WATCH: Special moment 99-year-old gets her wish to perform ‘Danny Boy’ with Daniel O’Donnell

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WATCH: Special moment 99-year-old gets her wish to perform ‘Danny Boy’ with Daniel O’Donnell

first_imgThis is the moment Kitty Cosgrave got her wish to sing ‘Danny Boy’ with Daniel O’Donnell, in front of a large audience.Kitty’s daughter, Kathleen, recorded the video on the night and was overjoyed to see her mother get her wish. “She never thought it would happen to her, and to sing Danny Boy with him… No words can describe.” Kathleen said.Footage shows the 99-year-old great-great-grandmother being utterly content during the performance.WATCH: Special moment 99-year-old gets her wish to perform ‘Danny Boy’ with Daniel O’Donnell was last modified: August 17th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Facebook’s Own Estimates Show Declining Student Numbers; Now More Grandparents Than High School Users

first_imgHow fickle are kids these days? Just when all the grown ups started figuring out Facebook, college and high school users have declined in absolute number by 20% and 15% respectively in a mere six months, according to estimates Facebook provides to advertisers that were archived for tracking by an outside firm. Facebook users aged 55 and over have skyrocketed from under 1 million to nearly six million in the same time period. There are more Facebook users over 55 years old today than there are high school students using the site.Grandma and Grandpa showed up to have a conversation, but Billy and Sally were gone. Facebook cannot be excited about this.The dramatic change in user demographics was picked up by iStrategyLabs today. Anyone can go through Facebook’s self-serve advertising program and see the user demographics numbers the company estimates now; iStrategyLabs captured that data six months ago and saved it for comparison. The changes have been dramatic. According to this data, from Facebook’s own ad platform, there are actually fewer high school and college users on Facebook today than there were six months ago. As you can see in the chart above, young people by age are up a small amount, but young people by school level are down. Users with undeclared education levels are way up, implying that many high school and college students may simply no longer be listing their schools at all on the site. That’s a dramatic change too for a site that began as a network for college students. We wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook stopped showing advertisers the number of high school and college students soon and relied only on the age distribution.Who is the company that is presenting these historical numbers? A quick check around the web shows that iStrategyLabs is one of the top sponsors of the Apps for Democracy contest with the D.C. government and company CEO, Peter Corbett, as a judge for the Apps for America project with the Sunlight Foundation – those are some pretty good credentials when it comes to saving a set of numbers accurately for six months. The company’s spreadsheet of Facebook data it’s captured since October, 2007 is here.Facebook’s communication team told us in response to this comparison that those numbers are “rough, not actual” – but they are going to check on the historical numbers internally and get back to us. Given that the number of male users plus the number of female users adds up to a lower number than the number of users shown when no gender is selected in the advertising platform – we suspect that the numbers Facebook is showing its advertisers are very rough. Users cannot create an account without specifying one gender or another.We can’t help but wonder whether the kinds of privacy measures that Facebook is sticking its toe in the water with right now could have helped six months ago: letting messages be made visible only to limited groups of people instead of all messages going to all your Facebook connections no matter the context. Instead, Facebook seems determined to push everyone into making their content on the site more public, not less. That may not matter if the kids aren’t around to be upset. Then the advertisers will be left pitching their products to senior citizen late adopters – and 35 to 54 year old users, now the biggest group on the site.It’s not a pretty picture, but we await further response from Facebook. Tags:#news#social networks#web Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditcenter_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification marshall kirkpatrick Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…last_img read more

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Insights from Successful Net-Zero Builders

