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Canada’s Global Terror Ranking 9th Place after Quebec Mosque shooting

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Canada was pushed up 9 places in a global terror ranking after Quebec mosque shooting: report - National

It took one dangerous act to elevate Canada 9 locations in a worldwide terrorism position of 163 nations in a record covering 2017 cases.

The Worldwide Terrorism Index 2018, launched on Wednesday, placed Canada 57 th, as well as a lot of it pertained to the 6 individuals that were eliminated in a mass capturing at a Quebec City mosque in January 2017.

The record was generated by the Institute for Business Economics as well as Tranquility, a brain trust that functions to “create metrics to assess tranquility as well as to evaluate its financial worth.”

The institute acquired outcomes based upon information from the Worldwide Terrorism Data Source (GTD), which is accumulated by individuals at the National Consortium for the Research Study of Terrorism as well as Feedbacks to Terrorism (BEGINNING) as well as the College of Maryland.

Index ratings were produced by considering 4 consider a provided year: the variety of fear cases, the variety of fatalities brought on by terrorists, the variety of terror-caused injuries as well as the quantity of residential property damages from fear cases.

Those elements were after that considered with ratings in between no as well as 3 as well as a five-year heavy standard was put on them to reveal the “hidden mental impact of terrorist acts with time.”

Fatalities were considered greater than various other elements.

Canada signed up a general rating of 3.527– a decrease of 0.528 from 2016, as well as of 2.387 from its rating in 2002.

The record kept in mind that Canada had 6 terror-related fatalities in 2017, which every one of them can be found in the Quebec City mosque capturing by a shooter referred to as a “conservative extremist.”

Nonetheless, this characterization has actually been tested by a minimum of one psychological professional.

The shooter was Alexandre Bissonnette, a Quebec City guy that begged guilty in March to 6 matters of first-degree murder as well as 6 added matters of tried murder.

Bissonnette would certainly create self-destructive ideas that advanced right into the suggestion of devoting a mass capturing– a suggestion he came to be consumed with.

He additionally began reviewing problems such as Islamist terrorism as well as migration, persuading himself that if he fired individuals at a mosque, he might be shielding his household from terrorist strikes.

Bissonnette’s standing as a terrorist has actually been wondered about– a psychoanalyst indicating for the Crown suggested at a sentencing hearing that Bissonnette is not a terrorist due to the fact that he really did not adhere to a certain belief.(******** )

” The criminal offense was as well egotistical to be a terrorist act,” Gilles Chamberland claimed.

Bissonnette, he claimed, was looking for popularity as well as power for racist ideas.

” Was this racist? Completely racist, also if[Bissonnette] does not see it. … It’s clear this was based upon something entirely incorrect.”

Reactionary extremism

(******* )However, the record reveals reactionary extremism expanding all over the world, also as overall terrorist cases decrease.

Terrorism-related fatalities went down for the 3rd straight year after they came to a head in 2014, the record claimed, with overall fatalities( 18, 814) dropping by27 percent year over year.

Fatalities dropped outermost in Iraq, where they went down from 9,783 to 4,271, for a decrease of56 percent.

At the same time, overall fatalities from terrorism throughout Europe dropped by75 percent, with” considerable drops “taped in Belgium, France as well as Germany.

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High school soccer notebook: Plymouth North girls off to fast start

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High school soccer notebook: Plymouth North girls off to fast start

In one of the toughest divisions in the state, the Plymouth North girls soccer team has largely performed in the shadows of more prominent programs over the years.

But this fall, the Blue Eagles are earning respect every day. Plymouth North started the year 7-0, outscoring opponents 35-2.

“I like being the underdog, but I don’t know if that is our role this year,” said coach Eric Foley, a veteran of two stints with the Blue Eagles.

Plymouth North graduated more than half of its starting lineup from a team that finished fourth in the brutal Patriot League Keenan Division but seemed to be peaking late, losing in overtime to perennial power Whitman-Hanson in the semifinals of the Patriot Cup.

But behind a talented senior class that includes a pair of Division I commits and a quickly developing group of youngsters, the Blue Eagles have taken a big leap forward and are starting to turn some heads, especially after a redemption 3-1 win in the third game of the season against Whitman-Hanson.

