Rain postpones Xfinity Series’ return at Darlington Raceway

first_imgRainy weather led to the postponement of Tuesday night’s race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Darlington Raceway.The Toyota 200 was scheduled for a 6 p.m. ET start, a time moved up Monday by two hours because of the threat of inclement weather. Persistent rain forced the 147-lap event to move to Thursday at noon ET (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM).RELATED: Starting lineup | Recapping the 2020 Xfinity races | Xfinity previewThe race is the Xfinity Series’ first event since March 7. All of the circuit’s races since mid-March were placed on hold by the outbreak of COVID-19. The Darlington event and subsequent races in May and June are scheduled to be held without fans in attendance and without practice or qualifying.NASCAR officials had 10 Air Titans to lead the track-drying delegation at the 1.366-mile oval, but persistent storms made it impossible to race.When the race does get going, Noah Gragson — winner of the Xfinity season opener at Daytona in February — will start from the No. 1 spot after a structured draw for starting positions. He’ll line up alongside JR Motorsports teammate Michael Annett on the front row. Points leader Harrison Burton starts 12th.last_img read more

Studies explore asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, racial inequities

first_imgToday, PLOS Medicine published two large COVID-19 studies, one a meta-analysis of 79 international studies showing that most infected patients eventually have symptoms, and the other a study of 5.8 million US Department of Veterans Affairs patients revealing that blacks and Hispanics were more likely to be infected—but not to die within 30 days—than whites.Small proportion of asymptomatic patientsThe first study, by researchers at the University of Bern in Switzerland, consisted of a systematic review and meta-analysis of COVID-19 literature from March to June and an analysis of 79 studies involving 6,616 people in 19 countries or territories, of whom 1,287 were classified as asymptomatic.The investigators found that only 20% of coronavirus patients reported no symptoms at follow-up, and these patients appeared less likely than those with symptoms to infect others (relative risk, 0.35). Modeling studies that were included suggested that people with presymptomatic infections were more infectious than those with no symptoms.The reasons some COVID-19 patients have severe illness, including viral pneumonia and respiratory distress, and some die—while others have only mild or asymptomatic illnesses—are unknown.The authors said that accurate estimates of asymptomatic and presymptomatic infections of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are important for understanding virus transmission and developing effective public health strategies. They called for prospective longitudinal studies that document symptoms, as well as improved accuracy of antibody tests to reduce the proportion of false-negative results.The finding that about 80% of COVID-19 patients eventually have symptoms suggests that presymptomatic transmission likely contributes substantially to outbreaks of the disease, the researchers said.”The findings of this systematic review of publications early in the pandemic suggests that most SARS-CoV-2 infections are not asymptomatic throughout the course of infection,” the authors said in a PLOS news release. “The contribution of presymptomatic and asymptomatic infections to overall SARS-CoV-2 transmission means that combination prevention measures, with enhanced hand and respiratory hygiene, testing and tracing, and isolation strategies and social distancing, will continue to be needed.”Racial differences in testing, positivityThe second study, conducted using Veterans Affairs electronic medical records from Feb 8 to Jul 22, showed that white patients made up 65% of the 254,595 patients tested for COVID-19, compared with black (26%) and Hispanic patients (9%). Of all patients tested, 73% were tested once, 16% were tested twice, 6% were tested three times, and 5% received at least four tests.After including only one test per patient, testing rates were higher in black patients (6%) and Hispanic patients (5.3%) than in whites (3.9%). Rates of testing differed by age, sex, rural vs urban residence, region, and outbreak pattern.Of the 16,317 patients who tested positive for the coronavirus, 44% were white, 40% were black, and 16% were Hispanic. Fully adjusted models showed that black and Hispanic patients, respectively, were 1.9 and 1.8 times more likely than whites to test positive. Hispanic patients were more likely than whites to test positive for COVID-19, regardless of region, date, and outbreak pattern.Of the 8,625 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 by Jun 21, 457 white patients (49%), 392 black patients (42%), and 82 Hispanic patients (9%) died. However, after adjusting for age in black and Hispanic patients, 30-day death rates did not differ by race nor ethnicity.Racial health disparities were wider in the Midwest (odds ratio [OR], 2.7) than in the West (OR, 1.2), perhaps due to less racial community integration in the Midwest, the authors surmised. The inequities were also strongest in facilities that experienced early or resurgent outbreaks and decreased slightly during the study, which the investigators said could have been caused by increased media attention to COVID-19 racial disparities.About 66% of all patients lived in urban areas, but 76% of those tested and 87% of those who tested positive lived in urban areas. Of all the variables studied, age, rural versus urban residence, and site of care explained more of the racial health disparities than underlying conditions, substance abuse, or medications. The study population consisted of mostly men (91%), 74% whites, 19% blacks, and 7% Hispanics.  “In this nationwide study, we found that Black and Hispanic individuals are experiencing an excess burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection not entirely explained by underlying medical conditions or where they live or receive care,” the authors wrote. “There is an urgent need to proactively tailor strategies to contain and prevent further outbreaks in racial and ethnic minority communities.”Lead author Christopher Rentsch, PhD, MPH, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said in a PLOS news release that understanding the drivers of racial health disparities is critical to designing effective interventions to address them.”Going forward, we are exploring whether racial and ethnic disparities exist at other key stages in the clinical course of COVID-19, from hospitalization to intubation,” Rentsch said. “We appeal to other researchers who have the necessary testing data to investigate disparities in testing and testing positive. This will provide essential information to design effective interventions.”last_img read more

