Trends in the Southern Annular Mode from observations and reanalyses
Several papers have described a significant trend toward the positive phase of the Southern Hemisphere annular mode (SAM) in recent decades. The SAM is the dominant mode of atmospheric variability in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) so such a change implies a major shift in the broadscale climate of this hemisphere. However, the majority of these studies have used NCEP – NCAR reanalysis (NNR) data, which are known to have spurious negative trends in SH high-latitude pressure. Thus, given that the SAM describes the relative atmospheric anomalies at mid-and high southern latitudes, these errors in the NNR data have the potential to invalidate the published findings on changes in the SAM. Therefore, it is important that a “true” benchmark of trends in the SAM is available against which future climate scenarios as revealed through climate models can be examined. In this paper this issue is addressed by employing an empirical definition of the SAM so that station data can be utilized to evaluate true temporal changes: six stations are used to calculate a proxy zonal mean sea level pressure (MSLP) at both 408 and 658S during 1958 – 2000. The observed increase in the difference in zonal MSLP between 408 ( increasing) and 658S ( decreasing) is shown to be statistically significant, with the trend being most pronounced since the mid-1970s. However, it is demonstrated that calculated trends in the MSLP difference between 408 and 658S and the SAM itself are exaggerated by a factor of 3 and 2, respectively, in the NNR. The SH high-latitude errors in the early part of this reanalysis are greatest in winter as are subsequent improvements. As a result, the NNR shows the greatest seasonal trend in the SAM to be in the austral winter, in marked contrast to observational data, which reveal the largest real increase to be in summer. Equivalent data from two ECMWF reanalyses, including part of the new ERA-40 reanalysis, are also examined. It is demonstrated that ERA-40 provides an improved representation of SH high-latitude atmospheric circulation variability that can be used with high confidence at least as far back as 1973 – and is therefore ideal for examining the recent trend in the SAM – and with more confidence than the NNR right back to 1958.
Three estate agents named by government for paying less than minimum wage
Three estate agents have been named in the latest government list of companies who have paid employees less than the National Living Wage.Cheshire firm Jordan Fishwick, Lincolnshire agency Newton Fallowell and East London firm Lions Property Management featured in the latest list of 239 companies around the UK who collectively have underpaid some 22,400 workers by a total of £1.44 million.The companies within the list, which is the largest in the history of the scheme, have been fined a total of £1.97 million and been required to pay all the money owed to the employees.Jordan Fishwick features on the list for under paying 21 of its employees a total of £1,362 while Newton Fallowell owed a single employee £255. The third agency involved, East London company Lions Property Management, under-paid one employee £144.The details of these underpayments are small beer compared to some companies. A card factory in Wakefield underpaid 10,256 of its workers a staggering £430,097.national minimum wageAll three property firms have had to reimburse their employees the owed money and may have been fined up to twice the outstanding arrears.“Our priority is making sure workers know their rights and are getting the pay they worked hard for,” says Business Minister Andrew Griffiths (left).“Employers who don’t do the right thing face fines as well as being hit with the bill for backpay.”The National Minimum Wage was increased on April 1st this year following a recent budget announcement by chancellor Philip Hammond. It increased from £7.50 an hour for those over 25 years old to £7.83, an increase of 4.7%.“It is crucial that employers understand their responsibilities and workers know their rights around the minimum wage,” says Low Pay Commission Chairman Bryan Sanderson (right).“That is why active enforcement and effective communication from Government is so important.” Jordan Fishwick Lions Property Management Newton Fallowell National Minimum Wage Andrew Griffiths Bryan Sanderson July 9, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Three estate agents named by government for paying less than minimum wage previous nextRegulation & LawThree estate agents named by government for paying less than minimum wageJordan Fishwick, Newton Fallowell, Lions Property Management are three of 239 companies revealed within latest list.Nigel Lewis9th July 201801,603 Views
Postdoctoral Associate (44115)
My NCBI Collections (Abranches)MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:Applicants should have earned a PhD, or PhD along with a DMD/DDS,MD, or DVM degree by time of hire.PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:Individuals with expertise in bacterial genetics and geneexpression; genome-scale analysis of the microbiome; microbialpathogenesis; host:microbiome interactions; microbial biofilms;bioinformatics; interbacterial interactions; protein translocationand structural biology; diabetes; chronic inflammation; and/or hostresponses to pathogenic, commensal and beneficial microorganismsare sought.Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV, and the names andcontact information for three references. Final candidate will berequired to provide official transcript to the hiring departmentupon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if adesignation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned froman education institution outside of the United States are requiredto be evaluated by a professional credentialing service providerapproved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services(NACES) which can be found at http://www.naces.org/ .HEALTH ASSESSMENT REQUIRED UPON HIREAll candidates for employment are subject to a pre-employmentscreening which includes a review of criminal records, referencechecks, and verification of education.If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for thisposition, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at800-955-8771 (TDD). Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to workin the US. Searches are conducted in accordance with Florida’sSunshine Law.The University of Florida is committed to non-discrimination withrespect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex,sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status,national origin, political opinions or affiliations, geneticinformation and veteran status in all aspects of employmentincluding recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline,terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, andtraining. THE REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS WILL BEGIN IMMEDIATELY AND WILL CONTINUEUNTIL ALL POSITIONS ARE FILLED. THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IS ANEQUAL OPPORTUNITY INSTITUTION DEDICATED TO BUILDING A BROADLYDIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT. My NCBI Collections POSTDOCTORAL POSITIONS AVAILABLEMultiple postdoctoral positions are available in the Department ofOral Biology in the College of Dentistry as noted below. Applicantsshould have earned a PhD, or PhD along with a DMD/DDS, MD, or DVMdegree, by time of hire. For details on faculty mentors andprojects, please visit: https://dental.ufl.edu/departments/oral-biology/ LABORATORY OF DR. JACQUELINE ABRANCHESThe Lemos-Abranches lab uses genetics, biochemistry, transcriptomicand metabolomics approaches to characterize the molecular factorsthat mediate virulence in opportunistic Grampositive pathogens suchas Streptococcus mutans and Enterococcus faecalis. In S. mutans, amajor pathogen in dental caries and a leading causative agent ofinfective endocarditis, our current efforts focus on thecharacterization of the oxidative stress regulator Spx and its rolein controlling stress responses and biofilm formation. The secondS. mutans project focuses on the characterization of a collagenbinding protein responsible for intracellular invasion of heart andoral tissues, a trait that is linked to increased virulence and,potentially, recurrent infection and chronic inflammation. Thecharacterization of stress responses is also the theme of ourresearch with E. faecalis, a leading cause of hospital-acquiredinfections. In this project, we are investigating the interplaybetween the stringent response, a major bacterial stress responsemechanism for adaptation to changing environments, with otherprominent stress regulators and how these interactions influencethe ability of E. faecalis to survive antibiotic stress and otheradverse conditions. LABORATORY OF DR. MARY ELLEN DAVEYThe Davey lab uses a combination of genetics, bacterial physiology,and gene expression analysis (RNA-seq and qPCR) to study theinterrelationship between biofilm development and the pathogenicityof the oral anaerobe, Porphyromonas gingivalis. Inparticular, we are focused on molecular mechanisms that controlchanges in expression of cell surface structures, includingcapsular polysaccharides, sphingolipids, and fimbriae; and thesubsequent impact on the interaction of P. gingivalis withhost cells. (Project numbers: 2 R01 DE019117 07; and 1 R01 DE02458001A1) LABORATORY OF DR. JOSE LEMOS LABORATORY OF DR. L. JEANNINE BRADYWork in the Brady Lab is directed at understanding mechanisms ofmembrane and cell surface biogenesis in the cariogenic pathogenStreptococcus mutans. The functional interactions and respectiveroles of components of the co-translational signal recognitionparticle (SRP) pathway and the YidC1 and YidC2 chaperone-insertasesin membrane protein insertion are being evaluated with an emphasison competence development and mutacin production. In addition, S.mutans has been found to produce functional amyloids that influencebiofilm development and that can serve as targets for therapeuticanti-amyloid compounds. Study is currently directed at elucidatingthe structural basis and environmental control of amyloidfibrillization in in vitro and in vivo systems. Furthermore, S.mutans is capable of releasing DNA into the extracellularenvironment via membrane vesicles. The contribution ofvesicle-released eDNA to biofilm formation and its functionalinteractions with bacterial cells and extracellular matrixcomponents are under study.Post-doctoral candidates will be considered to evaluate developmentand stabilization of biofilm matrices related to amyloid formationand should have demonstrated expertise in the characterization ofprotein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions, in proteinstructure analysis, particularly by solid state NMR, and/or inelectron and confocal microscopy.MyNCBI Collections My NCBI Collections My NCBI Collections (Lemos) LABORATORY OF DR. ROBERT A. BURNEMultiple postdoctoral positions are available to study generegulation, genomics and physiology of pathogenic, commensal and/orbeneficial oral streptococci. Projects include use of planktonic,biofilm, and microfluidic model systems to analyze modulation ofintercellular communication systems by peptides and other smalleffector molecules, and by environmental inputs that include pH,carbohydrate source and oxygen. Other projects involve explorationof the genetic and genomic basis for expression by commensal oralstreptococci of properties that are beneficial to their host andantagonistic to pathogenic species.
