Seasonal bakery sales up thanks to sweet-toothed shoppers

first_imgChristmas cake, pudding and confectionery sales were up 8.3% on 2014 as UK consumers spent £219m in the two weeks leading up to Christmas. Across the fortnight ending 26 December, sales of cakes and puddings were up 6.3% with sales of £46.9m and confectionery was up 8.8% with sales of £172.2m – these were the biggest sales surges of all the food categories from the beginning to the end of the month.The ’Bake-Off effect’Martin Wood, IRI’s head of strategic insight, retail solutions and innovation said: “The increase in sales of Christmas cakes, puddings and confectionery could be due to the ‘Bake-Off effect’ giving people a taste for sweet things once again. They want to feature high-quality cakes and desserts as centrepieces of their Christmas meal or party spread, but don’t have time to create these themselves.“There was an extra peak shopping day in Christmas week 2015 compared with last year, which helped push up the final week’s sales figures, but the level of growth does provide some good news for supermarkets.”last_img read more

ESI Super Forum: Sponsorship in esports – Panel Assessment

first_imgHere’s another look back at our Esports Insider Super Forum in March, this time the focus is on the brands and sponsorship panel. Up for discussion was why brands need to play a different game when it comes to entering the industry. With Mercedes-Benz to McDonalds now involved in esports in some form, our panel discussed what works, and perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t. The panel was made up of a group of industry leaders, including moderator Duncan McMonagle, who is SVP & GM of Minute Media (DBLTAP, 90MIN and 12UP). He was joined by our panelists Fnatic Partnership Manager Frederic Weil, Esports and Marketing Manager at Super Evil Megacorp Tomek Borowka,  RFRSH Entertainment Founder and EVP Sales Jakob Lund Kristensen and Hashtag United Commercial Director Seb Carmichael-Brown.McMonagle began by asking what may be the most important question in this domain; how do you market your assets to brands in a way that differs from what they get from traditional sports?Weil was the first to speak up, with his vast experience in doing exactly this with Fnatic, saying that as esports is played digitally it is important to engage the audience in a way they are more comfortable with – “content, experiences and getting the stories going”.“We’re the only football team in the world not in the results business – we’re in the storytelling business”This was something reiterated by the entire panel throughout; Carmichael-Brown, in particular, working on one of YouTube’s biggest brands-turned-esports organisation, repeating  throughout how important content is not only to his own brand but to esports brands in general, making moving in to the space that much more streamlined. He said of Hashtag: “we’re the only football team in the world not in the results business – we’re in the storytelling business,” which is what makes Hashtag such a desirable brand for sponsors.Naturally, the panellists touched on big partnerships such as that between Astralis and Audi, of which Kristensen was at the forefront of bringing together. Of it he said that there are certain rules to play by, but Audi bringing a product to them and giving them the creative freedom to play a bit outside the rules created a partnership that has marked a huge step forward for esports sponsorship and esports as a whole, with McMonagle saying it was “one of the most significant entries of an autos brand”. Looking to the future of esports through Audi’s eyes, Kristensen revealed that the company is looking worldwide for their future in the space, proof that Astralis are a perfect example of ‘doing it right’.The panel also discussed a range of other deals including the involvement of Razer and Umbro in esports, whether winning is important to securing brand sponsorships, plus how important it is to have a mixture of purely competitive players and those with personality in an esports organisation.The full video of this panel, and all others, will be available to watch soon.All panels were orchestrated by carefully selected guests and experts in their particular topics and the day was a huge success, bridging the gap between esports and traditional sports and helping brands from all different industries formulate ideas, plans and discussion about how everyone can benefit from esports moving forward. Our next major B2B event is ESI London, which is set to take place at the Olympia in September 18-20th.last_img read more

Is This What Darwin Had in Mind?

