on their overall survival benefit.Studies based on response rate don’t include a comparison group, so the scientists at Oregon Health and Science University argue that it’s difficult to say whether these new drugs are better than other drugs already on the market.Sometimes there is no comparison group because these are rare cancers, or the drug targets a rare mutation in a common cancer, so it’s difficult to pull together a study that randomizes patients into different treatment groups, says Dr. Richard Schilsky, the senior vice president and chief medical officer at the American Society of Clinical Oncology.But for other circumstances, “if we put the investment in it we would be able to do randomized controlled trials,” says Emerson Chen, an oncology fellow at OHSU. Those studies often add another year or more to a follow-up study, he says, but he advocates for them because they provide “more definitive information about the survival and the inpatient-reported outcomes.””One of the reasons we don’t do those kinds of studies is that people say these drugs are so potent it would be wrong to do those kinds of studies … ethically or practically,” says oncologist Vinay Prasad, senior author of the paper. “But I think what we find is these drugs unfortunately are not that potent.”In a commentary, Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania write that there “is no good reason for the FDA to rely so heavily on accelerated approval using response rates or other unreliable surrogate end points.” “Drugs with unproven effectiveness sell false hope to desperate patients, who are likely paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for them,” they write, adding, “Approval of ineffective drugs also crowds out innovation that might produce effective treatment.”The FDA gets pressure both from patients and from drug companies to accelerate approval of new cancer drugs and constantly needs to strike a balance between innovation and caution, ASCO’s Schilsky says.Randomized trials are the gold standard for cancer research, but he says they can be challenging if a drug is already on the market.”When the preliminary results with some of these new treatments are looking very promising, it’s particularly difficult to get patients to accept randomization to a standard therapy that may be far inferior — or at least appear to be far inferior — to the new treatment,” Schilsky says.He also pushes back against the “sweeping generalizations” in these two studies. “Regulatory decisions have to be made on a case by case basis and in a particular context,” he says. But he agrees that the FDA should be more transparent about its decisions, so scientists can better understand them.The FDA did not provide NPR with details about its decision to leave Avastin on the market for brain cancer. In a statement, an agency spokeswoman notes that the FDA weighs risk and benefits, saying, “It has been widely accepted that benefit can be demonstrated by a number of endpoints, not just overall survival.”You can contact NPR science correspondent Richard Harris at rharris@npr.org. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

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2019-08-03

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10 year old suffering grievous injuries following car collision

first_imgA 10 year old boy is currently in suffering grievous injuries following a two-car collision in Mosta. The incident occurred at 12:55pm at Imġarr Road.The collission happened between Volkswagon Golf, being driven by a 71 year old man from Mellieħa, and a Toyota Vitz, being driven by a 71 year old woman also from Mellieħa. The Volkswagon Golf was also carrying a 38 year old man from Greece, a 38 year old woman from Canada, and a four year old girl and a one year old boy both also from Canada. The 10 year old boy was being driven in the Toyota Vitz.An ambulance which was called on site took the 71 year old woman and the 10 year old boy to hospital in order to receive medical attention. The boy was certified to be suffering from severe injuries while the woman is suffering from light injuries.Investigations are being led by the Mosta Local Police.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

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2019-07-30

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Study uncovers new mechanism of action in a firstline drug for diabetes

