Daily Archives: November 21, 2021

Bills vs. Saints odds, Week 12: Opening betting lines, point spreads, early movement for Thanksgiving matchup – DraftKings Nation

Posted: November 21, 2021 at 10:23 pm

The NFL is wrapping up its Week 11 Sunday slate and Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football remain. In the meantime, weve got some early odds to get you ready for Week 12. The Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints will face off this coming week, with kickoff set for 8:20 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving.

The Bills took a big L against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11 as they lost 41-15. The Saints didnt fare much better against the Philadelphia Eagles as they lost 40-29.

DraftKings Sportsbook posted opening odds for this matchup earlier this week. Heres a look at what the odds opened at and where they re-opened at the Bills-Saints Week 12 matchup.

Re-opened point spread: Bills -4.5Point total: 46.5Moneyline: Bills -210, Saints +175

Opening point spread: Bills -4.5Opening point total: 47.5

Early pick: BUF -4.5

In the week after the three games that the Bills lost previously this season, they responded with a win. Even though the Saints will theoretically have running back Alvin Kamara back, the rest of the offense has been shaky. The Bills gave up five total touchdowns to running back Jonathan Taylor, but they still have one of the best defenses in the NFL. On a short week, they will make the adjustments needed to stop the Saints' offense and reignite their own to cover.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat. (CT). 21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/ TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.

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Bills vs. Saints odds, Week 12: Opening betting lines, point spreads, early movement for Thanksgiving matchup - DraftKings Nation

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Is Shaun White Going To The Beijing Winter Olympics 2022? – EssentiallySports

Posted: at 10:22 pm

Shaun White is considered one of the finest snowboarders of his time. The 3 time Olympic Gold Medallist holds the world for the maximum gold medals in X games. He is also the snowboarder with the most Olympic medals.


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The 2022 Winter Olympics will witness the most experienced athletes around the world. The Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing, the trials for which will begin in December 2021 itself.


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Now, the real question is whether the most experienced snowboarder Shaun White will be participating in the Winter Olympics.

According to the reports, White has already started preparing for Winter Olympics 2022. Shaun White is one of the most feared competitors because he is the most experienced. This will be Whites 5th Olympics.

White took to his Instagram account to show off some insane skills while practicing for the qualifiers. White is super excited to be competing for the 5th time, a commendable achievement.

Been putting in work for this upcoming season. I cant believe the Olympic qualifying is only three weeks away! So proud to still be competing in a sport I love and excited at the chance to represent @TeamUSA for the 5th time possibly!!, posted White.

White also revealed how each Olympics is a different experience for him, and full of different challenges.

Its living. Its great and usually, theres something amazing at the end, win or lose. Im excited about the journey of it all, said White.

White revealed that he gets to learn new tricks at every Olympics. Even though there are ups and downs, its a fulfilling journey.

Recently, Shaun White also revealed his mental health issues. He said that after athletes like Simone Biles talked about the topic openly, he got the courage to speak about his issues. Before that, he went through it all alone.

He revealed he hadnt talked about these struggles for a long time since his childhood.


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However, nowadays he just prefers to talk about it. He no longer pretends in believing its not happening.

Having other athletes talk about it was really inspiring to me, so then I started talking about it, because it affects us all, even people outside of athletics. Nowadays, I just talk about it. I just bring it up. I dont pretend its not happening, said White.

Mental health is a major issue that affects athletes worldwide. However, they are not encouraged to speak about it openly and this takes a huge toll on their health and well-being.


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Why is US Olympic Icon Shaun White Called The Flying Tomato?

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Is Shaun White Going To The Beijing Winter Olympics 2022? - EssentiallySports

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Sport climbing debut in Olympics creates spike in participation – AZ Big Media

Posted: at 10:22 pm

Andrew Westerhoff did not know what he was getting into when his sister took him to a climbing gym for the first time. The Arizona State junior started off as an outdoor climber in high school, doing some courses and spending a few weeks climbing in the Rocky Mountains.

Now, after falling in love with sport climbing, there isnt a day where Westerhoff isnt at a gym.

When it comes to the Olympics, traditional sports such as gymnastics, swimming, and track and field spring to mind. However, one sport gained enough traction and made its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020: sport climbing.

With climbings increased popularity in recent years, more and more competitive teams are popping up across the nation, including at ASU.

READ ALSO:15 must-see places for an Arizona road trip

Sun Devil Climbing was founded in 2018 by a group of dedicated climbers. The club aims to promote the sport locally and provide a community of climbers regardless of experience.

With interest from all levels, the club is split into two sections: a recreational club and a competitive team. Recreational club practices are held once a month at Phoenix Rock Gym in Tempe while the competitive team practices once a week at Black Rock Bouldering Gym in Phoenix. Outdoor bouldering takes place at South Mountain, or on day trips to one of the Valleys many recreational spots.

Once I got to college, I realized ASU didnt have a competitive team, Westerhoff said. I kind of talked to a couple people who were interested in it, and we decided to start one up here.

Westerhoff, who is now the coach of the Sun Devil Climbing competitive team, hopes he can help others who are just getting into the sport as it continues to grow.

My main role is to train the competitive team and try to help new climbers out just to make sure they take proper training programs and that they just dont get injured along their path into climbing, he said.