first_imgEvolution is a word loosely used in science these days.  Reporters and scientists talk about “the evolution of” this or that sometimes carelessly, without regard to how the explanation fits old Darwinism or neo-Darwinism.  Has the word evolution become a kind of catch-all hypothesis, for which rigor is no longer necessary?Survival of the discreetist:  Mark Buchanan on New Scientist coined a term exo-evolution to discuss how aliens evolve: “Aliens who hide, survive” is the idea in a nutshell.  “Has ET evolved to be discreet?” he began.  “An evolutionary tendency for inconspicuous aliens would solve a nagging paradox ? and also suggest that we Earthlings should think twice before advertising our own existence.”     The paradox he mentioned is the Fermi Paradox: the puzzle of why we haven’t found aliens, and they haven’t found us, if the universe is full of them.  “In order to explain the Fermi paradox, [Adrian] Kent [Perimeter Institute, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada] turns to natural selection – and suggests that it may favour quiet aliens.”  From there, the discussion descended into what aliens might want to do.  Evolution as Darwin meant it has no purpose or intention.Survival of the sprinters:  In another article on New Scientist, Michael Le Page denied that slow and steady evolution (gradualism) wins the evolutionary race.  Darwin might be astonished to hear one of his disciples say, “it’s a sprint – one in which the runners might change direction at any minute.”    The article told Michael Bell’s observations of stickleback fish that appear to adapt within decades.  They had been “assumed to evolve slowly, over thousands of years,” he said.  “Compared with the gradual process described by Darwin, this is evolution at warp speed.”Instant evolution:  It would be harder to think of evolution any faster than warp speed; but how about instant?  Here’s an easy way to get whiteflies to evolve instantly: just add bacteria.  That was the headline of a press release from the University of Arizona.  Molly Hunter did experiments that showed Rickettsia-infected whiteflies had more offspring.  She assumed this was “instant evolution” on that basis; “In evolution, fitness is the money,” she quipped.  Darwin, Mr. Gradualist himself, would be shocked.Evolutionary interest:  Can organisms have an evolutionary interest in something?  Darwin assumed that natural selection is random and undirected; Dawkins assumed selfish genes were interested only in their own survival, the organism be damned.  Why, then, did Jiggins and Hurst say this in Science?1  “Being maternally inherited, these microbes have an evolutionary interest only in the production and survival of female hosts; consequently, they have evolved a variety of traits through which they promote the production and survival of daughters.”    They were talking about a case of horizontal gene transfer in insects: “It has recently become clear, however, that horizontal transfer of traits can play a major role in arthropod evolution.”  Such transfer is contrary to 150 years of speculation about how evolution operates.Losing sleep over evolution:  Evolution might make you lose sleep.  If you are a cave fish, and lose your eyes, you might be able to get by with less sleep, according to a press release from New York University.  The researchers found behavioral changes in sleep patterns between cave fish and their counterparts on the surface, but did not tie them to any genetic changes, at least yet.  They did not explain whether this made them more fit in some way; if it’s always midnight, does evolution make you burn more midnight oil, and if so, is that good for you or for fish?It appears from these and many other stories that evolution is a flexible word.  Any change of any kind, no matter how fast or slow it occurs, and whether it produces any fitness gain or not, can be called evolution.  Explanations that become too loose wind up explaining nothing.1.  Francis M. Jiggins and Gregory D. D. Hurst, “Rapid Insect Evolution by Symbiont Transfer,” Science, 8 April 2011: Vol. 332 no. 6026 pp. 185-186, DOI: 10.1126/science.1205386.  The phrase “the evolution of” now serves the same purpose as “the demon of” has in explanation, as in “the demon of obesity.”  It fits anything and everything the speaker wishes to blame on some unknown quantity operating by an unknown process.    Darwin might be shocked by these abuses of his theory, but it’s all his fault.  He was the one that introduced storytelling into science.  How is his fiction any better than these?(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

And Now… A Geocaching Limerick Contest

first_img SharePrint RelatedGeoKu – Geocaching Haiku ContestApril 6, 2012In “Community”Congratulations PodCacher on 600 episodes!August 28, 2017In “Community”Behind the Scenes of the PodCacher PodcastApril 3, 2013In “Geocaching.com Videos” It’s not often you’re able to combine your love of prose and geocaching… until now. And really how do you express your love for geocaching? Do you pour your creativity into an awesomely crafted hide? Are you the first one out the door in the race to be first to find? Do you spend hours crafting a blog post about your latest geocaching adventures? How about poetry? That’s right – geocaching poetry!Geocaching HQ staff will be judging the lyrical stylings of the PodCacher Podcast Limerick Contest. You have until April 11 to enter for a chance to win geocaching gear provided by Shop Geocaching. There’s a few things you need to know. Ready for a limerick that explains it all (almost)?To win a cool coin that is slickyou’ll need to know this little trickAll you need to beginwith a good chance to winis write up the best limerickThe Geocaching Limerick Contest is sponsored by the PodCacher podcast. Here are some important guidelines. Your limerick must have a geocaching-related theme and it must be family friendly! It must follow the standard Limerick format (3 long and 2 short lines rhyming aabba)A geocaching Limerick might look something like this:An urban family went cachingTo locate what ranchers were stashing;They disturbed many cricketsAnd found a few trinketsThough the steers kept them constantly dashing.And here’s a non-geocaching example:Writing a Limerick’s absurd,Line one and line five rhyme in word,And just as you’ve reckonedThey rhyme with the second;The fourth line must rhyme with the third.Interested in competing? Check out the contest and details. The winner will be selected by a panel from Geocaching HQ. You have until Friday, April 11 to enter. Good luck! Listen to the PodCacher Podcast for the winner announcement!Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