Remote firm wooing City lawyers vows to donate profits to charity

first_imgLindsay HealyAria Grace Law, founded by former Norton Rose Fulbright lawyer Lindsay Healy, works on a model whereby each partner of the firm retains 90% of their fees.Typically, in the two years since the firm was founded, all other profits have been split between the partners once expenses are removed. Now the business has pledged instead to divert the money to a nominated charity as of this month, with Great Ormond Street in line to receive £200,000 in the current year.Healy said he did not need to sell the idea to the firm’s 37 lawyers when he first asked about it, and they were happy to find a way to give back to society.Healy, who is paid in the same way as every other lawyer at the firm, said: ‘Our model, when you boil it right down, is to spread wealth, with clients, lawyers and society as one ecosystem. We want to get away from the typical law firm triangle where the people at the top make the money and the people at the bottom do the work.‘We believe there is a better way, and through working together and sharing more, we are creating more.’The firm is run along similar lines to other virtual firms, where lawyers are enticed from traditional practices to work from home or from their own office, but says its partners retain a greater percentage of the fees than anywhere else.Recent recruits include former Allen & Overy lawyer and general counsel Melissa Mape, SME Alliance co-founder Nick Gould – a partner from Ince and latterly gunnercooke, and former Baker McKenzie banking lawyer Beata Dunn. The firm has received more than 100 applications to join since lockdown began and has recruited five individuals this month already.The firm is keen to push its other altruistic credentials: it plants a tree for every transaction completed and encourages lawyers to work pro bono – including advising sub-postmasters in appealing their convictions as part of the Post Office scandal.Other firms are likely to crop up in the coming years, taking advantage of lawyers’ new-found appreciation of home working and desire to leave the confines of the office.Healy says he would welcome the competition, adding: ‘My ambition for Aria Grace Law is that other people copy our model. You need to give more freedom to your lawyers and consider properly the health of the individuals working within the organisation. Clients want people who are happy and healthy and who have not been working 15 hours a day and are worn through. Those days are now gone and people have woken up to that.’ City lawyers who have decamped to a remote working firm have agreed they will forego all surplus profits and instead donate them to charity.last_img read more

Things to Do

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event “Chasing Open Spaces,” an exhibit of oil paintings documenting natural spaces in and surrounding the Santa Clarita Valley, will be on display through Sunday at the Canyon Theatre Guild, 24242 San Fernando Road, Newhall. Call Laura Wambsgans at (661) 259-0696. Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival will feature live music, poetry and cowboy cuisine, today and Sunday at Melody Ranch and other venues across the city. Call (800) 305-9755 or visit www.cowboyfestival.org for tickets. Women Artists of the West fifth annual art exhibit and sale, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. today and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday in Hart Hall at William S. Hart Park, 24151 San Fernando Road, Newhall. Contact Kendra Page at [email protected] “As He Lay” will be presented, 8 p.m. today at the Little Theater at California State University, Northridge. Tickets: $35 for today and $70 for Saturday, which includes a post-show reception. Proceeds benefit the Valley Trauma Center, a sexual assault services agency that serves the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys. Call Sheri Strahl at (818) 756-5330.last_img read more

The Last Taboo: Job Searching in the Digital Age

first_imgThe internet has revolutionized the job search, but it hasn’t really changed job seekers’ attitudes about privacy. People share many details of their lives on social media, but looking for a job remains intensely personal. In an age of oversharing, job searching could be described as the last taboo of the digital age.According to research by Indeed, two thirds of job seekers (65 percent) worry that their job search will become public. Indeed’s recent study, Privacy of Job Search, surveyed 10,000 job seekers in nine countries.A quarter of job seekers (24 percent) rank their job search as a topic they are least likely to share online. Only personal finances were equally off-limits. Just over half (52 percent) say their biggest concern was work colleagues finding out, far outweighing the fear of not getting a position (29 percent).Fear breeds extreme secrecy among job applicants: half don’t tell their significant other they are looking for a job. This secrecy triggers strong emotions. Two-thirds (64 percent) say they feel anxious when searching for a new job and a third even feel they are leading a double life.While most people are happy to share the good news when they land a new job, most prefer to keep their job-seeking journey secret. This has a practical side. Few would want their current employer to know they are looking.It is crucial that the recruitment industry understands and delivers to this human side of hiring. Here’s how to give job seekers what they want – a simple, fast and private experience:Have a privacy policy – Be careful with personal information. For example, anonymize candidates’ personal details, conceal names and emails (unless outreach occurs) and don’t share details.  Put yourself in the job seeker’s shoes – Be aware of the time demands of a job search. Try to avoid calling candidates back for multiple interviews, as it may put them in an awkward position with a current employer. If necessary, do all interviews on the same day. Give candidates a good experience, even if you don’t end up hiring them.School hiring managers in discretion – It’s a small world. Candidates may know others interviewing at your company. Respect their fear that word of their search could get back to their employer. Always respect confidentiality.last_img read more

