News Article | April 29, 2017
The next time you are on a train take a moment to look out of the window. As you trundle along the line consider all the other lines you can see – roads, canals, power lines; and (once you’re out of the city) hedges, ditches, dykes and drystone walls. It is one of the defining features of humanity that we love lines. So significant is our love that we have created a “linescape” out of the landscape. These lines bring with them both great benefits to the life with which we share the land and also considerable threat. The first lines we etched into the land were specifically to fragment it – to assert ownership or restrain livestock – but these have inadvertently become the agents of connectivity for wildlife. For instance, stoats make wonderful use of walls to weave their way through moorland. We are, rightly, concerned about loss of wildlife habitat. But there is less attention paid to the fragmentation of what remains. For example, recent research shows that we need at least 90 hectares (0.3 square miles) of undivided, good quality habitat to support a population of hedgehogs. Now try to find where these patches are in our suburbs and you will begin to understand why hedgehogs are declining so fast. We need to reclaim the lines that have sliced and diced our lives into such insularity. From the green lanes under threat of neglect to hedges that remain unlayed and unloved; from verges mown clear of vital flowers to railway lines that need to operate within a cordon sanitaire, there are lines that can help wildlife flourish. We just need to start treating ecology with the same degree of seriousness with which we treat the economy. There is a great risk, however, that in trying to tackle the obvious we exacerbate the bigger problem. For example, last week the Guardian’s Tim Dowling argued for great walls to be built alongside roads to reduce the death toll caused by our cars and lorries. Yes, roadkill is a vast problem – some 150,000 hedgehogs alone die every year on our roads – but to hermetically seal roads from wildlife will create absolute fragmentation of the landscape for all those not blessed with the power of flight. Already this is being done, to some extent, with the roll-out of concrete barriers down the central reservations of busy roads. Roads are such an obvious blight; they affect not just the terrestrial – birds, bugs and bats all suffer, so much so that it can be hard to see roads ever presenting an ecological good – but even they have potential. For instance, the dormice that live alongside the A36 in peace and with security, while their nests are shaken by the turbulence of passing articulated trucks, enjoy the absence of people and predators. Conservation charity Plantlife released a report extolling the virtues of the verge. In fact, the expanses of land alongside roads are home to more than 800 species of plant and can be, if managed sensitively, a refuge. Artist Edward Chell took note of this in his brilliant exhibition and book, Soft Estate, in which he argued that this landscape should be considered close to wilderness in that it remains unpeopled. In 2010, Professor Sir John Lawton published a report called Making Space for Nature. This significant document was one of the most powerful calls for a more ecologically literate approach to conservation. It was filled with an optimism that is left seeming a little naive in the face of seven years of anti-ecological politics. But it remains important. We need more space for nature, it needs to be of better quality – and it needs to be joined up. That is where our linescapes can come into their own. How do we start to rebuild and reconnect? There are examples of wonderful bridges, ecoducts, from around the world, where this issue is treated with more respect. And there are a few examples closer to home, such as the Devil’s Punchbowl in Surrey. After many years of campaigning by local people, plans to devastate the beauty of this natural amphitheatre, already compromised by the A3, were shelved and a tunnel built. This has re-consecrated a remarkable habitat. So a tunnel under Stonehenge might seem a great idea, but is fraught with difficulty and, if done as currently planned, will just further diminish this sacred land. There is hope, beyond Lawton’s wishes. And this comes in the shape of the Linear Infrastructure Network (LINet). This gathering of charities, businesses and government agencies has in mind a practical vision of a connected landscape. It calculates that the land associated with the 250,000 miles of public roads, the 10,000 miles of railways and 9,000 miles of energy networks totals 16,000 square miles. This is land that could, and I believe should, be managed with ecological good in mind. We can argue this through the cloudy lens of natural capital, the way in which accountants price and value nature with a crude currency. Or we could be bigger than that, recognise that the economy is but one small subset of the ecosystem and manage this land for the benefit of all the life that depends on a connected landscape. Because this is more than just nature at stake. We should reclaim the linescape of this country for us all. For what we see racing by through the train window is what keeps us alive.