Research Support Specialist
Position SummaryA research group with a long-standing interest in mechanismsunderlying DNA replication, DNA repair and DNA mutagenesis seeks aResearch Support Specialist.• It is expected that the candidate will work collaboratively withpostdoctoral, graduate student and undergraduate studentresearchers• Will independently execute varied experimental procedures• Will have strong verbal and written communication skills• Will process research results and write summary reports• Will procure laboratory supplies, and will maintain laboratoryreagents, stocks, and equipment.Outstanding Benefits PackageWorking at UB comes with benefits that exceed salary alone. Thereare personal rewards including comprehensive health and retirementplan options. We also focus on creating and sustaining a healthymix of work, personal and academic pursuit – all in an effort tosupport your work-life effectiveness. Visit our benefits website tolearn about our benefit packages .About UBThe University at Buffalo is SUNY’s most comprehensive publicresearch university, and an outstanding place to work. UB amplifiesambition for faculty and staff by offering endless possibilities toachieve more. Here, people from all backgrounds and cultureschallenge and inspire each other to discover, learn and succeed.Dedicated staff and engaged faculty collaborate to furtherknowledge and understanding, and develop tenacious graduates whoare valued for their talents and their impact on global society.Visit our website to learn more about the University at Buffalo .As an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer, the ResearchFoundation will not discriminate in its employment practices due toan applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation,gender identity, national origin and veteran or disabilitystatusMinimum QualificationsB.A./B.S. (or M.A./M.S.) in Biochemistry or a similar disciplineand 1 year or more research technician experience in biomedicalresearch lab.Preferred QualificationsPreferred experience with the following techniques: Generalbacterial growth and manipulation; purification of DNA and RNA ;plasmid cloning; agarose gel electrophoresis; PCR ; DNA sequenceanalysis; site directed mutagenesis; SDS – PAGE ; Western blotanalysis; protein overexpression; FPLC .For more information, click the “How to Apply” button.
Learning in the labs
In one of her undergraduate courses last semester at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Kimeya Ghaderi learned about confocal microscopes. But the closest she had gotten to one was a picture in her textbook, until she came to Harvard for a summer research program. Now, she regularly uses the high-tech device in her work for the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.“When I went to get trained on it, I was thinking about how I just learned about confocal microscopes,” she said. “Now I’m using one. It’s amazing. All the stuff you read about in textbooks, you do it here.”Ghaderi is one of more than 300 undergraduates from across the country who have come to Harvard this summer to pursue research opportunities. Long a mecca for students seeking such experiences, the University’s various research programs existed independently until this year. Now, they’re working in tandem with the Office of the Provost, offering on-campus housing and hosting common activities to better meet the needs of the students.“We’re ensuring they have a much more inclusive community of scholars,” said Liza Cariaga-Lo, assistant provost for faculty development and diversity.Cariaga-Lo works with 17 undergraduate research programs from nearly every School in the University and hopes to partner with more programs in the future. The goal, she said, is to create a pipeline of well-qualified students, many from underrepresented communities, who are interested in earning doctorates.“We want to develop promising scholars who will diversify the academy,” she said. “Our hope is to work more collaboratively across the University to more broadly provide resources to students.”Diversifying the faculty is a University priority. In recent years, Harvard has made progress toward increasing the number of women and minority members, with those figures coming to a new high last year. Nearly half of the new faculty members hired during the past six years were women, according to the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity. The number of female faculty members grew by 16 percent during that time, while minority members on the faculty grew by 23 percent.Part of the challenge is that students from underrepresented communities have historically not gone into research fields. Since today’s students are tomorrow’s faculty, engaging a diverse body of students early is key.“If you can find them early and support and sustain them, you have a greater likelihood that they’ll stick with it,” Cariaga-Lo said.Susan Mango, a professor of molecular and cellular biology who is supervising Ghaderi this summer, said she still remembers how influential her first research experiences were.“Without them I would have had a warped perception of what lab life was about,” she said. “For anyone thinking about grad school, I think it’s enormously helpful to be in a lab and get a feel for what you’re signing up for.”Undergraduate research opportunities can be limited for students who attend smaller institutions that don’t have as many resources; hence Harvard’s programs have become incredibly competitive. More than 300 students applied for the 12 spots in the Summer Research Opportunities at Harvard Program that Ghaderi attends. Most of the funding comes from a combination of grants and matching Harvard funds.Ghaderi, a rising junior majoring in biochemistry, will spend her summer in Mango’s lab looking at modifications of histones, the proteins that package DNA. Her work and observations will contribute to Mango’s overall research into how cells form the gastrointestinal tract.“When I first got here, I was so intimidated, because it’s Harvard,” she said. “But everyone has been so nice and supportive. It’s really been a top-notch experience.”So would she consider Harvard for grad school? Ghaderi doesn’t hesitate before replying, “That would be nice.”
