In an Experiential-Obsessed Marketplace, Surkus Uses Tech to Stand Out

first_imgAI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at Experiences have flooded the marketplace. Whether they’re investing in pop-up stores or festivals, brands have recognized the major shift happening. The IPA Bellwether Report found that in the U.K., experiential marketing was the only area to experience significant growth in spend in 2017 besides internet marketing.Similarly, EventTrack found that American consumers gravitated toward the brands that gave them experiences to savor, with 74 percent reporting they were more likely to purchase from brands engaging them with experiences. In fact, 98 percent admitted they created social content when they participated in these experiences — and all of those who created content also shared content.The writing’s on the wall for companies that have paid attention. These experiences can be beneficial to brands of every type, and Surkus is determined to use technology to make experiential accessible.Abandoning the Spray-and-Pray ModelSurkus classifies three major areas as experiential: branding experiential (such as pop-ups), ticketed experiences (such as concerts or festivals), and immersive experiences (such as VR). In working with brands that launch experiences in every category, Surkus focuses on making the strongest matches it can between its members and its clients.It does that through technology. The brand’s platform uses an algorithm to identify the right audience members for each experience being offered. By curating a group that’s expressed interest in a certain subject or a similar brand, Surkus pinpoints the members who will feel excited about the opportunity.That translates to a win for Surkus’ client companies. Surkus’ focus on targeting the right audience makes both attendance and engagement possible. Clients can ask for a variety of engagements — social content, surveys, market research — with Surkus enabling communication between clients and members throughout every point of a campaign.“We don’t need to complicate things, but simplify them,” explains Stephen George, Surkus’ CEO. “We want to make sure the right audience is attending and engaging, and we know the little things are our clients’ entire objective in working with us. It doesn’t have to be complex.”Capitalizing on What They’ve GotSurkus’ knowledge of where members are at every touchpoint is valuable: By tracking members’ locations and activity, the platform can nudge them and offer reminders. The platform, designed for Instagram posts, can point out that a member, still at an event, just took 50 photos and should post one of them. If the member exited the venue, the client can ask questions to get real-time feedback on how the installation or product played in front of its audience.“It’s important to be able to time our interactions and engagements correctly,” George says. “In the moment, members shouldn’t be interrupted so they can absorb the experience. But there hasn’t been an easy way to transfer instantaneous reactions. Brands don’t want to target people when they walk in or when they’re in the middle of a performance — they’re not going to get very good information.”But good information is there for the taking. George points to concerts as an example: If a concert producer spent the majority of his budget on the closing act and the grand finale fireworks, but 40 percent of concertgoers left two hours before the encore, Surkus can provide that data to the producer so he can reconsider where he’s spending his money. While Surkus’ goal with members is to provide them with compelling experiences, the brand’s focus for clients is driving long-term value.“If brands have already planned out the production of their events and are wasting money at certain times, we need to be able to tell them,” George explains. “They may be able to restructure the production to use the same layout of money but increase engagement. And the longer we can keep people engaged, the more ancillary revenue that drives — but there’s also a better experience because there’s no lag in the event itself.”Bringing Experiential to the MassesTechnology has made things more affordable, particularly through automation. Surkus itself thrives on this fact: While a PR agency helping with experiential activations can handle 20 clients at one time, Surkus can work with 10,000. “Bodies just aren’t as efficient as our algorithm,” George says.This sheer volume helps every activation under Surkus’ umbrella — as its base grows, so does its data collection. This enables Surkus to give first-timers a head start by giving them insight into what’s worked well for similar types of events or which types of audience members responded best. But, as George says, that data becomes more meaningful as clients repeatedly work with Surkus to launch experiences; the brand can provide continuous data on who engaged or took actions so constant tweaks can occur.The affordability and ease created by technology hasn’t completely trickled down, and George says that’s created a misconception that lingers among small brands. “There’s a perception that events have to be grandiose, multimillion-dollar affairs that only global brands can afford,” he says. “It can be a small mom-and-pop retailer with a pop-up event, and that can be just as enticing as Under Armour launching a $1 million activation at its store. The point is targeting the people who will respond.”Brands from small businesses to international conglomerates should be fitting experiential into their budgets, regardless of the size. While attention is paid to experiences offered by Netflix, Anheuser-Busch, or LiveNation, anyone can do it, George points out, and platforms like Surkus enable the same types of results for brands of every size.Smaller brands that refuse to invest in experiential, in fact, will run into a universal problem: ad blockers and other tools that allow consumers to bypass marketing. With people skipping commercials regularly and billboards simply not having the reach they should for their cost, experiential has become a more affordable way to stick in consumers’ minds. Surkus’ platform offers a la carte services, allowing clients to determine what’s most important in terms of engagement and what fits within their budget. Getting one attendee to walk through the door at an event can cost as little as $3. After an era of spray-and-pray advertising, with money sprinkled everywhere, experiential can result in reverse sticker shock.What’s NextBringing experiential to the masses also means expanding markets, and that’s next on Surkus’ agenda. George, the former co-founder and head of operations for Groupon, says the Los Angeles-based business launched in Boston last month and is “relaunching” in San Francisco in October.“A lot of our markets in the past grew organically, but now we’re announcing launches in targeted areas — we’re highly dedicated to these new markets,” George says. The brand also has an eye on global growth and serving its clients in any market they’re operating in; beyond its office in Hong Kong, Surkus plans to expand to Singapore in the next few months.That reinforces the company’s belief that experiential isn’t necessarily what people think it is — and it’s not outside anyone’s reach. By incorporating technology to make experiential activations more affordable and accessible, Surkus just may have found a way to bring personalized experiences to the masses. Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Tags:#branding#customer experience#CX#event marketing#experiential marketing#festival#marketing#pop-up shop How Data Analytics Can Save Lives AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… Related Posts last_img read more

