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Evolution of the green Tories: Conservatives in B.C. fight to convince voters they are eco-friendly – National Post

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PARKSVILLE Like most candidates running for office on Vancouver Island, Byron Horner spends a lot of time talking about the environment. His campaign promises to put a tighter squeeze on heavy polluters, invest in offshore spill response, and implement a national recycling program.

Just one hitch: hes a Conservative.

For some, the notion of an eco-friendly Tory might present an absurd paradox especially here on the island, where environmentalism can seem more a religious devotion than simple political preference. But Horners riding of CourtenayAlberni, which divides the island between north and south, overlaps with what has long been a Conservative stronghold.

Conservative MP James Lunney had represented the region for many years since 2004, part of a long list of right-leaning politicians that stretch back to the 80s. North of CourtenayAlberni, Conservative candidate Shelley Downey is in the running to win the sprawling riding in the northern half of the island, which has long been a tight race between Conservatives and the NDP (the Liberals have not won a seat north of Victoria for decades).

People here tend to be a little greener than the average Conservative member, says Horner, who lives in the small city of Parksville along the eastern coast of the island.

Horner himself was executive producer of the Great Bear Rainforest documentary, narrated by Canadian movie star Ryan Reynolds, which sought to raise awareness about extinction threats in the highly sensitive habitat.

The region around Parksville, unlike the urbanized south, has a long history of industrial activity, particularly forestry. Labourers wearing Carhartt jackets drive heavy work trucks. Equipment rental yards and fish bait shops dot the towns outer limits. A pub near the towns main road goes by the name Rod & Gun.

Locals know this, but there is a perception among others that the island is all Green, its la-la land, its the Left Coast all of that kind of stuff, Horner says from his campaign office, across the street from the Georgia Strait.

The campaign by Horner, who claims to be among the next generation of Conservatives who make the environment a priority, points to a growing divide within small-c conservative circles over whether the party needs to adopt more stringent policies as a way to win over younger, more eco-minded voters. The partys opposition to carbon taxes widely viewed as an inherently conservative policy has already turned off many voters in the region.

Several Conservative candidates who spoke to the National Post acknowledge that running as a Conservative on Vancouver Island is tough business, particularly amid rising anxieties over climate change.

Sometimes I get snickers at the door, says Richard Caron, Conservative candidate in Victoria. He adds, however, that some residents take a more pragmatic view that involves making sure the economy stays strong in conjunction with the environment.

Gord Johns, the NDP incumbent in CourtenayAlberni, scoffs at the notion of Conservative candidates running on environmentally conscious platforms. A majority government under Stephen Harper has left deep distrust of the party in the riding, he says.

They were invisible when it came to the environment, says Johns.

The previous Harper government slashed $100 million in funding to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in 2013, including to the Coast Guard, which helps protect against ecological mishaps. Some voters claim the Conservatives did little to clean up the many abandoned sea vessels moored around the island, which have created safety hazards and blocked fishing routes, straining the patience of locals.

Most of all, Conservative opponents say voters express concern over the partys climate plan, which has been dismissed by some as not going far enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

There is a perception among others that the island is all Green, its la-la land, its the Left Coast

Johns notes the cuts to the Coast Guard, a failure to address GHG emissions, and the snubbing of First Nations as reasons for the distrust (Horner himself mentions cuts to the Coast Guard unprompted).

People dont have amnesia here, theyre being constantly reminded of the failure of the Conservatives to stand up for coastal British Columbians, Johns says.

The Conservatives under leader Andrew Scheer have been staunchly opposed to the Liberal carbon tax, and have promised to repeal the policy on their first day in office, should they win the election (such a move would have no impact in B.C., where a provincial carbon tax has already been in place for years).

The party has long pushed back against policies that would rapidly reduce GHG emissions in Canada, arguing that other major polluters including the U.S., China, and India would continue to belch out the majority of the worlds emissions regardless. Even under Liberal leader Justin Trudeaus economy-wide carbon tax, Canada is still set to miss its 2030 Paris targets by a sizeable margin.

Still, economists and environmentalists roundly lambasted the Conservatives climate plan when it was released this summer. Mark Jaccard, a professor at Simon Fraser University, estimated that emissions under the Conservative plan would actually rise.

I think weve evolved as a party

The plan involves a slight lowering of the threshold for heavy emitters who pay taxes on carbon emissions, a tax credit for energy friendly home retrofits, and a tax cut on incomes generated from clean energy technologies.

It also includes a $250-million fund that would invest $1 in clean technologies for every $4 invested by the private sector. Conservatives say the fund would differ from the Liberals $600-million clean tech fund because it would be managed by the private sector, though few details of the fund are laid out in the plan.

Some conservationist-minded Conservatives claim that opposition parties have wrongly pigeon-holed the party as being anti-environment.

In politics perception is everything, and the perception of Conservatives as people who dont care about conservation is something that I dont understand, and has frustrated me, said Robert Sopuck, a long-time Conservative MP from Manitoba, who helped author the Conservative environment plan.

Sopuck sat on both the fisheries and environment committees during his time in office, and has won awards from a provincial wildlife federation for his conservation efforts. He is retiring from office this year.

He says that recent concerns over GHG emissions has overshadowed other, more tangible, ecological issues that are of more concern to voters: waning fish stocks, invasive species, rising extinction rates, wetlands losses and declining water quality.