Flame retardants associated with neurobehavioral problems in children
Flame retardants found in furniture, cars, carpet padding, and baby products are supposed to make these products safer. But according to neuropsychologist and epidemiologist Brenda Eskenazi, they may do more harm than good — particularly in children, who are more vulnerable to environmental hazards than adults.Eskenazi, professor of maternal and child health and epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley and director of CERCH — the Center for Environmental Research & Children’s Health — spoke at an Environmental Health Colloquium at Harvard School of Public Health on November 26, 2012. The talk was sponsored by the Department of Environmental Health at HSPH. She discussed the troubling health effects of flame retardants called PBDEs — polybrominated diphenyl ethers. Research by Eskenazi and colleagues suggests links between PBDEs and a host of neurobehavioral problems among children with high exposures to these chemicals — attention problems, behavior issues, lack of fine motor coordination, and impaired cognitive development.Although PBDEs were phased out in 2004, “they will be around for a long time to come because of their half-life, and because you’ve got all of these household objects that will continue to off-gas,” Eskenazi said. PBDEs leach out of furniture and other products and become part of household dust, which can be either inhaled or ingested.
Hole Lotta Splash: Beat the Heat with Nature’s Swimming Pools
Photo: Steven McBrideAh, August in the South. Temps in the 90s, humidity off the charts, kids frying eggs on the sidewalk for the local news team…you need to cool down. You could beat the heat the old-fashioned way and fill up a plastic kiddie pool in your front yard, or you could set out for one of these pristine swimming holes scattered throughout the Southern Appalachians.BIG BEND SOUTH BRANCH OF THE POTOMAC, W.VA.Highlights: Solitude, tubing, family- friendlyDeep inside the wild Monongahela National Forest, the South Branch of the Potomac makes a drastic U-turn through the scenic Smoke Hole Canyon. Green forested gorge walls are interspersed with rocky cliffs on the outer edge of the “big bend” in this river, while a forested campground occupies the inside peninsula. The entire loop around the campground is a mile long, packed with small riffles and fun waves, perfect for running laps in a tube on a hot summer day. Tube for an hour, walk a few hundred yards across the peninsula, and start again. This is primitive tubing at its finest, so bring your own tube, and don’t expect heavy crowds, even on a summer weekend.Nearby: The 24-mile long North Rim Trail follows the western rim of Suck Hole canyon. It’s a primo mountain biking and hiking trail with rocky outcroppings and a cornucopia of long-range views.Closest Town: Petersburg, W.Va.Directions: Follow US Route 220 from Petersburg to the Upper Tract Bridge at County Route 2. Take a right at the bridge and follow County Route 2 for 10 miles into the campground.MEADOW RUN YOUGHIOGHENY, PA.Highlights: Natural water slide There are natural water slides, and then there’s the waterslide on Meadow Run inside Ohiopyle State Park. Just before Meadow Run meets the Youghiogheny, the creek funnels through an expansive stretch of bedrock, wearing down a smooth, narrow chute in the process. The slide-able section is at least 100 feet long with a couple of twists along the way. Go during high water, and it’s a fast-paced thrill ride that demands repeat performances. But remember the rules of friction. Even a smooth rock waterslide will wear your shorts thin after a while. Go like a local: wear denim.Nearby: Tackle a piece of the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. The 6.3-mile section of the trail that traverses the center of Ohiopyle State Park is rocky, strenuous, but packed with views and creeks.Closest Town: Ohiopyle, Pa.Directions: The closest trailhead to the water slides is where State Road 2019 meets Highway 381.Watch video of what could be the Mid-Atlantic’s greatest natural waterslide.HUNGRY MOTHER LAKE HUNGRY MOTHER STATE PARK, VA.Highlights: Family-friendly, scenic The story of Hungry Mother’s name may be a bummer (a village raided, a boy lost, and a mother dying of starvation), but its present-day incarnation couldn’t be more uplifting. The calm waters of the 108-acre lake, which is surrounded by lush green slopes, have become a haven for flat-water canoeists and swimmers. The lake is a huge hit with families during the summer thanks to the man-made beach. If you’re looking for something a little more tranquil, rent a canoe from the park or hike the 5.7-mile Lake Loop trail to one of the more secluded coves recessed into the forested banks. Gas-powered boats aren’t allowed on Hungry Mother, so the deepest pockets of the lake are less crowded. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Hungry Mother State Park, Virginia’s first state park.Nearby: The 2,000-acre park has 12 miles of trail. Check out the 1.6-mile Molly’s Knob Trail (named after the hungry mother) that ascends to the park’s highest point at 3,270 feet.Closest Town: Marion, Va.Directions: Take exit 47 from I-81, then follow Route 11 for one mile toward Marion. Turn right on Route 16 north and go four miles to the park. FRIDLEY GAP HOLE FRIDLEY RUN, VA.Highlights: Solitude, tranquilityForget about cliff jumps and natural waterslides. At Fridley Gap, you’ll find something that’s even more rare: solitude and tranquility. The small plunge pool is situated at the base of a tiny cascade, all of which is surrounded by medium sized boulders and smaller rocks. The swimming hole isn’t going to make the cover of a magazine, but it’s cold, refreshing, and stuck in the middle of the Massanutten trail system, some of the best hiking in the George Washington National Forest. The pool is typically six feet deep and three times as wide, with crystal clear water that would probably be a hot spot for trout if you weren’t splashing around. The fastest hike to the swimming hole is to pick up Fridley Gap trail from the parking area at the end of Airey Lane. In less than a mile, you’ll find yourself at the swimming hole. But you’d be remiss if you didn’t take the time to explore the trail system that branches off of Massanutten South Trail while you’re in the area.Nearby: Make a loop out of the Massanutten South Trail and the Fridley Gap Trail for 3,000 feet of elevation gain. You’ll traverse the Third and Fourth Mountains and cross more wild creeks.Closest Town: Shenandoah, Va.Directions: From Shenandoah take Route 602 for four miles and turn on Runckles Gap Road. Drive two miles to Cub Run Road. Drive 1.5 miles on this gravel forest road to Fridley Gap Trailhead.ROSE RIVER FALLS SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK, VA.Highlight: Scenery, bushwhack potential The 67-foot Rose River Falls drops in two tiers as it makes its way off the ridgeline below Skyline Drive. The falls can be just a trickle late in the summer, with a small stream of water carving through a narrow crack in the rock wall. But go after a rain and the water spills over the rocky ledge via a suite of streams, all of which meet in the blue-green pool at the bottom of the rock wall. The pool is only a couple of feet deep, so forget about jumping. But the multi-layered waterfall, rock ledge, and lush foliage give the entire scene a rain-forest vibe. It can be a popular destination, but if it gets too crowded, start bushwhacking upstream. The going is slow and the vegetation is thick, but you’ll find big pools in total seclusion.Nearby: Biking the 60-mile Skyline Drive is a legitimate way to work up a sweat before cooling off in this swimming hole tucked inside a mini rain forest. If you’re in the park after a rain, check out the impressive Lewis Falls, accessed from the Big Meadows Area.Closest Town: Syria, Va.Directions: Park at Fishers Gap Overlook on Skyline Drive at mile 49.4. Take the Rose River Loop Trail counter-clockwise for the quickest trip to the falls. Complete the four-mile loop and you’ll take in Dark Hollow Falls as well.BAD BRANCH FALLS PINE MOUNTAIN, KY.Highlight: SceneryThe wild Bad Branch River drops dramatically off the southern face of Pine Mountain, a 110-mile ridgeline that helps define the southeastern edge of Kentucky. The river makes its most dramatic statement as it plummets 60 feet over a sheer wall of sandstone. The waterfall created by that drop, Bad Branch Falls, is the centerpiece of the Bad Branch Falls State Nature Preserve, and it’s a welcome sight to anyone who’s been hiking along the rugged Pine Mountain in Eastern Kentucky. Massive boulders and tall hemlocks dominate the floor of the gorge at the base of the waterfall. There isn’t much of a pool for swimming at the bottom of the falls, but if you’re careful, you can maneuver your way beneath the