For the first time, bees have been placed on the endangered species list

After years of study, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has placed seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees on the endangered species list, the first time any bee has received such classification.

The service worked in conjunction with the Xerces Society, which advocates for invertebrate species, as well as local Hawaiian officials, to study the status of the bees. On its website, the Xerces Society noted seven species of the insect have been listed as endangered: Hylaeus anthracinus, Hylaeus longiceps, Hylaeus assimulans, Hylaeus facilis, Hylaeus hilaris, Hylaeus kuakea, and Hylaeus mana. In 1996, the service listed 33 species as “Species of Concern.”

The bees are native to Hawaii, and have been declining for a number of years due to intrusion from non-native plants and animals, as well as habitat destruction due to urban development. Scientists note that these bees are integral to the Hawaiian ecosystem as pollinators, and that they are “critical for maintaining the health of plants and other animals across the islands,” according to conservation and restoration team manager Gregory Koob, of the Fish and Wildlife Service in Honolulu.

Now that the bees have been placed on the endangered species list, they will receive additional protections from the federal government designed to help boost the species population and protect them from harassment from humans. These protections appear to be critically important as bee populations across the United States have declined in recent years. Other species appear to be poised for protection: the Service is considering endangered status for the rusty-patched bumble bee, which can be found across the United States.

 by Andrew Liptak  @AndrewLiptak Oct 2, 2016, 11:30a

 

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Wynd – the smartest air purifier ever

Wynd creates a bubble of clean air around you by removing dust, allergens, smoke, and pollution from your personal space. Since it filters harmful particles out of the air around you, Wynd helps you breathe clean air and feel refreshed.

Wynd isn’t just an air purifier—it’s an intelligent personal air quality system. It monitors your environment and cleans as needed. Wynd is the size of a water bottle, so it’s easy to use anywhere—in offices, hotels, cars, public transportation, and more. Wynd helps you breathe easy wherever you go.

 

 

 

 

Freshen up your car: Wynd can clean over 70% of particles in a typical car cabin in under 10 minutes. Wynd fits in standard cupholders.Keep your baby safe on the go with the Wynd Stroller Holder. In a semi-enclosed stroller, Wynd can reduce PM2.5 (fine particles) by over 50% and PM10 (coarse particles) by over 70%.
 

 

"You can't see what's in the air that you breathe. But the sensor attached to the Wynd air purifier can figure that out for you, and actually do something to clean up that air before it hits your lungs." – Tom's Guide

"Instead of being tied to one particular room or area, Wynd can adapt to different environment. This allows a range of possibilities for use." – PSFK

"Most startups just want to reinforce your phone case or maybe make your speakers a bit more portable. And then there are the ones that have the weight of the world on their shoulders" – 

Wynd weighs less than a pound, so it goes where you go.

Wynd’s size makes it easy to travel with, and it’s a must-have for those going to polluted areas.

No need to keep Wynd plugged in: It lasts for 8 hours of typical use without having to charge it.

Wynd keeps your personal space free from particulates, including allergens, germs, and industrial pollution (PM2.5).

Wynd cleans these particles out quickly. Despite its small form factor, Wynd can deliver over 8 liters of clean air per second.

You don't need to wait to breathe fresh air. Wynd can instantly funnel clean air towards you.

Wynd is more than one device: It's an air quality tracker and purifier in one— and the tracker can actually detach for ultimate mobility.

Know your air quality at all times. The Wynd Air Quality Tracker continuously monitors your environment and alerts you when it becomes unhealthy. The tracker senses for the level of particulate pollution, from sources such as allergens, tobacco smoke, bacteria, mold spores, and smog.

The tracker detaches from the purifier and can clip onto things.

It's the smallest particulate sensor on the market, so you can easily take it with you.

Check the air quality at a glance: The tracker's light color shows you how healthy the air is.

Auto mode
We don't just tell you the air quality: We proactively take care of the problem. With Auto mode, Wynd can automatically adjust its purification level to maintain a clean environment.

Just sit back, relax, and know that Wynd is keeping your air healthy.

Learn more about what you're breathing
Open the Wynd app (for iOS and Android) to get more insights into your environment.

Get notified when the air quality around you is getting worse.

Wynd tells you how much pollution it's kept out of your lungs. By tracking air quality, airflow level, and usage duration, we can determine how many milligrams of particulate matter Wynd has cleaned from the air.

Got friends in L.A., a grandma in Beijing, or a child you want to keep safe? Keep tabs on your loved ones' air quality.

Check out macro air quality levels with Air Bubbles, our free companion iOS app.