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 23 2018For decades, metformin has been the first-line drug in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, lowering blood glucose levels by inhibiting glucose production in the liver. Metformin also improves glucose uptake and use by muscle tissue.The effect of metformin on hepatic glucose production is most likely transmitted through the mitochondrial respiratory chain. However, up to now the mechanism through which the drug increases glucose uptake in muscle tissue has been unknown.A research group led by Professor Sanna Lehtonen at the University of Helsinki has now demonstrated in cell cultures and in an animal model that metformin directly binds to the lipid phosphatase SHIP2, reducing its activity. The reduction in SHIP2 activity increased glucose uptake in muscle cells and decreased cell death in podocytes, or glomerular epithelial cells.The lipid phosphatase SHIP2 suppresses the insulin signalling pathway. Prior studies have demonstrated through animal models that individuals suffering from diabetes have elevated levels of SHIP2 in their kidney, muscle and adipose tissue. This reduces the ability of tissue to react to insulin signalling and reduces its glucose uptake. Elevated SHIP2 concentration also increases programmed cell death in podocytes.In addition to an animal model, Lehtonen’s group utilised patient samples in the study. Their analysis revealed that in patients with type 2 diabetes who were not taking metformin, SHIP2 activity in the kidneys was elevated, in addition to which their podocyte loss was remarkable. In patients taking metformin, SHIP2 activity did not deviate from people without diabetes, while podocyte loss was also lower than in patients using another drug therapy.”Our results indicate that the lipid phosphatase SHIP2 has a significant role in regulating glucose metabolism and cell death in podocytes. So, regulating SHIP2 activity with metformin or another suitable pharmaceutical agent is crucial in managing type 2 diabetes and particularly in preventing related diabetic kidney disease,” Lehtonen says.UNDERSTANDING THE MECHANISM OF ACTION HELPS TARGET DRUG THERAPYMetformin’s mechanism of action is being enthusiastically investigated due to its diverse effects on the body, making it potentially useful in treating diseases other than diabetes in the future. Better understanding of the mechanism also helps target the therapy precisely to those patient groups that will benefit from it.Related StoriesNew biomaterial could encapsulate and protect implanted insulin-producing cellsIntermittent fasting may protect against type 2 diabetesDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetes”Combined with the research results published last spring by Professor Leif Groop and Docent Tiinamaija Tuomi, the findings of my group highlight the significance of metformin in treating a certain group of patients with diabetes,” Lehtonen states.Based on the study conducted by Groop and Tuomi (Ahlqvist et al., Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 6: 361-, 2018), a proposal has been made to classify diabetes into five different subgroups, one of which would be severe insulin-resistant diabetes. Patients with this type of diabetes are at an exceptionally high risk of also contracting diabetic kidney disease. The researchers estimate that it would be this group in particular that would benefit from metformin.The results gained by Lehtonen’s group support this view.”Our findings prove that metformin could protect patients from renal damage by suppressing SHIP2 activity. This introduces a new, direct mechanism of action, through which metformin protects the kidneys from damage.According to a recent finding, metformin impacts metabolism also by affecting the gut microbiota,” Lehtonen points out.NEW INDICATIONS – NEW DRUGS?Identifying new mechanisms of action can expand metformin’s indications for use outside diabetes in treating, among other disorders, cancer and cardiovascular diseases – research is already underway in these fields – as well as in regulating aging.”Our new study highlights SHIP2’s significance as a drug target. Prior studies support this notion, but knowing that the most common diabetes drug acts precisely through SHIP2 encourages us to find new SHIP2 inhibitors that are more effective than metformin,” Lehtonen says.Diabetes is one of the diseases that are gaining in prevalence the fastest, both in Finland and globally. Source:https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/health-news/versatility-in-a-first-line-drug-for-diabetes-researchers-discover-an-interesting-mechanism-of-actionlast_img read more

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2019-07-19

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Researchers uncover new lead for mechanism of action of frontline Type 2

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 24 2018Canadian and British researchers have discovered how the frontline Type 2 diabetes drug metformin may work to help cells better take up and use glucose. Their study, published today in the prestigious journal Cell, may also explain other potential beneficial effects of metformin for prevention of a variety of chronic diseases, including cancers.To show that metformin appeared to make the cells act as if they are starved for the essential mineral iron, biochemists at Université de Montréal used a new method to simultaneously probe how all of a cell’s biochemical processes respond to the presence of a drug. Collaborating with researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London, the UdeM team showed that metformin has a global effect on iron distribution in cells, resulting in alteration of essential biochemical processes.Related StoriesDiabetes patients experiencing empathy from PCPs have beneficial long-term clinical outcomesDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useThe novel technology that made this discovery possible was developed in the lab of lead author Stephen Michnick, a biochemistry professor at UdeM andholder of a Canada Research Chair in cell architecture. “If you want to know what a drug or any other molecule is doing in the body, you need to survey everything going on in it’s cells at once,” said Dr. Michnick. “Today there are several ways to do this, but our method, called hdPCA, has the merit of being extremely simple to perform and interpret, non-invasive and inexpensive; it can be done in almost any lab.” The method can be deployed to rapidly predict and confirm how a drug might affect cells and simultaneously identify any liabilities the drug might have if introduced into humans.”We’d chosen to use metformin, mostly because it was an interesting test case, having no clear mechanism of action,”added the study’s first author, UdeM biochemist Bram Stynen. “The lead to effects of metformin on iron homeostasis was a bonus of this study. A connection between iron metabolism and diabetes was already suspected but no-one had ever showed a specific antidiabetic effect of metformin in living cells connected to iron homeostasis.” Added collaborator Markus Ralser, a biochemist at Francis Crick, “this makes a lot of sense; glucose metabolism most likely emerged evolutionarily from iron-dependent chemical reactions; such chemical relationships don’t disappear in evolution.”Further cell and animal studies will have to be done to pin down how important iron-starvation mimicking effects of metformin are to glucose metabolism and how this mechanism might be better exploited to improve diabetes treatments. Source:https://www.umontreal.ca/en/last_img read more

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2019-07-19

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