The Power of Doing Things For The Right Reasons

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keith krach

I believe in karma: we all reap what we sow. But I also believe in doing things for the right reasons without any expectation that you might somehow be paid back for your actions in the future.

This is what I call “pure heart” where you’re only motivation is to help others in need. And sometimes it is during the worst of times when someone’s true heart actions make the most impact.

For example, I’ll never forget the tragic events that unfolded on 9/11. As it happened, our company was hosting a large conference for our financial services customers in New Orleans the day the planes struck the World Trade Center. As the news trickled in—this was far more than just an accident—a dilemma quickly presented itself: many of our customers were based in New York City and were soon worried sick about their colleagues and family members.

But with the airports under lockdown, how were we going to get the 1,000 people attending our conference home?

And that’s when I witnessed one of the most amazing pure heart moments of my life. Without waiting to be told by anyone, our conference coordinator had called up several local bus companies and rented every vehicle she could inside the city. She then helped coordinate a plan where she set up tables by state as a way to get people organized.

We then gathered everyone together and explained what we knew about the situation. I asked everyone to bow their heads in a moment of silence for the fallen. I then told them we had rented busses to take them back home. But, if anyone was more comfortable waiting until things quieted down, we told them we would cover their rooms.

Most people wanted to get home, however, so we loaded everyone we could on the busses along with food and alcohol to help pass the time.

But even as we loaded up the busses, we noticed people wandering over from a nearby hotel. They had also been attending a conference, they told us, but the people hosting it had just disappeared. “Do you have any room on your busses for us?” they asked.

“Of course,” we said, as we boarded as many people as we could before sending them off toward home.

Again, we did all of this without thinking and without a thought as to the cost. It was just part of our culture to take care of our customers because we thought of them as part of our family. We knew how scared they were and how much they wanted to be home with their families, so we did everything possible to make that happen. That’s what I mean by pure heart.

A few weeks later, we also did our best to help the victims of the attack, which included purchasing a new fire truck for a firehouse in Manhattan that had lost five of its brothers. Again, we didn’t do this as a PR stunt or to get attention: we just felt it was the right thing to do.

Did karma ever pay us back for those good deeds? Perhaps. I know many of the customers we helped bus home that day remain friends to this day. But the biggest takeaway is that we knew we made a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people.

How can you put a price on that?

The post The Power of Doing Things For The Right Reasons appeared first on ReadWrite.


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Four Reasons Why the Opioid Epidemic Is Getting Worse, Not Better

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Despite efforts to address the crisis, opioid overdoses in the U.S. continue to increase at a disturbing rate.

A new report compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the number of people checking into the emergency room (ER) after overdosing rose by 30 percent between July 2016 and September 2017. In 2016 alone, opioids were the cause of nearly 42,000 deaths across the country, more than any previous year on record.

“In every region, in every age group of adults, in both men and women, overdoses from opioids are increasing,” CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat told NPR.

The fact that the report was only able to capture people who were hospitalized suggests that the grim toll may be much higher, because many people who overdose never go to the ER.

The CDC’s report didn’t delve into the cause behind the 30 percent increase, but several factors may have played a part in this concerning trend:

  • Insurers won’t cover alternative treatments: For people affected by chronic pain, there are many options other than addictive pain killers. The so-called interventional pain treatments include local injections and physiotherapy. However, perhaps because their positive impacts are more difficult to assess, insurance companies often don’t cover this type of treatment, making them less affordable than legal opioids.
  • Access to stronger opioids: NPR notes how easy it is to get stronger illegal opioids such as fentanyl. While it can be used for pain relief, notes the drug carries a high risk of dependency, as do other compounds like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, though they can be prescribed by doctors. Kratom is another such drug meant to treat pain relief, yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed it dangerous.
  • Children: According to research recently published on the journal Pediatrics, the number of children between the age of 1 and 17 who have been admitted to hospitals for opioid overdose has nearly doubled from 797 patients between 2004 and 2007, to 1,504 patients between 2012 and 2015. Jason Kane, an associate professor of pediatrics and critical care at Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago and lead author of the research, suspects many gain access to their parents’ medications, and either intentionally or accidentally take them.
  • Lack of legislation: The opioid epidemic is clearly nothing new, yet congress has put little effort to address the situation; a belief shared by Andrew Kolodny, co-director of Opioid Policy Research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Kolodny told NPR: “There’s been a lot of talk from Congress and from the administration and a recognition that we need to do something about this problem. But nothing yet has happened.” As reported by Bloomberg BNA, however, both the House and Senate are now looking for ways to manage the crisis in the future. In January, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey introduced new legislation intended to combat the opioid crisis. According to Reuters, Arizona officials blame opioid overdose for roughly 800 deaths occurred in the state since June 2017.