Sun Devil Climbing competes through USA Climbing, which provides opportunities for college students to participate in competitions. The competitive team is part of USA Climbings Rocky Mountain Division, one of the organizations seven divisions at the collegiate level.

The club has climbers who have competed on the youth circuit and have been to nationals. With a strong group, Westerhoff hopes to have the Sun Devils competing at the highest level.

I think itd be great if we could get a couple people to nationals, he said. I know we have a bunch of strong people on this team. I think we can definitely get a couple people to nationals. If anyone makes it to finals, Id be beyond stoked.

While it is clear that the sport is gaining momentum, there have recently been a few bumps in the road.

The competition format for sport climbing at the Tokyo Games stirred some controversy among the climbing community.

The Olympic competition was split into three climbing disciplines: bouldering, lead and speed.

Bouldering consists of a problem-solving aspect where climbers must solve and climb walls without safety ropes in a limited amount of time, earning points by reaching the top or getting to certain zones.

Lead climbing involves athletes traversing as high as they can on a wall within a specific period of time.

Where the controversy begins is the inclusion of speed climbing, an event that pits climbers in a head-to-head race to the top of a wall.

Speed climbers must rely on explosive power rather than the more technical aspects of bouldering and lead, and the International Olympic Committee wanted a fast-paced racing element, as seen in other events, for the sports Olympic debut.

The growth to the sport is great, but some of the formats for the Olympics, along with other competitions, are kind of newer to the sport and havent quite fully been thought through yet, Westerhoff said. Theres a little bit of controversy on how the competition should be set up because a lot of climbing tends to be very powerful but static movement where youre not making massive jumps all the time.

In competitive climbing, you get a lot of these super dynamic gymnastic-y moves.

Another format issue with sport climbing at the Tokyo Games came when the IOC only awarded two gold medals, one for men and one for women, with the winner determined by each climbers combined scores in each discipline.

I think its controversial because it combines three different disciplines that require three different trainings, said ASU senior Richie Winter, who handles the clubs social media. What you end up with is the jack of all trades instead of a master of a sport or discipline of the sport.

The trend, and speeds inclusion in the Tokyo Games, has bemused many in the community because it requires climbers to throw in training for a discipline they are not as strong in or have never even tried before.

Over time, climbing competition routes have been increasingly made to look more impressive to the public, ASU freshman Ethan Weiss said. You look at a climbing competition 20 years ago, it looks like an outdoor climb or a climb that you see in (rock climbing gyms). If you look at a modern climb, theres a lot more jumpy moves and parkour stuff. Personally, Im just bad at those, so I dont like that.

Luckily for many in the climbing community, their concerns were heard.

The IOC announced that there would be four total medal events at Paris 2024, separating speed into its own event while combining bouldering and lead for both men and women.

Despite the controversy, climbings inclusion in the Olympics is exciting for the community.

Matt Kamin, a staff member at Focus Climbing Center, believes all publicity for the sport is good publicity. As a skateboarder, a sport that also made its Olympic debut in Tokyo, Kamin was intrigued to see both events on the worlds biggest stage and what it means for the future.

I think its a really cool thing, he said. Obviously, its going to expose a lot more people to the sport, possibly grow the sport. Adding those more subjective, creative sports into the Olympics is a really exciting thing to see, and I think its really good exposure for those sports.

With more eyes on climbing, there could be an increased investment in the sport that would help those who want to one day reach Olympian heights.

I would hope it being an Olympic sport we could have a lot more money in the sport, Kamin said. A lot more money to support people when they want to pursue this sport professionally. I know there have been problems in the past with USA Climbing not necessarily having the funding to support their athletes to go overseas, go to all these expensive competitions, pay for hotel rooms and things like that. I think that would be great.

With the sports inclusion in the Olympics, many have begun to wonder if rock climbing will one day become an NCAA emerging sport and even reach full NCAA status.

I think it could in the future, Westerhoff said. Right now, its still a little bit too new of a sport to fully become at that level. We can already kind of see that with the progression of collegiate climbing. It started off as more of a club and (its) slowly growing into what youth competitive climbing became where it slowly progressed into a very competitive sport.

Now that were getting all this attention with the Olympics, its going to grow from just a club sport to a bit more of a competitive sport, and hopefully we can see a little bit more sponsorships within the sport and stuff like that.

Whether climbing sees a large financial uptick or becomes an NCAA sport remains to be seen, but its increased popularity is evident.

Since it started as a competitive sport in 1985, participation has increased to 25 million climbers in about 150 countries around the world.

Winter cites climbings inclusion in the Olympics along with recent documentaries Free Solo and The Dawn Wall as big reasons behind the sports increased interest, momentum that could bode well for the future.

It all starts at the youth and collegiate level. With 39% of climbers under 18, Sun Devil Climbing hopes to serve a role in encouraging more people to join the climbing community.

It may not be the most conventional sport, and it may take some time before it is seen as an Olympic staple, but climbing allows people to chase impressive heights regardless of their level.

If you arent into it, just try it out and see if you like it, Weiss said. I think its fun because its one of those things that you can always get better at. Theres no hard cap that if youre this good, thats as good as you can ever get. Theres always a harder climb out there, so I think that keeps it interesting.