“Being able to finally beat them at our home place was cool and special,” said senior captain Megan Banzi. “We have always been a team that has never been up there, but we have stepped it up and now we are one of the top teams. It’s been such a fun ride. We are so close with each other, like a family. It’s just been a heck of a start and we hope to continue it.”

Banzi is half of a pair of four-year starters who are the catalysts, along with fellow senior captain Carly Schofield. Banzi is headed to play at UMass Lowell, while Schoefield is bound for Central Connecticut State.

An elite three-sport athlete on the South Shore as a Patriot League All-Star in soccer, basketball and softball, Banzi spent her first three seasons in the back, tasked with shutting down the league’s most dangerous players, but has shifted to a more offensive role this year and thrived.

“This season, I feel like I am more free and I can attack more, which I think has definitely changed my game and my perspective on how I play,” said Banzi. “I love attacking, but when (Foley) needs me to come back and help out on defense, I’m always willing to do that.”

Meanwhile, Schofield is leading the Blue Eagles in scoring for the third consecutive season as their sniper up front, off to a torrid start having already registered 16 goals. In Plymouth North’s most recent win, a 3-0 victory at Scituate, all three senior captains scored as Kathryn Tocci joined Banzi and Schofield in finding the net.

That firepower is complemented by two more seniors and three-year starters holding it down in their own end of the field in defensive anchor Erin Richards and goalie Kylee Carafoli, who has five shutouts this season, giving Foley a wealth of experience down the middle of the field.

Seniors may form the nucleus, but Foley believes that the supporting cast, many of whom have taken on increased responsibility this season and have allowed him to be comfortable going 18 deep, have been critical to the team’s scorching start.

“I expected us to be competitive and some of the young kids have really responded,” said Foley.  “We have competition in the group, which is making every one of the kids work hard and rise to the occasion.”

This year’s success may seem surprising, but it didn’t come out of nowhere. Plymouth North went 13-5-2 in 2019, snapping a four-year tournament drought and winning their first postseason game since 2013 before falling to eventual Div. 1 state champion Bishop Feehan.

Last fall, the Blue Eagles dealt Patriot Cup champion Hingham its only loss of the season, the other traditional titan of the Keenan along with Whitman-Hanson. Foley is hoping that it’s those types of wins that convince his squad just how high their ceiling really is.

“I think it’s all kind of contributed to where we are now,” said Foley. “I think it shows the players what they are capable of. The kids are starting to believe in each other and themselves, and that’s the most important thing. What I think they can do versus what they think they can do are two different things.”

And those two things appear to be converging.

“Our first goal is to have fun but our second is to win the league,” said Banzi. “We have that goal every season but we always fall short. But this season, we are confident and we are strong and willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.”

Geography lessons

What type of an effect will the new statewide tournament format have on this fall’s postseason? When it comes to soccer, probably a significant one.

The last time that MIAA soccer tournaments were held in 2019, Eastern Mass. teams won just one of the six titles awarded in the divisions that encompassed the entire state — 1, 3 and 4 — with the Bishop Feehan girls taking home the lone EMass crown in Div. 1.

While those Central and Western Mass. squads that hoisted trophies two years ago certainly earned their championships by beating the best that EMass had to offer, many have opined that both the fewer amount of teams and depth of talent in those brackets gave those on the other side of 495 an inherent advantage, not just in soccer but across all sports.

That was certainly the case in 2019 for soccer as in five of the six championship games, CMass or WMass teams played one or even two less contests to get to the final than their EMass counterparts, and arguably less stressful ones, one of the main issues that the tournament overhaul was designed to fix.

Maybe the same champions would have emerged in the new system, but with EMass programs historically more conditioned to navigate the type of gauntlet this year’s postseason is sure to be, it will be interesting to see where on the map the hardware ends up this fall.

The first statewide rankings are scheduled to be released this week.

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Yes, U.S. 52 north at Lafayette Bridge is always a mess. MnDOT has a plan.

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Yes, U.S. 52 north at Lafayette Bridge is always a mess. MnDOT has a plan.

