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Gaeltacht Minister urged to visit stranded Gaoth Dobhair family

first_imgThe Minister of State for the Gaeltacht is being called upon to visit flood-hit families in Gaoth Dobhair who lost a bridge to their homes.The extended O Duibhir families from Bunbeg have been relying on a temporary footbridge to access their houses after their original bridge was swept away by the River Clady in August.But the replacement bridge is so unsuitable that an ambulance was unable to access the home of one ill family member, who is 79 years old, and paramedics were forced to wheel him to the road. Mr O Duibhir at the ambulance.Local councillor Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig is now calling on the Gaeltacht Minister of State, Sean Kyne TD, to visit the O Duibir homes when he visits the area next week.“It is very difficult for the families to get on with their lives when they cannot get their bridge rebuilt. The council’s response is that this is a private bridge, but if you look at LIS roads, they are all private roads funded through the State. So why wouldn’t this bridge be funded?,” Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said.“Myself and Pat the Cope Gallagher TD have been fighting for these families. As a councillor I appreciate that this is a private bridge, but at the same time the State should look after the wellbeing of all its citizens.”The homes of three families in Gweedore including a wheelchair bound resident who are trapped after flooding demolished the bridge into their homes. (North West Newspix)Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said he hopes that Mr Kyne TD could find a way of identifying funding sources if he saw the reality of the family’s circumstances. He said: “The Minister will be in Gaoth Dobhair on the 26th, a half a mile from where the families live, and I have invited him to meet the family and see how the situation affects them.“The family has been left in limbo. One man had to get the ambulance called twice since the bridge collapsed and every time he has to be carted from his house. This is not acceptable. It’s very difficult for families to get on with their lives, the oil lorry can’t even reach them.“Next week is a great opportunity for the Minister to meet the family and to help them.”  Gaeltacht Minister urged to visit stranded Gaoth Dobhair family was last modified: November 19th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Athletics’ 2020 schedule has alarming start, perhaps easy ending

first_imgIf the A’s allow themselves to look too far ahead and glance at their 2020 schedule they may not like what they see.The good news for next season is Oakland plays 17 of its first 23 games at the Coliseum, marking the 12th straight season the A’s are at “home” (including being the designated home team in Japan last March). The bad news is the early competition appears daunting.Here’s a closer look at some of the highlights from next year’s tentative schedule, which Major League Baseball …last_img read more