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Stocks that meet the golden rule of quadrupling in 20 years – Sportsfinding

Posted: at 10:20 pm

Where do I want to be in 10 years? How do I envision my future, my family or my job in a decade? These are questions that every citizen has asked himself at some time. It seeks to set a goal and do whatever it takes to achieve it. The same thing happens in the investment world. Beyond the short-term noise, as a general rule the investor seeks to create a long-term portfolio of securities that must be required, at least, to 7% annualized.

The most classical financial theory speaks of this magic number as an absolute return for investors in equities over a long period of time, and the S&P 500 corroborates this. In the last 20 years it offers an annual return of 7.8%. From the Economist We have carried out a somewhat more demanding exercise and have selected only those companies that have managed to double their investment in ten years and quadruple it in the last 20. The calculation has also taken into account shareholder remuneration and includes the reinvestment of the dividends collected. The result? 26 firms on the Spanish stock market achieve this goal, of which 14 currently belong to the Ibex 35 and the rest are small securities, traditionally jewels in the portfolios of national value managers.

How do they manage to comply with the 7% annualized rule? In your favor plays what is known in finance as compound interest, which is a concept as simple as it is used among investors. What does it consist of? If an investor bought 100 euros in Telefnica shares in year 1 and receives a dividend of 10 euros that he decides not to collect and to reinvest, its initial nominal will be 110 euros in year 2 and will double up to 200 euros when the eleventh year starts. This implies that if the stock appreciates 7% annually, the difference between reinvesting the dividend or not doing so is getting bigger and bigger. Whoever collects payments in cash will have doubled their investment in a decade, with a revaluation of 104%. Whoever reinvests them will obtain a revaluation of 204% on the initial investment, up to 304 euros in the tenth year (in addition to the tax savings it entails).

This is what also happens with the Ibex with dividends versus the traditional selective. The former is up 6.5% from hitting all-time highs again (which found at 29,439 points), while the Ibex 35 is almost 80% up from returning to top 16,000 points in the pre-Lehman era.

There are nine companies that exceed a revaluation of 1,000% in the last two decades, including reinvestment of dividends: this is CIE Automotive (the best of them all, with a revaluation of 3,209%), followed by Vidrala (2,827%), Prim (2,527%), Grenergy Renovables (2,241%) ), Viscofan (1,913%), CAF (1,719%), Red Elctrica (1,427%), Catalana Occidente (1,073%) and Airbus (1,013%), according to Bloomberg. Inditex and Grifols are on the verge of being part of this group with 997% and 976%, respectively.

CIE Automotive was one of those value companies that emerged in the portfolio of fund managers and that, once on the Ibex, has ceded its seat to its younger brother, Global Dominion, which since its IPO in 2016 has added 80 % revaluation. If instead of reinvesting the dividends, the investor had chosen to collect them, equally, would achieve huge profits of 2,667%. CIE is listed in the zone of highs of 2018, thanks to the rally of 15% that its shares have marked since it presented results in October.

Vidrala is another example of creating value for the shareholder. The Basque firm, world leader in the manufacture of glass containers, is one of the most bullish in recent years with increases of 3,000% in the last 20 years without taking dividends into account. It has a market value that exceeds 2,500 million euros, more than four of the current members of the Ibex 35 (Solaria, Pharma Mar, Meli and Indra), but despite complying by capitalization, it remains outside the index due to its lower liquidity.

Less well known is the stock market history of Grupo Prim, although not for that reason it is less profitable. The company, which develops, manufactures and distributes a wide range of orthopedic products, reached historical highs last August and shows profits including its payments of 2,527% in two decades.

It is followed by energy company Grenergy, despite the fact that its history on the trading floor is much shorter than the companies mentioned above. The renewables firm led by Andrs Ruiz de Andrs debuted on the Alternative Stock Market (MAB, current BME Growth) in 2015 and made the leap to Continuous in 2019, and provides a return of 2,241% ?? the company does not pay dividends at the moment ??.

Viscofan is another paradigmatic sample that throughout its 45 years of history has combined organic and inorganic growth to become the undisputed leader in packaging for meat products in the world. Proof of this is that in a year as complicated as 2020 it was one of the best behaved due to its defensive nature. In these two decades the firm that presides Domingo Ampuero provides 1.913%.

CAF follows with a 1.719%, which in this period of time has grown in the heat of a market shared by a few manufacturers of rolling stock (railways, buses, etc.) worldwide.

The case of Red Elctrica, with a return of 1,427% Since 2001 it is also paradigmatic taking into account the visibility that the company offers on its committed remuneration policy for the coming years: 1 gross euro per title and year until 2022, which at current prices rents 8.5%, the third highest dividend yield on the Spanish stock market after Atresmedia and Metrovacesa. Without including its payments, the utility has appreciated by about 1,700% since 2001. However, from 2023 to 2025 it will reduce its payment to 0.8 euros, lowering its return to 4.5%.

Inditex is the firm that exemplifies the creation of value par excellence. It is the largest company by capitalization of the Ibex. In the 20 years of trading (it was released in 2001) it has reported profits to its shareholders of almost 1,000%, with reinvested dividends. Its stock was one step away from breaking all-time highs until Fridays fall, which reached 32.78 euros in 2017.

