The REAL Niche Publishing Operating as an Independent Magazine in 2010

first_imgManagement MakeoverMany independent niche publishers are startups that are still struggling for a toehold. All About Beer is more than 30 years old, founded in the late 1970 (it’s headquartered in an office that overlooks the ballpark where the movie “Bull Durham” was filmed).  Bradford started writing for the magazine in 1983, when he was the marketing director for the Association of Brewers. When he left the AOB, All About Beer asked if Bradford would run the title. When he eventually bought it in 1992, the magazine was far below its potential, he says.Today, All About Beer is 26,000 paid circ. with total distribution of 37,000 copies per issue. It’s published six times annually with two annual issues and four festivals. Annual revenues are in the “$2 million to $3 million range” and split one-third circ, one-third advertising, and one-third events.Critical to the success of a niche publication is the incredible value and impact of each staff position. Running companies this small means every individual player has a significant role to play in the overall success of the corporation. At All About Beer, each team member has P/L responsibility necessitating extensive management processes. “We simply can’t afford a B player in such a lean organization,” says Bradford. “In addition, every team member has quite a broad reach of responsibilities. Again, the value of the horizontal organizational system over the vertical, or silo, approach can be seen in the validation individuals get for their overall performance and the challenges faced in managing.”Bradford follows a strict management structure in which employees must pay for themselves within 18 months. “Virtually everyone has a budget, usually created by themselves and approved by me and the vice president, which covers their areas of expertise,” says Bradford. “They are also given goals based on the previous year’s performance with the next year’s expectations.” The events department has its own budget and the team shares a bonus pool if they exceed revenue and margin expectations. The marketing team has numerical goals and qualitative goals, with bonuses split between both of them. Sales and production share numerical and qualitative goals, vesting each other in the successful execution of the two core information packaging channels.The horizontal approach, while sounding very elegant, does pose some management issues when working across areas, according to Bradford. For example; the “beer wrangler”—who is in charge of discovering trends and new brands—shares in the success of various areas, requiring more management attention to goal setting and evaluation. “Again, the really tricky bit for a niche publication of relatively small size is keeping the support process to a minimum, but making sure it is effective in guiding people toward their goals,” says Bradford.  “It’s not an easy balancing act.”Building Business SavvyMany would-be magazine entrepreneurs look at their venture the same way some people look at running a restaurant—as a lifestyle, not a business. But developing business savvy around publishing economics, not to mention advertising and newsstand distribution, is essential for any magazine to survive beyond its first few issues. Crawl, a magazine dedicated to off-road enthusiasts, launched in 2005 by three guys with a passion for the sport but not much magazine business sense. They quickly ran into financial troubles and in April 2008 hired John Herrick, a financial services veteran, to turn the operation around. “I came out of 25 years of financial services and I didn’t know diddly about the magazine business,” Herrick says. “But I loved the sport, took a 65 percent pay cut and thought I’d get a piece of the action.”The problems were readily apparent: Crawl was billed as a bi-monthly but didn’t put its first issue of 2008 out until March 31. Many vendor relationships had been severed due to lack of payment. “We reworked the banking relationships and renewed our relationship with the printer, who hadn’t been paid,” says Herrick. “We started answering the phone and talking to customers. We reworked advertising deals—one-third of our ads had been trade or barter.”Then in December 2008, the CEO changed the locks and ceased operations. “After all that work, it just stopped,” Herrick says. “They owed me for wages, I sued and ended up settling with the publishing company for the title, distribution agreements and subscription list. I was already in deep to begin with, I might as well see what would happen if it was mine.”Herrick reached an agreement with his former partners in June 2009 and put an issue out by the end of August. Subscribers didn’t know it was coming. “From a viral standpoint, a lot of people started talking,” says Herrick.  Getting costs under control was key. The budget for the January 2010 issue was about $26,000. To manage production costs, Herrick cut the average folio from 180 pages to 148 pages. All newsstand distribution was relegated to 50 percent sell-through based on historical patterns. “We had driven the newsstand cost to the point that if we were at 48 percent sell-through, we were just breaking even,” says Herrick, who claims sell-through today is in the 60 percent range. “We had to overcome that frustration of, ‘Should I send these guys $24 and just hope? Or do I spend $6 at Barnes & Noble and know I have at least that one?’”In the last 90 days, Crawl’s circulation has grown 6.5 percent, with  16,500 copies on the newsstand and 8,200 going out in subscriptions. The fastest growing area is in the southeast and Herrick is looking at distribution on military bases.Crawl also had to woo back advertisers. “Trying to launch at the end of the year, we knew it would be January before we got companies to commit to coming back,” he says.  