Animals Are “Overengineered” for Navigation

first_imgAnimals outshine us in many ways, but one capability that should humble us is animal navigation.  From spiders to mice, from birds to bees, the ability of animals to find their way around is truly astonishing, and James L. Gould of Princeton has raised our awareness of just how astonishing in a short article in Current Biology (March 23, 2004).1    He starts by explaining that navigation is more than just knowing which way you are pointed: “Nearly all animals move in an oriented way,” he says, “but navigation is something more: the directed movement toward a goal, as opposed to steering toward or away from, say, light or gravity.  Navigation involves the neural processing of sensory inputs to determine a direction and perhaps distance.”  As an example, he mentions how honeybees have to correct for the angle of the sun from morning to afternoon.  This involves much more than orienting at a fixed angle.  The bee has to use changing sensory information to maintain its internal map.    Gould mentions four stumbling blocks that prevented early investigators from appreciating the navigational abilities of animals.  Researchers apparently assumed natural selection was sufficient to explain it all.  He writes, “Several trends reflecting favorably on natural selection and poorly on human imagination characterized early studies of navigation.”  The stumbling blocks investigators have had to get over include:Spectral Breadth:  Early researchers assumed that animals were limited to our own human senses, but found out they can utilize a shopping list of cues invisible to us: ultraviolet light, infrared light, magnetic fields, electric fields, chemical pheromones, ultrasonic sounds and infrasonic sounds.  We were “blind to our own blindness,” he says, “and there is no reason to assume the list is complete.”Complexity: Another “crippling tendency” of early investigators was “what navigation pioneer Donald Griffin called our innate ‘simplicity filter’: the desire to believe that animals do things in the least complex way possible.”  Perhaps it was from our own pride of place, but according to Gould, we should be humbled:Experience, however, tells us that animals whose lives depend on accurate navigation are uniformly overengineered.  Not only do they frequently wring more information out of the cues that surround them than we can, or use more exotic or weaker cues than we find conceivable, they usually come equipped with alternative strategies – a series of backups between which they switch depending on which is providing the most reliable information.Recalibration:  Early studies assumed animals just needed to learn a trick once (a phenomenon called imprinting, true in some short-lived animals.)  Then they found out that some animals are able to recalibrate their instruments.Cognition:  The school of psychology known as behaviorism, which denies instinct, “puts a ceiling on the maximum level of mental activity subject to legitimate investigation,” Gould chides.  As a result of this bias, “most researchers deliberately ignored or denigrated the evidence for cognitive processing in navigating animals.”  Not all animals exhibit cognitive intervention, Gould admits.  But he then makes a very unDarwinian countercharge: “However, the obvious abilities of hunting spiders and honey bees to plan novel routes make it equally clear that phylogenetic distance to humans is no sure guide to the sophistication of a species’ orientation strategies.”    He gives an example: “One of the problems we inherited from behaviorism was the assumption that exploratory behavior must be rewarded.  However, many species examine their surroundings voluntarily and, in fact, do so in detail.”  (See example on mice below.)Let’s look at just a few of the “believe it or not” examples Gould showcases in the article:Honeybees:  Here is an example of switching inputs to get the most reliable information.  “A honey bee, for instance, may set off for a goal using its time-compensated sun compass.  When a cloud covers the sun, it may change to inferring the sun’s position from UV patterns in the sky and opt a minute later for a map-like strategy when it encounters a distinctive landmark.  Lastly, it may ignore all of these cues as it gets close enough to its goal to detect the odors or visual cues provided by the flowers.”Mice:  Here is an example of the “overengineering” Gould spoke of.  Many field animals, like mice, have a strong drive to acquire information about their home range in advance of need, whether or not (as behaviorism would expect) they get an immediate reward.  “Consider mice,” he says,which not only gallop endlessly in running wheels, but actually prefer difficulty, such as square ‘wheels’, or wheels with barriers that must be jumped.  Given a 430 meter long opaque three-dimensional maze of pipes, mice will work out the shortest path within three days, and without reward.Navigation requires determining direction:This can be achieved in two ways, and mice use both: they can use another landmark from their mental map and triangulate the direction of the goal, or they can use a landmark-independent compass like the earth’s magnetic field.–and they never joined the boy scouts.  What’s more, mice “can also navigate perfectly well, even if the habitat fails to provide useful landmarks.  They will remember the direction and length of each leg of their outward journey and integrate the result when they are ready to return and set off home,” even without a trail of bread crumbs. Pigeons:  Daytime provides celestial cues.  “…once the relationship between azimuth and time of day is memorized,” Gould says, “the animal has a highly accurate compass.”  We’ve all heard about the navigational feats of homing pigeons.  They can discern ultraviolet (UV) light, which accentuates polarization patterns of scattered sunlight, for drawing their mental map, and add to it individual data points like “the average of a night’s attempts to escape from a cage, or some other directional measure.”  The cues help them derive a mean vector, with direction pointing to the goal, and length representing scatter.  When all the cues line up, they’ve got their bearing.Migratory birds:  Birds who migrate between nesting grounds and wintering grounds can use sun cues, star cues, magnetic fields and landmarks to find their way.  Not only that, they can recalibrate the cues for seasonal changes, latitude, and longitude.  This requires recalibration:To infer the pole point through broken clouds, the animal’s map of the sky must be updated.  And as the migrants move south in the fall, new sets of stars in the southern sky appear, while northern stars slip below the horizon.  Clearly, changes in both season and latitude make relearning the stars essential.  Only fairly recently has this constant updating been demonstrated.”In fact, for unknown reasons, “nocturnal migrants calibrate their star pole to the magnetic pole.  Instead of simply taking the pole point as the true guide, the birds constantly recalibrate the magnetic pole to the geographic pole, and then the geographic pole to the magnetic pole.”Latitude: Fish, turtles, lobsters, and birds all determine their latitude by the angle of the magnetic field.  “In theory,” Gould says, “animals could obtain the same information from the sun’s noon elevation, but I know of no case in which this traditional human solution is used.”  The critters must know something we don’t.Longitude: house wrens, pigeons, sharks, salmon, sea turtles and spiny lobsters have all conquered a navigational problem that “bedeviled human navigators until very recently,” the problem of determining longitude.  How do they know distance east from west?  How can house wrens find their way back, unerringly, to the same nest box after a long flight at a different time of year from when they left?  “The apparent answer to this conundrum is provided by a map sense,” Gould answers.  The earth’s magnetic field provides both a map and a compass – just the tools you would need if released in an unfamiliar area. Pigeons again:  When homing pigeons circle around before heading home, they are reading the local map of magnetic gradients and extrapolating it from the one they learned at home.  How do pigeons detect the earth’s magnetic field?  They actually have magnetite grains in their heads, in the ethymoid sinus.  Experiments have shown that magnetic anomalies make the birds disoriented.  A sharp pulse of magnetism can severely impair their compass.  But remagnetize the organ by putting it into a magnetic field, and the bird is back to normalGould ends by pointing out two of the biggest challenges to researchers studying animal navigation: (1) the nature of the map sense, and (2) the issue of recalibration, which is still puzzling.  “The interaction of these specific learning programs,” he promises, “doubtlessly holds many magnificent secrets.” 1James L. Gould, “Magazine: Animal Navigation,” Current BiologyVol 14, R221-R224, 23 March 2004.Wow.  Thank you, Dr. Gould.  This article contains absolutely no hints about how such abilities could have evolved; in fact, it contains a couple of off-handed swipes at the notion that natural selection could explain them, or that skill correlates with “phylogenetic distance.”  This is surprising, considering that James L. Gould is a member of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton.  It could just as well have been written by Dr. Gary Parker at the Institute for Creation Research.  It’s a wonder the editors of Current Biology let this one get by without the required pinch of incense to Emperor Charlie.    Notice that these highly refined and accurate navigational skills are possessed by a wide variety of animals: mammals (e.g., mice), insects (e.g., Monarch butterflies — see 05/23/2003 and 07/09/2002 headlines), birds (e.g., Pacific golden plovers, which can navigate over open sea to the Hawaiian islands without having ever seen them), reptiles (e.g., sea turtles), crustaceans (e.g., lobsters), and fish (e.g., salmon).  Skill does not scale with presumed evolutionary advancement: for instance, the spiny lobster wins the prize for magnetic mapping (see 01/06/2003 headline).  Even bacteria and plants can orient themselves with respect to environmental cues.  Humans were given ability to build tools that can navigate a spacecraft to Saturn, but we must surely stand in awe of a God who could put technology that outperforms NASA into a bird brain.  This article goes to show that the film “Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution” could become an infinite series.  Click your way back through the “Amazing” chain links for many more examples.(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Diatom Evolution a Mystery