The Galician textile, everything points to this, is going to emerge from the reinforced pandemic insofar as its online sales branch has managed to remain in time despite the end of the confinements. At the end of the first half of the year (from March to August) the revenues of its brands through web pages grew by 36% compared to the same period of 2020 when Spain, its first market, was literally closed for a whole quarter ??. The company has advanced one year its goal of online sales to exceed 25% of the total by the end of 2021. Good stock management and the integration of the online and physical channel will lead Inditex to return to EBIT margins of 17% already this year, and will exceed 18% in 2022, and it is something that has not happened since 2013.

Far below Inditex but without leaving the Ibex, their profitability tripled with dividends Mapfre and Naturgy, with 281% and 221%, respectively, in the last 20 years and doubled by Bankinter and Acerinox, with 169% in the case from the orange entity and 140% from the steel company. They are followed by Repsol, which offers 66%.

In the red is the big bank of the Ibex. BBVA, Santander and CaixaBank fell between 10% and 16% in this period. Much greater is the decline of Telefnica and ArcelorMittal. The teleco led by lvarez-Pallete shows losses of 35% despite considering that dividends are reinvested. As for the Luxembourg steel company, the decline is practically the same with and without its payments, and has been around 40% since 2006, the year of its merger.

Essential investment: BBVA, successes and dangers of buying Garanti

Private capital faces the exit from the crisis with an investment record

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Injury Report: Warriors rule out Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr. vs. Pistons on Friday – Warriors Wire

Posted: at 10:20 pm

To end a four-game road swing, the Golden State Warriors will be without four key contributors on Friday against the Detroit Pistons.

After a fiery comeback on Thursday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Warriors have ruled out Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr. against the Pistons.

Curry is coming off 37- and 40-point scoring performances in Golden States previous two games on the road trip with nine 3-pointers in each game. Curry is being ruled out with a left hip contusion. Curry was injured while attempting to take a charge against Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden on Tuesday.

The Warriors are likely being extra cautious with Curry before opening a three-game homestand that consists of matchups with the Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Via@anthonyVslateron Twitter:

With Curry out, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins will lead Golden States offense against the Pistons on Friday. Gary Payton II, Damion Lee, Moses Moody and Chris Chiozza could see an extended role in the backcourt against Cade Cunningham and the Pistons.

Green will miss Fridays game with a right thigh contusion. Porter Jr. has been listed as sitting because of left foot injury management. For the second consecutive game, Iguodala has been ruled out. Iguodala missed Thursdays game with a rest day; he has been listed with right knee soreness on Friday.

Steve Kerr will likely empty his bench with four core players out of the rotation against the Pistons. The No. 7 pick in the 2021 NBA draft, Jonathan Kuminga, could see his season-high in minutes on Friday night.

Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. PT on Friday in Detroit.

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My Turn, Renee C. Scheidt: Racism is alive and well in Rowan County – Salisbury Post – Salisbury Post

Posted: at 10:19 pm

By Renee C. Scheidt

Back in 1992, Rodney King asked a simple question following six days of rioting in Los Angeles. Cant we all just get along? From the looks of things, apparently not.

Since the beginning of time, when Cain killed his brother Abel, humanity has seen one group lash out against another, especially in regard to the amount of pigment in the skin. And its not just out there, somewhere else. Its right here in Rowan County. Racism has reared its ugly head again and is alive and well where we live in North Carolina.

Ive personally been called a racist two times in recent days. Quite frankly, being called a white supremacist just because Im white doesnt sit too well with me. An African-American couple in Walmart said to me as we stood in the checkout lane, You think youre better than us because youre white. I was shocked and hardly knew what to say. Even when talking with a black neighbor about another resident, he asked, What color is he? I replied, Thats irrelevant. Im colorblind. I dont care if hes black, white, blue or polka dot!

Because of the color of my skin and my neighbors, we were considered racists by African-Americans who knew nothing about us. Is that not being prejudice? Someone whom Ive never met, who doesnt know me from Adam, has no right to assume I hate people of other ethnicities. Judging someone by the color of their skin, whether done by whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics or any mix is totally wrong.

I lived through segregation, integration, and the 1960s Civil Rights Era. I remember L.B. Johnsons Civil Rights Act of 1964, the most progressive civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. This new law prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, which made good sense to me. As I saw it, this gave everyone equal opportunities.

Just because of the color of my skin, or where (or if) I attended church, no one was allowed to hold me back. The fact that I was female couldnt keep me from the doing the same things as the boys (though daddy never would let me drive the tractor or go hunting because I was a girl). Now, equal rights were given to everyone.

Yet today, almost 60 years since civil rights equality were granted, were more divided than ever. The progress made in the last 50 years has been seemingly abolished. No longer is the nonviolent, peaceful protest espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated. Instead, todays mobs burn down cities and kill fellow citizens. Such destructive methods only breed more violence.

