continue reading » In our role as consultants to a broad family of credit unions, we have the opportunity to work with both underperforming and outperforming credit unions. Our engagement process provides us with an in-depth understanding of the business practices employed by these credit unions. This knowledge, along with our vast amount of data, allows us to benchmark, analyze and capture ways to drive incremental growth. While each engagement is unique, there are several items to note from our review of the top-performing programs.Checking Account Growth Our analysis suggests that on an annual basis, nearly half of the debit card transaction growth at a credit union comes from the growth of checking accounts (with debit cards). Our top performers enjoy consistent annual checking account growth rates of approximately 10% — higher than the 6% industry average based on recent data from Callahan. Credit unions must make sure that their checking program, from the product suite to the business and operational practices surrounding it, aligns with the growth potential in their marketplace. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana’s House Public Health Committee unanimously approved House Bill 1578 on Wednesday.If approved during the session, the bill would increase Indiana’s cigarette purchasing age to 21, and increase the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack.The cigarette tax would then be $2.495 per pack.An amendment to the bill that was added would prevent the income from the increased tax from being used on roads, but instead, be used for health programs.House Bill 1578 is co-authored by State Representative Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville).
Facing some of the nation’s toughest squads in what proved to be a grueling test, the USC women’s cross-country team finished 12th at this weekend’s Pac-12 championships.The 6-kilometer race circling Wigwam Golf Course in Litchfield, Ariz., pitted the Women of Troy against UCLA, Stanford, Oregon, California and the rest of the conference.“The Pac-12 is the toughest cross country conference in the country,” USC coach Tom Walsh said. “We lacked the big race experience that you need to do well in a meet like this. But I am confident that we will learn from this experience and get better in the future.”Junior Shelby Buckley finished first for the Women of Troy in 22:01 for 78th place overall. Freshman Erica Capellino and redshirt freshman Katie DeYoung followed, finishing in 22:41 and 22:43, taking home 92nd and 93rd, respectively.Freshman Kira Soderstrom placed 97th with a time of 22:54 and fellow freshman Shannon Byrne finished in 23:18 at 105th place. Freshman Erin Robinson ran a 24:07 and finished in 109th. Sophomore Jaclyn Walles did not finish. the race.The team’s overall average time was 22:44, 1:30 slower than that of Pac-12 champion Colorado.“The Pac-12 race didn’t go as well as we wanted it to,” Walsh said. “It was a very difficult challenge for our five freshmen walk on athletes to mix it up with several NCAA and Footlocker All-Americans.”The next step will be the regional championships in Palo Alto on Nov. 12 in the path to the NCAA national championships.Walsh said last Thursday that he would evaluate the team after the Pac-12 championships.Walsh has the option of sending a few individuals or a team of runners to regional championships, based on whom he believes has a better chance at qualifying for the national championships.Though this season featured one of the youngest teams in USC’s competitive history, this year’s cross-country team has done promisingly well, according to Walsh.With one or two more seasons of collegiate experience, the coaching staff feels this unit has much room to grow.“I am happy with the progress that this team made throughout the season,” Walsh said. “Most of the girls on the team improved by 30-40 seconds from a year ago, and that is very impressive. I hope that the improvement continues as we move forward to track season in the spring, and into cross country next year.”Colorado captured the first-place title, while Washington came in second and Stanford finished third.