first_img(Visited 293 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A science writer is sure diatoms evolved, even if their origins and intricate designs are major mysteries.Michael Gross, a science writer at Oxford, wrote a feature story for Current Biology called, “The Mysteries of the Diatoms” (Current Biology, Volume 22, Issue 15, R581-R585, 7 August 2012).   Gross knows that diatoms are extremely successful and diverse, very important for the carbon cycle, and beautiful to look at, but said scientists still know little about them.  One of the chief mysteries is their evolution:Diatoms — single-celled algae typically enshrined in a cell wall made of intricately laced silica — have fascinated researchers with a whole range of mysteries, from their evolutionary origins through to their morphogenesis and reproduction. They entered the plant kingdom rather late in evolution, and through an unusual entry. Researchers believe they are secondary endosymbionts, meaning that their precursor was a eukaryote that engulfed another eukaryote, resulting in a quadruple membrane around the chloroplasts the diatom gained from this act of piracy.The evolutionary success story of diatoms only begins some 200 million years ago, but they have spread around the globe and diversified into hundreds of genera and around 100,000 species in this short fraction of the geological timescale. Today, they are present wherever there is liquid water, in the oceans, in freshwater, and even in soil. They have already played a significant role in the global cycles of carbon and nitrogen, and are responsible for large sediments of silica including diatomaceous earth.In the article, Gross described many amazing facts about these microbes that live in glass houses:“they have a very efficient way to dissipate excess solar energy, known as non-photochemical quenching.”“In a time span of less than 200 million years, diatoms have branched out into a multitude of species, which can be as genetically different as humans and fish.““While we might want to call diatoms ‘plantimals,’ these things are much more complex than we think,” Chris Bowler says.“Like animals, for instance, diatoms possess a complete urea cycle…. the cycle enables diatoms to recover quickly after prolonged periods of nitrogen limitation.”“…diatoms have a huge influence on geochemical cycles and our climate.”“Diatoms fix as much carbon dioxide as all the rainforests of the world combined….”“The silica frustules with their intricate nanoscale patterns can make any nanotechnologist jealous. Nature can produce such structures at ambient temperature and under benign conditions, an achievement that our technology cannot match yet.”“Diatom adhesives are of interest for two opposite reasons — some may want to mimic bioadhesives like these to produce better glues that work under difficult conditions, for instance under water. Others want to stop diatoms from sticking to things under water, such as ships.”Considering these are widespread, common organisms we can study right under a microscope, surprisingly little is known about them, Gross said.  For instance, the in-depth study of model organisms like water cress and E. coli hasn’t helped scientists understand the molecular physiology of diatoms.  The growth (morphogenesis) of their intricate glass patterns is not understood.  Their role in climate modulation is poorly understood.  It’s not that scientists have not tried; the mysteries of diatoms have so far proved intractable.One thing Michael Gross seemed profoundly confident about, though, was his belief that they evolved from non-diatoms.  This extended not to his endosymbiotic theory but to their subsequent ability to evolve other capabilities that stump human engineers.  He spoke glibly about how “diatoms evolved thicker and denser cell walls and spread across the oceans,” speaking at one moment about the mystery of their “evolutionary origins” but then their “evolutionary success story.”  It didn’t seem to bother him that in half the time horseshoe crabs remained static, diatoms diversified into 100,000 species with genomes that differ as much between them as fish differ from humans.  Evolution works in strange ways.There is no such thing as an evolutionary success story.  Evolution, being mindless, purposeless, and aimless,(see clarification on Evolution News) could not care less about what thrives and what goes extinct.  If the whole world went extinct, “evolution” (whatever that fictional being represents), would yawn and move on.  By using the word success, Gross exposes himself as an unevolved human who cares.In the 12/19/2007 entry, we used the nonsense word gribbleflix as a substitute for evolution, and it worked in the same manner – it explains everything without needing to explain anything.  Readers are encouraged to re-read that commentary to understand how Michael Gross, and the accomplice Current Biology, employed evolution as nonsense masquerading as explanation.last_img read more