Is there an answer to such hatred, bitterness and conflict between the races? Yes, there is. Dr. King was absolutely right when he said, I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Finding a person with character today, no matter what color their skin might be, can be challenging. Thats why attorneys make money and never run out of work. Long gone are the days when a mans word was his bond. No more hand shakes in deal-making. Committing adultery on the one you pledged to be faithful to is a common occurrence. Cheating, stealing, lying, rudeness and taking advantage of others are all manifestations of lack of character and integrity.

The real issue is not whats seen on the outside. Its whats on the inside, the unseen heart, that makes us who we are. Jesus told us to love one another. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We are all of one blood. When it comes down the bottom line, we all bleed the same.

Racism will only end when we actively apply the words of Christ. If we do to others like we want them to do to us, skin color will be of no matter. I challenge you to start today, start here at home keeping the golden rule. Simple acts of love followed by another single act of love will begin to change our community.

Let Rowan County be a shining light to all around us of what happens when we show good character and love to one another.

Renee C. Scheidt lives in Salisbury.

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"You never forget spotting your first mushroom in a Finnish forest": My day with the Mushroom Queen – Salon

Posted: at 10:19 pm

"Go on, pick it," said Pivi the Mushroom Queen. "I'm afraid," I mumbled.

She pointed to a prominent-looking mushroom standing exposed all by itself on the pine needle- and twig-laden ground. It had a saucer-like brown cap two inches in diameter and a sturdy beige stem.

The mushroom looked so picture-perfect that I thought I might accidentally mutilate it while trying to separate it from Mother Earth.

I was wandering in a dense forest with master mushroom forager Pivi and a group of several other Marthas. My boots squished on an uneven, cushiony carpet of moss and fallen leaves, giving my knees, legs, and back a tender workout.

An hour earlier, before we set off on our hike, Pivi opened her car trunk in the parking lot and produced a supply of homemade mushroom cookies and a Thermos full of delightfully mellow, nutty-vanilla-tasting chaga mushroom tea to enjoy. Chaga mushrooms (Inonotus obliquus) appear as charcoal-black clusters on the side of birch trees, with a golden brown interior, and for centuries they've been used in traditional medicine in Finland, Russia, and elsewhere. Today, chaga can be enjoyed as a tea or as a powder or liquid to add to soups or smoothies, and researchers are finding that there may indeed be health benefits from the mushroom, including antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and pro-immune system effects.

RELATED:The pesky mushroom cookies I bake for Betsy, my late mother-in-law

Fortified bytea-and-cookiemushroompower,weset off into the woods. There was no path and no trace of civilization, only birch, pine, and spruce trees rolling over gentle hills in all directions. My eyes scanned around a magical landscape oflush,expansivevegetation, layers of bright green moss- and whitish-gray reindeer lichen-covered rocks, one-foot-tall miniature trees, fallen branches, twigs and leaves, ferns, low berry bushes, wildflowers and grasses, an anthill, white birch trunks, stately dark brown pine trunks soaring into the sky, and some fallen trunks leaning on top of each other. Glitteringlight streamed through leaves, branches, and tree trunks, casting diagonal streaks and shadows in the forest.

I inhaled rich vapors of moist pine, heard hushed conversations of wispy wind and birch leaves, and sensed my breathing synchronized with natures' pulses. My physical, emotional, and spiritual beings were completely blending with the sur- roundings. The most profound sensation of bliss filled my body and soul, a mystical sensation that I had never known existed or was possible.

After spending some time in the forests of Karelia, I came to realize that fairy tales I had read when I was a child were not quite fairy tales, but somehow real. As one visitor from Sydney, Australia, a woman named Ali Noble, explained, "Stepping into a Finnish forest is something akin to being in a childhood fairytale: lush, soft lichen underfoot; big red toadstools; tall green trees; and the suspicion that if a fairy did appear, you wouldn't be too surprised." If I came across a group of fairies in this thick enchanted forest, I certainly would not have been surprised at all. I would have understood. Even if I could not see them, they were there, watching over us.

You never forget spotting your first mushroom in a Finnish forest. At least I never will. Sometimes they appear in great congregations on a sloping hillside; other times they poke up flamboyantly as psychedelic-colored exhibitionists from the base of a tree; or as solitary, stately monuments, like this one.

I kneeled down to examine the mushroomspottedby Pivi the Mushroom Queen. This was a trophy mushroom, a porcini (Boletus edulis), a type especially cherished in Italy for its aroma, dense texture, and earthy-rich flavor. Like most mushrooms, this was an engineering marvel, conferring great dignity to the word fungus, which describes all mushrooms. It was barely three inches tall, and it was magnificent. The porcini stood there as if to say, "I am here!" I could only stare at its beauty and stature.

It had such a gorgeous shape and regal, commanding presence a perfect sculpture by Mother Nature that I was afraid to touch the mushroom, let alone remove it from the earth.

Pivi kindly said, "I will show you."

Naomi picking berries in Joensuu (William Doyle)

With her guidance, I pushed my fingers into the ground, reaching the bottom of the stem, and gently pulled it out. I shaved the soiled area around the bottom with a brush-tipped mushroom knife, being mindful not to take any more flesh than I needed to. I sliced it vertically in halves and examined the specimen. Clean, white interiors. No worms or bite marks. What a beauty! I placed the halves in the basket like laying down a newborn baby in a bassinet.