Being Responsive Versus Being Reactive

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now If you are waiting for your clients to need something, you’re being reactive.If you can’t shut down your email and turn off your phone for a couple hours at a time, you’re completely reactive. If you can shut down distractions long enough to do big blocks of focused work, only calling or emailing your clients back when you’re finished, you are being responsive.If you help your clients solve their service issues when they call or email you, you are being reactive. When you help your clients get to the person that owns the transaction on their first call, only escalating calls to you when they need a new outcome, you are being responsive to their real needs. (Hint: You own the outcomes, not the transactions. You don’t often add value as an intermediary)If you wait until your client decides on their next big initiative and bring it to you, you are being reactive. It’s proactive when you respond to the changes you notice in their business and bring them the new big ideas.The problem with being reactive instead of being responsive is that you’re always waiting for something to happen. You’re waiting for the world to act on you before you respond. Something happens and you react. While it’s necessary for you take action when your clients have a need, this is the opposite of being proactive and taking initiative.How much better could you serve your clients if you were responsive instead of reactive? How much more value could you create if you found a way to limit what you have to react to so you can be more proactive?The more reactive you are, the less responsive you can be. You’re too busy reacting to what comes your way instead of doing your most important work.QuestionsHow much of your day is spent on outcomes you were determined to take, not a reaction to what someone else dropped in your lap?Can you be responsive without being reactive?Do you answer your email and your voicemail before you start working on your most important outcomes? How much of you inbox is made up of things that require you to react?What do you need to do to be more proactive and less reactive?last_img read more

Cash-for-marks scam hits Gujarat medical college

first_imgWhen Gujarat’s Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) caught Bharat Sawant and Ashok Tailor accepting ₹20 lakh from a doctor couple to allow their daughter to appear in the final year MBBS examination of the Sumandeep Vidhyapeeth (SV), a deemed university that runs medical and dental colleges in Vadodara, the agency had little idea that a massive cash-for-marks and ‘donation’ scam would be unearthed.The ACB laid a trap to arrest Sawant and Tailor on Monday; the duo worked to collect money on behalf of Mansukh Shah, SV’s chairman and managing trustee. Subsequently, Mr. Shah was also arrested as the police established that the cash collected by the duo was meant for him.Following the arrest, the police raided several premises of Mr. Shah’s and recovered 200 signed cheques worth ₹101 crore from students. At the back of each cheque, the name and details of students were written, but the instruments did not have dates or the receiver’s name on them.“Cheques were taken in advance from students in addition to their regular course fees, which means those cheques were meant for other purposes, either as donation for admission, or as cash for marks in exams,” a senior official of the ACB told The Hindu, adding, “As per the modus operandi, the cheque was returned after the student paid in cash.”According to the assistant director of the ACB, D.P. Chudasama, after the arrest of Mansukh Shah and his agents, the agency has received a dozen complaints from current and ex-students that they were forced to pay a hefty amount in order to take exams.Mr. Chudasama added that the ACB had also collected documents related to ₹43 crore as fixed deposits in various banks, and papers pertaining to immovable properties and land parcels. Another ACB official pegged Mr. Shah’s empire at ₹1,500 crore, with annual donation income of close to ₹100 crore from 150 MBBS seats, 100 BDS seats, 112 MS and MD seats and 30 MDS seats in his colleges.Interestingly, the current president of the Medical Council of India (MCI), Dr. Jayshree Mehta, was earlier Vice Chancellor of SVU from 2007 to 2012.Considered a close aide of former MCI chairman Dr. Ketan Desai, Mr. Shah founded SVU’s medical and dental colleges, which were recognised as a deemed university by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 2013, so it has its own fee structure and admission process.All for a priceAccording to insiders, the donation for each MBBS seat is anywhere between ₹50 lakh to ₹ 1 crore, in addition to the regular course fee of ₹15.95 lakh for general category students, ₹11.96 lakh for Jain students, and $50,000 for students getting admissions in NRI (Non Resident Indian)-sponsored seats.Similarly for BDS, donation amounts range from ₹10 to ₹15 lakh, besides a regular course fee of ₹4.75 lakh for the general category, ₹3.56 lakh for Jains, and $13,000 for the NRI category.“Shah runs his university like a shop, selling seats and also higher grades in exams. This concept of a self-financed and deemed university needs to be reviewed because the entire process, from admission to fixing fees and taking the exam is done by itself, without the intervention of any outside agency,” said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker R.M. Patel, who earlier served as health commissioner of Gujarat.“Shah is a medical and education mafia and will be dealt with strictly as per the law,” said Gujarat BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya. “Sumandeep (Vidyapeeth) is an epicentre of corruption in medical education in the State. We have been demanding that his [Shah’s] colleges should be de-recognised as it is a massive scam running into several thousand crores of rupees,” said Congress leader and syndicate member of the Gujarat University, Manish Doshi.A senior official in the Gujarat government told The Hindu that more than 40% students in SV are children of doctors from Gujarat and other States. Interestingly, even the main complainant is an Ahmedabad-based doctor couple, whose daughter is in the final year of MBBS at SV.The couple approached the ACB when they received a call from the college, asking for ₹20 lakh to enable their daughter to take the final year exam. “The college authorities would call parents before the exam, saying that their child has failed in the internal exam, and so would not be allowed to take the annual exam. Subsequently, after the payment of a certain amount, he or she would be allowed to take the exam and get good marks,” an insider said, explaining the cash-for-marks racket.last_img read more

Afternoon Newswrap March 1

first_imgIshrat Jahan case: Plea in Supreme Court seeks quashing of murder charges against Gujarat cops A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking the quashing of criminal cases against Gujarat policemen in the alleged encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan, who, the plea claims, was a terrorist plotting to kill the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.Donald Trump misquotes Mahatma GandhiRepublican presidential front runner Donald Trump today posted a quoteon Instagram attributing it to Mahatma Gandhi, but the American mediasaid there is no evidence that the Indian leader had ever used thesewords. Sarbjit first poster out: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s de-glam avatar as Dalbir KaurAishwarya sports a de-glam avatar with spectacles and slight grey hair in the first poster of Sarbjit.Pakistan star Shoaib Malik gunning for revenge against IndiaPakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik said his team wanted to play India in the final of the Asia Cup. MS Dhoni’s men thumped Pakistan when the two teams met in the round robin clash earlier on Saturday. With Sri Lanka performing poorly, Pakistan are expected to join in-form India in the final of this year’s tournament.last_img read more

