Evolution Is a Magic Word

first_img(Visited 392 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享10 Media use the word “evolution” in articles that have nothing to do with it. It’s as if the word has magical powers to conjure up awe.Evolution, evolution, evolution. The e-word is ubiquitous in science articles and papers, even when the data have nothing to do with evolution as Darwin conceived it. (See the important preface in the 10/02/19 entry to understand what natural selection is and is not.)In the following examples, look how writers wave the e-word like a magic wand, assuming it has supernatural powers to create any highly-complex and well-designed entity, given enough time. In some cases, the word is used metaphorically. In none of these cases is it used to describe functional innovation by genetic mutations that were preserved by some mysterious “natural selector” somehow.Evolution tells us we might be the only intelligent life in the universe (The Conversation). “Evolution tells us?” Pray tell, where is evolution’s voice? Is it a he, she, or non-binary sentient force? Where is the podium from which Evolution teaches facts about reality? This weird article by long-time Darwin-lover Nick Longrich (now at University of Bath) comes to a possible conclusion that humans might be the only “intelligent” life in the universe, but of course he doubts it. And Longrich is pretty sure that life is evolving everywhere it can, even if non-intelligent. His fairy story is filled with assumptions that Sir/Madam Evolution has no trouble inventing biological marvels all over the universe (examples below) – except that maybe, though, the god Evolution has a little trouble creating thinking beings. Live Science reposted this article with the modified title, “Humans May Be the Only Intelligent Life in the Universe, If Evolution Has Anything to Say.” That’s a big If.The universe is large, and old, with time and room for intelligence to evolve…Could intelligence simply be unlikely to evolve? Unfortunately, we can’t study extraterrestrial life to answer this question. But we can study some 4.5 billion years of Earth’s history, looking at where evolution repeats itself, or doesn’t.Evolution sometimes repeats, with different species independently converging on similar outcomes. If evolution frequently repeats itself, then our evolution might be probable, even inevitable.Other striking cases of convergence include dolphins and extinct ichthyosaurs, which evolved similar shapes to glide through the water, and birds, bats and pterosaurs, which convergently evolved flight.Eyes evolved not just in vertebrates, but in arthropods, octopi, worms and jellyfish. Vertebrates, arthropods, octopi and worms independently invented jaws. Legs evolved convergently in the arthropods, octopi and four kinds of fish (tetrapods, frogfish, skates, mudskippers).The complex, eukaryotic cells that all animals and plants are built from, containing nuclei and mitochondria, evolved only once. Sex evolved just once. Photosynthesis, which increased the energy available to life and produced oxygen, is a one-off. For that matter, so is human-level intelligence.There are places where evolution repeats, and places where it doesn’t.  [See Stuff Happens Law]Humans couldn’t evolve until fish evolved bones that let them crawl onto land [etc].Earth’s history must have allowed intelligent life to evolve, or we wouldn’t be here to ponder it.Intelligence seems to depend on a chain of improbable events. But given the vast number of planets, then like an infinite number of monkeys pounding on an infinite number of typewriters to write Hamlet, it’s bound to evolve somewhere.Image credit: Illustra Media, The Case for a Creator.Regarding the monkey-typewriter myth, Longrich should have listened to the late Dr A.E. Wilder-Smith, who pointed out that the myth depends on the characters being preserved as the monkeys type. If the letters fall off the page soon after they are typed (like chemical reactions in the real world, which are reversible), the apes will never type anything worthwhile, even given infinite time.Repertoire-wide phylogenetic models of B cell molecular evolution reveal evolutionary signatures of aging and vaccination (PNAS). Evolution is so pervasive and pernicious, it is going on inside of you!High-affinity antibodies that protect us from infection are produced by B cells through an evolutionary process of mutation and selection during adaptive immune responses. B cell repertoire sequencing combined with phylogenetic methods has provided unprecedented potential to study B cells as an evolving population. However, phylogenetic models operate on individual lineages rather than the thousands of lineages often found in B cell repertoires. Here, we develop an evolutionary framework that incorporates B cell-specific features and combines information across lineages to characterize mutation and selection dynamics of entire repertoires.Now hold on just a cotton-pickin’ minute. Your body is not evolving, your family is not evolving, and your species is not evolving. We are all Homo sapiens, and what goes on inside of us has no bearing on your offspring (note that they are watching for changes during aging, which means your kids are already grown up). These six Darwinos are using natural selection in a metaphorical sense, but it doesn’t have anything to do with evolution. The fact is, B cells are extremely well designed to hone in on antigens so as to fight them. The last thing they need is Darwinism! If the human body were not designed to intelligently select the shape of potential antigen shapes from a pool of trials, you would die. This has nothing to do with evolution, and the authors should know it. They are confusing the public with such faulty analogies and equivocations, just like Darwin did when he compared artificial selection (intelligent design) to natural selection.How the earliest mammals thrived alongside dinosaurs (John Pickrell, Nature). Watch how Pickrell, like Longrich, merely assumes that Evolution has magical creative powers. When complex organs appear abruptly, that’s no problem for Evolution. It just means that the wonder-worker was on a roll. He/she/it worked super-fast, producing an explosion of inventions displaying creative genius.An explosion of fossil finds reveals that ancient mammals evolved a wide variety of adaptations allowing them to exploit the skies, rivers and underground lairs.