After 7 years, 109 wins, streak is over

first_imgJohnny Groene threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Josh Jones in OT for the winning score. Keith Hamberg sealed the victory with an interception for the Panthers (2-0), who forced overtime with a 1-yard TD run by Nick Gramke with 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Independence’s Robbie Ward missed a 48-yard field goal in the final seconds of regulation that would have won it. “We never could stop them,” Coach Tom Knotts told The Charlotte Observer. “We had our best on their best, and they made big plays … I told our team it was coming, and I hated to say I told you so. “We have been living dangerously, this season and last. We opened the door for everybody. Now it’s over. We didn’t make plays or force turnovers.” Independence (1-1) had not lost since falling, 34-31, to Shelby Crest exactly seven years earlier, on Sept. 1, 2000, when this year’s team was in elementary school. PREP FOOTBALL: Charlotte, N.C., school falls, ending nation’s longest run. By The Associated Press CINCINNATI – The streak is over at Charlotte Independence – 109 wins and seven years after it began. Cincinnati Elder ended the nation’s longest football winning streak with a 41-34 overtime victory over the North Carolina high school Saturday night in the Kirk Herbstreit Challenge. During the run, the Patriots – who have been ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press state 4-A poll since the beginning of the 2001 season – became the first team to win seven straight state championships in North Carolina. Most of the wins weren’t close. Independence had beaten opponents during its win streak by an average of nearly 35 points per game entering the 2007 season. “It is going to be rough for a few days,” Knotts said. “Now we’ll go back to work on winning a state title.” The Patriots shattered the state record for consecutive wins, breaking the previous mark of 46 to open the 2003 season and earning their 100th straight win by beating East Mecklenburg in October. Independence took over the nation’s longest winning streak after Concord De La Salle’s loss in 2004 ended a 151-game winning streak.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Occult Cosmology Mutters Dark Matters

first_imgNew instruments and projects will seek to find influences that no scientist understands.Humility before the dark forces: Even the wizards are in dread and awe of dark occult phenomena. Thomas Kitching, lecturer in astrophysics, intones on The Conversation:We live in interesting times. For thousands of years, we have thought we knew what the universe – and everything in it – was made of: normal matter, the kind that make up the elements of the periodic table.However, the discovery in the 1990s of a completely unknown force dubbed dark energy that makes up 70% of the cosmos – causing it to expand at an accelerated rate – has taught us to be humble. Since then, astronomers have begun investing billions of pounds in experiments which aim to find out what this mysterious phenomenon is. What they discover is guaranteed to change physics forever.Put similar words in the mouth of a witch doctor, and the comparison is apt. Kitching goes on to describe scientific tests of dark energy and some proposals for what it might be. In the end, though, he confesses, “all of these explanations may be wrong, dark energy could be something even stranger.” Just keep those billions of pounds [or dollars] flowing.Calling up the dark matter: An article on Science Daily discusses the next 25% of mysterious unknown stuff [MUST] that shineth not. But lo! The wizards with their crystals might see the light. “Bright sparks shed new light on the dark matter riddle,” the headline reads: “Highest sensitivity detector ever used for very light dark matter elementary particles.” The CaWO4 crystal may shed light on the “unsolved riddle” of matters we know not of._________In the philosophy of science, an “occult force” does not have to conjure up visions of witches or magic. It can refer to any unknown entity that appears to cause an observable effect. Gravity has been called such. Alexander Rosenberg, in Philosophy of Science: A Contemporary Introduction, page 85, he says: “Gravity thus seems an ‘occult force,’ whose operation is no less mysterious than those which non-scientific explanations like astrological horoscopes invoke to allay our curiosity. And the same may be said of other such unobservable notions.”For a limited time, scientists can appeal to unobservable phenomena as placeholders for ignorance in part of a larger theory that they feel has merit. This has led to other important historical discoveries, like oxygen and epigenetics. Think of the aurora borealis, or northern lights.  Early humans watching the amazing light show were certainly baffled by its cause. It took years of research into magnetic fields and the solar wind to understand what is going on.But if the appeal to occult phenomena goes on indefinitely, and never finds empirical support, it becomes, like Rosenberg says, no better than astrology. It’s not science, even if scientists are working on the problem with scientific instruments, until it comes out of the darkness.It shouldn’t take as long as it used to. Methods, basic science, and instrumentation have progressed fantastically since the aurora was figured out. These days, to attribute 95% of reality to mysterious unknown stuff should rightly humble our science wizards. Cosmologists have been using the empty labels “dark matter” and “dark energy” for many years now. The most sensitive detectors have failed to turn up anything. How much time do they get? How much money should they be allowed to spend?At some point very soon, they should put up or shut up and get their own money. Better yet, they should think outside the box and question the assumptions of any theory that requires ridiculously copious amounts of occult phenomena. It’s slavish devotion to the big bang that accounts for much of the current occult belief.(Visited 154 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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4 Ways for Companies to Remain Authentic in the Age of Technology