Climate change killed conservation, he says. Almost the entire suite of conservation issues in this country have been forgotten because all we talk about is CO2 emissions.

Years of decline in the islands forestry industry could help bolster Conservative candidates, who have taken a more explicitly industry-friendly position than their opponents. Downey, who is running in North IslandPowell River, said GHG emissions are important to her voters, but many are more interested in policies that dont threaten industry of any kind.

Ive heard some people say they will vote Green because that would be the best way to look after the environment, but theyre looking at the issue one way, not at the whole picture, she says.

Downey is running against NDP incumbent Rachel Blaney, who in 2015 became just the second NDP candidate to win in the riding since 1997.

For Horner and others, convincing outsiders of their environmental credibility is likely to prove an uphill battle. Horner goes as far as to distance the Tories from the former Harper government a position that is unlikely to receive widespread support within the party.

We have a leader who never served in the previous governments Cabinet, he says of Scheer.

Horner serves as president of Vancouver-based CopperLion Capital, a firm that oversees investments on behalf of Kyle Washington, son of American billionaire Dennis Washington, who owns stakes in Canadian assets including two diamond mines in the North and a barge logistics firm. He is a staunch supporter of the Conservative climate plan, but likens the need to promote a more environment-friendly message to a pragmatic business decision.

Political parties are selling a product, he says. Im a businesspersonif you dont adapt to what the marketplace is wanting, your product is not going to sell and youre going to close your doors, Horner says.

I think weve learned, and I think weve evolved as a party.

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Evolution of the green Tories: Conservatives in B.C. fight to convince voters they are eco-friendly - National Post

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The evolution of fraud and security – Is it a numbers game or can it be calculated? – Finextra

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Financial services remain a favoured target of skilled cybercriminals, which has left the industry scrambling to keep pace. Yet, if we consider the recent advancements in technologies such as artificial intelligence and the pressing reality that fraud is likely to become more targeted, could fraud actually be calculated and predicted?

Theres no doubt that fraud places a heavy cost on financial institutions as they struggle to combat attacks and outright theft, as outlined in McAfees report[1] which estimates cybercrime currently costs the global economy $600billion, or 0.8% of global gross domestic product.Not only are financial institutions under pressure to leverage digital capabilities to provide added-value services, usually via online offerings to customers, but they must also protect the increased volume of consumer data that has been created as a result. This data pot has become just as lucrative to cybercriminals as physical theft and hard currency.

As a result of some high profile cybersecurity breaches and threats, the UK general public has become much more security conscious when it comes to their own data protection, but also the approach service providers take to security and the protection of their data. In fact, recent research revealed 41% of British consumers said they will stop all spending with a business or brand following a data security breach[2]. This means financial institutions must ensure attention is paid to addressing consumer concerns and security must be a priority in all customer engagement initiatives and across all channels - placing even more importance upon the ability to leverage innovative technology to calculate threats.

At the same time, its vital to ensure that the usability of digital services dont suffer as a result of multiple layers of security. For example, when a consumer logs into a banking app they need to feel confident that adequate security is in place -but it needs to be integrated into the experience seamlessly and not feel like an onerous task for the customer. Maintaining a balance between usability and security is imperative to putting customers first and also to providing differentiation of offerings in the market, and ultimately stand out from competitors.

To move on, we must consider the reality that the digital revolution has presented financial institutions with equal opportunities and risks, and likewise for cybercriminals and fraudsters. However as security threats evolve, so do counteracting solutions. For example, while AI technology is in a juvenile state when it comes to its learning and development, this and other automated fraud detection tools are getting smarter by the day. These types of technology can play a key role in detecting threats early, which is key. Financial institutions can leverage AI to bolster their security posture and identify anomalous behaviour to manage targeted fraudulent attacks before they arise and dent the customers wallet.

Thanks to advancements in technology, being able to monitor and audit activity across the organisation means fraud can be caught in real-time and even in certain scenarios calculated in advance. Combining science, technology, structure and a good measure of expertise is certainly allowing some organisations to manage fraud with much greater certainty. Whilst well never be able to predict all attacks, the right approach is certainly helping to stop crime in its tracks.



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The evolution of fraud and security - Is it a numbers game or can it be calculated? - Finextra

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Jeff Tweedy talks Wilco’s new album, past Dallas shows and why the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is bogus – The Dallas Morning News

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Jeff Tweedy has operated as a one-man band in recent years, releasing three solo albums, touring as a solo act and publishing a witty warts-and-all memoir, Lets Go (So We Can Get Back).

Yet there was never any doubt hed return to Wilco, the shape-shifting rock group hes led since 1994. Earlier this month, the Chicago band released Ode to Joy its 11th album and its best work in ages and hit the road for a tour that comes to Toyota Music Factory on Wednesday.

We talked to Tweedy about the new album, his previous trips to Dallas and why he thinks the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a whole lot of hooey.

The interview has been edited for clarity.

Most fans dont think of Wilco as a political band, per se. But in new songs like Before Us and Citizens, its obvious youre upset about everyday violence in our society and lies being told by various people in high places.

