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Man hits 2 deer with new car, then he hits $2M in lottery

first_imgLELAND, N.C. (AP) — An unlucky start to a North Carolina man’s day turned upside down when he discovered he won a $2 million lottery prize hours after hitting two deer with his new car. The North Carolina Education Lottery says Anthony Dowe, of Leland, had the accident on his way to work. It ruined his day, so he returned home and went to sleep. When he got up, he saw that his ticket numbers matched. Dowe claimed his prize at the lottery headquarters in Raleigh Monday, taking home about $1.4 million after taxes. He says he’s getting his car fixed with the money.last_img read more

Notre Dame physicist discovers Earth-like planets

first_imgHumans may or may not be in a unique position in the universe, but we now know Earth is definitely not. Notre Dame astrophysicist Justin Crepp was part of the team that discovered the first Earth-sized terrestrial planets in a habitable zone. His team published their findings in the journal, Science, last week.  Crepp said the discovery adds five new planets to a confirmed list of 62 systems that contain terrestrial planets. What is most notable is the unprecedented similarity to Earth in terms of size, with two of the planets having radii just 1.41 and 1.61 times greater than the Earth’s, he said.  Crepp said the planets are similar to Earth in several ways and more similar than other known planets. “The reason it’s special is that they’re pretty much the closest thing that we have found that resembles Earth,” Crepp said. “In terms of their size, and their orbital period they resemble the Earth and satisfy some of the conditions that we think are necessary for life to form in the first place-one of them being having the right temperature.” Crepp said he undertook this latest endeavor as a member of a team of astrophysicists using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope to view the transits of exoplanets to discover Earth-like entities orbiting solar-type stars. Transmits are the orbits directly in front of the star respective to the viewer. Crepp said the telescope focuses on a particular section of the nights sky and measures very slight changes in the brightness of stars. “It all starts with Kepler staring continuously at a hundred-and-fifty thousand stars, and there’s this patch of sky that it looks at with an unblinking eye,” Crepp said. “It’s monitoring the brightness of stars and whenever a planet passes in front of the star, it casts a shadow or blocks some of that light, and Kepler is sensitive enough to actually measure that.”  Crepp said he follows up with a ground-based optics approach to further characterize the system once notified by a sophisticated algorithm that combs through the Kepler data to determine planetary candidates.  “I use a large telescope from the ground and my role in this particular Kepler discovery was to follow up those objects of interest with imaging,” Crepp said. “From the ground I can actually see if there are any sources of contamination that might trick us into thinking we’re looking at planets, but we’re actually just looking at a vanilla binary.”  He said one of the most important aspects of this step in the process is ruling out all probable alternatives that may result in the signal being a false positive, such as when the system actually has two stars – a binary – that occult each other. This binary problem occurs with 50% of all stars, Crepp said. Despite the recent discovery, Crepp said he believes that they’ve reached the limits of what they can currently characterize in the Kepler 62 system.  Crepp said the next step, beyond continuing to look through the NASA database of roughly 3,000 Keplar Objects of Interest (KOIs) for other Earth-like planets, is to start looking for such planets closer to home.  Crepp said he is working to develop an instrument he calls the infrared Large Binocular Telescope Exoplanet Recovery, or iLOCATER, which will use a fundamentally different detection technique to search for Earth-like planets roughly 10 lightyears away – two orders of magnitude closer than the current sampling performed by the Kepler project. “My instrument uses a different technique; it doesn’t use the transit technique. It uses the Doppler radial velocity technique where you look at a star’s ‘wobble’ in-and-out of the sky,” he said. “If a planet is orbiting a star it will orbit its center of mass and so if you just isolate what the star is doing, it’s being tugged on by the planet ever so subtlety, a few meters per a second as it turns out – about as fast as you would run. It’s impressive that you can actually measure that for a star.” Crepp said he will have the iLOCATER making measurements in two years, which will then allow researchers to make the next step in characterizing the atmospheres and composition of nearby Earth-like planets that are discovered. Crepp said the discovery is an important step in human understanding of the universe, but it prompts more questions than it answers. “It’s still a small step in the grand scheme of things but it’s an essential, really important step,” he said. “You answer one question and it brings up others.”last_img read more