Cape Town: most beautiful city

first_imgThe majestic tree is a favourite with visitorsto the area, and may now be viewed againafter a hiatus of 36 months.((Image: MediaClubsouthafrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Gert BamCity of Cape Town sports and recreation+27 21 400 5090 or +27 82 222 1242Janine ErasmusCape Town has made it onto Forbes magazine’s list, released earlier in 2010, of the 12 most beautiful cities in the world.According to Forbes, the Mother City is on a par with Paris, Vancouver, Sydney, Florence, Venice, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, Cambridge, Tokyo and London as the most scenic travel picks.While the list has generated much heated online discussion, and many people have agreed or disagreed with the selections, most would concur that Cape Town is one of the most visually pleasing destinations to be found anywhere.The Forbes list is drawn up in consultation with experts from a range of relevant fields, including architecture, urban planning and sustainable development.Learned consultants included Amanda Reynolds of the UK-based Urban Design Group; architect Michael Kaufman of Goettsch Partners in Chicago; and Raymond Levitt, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University.UK urban designer and architect Tony McGuirk; J Hugh O’Donnell, CEO of engineering firm MMM International, and Ken Drucker of the New York office of architectural firm HOK also provided input.Towards the end of 2009 Cape Town was also named one of the world’s top 10 party cities by the travel guide Lonely Planet, in its 1 000 Ultimate Experiences publication. The city joined Buenos Aires, Dubai, Montreal, Thessaloniki, Belgrade, La Paz, Baku, Auckland and Tel Aviv as a desirable destination for those who love a laid-back atmosphere during the day and a festive vibe at night.Open spaces impressCape Town is the only city from a developing nation to have made the cut, and the only one on the African continent.Forbes was particularly impressed by Cape Town’s open spaces. According to environmental engineer Levitt, the city was also singled out for its small ecological footprint compared to sprawling metropolises like Tokyo and New York. This, he said, was a result of its “manageable size”.A 2010 Fifa World Cup host city, Cape Town is gearing up for the tourist influx with a host of infrastructure upgrades, such as the Integrated Rapid Transit system and the impressive new Cape Town stadium and its associated Green Point Common, which is being developed now that the stadium is fully functional. The common is expected to become an important social gathering site once complete.Cape Town also hosts a number of other popular sporting events, such as the annual Cape Argus and Cape Epic cycle tours and the Two Oceans ultramarathon. Participants from all over the world descend on the city to pit their skills and endurance against the best athletes in these taxing sporting disciplines.The city has an abundance of unspoilt beaches for those who love to soak up the sun, and it is also known for its bustling nightlife and fine restaurants. Some of the top establishments in the country are to be found here, a number of which have also won international acclaim.A little further inland, the Cape winelands offer award-winning wines from many world-renowned estates, some of them possessing an ancestry that dates right back to the early days of the Cape’s colonisation by the Dutch.The city also boasts many highly rated hotels, ranging from the brand-new One and Only – part of a growing international chain developed by South African hospitality tycoon Sol Kerzner – to the venerable Mount Nelson, which opened on 6 March 1899 and is a favourite of well-heeled travellers.No description of Cape Town would be complete without a mention of its most spectacular landmark, the flat-topped Table Mountain, part of the 30 000ha Table Mountain National Park, administered by South African National Parks. Not only is the site home to a wide range of animals and birds, it’s also popular with thrill-seekers who are able to hike, climb, cave, and base-jump from its many cliffs.last_img read more