Weve always tried to be engaged without being didactic or strident in our rhetoric. But in this era, there are a lot of oppressive things everyone is swimming around in. On the one hand, I dont really want to give that much acknowledgement [to oppressors]. On the other hand, it would be inaccurate if what Im working on did not reflect a certain state of mind and the exhaustion that comes with this constant, daily assault on reality. Were all seeing what were seeing, and it needs to be apparent in the music were making.

One of your new lyrics that jumped out at me is the line Im worried about the way were all living.

I mean, like, were transforming our bodies our necks are going to be different in 100 years if we keep looking at our phones the way we do today. I think its pretty pervasive, and the technology is pretty far ahead of our emotional evolution and maybe even our physical evolution.

Speaking of phones, Wilco was one of the first bands to put signs outside concert halls asking fans to put away their phones and not take photos and videos during the show. Do you still do that?

No. Im not going to die on that hill anymore. Ive lost that battle.

Its one of my least favorite things in the world, to have someone in the front row sticking a camera in my face, you know? Ive tried to find some tolerance, and Ive tried to examine what bothers me about it, and one of the things is I dont like the way I look. I used to fear there was, you know, a YouTube channel devoted entirely to me forgetting lyrics, or looking like an ass or something. And Ive come to the conclusion that nobody ever looks at these things again.

I think its rude to the people around you. I think its rude to the performers. But at the end of the day, its a pretty minor infraction in the grand scheme of things.

Wilcos music tends to evolve from one album to the next. How did you challenge yourself on Ode to Joy?

I definitely feel like we concentrated on taking apart the traditional rock rhythm section. I mean, a lot of hip-hop records in the last three or four years have been way more exciting to me than a lot of rock records, and part of it is because theyre not mired in legacy.

The whole point is to always be pushing forward to find the new thing, and I think rock music has lost sight of that future. I dont think rock music will ever gain that relevance back, certainly not by being self-conscious and more concerned with preserving its status than with liberation and freeing yourself.

I just think that in rock music, a drum kit is a drum kit, and thats it. But on a hip-hop record, the drum could be, you know, a piece of paper being ripped, or a trumpet thats been sequenced like a drum pattern. The whole point of art is to get you to see things that are there that youve ignored, and to see things that you didnt know were there.

You played a solo acoustic show in March at the Majestic Theatre where two drunk fans kept yelling and singing loudly off-key. You ridiculed them and had fun with it, and they were eventually asked to leave the theater. As someone whos quit drinking, whats it like having to deal with that kind of thing?

There are times onstage where I feel like Im [struggling] to figure out what the right move is to control the environment and not have the show devolve into something unpleasant. But Ive never had a difficult time dispatching drunks. Theyre like low-hanging fruit to me because you just present them to the audience. The reality that theyre missing [in their drunken state] is that youre not playing for them. Youre playing with them. Its not a movie. Its not pre-programmed. Its interactive. Theyre a part of it.

Its been almost 25 years since Wilco released its debut album, which means youre eligible for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Is that something you ever think about?

I have a tough time picturing that happening. There are tens of thousands of artists that [should] be ahead of us that arent even in the discussion. In general, I think its jive, and I think its a money-making boondoggle for some people, and sort of a tax scam for the people of Cleveland. Thats how I feel about it.

Wilco played Trees in 1996 when there was a ton of buzz surrounding your second album, Being There. That night, you played a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek version of the Shirelles Will You Love Me Tomorrow. All these years later, do you still worry fans will lose interest in the band?

I do remember covering that song, but I wasnt thinking Will you still love us if were no longer a buzz band? It was more like, Will you still love me after you see how goofy I am and how Im not-too-completely-together as a person. [Laughs]

Im fine with the idea that fans jump off and find other things, and I think there is a distinct likelihood that as a band gets older, you have some gentle decline [in audience size]. But I dont have any intentions of surrendering to that. Every time I make a record, Im invigorated by the notion that we can reach out and connect with someone new. We always have something to prove. We always feel energized by people betting against us.

Wilco and opening act Molly Sarl perform Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd, Irving.

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Jeff Tweedy talks Wilco's new album, past Dallas shows and why the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is bogus - The Dallas Morning News

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The Ties That Bind Gender Equity And Human Freedom – Forbes

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From Ida B. Wells, Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis, Malala Yousafzai, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Elle Hearns, to Raquel Willis, the evolution of the fight for women's rights is way more nuanced than what you see on the surface. There are other intersections to consider and apply to the understanding of womanhood and being fem-presenting in contemporary society. In the evolution of feminism, multiple waves have come that demanded so many more intersections be applied to the overarching fight for women and fem-presenting people.

The first wave of the Women's Liberation Movement in the U.S. was feminism centered on the political concerns of middle- and upper-class white women. This wave involved womens suffrage and voting equality but did not involve racial equality. The Abolitionist Movement, instead, is where black women were most likely to be given the platforms to advocate for their issues. It is still historically unclear whether the first wave of feminists reluctantly included black women after some years to increase numbers and gain more visibility and momentum or if the early leaders of the movement truly saw black women as equals in suffering under a world where white men ruled.

Ebony Ava Harper is a Human Rights Activist and Director of The National Alliance for Trans Liberation and Advancement.