5 bad money habits to break today

first_img 187SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details When it comes to money, we all have some bad habits from time to time. Sometimes they’re learned early in life, and sometimes they’re picked up along the way. Here are 5 habits that you should kick if you need a few extra bucks. 1. Buying snacks at workIf you’re like me, you get a little hungry in the afternoon.  That’s totally normal. But if you find yourself feeding quarters into a vending machine or swiping your card at the convenience store every afternoon, you may have an issue. Just spending a couple of bucks a day can really add up over the course of the year. You can buy the same snacks at the grocery store for a fraction of the price. And that’s without coupons. So next time you get that 2:30 hunger pain, jot down a note to hit up your favorite grocer on the way home. 2. Making impulse buysI’m as guilty of this one as anybody. Whenever I see something I like, I’ve got to have it. If I can afford it (or think I can) it usually gets added to my cart. The other day though, I told myself, “it’ll be here tomorrow,” and I left the store. By taking some time to think it over, I eventually decided it wasn’t a wise purchase. Sometimes, all you need is a few minutes to let it simmer in your brain, to realize it’s not worth it. Try out a “waiting period” next time and see what happens. 3. Not saving moneyWe probably all started saving later than we should have. Whether it’s for retirement, an emergency fund, or just a fun rainy-day fund we probably wish we’d have started saving earlier. If you save money first, and then budget the rest when you get  a paycheck, you won’t even miss that money. This has made a huge difference for me. 4. Carrying credit card balancesIf you have a credit card then I’m sure you’ve heard about the evils of using it. While it can get out of control for some people, it can also be a valuable tool for others. If you regularly use your credit card, then I’m sure you’ve carried a balance on occasion. Anyone who’s ever done this realizes what a pain credit card interest can be. Paying off credit card debt can take decades for some people. Don’t be stuck in that hole. 5. Paying big bucks for cableI saved my favorite for last. I love cable. LOVE IT. I also don’t have it. My cable bill was almost $150 bucks a month when I deactivated it. Now I have HULU (commercial free, $11.99/month), Netflix ($9.99), and SLING TV ($19.99) for less than 50 bucks a month. In fact I could add more channels or a sports package to SLING TV for $5 and still be under $50 dollars a month. Additionally, CBS ALL ACCESS ($5.99/month) or the comedy app SEESO ($3.99) are cheaper options that provide hours of entertainment.last_img read more

How gratitude can save you money

first_img 32SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with CUInsight.com. Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details Prevents impulse buyingJust as some take down an entire carton of ice cream when feeling blue, others hit the mall and go crazy. If you’re going through a hard time, take a minute and really think about things in your life that you are grateful for. It can’t be all bad! Remind yourself of what’s good and focus on the positive. Spend quality time with loved ones, enjoy the sunshine, and think of other sources of happiness in life, beside spending money. That way you can find contentment without reaching in your wallet.Reminds you to give backWhen you’re appreciative of the little things in life, you will be more aware of those less fortunate. Instead of splurging on something new for yourself when you have free time, find ways to volunteer instead. Do you really need that new purse or television? Chances are the answer is no. So instead of adding more “things” to your life, decide to help others who have little or nothing.Keeps you on trackWhen you are grateful and satisfied in life, you feel more excited about the future. You are also more patient which is incredibly valuable when working toward a certain financial goal. Gratitude keeps us motivated and helps us to think long-term about what we need to maintain a comfortable and happy life.last_img read more