Herrick implemented an across-the-board 35 percent rate cut but is still getting about a $90 CPM. Ad revenue increased 50 percent from issue 18 to issue 20. “Our overhead is close to nothing,” says Herrick. “We’re not paying rent for an office, we’re not supporting three full-time staff people, we’re not paying for warehouse space. I work out of my home and a contractor does layout and design.While Herrick projected Crawl wouldn’t make any money until 2010, the magazine turned a profit with its second issue back. “I don’t believe that Crawl will ever sell more than 30,000 to 35,000 copies per issue,” he adds. “For 2.5 employees, this a $300,000 year net profit operation. This magazine seems to have weathered the biggest storm you could imagine—self-implosion. If I don’t screw it up, it should be fine. There is every indication that people want it in print and are willing to pay for it.” Learning from Past Mistakes Justin Heister and Mike Mazur, founders of Focus Skateboarding Magazine, also learned the hard way from an owner without much savvy. The two had met at another publication, where Heister was in charge of art design and Mazur headed up editorial. “The most valuable lessons learned, for better or worse, were how NOT to run a magazine,” says Heister.Lesson One: Don’t give away advertising. “That’s something the founder was all about—getting big name advertisers in hopes of bringing in other advertisers,” says Heister. “Ultimately, that really cheapened the product. When it came time for people to honor that year of free ads, they never signed up. With Focus, we stayed true to not giving handouts. We’re not going to trade you for product, we need money to publish the magazine.”Lesson Two: Figure out your distribution. “The magazine we worked for was freely distributed,” says Heister. “Everything went out through the Post Office as bound printed matter—and it never went where it needed to go. It would have been cost effective if it actually made it to its destination but it was such a lousy way to mail, half the magazines that went out wouldn’t make it to their destination. The owner wouldn’t use Fedex, which you could actually track, because of the expense.” For Focus, FedEx became the cheapest method after getting multiple line discounts. “We found a printer who would supply the boxes for free and FedEx supplied the labels and we saved thousands of dollars on shipping in the end by switching to FedEx,” says Heister.After that experience, Heister and Mazur launched Focus in 2005. “When we started Focus, we were basically homeless, living rent-free in an apartment with no windows and no heat in the frigid Philadelphia winter,” says Heister. “Between the two of us, we had a single computer, some camera gear, and the ambition to make something happen.”They had no real funding and focused on getting attention with a profile on MySpace and leveraging their reputations in the skateboarding community. Heister says carving out market share wasn’t  too difficult because most of the larger skateboarding publications are focused on the West Coast and distribution of those magazines in East Coast shops is typically limited to two or three copies. Focus opted for free distribution, placing 30 or more copies—the magazine prints 16,500 copies per issue—in those shops. “We filled a niche that has been completely overlooked by the skateboard industry,” says Heister. Focus has tried to phase out subscriptions, without luck. “Fulfilling subscriptions is so time consuming,” says Heister. “We raised the subscription price to $25 for six issues per year, but more people started subscribing. We’re up to 400 subscribers right now. Our efforts to steer people away from subscriptions didn’t work at all.”At the beginning of 2009, ad sales took a dive but otherwise stayed steady for the remainder of the year. Focus did around $140,000 in ad sales in 2008 and about $110,000 in 2009.  In January, Focus will host its first trade show, The Focus Show, in Philadelphia. According to Heister, it’s the first show of its kind on the East Coast. “Most of industry is in California and they have road reps for the East Coast,” he adds. “We’re offering those reps a chance to meet the East Coast vendors in one place, rather than take a few weeks to visit them one at a time.”Heister says Focus will offer some incentives reps haven’t seen at other shows. “For exhibitors, we’re raffling a free booth—if you bought a booth, you get a refund,” he adds. “There are only 40 booths at the show, so the odds are pretty good.” The Focus Show will also feature a ramp contest that requires shop buyers to attend with their sponsored rider. Prize money goes to the winning riders but the sponsoring shops will also get money to spend at the show courtesy of Focus.The magazine is selling booths for $500 and expects about $20,000 in revenue. “This is our first show and we’re trying to make this a great experience,” says Heister. “We’re not looking to make a profit with this one and we’re putting the majority of the money back into the show.” The Focus Show has received notice from some of the bigger media players in skateboarding, including a write-up in Transworld Business and live, on-site coverage from Fuel TV, which is coming out from California to be at the show. Start ConservativelyInPark, a magazine dedicated to   the theme park business, started publishing four issues a year in 2005. In 2008 they published five print and one digital-only issue and in 2009 published five print issues and eliminated the digital issue since it was not a big moneymaker and didn’t fit in with the schedule. The magazine has gone from 2,000 to about 4,500 subscribers, and now is split 50/50 between digital subscriptions and print. Each issue brings in around $7,000-$10,000 in ad revenue, with a “very seasonal market,” says publisher Martin J. Palicki. “Our tradeshows almost all take place in the fall, so advertisers focus on that period.” Each issue costs around $6,000 to produce and mail.Palicki advises publishers to estimate quantities conservatively. “I printed about 10,000 more copies of my first issue than I actually needed. Now my basement is filled with back issues. I now only print about 200 copies more than my distribution list, and 1,000-1,500 for any tradeshow distribution.” From a $25 Classified Ad to a $5 Million BusinessCountryside Publications is a niche publisher of four country-living and livestock-related titles located in Medford Wisconsin. Its flagship title, Countryside & Small Stock Journal (commonly referred