Mumbai Indians not using Rohit Sharma well in middle order: Sourav Ganguly to India Today

first_imgMumbai Indians have done well to win two of their first matches in IPL 2017 but they would be concerned with the form of their captain Rohit Sharma. The flamboyant batsman has so far managed only nine runs in three matches. (Kohli declared fit for Mumbai Indians clash)However, thanks to the efforts of the openers, the Pandya brothers and Nitish Rana, MI have got going somehow. But Rohit’s form would be crucial for Mumbai as well as India, who will regroup for the Champions Trophy in a few weeks. (Pandya brothers have the license to thrill from MI captain Rohit Sharma)Sourav Ganguly, in an exclusive interview with India Today, suggested MI open with Rohit and also picked the players who have made the biggest impact among Indian players. (Rana, Pandya brothers shine as MI beat SRH)Excerpts:Boria Majumdar: Sourav, early on in IPL 2017, in the first week, young Indian players have made a mark. From Risabah Pant, Sanju Samson, Nitish Rana to Hardik Pandya, all of them have performed well. What’s your take on that?Sourav Ganguly: Look, even Manoj Tiwary played well but for me Sanju Samson looked good. He can play the big shots with ease which is very crucial in this format.But still it’s early days in the tournament. IPL has produced many such talents in the past and it will keep on doing so.Boria: Talking about Mumbai Indians, Hardik Pandya has been brilliant for them this season.Ganguly: Hardik is the most improved player this year. Among all the youngsters, he has been the best. Pandya won two games on his own and emerged as the most valuable player. Pandya has improved 40% player from what he was in the ICC World T20 last year.advertisementBoria: So you want him for the Champions Trophy side?Ganguly: If Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli are following his game, I would suggest that they play him in all three formats.Boria: Sourav, we have been searching for a fast-bowling all-rounder in India. Finally, do you see that talent in Hardik Pandya?Ganguly: The talent is there but you need to use brains to transform that talent which Jacque Kallis did. Pandya can bowl around 140 kmph and he has a good batting technique. It’s up to to him and the team management to convert that into consistency.Boria: If we talk about spinners, Kuldeep Yadav impressed in his first Test. Also, he’s bowling well for Kolkata Knight Riders. Does that give you hope that he can do well?Ganguly: Kuldeep is our future. He’s a wrist spinner and different from others. It is difficult to pick someone who is unorthodox and accurate at the same time. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep are very good prospects for the shorter formats and they can represent India for long.Boria: Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Rohit Sharma are all fighting for that one spot in middle order. Yuvraj has anyway cemented his place. Any word on Kedar Jadhav?Ganguly: Kedar’s improvement has been outstanding. He played a match-winning knock for Bangalore. He won games for India against England in good pitches.Rohit will take time. I think Mumbai are not using him well while playing him in the middle order. They should open with Rohit and back Buttler for the no.4 spot.In the current scenario, Yuvraj, Jadhav and Hardik Pandya have had the most impact among Indian players.ALSO WATCH:last_img read more

Rethymnou, Olympiakos Hang On

first_imgOlympiakos’ basketball power survived a scare from upstart Korivos Amaliadas to hold on to a 79-73 win while AGO Rethymnou defeated host Nea Kifissia, 74-64 to grab third place in the Greek league.Olympiakos trailed on several occasions to the newly-elevated Korivos squad which gave Reds’ coach Yiannis Sfairopoulos a start and reason to tell his players not to be complacent.The Cretan team Rethymnou was led by American point guard Vincent Council out of Providence College who scored 22 points and earned the league’s Most Valuable Player award for the second time in three weeks.Champion Panathinaikos was in good form, pounding Panionios 92-61 at home in front of about 9,000 fans at the Olympic Sports Hall, to extend its perfect record to eight games.PAOK suffered another loss, this one to Apollon Patras, 80-70 while while Aris put an end to AEK’s winning run with an 86-75 victory.Kolossos Rhodes lost the league’s top scorer, Mike James, to Euroleague challenger Laboral Kutxa, but still managed to beat visiting Trikala 77-69.Panelefsiniakos thrashed KAO Dramas 83-69, putting the losers in danger of relegation.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Liverpool pre-season nearly boils over as Larouci suffers horror tackle

first_imgFrom sizzling South Bend to the Boston furnace, Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the USA threatened to boil over.Beaten by Borussia Dortmund on Friday, the Reds found themselves embroiled in the most ill-tempered of ‘friendlies’ against old foes Sevilla here at Fenway Park. They lost 2-1.This was a game that will live in the memory, but not for the right reasons. The Spaniards’ robust approach left a mark, quite literally. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Liverpool will hope Yasser Larouci, victim of a disgraceful second-half ‘challenge’ from Sevilla substitute Joris Gnagnon, is not seriously injured. The 18-year-old, who has made a positive impact for the Reds this summer, was taken off on a stretcher after Gnagnon’s ridiculous kick out.Jurgen Klopp had already made his feelings perfectly clear to Julen Lopetegui, his opposite number, after a first-half littered with dubious tackles and flailing arms. The Liverpool boss says he is “rarely happy” after pre-season games; he will have been fuming by what he saw here.The football, when it broke out, wasn’t great. This was officially Boston’s hottest day since 1991, and it showed in the quality of the game. Even a kick-off of 6pm local time didn’t help, with the temperature still above 100 degrees Fahrenheit as the game began. Not an ideal day for Liverpool to debut their new all-black third kit, then.Sevilla’s questionable approach aside, there was, in truth, not a great deal to get worked up about. Liverpool fielded a different side in both halves – and were forced to bring Bobby Duncan on after Larouci’s evening was ended – and lacked cohesion and intensity for the most part. Perhaps, given the nature of the game, that was a good thing. There was a first Reds outing for Andy Lonergan, with the veteran goalkeeper playing the first 45 minutes. Lonergan’s last game had been for League One strugglers Rochdale against Scunthorpe in March, but the 35-year-old showed no signs of rustiness here. One save in particular, from Luuk de Jong, caught the eye.Yasser Larouci Liverpool SevillaLiverpool had started reasonably, Ben Woodburn and Divock Origi going close in the early exchanges, but there was a lack of bite and intensity to their play throughout the opening period as Sevilla, with the irascible Ever Banega influential, tested them defensively. The Reds seemed particularly troubled by crosses into their box, either from set-pieces or from open play.It would be one such delivery, from Jesus Navas, which led to the Spaniards’ opener. Navas’ low ball from the right clipped Nat Phillips and fell kindly for another ex-Manchester City man, Nolito, to beat Lonergan with a well-taken first-time finish.Liverpool at least levelled before the break, Origi on hand to lash home from close range after Phillips’ header had been blocked. The Belgian’s poaching instincts, so evident last season, remain as strong as ever.Sevilla, reduced to 10 men after Gnagnon’s moment of madness, snatched the win in the final minute, Alejandro Pozo finishing smartly after a counter-attack to condemn Liverpool to a second defeat in 48 hours.From here, they head to New York, where temperatures are expected to be a little more favourable. Klopp will hope Sporting Lisbon, opponents at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night, are a little less fired-up for a friendly match than Sevilla were here. The Spaniards won’t be getting a call next summer, that’s for sure. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