Analysis of the business travel market in Croatia

first_imgIn 2018, 8% of the Croatian population went on business multi-day trips Second question was related to the regions to which one travels most often, and it is 10% of respondents stated that they most often travel in Croatia, 40% in Europe, 5% travel intercontinental, and 45% travels all over the world because of the nature of the business. 8% stated that they were not satisfied with the work of travel agencies, that they are slow to react and that often the traveler himself is able to find better options on the Internet, which often forward to the agency that they make that same reservation. 10% said they were dissatisfied with online purchases, that the information is contradictory, that there are a lot of hidden costs and that there are additional costs due to currency conversions. Photo: Pexels.com First question was to describe descriptively their problems and frustrations they encountered in the preparation phase of the business trip, during it, but also after: Total expenditures for business trips in 2018. amounted to HRK 3,7 billion, of which HRK 875 million related to business trips in Croatia and HRK 2,79 billion to those abroad. RELATED NEWS: Source: PutujBolje.com The aim of the analysis was to examine whether the general popularization of travel is in favor of business people, what are their habits and needs, and what are the most common problems and frustrations they encountered. Of all the 250 people, who descriptively expressed their biggest problems and frustrations along the way, 23% of them stated that they had big problems with hotel accommodation. The problems were related to the fact that the description of the accommodation on the hotel’s website did not correspond to the real situation, it usually looked much better on the website, and they added that they had big problems with issuing invoices. They also mentioned that their R1 account is extremely important for justifying the costs.  “When it comes to booking accommodation and airline tickets for business trips, what are the biggest challenges, frustrations or problems you face? ” According to the CBS, in 2018, the population of Croatia aged 15 and over made 5,9 million one-day trips, of which 4,9 million or 82,5 percent were private, and one million or 17,5 percent business. The results of the survey helped us to understand the habits of business travelers, real problems and frustrations, what their needs are, and what solutions could help them better manage travel costs, Planinić points out as the research concludes, adding that it is important for companies to create Travel Policy. MEET ELIZABETA PLANINIĆ, THE GOOD SPIRIT OF CROATIAN TOURISM AND THE BEST TRAVEL PERSONAL AGENT IN CROATIA center_img If you would like a free copy of the manual, contact them via email  As many as 59% said they were extremely frustrated with airlines, and the reasons are expensive or impossible changes of purchased airline tickets, cancellation or delay of flights, which later creates big problems, inability to combine airlines in different groups, too expensive airline tickets from Zagreb, and generally poor connection with flights from Zagreb. Photo: Pexels.com Analysis of the business travel market in Croatia Business travel is usually the second or third cost within the structure, but the first cost that can be influenced. “Business travel must be a means of work, not a source of stress. It is not enough to buy a ticket and book a room anymore. It is up to companies, and individual departments, to address the quality and travel experience for their employees. It’s a new way to take extra care of your people, because we know, there are no results without satisfied people, and they contribute more with a sense of belonging and take that extra step towards the result. ” points out Elizabeta Planinić, business travel consultant and owner of the PutujBolje.com agency The PutujBolje agency also created manual which explains each known form of travel booking, what are the advantages and disadvantages, and according to which each company can choose the form that suits them best. That way, they can start managing their own trips, not the other way around. 23% stated that price is most important to them when choosing a supplier, 13% said that the most important thing for them is the high quality of service, 16% said that the most important thing for them is to have customer support available throughout the trip, 1% that the most important criterion is choosing a supplier offered bonus or loyalty program, 47% is stated that the most important thing for them is to have at their disposal their personal agent whom they know and who knows their personal needs. In April this year, a travel agency specializing in business travel Travel Better, in collaboration with Ana Keglović Horvat from AKH Consulting, conducted a detailed market research on a sample of 250 business travelers, in 130 Croatian companies, which travel due to the nature of their business. The third question it was in the direction of what their criteria were around choosing a supplier through which to book business trips. TRAVEL POLICY is a document that brings time management to costs and processes. “By applying the Travel policy and further educating our employees about healthy habits while on the road, it certainly has a direct impact on physical mental and emotional health, which is the responsibility of each structure for its employees. If you create a Travel policy, educate your employees, provide them with support, the results are guaranteed to be like a domino effect, and they will be visible and measurable in business results, sense of belonging, physical, mental and emotional feeling. You will measure with a smile on their faces, and enviable results achieved on the trip. ” Planinić concludes. The survey was conducted on 250 carefully selected people who often travel due to the nature of their work.  MANUAL: THE MOST EFFICIENT BUSINESS TRAVEL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMlast_img read more