We walked deeper into the forest toward a hill. There was no path, just random zigzag patches of clearer ground amid the rocks and fallen branches. Pivi pointed to a mushroom a few feet away. I marveled at how she could see it camouflaged in the environment. Different mushrooms, she explained, prefer the company of different trees: orange- and yellow-colored chanterelles (Cantharellus), for example, like birch forests, while Boletus mushrooms like spruce and pine forests. She approached and picked the small reddish-brown mushroom, which had a one-inch-diameter cap.

She neatly sliced off the bottom of the soil-covered stem with a mushroom knife, dropped the tip, and brushed off dirt and plant specks from the cap with the brush attached to the other end of the knife handle. She closely examined the mushroom and announced, "This is a curry milk cap (Lactarius camphoratus)." She slit the gills. White liquid dotted the incision.

"See, milk," Pivi said. I knew about this treasured mushroom. Another Finnish friend, Anu, a food writer and stylist, recipe developer and chef in Helsinki, had told me how a tiny amount of dried little bits of this mushroom could add an amazing curry aroma to a dish.

Pivi placed the mushroom in her basket. I noticed more on the ground. I picked up one and asked, "Is this a curry milk cap, too?" Pivi said, "Yes." Hooray! Now I could guess a small percentage of what I found! The number one golden rule of foragers is pick and eat only what you can identify 100% for sure, or you may be poisoned. Which is why I didn't plan on foraging alone.

Pivi stopped and picked up a medium-sized green-grayish mushroom with corrugated edges around the cap.

"This is good," she said. "This is a hapero (russula, Russula)." She cleaned it and put it into the basket. I thought to myself, I never would have guessed that this would be a good mushroom, because the colors looked moldy. Sorry, hapero!

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Pivi moved briskly through the forest focusing on spotting "good" mushrooms. I picked two promising mushrooms, caught up with her, and asked, "How about these?" She glanced and quickly said, "No. Not good." I tossed them to the ground. Pivi added, "They're not poisonous. But they're not good. We don't eat it."

She picked another mushroom, "This is a milk cap." I asked, "A regular one?" "Yes." She cleaned it and put it into a small paper bag in the basket. She was separating them from others, as she'd first boil them in water for ten minutes to rid them of their tartness.

I found more curry milk caps hidden under fernsand leaves around mossy rocks. I showed them to Pivi and she nodded. I cleaned them and placed them in the basket. I felt proud that I was getting good at it, though I still needed an expert to verify. I picked a mushroom and asked, "Is this a milk cap?" Pivi, "Yes, but it's not a good one." She added, "It's so small." I repeated, "It's small . . . OK," I tossed it, puzzled.

For some mushrooms, like chanterelles, small was good because they were packed with flavor. I picked two mushrooms and asked, "These are no good, right?" Pivi perked up. "Not this one, but this one is very good!" pointing to a very dark brown mushroom. "It's a nokirousku (chocolate milk mushroom, Lactarius lignyotus)!" she said excitedly. A small, three-quarter-inch diameter, very dark-brown cap with white gills and a long, skinny dark-brown stem. I saw more of the same. I picked them, and asked, "Are they good?" "Yes," she said. "This one, too?" I asked. Pivi said, "Yes. Yes, these are very good. They're milk caps but they can go directly into a pan." There was no need to boil them like regular milk caps. I mumbled to myself, "You never know which ones are good."

She took a few steps, bent down and picked another. "This is also a hapero." She sliced off the bottom of its stem, and looking at the cut section of the stem, said, "A very good one. See, no worms." She sliced the stem and the cap vertically in exact halves. Yes, I saw that it was a clean, beautiful mushroom. "You're going to eat this," she said, smiling.

Pivi said, "This one is a haaparousku (northern milk cap, Lactarius trivialis)," holding up a grayish-purple cap mushroom about two inches in diameter. It was quite exotic and beautiful. She added, "You need to cook this one for five minutes to reduce its tartness."

Pivi picked a reddish cap mushroom, cleaned the stem, peeled the thin red skin, cut a small piece of white flesh, and handed it to me. She sliced another piece and put it into her mouth. I put mine into my mouth, tasted it, and immediately spat it out. "It's so peppery!" We both laughed.

Naomi Moriyama (Riikka Simonen)

We soon found small and medium-size chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius), another prized treasure from the forest. Pivi disappeared into the woods and came out with creamy white mushrooms with warped caps. She said, "They are vaaleaorakas (wood hedgehog or hedgehog mushroom, Hydnum repandum)! I was looking for these!" happily announcing her feat.

With our baskets filled with treasures from the forest, we headed to Sovintola, a handicraft and culture center that included a full rustic kitchen that we could use. First, we sorted the foraged mushrooms on a large table on an outdoor terrace. Pivi took us through the characteristics of each variety.

She brought them into the kitchen and proceeded to slice and saut several varieties of mushrooms with butter in a frying pan. "This is the best way," she told me as I looked over her shoulder. The aromas of heated butter and mushrooms filled the kitchen, my nostrils, and my month. The mushroom flesh was getting golden brown, and the edges crusty. She flipped each slice expertly with two forks making sure not to overcook. Then it was lunchtime.