What Heisman Trophy Voting Looked Like Before Conference Title Games

first_img2018 Heisman Trophy finalists Dwayne Haskins, Kyler Murray, and Tua Tagovailoa.ESPNFor much of the 2018 season, it looked like Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa was a shoo-in for the Heisman Trophy. Tagovailoa put up prodigious stats as the quarterback of the top team in the country.However, a major shift happened on the season’s final weekend, during conference championship play. Tagovailoa had a sub-par game (by his standards) against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, leaving early with an injury.Meanwhile, Murray had a huge performance in the Big 12 title game as Oklahoma took down Texas to secure a College Football Playoff berth. After all this transpired, it seemed like all the momentum in the Heisman race was with Murray, and he won the award last night.The numbers are out and they back up this late movement. According to’s Ben Jones, Tua had a solid lead in ballots that were cast before the conference title games.During and after the conference championship contests, Murray surged ahead.Tua Tagovailoa led Kyler Murray 294-215 on ballots submitted before the conference championship games kicked off. On the ballots submitted during/after those games, Murray received 1,952 points to Tagovailoa’s 1,577.— Ben Jones (@BW_Jones) December 9, 2018You can debate whether or not the voters got it right, but it has often been a complaint that many Heisman voters cast their ballot before the season ends.The ones that waited to do so ended up deciding the trophy winner, so it will be interesting to see if more voters hold off on voting until after the title games in the coming years.last_img read more

Which country has the heaviest representation in World Cup 2019? Not India

first_imgWhich country has the heaviest representation in World Cup 2019? Not IndiaAs the ICC World Cup 2019 gets underway in England and Wales, we look at players who were born in a country different from the one they are currently representing at the tournament Ajay Tiwari New DelhiMay 31, 2019UPDATED: May 31, 2019 17:16 IST Fans turned out in throes for the opening party of the World Cup 2019 (Twitter: @cricketworldcup)HIGHLIGHTSICC World Cup 2019 is being played in England and WalesThe tournament features 150 players from 10 countries fighting it out for the sport’s ultimate prizeThe highest number of players are South Africa-born followed by India and PakistanThe ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is underway in England and Wales with 10 of the best teams in the cricketing globe fighting each other for the sport’s greatest prize. With 15 players in each squad, there is a lot of talent at display at the tournament. But did you know that not all the players were born in the same nation which they currently play for at the World Cup?Of the 150 players who have turned up in England, there are many who were born in one country but shifted to another for some reason or the other. For example, the current England squad has 5 players who were born outside the country. Similarly, countries like New Zealand and Australia currently have multiple players born outside Oceania.India, Afghanistan, South Africa, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are the only teams at the World Cup wherein the full 15-man squad was born in the same country.Looking at other teams, South Africa leads with a total of 17 players born in Protea country while India and Pakistan were the birthplaces of 16 players each at the World Cup.2 current England players – Jason Roy and Tom Curran – were born in South Africa, along with the New Zealand hard-hitter Colin Munro. Ben Stokes, England’s hero from their opening match against South Africa, traces his roots to Christchurch where he was born in 1991. England’s captain Eoin Morgan himself was born in and played for Ireland for a while before shifting allegiances elsewhere.Ish Sodhi – the New Zealand spinner – is the only player outside India’s squad to have been born in the country. While Pakistani all-rounder Imad Wasim was born in Wales in 1988, Aussie batsman Usman Khawaja and South African tweaker Imran Tahir were actually born in Pakistan.advertisementIncidentally, Zimbabwe, a side which missed out on a World Cup berth last year, can take solace from the fact that Colin de Grandhomme who was born in Harare will be turning up in New Zealand colours during the event.150 players in World Cup 2019 by country of birth:17 South Africa16 India16 Pakistan15 Afghanistan15 Bangladesh15 Sri Lanka14 Australia13 New Zealand10 England6 Barbados5 Jamaica4 Trinidad & Tobago1 Guyana1 Ireland1 Wales1 Zimbabwe #Trivia #CWC19Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) May 30, 2019Players in World Cup 2019 who were born in another country (numbers in bold depict the total number of players):17 South Africa – Jason Roy, Tom Curran, Colin Munro16 India – Ish Sodhi16 Pakistan – Usman Khawaja, Imran Tahir15 Afghanistan15 Bangladesh15 Sri Lanka14 Australia13 New Zealand – Ben Stokes10 England6 Barbados – Jofra Archer5 Jamaica – Chris Gayle4 Trinidad & Tobago – Nicholas Pooran1 Guyana – Shimron Hetmyer1 Ireland – Eoin Morgan1 Wales – Imad Wasim1 Zimbabwe – Colin de GrandhommeAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Ashes catch was better as it came against Australia, feels Ben StokesAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Ben Stokes joins Aravinda de Silva in sharing unique recordFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAjay Tiwari Tags :Follow World Cup 2019Follow Ben StokesFollow Ish Sodhilast_img read more