[A mother of fossil young] is a cynodont, a member of the group from which mammals evolved.The discoveries are also starting to reveal the evolutionary origins of many of the key traits of mammals — such as lactation, large brains and superbly keen senses.A raft of extraordinary fossil finds is revealing details of how mammals evolved from reptilian forebears 178 million years ago.“We used to say that during the time of dinosaurs, mammals were totally unspectacular. That they were just these little mousey things scampering around in the shadows,” says Brusatte. But these animals “were undergoing their own evolutionary explosion”, he says.To make that possible, mammals evolved a wide variety of complex teeth for biting and grinding food.Much of the constellation of features we think of as defining mammals — complex teeth, excellent senses, lactation, small litter size — might actually have evolved before true mammals, and quite quickly. “More and more it looks like it all came out in a very short burst of evolutionary experimentation,” Luo says. By the time mammal-like creatures were roaming around in the Mesozoic, he says, “the lineage has already acquired its modern look and modern biological adaptations”.Notice the sophoxymoronic phrase “evolutionary experimentation.” If it’s experimentation, it’s not evolutionary, and vice versa. Experimentation presupposes a person with a mind and a goal, intent on learning something or accomplishing a purpose. By definition, Darwinian evolution is aimless and purposeless. Scientists who speak of “experimental evolution” in the lab are using their minds as selectors. They may use random variations, but they determine the criteria for success and pick the winners, just like breeders do.Mosaic evolution, preadaptation, and the evolution of evolvability in apes (bioRxiv). The author of this preprint, Caroline Parins-Fukuchi, is so drunk on Darwine she sees evolution itself evolving! Hers is not the only paper on “evolvability,” but she applies it to human beings. With this magic trick, evolutionists can speed up or slow down the magic act, allowing them to explain not only why traits evolved quickly in some cases, but also why they did not evolve in other cases. With this magic trick an evolutionist can explain everything – even opposite outcomes. Written in Jargonwocky, the trick sounds almost plausible, with dramatic effect.Shifts in modularity drove dramatic evolutionary changes across the ape body plan in two distinct ways: 1) an episode of relaxed integration early in hominoid evolution coincided with bursts in evolutionary rate across multiple character suites; 2) the formation of two new trait modules along the branch leading to chimps and humans preceded rapid and dramatic evolutionary shifts in the carpus and pelvis. Changes to the structure of evolutionary mosaicism may correspond to enhanced evolvability that has a ‘preadaptive’ effect by catalyzing later episodes of dramatic morphological remodeling.Notice that “evolvability” acts like movable axes on a graph. When traits in fossils appear abruptly, the evolutionist can move the axes close together to call it a “burst.” When traits are static, the evolutionist can move the axes apart and call it “relaxed integration.” Evolution is the constant; the rate is the variable, yielding a warped image of nature, not unlike a fun-house mirror.The use of passive voice is another trick that obscures the sleight-of-mind magic going on. “The formation of two new trait modules” is supposed to mean, “Evolution invented two traits by chance that it knew would be useful later.” The phrase “later episodes of dramatic morphological remodeling” is supposed to mean, “Evolution dramatically remodeled the bodies of apes on their march to humanity.” Evolution is so clever, it can “preadapt” traits to speed up evolution. Is that “dramatic,” or what?There are so many examples of this form of cheating by evolutionists in the media (i.e., treating “evolution” as an all-purpose magic wand), we’ll have to continue this topic with more examples. For now, understand the point: none of these papers even attempt to show what actual genetic mutations occurred, how many of them were required, and how a blind process (not a “selector” by any meaning of the word) could even care what happened. After you laugh, get mad. This nonsense is the only tolerable narrative allowed in public education in most societies around the world today. And why? Well, D.M.S. said it best in 1929 after the Scopes Trial, “Evolution [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.” Evolution is their god, and Darwin is the high priest who brought the knowledge of their god to the peasants. Anyone coming into the tribe with a different Creator must be Expelled!last_img read more