As our community grows, we can even combine everyone’s tracker data to create a worldwide crowdsourced air quality map—the Waze of air quality. This would open the doors to hyper-local air quality info that could help people around the globe stay healthy.

We worked with Mike Nuttall, one of the co-founders of IDEO, to bring Wynd to life. He designed numerous beautiful and successful consumer electronic products, so we knew he’d help us create a product that’s beautiful and easy to use.

Watch Mike discuss his philosophy behind the design of Wynd:

Wynd was designed to fit in anywhere.

Wynd includes a dynamic 360-degree LED light ring that indicates air quality, airflow, battery level, and filter use.

We don’t believe in just having low, medium, and high settings: Wynd enables you to gradually adjust its purification level from 0 to 100—to find the setting that’s most comfortable for you—by turning the top knob left or right.

The evolution of early Wynd prototypes

Airflow design
Our engineering lead, Eric, is an aerospace engineer who worked on the design of jet and rocket turbine blades before joining Wynd. He used his airflow expertise to craft Wynd’s patent-pending fluid dynamics.

We designed a low-turbulence, high-airflow system that keeps Wynd small while enabling it to clean a high volume of air and stay quiet.

Watch Eric discuss how he designed some of Wynd's airflow features:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/wynd-the-smartest-air-purifier-ever#/

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Trust Him For A Miracle

God also bearing them witness, both with signs and
wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the
Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
(Hebrews 2:4).

The New Testament gives numerous accounts
of the miracles Jesus did during His earthly
ministry. John 2:23 tells us that many believed in Him
when they saw the miracles He did. But there were
also many in His day who didn’t believe in Him despite
the miracles. It’s the same thing today; there’re some
who say that miracles don’t exist; but their’s is a twisted
opinion. Some of us have lived in and experienced, the
miraculous; we see, breathe, and experience miracles
all the time.
The very idea of the existence of a God is to believe
in the supernatural. If you don’t believe in miracles,
then you don’t believe in God! A miracle is God’s
supernatural intervention in the affairs of men. God is
a Spirit, and He lives in the realm of the spirit. When
you pray to Him, a God that you can’t see with your
physical eyes, and He answers you from that realm of
life, that’s a miracle. His answer to your prayers is His
response, and that’s what changes things.
God doesn’t need to respond if you don’t need
a miracle. You wouldn’t need Him to do for you what  
you can, and should do for yourself. For example, He
doesn’t help you put on your clothes or shoes, or put
food in your mouth; you can do all that by yourself and
for yourself. If you’re thirsty for water, He doesn’t give
you a drink. But if you don’t have access to the water,
you can act your faith and He’ll grant you a miracle.
When you need a miracle, it means you need
something that only God can do; the moment you act
on the Word, He responds! He never fails to show up,
as He always responds to faith. You can trust Him for
a miracle for your health, finances, academics, job or
business, and for your family.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and
forever (Hebrews 13:8). If you accept and act on
His Word as others did in Bible days, you’ll get the
same results. This is what many are doing today, and
experiencing His miracles. 
Prayer
Dear heavenly Father, I thank
you for your presence in my life,
and your glory that fills my heart!
Thank you for your mercies and
blessings that I experience today
and always. I celebrate your
grace in my life, and the power
to live the transcendent life, in
Jesus’ Name. Amen. 

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Boost Your Social Media Engagement

 

Boost Your Social Media Marketing Engagement

Current thinking says that social media marketing is a numbers game, right? It says that if you get followers, you’ll get more conversations, and you’ll then get more likes, shares, retweets, and (hopefully) sales…right?

Well…that’s true. Sort of….

Looking at it in such simplistic terms will get some results but not the kind of results your time could get with a little more forethought. Being effective at using social media isn’t as simple as tossing out content-bait and hoping to entice people into your web where they eventually mature (like fine wine) into a customer.

Getting the end result you want actually starts in the beginning with choosing the audience you want from the social media ecosystem. That means you need to…have a clear idea of who you want as an ideal follower, find them wherever they are, and then give them what they’re looking for.

After doing that, your task is to nurture your relationship with them.  And that’s where something called ‘engagement’ comes onto the scene. This is where you begin to build a strong, long-lasting relationship with them by offering them the right information.

You should give them information that helps them, gets them thinking (hopefully along the same lines as you do), or something that simply gives them a smile or chuckle during their busy day.

It’s then, once you establish yourself in their mindset as a welcome entity ,that they begin to want to reach out and engage with you and/or become a real customer.

But this will never happen from just throwing random content at them. You need to think strategically about your content product and how they might receive it. All your content needs to fall within a plan.