Naming Ceremony for Havyard`s Newbuild ‘Lewek …

first_imgzoom It is many years since the last naming ceremony at the shipyard in Leirvik. But it is no coincidence that Havyard`s newbuild 114, «Lewek Inspector», was named there last Saturday.Havyard arranged for an open boat session and naming ceremony, and as many as 450 people of all ages defied bad weather and strong winds in order to view the top modern subsea vessel, delivered to Forland Shipping last Thursday. The outfitting hall was turned into a café with food and drinks for all visitors. Elena Fragoacomo of Italy was godmother, and she had memorized good luck wishes in Norwegian by heart, before she completed the naming ceremony by crushing a bottle of bubbly against the hull.Honouring the workersThis is the first vessel that Forland Shipping has contracted after the former shipowner Ellen Forland passed away in 2010. Mrs. Forland was a principled lady until her final day. The vessels were to be constructed at Norwegian shipyards; they should accommodate Norwegian equipment and have Norwegian crew onboard. The naming ceremonies were always held at the shipyards because the workers should be honoured as they constructed ships for stormy seas.For Ellen Marie Forland`s sailors, only the best would do, and the unique care she provided for them turned her into a legend of her era.Floating art galleryMrs. Forland was also very interested in the aesthetics on board the ships and «Lewek Inspector» can almost be described as a floating art gallery. The shipping company appointed a separate decoration committee, and this committee has chosen a strikingly beautiful collection of visual arts from seven chosen artists. “To my knowledge, this is the first offshore vessel in the world decorated with an overall art collection and a separate art magazine,” says committee chairman, Eilert Munch Lund.Customer focusedThe shipping company`s person in charge of the latest newbuild, Alf Rune Jensen, says they have had an incredibly good cooperation with Havyard throughout the entire process. “They are customer focused and looking for solutions in every area. Deliveries have been made according to specifications and on time, so the ship meets all our expectations,” says Jensen. Havyard`s own Project Manager, Jan Helge Solheim, says that Forland Shipping has been a demanding and determined customer. “They have followed the construction process from hull to delivery, and they have had experienced inspectors involved all along. This made us perform to our best level through reasonable demands and top class cooperation,” says Solheim.Designed for rough conditionsThe hull arrived at the shipyard from Turkey in May, and outfitting has been done in record time for such a large vessel, a vessel which in addition is a prototype. Jan Helge Solheim says that the ship is designed for the toughest of jobs in heavy seas, at major depths, and in ice cold conditions. The ship is fitted out with 2 work-ROVs with Active heave compensated winches for work as far down as 3.500 metres subsea, he says. “It has got a high freeboard and as many as 8 propellers, so that it is capable of complete position keeping at DP and doing work even in heavy seas,” Solheim explains. “In addition, the ship is rigged with ice-reinforced hull, heating cables in rescue equipment, on helideck, in stairs and on railings,” says the Project Manager.Long-term contract with EMAS«Lewek Inspector» will work for EMAS AMC over the next 5 years and the group has an option for renting the vessel after that.EMAS was established in Singapore in 1992 and is today a global company for delivering services to the offshore oil industry. The company currently runs a major fleet of modern offshore vessels and operates worldwide. Proof of the company`s success came when EMAS Group was awarded «Shipowner of the Year» and founder K. S. Lee received the «Lifetime Achievement Award» at the Offshore Support Journal conference in London in February this year.EMAS AMC was established as EMAS acquired Aker Marine Contractors (AMC) in 2011. EMAS AMC offers subsea construction, installations and maintenance throughout the lifespan of an offshore project.«Lewek Inspector» has during construction been rebuilt to fit EMAS`s specifications. Print  Close Havyard, November 19, 2013 My location 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定last_img

Residential school report just the beginning of Canadas healing survivors

first_imgThe Canadian PressMike Cachagee was just four-and-a-half when he was taken from his home and sent to a residential school in northern Ontario.For the next 12 years, he never celebrated a birthday.He was never hugged.He never heard “I love you.”He was never encouraged or praised.He was beaten and sexually abused.When he and his younger brother finally returned home, his mother had remarried and started a new family. She barely recognized her sons.It took Cachagee two failed marriages, years of alcohol and drug abuse and therapy before he started to come to grips with what happened to him.His brother never did. He descended into a life of addiction on Winnipeg’s streets.“He was only three years old when he went there,” Cachagee said.“He came out when he was 16 and the rest of his life was just a mess with alcoholism. Just horrid. He never had a chance _ all because he was sent off to a residential school.”The brothers rarely speak now.The Truth and Reconciliation Commission examining Canada’s Indian residential schools is to release a summary of its final report Tuesday after hearing testimony from 7,000 survivors. The final report marks the end of a five-year exploration of one of the darkest chapters in Canada’s history.About 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis children were taken from their families and forced to attend government schools over much of the last century. The last school closed outside Regina in 1996.For survivors such as Cachagee, the torment doesn’t abate with the commission’s report.“We don’t need to heal, we need to rebuild,” said Cachagee, who now counsels other survivors in Sault Ste Marie, Ont.Ken Young remembers the day in the 1950s when he was taken from his home at age eight along with his brothers and sisters.He remembers boarding a train with other Aboriginal children and the laughter while on the novel journey.Then they reached the Prince Albert Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan.“We were lonesome,” Young said. “I remember a lot of us crying a lot.”There were public floggings in the dining hall.Children had their heads shaved and their legs shackled in pyjamas because they had tried to go home.The school was more like a prison, he said.“I thought it was normal because I was just a young guy. Later, I realized how bad that was that adults would treat children like that,” said Young, a Winnipeg lawyer. “I was ashamed to be who I was because that’s what we were taught.”It took a long time to let go of his anger.Young is hoping the commission will recommend a healing strategy developed by survivors that will address the aftermath of Canada’s failed policy to “take the Indian out of the child.”But he suspects the commission’s report will go the way of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.“There’ll be recommendations made and then it will go on a shelf like all the other reports that have been sanctioned by government.“I’m not overly optimistic.”David Harper is more interested in what happens after the final report.Harper’s mother was in a residential school, but the first time he heard details of her abuse was at her compensation hearing with adjudicators before she died.“Every word that came out of her mouth, I kept thinking, ‘How dare you Canada, allowing this to happen to my mom.”’Just recently, Harper, who is the grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak representing Manitoba’s northern First Nations, learned one of his uncles was in a residential school and was whipped until he defecated.Those stories are just starting to be told, Harper said.Harper points to Israel where one of the Holocaust memorials includes an eternal flame.“I would like to see something like that for our First Nations, where they could go and sit down and tell their stories to their children,” he said.“We want to make sure we don’t pass on this generational curse.”last_img read more