Through the Civil Rights Movement and the Women's Liberation Movement in the 1950s and 1960s, activists claimed new political rights and cultural liberties for people of color and bolstered a political climate of protest and rebellion. For example, Rosa Parks paved the way for Gloria Steinems success and impact. Do you see a pattern here? The second wave of the women's liberation movement brought us a womans right to choose, a womans right to vote, and a closer mainstream reflection of the power of womanhood. Even in all that growth, the liberation of women meant different things to women of different racial and cultural backgrounds. Five decades ago, women fighting for rights to be queer and the ability to choose was a great notion of radicalism. And, in some parts of this country, it's still a radical notion for women to be free of strong patriarchal pressures and influences in all aspects of their lives.

From the 60s to the 90s and the early 2000s, feminism took on punk rock culture, and a black woman named Anita Hill testified to an all-white male Senate Judiciary Committee. Many call this the third-wave of feminism. Feminism involving the lens of racial oppression, workplace harassment, and erasure in the HIV/AIDS conversation blossomed into an overarching conversation about the human condition through the perspective of women and fem-presenting people. During this time, it became clear that feminisms overarching goals needed to be inclusive and embrace a broader fight for equity. While there were always intersections in Women's Liberation, all of those intersections needed space to be acknowledged and incorporated into the fabric of feminism.

Fast forward to 2012 through the present, and we have the #MeToo movement and a higher demand to include transgender rights and needs in the conversation around gender equity. Trans activists like Raquel Willis have used their platforms to celebrate and uplift transgender women. Many call this the fourth-wave of the fight for gender equality. This wave has caused us to be more introspective, more conscious of what it means to be a woman, and how the spectrum of womanhood is so vast and wide that one can't just simply name it one thing.

Now, there is an epidemic of trans women of color being murdered. The pay gap between women and menand discrepancies in the pay gap between people of different racial backgroundsis immense. Black women shoulder the brunt of the political and emotional toll of most liberation movements. It cannot be said that feminism perfectly addresses the inequities of human injustices caused by colonial, capitalist, and social oppression.

However, the ties that have boundand continue to bindthe movements throughout time are the power of women and femmes uniting. The power of women and femmes leading the fight for human rights is undefeatable. From the Underground Railroad to Stonewall, black women have been at the forefront of shaking the foundations of gender equity and pushing the expectations within broader conversations of what quantities as human rights toward true progress. The truth is whether you are black, white, AAPI, trans, disabled, an immigranthowever your fem presentation shows upwe are humans first. And that is the tie that binds us. That is the understanding we must all come to the table with.

Weve endured some rough, trying times, but the women united will never be divided. Women and femmes are so often the spines and hearts of their households and communities. They spend the most time with children, the literal future of our species. We must come together to define what compassion and care are for everyone to impart that unity upon our children. The United State of Women is a nation of compassionate, loving people. The United State of Women is a nation free of colonialism and patriarchy. The United State of Women is the only way forward.

Ebony Harper is a featured speaker at Galvanize California, hosted by the United State of Women at Sacramento State University Union on October 26, 2019 from 10AM-6PM. For tickets and more information, click the following link:

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Group masturbation – I masturbated with 20 other women –

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With a dollop of coconut oil and a soundtrack of steadily intensifying screams from the marketing executive to my right, I came. And climaxing in these conditions wasnt exactly easy. I was masturbating to an orchestra of orgasms from 20 other women, all draped in blankets, lying on the floor of a candlelit teepee. As the initial embarrassment wore off, I became competitive with those able to get off so quickly.

You see, we had found ourselves in this room not as exhibitionists, but to learn to harness our sexual energy and channel it towards achieving our personal goals. The hardest drug on offer was green tea, but for these women the concept of finding love, professional success or a duplex apartment with a partner in finance was stimulation enough. The rooms cacophony of moans rung in the verdict: sexual manifestation is in, even if the person youre having sex with is, well, yourself.

Seeing as sluttiness is on its way to being destigmatised, sexual experimentation is considered exciting, and sexual health is a brunch topic, it makes sense that sexual 'conscious-raising' has been re-embraced with gusto. The concept is simple: as the most powerful energy we possess, sexual expression can forge deeper connections and kickstart our personal evolution.

Which is how and why I found myself with a group of strangers, aged 25 to 65, found ourselves at The Goddess Institute. Created by relationship expert Shaunda Brown, it was a the three-day conscious sexuality camp in New York. And I was hoping I'd be served pussy power-reclamation on a platter. Which in all honesty, I desperately needed.

When I discovered the retreat, I'd just left a job I thought defined me, and a relationship I felt Id failed. It had become all-too clear that I was stuck. I wanted meaningful sex, professional clarity, and disentanglement from a clearly toxic relationship. But primarily, I wanted to deploy my sexual energy towards healing myself. Many of the other women were also experiencing the dissolution of long-term relationships. Others couldnt find the one, or just didnt enjoy sex.

"She began lightly stroking her clitoris to almost immediate orgasm"

So, ready or not, our sexuality was set for a high-intensity workout, with practical pleasure (literally) the peak of the training plan. In the teepee, we covered ourselves with blankets and arranged ourselves at various angles ready to begin.

Tension reached fever pitch when our tantra teachers legs opened to demonstrate her technique. Lying down on the mat, she began lightly stroking her clitoris to almost immediate orgasm. It was highly of intimidating. Her sensitivity, she explained, came from refusing to use anything but her fingers to get off (as she believes vibrators overstimulate the clitoris). Myself and some of the other youngest attendees descended into panic... we had never masturbated with our fingers.