first_imgA few weeks ago, Google presented a demo of a new AI system called Duplex. Duplex is an extension of Google Assistant that has the ability to communicate eerily like a human being. Listening to the recordings, there were times I wasn’t quite sure which speaker was human and which was a computer.Of course, robotic phone interactions are nothing new. We’ve all had to listen to a robot read off a list of extensions to reach the department we’re looking for, and we’ve seen chatbots become more prevalent for customer interactions over the past couple of years.But Google Duplex is different. It’s probably still years away from being ready for mass use, but to a lot of people, its development signals the end of interpersonal communication as we know it. Companies will adopt robots to replace call centers, while customers will use Duplex to make appointments and resolve issues. Pretty soon, it’ll just be robots talking to robots, and people will never interact with each other again…right?I’m not so convinced. Audiences seek out genuine experiences with the brands they trust and reward them with their loyalty and advocacy. From their first interactions with a company via its thought leadership content all the way through the remainder of the marketing process to sales, customer service, and everywhere in between, people want authentic interactions.Google has labored to create this robot that sounds exactly like a human being precisely because nobody wants to have a conversation with a robot. This tool (and others like it) suggest what people really want: authenticity.While I understand the concern of those who say Duplex and other AI-powered tools like it will eliminate the need for human interaction — and certainly agree that misuse of this technology could be dangerous — I still see Duplex as proof of the value consumers everywhere place on authenticity.Technology enables us to interact with customers more efficiently, but that doesn’t mean those interactions can’t also be authentic. Here are four ways companies can use technology while still remaining human:1. Personalize your tech.As humans, we’re a little obsessed with ourselves. We love it when others remember our names or details about our lives that we’ve shared with them. And we extend that positive feeling to brands when they do the same. Nearly 90 percent of consumers have said that personally relevant content makes them view a brand more favorably, and 78 percent said it makes them more likely to buy something.Thankfully, technology can allow you to create those personal touches while still automating contact with customers. There are plenty of customer relationship management tools and even chatbots that help brands communicate with audience members in ways that feel deeply personal but don’t drain all your time and resources. If you want to take advantage of the efficiency tech has to offer while remaining authentic, then your first step is to get personal.2. Make good first impressions.I’m sure you’ve heard that it takes just seven seconds to make a first impression, but did you know that first impressions remain engrained in people’s minds for months? This is true of interpersonal relationships, and it’s also true of interactions between your company and its customers.If a customer contacts your company for help with a problem, only to be greeted and assisted by a robotic voice or an automatic email, you won’t be making a good first impression. He may be hesitant to reach out for further assistance, or he might even be slow to trust the human employees who eventually do come to his aid.This doesn’t mean you should avoid technology for fear of turning off customers. It simply means that real interactions should take priority, especially for newer customers who are still getting to know you.It might be wise to assign your customers human points of contact and introduce them to automated service options as you build trust with them. This ensures your customers have a positive first impression of both your company and the automated service. When a trusted person recommends using an automated service, customers will be more inclined to use and be patient with the technology, and that’s a win for everyone.3. Be transparent when robots are involved.This may not be a huge issue right now, but Google Duplex certainly signals that it will be in the future: If you’re going to use technology like this, you need to let the people interacting with it know that it’s not a real person.As I said earlier, when I listened to Duplex book a haircut, it honestly was difficult to tell at times which voice belonged to the robot, and I guarantee the person on the other end of the line had no clue to whom (or what) she was speaking. In a few years, these conversations will be the norm. You and I will converse with robots without even realizing it.Utilizing this AI technology may save businesses a lot of money, but the truth is that people don’t trust robots as much as or in the same way that they do other human beings. And if that’s the case, people won’t trust companies that blur the lines between robots and human beings.4. Don’t overdo it.A few weeks ago, I was expecting a package that never arrived at my home. The tracking number indicated the package was delivered, but I never saw it, so I called the shipper to see whether I could get more information. The robot on the line repeated what I already knew and directed me to check the website (where I had just been) for more information. I was never given the option to speak to a real person, and I ended up in a loop with no clear help in sight.Thankfully, a neighbor had been holding my package and brought it by later that day, but the experience left a sour taste in my mouth. Nothing is more frustrating than a company forcing its customers to use technology when they don’t want to and when it doesn’t create more value in the customer relationship. The last key to authenticity when using technology in your business? Don’t overdo it. Don’t feel as though you must use a technology simply because it exists. Use it when it benefits your business and benefits your customers.We are seeing new and exciting technological advances every day. Many of these will be brought into the business world, but it’s important that companies never allow technologies to diminish their ability to be authentic and transparent with their customers. These four tips will ensure that business leaders can maintain authenticity while embracing technologies that will push their businesses forward. John HallCo-founder of Influence & Co. and Keynote Speaker AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… John Hall is the CEO of Influence & Co., a keynote speaker, and the author of “Top of Mind.” How Self-Service Technology Can Boost Startup G… Tags:#AI#artificial intellgence#authenticity#customer relationship#customer service#Duplex#Google#tech adoption With This One Question, You’ll Never Need an Ic… Related Posts Man or Machine? 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Calgary and Edmonton join growing list of cities to cancel New Years