Read More

Mechanical and Electrical Systems at the Orchards at Orenco Project

first_img RELATED ARTICLES Meeting the Airtightness ChallengeRoofing and Cladding for the Orenco PassivhausWalls and Windows for the Orenco PassivhausPlacing a Concrete Foundation on Rigid Foam InsulationThe Largest Passivhaus Building in the U.S.Multifamily Passivhaus Project Starts in Oregon While an ultra-high performance enclosure lies at the heart of the Passive House concept, the mechanical systems constitute the “yang” to the enclosure “yin.” The HVAC system, water heating, lighting, appliances, and conveying systems all contribute to the building’s high level of performance.Because the Orchards at Orenco project is a large multiunit residential building, these systems and components are in many ways quite different from those one would see in single-family residences designed to meet the Passive House standard. Part 1 in this blog series introduced the basic pieces of the mechanical system design at Orchards. This post will provide more information about the design and discuss some of the challenges encountered during construction and commissioning of the system. This is Part 6 of a blog series describing construction of the Orchards at Orenco project in Oregon. The first installment was titled The Largest Passivhaus Building in the U.S. A forthcoming blog will discuss the key lessons learned at the Orchards at Orenco project, and will report measured performance data from the first year of operation of the building. A hybrid approach: HVAC “pods”After reviewing the respective pros and cons of centralized vs. unitized mechanical systems, the team ultimately decided to utilize a hybrid approach, optimizing the mechanical design to capture the best qualities of those two different approaches. VentilationEach penthouse has a different size ERV, rated at 1,500 to 3,500 cfm, based on the flow rate and volume of the building zone served (see Image #4, below).The ERVs are manufactured by the Loren Cook Company. Initially the team had specified Zehnder and UltimateAir units since they were the only available units identified that met the ventilation efficiency requirement of the Passive House standard. Midway through design, however, the team identified the Cook units as potential candidates. Several months of back and forth with the PHIUS technical committee resulted in acceptance of the Cook units for our project.These units have a heat-recovery efficiency that ranges from 73% to 76%. The Cook units were considerably less expensive that the UltimateAir units which had been previously specified, and the savings allowed the owner to afford other valuable features on the project, such as the “green screen” I will discuss later.Distribution of the ventilation air from the ERVs is via 4-inch hard ducts running directly to and from each apartment. These duct “home runs” are collected into main trunk lines running above the ceiling at the third floor corridor (see Image #5, below). By keeping the duct penetrations no larger than 4 inches in diameter, this approach eliminates the need for fire-smoke dampers at each apartment (see Image #6, below).A continuous 50 cfm of supply air is delivered to each bedroom, with continuous exhaust from each bathroom and kitchen area. To filter cooking pollutants, recirculating hoods are provided above the kitchen ranges. Continuous air flow regulators installed within the ducts help to ensure balanced continuous airflow into and out of each apartment. While the mechanical design uses a centralized water heating system, a decentralized “pod” system is used to provide ventilation air as well as space heating and cooling. The project has three mechanical penthouses (see Image #2, below), each of which houses a large energy-recovery ventilator (ERV) with a heat pump condenser coil in the the supply air duct to temper the ventilation air. Each pod serves a zone of 10 to 24 apartments and adjacent common areas (see Image #3, below).The “pod” approach optimizes cost and performance while also reducing future maintenance. Regular maintenance of 57 individual ERVs would have been required if a fully unitized approach were used. Going with the pod approach allowed the use of smaller ERVs as well as shorter duct runs than would have been required with a centralized approach. Ducts were smaller, reducing system costs while also reducing distribution losses.The mechanical penthouses are built on top of the roof and accessed through large ceiling hatches at the third-floor corridors. The walls and roof of each penthouse have the same level of insulation and airtightness as the main walls and roof of the building, so the penthouses are functionally within the Passive House enclosure.center_img Water