While the opioid crisis can’t be attributed to the combination of the above factors alone, it’s clear that more must be done to offset the significant loss of lives to products that are supposed to help people. The CDC’s report is sure to turn heads and bring some much needed attention to the problem, but it’ll be for naught unless things change fast, be it through legislation, or future drugs made specifically to tackle addiction and withdrawal.

The post Four Reasons Why the Opioid Epidemic Is Getting Worse, Not Better appeared first on Futurism.


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New survey shows the top reasons people didn’t upgrade to the iPhone 8 or iPhone X

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A new analyst survey published today offers some insight as to what consumers are looking for in future generation iPhones. Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson shared the results of a survey he conducted with 1,500 people who did not recently purchase a new iPhone, finding three primary factors preventing those users from upgrading…



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Several Reasons You Should Consider Getting An IPhone

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Millions of people love using the iPhone. Why, though? What excites so many people about using the iPhone? Read on for more information, including tips and tricks about how to best use the iPhone.

If you accidently get your iPhone wet, there is hope! First, do not push the power button; this may cause additional damage. Dry off the phone as much as possible and then put it in a bowl with uncooked rice. Allow it to sit for at least 12 hours. This should help the phone dry out and allow you to use it again.

Download and sign up with the Find My iPhone app. This invaluable application can help you locate your iPhone in the event that it is lost or stolen. This app not only allows you to display a message on the screen or cause the phone to ring extra-loud, but it allows you to wipe data or lock your phone from a remote location.

You can turn your iPhone into a thumb drive by equipping it with an app that lets you upload files to it. With the app, text, music, and even photos can be uploaded. All you have to do to get this music is to connect your iPhone to a laptop or desktop computer.

For faster photo taking, tap twice on your iphone’s home button, and a camera icon will appear. Tap it again, and it will immediately bring up access to the camera. You can snap a picture using the volume (up) button on the phone or on the headphone cord. A pinch of the screen will allow for zooming.

Capture those fleeting on-screen moments by using the screenshot function. To take a screenshot with your iPhone, simply hold down the “Home” button while simultaneously depressing the “Sleep” button one time. You should see a flash of white on the screen, and the image should be archived in your camera roll right away.

When typing in a web address to visit a page, sometimes you may not know the domain name ending. Even if you do, there is a way to get it in the address bar faster. In the iphone world, this is very helpful. All you do is hold down the .com button in order to see different domain name endings. You can then choose from the list.

If you are using certain apps that allow you to select a word, you can get definitions for any word that you do not recognize. All you need to do is press and hold the word and a box will come up that will ask if you would like to define it.

Check out all of your stocks and how the market is doing in the stocks section of your iPhone. This section allows you to look at how the Dow Jones is doing at the current time in addition to a timeline of its performance and different articles for quick access to the market.

It is easy to save an image from Safari on your iPhone. When you are on the image you want, tap and hold down on the image. A message will come up, asking you if you want to “Cancel” or “Save Image”. Obviously, you will want to pick the “Save Image” option.

There is a quick way to take a picture with your iPhone even if the screen is locked. Tap the home button twice, and a camera icon appears beside the unlock bar. Tap the camera, and you can take a picture immediately without the need to take the time to unlock the screen first.

You should not bother dealing with word corrections offered by the phone. When typing up something and a suggested word distracts you, simply tap your screen to get rid of the box. Doing so will save you having to hit the “x” at the conclusion of each word.

You’re going to need to switch between punctuation keys and the alphabet keys, and you would like to know how to do this much more quickly. Press the ?123 key, but then don’t let up your finger as the actual punctuation layout shows up. Slide your finger over to the comma key, release, and you will see the ABC layout appear automatically.