to as Countryside) was launched in 1969 by Jerry Belanger with a $25 classified ad in Rodale’s Organic Gardening. The cost of a subscription then was $1 plus a letter with either a question, or an answer to a previous question, about self-sufficient living. The result became a magazine that was, and largely still is, written by its readers. Over the next 30 years Countryside grew and evolved but never strayed from the core premise; in 2000 Belanger retired and son Dave Belanger and daughter Anne-Marie bought the business in 2001.Today, Countryside is a lean operation approaching $5 million dollars in revenues with 13 full time employees plus two off-site editors, publishing four magazines in Countryside, Dairy Goat Journal, Backyard Poultry and sheep! (While Countryside and Reiman Publications were started about the same time with similar business models in towns just 70 miles away, the two companies have always been separate (although as Belanger says, “If they want to make an offer…”)Countryside Publications has always grown organically and has never used outside investors, a bank loan, or any other source of external funding. Revenue growth has averaged more than 20 percent annually for the past eight or nine years. “We’ll grow less in 2009 due mainly to a slight reduction in direct mail, but our margins will improve,” says Belanger.When Belanger took over the business in 2001, very little focus was placed on subscriber acquisition. In spite of this, renewal rates at the time were at 90 percent-plus, Belanger says. “But what we really had was a platform,” he adds. “In short order, we acquired Dairy Goat Journal and then sheep!” Both were being published in a tabloid newspaper format for fewer than 5,000 subscribers. Belanger converted the magazines to saddle-stitched 8 ½ x 11 and dropped the frequency to six issues a year. The subscription price is $21 per year.“Meanwhile, we embarked on an aggressive direct mail subscription acquisition campaign for Countryside,” he says. “We doubled circulation, and then doubled it again.” Today there are roughly 100,000 Countryside subscribers paying $18 per year with another 40,000 copies on newsstands. Because 85 percent of the people reading Countryside also had chickens, the publisher launched Backyard Poultry in 2006 “not having any idea if it would meet our projections,” Belanger says. “We enlisted my wife to the role of editor, announced the debut in the pages of our other titles, and spent $50,000 to get 150,000 double postcards in the mail. We sent that first issue to the printer with a 150,000 press run and held our breath.”It took only a few days for the initial 15,000 copies to sell out, so they printed 15,000 more and shipped them out in a matter of weeks. “We ended up printing another 15,000 copies before it was time for the second issue to appear,” says Belanger.Because the initial mailing was a relatively small 150,000 pieces, Belanger was able to cherry-pick the lists to mail, mostly from their growing in-house database. One outside list they used pulled a whopping 42 percent response rate and over 80 percent paid the invoice. Overall the response came in at 17 percent with a 45 percent pay-up.“We leveraged the revenue into more mailings including the use of card decks, which had never been a great source for us but worked well for Backyard Poultry, and tested different formats and offers.” says Belanger. Their current control is a self-mailer folded to 5 ½ x 8 ½ offering a free issue and an invoice. Today, Backyard Poultry has 60,000 subscribers paying $21 per year, with 35,000 copies on newsstands across the country which “sell well despite our wholesalers’ initial reservations on the subject matter,” says Belanger.Countryside’s main subscription source is DTP direct mail, and their control piece is the free issue offer (return the card and they will send readers a magazine and an invoice). Overall payup runs around 40-50 percent, but they have an upfront response of 5 percent-plus. This, combined with their low production costs, makes them happy.Another important source of revenue for the publisher is derived from book sales. While Countryside publishes a few anthologies of previous issues, most are titles from other publishers that they resell to subscribers using ad space in the magazines and an annual catalog. “Assuming the cost of advertising space is zero (which we do) net margins run north of 50 percent,” says Belanger, with total contribution to the top line around 7 percent.All back office operations are handled in Medford, Wisconsin. Fulfillment is done in-house including generating, inserting and mailing invoices, renewals, and supplemental issues. While they have used outside fulfillment vendors in the past, Belanger says they have found that they have more control over the process in house, and do it spending a lot less money.“My personal pet peeve is magazines that tell customers to wait 6-10 weeks for their first issue,” he adds. “At Countryside Publications we do weekly supplemental mailings. A new sub comes on board on Monday and their first issue is at our local post office on Thursday. If it’s a free issue, their invoice isn’t far behind.”Countryside outsources printing, larger direct mail campaigns and the creation and maintenance of their four Web sites. While Belanger says Web subscriptions are an efficient source of revenue, they make up only 5 percent of total revenues to date.