TSX closes lower amid sliding gold prices traders link jobs data with

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed lower Friday even as jobs data for January in both Canada and the U.S. blew past expectations.The S&P/TSX composite index declined 41 points to 15,083.92 as losses in mining stocks cancelled out gains by financial and energy issues.Statistics Canada reported that 35,400 positions were created in January, far higher than the 4,500 that economists had expected. However, the agency said the gains were the result of more part-time work. The unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage points to 6.6%.The Canadian dollar was lower after jumping almost a cent on Thursday, down 0.64 of a cent to 79.85 cents US.The loonie weakened in the face of a strengthening U.S. dollar after the U.S. Labor Department reported total employment gains of 257,000 last month, well above the approximately 233,000 positions that economists had expected. The U.S. jobless rate edged up to 5.7% from 5.6%.New York markets were lower as the Dow Jones industrials moved down 60.59 points to 17,824.29, the Nasdaq lost 20.7 points to 4,744.4 and the S&P 500 fell 7.05 points to 2,055.47.North American markets had traded higher for most of the day but a number of items encouraged sellers late in the session.For one thing, traders considered whether the strong jobs data makes a rate hike mid-year by the U.S. Federal Reserve more of a certainty.Also, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Greek debt further into junk territory. And markets had already racked up strong gains this week.As it is, the TSX ended the week up 410 points or 2.8%, paced by a 12% jump in the energy sector. Oil prices have essentially stopped going straight down, having entered a period of volatility as traders try to find a bottom. Prices seem to have found some support around US$50 a barrel, but analysts caution that recent lows will be retested before firming up.“The good news is you’re starting to see some volatility and up days — we weren’t seeing any up days,” said Kevin Headland, director, portfolio advisory group at Manulife Asset Management.“So now we’re trying to find that floor but I would say there is a large potential to retest the lows and even hit lower lows before we see a reversal and get a trend to the upside.”On Friday, the TSX energy sector gained 0.7% with the March contract in New York ahead $1.21 to US$51.69 a barrel.Financials were also a major support, ahead one per cent.The gold sector was the biggest TSX decliner, down almost five per cent as bullion prices fell sharply after the release of the U.S. jobs data. April gold faded $28.10 to US$1,234.60 an ounce.The base metals sector also dragged, down 1.25% as March copper was off one cent at US$2.59 a pound.In earnings news, Domtar Corp. (TSX:UFS) had US$71 million or $1.10 per share of net income in the fourth quarter and US$1.379 billion in sales, both up from a year earlier. Ex-items, the Montreal-based paper company had US$91 million or US$1.41 per share of adjusted earnings, well ahead of the 92 cents that analysts had expected and its shares ran up C$3.32 or 6.95 per cent to $51.11. read more

Nearly one in six Canadians could not handle 500 increase in mortgage

OTTAWA — Nearly one in six Canadians would not be able to handle a $500 increase in their monthly mortgage payments, a new survey from the Bank of Montreal suggests.According to the bank, 16 per cent of respondents said they would not be able to afford such an increase, while more than a quarter, or roughly 27 per cent, would need to review their budget. Another 26 per cent said they would be concerned, but could probably handle it.Such an increase would be generated in the case of a three percentage point hike in interest rates — from 2.75 per cent to 5.75 per cent — on a $300,000 mortgage with a 25-year amoritization period.Toronto-area detached home prices surge above $1 million, out of reach of first-time buyersThree tips for single female homebuyersCanadians’ mortgage debt ramping up fast as cheap money fuels leap in luxury home pricesGiven that interest rates are likely to increase in the foreseeable future, the bank said there was no better time to put together a detailed debt management plan.“The ultimate goal of most Canadians should be the elimination of debt, but the first step needs to be getting rid of bad debt, which has the potential to destabilize a household’s financial situation,” said Chris Buttigieg, senior manager of wealth planning strategy at BMO.“A financial professional can help you avoid having your debt lead to long-term financial instability and work with you to develop a plan to sort out your balance sheet as quickly and efficiently as possible.”A report by Statistics Canada last month found the ratio of household credit market debt to disposable income climbed in the second quarter of 2015 to 164.6 per cent, up from 163.0 per cent in the first three months of the year.That means Canadians owed nearly $1.65 in consumer credit and mortgage and non-mortgage loans for every dollar of disposable income.The report by BMO’s Wealth Institute found that almost half of Canadians, 47 per cent, believed that the high level of debt in Canada has been influenced by soaring real estate values, while 40 per cent believed it has been influenced by low rates.Interest rates, including mortgage rates, have been near historic lows. The Bank of Canada has cut its key interest rate twice this year in an attempt to boost an economy hobbled by a sharp drop in commodity prices.BMO noted that when interest rates are low it is a good time to make aggressive principal repayments on loans and its survey found that 35 per cent of those asked are looking to pay down their mortgage sooner.“However, statistics have shown that debt service rates have not changed very much from the early 1990s, when interest rates were much higher,” the report said.“It appears that many Canadians have used low interest rates to get larger loans on more expensive houses rather than to aggressively repay their debt.”The online survey was conducted by ValidateIt for BMO from June 23 to 29, with a sample size of 1,014 Canadians.The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population. read more

Jabari Parker Named Prep Hoops Player of the Year

Jabari Parker, the Chicago high school player of Mormon faith who selected Duke over a plethora of colleges, was named the Morgan Wootten Male Player of the Year during a news conference Monday at the Ronald McDonald House.“It’s a big-time (honor),” Parker said of the award. “I always dreamed about being amongst the ranks of especially Chicago players, but now I can say nationwide. Hopefully, I can take this and give myself a little bit motivation.”Parker, whom ESPN ranks as the No. 2 senior in the country, helped guide Simeon Career Academy to its fourth consecutive Illinois state championship in Peoria, Ill., on Saturday. He had 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting and eight rebounds in the Wolverines’ state title victory. He also had 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 15 rebounds in the team’s semifinal win.Parker averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds during his senior year after battling a foot injury early in the season. He averaged 21.7 points during the team’s seven playoff victories.The Wootten award is named after the former DeMatha High School (Hyattsville, Md.) coaching legend and given to the McDonald’s All-American who demonstrates outstanding character, exhibits leadership and exemplifies the values of being a student-athlete in the classroom and the community. McDonald’s established the award in Wootten’s name to pay tribute to his achievements as a teacher and coach.Taya Reimer, a guard/forward and Notre Dame recruit from Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Ind., won the girls’ Wootten award.Parker, a 6-foot-9 small forward, was among six finalists for the award. The other finalists included Archbishop Mitty power forward Aaron Gordon (uncommitted), William B. Travis guards Aaron Harrison (Kentucky) and Andrew Harrison (Kentucky), Montverde Academy center  Dakari Johnson (Kentucky) and Huntington Prep forward Andrew Wiggins (uncommitted). All six players are ranked among the top 11 players in ESPN’s Class of 2013 rankings.Parker committed to Duke over BYU, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford on Dec. 20.As a junior, Parker was named the Team USA basketball 2011 Male Athlete of the Year, the Gatorade national player of the year and Illinois’ Mr. Basketball.Parker will be presented with the Wootten award on April 2 during the McDonald’s All-American Game festivities and will play in the April 3 McDonald’s All-American Game at the United Center in Chicago. The game will be televised on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. CST. read more