36 Hair Grips 4, A standard product

first_imgThere isn’t much to say about these. They are very standard and easy to use and a staple of many hairstyles but so difficult to buy at the supermarket. It does what it says on the packet. Arrived promptly to correct address.Key specs for 36 Hair Grips 4.5cm Long Brown Hair Styling Bobby Pins:Pack of 36 waved metal hair pinsProtection to pin endsMeasure 4.5cm longAll measurements approximate across widest pointsComments from buyers“A standard product, keeping my hair up., Last minute item, Exactly what I needed, As expected make light work of buns for “ There is very little to say about hair pins, but these are good quality ones that arrived quickly and are completely fit for purpose. They are very standard design and size, almost identical to the ones i used to be able to buy in tesco, but they have stopped stocking them (what’s that about?), although they are very dark brown. If you have never used proper hair pins before, practise a little – don’t just push them in, you need to sweep it a bit of other hair to gain purchase. These are smaller hairpins than i usually buy,; they are okay, but have to use more than i would if longer. Still my fault not ordering the larger ones. Price and packaging with delivery were good. Exactly what i ordered very pleased with this item. Would recommend helps with straightening and curling so multi uses for this product. Great set of bobby pins for my daughter to use for dancing hairstyles. Sturdy pins that are fit for purpose. Ordered these almost at last minute, was recommended to get bun pins rather than kirbys. Needed these for my daughters dance show, arrived on time, undamaged. Best for thick hair, people please note these are not normal grips so those who aren’t used to them may have some difficulty but their easily gotten used to. Great for keeping hair in place in up doo’s or in thick hair. Just what i needed, thank you. Arrived quickly and as described, would use again. As expected make light work of buns for. Make light work of buns for ballet 🙂 quick delivery too, arrived well before due.last_img read more

Trade leaders contacted by beef producers in North America about benefits of NAFTA

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association joined its cattle-industry partners in Canada and Mexico in sending a joint letter to the presidents of those two nations and to President Trump, urging the three leaders to not “jeopardize the success we have all enjoyed as partners of the North American Free Trade Agreement.”The letter to President Trump, President Justin Trudeau of Canada, and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico was signed by NCBA President Craig Uden, Dan Darling, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, and Oswaldo Chazaro Montalvo, president of the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas.“Recent statements about the possible dissolution of NAFTA or potential renegotiation of NAFTA are deeply concerning to us because of the unnecessary risk it places on our producers,” the letter states. “While there may be general agreement among the countries to improve some parts of the NAFTA trade framework, we urge you to recognize that the terms of the agreement affecting cattle producers are strongly supported as they currently exist and should not be altered.” The groups also urged Presidents Trump, Trudeau, and Nieto to “reject efforts to use NAFTA as a platform to resurrect failed policies, especially the misguided mandatory country-of-origin labeling policy that was the law of the United States for over seven years.”“MCOOL failed to deliver its proponents’ promise to increase consumer demand or consumer confidence,” the groups said. “Instead, it created massive disruptions in live cattle trade that hurt beef producers across North America and jeopardized the jobs of American workers that depend on processing those cattle.”NCBA has worked for years to expand access to foreign markets for America’s cattle and beef producers and in a February op-ed on CNN.com Uden called NAFTA “one of the greatest success stories in the long history of the U.S. beef industry.” “Since NAFTA was implemented in 1993, exports of American-produced beef to Mexico have grown by more than 750%, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation,” Uden said. “In addition, exports now account for as much as 13% of overall U.S. beef production — and it’s more likely to be higher-quality cuts that bring in higher revenues for the hundreds of thousands of American families in the beef community.”Click here to read the full letter.last_img read more