“We’re consumer circulation driven. From our point of view, giving away magazines for less than the cost of production with the hope of attracting a large audience we can sell to advertisers has never been a viable business model, as a number of advertising-driven publishers have begun to discover in recent years,” says Belanger. “We love our advertisers, but we don’t want to pin our future on the vagaries of advertising economics. Advertising receipts represent only about 15 percent of our total revenue, and while some titles are down a bit, overall ad sales were up roughly 7 percent in 2009.”Niche and Online: Opportunity or Too Late To Catch Up?Many niche publishers remain primarily print publishers. They typically have Web sites dedicated to customer service and magazine content, with more sophisticated publishers offering a Facebook page or Twitter feed. Larger publishers have always contended that online is a mass market game and some smaller publishers don’t think a dedicated Web approach is worth it. “We’re focused on print for now,” says Crawl’s Herrick. “The Web site is just a portal to answer questions. I don’t know if I could go into that area and compete or if I could monetize it enough to make it worthwhile.”However, the low barrier to entry with starting an online business is spawning a stream of new online-only publishers. FordMuscle.com caters to Ford performance enthusiasts (and competes for the same automotive aftermarket performance advertising dollars as Source Interlink’s Hot Rod and Car Craft). The site generates about 160,000 unique visitors per month and broke $500,000 in revenue in 2009.While many publishers struggle with implementing a paid content model, FordMuscle.com is succeeding with one. The site introduced a forum category called “Tech Exchange” in which members can submit graphic how-tos. FordMuscle.com staff edits outside content before it’s made available to readers and contributors are rewarded for their submissions. The site receives between three to five submissions (which can range from five pages to 50 photos) per week. If a member submits one tutorial, FordMuscle.com sends a t-shirt. If they do two, they get a hat. If a member does six, they receive $100. “If someone is especially enthusiastic we may bring them on as a freelancer,” says co-founder Jon Mikelonis.Parts manufacturers can also be highlighted throughout, although ads are not sold directly against it. Mikelonis says advertisers haven’t tried to influence the tutorials. FordMuscle sells an annual online subscription for $19.95 per year and is considering a pay-per-article model for the future (subscriptions account for about 40 percent of revenue, while advertising accounts for 60 percent).Wend, a Portland, Oregon-based  outdoor adventure magazine,  is building a digital subscription base for online content, getting 50 to 70 new sign-ups per day. “We went with free subscriptions online—the platform doesn’t cost anything,” says editor Stiv Wilson. “We had a model for $5 online subscriptions but that will never be real revenue for us.” While Wend’s initial online content was just PDFs of the print magazine, it adds 10 to 15 pieces of new online content per day. In 2010, the site will undergo a redesign, adding a green gear store as well as a new business model in which eco-adventurers can find funding for projects.Offering digital subscriptions has actually helped the print product as well. “We’ve doubled the amount of print subscriptions because people who haven’t found it on their newsstand can now see the digital version,” says Wilson. “We make a decent margin on subscriptions. It’s not a big one but we’re not underwater with it like some other publishers are today.” Wilson says Wend is having a lot of success getting registrations and driving participation with online and newsletter-driven contests.“Nobody has figured out how to monetize the Web to the degree that you’re getting for a print page,” says Wilson. “To me, that’s because of brands not understanding the landscape media is performing in. A lot of ad agencies are way behind the times. You do a contest on Twitter to give away one clean canteen bottle and you get a thousand entries in a day. That kind of branding is worth its weight in gold.” Wilson says Wend has doubled revenue every year and expects $600,000 for 2009 and just under $1 million in 2010. “It’s not a giant leap, it’s a steady-as-you-go increase,” he adds. “Anything that quadruples overnight is bad—it’s hard on your staff and it’s hard on your business model if it stops performing.”In 2009, 80 percent of Wend’s revenue came from print. In 2010, Wilson thinks print will drop to 60 percent, with the remaining 40 percent coming from a mix of online contests, social media and brand consulting. “We’re seeing the media company become the partner rather than the ad agency be the go-between,” says Wilson. “I would expect by 2011, that revenue model will be 50/50. As the subscription portal goes up, print will go down. We’re not going to sell our magazines on newsstands unless its exceptionally high sell-through. It’s not worth it to us.”The magazine landscape is changing, according to Wilson, who cites 625,000-circ. National Geographic Adventure folding (that magazine will continue to live on in a multi-platform approach). “We’re friends with the folks over  there and I don’t want to saying anything bad but when you look at the big overhead model and then look to us, we only need to make enough money for six or seven people,” he says. “That shows us our gamble has paid off.” The Hearst’s and Time Inc.’s may get the headlines but the majority of companies in the $40 billion magazine industry are small, independent publishers targeting a specific niche. Most of these magazines go unheralded beyond their target audience but have some of the best content, most loyal readers, and most enduring business models.“It’s hard to relate to larger publishers,” says Daniel Bradford, publisher of All About Beer, a Durham, North Carolina-based magazine dedicated to America’s favorite beverage. “So much of our life is personal and relationship-driven. The woes of the major publishers aren’t exactly relevant to us, especially since we broke down the silos of what we actually do. We are no longer in the magazine publishing business, but the information packaging business.”Being a small publisher carries a unique set of challenges, and even opportunities. In this article we take a look at how small, independent publishers are breaking into the industry, building their business, and navigating the precarious proposition of publishing a magazine in 2010.Some larger publishers like Active Interest Media, Aspire and F+W are filled with small titles dedicated to a specific topic, and almost by definition, b-to-b publishers are niche. But for this article, we’ve tried to limit the focus to consumer enthusiast publishers of $5 million or less (in some cases, much less) in annual revenue.last_img read more