U.S. CIO Wants To Open Mobile Apps Store But Is Apple The Right Model?

first_imgalex williams Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#cloud#cloud computing A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… The federal government sure loves cloud computing. And now it’s using the foundation it built in the cloud to create a mobile apps store for citizens and government agencies.The federal budget for IT services has $35 million set aside for introducing mobile technologies. The money is part of a $79 billion IT budget, down from $81 billion last year.According to the Hill.com, federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra said he wants to “tap into the mobile revolution” by helping the General Services Administration add the mobile apps to the government “store” at Apps.gov.Apps.gov is the government’s cloud-based apps environment. Government agencies use it to download different software and services. The Hill reports that Kundra wants to model the success that Apple has seen with its app store for the iPhone and iTouch. For example, just as independent developers can submit iPhone apps, he wants people to use government data to create mobile apps for citizens. There is no detail yet about the costs of the apps, if they’d be free or a mix like on Apple or the Android platform.Kundrs has the information ready to mine. He spearheaded Data.gov, which gives access to all kinds of government data.Kundra understands the ecosystem that is developing online. He refers to the way social networks leverage third-party sites. He’d like to see the same ecosystem emerge out of the federal government.But we wonder what apps developers would create. Kundra envisions mobile apps that, for instance, would track federal spending, and show which projects get initiated in your neighborhood.And how would this application developer community emerge? Apple’s success comes from the sheer volume of applications available and the popularity they enjoy. Is there an interest among developers to create applications out of government data? And we wonder if the Apple model is really best. An open application development environment seems more in the spirit of an effort such as this by the federal government.In the meantime, cloud computing appears to gaining slowly in the federal government over concerns about security. To help spur adoption, Kundra’s IT budget has $70 million in funds for the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish formal security standards for cloud computing.center_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