The Real Key Metrics (and Magic Numbers) Behind Successful B2B Sales Outreach

first_imgAI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… Related Posts Steve WoodsCTO, Nudge AI A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Steve Woods, CTO at Nudge.ai, is an experienced SaaS leader who is passionate about innovation, cloud computing, software evolution, marketing automation, and sales analytics. center_img Junior Sales Reps reaching out to Senior Prospects could expect an average response rate of 15 percent.Sales Leaders reaching out to their peers could expect an average response rate of 26 percent.Response rate per person by the level of seniority.What’s most interesting about these stats are that they hint at something far more important than volume and seniority levels but relationships. Your sales leaders likely have a broader perspective on the industry as well as a keener ability to map out a person’s challenges — and a potential pre-existing relationship — no matter how small.Ultimately, a sales leader is more likely to respond to outreach from a peer he has a relationship with (or sees value in building a relationship with) rather than a junior rep. The understanding of relationships, then, showcases the compelling reason why the conversation needs to happen right off the bat.People want more than just a generic sales pitch. They require the answers to their problems. The customer wants new insights and valuable connections. If your junior sales reps are reaching out to senior prospects, you’ll need to arm them with the correct tools. Your coaching can teach your reps the value they can bring to their prospects. Your coaching will guide your reps where to tap into a personal brand or unique industry insights. In coaching, you can uncover together where the well connected will pay off. It’s imperative for you, as a sales leader, to ensure that everyone reaching out to prospects have something valuable to offer.What This Means for You and Your TeamAs a sales leader, it’s essential to move past simply tracking raw activity and use the data you have on hand to measure results, success, and pain points. In the modern sales landscape, quality beats quantity more than ever. Understanding how you can value-add to your prospects will get you much farther than persistent outreach will. Remembering that relationships are about adding value and determining which reps are reaching out to which prospects. Think and plan beyond cold outreach to new candidates and consider building and strengthening in-deal relationships. A committee almost always does company purchases.The best thing you can do as a sales leader is coach your reps on how to build and strengthen relationships within that community. If you need a little extra push, Nudge is here to help. Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Tags:##HoldTheHustle#AI#B2B#data analysis#Magic Numbers#sales As a B2B sales professional selling to other B2B sales professionals, one of my primary goals during a sales call is figuring out the organization’s pain points. Of course, this varies based on many factors: the role and level of seniority of the person I’m talking to, the size of the company, the number of direct reports, etc.One thing every potential prospect can definitely stand to gain, though, is an objective overview of their sales funnel and more transparency on how they can improve and strengthen their relationships. There is a problem in cementing these business relationships. Every outreach effort comes at a cost: from finding and coaching the right sales reps to reaching out to the right prospects and finding them at the right time and with the right message. With so many issues coming into play, how will you gauge how well your sales team is doing compared to the rest of the industry?Old Motto: It’s All About the HustleAt some point five to ten years ago, “hustle” became the most valuable tool in a salesperson’s arsenal. Persistency was crucial and we all believed the more volume, the better. That is until we started automating our efforts. All of a sudden, buyers began to tune us out, and our efforts grew more and more stagnant.If you think about it, the idea that we should increase our volume of outreach is opposed to two main forces: psychology and technology.Sure, if you were a buyer in 2010, the chances are that an initial follow-up email actually piqued your interest — moving you to give the persistent rep 30 minutes of your time. Fast forward to 2018, and you get that email about 100 times a day. With your plate overflowing with goodies, you’re unlikely to even glance at those emails as you speed-click, “delete.”Secondly, approaching outbound sales as purely a numbers games means going head to head with technology — namely artificial intelligence (AI). Yes, AI can certainly be your friend but think about it: every email platform today is better at identifying spam than ever before. Those countless, generic “just following up” emails? They’re getting re-routed to the spam folder with blinding quickness. These forces also come into play beyond initial outreach. Just because you’ve gotten your foot in the door with a net new prospect, it doesn’t mean the work ends there. Building those relationships makes even more outreach necessary — both to strengthen the overall relationship and to move the deal along. But how do you compete with an increasingly disinterested party and ruthless spam folder?New Motto: #HoldTheHustleThe Nudge AI Manifesto: #HoldTheHustleHow do you move to the new way of doing things while effectively coaching your sales team to do better? There’s a lot of research to support the claim that successful sales coaching programs contribute directly to revenue performance. According to the Corporate Executive Board Company:“Sales reps who receive just three hours of coaching a month exceed their goals by seven percent, boosting revenue by 25 percent and increasing the average close rate by 70 percent.”Unfortunately, too many organizations aren’t dedicating the resources they should to make coaching part of company culture. When Nudge polled 100 sales leaders on their organization’s level of sales coaching maturity — more than half reported that