The Wilmington Insider For June 14 2018

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below is a round-up of what’s going on in Wilmington on Thursday, June 14, 2018:Happening Today:Weather: Increasing clouds, with a high near 80. West wind 9 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.At Wilmington Town Hall: The Wilmington Recreation Commission meets at 5pm in Town Hall’s Room 9. Read the agenda HERE.In The Community: The Wilmington Minutemen Co. is hosting its annual Flag Retirement Ceremony at 7pm at the Wilmington Minuteman HQ (intersection of Rte. 62 and Woburn St., behind the Harnden Tavern).For the past year, Wilmington Minutemen has been collecting unservicable U.S. Flags and will have a short ceremony to retire by burning torn and worn US Flags. If people have flags they would like to retire, everyone is encouraged to bring them to this event. This event is open to everyone, with a special invitation to the young organizations and youth in general.For more information, please call Company Sgt. Frank West at 978-658-1754.Worn flags can be dropped off for proper retirement year around at the Wilmington Post Office and Wilmington Town Hall.In The Community: Do you like to sing? Do you enjoy performing? Come join the Merrimack Valley Chorus at one of its regular weekly rehearsals. You just might discover a passion for a cappella singing, and you’ll also make some great new friends! Open rehearsals are every Thursday at 7pm at the Wilmington Arts Center (219 Middlesex Avenue).In The Community: The Town Beach is open today.  Lifeguards are on duty from 10am to 8pm. Admission is FREE for residents. Proof of residency is required. Learn more HERE.At The Library: Social Security: What You Need To Know at 7pm. [Learn more and register HERE.]At The Senior Center: Walking Group at 8am. Computer Class at 9:15am. Intermediate Bridge Group at 9:30am. Art Class at 10am. Aerobics at 10:30am. Knitting/Crocheting at 11am. Ceramics at 1pm. Game Day at 1pm. Stress Management at 1pm. [Learn more HERE.]At The Town Museum: The Wilmington Town Museum is open from 10am to 2pm.Live Music: Larry Gilbert performs at Rocco’s Restaurant & Bar (193 Main Street) beginning at 6pm. … Pianist Ricky Lauria performs at Tremezzo Ristorante (2 Lowell Street) beginning at 8pm.(NOTE: What did I miss? Let me know by commenting below, commenting on the Facebook page, or emailing wilmingtonapple@gmail.com. I may be able to update this post.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPUBLIC INVITED: Wilmington Flag Retirement Ceremony To Be Held On June 14In “Community”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Friday, June 14, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”VIDEO: Watch Wilmington Minutemen’s Flag Retirement CeremonyIn “Video”last_img read more