Check out the capabilities of these amazing little critters.The longest-distance flyer is: a small dragonfly. A chicken may cross the road, but Pantala crosses oceans and continents. That’s what scientists at Rutgers deduce from comparing genes of these relatively small dragonflies. Robert Forman reports:A dragonfly barely an inch and a half long appears to be animal world’s most prolific long distance traveler – flying thousands of miles over oceans as it migrates from continent to continent – according to newly published research.Biologists at Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) who led the study – which appears in the journal PLOS ONE – say the evidence is in the genes. They found that populations of this dragonfly, called Pantala flavescens, in locations as far apart as Texas, eastern Canada, Japan, Korea, India, and South America, have genetic profiles so similar that there is only one likely explanation. Apparently – somehow – these insects are traveling distances that are extraordinarily long for their small size, breeding with each other, and creating a common worldwide gene pool that would be impossible if they did not intermingle.Evolutionists are baffled by this, because the dragonfly doesn’t need to do it.Pantala leaves many of its fellow dragonflies even farther behind. The mysteries of evolution are such that while Pantala and its cousin the Green Darner (Anax junius) have developed into world travelers, Ware says that by contrast, other members of the family “don’t ever leave the pond on which they’re born – traveling barely 36 feet away their entire lives.”Vanishing act: There’s a beetle that water skis (pause to think about that). Here’s the clincher: it skis so fast, it appears to vanish. Watch the video clip on New Scientist showing the water lily beetle in slow-motion. It flaps its wings for propulsion, and sets its tiny water-repelling legs down on the water to skitter across the surface super fast. A human skiing at a comparable pace would go 310 mph (500 kph), the article says. This is one of the fastest speeds ever measured for any insect on the water. Their anatomy is “well adapted” for this behavior. Hydrophobic legs and wings with a lot of lift give them an “elegant solution” that is giving engineers ideas for low-flying aircraft or water-surface robots. How did this come about? It is, therefore it evolved, one biologist thinks; the unique anatomical adaptation “suggests that skimming is evolutionarily important,” remarked Jake Socha from Virginia Tech, who had studied flying snakes. He was surprised, though, “that they have something this elegant.”Super night vision goggles: This story from Science Daily makes a nice addition to yesterday’s entry on biomimetics. Superman would be envious of the night vision of moths. Look what a scientist says about their amazing eyes:“Nature has evolved simple yet powerful adaptations, from which we have taken inspiration in order to answer challenges of future technologies,” explained Professor Ravi Silva, Head of the Advanced Technology Institute.“Moths’ eyes have microscopic patterning that allows them to see in the dimmest conditions. These work by channelling light towards the middle of the eye, with the added benefit of eliminating reflections, which would otherwise alert predators of their location. We have used the same technique to make an amazingly thin, efficient, light-absorbent material by patterning graphene in a similar fashion.”There’s more to it than just the anatomy of the eye facets. Current Biology reports that an important part of their visual acuity lies in the software. It lets them achieve what seems physically impossible. In “Neural Summation in the Hawkmoth Visual System Extends the Limits of Vision in Dim Light,” three scientists found that the moth brain can filter out noise and sum up spatial and temporal signals to increase the signal-to-noise ratio, giving them 100 times better visual acuity than achievable by the optics alone. As a result, they can easily observe motion under starlight conditions. Once again, this gives optical engineers ideas:We show that spatial and temporal summation combine supralinearly to substantially increase contrast sensitivity and visual information rate over four decades of light intensity [i.e., over four orders of magnitude], enabling hawkmoths to see at light levels 100 times dimmer than without summation. Our results reveal how visual motion is calculated neurally in dim light and how spatial and temporal summation improve sensitivity while simultaneously maximizing spatial and temporal resolution, thus extending models of insect motion vision derived predominantly from diurnal flies. Moreover, the summation strategies we have revealed may benefit manmade vision systems optimized for variable light levels.They applied the principles on a very-low-light image of the words “Current Biology” and brought it out of fuzzy noise into clear text.What can you do with a million neurons? A bumblebee brain has been imaged in 3-D by scientists at the University of Guelph. They’re interested in learning how this brain, made up of about 1 million neurons (just “0.00001 per cent of the number found in the human brain”) allows these insects to not only fly accurately, but navigate. Their foraging methods are attracting computer scientists. “We’ve also been looking at how tiny-brained bumblebees find practical solutions to challenging routing problems,” the