If your iPhone freezes up, do not be alarmed. The first thing to try is, of course, the sleep/wake button. If you are unsuccessful, push it along with the home button. This will restart your phone and the Apple logo should appear.

Use rice to help your wet iPhone. If you have found that your phone has gotten water all over it, the best solution is to set it in a bag full of rice. Rice will draw out the water and absorb it, hopefully allowing water to leave your phone in a way that you can still use it.

If your iPhone freezes and the Sleep/Wake button does not work, do not worry. There is another option. Try pressing and holding on the Home Button and the Sleep/Wake button instantaneously. Then, you’ll be notified to slide the tab that will turn off your phone. This type of hard-reset can revive your frozen iPhone.

Take precautions against losing your iphone. Your iphone can be tracked by a GPS. You can use this to locate your lost iphone, if you have taken the time to set it up. Consult your instruction manual or the settings in the iphone itself. Make sure that it is set to be tracked should you misplace it.

The iPhone makes it so easy to send messages that you might be tempted to invest a little effort into formatting. Fortunately, a little effort is all it takes. Like many of the other keys on the on-screen keyboard, the punctuation keys will give you a lot of great options (like straight or curly quotation marks) if you press and hold them.

As stated in the first portion of this article, people everywhere are using iPhones. Although you may not have known what the big deal was before, after reading this article, you now understand the appeal of the iPhone.

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Three Reasons Scientists Are Freaked out by Crazy-High Arctic Temperatures

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Extreme Weather

In February, Arctic temperatures soared high above the usual ranges, reaching up to 20 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than average. David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada, told CBC News that temperatures in Canada’s Far North showed similar spikes, hitting about 10 to 12 degrees Celsius (18 to 21.6 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than usual.

From February 16 though February 18, the temperature in Alert, Nunavut, the northernmost permanently inhabited place on Earth, hit a daily high of -7 degrees Celsius (19.4 degrees Fahrenheit), -4.7 degrees Celsius (23.5 degrees Fahrenheit), and -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit), respectively.

Our Warming World: The Future of Climate Change [INFOGRAPHIC]
Click to View Full Infographic

Normal highs at this time of the year are usually -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit), according to Phillips.

“That has literally smashed the previous record,” he told CBC News. “So we’re dealing with temperatures here that were as much as 25 degrees warmer than they should have been at that time of the year.”

Here are three reasons these Arctic temperatures have climate scientists like Phillips concerned for the future of the whole planet – not just the Far North.

1. They’re Not Random.

As Phillips noted, these temperatures are way outside the expected range. Sure, Arctic temperatures sometimes fluctuate and spike, but this year’s numbers are far outside the historical average. Even more worrisome is the fact that the hot spells also last longer and occur more frequently than in the past.

“In 50 years of Arctic reconstructions, the current warming event is both the most intense and one of the longest-lived warming events ever observed during winter,” Robert Rohde, lead scientist of climate science nonprofit Berkeley Earth, told The Guardian.

Daily mean temperature in the Arctic, 1958-2002, compared to numbers for 2018. Credit: Danish Meteorological Institute

High temperatures aren’t limited to one place, either. In Siberia, temperatures are reaching upwards of 35 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit) over historical ranges.

Meanwhile, Greenland has had 61 hours of above-freezing temperatures this year, which is roughly three times as many hours as 2017. “Going back to the late 1950s at least, we have never seen such high temperatures in the high Arctic,” said Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute, also speaking to The Guardian.

2. They’re Linked to Bigger Environmental Changes.

The natural barriers that have historically prevented too much warming in the Arctic are changing, and these warmer Arctic temperatures are a symptom of those changes.

Experts believe the northern polar vortex – the system of powerful low-pressure winds that kept the frozen north insulated – could be eroding or shifting southwards, thereby sucking in more warm air from the south and causing the polar jet stream to go “loopy,” as Walt Meier, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado, put it in an interview with CBC News.

The polar jet stream normally flows from west to east, but occasionally, it turns, sending cold air out of the Arctic and bringing warmer air in. This behavior can result in extreme weather behavior beyond the Arctic, such as the colder temperatures currently plaguing Europe.