NASA telescope spies unusual galaxies from dawn of the universe

first_img Share your voice Spitzer’s deep-field view of the sky awash with galaxies. Circled in red are incredibly faint, distant galaxies that the telescope observed for over 200 hours.  NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/Spitzer/P. Oesch/S. De Barros/I.Labbe Astronomers surveying the sky with NASA’s Spitzer space telescope have been able to peer back to the early universe, 13 billion years in the past, and find some of the very first galaxies. They look like tiny, orange dots aglow in a sea of darkness — not too dissimilar to the famed first image of a black hole — but the miniscule lights imaged by Spitzer contain a host of young stars, composed mostly of hydrogen and helium. The discovery of these unexpectedly-bright galaxies could provide new clues about one of the most important cosmic events in history: the “Epoch of Reionization.”The new research, published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in April, required Spitzer to stare into the same region of sky for over 200 hours, studying the ancient cosmos as part of a campaign known as the GOODS Re-ionization Era wide-Area Treasury from Spitzer (GREATS). Another great, the Hubble Space Telescope, also contributed to the data. Post a comment More space news Tags NASA Space With Spitzer trained on a region of the sky for so long, it was able to gather light that had traveled across the universe to reach us. In what amounts to a cosmic staring contest, Spitzer didn’t blink. The telescope detected faint infrared signals from 135 distant galaxies, produced by high levels of ionizing radiation. It’s a particularly important finding, because ionizing radiation is believed to have contributed to the Epoch of Reionization in the early universe — a cosmic transformation that shaped the universe as we know it today. Astronomers are still stumped as to what exactly caused these changes, but the early galaxies detected by Spitzer may provide some clues.”Our latest Spitzer result reveals how different these early galaxies are to those at later times and pinpoints our sample as a key set for providing insights into how galaxies so efficiently reionized the universe,” said Garth Illingworth, a co-author on the new study. The results were surprising for Michael Werner, project scientist with Spitzer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.”We did not expect that Spitzer, with a mirror no larger than a Hula-Hoop, would be capable of seeing galaxies so close to the dawn of time,” he said in a statement. “But nature is full of surprises, and the unexpected brightness of these early galaxies, together with Spitzer’s superb performance, puts them within range of our small but powerful observatory.”  Spitzer, launched in 2003, is an infrared observatory in an Earth-trailing orbit operated by NASA and the California Institute of Technology. It carries three instruments that allow it to “see” across the wavelengths of infrared light, providing spectacular views of the gaseous, dusty distant cosmos.center_img Sci-Tech 0 Your wedding ring came from a neutron star explosion, 4.6 billion years ago Scientists just observed a crash between two neutron stars Gravitational wave detectors upgraded to hunt for ‘extreme cosmic events’ NASA Spitzer telescope celebrates 15 years of astounding images 15 Photoslast_img read more

Victorias Secret Angel Kelly Gale goes topless flaunts her figure in barely

first_imgKelly GaleKelly Gale Official Instagram (kellybellyboom)Victoria’s Secret Angel Keely Gale set temperatures soaring with her recent social media posts. Reportedly to her Instagram and flaunted her pert derriere in a white G-string bikini before going for a dip.The supermodel is known to regularly storm the runway in skimpy outfits for the Victoria’s Secret lingerie brand. But Kelly proved that she doesn’t need a fashion show to make people notice her. The model could be seen flaunting her lithe frame as she turned to face the camera in the skimpy swimwear.’Water is so cold I’m freezing my little [peach emoji] off,’ Kelly captioned the racy snap. Her brunette locks could be seen falling around her face and shoulders. The Victoria’s Secret model paired her swimwear with simple small gold hoop earrings. Kelly GaleKelly Gale Official Instagram (kellybellyboom)Last year, she told Vogue Australia that she works out ‘six days per week, all year round’ and consumes a diet of fish, vegetables, fruit, oatmeal and yogurt.” Kelly Gakle is known to take her health and fitness seriously. Her profession demands it. ‘That’s how I was brought up,’ Kelly said of her healthy diet. ‘I was never introduced to bad, unhealthy foods, so for me it’s just natural to eat healthy.’Hwer healthy living seems to have paid off as the model looked gorgeous in the snaps. Kelly added that she snacks on ‘nuts and raw vegan chocolate sweetened with coconut sugar’. Kelly Gale is one of the most successful models in the world. And it sure looks like she is just getting started. The stunner added that said she swears by infrared saunas to make her ‘skin glow’ and ‘help get rid of any puffiness or water retention.’ Well, whatever she swears by, it seems to be working, because Kelly Gale looks beautiful. You can check out the pics here:  Kelly GaleKelly Gale Official Instagram (kellybellyboom) Kelly GaleKelly Gale Official Instagram (kellybellyboom) Kelly GaleKelly Gale Official Instagram (kellybellyboom)last_img read more

3 city restaurants fined for unhygienic food

first_imgA Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) mobile court led by its executive magistrate Moshiur Rahman has fined Tk 200,000 to three restaurants in city’s Farmgate area for preserving and selling unhygienic food items, reports news agency BSS.”Of the restaurants, Chandrima Restaurant and Mini Chinese was fined Tk 100,000, Kasturi Chayanir and Thai Chinese Restaurant and New Star Kebab were fined Tk 50 thousand each yesterday,” a DMP release said.The activities of DMP’s mobile courts against food adulteration, preserving and selling unhygienic foods throughout the capital in the holy month of Ramadan are being lauded by the city dwellers.DMP has promised to continue the activities of its mobile courts in this regard.last_img