Laying down, the performance anxiety I felt was palpable. Our instruction was to direct sex magic towards our desires, be they love, sex or career-related. We fell silent as several women inserted yoni eggs, the controversial sensual healing-stones that went viral via Gwenyth Paltrows goop, into their vaginas (I figured I was already far enough out on a limb, and respectfully declined). We giggled as natural lubricant was passed around, and Shaunda extended permission to us to begin touching ourselves.

I dutifully imitated the instructor: lightly brushing my clitoris to achieve optimum sensitivity before increasing speed and pressure, releasing any lasting inhibitions by falling into panting unison with the group of women I'd just met. Im still unclear on whether the orgasm I experienced was so intense because it was from my fingers, or because it was a group experience. Either way, the relief was on a par with completing a sky-dive (or so I imagine).

Sex therapist and tantric practitioner, Lauren Harkness, thinks it was orgasming in time with a group of women is what made the climax more intense. She says self-pleasure puts ownership of our sexuality back in our hands (which is especially important after unfulfilling sexual experiences or connections), and focusing not only our own sexual energy but that of others onto ourselves takes it to a whole new level.

"We have been conditioned to believe sex is an external experience"

We have four nerve pathways where sexual energy travels from our genitals to our brain that influences consciousness, Harkness explains. Leading people instead to feel tenderness or anger while stimulating their sexual energy helps transform any trauma. This is what brings personal and professional highs. And a whole room of women rooting for you to create the best life? It exponentially expands your ability to achieve it.

"I, and many women I know, had always been conditioned to believe sex is an external experience. [You] do it for the man. The truth is that our sexual expression empowers us to be more in tune to the bodys messages, opening us up to new opportunities and ultimately keeping us safer.

Ashley Armitage / Refinery29 for Getty Images

In the weeks following, the women and I continued to check in on each other. Our Whatsapp group chat became overrun with a flurry of job offers and great dates and bad ones during which we felt empowered enough to communicate dissatisfaction.

The progress wasnt instant, but almost overnight each of us noticed a shift in the direction of the desires we outlined in that teepee. I experienced a career high just two days after the trips conclusion, and within weeks definitively left my relationship in the past.

To get off alongside 20 strangers took a dismantling of sexual shame, but one-by-one, wed each had our own sex magic makeover. And if you can manifest your dreams while masturbating, just about anything is possible.

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Sitdown Sunday: ‘Did this happen? Or did I just have a really, really bad dream?’ –

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What Video, Artificial Intelligence And Automation Mean For The Future Of Recruiting – Forbes

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It is safe to say that technology is evolving and expanding at an exponential rate. This is what many are calling digital Darwinism, a time where technology and society are changing faster than most businesses can naturally adapt.

A 2018 report found that organizations that are highly invested in digital transformation are more profitable and possess higher market valuations than those that do not. As the founder and CEO of a platform for complete candidate skills and job fit assessment launched in 2003, I have witnessed the rapid evolution of the pre-hire process thanks to technology.

It is no surprise that recruiters need to adapt quickly to the ever-evolving environment around them in order to succeed in todays tidal wave of digital progress. While video interviews have been around for some time, recent advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are able to streamline and advance the hiring process even further, but not without introducing some newfound risks and pitfalls.

Automation And Artificial Intelligence

The advent of video calling as we know it, ushered in 10 years ago, provided recruiters the ability to interview candidates remotely. Since its emergence, it has been embraced by top organizations. Just like with most technologies, advancements have been made to video interviewing that can speed up the recruitment process and rely on less human power to operate. One-way video interviews, which firms like ours are increasingly making available, are a relatively new method in which candidates do not see the interviewer; instead, they simply record responses to preset questions at a time convenient for them.

Now, AI is emerging as the next potential digital revolution, automating the interview process even further. Unilever reportedly began using AI to detect facial expressions during video interviews in 2016. Candidates record their one-way video interview, and AI measures their facial expressions to assess personality traits, mood and even the honesty of their answers, vocabulary and question response speed. In April, IBM CEO Ginny Rometty announcedthat AI had replaced 30% of the company's HR staff. And although humans will always be needed in the HR field, IBM believes that eventually, machines will understand individuals better than the HR personnel.

As a word of caution, for both accuracy and legal compliance, it is still critical to make sure any AI used for scoring has scientific backing to prove that scoring correlates with job performance. Its an even better step to test the AI on your own employees to see if AI interview scoring correlates with performance within the most relevant population your actual staff.

Talent Is Everywhere

Whereas hiring was once limited geographically due to the high cost of flying in candidates for face-to-face interviews, today, candidates can be properly vetted no matter where they are located and in large numbers, thanks to the speed of automation and AI. This can increase the talent pool infinitely. Not only are companies able to recruit from locations they would not have previously, but they are able to do so faster and more efficiently than traditional interviewing processes would allow. The speed of analysis afforded by being able to review candidate interviews at any time and anywhere is revolutionizing the hiring process.

Improve The Candidate Experience

Jobseekers value video interviews, too: Nearly62% of candidates believe video technology gives them a competitive edge. Prioritizing the candidate experience is critical to attracting top talent in a tight labor market. The 2018 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report found that organizations that created a positive candidate experience were more likely to reduce their cost per hire and time to hire. Maintaining a competitive edge throughout the recruitment process is vital to cost-efficiently securing talent in a tight job market.