As pretty much everyone who regularly drives U.S. 52 north over the Lafayette Bridge into St. Paul knows, it’s a mess. And a dangerous one at times.

After years of complaints from drivers and some local officials that began soon after the current bridge opened in 2015, the Minnesota Department of Transportation agrees it’s a problem that needs fixing and has a three-stage plan already underway to address the problems and, eventually, perhaps fix it for good.

Last year, the agency installed additional signs and markings along the roadway.

This fall, work will begin to add a large, over-the-roadway digital sign well before the bridge to help drivers understand what lanes they should be in and whether there are backups ahead. Officials said that system could be completed as soon as this winter and no later than spring. The sign will likely be located around Plato Avenue or farther south.

But those are just signs and sensors. Engineers have recently begun studying how to more permanently fix the problems via construction and potentially rejiggering the north end of the bridge. The soonest anything like that could be completed would be five years, but it would likely be longer.

The Lafayette Bridge is the terminus of a full-speed highway where tens of thousands of vehicles daily skirt the St. Paul Downtown Airport, span 362 feet across the Mississippi River and railroad yards with views of the capital city skyline, drop to 30 mph, and ascend the St. Paul bluff to hook up with Interstates 94 or 35E or local city streets.

An aerial view of the Lafayette Bridge on U.S 52, bottom left, as it merges with Interstate 94 and Seventh Street in St. Paul on April 11, 2018. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)

But the typical experience of the drive is anything but scenic. Instead, it’s too often a white-knuckle, head-over-the-shoulder, gas-and-brake, lane-jockeying affair that is more tedious and stressful than typical St. Paul driving.

The problem is the center lane. It’s seemingly always backed up. And dangerous.

MnDOT isn’t using the term “design flaw,” but engineers analyzing recent traffic and crash data acknowledge the current configuration, which can be confusing to some drivers, is a culprit. Those who worked on that original configuration say they were boxed in by cost and political and geographical constraints — and they and their computer models were caught unawares when problems started.

CRASHES SPIKE, CENTER LANE BLAMED

When MnDOT compared crash data from the old bridge to the current one, it was eye-popping.

In 2009 and 2010 (old bridge), there were about 70 crashes.

In 2017 and 2018 (current bridge), there were 290.

“That’s a big increase, and we’re concerned about safety,” said Melissa Barnes, the manager for MnDOT who overseas metro roadways.

Unlike many highway backups, which spawn as right-lane exiters or entrants disrupt traffic flow, the birthplace of most Lafayette Bridge problems is the center lane. That’s worse.

1632651174 894 Yes US 52 north at Lafayette Bridge is always a
Traffic backs up in the center northbound lane of U.S. Highway 52 over the Lafayette Bridge in St. Paul before rush hour on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)

“The center lane tends to back up fairly severely and for most of the day,” Barnes said. “Those folks trying to get into their lane are going in and out of that slower, or even stopped, center lane. That causes crashes.”

The center lane appears to be backed up for two reasons: It’s in high demand for where it goes, and many drivers are confused, so they cross over it to get to the lane they’re supposed to be in.

WHICH LANE GOES WHERE??

The highway is three lanes over the bridge.

Here are your lane choices — and some of the confusion:

  • Left: I-94 East. That’s counterintuitive to some, since if you’re heading east — toward Woodbury and Wisconsin — your general destination is to your right as you travel north.
  • Middle: I-94 West and I-35E. This is often the highest-demand lane — and often laden with trucks — since 94 takes you through the heart of St. Paul and toward Minneapolis, while 35E is your through-route if you’re heading to points north.
  • Right: Seventh Street (both West Seventh and East Seventh — a choice you’ll make later). This is your local access. West Seventh will take you to St. Paul’s Lowertown and downtown, while East Seventh climbs Dayton’s Bluff to Metropolitan State University and the city’s East Side.

Perhaps adding to the confusion — although MnDOT doesn’t know if this is true — is the content of the signs themselves. None of the signs have any geographical references, such as “Minneapolis” or “Wisconsin” or “downtown St. Paul.” So if you’re not someone with an innate sense of the compass, or if your navigational app is glitchy, you could be stupefied. The signs also contain, as many highway signs do, road designations not commonly used by locals, such as U.S. 10 (I-94) and Minnesota Highway 5 (West and East Seventh Street).