heatingTwo central boilers (Bradford White eF Series boilers with 100-gallon tanks and 98.5% thermal efficiency) provide hot water to the building. These are housed in a first-floor mechanical room near the center of the building.Over the course of multiple design iterations, the team determined that a temperature maintenance system with heat trace tape was likely to be more energy-efficient than a recirculation pump. Hot water piping to the apartments is insulated to minimize distribution heat losses (see Image #9, below). High efficiency plumbing fixtures are used at the apartments to minimize the water heating load and further improve system efficiency. Green screenThe building has an information screen mounted prominently in the main lobby (see Image #11). This screen provides news that is important to the residents, while also indicating the energy use of the overall building and the electrical usage in each apartment (see Image #12). Intended as a tool for educating the residents about their energy usage, the green screen also fosters a fair degree of social interaction. Mike Steffen is a builder, architect, and educator committed to making better buildings. He is vice president and general manager of Walsh Construction Company in Portland, Oregon. Other active systems and componentsHigh-efficiency lighting is used throughout the building to minimize the electrical load. Pinned fluorescent lighting was designed to meet a target of 0.4 Watts/square foot at the apartments. LED lighting is provided in the common areas, with lighting controls used at the corridors and stairs to further reduce loads.Upper tier Energy Star appliances were specified for the apartments (see Image #10, below). Appliance selections were made to achieve the best balance of cost and performance as well as accessibility requirements (some of which can significantly limit the number of models to choose from).Only two stairs are needed in the building to meet code egress requirements (one near each end); however, the Orchards design includes a third stairway, adjacent to the main lobby. This richly detailed stairway is intended to encourage residents to access their apartments on foot rather than using the elevator, enhancing resident health and interaction while reducing energy use even further.A MLR traction elevator is used in lieu of a hydraulic model (the type of elevator that is typically used at a building of this size). This choice, combined with the provision of the “attractive” stairway, is expected to reduce elevator-related electricity usage by 57%. Heating and coolingAt each penthouse, a Samsung AM024 VRF heat pump coil is placed inline on the supply air distribution line. This air-source heat pump has a COP of 4.31 and provides approximately 80% of the heating for the building, as well as some cooling during the summer, though it does not meet the entire cooling load. The heat pump is in parallel with the ERV so that it does not create static pressure in the ventilation system.About 80% of the heating load is met with the ventilation air. Electric-resistance cove heaters in the apartments are designed to meet the remaining heating load (see Image #7, below). These heaters are expected to operate only on the coldest of days, or in some apartments not at all. The team has metered eight of these heaters to provide verification of our assumptions.The Pacific Northwest summer is relatively cool and dry compared to much of North America, and air conditioning is usually not provided in new multifamily buildings in Oregon and Washington. Though the HVAC system at Orchards does not provide full air conditioning, the ventilation air does provide some degree of cooling.The 50 cfm requirement for supply air at the bedrooms is intended to provide additional airflow to temper the apartments during the summer months. The system includes heat-recovery bypass with an economizer to assist with night-flush cooling. The residents are instructed to close their windows in the morning, keep them closed during the day, and open them again in the evening. This helps minimize heat flow to the interior during the day during warmer periods and further assists with night-flush ventilation. Upon initial occupancy of the building, this was not well understood, but after a few hot spells, nearly all of the residents have learned the protocol.It should be noted here that two key elements of the basic building design, the balconies and the eyebrows, serve an essential shading function to keep the apartments cooler during the warmer months (see Image #8, below). Low-solar-heat-gain glazing is used at the east- and west-facing windows (LoE 366/180, argon-filled units, SHGC = 0.25) to further control against overheating.last_img read more