first_imgThe number of net-zero energy (NZE) homes in the U.S. is growing at an exciting rate — it has grown by 33% from 2015 to 2016 — but this growth is nowhere near fast enough to make NZE homes mainstream. Today, they are a very niche offering, comprising roughly 0.01% of U.S. residential housing stock.To increase market penetration of NZE homes, we need to learn how first movers can successfully break into this new market and understand what barriers still need to be addressed to make NZE homes mainstream. Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) interviewed eight of the most successful NZE builders, responsible for 20% of the single-family NZE homes in the U.S., to understand what they know about NZE homes that the rest of the industry should learn. Here’s what we found out: By ALISA PETERSEN RELATED ARTICLES For example, builders of a home that requires more insulation could offset some of that incremental cost by downsizing its heating and cooling system. Additionally, a roof optimized for solar would have simple planes, as opposed to the typical gingerbread-house profile, lowering the roof cost and reducing the incremental cost to build an NZE home.Also, while most builders we spoke with didn’t build in California, they believed that California’s NZE code requirement, slated to take effect in 2020, will further drop the cost to build NZE homes since it will increase the market for NZE equipment, and manufacturers will need to offer cost-effective solutions there if they want to remain competitive.Although builders consistently told us the cost to own an NZE home pans out over the life of the mortgage, RMI wants to push that idea further. We know that NZE homes cost less than most people realize, but our research will provide clarity on roughly how much a well-designed NZE home costs to build and how long homeowners need to remain in their NZE homes to break even on their investments.RMI’s full report on NZE cost research will be released in July. Insight 4: Building NZE homes is less riskyNZE builders felt that their differentiated offering helped them during market downturns and reduced their risk when a new energy code was adopted. Since the homes they build will always be more efficient than the energy code, they don’t need to scramble to learn the new code or worry about rising construction costs. And differentiation reduces risk, too.“The greatest risk of all is to be just like any other builder. A highly differential, crisp product has been a real key to our survival through the recession,” said Gene Myers of Thrive Homes. Interestingly, these trends are consistent with those witnessed in the commercial NZE sector, as noted in RMI’s recently published guide detailing best practices for NZE commercial leases. Insight 2: Customer acquisition and market barriers should be addressedMany builders we spoke with shared a common customer-communication journey when they started offering NZE home construction. Initially, they tried to train home buyers to be building scientists, which was not a successful strategy. Now, they primarily talk about healthy and comfortable homes and more disposable income.One builder even calculated all the energy savings from residing in an NZE home for a young family, and equated it to paying for their young child’s college education. The NZE builders we spoke with all seemed to have their customer pitch down, but it was a learning process (because they were first movers) that resulted in a lot of trial and error.In addition to the customer acquisition barrier that most new NZE builders need to work through, there are market barriers to NZE homes that, if addressed, NZE builders believed could significantly increase adoption of NZE homes. Two of these market barriers are that energy costs aren’t currently factored into the mortgage underwriting process and that energy costs aren’t transparent to most home buyers.If NZE homes could get more favorable lending terms because they have lower debt-to-income ratios than identical homes that are standard efficiency, it could help NZE builders significantly. Additionally, if energy costs were more visible, such as incorporating Home Energy Rating System (HERS) scores into the multiple listing service (MLS), it would make energy a bigger part of the conversation when people are choosing a home and increase the market differentiation of an NZE home. Many organizations, including RMI, are actively working to break down these market barriers.center_img Insight 1: NZE homes can be economical todayLooking at a home in terms of total cost of ownership (mortgage, utilities, property taxes, etc.), an NZE home is more cost-effective than a standard-efficiency home today if designed correctly. For this to be true, builders need to take an integrated approach and look at the home holistically instead of taking an add-on approach. Insight 3: Changes in labor open new opportunitiesThe shortage in building-trade labor is a growing problem that hit an all-time high in 2017, with 64% of builders saying they experienced a subcontractor labor shortage. These shortages are leading to 74% of builders raising home prices, 72% of builders having difficulty completing a project on time, and 35% of builders turning down some projects.While this is a huge problem for the construction industry, it also creates a big opportunity for builders and subcontractors who take a different approach to home construction. Structural insulated panels (SIPs) and prefabricating building envelopes off-site are two ways to address this labor shortage because they require significantly less time on-site. These construction practices can also result in better-performing homes since these practices typically result in tighter and more insulated homes.Many NZE builders struggled with subcontractors that were stuck in their old ways and would charge a significant premium if they tried to do something new on a home. The significant labor growth required in this field creates an opportunity to leapfrog old building practices and establish a new business-as-usual in the workforce. For subcontractors, learning these new high-performance building practices is an opportunity to differentiate themselves with forward-looking builders. Most NZE builders we spoke with worked with the same subcontractors on all their projects because they went through the learning curve together. Alisa Petersen is a senior associate at the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Buildings team. ©2018 Rocky Mountain Institute. Published with permission. Originally posted on RMI Outlet. Using Energy Modeling to Get to ZeroA 107-Year-Old Net Positive Victorian RetrofitRevisiting Net Zero EnergyNet-Zero-Energy versus PassivhausTo Net Zero and BeyondZero-Energy Construction is ‘Set to Explode’last_img read more

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Police lathi charge on Congress workers in Chhattisgarh

first_imgThe Congress launched protests in different parts of Chhattisgarh on Wednesday after a video of an alleged police attack on party workers in Bilaspur on Tuesday went viral on social media.“The police entered the Congress Bhavan in Bilaspur on Tuesday evening and trashed the Congress workers brutally. The incident took place when Congress workers were conducting a meeting after a symbolic protest in front of Chhattisgarh minister Amar Agrawal’s residence in Bilaspur against his appalling remarks about the party. The video of the incident shows how brutally the policemen attacked Congress workers,” party spokesperson R.P. Singh told The Hindu.Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted the video of the incident on his official Twitter account and said, “Authoritarianism has become the profession of the Narendra Modi government. The attack on the Congress workers’ fundamental rights in Bilaspur by Raman Singh government will be remembered by the people as a political assault.”Senior Congress leader and the general secretary in charge of Chhattisgarh P.L. Punia termed the incident as a “barbaric act” and demanded CM Raman Singh’s resignation.“Never happened in India. For the first time, peaceful party workers were beaten up inside the party office. Raman Singh has lost all balances. It is time for him to quit. Should try to go with some grace,” Mr. Punia tweeted.Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has condemned the incident and ordered a magisterial probe.Congress leader Shailesh Nitin Trivedi claimed that “BJP ki HitlarShahi” trended on Twitter on Wednesday after the incident.The Congress has called an emergency PCC meeting in Bilaspur on Thursday to possibly announce the launch of a state-wide agitation.last_img read more