Barnes said MnDOT officials will look into whether changing the information on signs will help.

“These signs are dynamic, so we can change what they say,” she said. “The thing we’re working on will warn people much earlier that 94 East is on your left.”

HISTORY OF HEADACHES

One other possible source of confusion: The current lane configuration ain’t what it used to be, and old driving habits might die hard, especially for those only occasionally driving the bridge.

But when was the Lafayette ever not a headache?

The modern position of the bridge opened to traffic in 1968, and by the 1970s, there were cracks in the structure, and generations of patches held it together. The deadly 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis served as a wake-up call for bridges around the nation, as well as Minnesota, and lawmakers and then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty approved ambitious plans to remedy the most sketchy around the state. The Lafayette Bridge was actually deemed to be in worse shape than the I-35W bridge.

“The project was really a bridge replacement project,” recalled Chris Roy. He’s currently an assistant division director at MnDOT, but from 2006 to 2010, he was a project manager and the north area manager — the same position that Barnes currently holds — and oversaw parts of the $130 million project that built what is there now. “There wasn’t really a whole lot of money to spread around that project because we had a lot of bridges to replace.”

Lafayette Bridge in St. Paul
Traffic crosses the Lafayette Bridge in St. Paul as viewed from the air on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

But even though the old bridge was at risk of collapse, that wasn’t the only problem. At the time, U.S. 52 basically ended with a traffic light at Seventh Street, and that was dangerous. Over the years, increasingly robust concrete barriers were erected in front of Red’s Savoy Pizza, which was frequently struck by motorists who didn’t slow down in time.

As MnDOT engineers began tossing around ways to reconfigure the north end of the bridge, they quickly ran headlong into complications that plague any urban highway project: There wasn’t a ton of real estate — and some of it was claimed and well-defended. The owners of Red’s Savoy, as well as the Downtowner car wash business (now occupied by Mister Car Wash), were important constituents in St. Paul’s political circles, and it soon became clear that whatever pavement MnDOT wanted to pour would have to avoid those businesses and several others.

RATIONALE FOR CURRENT LANES

Even though aspects of the current configuration, such as exit left to go east, might seem counterintuitive, there was a rationale behind it, Roy said.

Typically on a highway, local streets exit on the right whenever possible. That’s how Seventh Street became a right-lane candidate. Keeping the highest-volume traffic in the center lane also seemed prudent. That left the left lane for 94 East, which they knew was awkward.

But when they punched the layout into computer models, the models showed there would be backups around rush hour and high-volume times, but nothing horrendous.

“Keep in mind, these were computers from around 2008 or something, but they were what we had,” said Roy. “The model never indicated that center lane would back up any more than what you’d expect from rush hour.”

LONG-TERM FIX?

Barnes said it’s too early to speculate on what might be a longer-term fix. Engineering, design and environmental studies are in their infancy. There’s no project yet, and no funds. Barnes said the state isn’t looking to completely rip up everything that’s there and start over, but adding lanes and possibly rerouting existing ones will be considered.

“In a tight downtown, with multiple freeways and a river and an airport and businesses, we’re threading the needle there,” Barnes observed. “In general, we’re trying to do the best with the options we have.”

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UMD woodcock study examines game bird’s habitat needs

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UMD woodcock study examines game bird’s habitat needs

DULUTH — The little birds with the long bills need lots of logs and branches on the ground to hide from predators.

That’s one of the findings in a study by the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute that deciphered the type of forest that woodcock need to raise their young.

The study used the keen noses of Gordon setter hunting dogs to find woodcock nests in Itasca County and then place tiny transmitters on woodcock chicks, which allowed researchers to track their movements during their first weeks of life.

The study, first featured in a News Tribune story in June 2019, and led by NRRI’s Alexis Grinde, was funded with state conservation grants. It also looked at the golden-winged warbler and the veery — small songbirds that frequent the same habitat as woodcock.

The goal of the study was to find out why the three birds are doing fairly well in northern Minnesota forests but are declining steadily across much of their U.S. range.