AL infighting over Khaleda verdict kills 1

first_imgRuling Awami League activists in Kanchan Bridge area in Narayanganj on Thursday. Photo: CollectedA man was killed and 25 others were injured on Thursday during clashes between two Awami League factions over establishing supremacy in Narayanganj centring verdict of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in a graft case.Suman, 30, was killed in the clashes on Thursday. Police have already detained 20 people from the spot.The BNP chief was sentenced to five years in jail in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.Witnesses and police said a group led by upazila AL member of parliament Golam Dastagir Gazi clashed with members of Kayetpara UP chairman Rafiqul Islam Rafiq ahead of BNP leader Khaleda Zia’s court verdict.The witnesses added that around 11:00am, hundreds of AL leaders and activists, equipped with sticks, gathered in Kanchan area of the city for the verdict of Khaleda Zia.They later were embroiled in clashes. Police then used batons and open black fire to disperse them. Additional superintendent of the district police Faruk Hossain said the two groups clashed following previous enmity that left several people, including police, injured.Police fired black shots and tear shells to bring the situation under control, he added.Dhaka Medical College correspondent of Prothom Alo said three injured were taken to the hospital where doctors declared Suman dead around 1:30pm.One of the injured Joynal, who is now at the hospital, said he is a Juba League member led by Golam Dastagir.They were injured as all of a sudden Kayetpara UP chairman Rafiqul Islam opened fire.last_img read more

May to rule out halfin EU deal

first_imgBritish Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during a press conference. Photo: AFPBritish Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday is expected to say she favours a clean break from the European Union, dismissing a “half-in, half-out” Brexit deal with Brussels.In a highly-anticipated speech, May is likely to give further signals that Britain is heading to what analysts call a “hard” Brexit.That direction will be cheered by those who want to leave the EU, but dismay those who fear the impact on Britain’s economy.“Not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union, or anything that leaves us half-in, half-out,” the prime minister is due to say on Tuesday, according to an extract of her speech circulated in advance to the media by Downing Street.“We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries. We do not seek to hold on to bits of membership as we leave,” she will add.The speech will take place late morning at Lancaster House, a central London mansion that is a showcase for diplomatic functions and major announcements.It will be dissected for every detail about May’s Brexit strategy, after months of uncertainty.May has repeated a “Brexit means Brexit” mantra-on one occasion replaced with her call for a “red, white and blue Brexit”-while claiming outlining the government’s aims in any detail would give Brussels the upper hand in negotiations.But recent indicators suggest Britain is heading towards a full break from the EU which entails leaving the single market in order to have full control over immigration.Downing Street has repeatedly said it wants to secure the best deal for the British economy while allowing for cuts to immigration.But the EU has been clear that single market access is dependent on allowing the free movement of people.The prospect of a “hard” Brexit has hit sterling.In early trading on Monday, the British currency plunged to $1.1986, its lowest level since October’s “flash crash” that had sent it to a 31-year low of $1.1841. It clawed back some of its losses by early afternoon, to $1.2047.Trump and trade dealBritain’s Finance minister Philip Hammond adopted a tough line on Sunday, warning that Britain might undercut the EU economically in order to remain competitive if it faces EU tariffs.Hammond said he wanted Britain to remain a “recognisably European-style economy with European-style taxation systems, European-style regulation systems.”However, London would have to change course “if we are forced”, in order to “regain competitiveness”, he told Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday.In recent weeks, May raised the possibility of a transitional deal with Brussels to ease Britain’s departure from the bloc, a position supported by Bank of England governor Mark Carney.Britain’s post-EU prospects were given a verbal boost on Sunday by US President-elect Donald Trump, who said he favoured a quick trade deal with the UK.But a fast-track bilateral deal with Washington will be difficult in practical terms.Under EU rules Britain cannot sign trade deals with third party states until it is formally outside the bloc, a position which does not change despite the UK voting to leave.A two-year negotiating period is foreseen in EU legislation for any country choosing to leave the 28-member bloc, a process which starts by triggering Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.May has promised to formally launch Brexit talks by the end of March and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said there should be an agreement in place ahead of the European Parliament elections in 2019.But even if the prime minister’s plan outlined on Tuesday wins widespread support, legal challenges could still scupper her Brexit timetable.Britain’s Supreme Court is due to rule later this month on whether May must seek parliamentary approval before triggering Article 50, which could delay the start of Brexit negotiations.last_img read more