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Enjoy your honeymoon in Mauritius

first_imgA view of the Pereybere beach, the smallest and one of the best in the islandRediscovered in the 16th century (though Arab and Malay sailors are known to have visited the island as early as the 10th century) by the Portuguese, Mauritius was uninhabited until 1598 when first the Dutch,,A view of the Pereybere beach, the smallest and one of the best in the islandRediscovered in the 16th century (though Arab and Malay sailors are known to have visited the island as early as the 10th century) by the Portuguese, Mauritius was uninhabited until 1598 when first the Dutch, then French and finally the British colonised the tiny island before it became independent in 1968.Even though the British rule lasted a relatively longer period, the French roots are more evident in the Mauritian lifestyle and people still prefer to speak Creole and French over the official English language.Right from the time when you set foot at the SSR International Airport at Plaisance, chances are that if you say you are from India, the locals, who proudly refer to the island as ‘Little India’-a moniker attributed to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, will give you a warmer welcome. Not surprising since over 68 per cent of Mauritians are of Indian origin whose forefathers migrated to Mauritius as indentured labourers during the British rule.Though India is seventh among top 10 nations in the Mauritius tourism pie, it contributes only a fraction to the market dominated by Europe till now. However, the Mauritian Tourism minister Nando Bodha plans to change that. He recently announced plans to attract over 100,000 Indian tourists within the next five years, more than doubling the number from the existing 49,779 (as per February 25, 2011 data). Says the minister, “Being initially frequented by honeymooners only, today we have different segment of travellers from India visiting the island.””Both Mauritius and India have a long standing historical and cultural connect. It offers the Indian travellers a perfect feel of home away from home while taking an international vacation with family, friends or spouse,” adds Bodha.Deputy director of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) Vijaye Haulder agrees. “We speak Hindi, our culture and food habits are similar, what’s not to like,” he says.Mauritian Sega dancers on the beachThis ‘rainbow’ nation offers a blend of cultures, Indian, African, Chinese, French and British. And there’s plenty to do, from various sporting activities to visiting leisure parks, undersea walks, submarine rides to watching hundreds of dolphins accompanying your catamaran, lazing on beaches or long drives on the ‘tea route’ lined by tea estates are just a few of the excellent options. For a sublime experience visit the Belle Mare beach before the first light to view the perfect sunrise and head to Flic en Flac at dusk for the most surreal sunset you are likely to see, ever. At Vieux Grand Port, the oldest settlement in southeast Mauritius, you can see the ruins of the first Dutch fortifications. Or visit a former sugar factory at Beau Plan’s Aventure du Sucre. The museum here tells the story of sugar, the original economy booster once upon a time, and along the way covers the history of Mauritius.Have you heard of the Talipot Palm which flowers once in 60 years and withers thereafter? If you are lucky you might just see one in full bloom at the SSR Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses which also houses 500 different species of plants. With rising spending power, the Indian tourist, who tends to spend over Rs 16,000 per person per day, is increasingly being wooed by the island which relies on tourism as one of its prime sources of income. “Mauritius is an extremely popular mid-haul destination especially among the honeymoon travellers,” agrees Amal Rakeshi, Thomas Cook’s associate vice president Leisure Travel Outbound.”In the past few years it has caught up with families also. Honeymooners and families looking for a relaxing holiday with a focus on water sports look at Mauritius as an ideal destination,” adds Rakeshi. Arrivals from India, the nation’s top source for Asian tourists, went up by 26.8 per cent in 2010 to 49,779 (39,252 in 2009).In response, the authorities in the island nation are looking at new ways to woo the Indian tourist too. “We organise international golf tournaments and aim to introduce polo to attract the top segment of travellers,” says MTPA’s Haulder.Exploring the undersea world is a popular choice among touristsBodha’s ministry is also promoting the island as a wedding destination for Indians on the lookout for innovative options for this most memorable day. In the last six months MTPA has helped in organising over five big Indian weddings. “You have to give us at least a three month prior notice, we’ll take care of the rest for you,” says Haulder adding that they had to turn down half a dozen requests due to lack of time recently. The MTPA has instituted a special committee to push the wedding tourism strategy.Travelling to the island can be comparatively expensive though. It has four direct entry points from India-Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, though only the Mauritian national carrier flies on this route.Rakeshi attributes the sustained interest to special deals at popular resorts which more than make up for the airfare. “Direct flights, no crime and discrimination, people of Indian origin works with travellers. It’s a mix of activities and sightseeing to families who are looking for more than relaxation. It’s the safe, easy to get around, more exotic than the Far East destination image that sells,” he says.”Good resorts with private access to nice pristine beaches, lack of Thailand-like nightlife makes it more exotic than the other beach destinations closer home,” adds Rakeshi.Whether you are the gung-ho activity seeker or looking for a romantic interlude, Mauritius offers more than you can expect to pack in on your average three- to seven-day trip. So pack your swimsuits and head for this exotic island just about seven hours by flight from India. The writer is a journalist based in Mauritius.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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