Biggest botnet takedown in history sees Rustock go offline

first_imgWhen e-mail providers like Google came on the scene the amount of spam in our inboxes fell, not because there was less of it about, but because more intelligent measures were being taken to identify and block it. Levels of spam circulating the Internet always seem to be on the increase and new measures required to block it, but this week those levels fell dramatically.The reason for the sudden fall was a coordinated attack on one of the most successful botnets out there called Rustock. Multiple servers used by the botnet were taken offline simultaneously on Wednesday crippling Rustock’s 26 command and control networks and therefore stopping them sending out around 30 billion spam messages every single day.AdChoices广告Those networks were thought to be controlling in the region of 815,000 Windows PCs around the world infected with Rustock’s rootkit and doing its dirty work. Unless those command networks can be brought back online, which nobody wants, those infected machines become useless to the spammers.Security experts are seeing this as a major breakthrough in cutting down on levels of spam. Rustock remained prevalent due to a number of tactics it used to remain undetected making it very difficult to shutdown. Unless you cut off all its heads at once it will come back, and this time it looks as though it may hopefully remain offline.While it is unknown who planned and coordinated this takedown of the botnet, everyone agrees that whoever did it certainly knew the botnet well and took measures to counteract any backup techniques Rustock used to re-establish itself and its connection with the infected Windows PCs.Read more at Krebs on Security (image via Wikipedia)last_img read more

Inter Vs PSV is the most important match since my leadership

first_imgAhead of Champions League match between Inter and PSV, Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti responded to questions from journalists at the Suning Training Centre.Spalletti said during a Press conference as quoted in club’s website, that the match with PSV is the most important ever since he joined the club as a coach.“This match is the most important one since I’ve been here and it represents the next step that follows on from Lazio vs. Inter on 20 May. Since I’ve been here, we’ve got the points and put in the performances that we needed.”“ Now, we’re here to play for a spot in the last 16 on the final day of the group stage. We’re all aware of the importance of this game, the players are working really well.”Romelu Lukaku, Serie A, Inter MilanCapello calls Lukaku “a modern striker” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The former Italian manager believes Romelu Lukaku is perfectly suited for Antonio Conte’s Internazionale Milan in the Serie A.“We know that qualification won’t just depend on our result but I’d imagine that those at Barcelona would be offended if we continue to doubt their professionalism. They’re a serious club with real professionals, we can’t look at their game.”“ We need to only focus on the PSV game and it’s important to remember that they were in a higher pot of the draw than us.”“Inter certainly hasn’t lost a sense of conviction even if we showed some small lapses in concentration in the last game over the course of the 90 minutes.”“ We’ve played really strong teams like Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus of late and we’ve played on an equal footing. Today, the difference between us and teams of that standard is consistency over the course of an entire season.”last_img read more

ASA Applauds EPA RFS2 Final Rule Favorable to Biodiesel

first_imgThe American Soybean Association (ASA) today applauds release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Final Rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS2) that provides a positive outcome for biodiesel and soy biodiesel. ASA has worked hard to educate EPA and policymakers to correct flaws in the original RFS2 Proposed Rule issued in 2009. Achieving a favorable outcome was vitally important as demand for domestically produced soybean oil and the future of the biodiesel industry in the United States hinged on the outcome.EPA’s Final Rule demonstrates that soy biodiesel can achieve significant reductions in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions relative to petroleum diesel. Even with the inclusion of questionable indirect land use variables, all soy biodiesel is deemed by EPA to exceed the 50 percent reduction threshold needed to qualify for the RFS2 biodiesel mandate.”This favorable EPA ruling is absolutely critical to the continued success of soybeans as a homegrown renewable fuelstock,” said ASA President Rob Joslin, a soybean producer from Sidney, Ohio. “ASA and the biodiesel industry were able to demonstrate that some of EPA’s initial calculations regarding direct and indirect emissions were significantly flawed, and that the agency had used questionable indirect land use assumptions.”RFS2 has been a top priority for ASA. The initial rule proposed by EPA would have done unnecessary harm to the competitive position of the U.S. soy biodiesel industry. ASA generated significant grassroots support and provided extensive information during the EPA’s comment period on RFS2, resulting in thousands of comments from soybean producers and industry supporters being submitted to EPA.EPA will require the combined 2009 and 2010 volume levels to be met, which will require the utilization of 1.1 billion gallons of biodiesel by the end of 2010, significantly energizing demand for U.S. biodiesel producers.ASA is also pleased that agricultural feedstocks produced in the U.S. will be in compliance and no additional certification will be required unless the baseline level of approved agricultural land is exceeded. EPA will require certification for foreign feedstocks.”ASA fought against the burdensome and unnecessary requirement that renewable fuel manufactures prove that their feedstocks meet the definition of renewable biomass,” Joslin said.”Biodiesel is the cleanest burning biofuel currently used in commercial markets,” Joslin said. “Biodiesel is a renewable and sustainable energy source that can play a significant role in our national efforts to increase our energy security and improve our environmental footprint. Biodiesel has also provided a significant market opportunity for U.S. soybean farmers and jobs and economic development for rural communities.”While stressing the importance of the EPA’s RFS2 final rule to the biodiesel and soy industries, Joslin emphasized that biodiesel production likely won’t resume until Congress extends the biodiesel tax incentive.”The biodiesel tax incentive expired on December 31, 2009,” Joslin said. “Expiration of the tax incentive has essentially caused the production and use of biodiesel in the U.S. to cease and has placed the 23,000 jobs that are currently supported by the domestic biodiesel industry in immediate jeopardy. Companies have already started laying-off employees, and this situation is certain to worsen the longer the tax incentive is allowed to lapse.”last_img read more