News Article | December 26, 2016
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid wreaths at various cemeteries and memorials Monday ahead of a visit to the site of the 1941 bombing that plunged the United States into World War II. Abe landed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and then headed to National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, where he laid a wreath. He stood for a moment of silence at the cemetery near downtown Honolulu, which is known as Punchbowl. He later visited a nearby memorial for nine boys and men who died when a U.S. Navy submarine collided with their Japanese fishing vessel in 2001. At the Ehime Maru Memorial, he again laid a wreath and bowed his head. Abe finished his day with a reception dinner at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu where he spoke about his visit. On Tuesday, he'll be the first Japanese prime minister to visit the memorial that honors sailors and Marines killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japan's former leader Shigeru Yoshida went to Pearl Harbor six years after the country's World War II surrender, but that was before the USS Arizona Memorial was built. Yoshida arrived at Pearl Harbor in 1951, shortly after requesting a courtesy visit to the office of Adm. Arthur W.R. Radford, commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet. The office overlooked Pearl Harbor, offering a direct view of the attack site. Two other Japanese prime ministers have also visited Pearl Harbor. Ichiro Hatoyama spent time here in 1956 and Nobusuke Kishi in 1957. The Japanese government confirmed the visits by Hatoyama and Kishi this week after a Japanese language newspaper in Hawaii pointed them out. The memorial will be closed to the public Tuesday when Abe visits the historic site, joined by U.S. President Barack Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii with his family. The importance of the visit may be mostly symbolic for two countries that, in a remarkable transformation, have grown into close allies in the decades since they faced off in brutal conflict. At the same time, it's significant that it took more than 70 years for U.S.-Japanese relations to get to this point. Abe won't apologize for Japan's attack when he visits, a government spokesman said earlier this month. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that "the purpose of the upcoming visit is to pay respects for the war dead and not to offer an apology." The visit comes six months after Obama became the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima for victims of the U.S. atomic bombing of that city at the end of the same war. Pearl Harbor survivor Alfred Rodrigues said Monday he welcomes the visit by Japan's top leader to Hawaii. "I'm glad he's coming to show that we're all peaceful now and you know, we were doing what we were supposed to do and they were doing what they were supposed to do," he told The Associated Press. Remembering the day of the attack in 1941, Rodrigues said that he had just sat down to have breakfast when the alarm sounded and the word got out, 'Man your battle stations, this is not a drill,' he recalled. "We all ran out to the armory to get rifles and ammunition and we could see the planes up above with the red circles on the bottom. We knew it was the Japanese planes," Rodrigues said. Rodrigues says he doesn't think Abe should apologize. "War is war. I mean, they were doing what they were supposed to do and we were doing what we were supposed to do. I have no animosity at all towards them." Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report from Tokyo.
CONTINUUM Lifelong Learning in Neurology | Year: 2012
Purpose of Review: The purpose of this article is to describe the modern management of delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). SAH causes an inflammatory reaction to blood products in the basal cisterns of the brain, which may produce cerebral ischemia and strokes through progressive narrowing of the cerebral artery lumen. This process, known as cerebral vasospasm, is the most common cause of DCI after SAH. Untreated DCI may result in strokes, which account for a significant portion of the death and long-term disability after SAH.Recent Findings: A number of publications, including two recent consensus statements, have clarified many best practices for defining, diagnosing, monitoring, preventing, and treating DCI. DCI is best defined as new onset of focal or global neurologic deficits or strokes not attributable to another cause. In addition to the clinical examination, radiographic studies such as transcranial Doppler ultrasonography, CT angiography, and CT perfusion may have a role in determining which patients are at high risk for developing DCI. The mainstay of prevention and treatment of DCI is maintenance of euvolemia, which can be a difficult therapeutic target to measure. Hemodynamic augmentation with induced hypertension with or without inotropic support has become the first-line treatment of DCI. The ideal method of measuring hemodynamic values and volume status in patients with DCI remains elusive. In patients who do not adequately respond to or cannot tolerate hemodynamic augmentation, endovascular therapy (intraarterial vasodilators and balloon angioplasty) is a complementary strategy. Optimal triggers for escalation and de-escalation of therapies for DCI have not been well defined.Summary: Recent guidelines and consensus statements have clarified many aspects of prevention, monitoring, and treatment of DCI after SAH. Controversies continue regarding the optimal methods for measurement of volume status, the role of invasive neuromonitoring, and the targets for hemodynamic augmentation therapy. © 2012 American Academy of Neurology.