dramatic waterfall and get soaked while hugging the cliff face. After hiking the rugged nature preserve, it’s bound to be one of the most refreshing showers you’ll ever take.Nearby: Hike a piece of the completed Highlands Section of the Pine Mountain Trail, a long trail in the making that will eventually stretch the full 110 miles of Pine Mountain, connecting Breaks Interstate Park with Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. Check out the High Rock Loop, from the nature preserve, to reach the highest point on the mountain.Nearest Town: Whitesburg, Ky.Directions: From Whitesburg, follow 119 south for eight miles. Turn left on KY 932 and go east for two miles to the gravel parking area.LAKE WINFIELD SCOTT COOPERS CREEK, GA.Highlights: Family-friendly, scenicYou might feel like you’re back at summer camp when you first take a dip in this 18-acre lake at the headwaters of Cooper’s Creek in North Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest. The calm, cool waters are surrounded by mountains with a steep, forested shoreline, offering a remote scene straight out of your favorite childhood memories. The Appalachian Trail is close, and two connector trails begin at the lake. There’s a small beach with a designated swimming area complete with a dock to round out your summer camp memories. The crowds are minimal, but there’s a half-mile trail that hugs the lake if you’re looking for more solitude.Nearby: Hike the Slaughter Creek Trail for 2.7 miles from the lake to its junction with the Appalachian Trail. You can combine a piece of the A.T. with Jarrad Gap Trail for an eight-mile loop that begins and ends at the lake.Closest Town: Blairsville, Ga.Directions: From Blairsville, take US 19/129 south for 10 miles. Turn west on Highway 180 for seven miles, to the recreation area.CATHEDRAL FALLS LINVILLE RIVER, NC.Highlights: Scenery, rock jump, solitudeMany kayakers consider the class V Cathedral Falls the highlight of their wilderness paddle down the unpredictable Linville River. Upstream of the falls, the entire river narrows to half its size as it cuts a path through the rock walls of the Cathedral Gorge. The river opens again after the final drop, a 15-footer surrounded by steep rock walls. That’s where one of the most perfect swimming holes lies. The falls may be a blast for kayakers after a heavy rain, but visit in late summer during low water, and it’s an ideal spot for a lazy day of swimming. The pool is deep, the scenery is outstanding, and there are a number of rock jumps ranging in heights. There are even smooth, broad rocks for sunning. And you’re deep in the belly of one of the wildest, most remote gorges in the South, so don’t expect crowds.Nearby: You’ve got several miles of hiking along Spence Ridge Trail and the Linville Gorge Trail just to access Cathedral Falls and get back to your car. If that’s not enough, keep going south on the Linville Gorge Trail, which follows the river into the most remote stretch of the gorge, accessing countless more swimming holes in the process.Closest Town: Linville, N.C.Directions: From Linville, take Highway 181 south for three miles to FS 210 (Gingercake Road). Stay to the left when the road forks and follow the gravel road to the Spence Ridge Trailhead parking.BLUE HOLE MILL CREEK, TN.Highlights: Scenery, cliff jumpBlue Hole is the biggest and deepest swimming hole in a series of cascades and pools on Mill Creek. The small stream makes its way down Holston Mountain to Stony Creek in Cherokee National Forest. The water cuts through a small rock gorge, dropping 70 feet over a series of four distinct drops, all within a few feet of each other. The deepest pool comes after the third drop, where the creek falls 15 feet into a round, carved out pool that sits on a plateau before dropping one last time. “Blue Hole” could be the most common name for Southern swimming holes, but this one earns its moniker, as the water is clear blue. The pool is deep in the center, and there’s a popular cliff jump, but be sure to scout ledges beneath the surface first. Try to time it after a rain and the swimming hole will be filled to the brim, spilling over that last drop. Blue Hole may have the best swimming, but check out the upper two falls as well.Nearby: Check out Laurel Fork Falls via a 2.5-mile spur trail off the Appalachian Trail that goes deep into the Pond Mountain Wilderness Area.Closest Town: Elizabethton, Tenn.Directions: Take Route 91 east from