press release says. “Understanding how comparatively simple brains can find functional solutions to complex problems may be very important in allowing us to develop smarter and simpler ways to do the same.” Their non-destructive 3-D imaging technique should prove useful analyzing other insects’ brains as well.Extra! Extra!While we’re talking superpowers, let’s stray from the insect world and talk about a jellyfish with “amazing superpowers” according to National Geographic. This animal’s capability for regeneration makes it almost immortal. Juli Berwald writes, “The moon jellyfish can age backward, form hordes of clones, and regenerate lost body parts, a new study says.” It’s like those characters in the movies.Emblazoned with a four-leaf clover on its back and lined with a fringe of thin tentacles, the moon jellyfish, Aurelia, is a veritable pantheon of power. It not only regenerates like Deadpool, it ages backward like Benjamin Button and forms hordes of clones like Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man.Because of the stages in its lifecycle from polyp to medusa, it has been compared to the butterfly that undergoes a similar metamorphosis. What’s amazing is that moon jellies can morph back into the polyp stage. Some scientists think that understanding their extreme regenerative powers may provide insight into what causes cancer. There’s clearly a lot to learn from one of the “primitive” species that emerged in the Cambrian Explosion. “Look out, Spider-Man,” Berwald ends.Evolution would predict simple to complex. Creation would predict complexity all the way down, each creature well matched to its habitat and its needs. If the pinnacle of evolution, the human brain, cannot grasp the complexity of the smallest and simplest organisms, then creation is the winner hands down. Get lost, Charlie. (Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
(Visited 25 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 More new observations don’t fit current cosmological theory.Measurement of Universe’s expansion rate creates cosmological puzzle (Nature News). The subtitle reads, “Discrepancy between observations could point to new physics.”The most precise measurement ever made of the current rate of expansion of the Universe has produced a value that appears incompatible with measurements of radiation left over from the Big Bang. If the findings are confirmed by independent techniques, the laws of cosmology might have to be rewritten.If dark energy is out there, it might have increased since the big bang, astronomers conclude from the new observations. Or, it might mean that the “standard candles” used to measure the universe are not reliable—so says Wendy Freeman, the astronomer who arrived at the oft-cited consensus age of the universe, 13.7 billion years.Given the long-standing puzzles over dark matter, dark energy, inflation, fine-tuning and the multiverse, Adam Riess, astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins, made the following massive understatement, “I think that there is something in the standard cosmological model that we don’t understand.”‘Bizarre’ Group of Distant Black Holes are Mysteriously Aligned (Space.com). According to thinking about the isotropy of space, one shouldn’t find mysterious alignments of objects, yet at least nine of them in a sector of space have spin axes that are aligned. It’s a “bizarre relationship”—A highly sensitive radio telescope has seen something peculiar in the depths of our cosmos: A group of supermassive black holes are mysteriously aligned, as if captured in a synchronized dance.Black holes don’t have any way of knowing about other black holes. They have no way of sharing information. How did they get this way? Some cosmologists are quick to offer hypotheses. Perhaps they were part of the same fluctuation when the universe was small. Maybe powerful magnetic fields aligned them. Maybe hypothetical particles called axions did it. Further down, though, the article is less optimistic.The researchers hope to use this surprising discovery to perhaps better understand the conditions in which they formed, but the discovery will be a huge challenge to explain as there’s no cosmological model that can currently account for it.“This is not obviously expected based on our current understanding of cosmology. It’s a bizarre finding,” said collaborator Romeel Dave, of the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.The astronomers were not looking for this alignment when they found it. Now, they have a new “vexing problem” to solve.Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? (Live Science). Is reality real? Who asks these kinds of questions?Researchers pondered the controversial notion Tuesday at the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate here at the American Museum of Natural History.Those who are interested can read the article for the arguments for and against what they call a “legitimate scientific hypothesis.” Behind it, though, are philosophical notions of free will. No less than Neil de Grasse Tyson (of Cosmos 2.0 fame) thinks the probability is high that we are living on an alien’s hard drive. If so, he was just programmed to say that, so you can ignore him.Need a spin doctor? Go to the cosmologists. They always know how to keep their jobs when they have been falsified, self-refuted or embarrassed by observations contrary to theory. They call the new observations “exciting.”