The frequency and intensity of these events has increased in recent years. “The last three or four years, they’ve had at least one of these events where the North Pole region or very close to the North Pole actually gets above freezing sometime in the middle of winter, which is really pretty remarkable because there’s no sunlight there,” Meier explained to CBC News.

3. They’re Disrupting Ecosystems.

All of these changes in the Arctic aren’t just harming the environment. They’re also damaging the region’s ecosystems and human communities.

Northern Canada’s Inuit, for example, depend on the environment for their livelihood, as well as other cultural activities. “Because Inuit and people living in the Arctic are so closely tied to the land…it has a huge impact,” Trevor Bell, a geography professor at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, told CBC News.

These extreme weather conditions can affect everything from these communities’ food supplies to their ability to travel. They can also harm their mental and physical health. “These unpredictable extreme events or unpredictable ice conditions cause people to have accidents on the ice, maybe leading to trauma,” said Bell.

While the weather changes of the past several years are noteworthy, some are remaining conservative with their estimates of how they’ll affect the region in the long term. “This is too short-term an excursion to say whether or not it changes the overall projections for Arctic warming,” Michael Mann, direct of Pennsylvania State University’s Earth System Science Center, told The Guardian.

However, the potential impact of these extreme warming events can’t be ignored. “[T]hose initial warming events can trigger even greater warming because of the ‘feedback loops’ associated with the melting of ice and the potential release of methane (a very strong greenhouse gas),” said Mann.

If that happens, we could see rising sea levels and higher temperatures everywhere, putting societies across the globe in harm’s way.

The post Three Reasons Scientists Are Freaked out by Crazy-High Arctic Temperatures appeared first on Futurism.


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9 Reasons Why Apple Music Is Better Than Spotify

For quite a while, Spotify has been the dominant music streaming platform. It’s ubiquitous and packs a wide set of features. Spotify was probably the best streaming service at one point, but it might be losing that crown to Apple Music. Use the Right Arrow to Learn 9 Reasons Why Apple Music Is Better Than Spotify.
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Three Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea to Build a Skyscraper Out of Wood

Japanese architects want to turn modern-day cities into wooden forests, quite literally. Japanese firm Sumitomo Forestry unveiled its designs for what would be the tallest wooden building in the world — a 350-meter (1,148-foot) skyscraper, dubbed as the W350 Project.

The building, slated to be completed by 2041, would be made of 90 percent specially processed wood, and 10 percent steel. But it’s not your run-of-the-mill timber that’s going to be built so high into the sky — the building would likely be made of cross-laminated timber, a material made of many sheets of wood glued and compressed together. The final result is a plank that’s more robust than steel. If one of the little piggies built its house from this stuff, even to the heights of the W350 project, then no amount of the wolf’s huffing or puffing could take it down.

Looks pretty stunning! Image credit: Sumitomo Forestry
The W350 Project isn’t the first of its kind — other architects in cities all over the world have been toying with the idea of using wood as the main component for skyscrapers. But it’s not just the availability of the new material that makes it so appealing. So why build skyscrapers out of wood? We can think of a few good reasons.

Wood is Environmentally Friendly

The production of typical construction materials, like steel and concrete, accounts for 16 percent of global emissions, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Sustainable ForestryBy switching to wood, we could reduce the emissions from the construction industry by up to 31 percent, according to a study from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

And because wood is lighter and easier to transport than steel, it requires fewer fossil fuels to transport it, further reducing emissions.

Wood is Cost-Effective

Cross-laminated timber costs about the same as concrete and steel. And again, because it’s lighter, builders can move a lot more of it for the same cost.

While the W350 Project is expected to cost twice as much as an ordinary building, Sumitomo is confident that technological advances between now and 2041, when the building is expected to be complete, will drastically reduce that number.

Wood is Renewable

Compared to steel and concrete, wood is renewable because we can simply grow more timber. “What about deforestation?” you would ask. Those worries are unfounded — less than 1 percent of the world’s forests are harvested annually.