The Downside Of Dehumanizing The Process

Although job seekers do find value in video technology, some see this as yet another hurdle to jump over before ever have the opportunity to speak live with a person. This obstacle may prevent qualified candidates from moving on in the interview process, resulting in a smaller candidate pool. Others who proceed with the one-way interview may be uncomfortable speaking to a machine, ultimately negatively impacting their performance. Since candidates are not able to actually interact with a hiring manager, there is not a chance for either party to ask clarifying questions, leading to possible misinterpretations.

Given the risks of dehumanizing the interview process, it is important for recruiters to take steps to mitigate the negative impact by maintaining open communication throughout the process, following up quickly once candidates complete interviews and creating opportunities that encourage candidates to provide feedback.

The Risk Of Bias

Companies may be hesitant to utilize video interviews due to the ability to see the candidate in the early stages of the recruitment process, which could lead to unconscious or conscious bias. Therefore, recruiters must specifically define the relevant job competencies, behaviors and attributes that are required in each role. Candidates must be specifically rated against these requirements to prevent video interviews from being susceptible to bias.

The ability to monitor when recruiters end their viewing of individual video interviews will help to shed light on biases. For instance, if male video interviews are being watched to completion 85% of the time and female video interviews are being watched to completion only 46% of the time, it is possible to prove the recruiter is biased and needs to be retrained or replaced. Maintaining a data-driven approach in all aspects of recruiting is becoming more essential, and fortunately easier to monitor as technology continues to advance.

In an era of digital transformation, it is wise to heed the advice of Jack Welch: Change before you have to, and prepare your business for the future now.

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Zombieland: Why It Took 10 Years to Double Tap – Den of Geek US

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When Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick first started writing Zombieland (first as a TV pilot and then as a movie), they had no idea that their little zom-com would end up being the bleeding edge of an entirely new revival of interest in flesh-eating corpses. Sure, there had been movies like Shaun of the Dead and Zack Snyders Dawn of the Dead remake sprinkled throughout the 2000s, but the October 2009 release of Zombieland made ghouls somehow more mainstream and paved the way for them becoming pop culture staples with the arrival of The Walking Deadone year later.

A sequel to Zombieland seemed like a no-brainer (sorry). So why did it take 10 years to get Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) back on the screen in Zombieland: Double Tap?

That was the question we put to Reese and Wernick--who took some time between films to pen another little franchise known as Deadpool--when we recently sat down with them. We also spoke about how the sequel changed over the past decade, what its like to write for Harrelson, and whether they thought they could top the first movies classic scene with surprise guest Bill Murray.

read more:Zombieland: Double TapReview

Den of Geek: Let's just start off with the gestation of this, which has taken a while. How soon after the first one came out, did people start throwing the idea of a sequel around?

Paul Wernick: Right away.

Rhett Reese: A day.

Wernick: Zombieland came out in early October, and a week later we had booked Deadpool, GI Joe: Retaliation, and Zombieland 2. Zombieland 2 was the first script we started on of those three.

Reese: How outrageous is that it took six years to get Deadpool made from there. But it took 10 years to get Zombieland 2 made? We thought Deadpool was a long slog and this one turned out to be almost double.

How much of that initial idea or script has made it to where we are now?

Wernick: Some. I mean the themes and some scenes. The biggest issue, and the reason those early drafts didn't happen, was the aging of Little Rock. Little Rock was still a little girl in those drafts. She then grew up in the four or five years that followed. We were still trying to get the script right and [director Ruben Fleischer] was off making other movies, and the cast was blowing up and then as time passes you realize, well, this doesn't really work anymore.

Little Rock's now late teens and suddenly you're going, she's not a little girl. Now you start to have to think about...

Wernick: Leaving the nest.

Reese: Yeah, what's the next moment for her? Then we were on the Deadpool stuff, and Dave Callaham came on Zombieland 2, did a great job sort of re-conceiving the story around the hunt for Little Rock. Oren Uziel also did a very nice job. Two excellent writers. Then ultimately it still wasn't where people really wanted it to be exactly, where the actors really wanted it to be, even though it was very solid.

Then Paul and I came back and we worked on it for a couple more years, and in that time it really does evolve because now it's about a young 20-something woman who really is having a chance at a real relationship for the first time in her life. Her father figure's a little put off by that. You get to explore the passage of time. What does that mean for their relationships, for the evolution of zombies, for the evolution of the physical world around them? How much more has it decayed? So we all leaned into the passage of time at that point. But it was a long slog for sure.

Meanwhile, at the same time, Zombieland really kicked off a zombie revival, so to speak. Were you guys keeping an eye on all this stuff and saying, how do we differentiate our story?

Wernick: What's interesting is the movie's called Zombieland, but it's not really about zombies. It's about this family, this dysfunctional family that's having their ordinary issues that every other family has in this extraordinary world. So we appreciate the zombies, and they provide us the threat and the stakes, but ultimately it's about this family.

When you wrote the first one, I'm assuming that you didn't know who would play the roles?

Reese: We wrote it as a TV pilot. So we had no idea we'd be getting stars of this caliber to star. The benefit of the sequel, of course, is that now you know you've got these great people and you can write to their voices, write to their personalities, write to their strengths, and then add some new people to freshen it up and throw more energy into the system.

read more: The Top 32 Horror Comedies

Well, that was sort of my question. Now you know you've got Woody and his particular style and you've got Emma, and they're all very unique personalities. So you're writing more for them.