First, we sampled the pan-sauted mushrooms we picked only two hours ago. My heart pitter-pattering, I pierced a piece with a fork and brought it carefully into my mouth. I contemplated its flavors, textures, aromas, and all the nuances in between. I tasted the earth, raindrops, dried pine needles, mosses, and above all, Mother Nature's love. Everyone was quiet. We didn't have to say anything.

Pivi, the forager-chef, then served porcini-cream soup garnished with dried slices of porcini. Fantastic. Next, she served toasted rye bread topped with spruce-tip pesto, followed by blocks of bread cheese (or Finnish "squeaky cheese" in the United States) with yellowfoot (Craterellus tubaeformis) jam, which might sound strange but is totally delicious. For dessert, she broughtout lingonberry-carrotKarelianpies and yellowfoot mushroom cookies, which were a perfect way to conclude our mushroom feast all homemade, except the cheese.

While much of the world was relying on overprocessed, over industrialized food, here in North Karelia, the Marthas were upholding the great Finnish tradition of a wilderness-to-table food lifestyle, nurtured by their everyday relationships with nature.

We stared at the rich gifts from nature with gratitude and pride.

It was the "wildest" meal of my life.

As a farewell gift, Pivi gave me a bottle of homemade chaga elixir, which she instructed me to take a small spoonful of daily.

If you liked this essay, consider buying"The Sisterhood of the Enchanted Forest: Sustenance, Wisdom, and Awakening in Finland's Karelia" by Naomi Moriyama and William Doyle.

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Heres what load shedding does to your mobile devices and home appliances – BusinessTech

Posted: at 10:19 pm

Eskoms loathsome load shedding has again become a daily part of life for South Africans as the state power utility continues to battle ongoing generation capacity shortages caused by poorly maintained infrastructure.

And aside from the inconvenience it causes, there are also concerns about the impact on electric and electronic devices, notes insurer, Dialdirect.

There have no doubt been many questions about how load shedding affects possibly even damages cell phones, geysers, decoders, modems, gate motors and other devices, as well as how you can safeguard yourself against this, said Anneli Retief, head of Dialdirect.

The good news is that, with sufficient knowledge and smart planning, theres a lot you can do to protect your possessions and your wallet.

According to energy experts, the effects of load shedding differ significantly from one type of device to the other.

Batteries, used in anything from cell phones and gate motors to alarms and backup systems, are vulnerable to load shedding. If a battery runs down completely, its lifespan is significantly shortened. In addition, manufacturers guarantee batteries for X-amount of charging cycles. More charging cycles caused by load shedding reduces battery life.

Pure resistance devices, like stoves, geysers, kettles and heaters are unaffected when the power is switched on and off.

Devices that carry reactive loads, like fridges, tumble dryers, lawnmowers, dishwashers, washing machines, hair dryers and gate motors, normally have an electric motor that is exposed to surges when the power is interrupted. Although unprotected devices typically very old devices could be damaged, protective measures are normally built-in to protect electronic components against surges, so damage rarely occurs in practice.

Devices like mobile phone chargers, decoders, computers, radios and modems use relatively little energy and usually have a power source that converts the high supply current to a lower, direct current voltage.

These power supplies are mostly very robust and dont allow surges to reach the devices, Dialdirect said. Batteries also tend to provide an extra protective layer against surges. If theres damage due to power fluctuations, its normally only the power source that needs replacement.

Cooling devices like fridges, freezers and air conditioners mostly work with compressors, making them susceptible because pressurised gas could provide resistance and cause damage to the devices motor when the power is turned back on, the insurer said.

3-phase power systems are vulnerable to load shedding, as one or more of the phases could be lost when power is restored, which could cause 3-phase motors to run unbalanced and burn out. Imbalance in this system could also cause damage to single-phase devices, it warned.

Dialdirect offers the following advice to protect your devices, your property and yourself during load shedding:

If you need to manually open and close your gates when you get home, try to have someone come and meet you at your entrance, or arrange for an escort from your security company, it said.

Its also important to play your part in reducing pressure on the grid by using energy-efficient bulbs and appliances, smart plugs and smart timers, getting your entire household involved in conserving electricity and investing in alternative energy sources like a generator, backup battery system or solar system, it said.

The golden rule is to proactively think about all the ways in which things can go wrong and plan thoroughly, Retief concludes. Its also vital to have comprehensive insurance in place, should catastrophe strike during load shedding.

Read: A look at Shoprites massive solar plans which aim to get the company off Eskoms grid


Heres what load shedding does to your mobile devices and home appliances - BusinessTech

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Europes AI laws will cost companies a small fortune but the payoff is trust – VentureBeat

Posted: at 10:17 pm

Hear from CIOs, CTOs, and other C-level and senior execs on data and AI strategies at the Future of Work Summit this January 12, 2022. Learn more

Artificial intelligence isnt tomorrows technology its already here. Now too is the legislation proposing to regulate it.

Earlier this year, the European Union outlined its proposed artificial intelligence legislation and gathered feedback from hundreds of companies and organizations. The European Commission closed the consultation period in August, and next comes further debate in the European Parliament.

As well as banning some uses outright (facial recognition for identification in public spaces and social scoring, for instance), its focus is on regulation and review, especially for AI systems deemed high risk those used in education or employment decisions, say.