“Harvesting also reduces a forest’s likelihood of suffering a catastrophic wildfires, and improves its ability to withstand it,” wrote the authors in the 2013 study. “Maintaining a mix of forest habitats and tree densities in non-reserved forests would help preserve the varied biodiversity in ecosystems worldwide.”

If managed properly, wood could become an accessible, practical building material for large-scale construction projects. The W350 Project may be the most recent endeavor to bring wood to new heights, but it certainly won’t be the last.

The post Three Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea to Build a Skyscraper Out of Wood appeared first on Futurism.


7 Reasons Why You Should Buy Apple Stock Now

As a publicly-owned, worldwide leader in technology, innovation and design, Apple’s stock (traded under the NASDAQ ticker symbol, AAPL) has endured a wild ride over the years. From its Initial Public Offering (IPO) of just $ 22 per share back in December of 1980, to the tech giant’s unprecedented growth, resulting in massive, per share gains […]
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3 Reasons Why Crypto Might Work For Venezuela (And Why It Might Not)

People are looking to cryptocurrency to solve all kinds of problems, from making sure that photographers get paid for their work, to addressing carbon emissions. Now the Venezuelan government hopes that a new digital coin might be able to counteract the country’s economic collapse.

As extreme inflation drags the Venezuelan bolívar down, food and medicines are scarce, crime is rife, and essential public services have buckled under the strain. Many residents have already fled the country. The new digital currency – dubbed the petro, in reference to its value being based on the price of oil – is the government’s last-ditch attempt to stem the flow.

Here’s why the plan might work:

It’s a Tried-and-Tested Strategy

Why do crypto companies run initial coin offerings? Because they are a great way to raise a lot of money quickly, and that’s exactly what Venezuela needs to pay off its debt. President Nicolas Maduro claims that the petro raised $ 735 million in the first day of its presale, as per CNBC. If that number is to be believed, the project off to a great start.

It’s Built Upon Existing Infrastructure

Wisely, the petro seems to be leveraging existing crypto technology, rather than starting from scratch with its own bespoke exchange platform. Venezuela does have plans to eventually open its own exchange, but the coin will also be traded on others. What’s more, the petro is based on proven blockchain technology – although its white paper and its buyer’s manual disagree on whether it’s built on Ethereum or NEM, as noted in a report from CoinDesk.

It Casts Off U.S. Sanctions

The Trump administration has introduced sanctions that prevent the purchase of new securities issued by the Venezuelan government in the American market, according to a report by The New York Times. The petro offers investors a way to sidestep these measures.

But Here’s Why it Might Not Work

Cryptocurrency can be volatile, and Venezuela is the first country to create its own digital currency in this manner. While various other nations are pursuing crypto, these projects are not desperate measures to save the future of the national economy.

It remains to be seen whether the petro will woo investors. People need a reason to invest in this untested coin – and given that the lack of ties to a central government has paid into the popularity of bitcoin and its ilk, the petro already has a mark against it.


Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

The post 3 Reasons Why Crypto Might Work For Venezuela (And Why It Might Not) appeared first on Futurism.


6 Reasons Not to Buy the Latest iPhones

There’s no denying the fact that the iPhone is one of the most popular technology products on the market, and it’s certainly driving up profits for Apple. Last year, the company shipped 216 million smartphones, according the most recent estimates from Statista.

Although the iPhone retails for a hefty price tag, consumers are drawn to the handset because it offers a sophisticated yet easy-to-use operating system and the best possible hardware available on the market. And every year, the Cupertino-based firm increases its grip on the smartphone sector by announcing a new batch of iPhones.

Last year, the technology giant unveiled three new iPhones. The flagship is the “revolutionary” iPhone X, followed by cheaper iPhone 8 models. They’re all great handsets for different reasons, and if your contract is due for an upgrade or your current handset is beginning to age, you may well be thinking about upgrading to one of these handsets.

While the iPhone X and iPhone 8 are popular among the masses, there are plenty of reasons why you should hold off purchasing one of them. From ways to beef up your current iPhone’s performance to rumours claiming that Apple already has new phones in the pipeline, here are a few things that will make you think twice about switching to the X or 8. Use the Right Arrow to Browse 6 Reasons Not to Buy the Latest iPhones.

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