Read More

The Editing Genius of Michael Kahn

first_imgMichael Kahn is one of the most successful film editors in the business. Here’s an in-depth look at his legendary career.Top Image: Steven Spielberg and Michael Kahn via Empire MagazineThe most interesting thing about legendary editor Michael Kahn isn’t that he started by editing Hogan’s Heroes, or that he became Steven Spielberg‘s go-to editor. No, the most interesting thing about Kahn is that he never really wanted to be an editor in the first place.He began his journey working in a New York mailroom and slowly moved up the ladder to become an apprentice. He advanced to assistant editor and finally head editor of the classic television series Hogan’s Heroes. From there his career shot off like a rocket.Let’s take a detailed look at his classic career, one that made Edgar Wright say:We were shown a montage of Michael Kahn’s credits. It was possibly the most epic, daunting and yet inspiring body of work I’ve seen at any awards show, technical or otherwise.The ApprenticeKahn began his career producing commercials for a New York ad agency, but soon found himself working in post-production after being offered a job at Desilu. The production company was owned and operated by the legendary television duo Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, but Kahn found himself being essentially the “male secretary” for editorial supervisor Dann Cahn. He became Cahn’s apprentice and was soon urged by John Woodcock to join the union.By joining Woodcock, the young Kahn would begin working on his very first television show, The Adventures of Jim Bowie. Kahn would say, “It was a wonderful time to be in the editing business because we had fourteen or sixteen shows on the air. Some were comedies and some were dramas.” Kahn would learn valuable lessons at this stage of his career, lessons such as discovering how to manipulate the film to do what he wanted it to.Video from WesternsTvCutting for TelevisionBy the 1960s, Kahn moved up from an apprentice to assistant editor and began working toward the ‘8 Year Rule.’ This was an old rule that editors followed that dictated they had to work professionally as an assistant editor for eight years before they could edit a film or television show as the main editor.A friend of mine, Jerry London, got a chance to work on Hogan’s Heroes; he did the pilot. He said, ‘If you come with me as my assistant, after the fifth or sixth show I’ll make you the editor.Jerry London was true to his word. Michael spent the next six years of his career editing over 130 episodes of the classic comedy series.Video from Manhattan Edit WorkshopFrom the success of Hogan’s Heroes, Kahn was able to garner attention which led to his move from television editing to film editing. His first film was a drama called Rage, directed by Oscar-winner George C. Scott. Kahn would utilize the techniques he learned as an apprentice (such as the use of slower cuts) to impress Scott so much that he requested to work with Kahn again on his next film The Savage is Loose. This extended collaboration would garner Kahn editing jobs on films like The Devil’s Rain, The Ultimate Warrior and The Return of a Man Called Horse.Directors started saying ‘hey, that’s an interesting idea, I didn’t think of that.’ And that sort of encouraged me on, then I tried other things – I kept trying things. And directors seemed to appreciate it – Michael Kahn, Editors GuildClose Encounters with GreatnessBy 1977, Michael Kahn was already having great success in the film industry when a young director named Steven Spielberg, fresh off the success of Jaws, came looking for an editor to cut together his sci-fi epic Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Kahn once remarked that cutting his teeth in the fast-paced environment of television set him up perfectly to work with Spielberg, who works quickly and captures a wide range of coverage.Video from Manhattan Edit WorkshopThe result of this collaboration would be multiple Oscar nominations for the film and Kahn’s very first nomination for film editing — an award that he would lose to Paul Hirsch, Marcia Lucas and Richard Chew for Star Wars.Kahn quickly picked up more work during Spielberg’s down time, editing Eyes of Laura Mars for Irvin Kershner and Ice Castles for Donald Wrye. After these two films, Kahn would see a string of hit films come to him from Steven Spielberg, as well various other directors like Robert Zemeckis, Richard Donner, Frank Marshall, and Tobe Hooper.In 1981, Kahn would score big with his editing work on Steven Spielberg’s legendary film Raiders of the Lost Ark. He would follow this win with Oscar nominations for Fatal Attraction and Empire of the Sun.Part of the Oscar EliteAfter editing some of the most revered films of the 1980s, like Poltergeist, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Kahn would have an amazing run over the next ten years. Starting with 1991’s Hook, directed by Steven Spielberg, Kahn would edit Jurassic Park, Twister, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and The Haunting.Video from Manhattan Edit WorkshopKahn edited two films during this era that would give him legendary status within the editing community: 1993’s Schindler’s List and 1998’s Saving Private Ryan. Because of his ability to effectively craft a story and master the techniques of editing, Kahn would be awarded two more Oscars for both films. In the video below, Kahn talks about the process of editing the opening scene from Saving Private Ryan.Video from Manhattan Edit WorkshopFrom 2000 to 2010, Kahn wouldn’t slow down at all, editing Catch Me if You Can, Peter Pan, War of the Worlds, The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse, Munich and Lincoln. He earned Oscar nominations for the latter two films.Since 2011, Kahn has stopped editing films for filmmakers other than Spielberg, who calls Kahn his big brother. In an article from Flickering Myth, Kahn had this to say about working with some directors:Some directors don’t like you to edit until they are ready to run it with you; then what you have to say is minimal because he tells you what he wants and you sit there and type out the visuals. But that’s not editing… I want to make a contribution to the film.So far in his career, Michael has been nominated for eight Oscars, the most of any editor. His three wins tie him with other legendary editors like Thelma Schoonmaker, Daniel Mandell, and Ralph Dawson.The Editing Style of a Master CraftsmanMichael Kahn recently completed editing Bridge of Spies. He’s also slated to edit BFG and Indiana Jones 5. But his long list of credits isn’t what makes Michael Kahn so great. It’s his attention to the creative process of editing. It’s his incredible ability to know when and why you need a cut or a transition and how to blend the scenes together that made him a legend.Video from Manhattan Edit WorkshopKahn also purposefully never goes to the set to watch the production. He’s often said that he wants the film to come to him fresh without any preconceived ideas. He told Cinema Editor Magazine that he doesn’t edit the way he does because he went to school. He says it was the years working as an apprentice and assistant editor that taught him how to be a real editor.It’s not about knowledge; it’s all about feeling or intuition. Good editors or musicians or directors—what makes them special is that they feel things… Your feeling is what you’re getting paid for. It’s your ability to cinematically touch things.Get a deeper look into this master editor’s career straight from the source in this great one-on-one interview with DP/30.Video from DP/30: The Oral History Of HollywoodWhat are your thoughts on the career of Michael Kahn? What artist would you like us to spotlight next? Sound off in the comments below.last_img read more