“Across their range (in the U.S.) there has been a pretty significant, long-term decline of woodcock,” Grinde said. “But in Minnesota, where we have ample young forest due to active forest management, the birds have been pretty stable for about the last decade.”

Grinde said the birds seem to do best where they can get to multiple different types of forest in close proximity — young, medium and old trees, big and small, used for feeding, nesting and cover at various times of summer and early fall.

If scientists can figure out what types of forest habitat promote better nesting and survival among the three species, then they can provide those results to foresters and land managers to help conserve the species, Grinde said.

Small changes in logging practices, such as leaving more bigger logs and more branches spread out on the ground, could have a big impact on the birds. The key for woodcock chicks is that the logs are fairly large and are well-spaced, not in piles. Piles of slash or branches can be hiding spots for predators.

Killer chipmunks

In a 2019 file photo, Debbie Petersen holds a woodcock chick out for her dog, Riley, to sniff after the pair found the bird’s nest in Itasca County, Minn. Petersen and Riley have been helping researchers track woodcock chicks to determine what habitat they need to sustain their population. (Tyler Schank / Duluth News Tribune)

The key to the woodcock research has been Debbie Petersen and her Gordon setter hunting dogs, who teamed up to find the little birds between the time the chicks hatched but before they could fly.

Petersen and the highly trained bird dogs found and flushed the hens. Then Petersen slowly scoured the ground nearby to find the chicks. Once the chicks were fitted with their transmitters, they were set free to rejoin the hen, which is usually just a few feet away, squawking loudly about the intrusion.

For the first 30 days they were being tracked, the hen kept the chicks near logs on the ground. Because in early June, the forest is still pretty open, with fewer leaves on brush and trees than later in summer, scientists think the logs on the ground served as hiding places from predators. But they also could be using the logs and locations to look for their mainstay food — earthworms — which are common under rotting logs.

Believe it or not, chipmunks were the top predator of woodcock chicks in the study, although scientists say red squirrels, weasels and red fox are eating the birds, too. They found one of the transmitters in a pile of fox scat. Barred owls, goshawks and sharp-shinned hawks also are woodcock predators.

“We probably wouldn’t have believed chipmunks either if we hadn’t actually got lucky and seen it happening,” Grinde said. “There’s no shortage of things out there that want to eat a little woodcock.”

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Field hockey notebook: Establishing a family tradition at Dover-Sherborn

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Field hockey notebook: Establishing a family tradition at Dover-Sherborn

Molly McGill has wanted to be head coach at Dover-Sherborn ever since she was a junior playing for legendary coach Dara Johnson.

Over the next eight years — from finishing high school, to playing at Holy Cross, to coaching the Raiders’ junior varsity squad — she had a running joke with her father that if she took control, he would be her first choice as an assistant.

When Johnson surprisingly decided to step down and hand the reigns over just a week into practices, though, Molly figured out how little she meant it as a joke. And just as quickly as she asked him to join her, Thom McGill said yes.

“He’s always just kind of been a soundboard behind the scenes with me as a player,” Molly said. “When I stepped into this role this season, it was a no-brainer. I’m like, ‘Yup, easy money. Thom — my dad — (he’s) coming in.’”

“It’s just incredible,” Thom added. “It’s really just a dream come true for actually both of us. It’s awesome.”

The Raiders started the year 3-0 entering Friday while defending their Div. 2 state title from 2019. They have a young team, but there is plenty of the talent you would expect from a squad that just went the distance two years ago. Dover-Sherborn is buzzing.

What makes it even more exciting for the McGills, though, is how well the team is doing despite the frenzy the year started with.

Molly entered the year expecting to be a part-time JV coach while in a graduate program at Framingham State. Just like that, she was vaulted into the leading role. Molly has wanted it for a good while, but it caught her by surprise as she navigates a hectic schedule that prevents her from coaching on Mondays.

Bringing on Thom has been a stabilizing force. She is still working out kinks as a first-year varsity coach, so the support and trust of the team and having her father there has made a world of a difference.