Comms offer all renters a free solution for direct booking of accommodation

first_img“This is our modest contribution to renters in this extraordinary situation. Thus, renters can offer guests a direct reservation of accommodation through their own website without paying a commission to booking portals, so that in this situation with realistically expected less traffic, renters are left with as much profit as possible. For direct reservations, it makes no sense to pay a high commission, and in order for this to work well for the provider and the guest, you need your own reservation system built into the website. Comms offers a simple solution for which no commission is paid, so in this situation we decided to offer a free platform to all renters as our modest contribution and help in this situation.”Benic points out. A survey conducted by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce among family accommodation providers showed that over 90 percent of them feel the effects of coronavirus on business in the form of reduced bookings, and 60 percent estimate the current financial damage at up to HRK 50.000. This specifically means that guests can book accommodation to renters directly and without commission, and the entire platform supports all payments via the Internet. “All you have to do is send us a link to your presentation on booking.com or Airbnb, and we will deliver your new booking website to you within a few days”Concludes Benić. Cover Photo: Pixabay.com If you want to know more about the free Comms solution for online booking of private accommodation, fill this one out FORM and find out all the details from the team from Comms. There should certainly be a focus on the domestic guest, which we will activate the easiest and fastest, especially because in Croatia, if we compare other countries, there is no local transmission of coronavirus and the situation is under control, as it may be in the current situation. But one thing is for sure, we need a drastic reorganization and optimization of the process at the level of the accommodation market, in accordance with the emergency situation. Although it is difficult to predict anything in this situation, let’s try to think and hope for positive predictions in the context of how this emergency will calm down in at least 45-60 days, which still gives us room for some traffic and maybe the season can be partially saved. Also, in accordance with social media communication and promotion (the day after the coronavirus), the focus should be for renters to redirect reservations from aggregator booking websites to their direct bookings, so that renters earn as much as possible, ie so as not to have a commission cost.center_img As the coronavirus pandemic has created a questionable situation in all sectors of the economy, and especially in tourism, the success of this season is more than questionable. Free use of the Comms platform will be available at least until June 30, to assist renters in this emergency, ie as long as this emergency lasts. / / / MOST LESSORS ESTIMATE FINANCIAL DAMAGES IN THE AMOUNT OF HRK 50.000 DUE TO THE CONSEQUENCES OF CORONAVIRUS When asked how they specifically intend to help renters in this emergency, Mario Benić, The founder of Comms points out that they offer free use of the entire platform that allows to establish and manage a website with booking accommodation, and due to the emergency situation they do not take any commission for booking. It is in this segment that Comms has attracted our attention with its announcement that it offers renters its solution for direct online reservations of private accommodation free of charge, in accordance with the emergency situation. In this situation, we must be ready to react immediately when the whole situation calms down. We need to plan, prepare promotional campaigns and be ready for the “day after the coronavirus” in order to still be able to save part of the main season. Then the most important thing is to start the promotion immediately.last_img read more