Wernick: I mean, it's such a gift to have the actor's voice in our head when we're writing and such talented actors who not only take what's on the page but elevate it and make us look good. So, yeah, these are characters that were born in our head, but then evolved as actors came on and made it their own. So yes, it's a real privilege to have their voice in our head as we're sitting down to write.

In the early drafts of the first movie, Tallahassee and Columbus were called Flagstaff and Albuquerque. Now you've reapplied those names to the characters played in the new film by Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch.

Reese: The first draft of the first movie took place in the Sonoran Desert, Arizona. When we got Atlanta as our shooting location, we thought, well, we can't use the Sonoran Desert. So now the whole movie has to be set in Texas. So suddenly we had to abandon the names of our characters and they all got different names, but even though Tallahassee and Albuquerque have a close affinity for some reason in the way they sound, we still had an affection for those original names.

We had written a character we called Alpha Tallahassee who was like the more alpha dog version of Tallahassee that he kind of butts heads with. Then someone thought, I don't know who it was, that had come up with the idea, well what if we did one for Columbus too? Then we thought, well, of course we have to use their old names. Albuquerque and Flagstaff is an homage to that earlier draft.

Wernick: So it's a little Easter egg.

Reese: A little bit, yeah. And then of course you go out looking for actors who can take the character and push it to 11, almost do a slight parody of what's come before them. Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch took on that challenge and did an awesome job.

read more:Deadpool 3 Waiting on Marvel Studios Green Light

When you're writing, are you conscious that stuff on the set is going to happen spontaneously and these guys are going to improv?

Reese: Depends on the actor, but yes.

Wernick: We've been blessed with amazing improv talents--Ryan Reynolds on Deadpool and obviously Jesse and Woody and Emma, and Abby and Thomas. It's great. The idea is as writers you want to give them a framework and lines obviously to say, but then once they say those lines, once we've got it on camera, it's like, let the genius flow.

Reese: But we're happy to take credit for it after the fact when they come up with great stuff.

Wernick: Exactly. Ruben is very collaborative and very open to new ideas. So to have the actors improv on set is a wonderful thing.

Reese: We came from an improv background. Our first collaboration was a show called The Joe Schmo Show on Spike TV, which was an improvisational comedy reality show. So we came to love improv from the very beginning. So we'd never seen it as a threat. We always see it as an amplification or an elevation of what's on the page. You've always got the lines as written and sometimes they work out the best. Then other times, there's something else somebody comes up with, some extra magic that makes them even better.

Was there talk of another celebrity appearance along the lines of the Bill Murray scene from the first movie?

Wernick: We had written a scene where it was Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Bill on a golf course and they were all trying to convince Bill to do the next Ghostbusters, and then the zombie outbreak hits and Bill is having to kill his buddies on the golf course. Joe Pesci is out there too, in front of them and playing slow.

Reese: I think at one point Dan Aykroyd gets his ankle wrapped up in the seatbelt of the golf cart maybe and is dragged into the lake. It was crazy. It was pretty funny. But then time intervened and there actually was anotherGhostbusters, and Bill was in it so the joke didn't work anymore and these things just come and go.

Wernick: But in terms of another celebrity cameo, Bill Murray kind of was the tip of the iceberg. How do you top that?

Reese: Luke and Thomas are sort of this movie's version of that, the characters that come in for a fun 10 minutes and then they're gone. We couldn't really top Bill Murray.

Zombieland: Double Tap is out in theaters Friday, Oct. 18.

Read and download theDen of Geek NYCC 2019 Special Edition Magazineright here!

Don Kaye is a Los Angeles-based entertainment journalist and associate editor of Den of Geek. Other current and past outlets include Syfy, United Stations Radio Networks, Fandango, MSN, and many more. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @donkaye

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Outdoors: Trapping is still popular in some parts of Pennsylvania – Sharonherald

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Some of Jolene Connellys best childhood memories involved time spent with her grandmother, who worked at a garment factory that dealt with furs.

I would sit on the steps in her attic and pore through boxes of fur swatches trying to identify the animals they came from, said the Selinsgrove (Snyder County) native.

Those moments helped spark her interest in trapping, becoming one of a growing trend of women participating in an activity that is shrouded in negative stigma involving animal welfare.

I am an animal lover, and I assure you that if I thought that trapping would put any animal under a large amount of stress, I would find it hard to participate, she said. Any time you see the number of trappers dwindle, you see more diseased animals with mange, distemper and other issues, along with more human-animal conflict. Trapping is a vital part of our conservation that helps animal populations stay healthy and happy.

An industry leader

The state of trapping across Pennsylvania is holding steady, despite a several-year low in fur prices, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission trapping biologist Matt Lovallo.

We have historically been one of the leading states with one of the oldest and most organized trapping associations out there, he said. Over the past 20 years while some states have struggled to maintain their ranks of trappers Pennsylvania has had a pretty steady increase.

Fur prices are influenced by international trends, according to Lovallo, who added that historically, the Asian market has been a major player for U.S. furs. But recent political shifts have impacted the trade market and ultimately the prices.