coaching efforts were ad hoc at best. The reality is, many sales leaders are simply tracking metrics, making their team log every call, and hoping for the best. They still view sales as a numbers game and believe that persistence is vital. But what if I told you that that wasn’t true — that there is such a thing as going too far? Several magic numbers can act as a benchmark for better overall sales performance. Manage What You MeasureData is important but simply tracking it isn’t an effective use of your time — you have to manage it. Understanding which industry-standard metrics your sales reps are meeting, exceeding, or coming up short on will help you focus your coaching efforts in the right areas. You’ll want a determination of where you will focus the quality of your outreach. Will your company work toward volume, timing, or maybe titles?Striving to help users do more effective outreach at every level of the sales cycle is where you want to land. Nudge has provided a report that shares quantitative sales benchmark information that answers key sales outreach questions.First is the analyzation data from 3.1 million conversations between 1.4 million salespeople. This measurement gives enough information to achieve statistical significance across eight key roles. You’ll note two levels of seniority, and 20 different industries to find the industry standard and best-in-class sales outreach metrics. There are, of course, several metrics across every stage of the sales cycle and every one of those metrics tell a different story about how you could be approaching your relationships. Let’s focus on 4 key metrics that every sales team should be looking at:The number of emails needed to get a response.Timing between outreach efforts and response.Email response rates.Focusing on these numbers will help you do outreach more effectively. These are the number that tends to be where people mess up the most.1. Outreach VolumeIt takes several minutes to craft a well-researched, personalized email. But when reaching out to a prospect multiple times, you eventually get to the point where there is little use in sending “just another follow-up.” So, what’s the sweet spot after which you should re-focus your efforts on moving on to building relationships with a new prospect (net new or otherwise)?While the answer varies depending on a few factors (role, seniority of both parties, and industry), research has found that to get 90 percent of responses you’ll get — it takes between four to five emails.Ultimately, a high volume of activity doesn’t correlate to more deals, so hiring more Business Development Reps (BDRs) and turning up the number of outbound activities doesn’t necessarily equate to more revenue. Using your new coaching opportunities — if you only measure the number of activities without looking at the quality of those interactions — you might be missing out on opportunities to learn from high-performing reps.2. Response TimelineWhen going after a valuable prospect, trying to get their attention for days or weeks on end may feel like it’s worth it. But just as you’re only likely to get 90 percent of your responses after four emails, there’s also a time cap after which you’re unlikely to ever get an answer. So, when is it time to move on to the next?While the timeline varies based on the seniority of both the sales rep and the prospect, 90 percent of the responses you’re going to get will come within five weeks of your first outreach email.This is based on the knowledge that 90 percent of outreach sequences across roles are up to 13 weeks long, with the average sequence length being just 6.5 weeks long. It’s also interesting to note that, on average, four outbound emails are sent per sequence, with 90 percent of sequences containing seven emails or less.Why does this matter? Most sales reps continue to reach out to prospects well past the five-week period – which is when they’re the most likely to get a response. Additionally, they send up to three more emails in their outreach sequence than the recommended four.Most sales professionals waste 1.5 weeks and three emails per outreach sequence and on prospects that are most likely not going to respond.These numbers are based on communications found at all level of the sales cycle and serve to illustrate a point. Whether you’re dealing with net new prospects or you’re relationship building with current prospects, the struggles aren’t that much different. This makes a good case for quality over quantity. 3. Response RateOther than raw activity (volume), response, open, and clickthrough rates remain the most prevalent success metrics for sales reps. It’s widely accepted that these numbers tend to be quite low — especially when it comes to cold outbound emails. The success of each outreach is affected by a number of factors, ranging from the right subject line, the level of personalized content and the prospect themselves, to the number of emails sent and the length of each outreach sequence. What response rate should you be striving for in your particular role? While reps in different vital roles have response rates that range from 12% – 22% (depending on seniority) and individual email response rates vary between three percent and six percent. Prospects who eventually respond to sales outreach emails do so at an average rate of about 15.5 percent. If this number seems high, it’s likely because you’re only thinking of initial outreach. There won’t be sales reps out there hitting these numbers with cold outreach efforts.How do top sales reps get high response rates? Simple: they expand their outreach beyond the initial prospect and broaden their conversations to other contacts at the company. Rather than focus on relentless cold outreach, they build relationships with existing relationships on top of the committee of others who need to opt-in in order to make that one successful sale. This will mean the concerted efforts of everyone from sales leaders and IT, all the way up to the CEO.When digging further into response rates based on the level of seniority of both the rep and the prospect you’ll get mixed pairings as you go through the sales cycle and as you talk to more and more people.last_img read more