first_imgA long-lasting cold snap is leading more cities to cancel or adjust their New Year’s Eve plans, including Edmonton and Calgary.The cities join a growing list of others with adjusted plans, including Ottawa and Toronto, as much of the country remained under extreme cold warnings issued by Environment Canada.A spokeswoman for the City of Edmonton says in a written statement that activities would be moved mostly indoors — while fireworks will go ahead at midnight, people are encouraged to watch the festivities online.Calgary announced that its indoor Family Dance Party would still be held from 7 to 9 p.m. as planned, but that people should watch the ball drop on TV rather than out in the cold.Cape Breton also cancelled its outdoor plans on Sunday afternoon, noting that Environment Canada was calling for wind speeds up to 50 kilometres per hour and a wind chill of -20 C.And Mississauga, Ont., followed Toronto’s lead, opting to begin its outdoor festivities just a half hour before midnight — a plan its next-door neighbour finalized on Thursday.The Toronto Polar Bear Club deemed the weather too cold for its annual dip into Lake Ontario, though would-be swimmers were still able to make the trip to neighbouring Oakville, Ont., for the Courage Polar Bear Dip.But in spite of the frigid temperatures, other cities decided to forge ahead with their plans.In Montreal, a huge New Year’s Eve party to cap the city’s 375th-birthday celebrations will go ahead as planned, but organizers said they expect attendance to drop because of cold-weather warnings.Quebec City organizers say residents are accustomed to the cold and they’re not cancelling anything for New Year’s Eve.last_img read more

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Sea Shepherd Taino Warriors And Michelle Rodriguez Team To Provide Sustainable Tools

first_imgSea Shepherd Conservation Society has partnered with Taino Warriors and actor/activist Michelle Rodriguez on a campaign to help the hurricane ravaged and economically impacted island of Puerto Rico rebuild in a sustainable manner.Video: Taino Spirit Promise Campaign VideoThe campaign, titled Operation Taino Spirit Promise, comes 75 days after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, forcing a complete rebuild of its already weakened infrastructure.In the spirit of Puerto Rico’s indigenous Taino people, Operation Taino Spirit Promise, will deliver supplies to local Puerto Rican NGOs committed to rebuilding Puerto Rico sustainably focusing on the areas of environment, eco-agriculture and children’s mental health and education.The vessel will also retrieve plastics and raw materials off the island, alleviating the pressure from Puerto Rico’s over-flowing landfills. The campaign is set to launch mid-December and continue into 2018.“Taino Spirit Promise will identify disrupters & change makers in Puerto Rico to empower them by bringing long term aid & assistance,” said Michelle Rodriguez , whose father is Puerto Rican and who spent many summers during her formative years on the island.“In this era of climate change Sea Shepherd stands ready to assist the good and resilient people of Puerto Rico in their recovery from these destructive events,” said Sea Shepherd founder, President and C.E.O. Captain Paul Watson.Taino Warriors (TainoWarriors.org) is a Hollywood-based non-profit led by industry leaders whose mission is to support Puerto Ricans who are empowering underserved communities in the areas of environment, eco-agriculture and children’s education and mental health, with innovative and sustainable tools and solutions.“The indelible Taino spirit that lives in every Puerto Rican on the island and in the diaspora commands us to come together to help rebuild Puerto Rico” said Puerto Rican-born Ivette Rodriguez, who founded Taino Warriors. “We want to empower the younger generations and remind them of the greatness of their origins. We are thrilled that Michelle Rodriguez (no relation) and Captain Paul Watson are joining us on this mission.”Operation Taino Warrior Promise follows Sea Shepherd’s recent Hurricane Irma and Maria relief campaign, Operation Good Pirates of the Caribbean, which involved the islands of Curacao, Martinique, Dominica, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, Antigua, Saint Maarten, the British Virgin Islands, St. Barts and St. Croix.Rodriguez – best known for her role as Letty Ortiz in the blockbuster franchise The Fast and the Furious – is a long-time Sea Shepherd supporter. In March of this year, she took part in Operation Ice Watch, a female survey team who documented the effects of climate change and the disappearing ice floes in Canada, leading to the extinction of Canadian seals.last_img read more

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Community SeymourJohnson AFB in Talks over Lease for Sports Facility

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Officials from the city of Goldsboro and the Air Force are negotiating a lease for a 62-acre parcel at Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base in eastern North Carolina to develop a multi-sports facility.The project — a collaborative effort between the installation, the Air Force Community Partnership Program and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) — optimizes property value and is compatible with the base’s mission, according to Robert Moriarty, director of AFCEC’s Installations Directorate.“This project is an example of how collaboration and a business-minded approach yield opportunity,” Moriarty said.The city would lease the property through an enhanced use lease. The final lease documents will be signed once lease term negotiations and environmental requirements are complete, reported AFCEC Public Affairs.EULs allow the military services to lease non-excess property in exchange for cash or in-kind consideration, and can cover a broad range of projects, including renewable and conventional energy development and commercial real estate.last_img read more

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