Read More

GAME DEVELOPMENT POSITION IN NT

first_imgGAME DEVELOPMENT OFFICERTouch Football Australia is recruiting a Game Development Officer for the Northern Territory.  The successful applicant will deliver a range of development programs and services to affiliated Touch Football Associations. Remuneration will be in the range of $30 – $45K plus superannuation.Applications addressing selection criteria must be sent via email to nttouch@octa4.net.au or  mailed to P.O. Box 42193, CASUARINA, NT  0811 by no later than Thursday 13 April 2006.For more information phone 08 89816963 bhTo view the Game Development position description, please click here: GAME DEVELOPMENT NT- POSITION DESCRIPTIONlast_img

Read More

Track and compare year-end giving

first_imgNetwork for Good is once again providing year-end giving data for The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 2013 Year-End Online Giving Tracker. You can use this resource to see how online giving is stacking up each day of December and to compare those numbers with the last few years. To supply the data for the tracker, we looked at a set of 14,300 charities who received donations through Network for Good’s online giving platform. You can view this data by month, by week, or look at the entire span of information from November 1st through the end of the year. Check it out by visiting The Chronicle’s site, and let us know how the trends compare to your own year-end fundraising results.last_img

Read More

4 Actions You Can Take to Grow and Sustain Your Email List

first_imgWhether you’re starting from scratch or have been building your email list for years, you know it’s important to actively promote your email list and encourage your existing contacts to engage with your organization.After all, a dedicated email list can have serious payoffs for your nonprofit — including everything from better event attendance to increased web traffic and larger donations at your next fundraiser.The key to successful email list is to see your contacts as people. Grow your list — one name at a time— and once they’ve subscribed provide them with a quality experience, just as you would in-person.Here are 4 tips for growing and sustaining your email list:1. Choose a reliable email providerThe first step of building a loyal email list is making sure you have a safe place to store your contacts’ information and an easy way to send them mailings.If you’re just getting started, take a look at what other organizations are using, and think about what kind of tools and features will be important for your organization. Will you need access to reports to see how your emails are performing? What about support to help with any technical questions you have?You may also want to think about what solutions work with products you are already using. Constant Contact easily integrates with Network for Good so that you can launch campaigns, organize contacts, and manage your campaigns from a central location.2. Make sign-up simpleMost people aren’t going to seek out your mailing list on their own; it’s up to you to encourage them to sign up and make it easy for them to do so.Here’s a great example of a website sign-up form from Canadian nonprofit, The Local Good. Not only do they make sign-up super simple, they also provide a useful description of what their newsletter will include and how often they send.Subscribers will be more likely to sign up if they know what to expect from you.There are also handy tools you can use so that subscribers can sign up on social media or even through a mobile device.3. Deliver a personal experienceBuilding a list is half the challenge, sustaining that relationship is just as important. To build long-lasting relationships with your subscribers, you’re going to have to think beyond your organization and think about how you can deliver a great experience for your contacts.Start by answering a few questions like:Who are your contacts?What are they interested in?How often do they want to hear from you?The more information you can collect and store about your contacts the better. For example, if you collect email addresses at an event, make note of that so you can reach out to them with a targeted follow-up soon after.The timing of your emails is important — you want to make a good first impression on new contacts so that they read your future messages. You can also use this information to reach out to them if you are holding a similar event in the future.4. Don’t send carelesslyThis includes sending with a set schedule and goal in mind, but also checking back in to see how each mailing performed, and making changes when necessary. Using email reports, you have access to important information like open and click-through rates, which will show you what messages are attracting interest and getting your readers to interact with your content.You don’t want your email marketing strategy to become static. Spend some time thinking about little tweaks you can try. What happens to your open rate if you ask a question in your subject line? Does your click-through rate increase if you link to a YouTube video?Seeing what works best for your audience will ensure you are getting the return on investment you’re looking for from email marketing. Taking a few extra minutes to try something new could mean reengaging contacts that have fallen out of touch.last_img read more

Read More

Understanding the Flow of Reproductive Health Knowledge in Ethiopia

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 1, 2012June 21, 2017Click 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)K4Health recently published a needs assessment and network mapping of family planning and reproductive health information in Ethiopia. The overall goal of the assessment was to gain a better understanding of the accessibility and flow of information relating to family planning and reproductive health among key actors in Ethiopia.In Ethiopia, K4Health sought to explore the current family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) knowledge management system; examine information flows and barriers at different levels of the health system; and identify areas to strengthen health information sharing and use. Using a novel, participatory approach (Net-Map) yielded a highly visual presentation of the data that identifies key FP/RH actors in Ethiopia, explores the nature of relationships among the actors, and examines the level of influence of the different actors with regard to reproductive health information exchange. Using the Net-Map approach, the researchers were able to identify bottle necks to information flow and opportunities to improve that flow across health system levels in Ethiopia.This body of research aimed to determine how to better meet health care professionals’ dynamic information needs so that they can provide better health care to the populations they serve. In Ethiopia, reproductive health indicators can be improved through better health information exchange. This report provides important recommendations that can help get the right information delivered to health care professionals when they need it and can help enhance the quality of health care programs countrywide.Read the full assessment here.Share this:last_img read more