Any company with a software product deemed high risk will require a Conformit Europenne (CE) badge to enter the market. The product must be designed to be overseen by humans, avoid automation bias, and be accurate to a level proportionate to its use.

Some are concerned about the knock-on effects of this. They argue that it could stifle European innovation as talent is lured to regions where restrictions arent as strict such as the US. And the anticipated compliance costs high-risk AI products will incur in the region perhaps as much as 400,000 ($452,000) for high risk systems, according to one US think tank could prevent initial investment too.

So the argument goes. But I embrace the legislation and the risk-based approach the EU has taken.

Why should I care? I live in the UK, and my company, Healx, which uses AI to help discover new treatment opportunities for rare diseases, is based in Cambridge.

This autumn, the UK published its own national AI strategy, which has been designed to keep regulation at a minimum, according to a minister. But no tech company can afford to ignore what goes on in the EU.

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws required just about every company with a website either side of the Atlantic to react and adapt to them when they were rolled out in 2016. It would be naive to think that any company with an international outlook wont run up against these proposed rules too. If you want to do business in Europe, you will still have to adhere to them from outside it.

And for areas like health, this is incredibly important. The use of artificial intelligence in healthcare will almost inevitably fall under the high risk label. And rightly so: Decisions that affect patient outcomes change lives.

Mistakes at the very start of this new era could damage public perception irrevocably. We already know how well-intentioned AI healthcare initiatives can end up perpetuating structural racism, for instance. Left unchecked, they will continue to.

Thats why the legislations focus on reducing bias in AI, and setting a gold standard for building public trust, is vital for the industry. If an AI system is fed patient data that does not accurately represent a target group(women and minority groups are often underrepresented in clinical trials), the results can be skewed.

That damages trust, and trust is crucial in healthcare. A lack of trust limits effectiveness. Thats part of the reason such large swathes of people in the West are still declining to get vaccinated against COVID. The problems thats causing are plain to see.

AI breakthroughs will mean nothing if patients are suspicious of a diagnosis or therapy produced by an algorithm, or dont understand how conclusions have been drawn. Both result in a damaging lack of trust.

In 2019, Harvard Business Review found that patients were wary of medical AI even when it was shown to out-perform doctors, simply because we believe our health issues to be unique. We cant begin to shift that perception without trust.

Artificial intelligence has proven its potential to revolutionize healthcare, saving lives en route to becoming an estimated $200 billion industry by 2030.

The next step wont just be to build on these breakthroughs but to build trust so that they can be implemented safely, without disregarding vulnerable groups, and with clear transparency, so worried individuals can understand how a decision has been made.

This is something that will always, and should always, be monitored. Thats why we should all take notice of the spirit of the EUs proposed AI legislation, and embrace it, wherever we operate.

Tim Guilliams is a co-founder and CEO of drug discovery startup Healx.

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Bias AI-Based Hiring Tools Face NYC’s New Bill! Agencies Need to Provide This to Continue Using the Tech – Tech Times

Posted: at 10:17 pm

Bias AI-based hiring tools may affect many people, especially those needing jobs. Right now, many individuals across the globe are having a hard time making a living because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

(Photo : Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)A man wearing a face mask walks past a sign "Now Hiring" in front of a store amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 14, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia. - Another 3 million people filed initial unemployment claims last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Department of Labor. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP)

On the other hand, many companies were left with no choice but to lay off some of their employees to maintain their business. This issue could get worse if the hiring instrument, which uses artificial intelligence, is biased when picking applications.

This is why New York City decided to pass a bill specifically addressing the rising bias AI-based tool problem.

According toPC Mag's latest report, the new bill was passed on Nov. 10. Bill de Blasio, the current New York City Mayor, still hasn't signed this new act.

(Photo : Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)MIAMI, FL - MARCH 10: A Now Hiring sign is seen as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 in February and the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in the first full month of President Donald Trump's term on March 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida.

Also Read:AI for Skin Disease Detection Only Works Accurately on White Skin Tone, Study Says

The NYC mayor still has until Dec. 10 to allow or veto the new bill. If ever he decided to sign it, the bill would become a law, which would take effect on January 1, 2023.

Thanks to this long time frame, hiring companies and agencies still have more than a year to prepare their AI tools. They have a lot of time to meet the bill's standards.

"This bill would require that a biased audit be conducted on an automated employment decision tool prior to the use of said tool," explained the New York City Council via its official legislation report.

NYCC added that companies using AI-based hiring tools need to notify applicants if they are going to use the technology during the employee's evaluation or assessment.

Those who would not be able to meet the bill's standards would be subjected to a civil penalty. You can view this link to see more details.

Right now, new AI technologies are being developed by various experts across the globe. Because of this, artificial intelligence skills are now considered essential as technology further grows.

Deloitte, a global consultancy and auditing firm, explained that the majority of companies and businesses now prefer individuals who understand and know how to use artificial intelligence.

In other news, experts claimed that super-intelligent AI is becoming hard to control. On the other hand, NASA's new AI training program is recruiting people to test the technology.

For more news updates about AIs and other similar technologies, always keep your tabs open here at TechTimes.

Related Article:Current And Upcoming Technology Trends For 2021 And Beyond

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