Discount rate change to increase chances of pension cuts at Dutch schemes

first_imgIn his letter, the minister added that the minimum funding level required for schemes to grant full indexation would be increased by 2.7 percentage points to 126.9% as a consequence of the committee’s recommendations.Both the government and pensions supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) endorsed the proposals.Ultimate forward rateThe UFR is designed to resemble long duration risk-free interest rates as closely as possible, as these rates are susceptible to shocks in market demand and supply.The committee recommended an extension to the first smoothing point of the UFR from 20 to 30 years, and to establish the UFR level as the 10-year moving average of the 30-year forward rate.It said it had refrained from adopting the UFR method used by European regulator EIOPA “as it was insufficiently linked to market data”.DNB will introduce the new UFR as of 1 January 2021. It said the new method would bring pension funds’ financial position “in line with the financial-economic reality”.The UFR is to decrease from 2.3% to 2.1% and would reduce pension funds’ advantage on liabilities, relative to market rates, from 2.7% to 0.3%.Return parametersThe Dijsselbloem committee also recommended reducing the maximum permitted figure for assumed future returns on listed equity by 1.2 percentage points to 5.8%, including costs of 0.2%.It decreased the parameter for other securities, including private equity, to 7.5%, including 1.9% of costs. For commodities, the committee proposed to limit return assumptions to 3.5%.It also advised using a 1.9% inflation assumption, drawn from the consumer index, as well as salary inflation of 2.3%.Pension funds must take these parameters into account when establishing contribution levels spread out over several years.The committee said it expected the new parameters to lead to a increase in pension contributions of at least 3%. The new parameters will come into force as of 1 January 2020.Sector commentsCommenting on the proposals, the Pensions Federation said it feared that the figures could upset trade union members, who were set to vote on pension reforms.Citing the “significantly negative impact on costs-covering contributions and coverage ratios”, Gerard Riemen, the trade body’s director, said it would have been better if the changes had been shared during recent negotiations regarding pensions reforms.Agnes Joseph, actuary at Achmea, warned that future cuts as a consequence of even stricter rules could undermine faith in the pensions system.However, the unions said the new parameters would not affect the core of the plan agreed with the government, highlighting that they had made a clear agreement about “results on the perspectives for indexation” as well as on “fairness for all generations”.“If this doesn’t materialise, the accord is off,” Tuur Elzinga, chief negotiator for the largest union FNV, told IPE’s Dutch sister publication Pensioen Pro.The metal and engineering sector schemes PME and PMT – which are most at risk of benefit cuts – said that the predicted funding drop of 2.5% would apply on average, and that they had to look into the exact impact of the changes. Their coverage ratios are hovering just above 100%. The chances of Dutch pension funds having to apply pension cuts have increased following a committee’s advice on adjusting the discount rate for liabilities and assumptions for future returns.The committee – chaired by former finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem – recommended adjusting the method for calculating the ultimate forward rate (UFR) as part of the discount rate, and reducing return parameters.In a letter to parliament, Wouter Koolmees, the minister for social affairs, said the UFR proposals would cause pension funds’ coverage ratio to drop by 2.5 percentage points on average.Koolmees recently agreed to a temporary reduction to the minimum required funding level from 104.2% to 100%, in order to reduce the chances of pension discounts during the implementation of pension reforms.last_img read more

Don’t let space heaters spark a tragedy this winter

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — Space heaters may save a few dollars during the heating season, but they can be dangerous when used improperly. With the coldest air of the year moving in to Indiana this weekend, Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson urges Hoosiers to exercise caution when using alternative heating sources.“I’ve seen too many instances of improper use of a space heater leading to a tragedy,” Greeson said. “One preventable death is one too many. It is up to all Hoosiers to spread awareness about the potential dangers of space heaters.”A complex winter storm will move across Indiana this weekend with an expected wintery mix of snow, ice and rain. Extreme cold temperatures also will accompany this storm into the latter half of the weekend, increasing the chances that Hoosiers will turn to space heaters to keep warm.Nearly half, 48 percent, of all home heating fires occur in December, January and February, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Heating equipment fires accounted for 15 percent of all reported home fires from 2012 to 2016, the second leading cause behind cooking. Greeson advises Hoosiers to follow all safety labels and take extra precautions when space heaters are in use.Tips found on GetPrepared.in.gov can help increase awareness on how to properly use space heaters. Some tips include:Keep at least a 3-foot perimeter around space heaters at all times. The extra distance lessens the chances of something catching fire.Keep space heaters away from loose or flammable objects such as clothing, curtains, bedding and furniture.Turn off space heaters when leaving the room and before going to sleep.Plug the space heater directly into an electrical outlet. Only one space heater should be plugged into an electrical outlet.Other ways to stay warmGreeson encourages Hoosiers to consider other options before using space heaters. Some tips to stay warm include:Wear thick, warm clothing such as socks, slippers, sweaters and long underwear.Caulking windows can stop drafts and decrease heat loss from the house.Staying active while indoors can help with increasing body heat. Some activities to consider are dancing, cleaning, working out and simply walking around.For more safety tips on how to properly use space heaters, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.last_img read more