Trump Israelis And Arabs Share Common Cause Against Iran

first_imgPresident Donald Trump declared Monday opened his first visit to Israel, saying he sees growing recognition among Muslim nations that they share a “common cause” with Israel in their determination to counter the threats posed by Iran. Arriving directly from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Trump expressed his hope for cooperation among U.S. allies in the Middle East. His second stop on the nine-day tour aimed to test the waters for reviving the dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Trump, who had previously suggested that it would be easier than anticipated to solve the conflict that has vexed his predecessors for decades, said that conditions were right in both Israel and the Arab world to strike what he has called “the ultimate deal.” “We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people,” Trump said upon his arrival in Tel Aviv. Trump’s first stop was a meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. In a statement following the meeting, Trump addressed his meetings the previous day with Arab and Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia, and said that there is growing realization that they share a “common cause with you” in their determination to defeat extremism and deter “the threat posed by Iran.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Trump “a true friend” to Israel and expressed optimism about the president’s role in the Middle East peace process. But obstacles have emerged that may complicate the relationship between the White House and the Knesset. Trump, wearing a yarmulke, on Monday became the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall. Trump touched it in prayer and, adhering to tradition, placed a note in a deep crevice. He also toured the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is believed to be where Jesus was crucified and the location of his tomb. On Tuesday, he is set to meet with Abbas in the West Bank and deliver a speech at the Israeli Museum. But Trump may face concerns from Israelis over the new $110 billion arms deal he announced during his previous stop in Saudi Arabia as well as questions from Israeli officials about revelations that he disclosed sensitive Israeli intelligence to Russian officials. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, speaking to reporters onboard Air Force One, said the U.S. could provide clarifications to Israel about the disclosure but said, “I don’t know that there’s anything to apologize for.” White House aides have also tried to play down expectations for significant progress on the peace process during Trump’s stop, casting the visit as symbolic. Tillerson referred to the visit as “a moment in time” and suggested that the U.S. would take a more active role in the future in brokering a deal if both sides make serious commitments. Trump, whose unorthodox approach has spurred some hope on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has done no such managing of expectations. He boldly stated that achieving peace is “something that I think is, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years.” in March during a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “But we need two willing parties,” he said then. “We believe Israel is willing. We believe you’re willing. And if you both are willing, we’re going to make a deal.” And Trump made one symbolic gesture Monday in bridging the gap between Israel and the Arab world. His flight on Air Force One was believed to be the first direct flight between Saudi Arabia and Israel, nations that have limited diplomatic relations. Even the White House press corps making the trip on a separate plane from Riyadh to Tel Aviv had to make a technical stop in Cyprus before proceeding to Israel. Netanyahu said he hoped an Israeli prime minister could soon make the same flight. Gulf Arab countries long have been suspicious about Iran, whether that’s the United Arab Emirates’ long-running dispute over Iran seizing several Persian Gulf islands from it in 1971 to Bahrain’s simmering anger over a 1981 coup attempt it blamed on the newly formed Islamic Republic. The Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations further fueled Gulf nations’ worries about Iran’s regional intentions, especially as it backs Shiite militias fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and supported the government of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad that many had opposed through supporting rebel groups there. Trump is seeking to ease concerns that his policies wouldn’t be as beneficial to Israel as once believed. He has taken a tougher line on settlements than Israeli officials had believed, urging restraint but though not calling for a full halt to construction. Trump has also retreated from a campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, bending to the same diplomatic and security concerns as other presidents who have made similar promises. Palestinians, who viewed Trump’s victory with some trepidation, are said to have been pleasantly surprised by Trump’s openness during a recent meeting with Abbas in Washington. And on the eve of Trump’s visit, an Israeli official said Netanyahu’s cabinet has approved confidence building measures with the Palestinians, including allowing building in a West Bank area. The official briefed on Sunday’s meeting said the package includes building permits for Palestinians in Area C that has largely been off limits to Palestinian development until now. He spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal government announcement. He did not elaborate and it is not clear how big the plan is. One point of contention in the talks: the fate of east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war. The area is home to sensitive religious sites, including the Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray. Israel considers the entire city to be its capital while the international community says the future of east Jerusalem, claimed by the Palestinians, must be resolved through negotiations. The Trump administration drew the ire of some Israelis this week when officials declined to state that the Western Wall was part of Israel, as has been U.S. policy. And while Netanyahu in the past has expressed support for the establishment of a Palestinian state, he has been vague about this goal since Trump gained power. Sharelast_img read more

Smartphone monitoring can boost behavioural studies

first_imgInterpreting the data collected from volunteers’ own smartphones — which has the potential to emulate randomised trials — can boost research into human behaviour, finds a new study.Fani Tsapeli from the University of Birmingham, and her colleague and Mirco Musolesi from the University College London used user-generated data, harvested from their phones to evaluate the cause of increased stress levels of participants. Most of the earlier research works relying on smartphones focused on detecting factors in the features extracted from smartphone data. But that pure correlation analysis did not provide for a sufficient understanding of human behaviour. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Therefore, the study authors tried to identify factors that could be at the root cause of issues revolving around health and well-being.In this study, the authors used data from a research project at Dartmouth College, Hanover, US, called StudentLife. It included information on participants’ location taken from raw GPS data, which helped determine whether they were working or socialising.Also included was data on activity levels, like running, walking or travelling on public transport, inferred from participants’ raw accelerometer data. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThey found that exercising and spending time outside the home and working environment have a positive effect on participants’ stress levels. By contrast, they found that reduced working hours only slightly impact stress. The conclusions cannot be extended to the general population due to the small sample size. But the approach has been validated and shows great promise for further studies.The study was published recently in EPJ Data Science.last_img read more