Colorado ~ Sales and Use Tax: Tax Simplification Task Force Created

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportA Colorado Sales and Use Tax Simplification Task Force has been created to study the necessary components of a simplified sales and use tax system for both the state and local governments, including home rule municipalities and counties. The stated goals of the task force are to find innovative revenue-neutral solutions that do not require constitutional amendments or voter approval. The task force is scheduled to expire on July 1, 2020.H.B. 1216, Laws 2017, effective June 5, 2017last_img read more

Through the Digital Wormhole: Creating Virtual Value

first_imgHow do you create new value? Is it possible to push your physical products through what I call “the digital wormhole” to create virtual components of value for your products? A look at the evolution of the way people enjoy music suggests that the answer is ‘yes’. Twenty-five years ago, people listened to records on turntables, a very analog and physical process. Then, in the ‘80s and ‘90s, they moved to CDs and CD players—a digital process, but still mostly a physical reality. Now, people listen to online audio with services such as Spotify* that give them access to millions of tracks, allow browsing, social network interaction and offer recommendations based on listening habits. Much of the value that these services provide is created in the digital domain—it’s a virtual value. When creating new products, designers should ask themselves up front: how much of this product’s value will be physical, and how much will be digital?For example, an invisible, conductive ink called T+Ink* that can be read with a capacitive touchscreen, is making it possible to think about linking products to digital content by simply touching the products to a screen. Over time, you could add digital value to physical products just by linking them through that interface.As discussed in my previous blog, making things smart has the potential to add lots of value. The question is—how do you do it? Today, designing and building smart objects is still harder than it needs to be, but it’s going to get exponentially easier and become more and more attractive to designers as computing continues to shrink and drop in price, and as design tools become more sophisticated. One of the ways this will happen is with easy-to-use building blocks such as the Intel® Edison compute module, a computer on a tiny board that has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and connects to the cloud. Or the button-sized Intel Curie platform1 that makes it easy to add smart wearable capability to garments and other items. These types of platforms enable product designers to start incorporating ‘smart’ tech into their products without having to staff up with a small army of hardware and software engineers.Smart Technology: Retail ApplicationsWhat other types of retail applications might benefit from the use of smart technology? Think about smart infrastructure—store shelves that understand not only what product is being set upon them, but also who is standing in front of them; shelves that  help retailers understand more about shopper behavior, that offer more information to shoppers and that even start to broker the conversation between product manufacturers and shoppers. This type of information exchange will be a boon to manufacturers and retailers, as will the ability to do dynamic pricing at the shelf.Putting smart technology into the physical space of retail has the potential to make an enormous difference. But even more dramatic are the changes likely to result as, in the next five to eight years, computers are able to see, hear and understand more of the world around them. This trend toward closing the gap between the digital and physical worlds has been occurring for twenty-five years or more, but now it’s beginning to yield some very interesting possibilities for retail.Visual recognition technology will free robots to coexist safely among us—a trend that’s already started. No longer trapped in cages because of their inability to see (which makes them hazardous to human safety), customer service and inventory robots are at work in trials at California retail stores.Drone technology, for use in warehouses and in making deliveries, is attracting interest from a number of companies with a desire to smooth operations and deliver products not just the same day, but the next hour.Digital value will also be created in retail via augmented and mixed reality that overlays a digital layer on the physical world. Shoppers will be able to more easily imagine, for example, how a new kitchen will look in their homes or how clothing will look on them using such technology.Technology is advancing in ways that offer enormous opportunities for solving business problems in retail. For further discussion on how it’s being deployed to optimize for specific outcomes, check back in this space in the weeks to come.Steve BrownSenior Industry Advisor, Retail and HospitalityIntel Corporation1 This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.Curie, Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.© 2016 Intel Corporationlast_img read more

What Does Kevin Durants Injury Mean For The Warriors

FiveThirtyEight Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. This week’s show was taped live at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston. On this episode (Mar. 8, 2017), we talk to Baltimore Raven John Urschel, who is pursuing his Ph.D. in mathematics at MIT during the offseason. Next, we break down what Kevin Durant’s injury means for the Warriors’s postseason prospects. Finally, we investigate some interesting NHL trades and ponder the merits of building a hockey super team. Plus, we turn our regular significant digit segment into a quiz!Links to what we discussed:John Urschel explained his decision to head back to school for The Players’ Tribune last year.Urschel was recently named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list.FiveThirtyEight’s Kyle Wagner wrote about why Kevin Durant’s injury showed how much the Warriors needed him.The Kevin Shattenkirk trade was a no-brainer for the Capitals, notes The Washington Post’s Steve Allen.Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky says that the Ben Bishop trade was startlingly smart. read more