Toward that end, I’d like to clarify the following types of content which have been proven to generate interaction and engagement and then to add one new approach that very few marketers are doing:

1 – Visual Content

Quotes, memes, and infographics are effective and relatively easy places to start. They work well because they’re easy for the ready to mentally digest and the communicate on a very elemental level.

You should always try to inject a bit of your own brand identity into each piece of visual content you send out. You can to that either overtly by adding a logo, URL, or a few words, or it can be something more subtle if you’re creative enough to do so.

2 – Video Content

Video content is always a good idea because you get such great impact out of it for relatively little effort… especially when you use curated content. Most topics which you might be promoting are comprised of a substantial amount of generic material which is readily available for free on the net. But you get credit for providing it to your viewers.

Other interesting qualities of video content include the fact that short content is often more effective than longer content (because the viewer will retain it more quickly and easier) and people are more prone to share video content (because it is more entertaining).

3 – Contests

Contests can be effective too but only if they don’t require too much work from the participants. In fact, my advice would be to make participation very easy, like elementary school teachers do for their classes, so that everybody can win something. The idea is, after all, engagement. Not necessarily to obliterate the competition.

Examples of such contests could be something to do with images or captions, or some easy form of creativity that doesn’t require much effort.

4 – Direct Contact

Direct contact is another form of content although it is usually less predictable. But it’s valuable for engagement because that’s exactly what it is. Plus, with a little forethought on your part, direct contact can be repurposed in other ways for further and greater leverage much as a publicist would do with a positive customer service story.

5 – Informative Content

This kind of content requires a little more attention simply because it puts your credibility on the line. Be sure you’re right. The good news is that generally speaking no one has proprietary rights to pure ‘Information’. And even if they might, they seldom own the basic idea and that idea is always easy to rephrase.

How-To articles, Tips, and List posts or articles are very easy to find, spin, and/or enhance. Just be sure the info is targeted to your audience. This idea borders somewhat on ‘curation’ and also lends itself to repurposing on other social media. Just don’t be surprised if you notice that somebody else scoops it up and re-hashes it just like you did.

6 – Questions

Asking your readers questions can be effective too but, just like the contests, don’t format your question so that it takes much effort to answer. Remember, you’re not grading your readers. You’re only engaging them….like that elementary school teacher I mentioned above.

When asking questions, remember that you can ask Closed-End Questions or Open-Ended Questions. With the former, the answer is very finite, i.e. Yes or Now, Black or White, True or False, etc. With Open-Ended questions the answer is a chance for the reader to express themselves more expansively (be prepared for anything!)

Also with Questions content, be sure that your publishing format allows for reader interaction. If it’s on a blog, do you have a comment box, if it’s on YouTube, is your channel set to allow comments, if it’s on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, remember to check your replies, etc.

7 – Establish an Idea Repository

Some people have a hard time at first in coming up with content ideas but it gets easier with practice. I’ve found that the best way for me to come up with ideas is just to imagine myself in a real conversation with my reader(s). I ask myself, ‘If I was talking with somebody, what would I have to say and how would I say it.’

Of course, in ‘web writing’, you have to do pretty much most of the ‘talking’, right? Indeed, it’s nice to have somebody to listen to you.

So…what’s on your mind?

Just like you won’t keep real friends around for long if you’re boring to talk to… make your content non-boring too. You accomplish that by being well-informed and/or knowing when not to get ‘into’ a subject above your competence level.

Some people like to keep a physical ‘idea file’, e.g. on Evernote or something. Me…I keep track of ideas with ‘tagged’ items on my Pocket extension on my Chrome browser. I used to use my Chrome Bookmarks tool but I didn’t like its lack of a strong tagging function.

Still, I’ve never had much problem thinking of something original to say or finding something to spin (like I did with this article.. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge!) In my humble opinion, there’s not much new under the sun.

Again…you must be accurate while at the same time being creative. But that’s not hard to do. Just be careful.

When you develop that talent, you don’t have to worry about remember and finding all those good ideas which you even forgot that you saved.

8 – Keep Score

Once you get this far, you’ll need to figure out how you want to keep score. If you have a purpose (i.e. a goal), you need to keep score, right?

You can keep score by tracking shares, likes, comments, backlinks, or even phone calls. The Markethive Inbound Marketing system, which I use on a daily basis and which is entirely free, has an excellent tracking system. You can get one for free to try out…here.

The idea of tracking phone calls however…that’s a foreign idea to most online marketers. Especially to MLM business builders like many of my readers are. But what’s wrong with allowing people to call us?

Aren’t most of us, especially 30 days after starting in our latest MLM, fully certified members of the No Friends Left Club? We ARE looking for human engagement and interaction, aren’t we?

9 – The Power of A Phone Number (something completely different!)