Read More

Woman-Centered Maternity Care, Family Planning, and HIV: Principles for Rights-Based Integration

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 6, 2013March 6, 2017Click 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Our colleagues at the Wilson Center Global Health Initiative are hosting a discussion with experts on rights-based maternity care and the intersection with family planning and HIV. The event will take place on June 11th from 3-5pm at the Wilson Center in Washington DC.About the event:Increasingly, family planning and HIV programs are seeking to expand their services to include maternal health care. The movement to integrate health services provides an important opportunity to share lessons learned across the different communities on their experiences with rights-based care. Join us for a discussion with experts in rights-based maternity care and its intersection with family planning and HIV.Click here for the list of speakers for the event.Click here to RSVP.Click here for directions to the Wilson Center.Learn more about this topic by visiting the MHTF’s topic pages focused on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS and respectful maternity care.For a compilation of the latest news and publications on maternal health, HIV and AIDS, click here. For a compilation of the latest news and publications on respectful maternity care, click here.Explore the MHTF’s ongoing blog series on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS and respectful maternity care.Share this:last_img read more

Read More

New Research: Examining Maternal Health in the Context of Women’s Health Throughout the Lifespan

first_imgPosted on October 16, 2013February 2, 2017By: Kate Mitchell, Manager of the MHTF Knowledge Management System, Women and Health InitiativeClick 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Each year, the Maternal Health Task Force and PLOS Medicine work together to organize an open access collection of research and commentary on maternal health. The two organizations team up to identify a specific and critical theme that merits further exploration within the broader context of maternal health. The Year 2 Collection, titled ‘Maternal Health is Women’s Health‘, launched in November and focuses on establishing a stronger understanding of how the health of women and girls before pregnancy influences maternal health—and also considers the impact of maternal health on women’s health more broadly even beyond the reproductive years. Today, the MHTF and PLOS Medicine are delighted to announce the addition of 12  articles to the Year 2 collection. The articles include research on the effect of prophylactic oxytocin for postpartum hemorrhage delivered by peripheral health workers in Ghana, a commentary that calls for the prioritization of cervical cancer in the post-2015 era, as well as an article that explores the impact of maternal deaths on living children in Tanzania, and much more. Our colleagues at PLOS Medicine shared a blog post on their blog, Speaking of Medicine, about the additions to the collection. In this excerpt, they describe in more detail the theme for the Year 2 collection:This theme was created to highlight the need to consider maternal health in the context of a women’s health throughout her lifespan. While pregnancy is limited to women of reproductive age, maternal health is influenced by the health of women and girls before pregnancy. The effects of key health issues such as the impact of poor nutrition, poverty, lack of available quality healthcare and low socioeconomic status can occur during childhood, adolescence, throughout the pregnancy and beyond. These issues can heavily influence a woman’s maternal health, heightening the risk of complications in pregnancy, such as obstructed labour in adolescent girls or increasing the likelihood of HIV infections due to a woman’s physical susceptibility and her relative disempowerment.Read the post on Speaking of Medicine.The following new articles from PLOS Medicine and PLOS ONE have been added to the MHTF-PLOS collection on maternal health:Preconception Care in Low and Middle Income Countries:  new opportunities and a new metric by Joel G. Ray and colleagues.Reproductive and maternal health in the post-2015 era: cervical cancer must be a priority by Ruby Singhrao and colleaguesEffect on postpartum hemorrhage of prophylactic oxytocin by peripheral health personnel in Ghana: a community-based, cluster-randomized trial by Cynthia K. Stanton and colleaguesSetting Research Priorities for Preconception Care in Low-and Middle-income Countries: Aiming to Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality and Morbidity by Sohni Dean and colleaguesFactors Affecting the Delivery, Access, and Use of Interventions to Prevent Malaria in Pregnancy in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis by Jenny Hill and colleaguesHIV and the Risk of Direct Obstetric Complications: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis by Clara Calvert and Carine RonsmansAntenatal depression in Sri Lanka and the factor structure of the Sinhalese version of Edinburgh Post Partum Depression Scale among pregnant women by Suneth Buddhika Agampodi and Thilini Chanchala AgampodiComorbidities and Lack of Blood Transfusion May Negatively Affect Maternal Outcomes of Women with Obstetric Hemorrhage Treated with NASG by Alison El Ayadi and colleaguesCosts of Inaction on Maternal Mortality: Qualitative Evidence of the Impacts of Maternal Deaths on Living Children in Tanzania by Alicia Ely Yamin and colleaguesAcute Maternal Infection and Risk of Pre-eclampsia: a Population-Based Case-Control Study by Caroline Minassian and colleaguesRepresentation of women and pregnant women in HIV research: a systematic review by Daniel Westreich and colleaguesAttitudes Toward Family Planning Among HIV-Positive Pregnant Women Enrolled in a Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Study in Kisumu, Kenya by Shirley Lee Lecher and colleaguesCommunity Health Workers and Health Care Delivery: Evaluation of a Women’s Reproductive Health Care Project in a Developing Country by Abdul Wajid and colleaguesAnalysis of the Maternal and Child Health Care Status in Suizhou City, Hubei Province, China, from 2005 to 2011 by Hui-Ping Zhang and colleaguesWhen Women Deliver with No One Present in Nigeria: Who, What, Where and So What? by Bolaji M. Fapohunda and Nosakhare G. OrobatonTo learn more about the MHTF-PLOS Collection on Maternal Health, contact Kate Mitchell.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Read More