The Melancholy Mommy: A Look at Postpartum Depression

first_imgBy Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFTFlickr [3MJP_3 by Matt Johnson, May 14, 2011, CC BY-ND 2.0] retrieved on February 18, 2016She is sitting on the couch with her 1- month- old baby in her arms. The baby is crying and she is alone. She’s tried everything to soothe him- rocking, bouncing, feeding, singing, pacifiers, blankets, and swaddles. He’s still crying. She hasn’t eaten or taken a shower since yesterday and it seems like she may not accomplish either one of those things today. Just a couple of weeks ago, people were in and out of her house with hugs, words of wisdom, food, and arms to hold her baby. Her husband was home for two more weeks until his next deployment, which she hopes will be his last. But now, the excitement has worn off and reality is setting in. Her husband is in another country protecting ours. In just two weeks, she has to get back to her full time job that pays her. It hits her that she will have to learn how to balance the mothering thing and the real job thing. How in the world will she be able to do that when she can barely even get a shower and a meal? All of a sudden, she finds herself in a place she never expected to be. She starts to wonder what is wrong with her; why she feels like she can’t get it together and why motherhood doesn’t look or feel like she thought it would. Last week, she finally gave up on breastfeeding after trying every single thing she could think of to make it work. But, her breasts still hurt and her conscience is beating her up, telling her that she could and should have tried harder. She’s remembering all of the articles in her OBGYN’s office and on the internet about the benefits of breastfeeding the baby. And, she’s thinking of that friend of hers who has a 2- month old that is solely breastfed and thriving. Her body doesn’t look or feel like her own and she wonders if it ever will again. She wants her baby to just stop crying long enough to allow her to use the bathroom. And now she is crying. And she feels like a terrible mother. Helpless. Alone. Afraid. Angry. Guilty. Inadequate. She starts to have thoughts she never imagined she would have and they scare her. She remembers an article she read in her doctor’s office about postpartum depression and realizes that this may be more than just those baby blues her mother referred to a couple of weeks ago. She picks up the phone and calls someone for help.  According to the CDC, 11 to 20 percent of women who give birth each year have postpartum depression symptoms. Fortunately, the woman in the depiction above recognized her symptoms and was able to call for help. But what do we, as mental health professionals, need to do to help every woman be able to identify her symptoms and get help? Here are some potential barriers we need to recognize when thinking about our efforts to help women with PPD:Shame and Embarrassment: Mom may not feel comfortable sharing her thoughts and feelings because she doesn’t want people to judge her. She is afraid that people will think she is a terrible person for not thinking that motherhood is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to her. When she hears the word depression, she associates it with being “crazy.”What Society Says: Moms are supposed to be totally and completely in love with their new addition, right? She is loving life and rocking at being a mommy! Or at least that’s what the status updates on her friends’ Facebook pages tell her…I Can Handle This On My Own: Mom may think to herself, “I just gave birth to an 8 pound baby completely naturally! I can definitely handle this one my own”.Foggy Lenses: Mom may be struggling so much that she doesn’t even have any idea that there is a name for what she is feeling and that there is help for her.Unknown Resources: Many moms may not have any idea where to go for help. A military mother, for instance, may have just moved to a new location and has not yet established any local friendships or identified any local resources. So, what’s the solution to these barriers? Here are some possibilities:Shame and Embarrassment: We should be equipping soon-to-be mothers with the knowledge of PPD so that 1) they can recognize the signs and symptoms 2) they can be prepared for the possibilities 3) it is normalized for them so that there is no stigma attached to it.What Society Says: We need to be putting information out there where everyone can access it- social media is a great avenue- we should be showing the good, the bad, and the ugly too!I Can Handle This On My Own: By sharing information on the facts of PPD, we can convey to mothers that they may need a little bit of extra help from professionals and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.Foggy Lenses: We need to arm women with community support- family, spouses, friends, doctors, etc. – so that they know what to look for in a new mother who is struggling with PPD.Unknown Resources: Having resources available in our practices and sharing those resources through social media and community avenues is key! With our help, mothers like the one depicted above will know to recognize when there is a problem and know precisely where to go when they need help. Unfortunately, not all new mothers have the knowledge base of PPD to reach out for help like the one in the scenario. We need to take action and think about ways to inform soon-to-be mothers or new mothers and their family and friends so that they are prepared. Wouldn’t it be amazing if OBGYNs were talking candidly with their patients about the possibility of PPD during pregnancy? Or, if they were conducting surveys at the 6-week postpartum check-up. As mental health professionals, it would behoove us to start talking with these physicians about the statistics and realities of PPD so that we can all work together as a team to help these mothers. This post was written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT, the social media and webinar coordination specialist for the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development concentration on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.last_img read more

Unique Typography in After Effects with Type-O-Matic

first_imgMaking typography videos in After Effects is easier than ever with the FREE Type-O-Matic tool from motion design firm Hamo Studio.We love quality typography.  Just check out past posts, including this roundup of impressive typography videos and a tutorial on creating kinetic type in After Effects.  Typography videos can be crazy-effective at delivering your message, but they can also be really time intensive – keyframing, keyframing, keyframing.This new Type-O-Matic tool from Barcelona’s Hamo Studios (free!) attempts to speed up the process of creating creating quality typography videos in After Effects.  Type-O-Matic is actually an AE project that’s already setup for animating text.A controller lets you modify the opacity, position, rotation and scale of your text.  Additional tools create text masks and unfold (giving the appearance that the text is actually ‘unfolding’).  Whether you’re a video editor or motion designer, Type-O-Matic is a quick way to make your typography more dynamic and engaging.Head over to Hamo Studio to download the FREE Type-O-Matic typography tool.Have a look at this After Effects typography tool in action:Learn how to use the Type-O-Matic in your existing AE projects:last_img read more

London Olympics: Vijay Kumar’s family happy he won silver medal

first_imgBy winning the Olympic silver medal in the 25m rapid fire pistol event, Vijay Kumar has ensured that that his village Harsaur in Hamirpur, 181 kms from Shimla, comes into national prominence.Vijay’s family – which includes grandmother Brahmi Devi, father Banku Ram, mother Roshni Devi, a brother and a sister – are overjoyed and busy preparing for his welcome.”I am proud of him. Our prayers have been answered by goddess Jwalaji. We will visit the temple when Vijay returns home. We are making a special award gallery to showcase his medals. Not only the family, but the whole village is in a celebration mood,” Banku Ram said.Vijay is currently posted as subedar in the Indian Army at Mhow station. He joined the Army at the age of 16 after passing his senior secondary exams and did not go to college.”Earlier I was not happy as he did not go for higher education. Now with a number of medals to his credit, he has made me proud,” mother Roshni Devi said.last_img read more