According to Barry Warner, public relations director for the Pennsylvania Trapping Association, there are 11 different trapping districts across the state, each holds its own series of specialized trainings and the participation in those sessions has been noticeably healthy.

One thing were seeing now are individuals that trapped in their younger years that had married and were forced to go to work their children are growing up and showing interest and they want their kids to have some of the same experiences.

A series of new trapping opportunities has helped keep interest up, according to Lovallo.

Many people who were involved in the trapping heydays of the 1970s and 80s may not find todays prices that appealing, but the Game Commission has done a great job of offering new opportunities in the state, thanks to the conservation efforts of trappers, he said. In 2000, we were able to offer the first bobcat trapping season. In 2005, cable traps were legalized and offers new opportunities. In 2016, we had our first controlled fisher trapping, and just this year we were able to add some opportunities for river otters.

Each time there is a new opportunity that our resources can sustain, we see an influx of new trappers, and they seem to stick around well afterward.

Welcoming community

Connelly started trapping when she had an abundance of predators on her property that was once great for rabbit hunting.

Pennsylvania has a lot to offer in terms of educating new trappers. I spoke to a local fur buyer, and he put me in touch with a local trapper and a few friends, and I paid for a private lesson, she said.

That led to her taking a cable restraint course through the Game Commission, and she got involved with the Pennsylvania Trappers Associations local trapper training school.

Everyone in furtaking seems to be willing to talk and give pointers or chat about what works for them, Connelly said.

Outside of learning the best way to set traps and harvest targeted species, Connelly has garnered a better appreciation for what trapping really is and the misconceptions surrounding it.

Most people are unfamiliar with trapping in general and when they picture trapping in their minds, they think of a cartoon-esque bear trap with large, pointed teeth, she said. However, trapping is a highly regulated activity. Many people dont realize the amount of research that goes into best management practices that make sure trappers are using the most humane traps.

There are many things trappers do in order to make an animals discomfort as minimal as possible, she added, such as using off-set jaws or adding extra swivels to their sets.

When I walk up to a set where I have successfully caught an animal, it is typically laying down or even asleep, she said.

Often after releasing a non-targeted animal yes, we can release animals from our traps unharmed it will hang around while you re-make the set before wandering off on its own accord.

Offsetting stigma

Educating the public is a key component in helping offset the stigma and myths surrounding the activity, according to Warner.

There are programs offered at fairs and other public events, and we have pamphlets available that explain how traps work and how humane they have become, thanks to a multi-million dollar effort across numerous states over the past 20 years to develop the best traps that are both effective and minimally invasive, he said. Pennsylvania laws are very stringent, and we emphasize the importance of ethical trapping.

Among the evolution of trapping best practices, Pennsylvania only allows body-gripping traps for beavers and can only be used in waterways not on land, according to Warner.

Foot-hold traps are regulated by size, and teeth have been outlawed for quite some time on traps used today.

There are even in-line shock springs that, when an animal in it moves, it reduces the shock on any lunging animal, he said. We use them to trap and transfer animals all the time.

There is no element of danger when properly using legal traps today.

The best way to fight the public stigma surrounding trapping, according to Lovallo, is for trappers to be mindful of how they carry themselves.

Be conscious of how you appear to the public in how you display your harvest, how you share photos on social media, and be sure to communicate the positive aspects of trapping, he advised.

Connelly agreed.

The best thing a trapper can do is uphold a positive image by educating themselves about regulations and how to best use trapping for conservation, she said. Dont be afraid to have respectful dialogue with someone about trapping. Every year, my boyfriend and I put on a trapping demo for our dog-training club in the event they encounter a trap with their pet.

The other aspect Connelly advises trappers to do is to be judicious when in the field.

Always be sure to follow regulations, check traps frequently, and avoid trapping along popular recreation areas, she said. One of the biggest challenges in trapping is being out there every day checking your traps. It doesnt matter if there is inclement weather or youre sick, you have to check your traps it is whats best for the animals, plus its the law.

Promising future

Connellys growth in the sport has placed her in an advisory role. She helps with trapper training and recently helped instruct young people in a hunter safety course at Kreamer Sportsman Club. One of the first rules of successful trapping, she admitted, is location, location, location.

You need to look for signs and know where the animals are by looking for tracks, scat or trails, she said.

Next, know what youre targeting and cater to that animal by using appropriately-sized traps and baits and lures that are specific to the animal.

It is also very helpful to find a trapping mentor.

Talk to everyone you can that traps. Go to conventions or sign up for a class, she said. Youll be surprised at how friendly and helpful everyone can be.

Trapping can be very challenging when you consider the bigger picture, Warner added.

The pan that activates the trap is about two square inches. Many of the animals we trap range about two square miles, he said. So basically, we are trying to get an animal covering two square miles to step on a pan that is two square inches. That takes education, experience and practice and a lot of patience.

An evolving mind-set has Lovallo extremely excited about the future of trapping:

Trappers are motivated by different things today than they were in the 1970s and 80s, he said. They arent doing it simply to get some sort of money for a pelt, but instead for the challenge of better understanding the animals, improving our conservation and re-connecting with nature with their families. With that focus, we will continue to see an increase of responsible, ethical trappers that will shatter old-fashioned stigmas and really make a difference in our state.

John Zaktansky is a writer for The Sunbury Daily Item, a CNHI sister paper of The Herald and The Allied News. He can be reached at

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