Faouzi M.,Punchbowl |
Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology | Year: 2014
TRPM2 is the second member of the transient receptor potential melastatinrelated (TRPM) family of cation channels. The protein is widely expressed including in the brain, immune system, endocrine cells, and endothelia. It embodies both ion channel functionality and enzymatic ADP-ribose (ADPr) hydrolase activity. TRPM2 is a Ca2+-permeable nonselective cation channel embedded in the plasma membrane and/or lysosomal compartments that is primarily activated in a synergistic fashion by intracellular ADP-ribose (ADPr) and Ca2+. It is also activated by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/NOS) and enhanced by additional factors, such as cyclic ADPr and NAADP, while inhibited by permeating protons (acidic pH) and adenosine monophosphate (AMP). Activation of TRPM2 leads to increases in intracellular Ca2+ levels, which can serve signaling roles in inflammatory and secretory cells through release of vesicular mediators (e.g., cytokines, neurotransmitters, insulin) and in extreme cases can induce apoptotic and necrotic cell death under oxidative stress. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014.
Critical Care Clinics | Year: 2014
Brain injury represents the major cause of long-term disability and mortality among patients resuscitated from cardiac arrest. Brain-directed therapies include maintenance of normal oxygenation, hemodynamic support to optimize cerebral perfusion, glycemic control, and targeted temperature management. Pertinent guidelines and recommendations are reviewed for brain-directed treatment. The latest clinical trial data regarding targeted temperature management are also reviewed. Contemporary prognostication among initially comatose cardiac arrest survivors uses a combination of clinical and electrophysiologic tests. The most recent guidelines for prognostication after cardiac arrest are reviewed. Ongoing research regarding the effects of induced hypothermia on prognostic algorithms is also reviewed. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
News Article | October 20, 2014
Party planning resource and digital invitations provider Punchbowl is coming out swinging against rival Evite today with a full-page ad in the L.A. Times designed to kick off a marketing campaign aimed at encouraging users to ditch the older service. The move comes at a time when Punchbowl has just snagged a large handful of new brand partnerships from major players, including Sesame Street, Sanrio (Hello Kitty), Hasbro (My Little Pony, Transformers), Star Wars Rebels, Chuck E. Cheese, and more, and has rolled out a redesigned website. The company had already swung an exclusive partnership with Disney at the beginning of the year – which yes, means that Punchbowl has the much sought-after “Frozen” invitations. But its new deals will also impact Punchbowl’s bottom line, as they are multi-year, revenue sharing arrangements that allow the site to offer some of the more popular kids’ character brands to the moms and dads planning their children’s parties and other events. Punchbowl doesn’t talk a lot about where it is, financially, as a private company. CEO Matt Douglas would say only that its user base is in the millions – though smaller than Evite’s – and that it’s in a position now to be profitable if it wanted to flip that proverbial switch. But Punchbowl is currently invested in growing the business, he notes, and it’s doing so without plans to raise any more cash from investors at this point. “Right now we’re in a period of expansion…from a fundraising and cash standpoint we’re in excellent shape,” he says. The CEO cites “very strong” growth that has been aided by the Disney deal, but also attributes much of what makes the business work to the sophisticated technology running on Punchbowl’s backend. The company engages in what’s known as multivariate testing, which is similar to A/B testing except it involves more experiments running simultaneously. Punchbowl may have up to eight different tests running on its site at any time, testing everything from different price points to different feature sets and consumer experiences. This is how the service is able to better monetize its new customers and party hosts, converting them into subscribers who pay either monthly or annually for access to more designs and features, like polling, recurring events, adding co-hosts, and a larger number of guests. Punchbowl also makes a portion of its revenue from the sales of party supplies, but the focus for the near future is on the invites side of its business. A “good chunk” of hosts become subscribers, Douglas says, declining to provide specific metrics, citing competitive reasons. Plus, the company has learned from its back-end analytics how to makeover the site for its relaunch today, he says. The new site is designed to work even better on a tablet or a smartphone. (The company also offers native apps, but many still come to Punchbowl via the web). “We’ve redesigned everything about the site,” says Douglas, “which is hard to do when you have a big, existing user base.” The updated website is menu-driven, allowing party planners to quickly drill down into the category of invitation they want and begin building – before they’re asked to create an account. “We’ve taken a 10-step process down to 3 steps,” Douglas explains. “In the past, we had a lot of party-planning features in the workflow. This time, we’ve focused just on the online invitations feature.” With the new partnerships now out in the open and the updated site going live, Douglas wants to establish Punchbowl as a legitimate – and known – rival to Evite, whose longtime web presence has made it a brand users remember and return to for their party planning needs. Change, of course, can be hard to affect. “It’s like AOL email and Internet Explorer 6 – who’s using this stuff anymore? It’s the same people who are using Evite,” jokes Douglas. That’s not necessarily true, though – I’ve received a couple of Evites in the past few weeks alone, and not necessarily from people who are behind the times. It’s just that the product works well enough, so people return. That means Punchbowl has its work cut out for it in this marketing blitz, but scoring the new brand deals will help. After all, Chuck E. Cheese alone has 575 locations across the U.S. where parents regularly host kids’ birthdays – and that business is now advertising for Punchbowl on the Chuck E. Cheese party-planning website.