“It’s just super supportive and somebody comfortable, and I can give my crazy ideas behind the scenes and not feel judged,” Molly said. “It’s definitely a little crazy. But the girls have been great, my dad — again — I’ve been leaning on him heavily.”

Thom has never officially coached, but has mentored Molly very closely throughout her entire athletic career. He quickly transformed from No. 1 cheerleader to field hockey fanatic as he helped Molly transform her game, so much that Molly never doubted his potential to be an effective coach alongside her.

Neither has the team.

“He’s super knowledgeable of the game, he’s watched more field hockey than anyone I can think of, and I think he’s got great perspective,” Molly said. “(The players) enjoy his humor, they seek his feedback sometimes even before mine. … I’ve just been so blown away with how articulate he is with the girls and he’s just got a good demeanor.”

For Thom, he loves every part of coaching with Molly. He loves doing it for the school he graduated from, too. But he’s equally excited for the opportunity his daughter and Dover-Sherborn has to continue growing together.

“The team is young and everything, but what an opportunity,” he said. “The girls are awesome, they’re really receptive.”

Quick Spotlights:

Before Nauset senior Lauren Knight committed to Quinnipiac, she was asked who her role model was. She was quick to bring Falmouth star Katie Shanahan’s name up. Little did Knight know then that she was talking up a future Div. 1 teammate, and as the two battle it out in a loaded Cape and Islands League, they can each look forward to teaming up at Quinnipiac after spending four years together playing for Cape Cod Field Hockey Club. The competition between the two of them is fierce for now, though, with Shanahan’s Clippers already having a leg up with a 3-0 win over the Warriors. As each team keeps pace with Monomoy and Sandwich as well, the Cape Cod standouts are enjoying competing against each other for now while still looking forward to joining forces down the road.

“We’ve always had a great dynamic,” Knight said. “I’m just really excited to play with her, she’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had.”

“It’s great that we’re going to the same school. … To go in already knowing I have a friend of the team (is comforting),” added Shanahan. “It’s always fun playing high school though because there’s the rivalry along with the friendship.”

They’ll play each other again Oct. 20.

Maggie Sturgis is on fire for an equally scorching Masconomet team, blasting out the gates for a 4-0-1 start and a 32-3 goal differential entering Friday. Sturgis has erupted for 18 of those goals, including a career-high six scores in a 6-0 win over Marblehead.

• After five years of varsity play, a young Bishop Feehan program finally got over the hump against the school’s longtime rival by beating Attleboro 3-1 for the first time. Sophomores Kay Murphy and Ava Meehan have starred in a 6-0-2 start, leaving plenty of room for growth while the Shamrocks play at a high level.

• The first Hockomock League bout between King Philip and Franklin on Oct. 8 looks like a must-watch. Panthers head coach Michelle Hess praised her strong defense before the season but wasn’t expecting the offense to take the flight it has. Kaitlyn Carney and Payten Crandall are two of many pieces flourishing for Franklin (5-0) as it rivals King Philip (6-1).

• In its 20th anniversary, Bentley honored the 2001 Division II national champion Falcons team on Saturday. The team had 18 former local stars, led by captains Allyson Bunce (Dennis-Yarmouth) and Alicia Cabrera (Lexington).

• Methuen is making some noise in the Merrimack Valley Conference alongside Andover and Central Catholic, cruising to a 3-1-1 start entering Friday. Natalia Fiato has seven goals over her last three games to lead the way.

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Scheduling your work makes it more enjoyable

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Week 2 high school football schedule

You’ve heard it before: To be more productive, schedule your work. Actually put it in your calendar. Carve out the time. But have you heard that scheduling your work makes it more enjoyable too? It does.

Let’s consider the alternatives. It’s late afternoon, and you’re low-energy. You have a report due in the morning. “If you try and force your ‘A’ game in those moments, it’s just a very frustrating experience,” said Kelly Nolan, a time management strategist who works mostly with high-achieving women. “You dread it more because you’re not in the right frame of mind, and the creative juices aren’t there.”

Or, say, it’s 9 a.m., and your deadline is tomorrow. You try to squeeze in writing paragraphs between the emails and calls and web surfing (let’s be real). Now you’re overly busy and overwhelmed, and you guiltily cancel your afternoon meetings and a dinner date with a friend. Cue your “I hate myself” inner monologue.