You have heard of Inbound Marketing, right?

I know a very successful fellow in the MLM lead generation and training business who uses capture pages as the leading edge of a unique form of inbound social media marketing.

This heavy-hitter MLM leader isn’t big on content marketing or blogging but he does some unique things with customizable capture pages and landing pages. He puts his phone number on most of them because he knows that a properly designed and attractive capture page works 24/7/365 pulling hordes of customer and/or recruit leads into his multiple enterprises.

I’m starting to combine his type of customizable capture pages with my article writing and I like the results so far.

Think about it.

Allowing a reader who obviously is interested in your content to call you (at the right point in the sales funnel of course) really makes sense. After all, if somebody has already engaged with your content or custom-made capture page and they want to talk to you…what’s the likelihood they might want to spend some money with you?

I’d call that a pretty high-protein type of engagement, wouldn’t you?   

Capture pages (if you have a system that allows you to customize them with videos and customized copy) really can be considered as another form of content. After all, in the competitive markets most of us are in, if our goal really is customer engagement, why wouldn’t we want a want a prospective customer to call us at the time they’re most engaged with our content?

The objective is to use properly designed capture pages, in the proper funnel structure, to pre-qualify our sales and/or recruit prospects in such a manner that by the time they reach us…they’re ready to buy or join.

Don’t tell me, “I don’t have time to do that” because if you don’t have time to talk to a prospective customer (or a recruit), maybe you should get into the vending machine business. It’s just too easy to implement inbound social media marketing if you know how to use modern telephone systems. 

Case in point…..my friend gets a lot of calls from people who are pretty much pre-sold or at least much deeper into his sales funnel because of the psychological triggers and CTA’s (Call To Action) that he builds into his customizable capture page system.

It’s always been amazing to me that in this age of hi-tech communications, it’s so hard to actually reach and talk to the typical internet marketer. And I find it even more ridiculous when I see the same thing in the MLM industry where just one person can turn out to be so valuable.

Many internet marketers have become so infatuated with automation that they overlook the simple benefit of allowing people to call them. It’s not expensive and it’s easy to do. And if a person gets so busy they can’t take any more calls (i.e. can’t handle any more “engagement”) then it’s also easy to distribute the calls to somebody else on the team. 

That’s the system I’m starting to use and it’s actually nice to know that somebody is interested enough in my content and/or capture pages that they want to talk to me.  

Is your content actually having the engagement impact you want?

The bottom line is that social media can be used to drive traffic of any kind to almost any destination. Just be open-minded, keep the focus on what works and drive it deep and hard, and scrap what doesn’t work.

Art Williams — a free-lance Content Writer and a great dancer. Call anytime 713 701 1853.

 

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Air pollution hurts office workers‘ productivity, study finds

 By Anna Bahney 
September 30, 2016
We've known air pollution is dangerous for decades. But, sadly, it can sometimes take a profit-driven argument to make companies pay attention.

Now we've got one. 

Researchers tracked the productivity levels of phone bank workers at two travel service call centers, per a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. They found workers were 5% to 6% more productive when outdoor air pollution levels were at "good" levels than when they were rated as "unhealthy."

The study, led by researchers at Columbia University, University of Southern California and University of California, San Diego, is among the first to document the detrimental impact of air pollution on knowledge-workers in white-collar industries.

Previous research has focused on farm and factory workers, the study authors wrote in the Harvard Business Review.

The setup for this study was key: The researchers looked at call centers in China, a country with high levels of air pollution. The authors were able to evaluate productivity because the firm meticulously monitored and logged worker activity, including number of calls completed and duration of breaks.

The researchers found significant knocks on productivity even at relatively low pollution levels, including the "code orange" level, which the Environmental Protection Agency calls "unhealthy for sensitive groups."

Previous studies have shown that more exposure to fine particles in the air is connected to cognitive impairment and decline.

Why?

Pollution harms you because particulate matter in the air is tiny enough to be absorbed into the bloodstream, the researchers wrote. As they travel into your central nervous system, particles can get stuck in the brain stem, causing inflammation and damage.

Assuming it's "the result of diminished cognitive function," the researchers wrote, "the negative impact of pollution on productivity may be greatest in higher-skilled jobs."

Alas, without city-level reform, they pointed out, there's little employers or workers can do to combat air pollution.

"The air we breathe is the epitome of a shared resource, and air pollution recognizes no corporate or political boundaries," the researchers wrote. "Therefore, air pollution can only be efficiently controlled by policy that extends beyond the borders of a single firm."

But, at least on an individual basis, the researchers recommended employers install air filters that remove harmful particles in their workspaces.

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