Elizabethton for 10 miles. Turn left on Panhandle Road and park at the pulloff one mile in. Take Blue Hole Falls Trail for a couple hundred yards to the gorge.OCONALUFTEE RIVER CHEROKEE, NC.Highlights: Tubing, family friendlyThe Oconaluftee River begins as a mountainside spring in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but by the time it reaches the town of Cherokee, it’s a broad, pristine playground ripe with trout, swimming holes, and tubing. Check out the two-mile trip that begins at the Big Cove Bridge on the tail end of the Raven Fork River and ends just before reaching the town of Cherokee. You’ll float under the Blue Ridge Parkway, bump through small rapids, and have access to The Beach, a local hangout with a sandy river bottom and rope swing. This stretch of river is banked by Great Smoky Mountains National Park on one side and the Cherokee Reservation on the other, so development is minimal. Tubers have even been known to see elk drinking from the river. If you’re looking to test your extreme tubing skills, ask Cherokee Rapids to take you to the class II chute on the Raven Fork just above the typical put-in.Nearby: You’re in the Smokies, so hiking trails stretch in every direction. Check out the Smokemont Loop Trail for a six-mile loop hike through a historic community that thrived before the park was established.Closest Town: Cherokee, N.C.Directions: Cherokee Rapids (cherokeerapids.com) is located off of Highway 441 in Saunooke Village.RED BUTT FALLS TUCKASEGEE RIVER, NC.Highlights: Slide, solitude Inside the wild Panthertown Valley, in North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest, the upper Tuckasegee River is xanadu for wilderness swimmers. There are five distinct waterfalls within a mile stretch of the Tuck as it cruises through rock ledges between 4,000-foot mountains, and countless swimming holes. The most alluring of them all has to be Red Butt Falls, a broad, sloping natural waterslide tucked between rhododendron and granite outcroppings. The grade of the slide is deceptively mellow, but make no mistake, you will gain speed as you slide 50+ feet down the granite slab into the pool waiting below. And heed the name of the falls: your best bet is to wear cut-off jean shorts for protection. Crowds are minimal thanks to Panthertown’s remote location, and auxiliary adventure is abundant. After sliding, take the time to hike, swim, and rock hop upstream to the other four falls on this stretch of the Tuck.Nearby: Panthertown has an extensive trail network and primo backcountry campsites. You could spend a week in this valley moving from one swimming hole to the next. For a short, but rewarding trek, summit the granite dome of Big Green Mountain, via Big Green Trail, for expansive views.Closest Town: Cashiers, N.C.Directions: The most direct route to Red Butt Falls begins at the Cold Mountain Trailhead via the Devil’s Elbow Trail. To get there, take US 64 east from Cashiers for 13 miles. Then follow NC 281 north for .8 miles, then turn left on Cold Mountain Road for 5.9 miles to the trailhead.Watch a video detailing the swimming holes, trails, and cliffs inside the “Yosemite of the East.”RILEY MOORE FALLS CHUAGA RIVER, SC.Highlight: Natural beach, family- friendlyRiley Moore Falls may only be 12 feet high, but it spans the entire width of the Chuaga River in Sumter National Forest. During high water, the falls can be as broad as 50 feet wide. The falling water is merely a backdrop to the main attraction, which is the expansive plunge pool that builds at the base of the river-wide ledge and comes complete with its own natural sandy beach. The short hike and gradual entry into the pool from the beach make this one of the rare backcountry swimming holes that’s family friendly. At one time, the falls were home to a grist mill, but the only remnants you’ll see from this era are anchor bolts at the top of the falls. As always, be careful exploring the rocks on top of the falls.Nearby: Pick up the Chattooga River Trail near the Georgia/South Carolina border for an 18-mile hike along the South’s premiere Wild and Scenic river.Closest Town: Westminster, S.C.Directions: From Westminster, take US 76 west for 7.5 miles, then right on Cobbs Bridge Road. Go 1.6 miles, then left on the gravel Spy Rock Road. Go 1.8 miles to the pull-off next to FS 748-C and park on the side of the road. Hike .3 miles along FS 748-C, then take Riley Moore Falls Trail .7 miles to the falls.