News Article | February 5, 2014
It’s nice to connect the dots and spot important trends in the tech industry. Sometimes you only need one dot, though. In this case, it’s a company called Punchbowl. Founded in 2006, the Framingham, MA-based consumer software firm is surfacing with a couple bits of news today. One is that it has formed an exclusive partnership with Disney. The second is that it’s rolling out a user interface specifically designed for smartphones and tablets. Without even saying what Punchbowl does yet (hang on a minute), these are significant developments. A big-company partnership can be gold for a startup. And the focus on mobile devices and tablets reflects what we’re seeing across industries in the post-PC era: more and more is being done on touchscreens. Punchbowl makes software for planning parties and sending digital greeting cards. The company has added an e-commerce component in the past couple of years, whereby customers can buy party supplies and decorations. Punchbowl has a pretty strong user base, but it’s still a small company. The Disney partnership is the kind of thing it lives for. Punchbowl will be the exclusive provider of digital party invitations that feature Disney characters—Mickey Mouse, muppets, “Toy Story” characters (see image), and so on. “It’s an important moment in the company’s history,” CEO and co-founder Matt Douglas says. “These partnerships don’t come around every day.” Indeed they don’t; this one has been in the works for a couple of years. Douglas says it started, like they usually do, “with me and a guy at Disney” talking about “could we do this?” The deal had to go through multiple revisions and approvals—pretty standard for a 100,000-person company like Disney—and in the end the terms aren’t public. But suffice to say Disney could make a nice distribution channel for Punchbowl. And there will be revenue sharing to come, as Disney will tie the digital invitations and greeting cards to relevant merchandise on its site—think “Little Mermaid” costumes and “Cars” memorabilia. Meanwhile, on the mobile-device front, Punchbowl has worked to overhaul its user experience for phones and tablets. The percentage of people using the software on such devices has risen from single digits four years ago to around 30 percent now, Douglas says. Users could pinch and zoom on Punchbowl before, but it wasn’t really optimized for touchscreens. Now it is. “It’s all about the details,” he says. Douglas has a pet peeve too. The way users do things like view invitations, RSVP, and look at maps can be very different on a phone as compared to a tablet. And in general, use cases depend a lot on screen size. Yet people often use “mobile” to refer to both types of devices. Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @gthuang
News Article | April 21, 2015
Severe weather along Australia's New South Wales coast has seen power failures hit telecommunications services in areas as far afield as Taree, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, and Nowra. "Severe storms in NSW overnight have resulted in widespread power outages, which have significantly impacted Telstra services across the Sydney, Hunter, and Illawarra regions," a spokesperson for Telstra told ZDNet in a statement on Tuesday. "Currently, more than 17,000 fixed-line services, more than 13,000 ADSL services, a number of 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile sites, as well as BigPond cable and Foxtel services are off the air. "Our restoration teams are working as quickly as possible to deploy backup generators and emergency battery equipment. As soon as we have more information, we will provide a further update. In the meantime, we thank customers for their patience and understanding," said Telstra. Fellow telco Vodafone Australia said that the severe weather had impacted a number of its sites along the NSW east coast, with some customers unable to access voice, text or data services. "We are working to restore services as soon as possible," a Vodafone spokesperson said. Meanwhile, Australia's second-largest telco Optus said that power outages resulting from storm damage had been causing disruptions to its mobile and fixed-line networks. "There are disruptions to mobile voice and data services in the Western Sydney suburbs of Bankstown and Punchbowl, as well as the Central Coast and Hunter Valley," a spokesperson told ZDNet in a statement. "Power failures are also causing disruptions to some broadband internet and landline phone services across some parts of Sydney's Northern Beaches. "Where possible, we have deployed backup generators and are working with local power authorities to restore power as quickly as possible," said Optus. "We apologise for the disruptions to our customers and appreciate their understanding." The severe weather has reportedly resulted in the deaths of at least three people trapped in their homes amid rising flood waters in the inland town of Dungog, and has seen more than 100 schools closed across the state. Heavy rain and winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour have reportedly seen power cut to more than 200,000 properties across the state.