Adarsh scam: Vilasrao Deshmukh bent rules for ex-army chiefs

first_imgThe Adarsh Housing society in Mumbai.Union rural development minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has made the sensational disclosure that he had bent rules to give memberships to former army chiefs Gen Deepak Kapoor and Gen N. C. Vij in Mumbai’s controversial Adarsh housing society.In a 15-page affidavit filed before the two-member inquiry panel headed by retired Bombay High Court judge J. A. Patil, Deshmukh said, “I approved the proposal to relax the domicile norms/conditions in case of Generals Vij and Kapoor. This decision was fully justified and fitting, considering their eminence and their distinguished service to the nation.”Bending the rules enabled the two generals to get membership of the society and qualified them for a flat in the housing complex.Deshmukh, who is a former Maharashtra chief minister, had also held the urban development portfolio in the state cabinet.He had earlier been quoted as saying that he had only played a peripheral role in the Adarsh allotments.His admission before the Justice Patil commission on favouring Gen Kapoor and Gen Vij could prove tricky for the UPA which had probably felt that the Adarsh scam would not return to haunt them after Ashok Chavan was made the fall guy and asked to resign as chief minister.The CBI too was asked to probe the housing scam as the scam erupted.The Patil commission was set up to probe irregularities in Adarsh housing society. Last year, the media reported violations of building and environment rules which were overlooked by the Congress-led government in Maharashtra to allow the construction of the high-rise Adarsh society complex in the city’s Colaba area.advertisementIn his affidavit, Deshmukh acknowledged that he did not entertain any other request for membership to get a flat in the Adarsh complex. The matter relating to Gen Kapoor and Gen Vij was “approved as a special case” and would not be treated as a precedent, the former chief minister said in the affidavit.Click here to EnlargeDeshmukh justified his decision to relax the society’s membership rules for the two generals because they had served in the state for a “considerable period of time”. While Gen Vij had served in Maharashtra for 10 years, Gen Kapoor’s stint lasted for seven years, he said.However, legal luminaries have asked whether armed forces personnel stationed in a command posting can be described as those ‘serving in a state’ for domicile purposes since they are sent to all parts of the country, depending on the unit they have joined.Deshmukh’s affidavit does not clarify this point.The Union minister’s affidavit also states that the Adarsh society land belonged to the Maharashtra government and was never reserved for defence personnel or Kargil war heroes.”The records maintained with the office of the Collector of Mumbai clearly show that the land belonged to the state government and the ownership of the land was never an issue at any stage so far as I am concerned,” he told the commission.The Adarsh society land was not reserved for housing defence personnel or Kargil war heroes either under the development plan for Greater Mumbai or under any of the policies of the state government, the union minister added. However, he claimed, the land was in the Army’s possession.Click here to EnlargeIn presenting the affidavit, Deshmukh appeared to be abdicating his supervisory responsibility by blaming the state machinery for decisions taken on the controversial Adarsh society during his tenure as Maharashtra chief minister.The affidavit begins with a long explanation on the functioning of the state government machinery and how a chief minister takes decisions.For instance, it says that the files put up before the chief minister sets out the clear views or opinion formed by the administration on a proposal.The chief minister is not required to personally scrutinise or cross verify every fact stated in the proposal.In the past chief ministers have been hauled up by the Supreme Court for their supervisory lapses on construction projects.Deshmukh also denied that the state’s revenue department was asked to put up a proposal for allotment of land to Adarsh society at the insistence of the then Shiv Sena MLC Kanaihyalal Gidwani.This was one of the several charges activist Santosh Daundkar had made in an affidavit before the inquiry Commission.”The suggestion that I ordered the allotment of land to Adarsh in an irregular and/ or improper manner to favour Gidwani is fully mischievous,” he stated, but said that he might have met Gidwani during his tenure.advertisementIt has been alleged that Deshmukh approved a proposal to grant additional floor space index (FSI) to Adarsh by taking over adjacent land reserved for BEST depot and converting it to residential type.However, the union minister defended his decision by saying that the decision to change the land use of a plot reserved for BEST to residential was just and in accordance with law. The notification was done in 2006.The due process of law was followed and it was done in public interest, he said. BEST’s interest was also protected and there was no loss to the government exchequer as Adarsh society paid Rs 6.40 crore for acquiring the rights of the plot, he said. BEST never opposed his government’s decision, Deshmukh claimed.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more

Delhi Belly team launches wacky t- shirts

first_imgIt has released wacky Tshirts with bizarre tag lines. Delhi Belly boys Imran Khan, Vir Das and Kunaal Roy Kapur launched an interesting range of tees on June 20, 2011, backed by public popularity. Imran disclosed to everyone that it was his mamu Aamir’s idea to have such innovative tees. They will be available at stores shortly. The trio was seen sporting the tees which have tag- lines based on hit songs such as D.K. Bose and Switty Switty from the movie. The movie has been in the news for quite some time now for its bizarre songs.last_img read more