Getting to ‘yes’
3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr As you lead your team, have you found you’re more apt to say “yes” than “no” when someone brings you a really good, innovative idea? Research says most of us lean toward the negative, according to this article from Inc., and that can be a problem.Inc. cites a University of San Diego experiment in which managers were found to be more likely to say “no” to ideas that customers were enthusiastic about. The experimenters found that “managers perceive the most creative ideas as impossible, even when those ideas are completely practical.”Think about that person who reflexively disagrees with you no matter what you say (and you know who they are). Doubting the people around you can become a seriously ingrained habit – and a dangerous one. What innovation are you missing because you initially perceive a good idea as being too risky or too difficult?Inc. had some suggestions for figuring out if an idea is worth taking a chance on – what they called “an adoption litmus test.” Here are the top things you should consider: continue reading »
Being there for (Gen-Y)OUNG adults
You’ve heard it a million times. “The Millennials are coming!” But actually, they’re already here. What percentage of your membership base is made up of Gen-Y? 5%? 10% (nationally 15% use a credit union)? Now, what percentage are traditionalists? Baby-boomers? Now’s the time to ensure your credit union’s future by being “there” for the millennials.We all know that the millennial generation surpasses the size and purchasing (and borrowing) power of their parents’ generation. Does your credit union’s infrastructure and electronic member experience meet the service expectations of the 74 million born between 1978-1995? How can you compete with the big banks and the non-traditional service delivery models of tomorrow? Given that 88% of Millennials do their banking online and 73% are more likely to be excited about a new offering in financial services from Google, Amazon, Apple, Paypal or Square than a traditional financial institution, what roles do technology solutions play in your success story?Being “there” to Millennials means:Being available. Convenience is king for the Millennials. Physical branches – yes, they still want them when there’s a problem, if they have questions about their account or for applying for their first loan. Even though all of them have a smartphone, they’re less comfortable talking with you on the phone. But, they’ll still use it to communicate directly to you and indirectly about you using those same smartphones via online chat, text or through social media channels (on yours, or even worse, on others you don’t see). Millennials average over three hours per day on the Internet. Whether you’re serving members in person or through electronic channels, you need proven, best-in-class technology solutions that allow your employees to serve your members anytime and through any channel they want. Watch how Credit Union 1 accomplishes this with a complete integration model.Being engaged. You already have what you need to engage current and potential Gen-Y members – Gen-Y employees! Probably two-thirds or more of your employees fall into this category, don’t they? By 2025, three out of every four workers globally will be Millennials. Use them – empower them! They already speak their language and know how/where Millennials want to be communicated with. They are significantly more likely to conduct financial transactions through a mobile device than any other age group. Get involved in helping them communicate with each other, to teach and recruit more members like them. To do that, you must first have the robust mobile technology solutions that make it a seamless experience for your members. Learn how First Citizens National gained quick adoption with their Mobile App solution.Being real. Now that you’re utilizing your employees more, it’s time to go to the next level. But let’s do a reality check first. What’s the average age of your board of directors, your volunteers as a whole? Do they use social media? Do they use online and mobile banking? Are they enrolled in bill pay, eStatements and remote deposit capture? Millennials love engaging with worthwhile causes. And credit unions, if the movement is communicated to them correctly, are really cool in their eyes (they may not yet understand what credit unions are and what they stand for, however). So, start today by grooming the next generation by recruiting volunteers from the same generation that you’re trying to engage and grow from. Then make sure you’re offering access points for them like how North Star Community Credit Union did by integrating their core with a mobile banking solution that kept this smaller credit union up-to-speed with Millennials.It’s already difficult enough for credit unions to win the hearts of Gen-Y given the competitive and regulatory environments of today. Touching the hearts of the next generation is possible, however, with the right technical solutions and culture infused from within. 52SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Stan Cowan Stan Cowan works at D+H, a global technology solutions provider for the financial industry as a Senior Solutions Marketing Manager. He’s also spent over 17 years as a … Web: www.dh.com Details
Scotland fly-halves Finn Russell and Adam Hastings ruled out of Nations Cup | Rugby Union News
Scotland open their Six Nations campaign away to England on February 6.