Credit Market Making Publishers Nervous

first_imgThe Bear Stearns acquisition “certainly casts a gloomy outlook over where the markets and economy are headed,” DeSilva + Phillips managing partner Reed Phillips says. Kemp and Phillips are right. What’s going to come of situations like that with Reed Elsevier announcing plans to divest business sector magazine publisher Reed Business Information? A number of potential suitors have emerged, but is there really a strategic buyer out there willing to pony up $2-2.5 billion now?We’ll have to wait and see. Less than a week after its 21st annual media conference wrapped up in Florida, investment firm giant Bear Stearns Co. was sold Monday to rival JP Morgan Chase & Co. for $240 million—or just $2 per share, a 90 percent loss to what the company was worth a week ago.Although the dramatic news doesn’t have a direct impact on the magazine industry (unless Bear Stearns owes your business money, of course), it does have Wall Street traders up in arms again in a credit market that has former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan—who some blame for the housing market fallout—calling the current U.S. economic crisis the “most wrenching since the end of the second world war.” Capital markets across all industries, including media investors, are nervous about yesterday’s news—and for good reason. “Every time that we think that we’ve seen the bottom of the credit market, something like this happens and we see that it can get much, much worse,” Veronis Suhler Stevenson managing partner Tom Kemp told me during a phone conversation this morning. “Every time these things happen, the credit approval process becomes more difficult, leverage will be tougher and pricing will be higher.”last_img read more

Group Claims Marijuana Laws Unfair

first_imgThe nation’s capital has made progress when it comes to cannabis, with the passing of Initiative 71, legalizing recreational marijuana use and possession. Even with the legislation, marijuana advocates contend that amendments are needed to make D.C. a “District of Cannabis.”There are factors that make D.C. cannabis laws restrictive. For instance, marijuana cannot be sold or purchased unless one has a medical card and is at a dispensary. In addition, local weed laws are not acknowledged on federal land, which accounts for 29 percent of the city’s total land area. Yet, D.C. marijuana advocates note one of the largest problems with the legislation is that it marginalizes an already disenfranchised group in the district.“The law’s not working for low-income people,” said Adam Eidinger, a White advocate in the fight for cannabis legalization instrumental in the passing of Initiative 71. He also co-founded DCMJ, a local marijuana advocacy group.Ras Fia, CEO and founder of Cannabis Alliance Networking Group, noted that low-income residents being negatively affected by the current marijuana legislation are disproportionately Black. “Since the passing of Initiative 71 there are a lot of benefits, but there are a lot of negatives. A lot of the African-American community is receiving the negative backlash because they live in public housing,” said Fia.Because the property is federally owned, those who live in public housing cannot legally consume cannabis in their homes, yet they also cannot go outside, because public smoking is illegal as well.Eidinger said that federal law and the many rules being enforced by the housing authority are stifling in general. “They’re basically trying to make public housing for sweet old grandmothers who don’t touch alcohol, cigarettes, or weed,” he said.Even with a medicinal card, those living in public housing are not afforded any of the privileges of card holders not living on federal land.A 53-year-old with fibromyalgia living in public housing in Southeast, who asked to be referred to as Cookie Brown for fear of repercussions, has been met with roadblocks as a medicinal marijuana user. “The medical program itself [laid out by the legislation] is not as beneficial as it could be for the patients. The dispensaries and the prices . . . It could be better laid out with the patients in mind. It’s more laid out for bureaucrats to get their cuts,” said Brown. “We’ve basically been threatened here, that if there are any activities that go on with marijuana that you can be evicted . . . No recourse. No appeal,” she said.To function, Brown said, she consumes marijuana in her apartment, but acknowledges the serious risk. “I absolutely feel unsafe with every jay I light,” she said.Brown and other advocates like Eidinger and Fia, argue there are other drugs authority figures should be more preoccupied with than marijuana. “Some officers realize there are other issues more important such as the opium epidemic and K2,” Fia said.He said he has noticed that depending on the geographical location in D.C., certain officers are more concerned about marijuana than others. “It seems as though in areas like Southeast, areas where individuals are not as financially blessed, it seems to me like there’s a police car at every other light . . . I live in Northeast. I see people smoking and Caucasians walk right past officers smoking and they don’t say anything . . . It all depends on where you are in the city,” said Fia.In 2011, prior to the passing of Initiative 71, there were about 5,700 marijuana arrests in the city. According to Eidinger, after the passing of Initiative 71, in 2015, marijuana arrests were reduced to 351. In 2016, the number rose to 654, 354 of those arrests being for public smoking.While arrest numbers are lower than they were prior to the passing of the current marijuana legislation, in 2017 people are still going to jail for cannabis use. Eidinger was arrested twice in April. He was arrested for giving marijuana away on April 20 – the internationally recognized marijuana-lovers’ holiday – and next on April 24th, with Fia, when smoking cannabis near the capitol as part of a religious ceremony.Eidinger, who has been arrested 21 times because of his marijuana advocacy, said he learned a lot in his most recent jail stint. “This time it just reaffirmed that jail and prison are set up to oppress African American people. I was the only White guy of the 80 guys in central cell block,” he said. “People are self-medicating with Molly and MDMA (ecstasy) not because of PTSD from war, but for what was seen in the hood.“The felons are our disenfranchised communities and I don’t think that’s what our founding fathers even intended . . . I’m aware of this issue as a White man. I’m painfully aware of it. My Jewish mother is livid that I voluntarily put myself in jail.”Eidinger continues to serve as an advocate because he contends there will be major improvement once there is true legalization.Cannabis is currently classified as a Schedule I drug, which includes substances like heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Eidinger and Fia said they think marijuana laws will be reformed once the substance is rescheduled.During the January inauguration, Eidinger and other advocates were able to bring 10,000 people together from various backgrounds, by gifting them with free marijuana. “Trump supporters, religious people, all races… It was like such a diverse crowd and it wasn’t just Democrats or Republicans. All kinds of Americans. People put their politics aside for free weed,” Eidinger said.last_img read more