Moving Beyond the Numbers

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 24, 2014November 7, 2016By: Renuka Motihar, Independent Consultant and member of the Executive Committee of the White Ribbon Alliance IndiaClick 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As we approach the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, what does the future hold for international maternal mortality targets? The MHTF is pleased to be hosting a blog series on post-2015 maternal mortality goal setting. Over the next several weeks, we will be featuring responses and reactions to proposed targets from around the world. Please share your thoughts with us!In India, there has been considerable economic progress, but the country is still grappling with inequities and the basic right to safe childbirth. There are about 30 million pregnancies; 27 million deliveries and about 56,000 women are lost in childbirth each year. This accounts for 19 percent of maternal deaths around the world. Most of these can be prevented. India still has a way to go to reach MDG 5, which would require reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR)  to 109 deaths per 100,000 births  by 2015. There has been some progress in the country in the last decade. The MMR has fallen from about 390 to 212 deaths per 100,000 live births in about 10 years, approximately 67 percent decrease. There are some areas in the country, such as states of Assam, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand that still have MMRs greater than 300 deaths per 100,000 live births. Social determinants such as early age of marriage and early and repeated childbearing are also contributing factors. Thirty-six percent of Indian women are malnourished and about 55 percent are anemic. Bodies are ill prepared to handle childbirth with poor nutrition, stunting with negative outcomes for maternal health. The main causes of death in India have been found to be heavy bleeding (hemorrhage) and eclampsia (high blood pressure).The Government of India has policies and programs to improve outcomes for maternal health. Janani Suraksha Yojana, a safe motherhood cash assistance scheme, and now the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakarm (JSSK) have facilitated the shift of births from homes to health facilities. Births in clinics and hospitals have increased over 75 percent in the last 5 years; however the maternal mortality ratios have only declined by approximately 25 percent. But the question arises: Are the health facilities equipped with the desired quality to handle the onset of numbers? Is there adequate inter-partum care and emergency care for complicated deliveries? Is the poorest woman being able to reach services? Is it inclusive and equitable?To address quality of care issues, quality protocols are being developed — for the labor room, antenatal care and postnatal care by the government and there is an effort to standardize. There is an attempt to strengthen supportive supervision, task shifting (reduce dependence on doctors and train a cadre of health workers for providing services), strategic skilling, respectful maternal care and maternal death reviews. However, challenges still remain: India is a vast country, and problems of supplies of essential drugs, medicines, inadequate human resources, inaccessible terrain, socio-cultural factors, and translating policies/programs into action persist. The government of India is grappling with all these issues and is focusing on improving quality of services. There is a realization that only looking at numbers is not enough. Improving quality of services is critical. As Anuradha Gupta, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), Government of India and Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission has said in a recent meeting, “We need a shift in the focus on achieving numbers to achieving quality of care”. The global targets for preventing maternal deaths are useful in providing goals to aspire for a country. They have acted as a catalyst to accelerate progress. However, the targets currently only reflect maternal mortality. They do not reflect maternal morbidities or the fact that for every woman dying in childbirth, many more women suffer long-lasting and debilitating illnesses, which are now being neglected. For countries, a relative or percentage target may be more useful; and those countries that are on track should also examine the reaching of targets sub-nationally. However, within countries, focusing only on numbers is not enough. Efforts need to go beyond numbers to reflect on enhancing the quality of services, and, in turn, improving the lives of women and children.If you would like to submit a guest post for to our ongoing series exploring potential goals for maternal health in the post-MDG development agenda, please contact Andrea Goetschius: goetschi@hsph.harvard.eduShare this:last_img read more

Read More