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Two days of dry weather over Ohio, starting today. In fact, we are even giving a mostly dry outlook for far eastern Ohio today. There will be some clouds moving through from time to time, and sure, we cant completely rule out a spit or a sprinkle, but the threat of moisture is not nearly what we saw 24 hours ago, and its enough for us to go dry. Tomorrow also should be dry statewide as we await the arrival of or next front. Rain and thunderstorms move through Thursday and Friday, bringing .25″-.75″ with 95% coverage. We have a brief break Friday night, but then have additional rains back in over a good chunk of Ohio for Saturday. The rains mostly stay south of US 30, and those areas we can see anywhere from .25″-1.5″, with thunderstorms being the key to 1″+ rains. The heaviest rains will be in SW Ohio as a cluster of strong thunderstorms has potential to kick off there, and we expect 60% coverage of rains south of US 30 for the event. Dry Sunday through midday Monday. Our next potentially strong system arrives Monday late afternoon or evening, and the holds through the entire day Tuesday. This system has plenty of moisture, with half to 1.5” rains over 70% of the state. While wrap around moisture tries to hold farther west on Wednesday, there looks to be a sizable dry slot coming in the way the set up is right now, and that will allow for most of the state at midweek, except in eastern and northeastern Ohio, where we can see scattered showers and .25″-.5″ rain potential. The map at right shows one estimate on combined rain totals from Thursday through next Wednesday. We get a nice 4-day dry stretch as we finish the 10-day period and move into the extended window. Sunshine and blue sky dominate from next Thursday through the weekend. This should be a time of excellent evaporation and good dry down in nearly all areas. Then for the balance of the 11-16 day period, we have 2 threats of rain. Scattered showers bringing a half an inch or less for Monday the 27th, and then a stronger, slow moving front sweeping from NW to SE on the 29th and 30th, triggering some .25”-1” rains. Both systems should have 70% coverage. Temperatures through the next two weeks should be normal on average for the period. We may see some warming to slightly above normal levels later this week but will offset those with a couple of days slightly below normal. This means we still see no heat stress for crops, and when you look at the total moisture potential through the period, we have nearly perfect rains too – unless any of these storms bring higher than expected rains (which may be a slight concern at this time.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said he was to blame for his team’s 2-0 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, saying he had failed to motivate his players enough.Chelsea’s second loss in four games has reopened the title race, offering hope to second-placed Tottenham who are just four points behind with six games to go. (Manchester United beat Chelsea at Old Trafford to open up title race)”We didn’t play a good game and United deserved to win the game. They showed more desire, more ambition, more motivation,” said Conte.”It is very simple but in this case the fault is of the coach. It means the coach was not able to transfer the right concentration, desire, ambition to win this game,” added the Italian.Chelsea failed to have a single shot on target in a Premier League game for the first time since another 2-0 loss to United in September 2007.The former Juventus coach said he was not worried about the pressure mounting over the final six games, however. (Jose Mourinho hails Ander Herrera and Matteo Darmian after sinking Chelsea)”The pressure is normal. I prefer to play for the title instead of not fighting for the title and being calm.”We are lucky to have the pressure. Last season Chelsea had no pressure in 10th place and you play calm, you are happy.”We must understand this, that (something) really important is happening this season because we are doing a great job and a miracle if you consider last season and the problems we had.advertisement”For this reason we must have great enthusiasm to play these last six games. Be patient and have great will to fight… otherwise we must clap another team,” he added.Chelsea’s April 1 home defeat to Crystal Palace was followed by wins over Manchester City and Bournemouth that eased concerns of a late-season slump.Now, the defeat at Old Trafford, combined with Tottenham’s strong form, including 12 straight home wins, means some nerves may be jangling at Stamford Bridge.”We lost two games but these two games were totally different. Against Crystal Palace we didn’t deserve to lose. Today we deserved to lose the game,” said Conte.”We have to think that there are six finals from now until the end of the season. The league is open and we have a 50 percent (probability) to win the league. We will (have to) be good to finish on top of the table and it (would also) mean we deserve it. Otherwise we deserve another thing”.