News Article | June 28, 2015
Last night, on a beautiful evening in Cambridge, we hosted our second Tech Cocktail Sessions event in the Boston area. The theme of the evening was “Relationships Matter” and each speaker shared experiences and advice on how to leverage the power of your network to build a business. On hand for the event was C. Todd Lombardo who created sketch notes from the sessions. Lombardo was kind enough to share them with us (below) so we were excited to publish them for you to see. We heard from Laura Fitton, who you may know from her Twitter fame as @pistachio, or as the author of Twitter for Dummies. She shared her story of founding oneforty.com, a Twitter application directory which was eventually acquired by Hubspot (where she is currently doing inbound marketing evangelism), and how building an amazing network first, before she needed anything, helped her in numerous ways down the road. We were also joined by Matt Douglas the Co-Founder and CEO of Punchbowl. Douglas has been at it since 2006 and shared a number of tips and tricks that have helped him as he raised three rounds of funding and grew his company. Matt had the audience completely engaged as he talked about the importance of connecting as human beings, not businesses. Join us for our next event in Boston July 17th (register here) and if you are a startup looking for exposure apply to participate in the startup showcase (deadline to apply is July 2nd). If you are not a startup but are part of a company looking to connect with a tech savvy, early adopter, entrepreneurial audience, there are a still sponsorship opportunities available.
News Article | November 15, 2016
Punchbowl®, the gold standard in online invitations, today unveiled a state-of-the-art iOS App for iPhone and iPad — an innovative platform for creating, sending, and managing digital party invitations. The company also launched a pledge campaign to raise awareness about the environmental impact of paper invitations and cards sent during the holiday season. “Literally billions of paper invites and cards are sent and discarded during the holiday season, and the impact this tradition has on our planet is staggering,” said Matt Douglas, CEO, Punchbowl, Inc. “Our platform makes it possible to send digital party invitations and cards that are memorable and personal, and do not contribute to this cycle of waste.” The new iOS app from Punchbowl, created by the team that won the prestigious MITX award for user interface design, is packed with thousands of beautiful, free online invitation designs and powerful features to make planning easier for busy holiday party hosts. Highlights of the app include: “I like to send digital invites because they have a positive effect on the environment,” said Susi Ecker, Punchbowl user. “They are quick and easy, with no envelopes to lick or stamps to stick on. The response from the recipients is always so positive as well.” Today, the company also launched a pledge campaign for the holiday season. This year, Punchbowl will donate $1 for every paid membership sold to help eliminate unnecessary paper production and waste. The company will make an additional donation when consumers select a design from a special collection of hand-picked designs. The money will be donated to Punchbowl.org Environmental Fund, Inc., an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that launched earlier this year. To experience the new iOS app from Punchbowl, download it for free from the App Store. About Punchbowl, Inc. Punchbowl is the company behind the critically acclaimed website Punchbowl.com, the new gold standard in online invitations. The site includes the ‘Characters Kids Love’ online invitation collection, which features iconic, beloved characters and the Handmade Art Collection that features gorgeous invitations handmade with paint, chalk, collage, pen, pencil, and calligraphy. More than 120 million online invitations and digital greeting cards have been sent from Punchbowl. The company was founded by technology entrepreneur Matt Douglas, is located in Framingham, MA, and is backed by Intel Capital and Contour Venture Partners. To learn more, visit https://www.punchbowl.com/company