But! Let’s imagine that you clear out 90 minutes, turn off your internet and phone, and just barrel through as many paragraphs as you can. Yes, they will be awful paragraphs, which is nearly always the case on first drafts (voice of experience here), “but you’ll feel more in control of your day, and feel more accomplishment because you are actually moving the ball forward on a big project, which makes you feel more sane,” Nolan said.

Sanity is invaluable. As we all move into a new routine of work from home and back-to-office, where distractions will be aplenty, discipline and scheduling are all the more important.

A few pointers:

Set start and finish times. Not doing so means that you’re waiting for the universe to magically birth a project time for you, which is delusional. The universe births asteroids and viruses, not personalized time.

Avoid a last-minute surge. Many office workers let emails and busywork fill the day, and then try to churn out focus work from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. — or, worse yet, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., the prime-time misery hours of lawyers and writers and coders. Of course those hours are wretched. “You’ll feel like you’re banging your head against a wall,” Nolan said.

Plan focus work when you’re energetic. It’ll feel easier when you’re most alert. The time will vary based on activity. For example, you might opt for writing from 9 to 11 a.m., or practicing a speech from 2 to 4 p.m., or writing a song at 9 p.m.

Shut the door. “Distractions are the No. 1 killer of getting into flow state,” said keynote speaker Diane Allen, of that blissful work state where time moves quickly, and you forget yourself and your worries. Flow is incited by work that engages your skills while simultaneously providing a challenge. Not all work assignments fit that description, but distractions end any chance of flow entering the experience.

I’m telling you now: Turn off your damn email, and carve out time for focus work. You can thank me later. You’ll quickly discover that by doing so, you’re also freeing up the rest of your time. You can now leave at 4:30 p.m. without guilt, and not need to think about work on evenings or weekends.

— Rate.com/Tribune News Service

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Pediatrician’s advice: How to deal with tantrums

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Pediatrician’s advice: How to deal with tantrums

Our son seems easily stressed out and has awful tantrums. What can we do to deal with this?

As a behavioral pediatrician, I have seen and heard it all. Children who have tantrums to end all tantrums in the middle of a store. Children who refuse to eat or won’t sit still at a restaurant, which quickly escalates to screaming and throwing food. Children who unbuckle themselves from car seats or kick other children at school for no apparent reason.

It can be scary, overwhelming and challenging to confess these situations out loud. Parents often feel confused, bewildered and embarrassed. “Why won’t my child listen to me? What did I do wrong? Is there something wrong with my child?”

Sometimes a child’s behavior is because of something that has been happening or has happened to the child or to someone in the family.

For children who have tantrums, it can be because they don’t yet have the words to tell you what is bothering them. Or maybe they can’t make sense of what is happening around them and the strong feelings are hard to control.

For many families, unpredictable events happen, which can be traumatic and affect how a child feels and behaves. For example, when parents make the hard decision to separate or divorce, it can be very confusing for young children. They may act out, cry or feel sad, lose developmental skills or have trouble sleeping. Some have problems concentrating and have a hard time at school.

Potentially traumatic events like these are referred to as adverse childhood experiences. They can include neglect, parental substance abuse, domestic violence or a death in the family.

Experiences of social inequities also can be traumatic and trigger toxic stress responses. Examples include living in poverty, family separation, being the target of racism or rejection because of sexual orientation or gender identity. And, certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused children many troubling losses. Our body has stress systems to protect us so that when faced with a scary situation, we are ready to run and hide. This fight-or-flight response can be triggered whenever a child is scared of any number of things such as dogs, the dark or spiders. This same system can also be turned on when a child has any adverse experience.

However, adverse childhood experiences are likely to last longer than a single moment, which causes children’s stress systems to be turned on for a long time. When this happens, the stress becomes toxic to their overall health. The more ACEs children face, the more harm they can have over time. Likewise, chronic ongoing adversity can have an equally negative effect. Adults who’ve experienced one or more ACEs as a child or are exposed to ongoing chronic social inequities over time are at higher risk of depression, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions during their lifetime.

The good news is parents can help buffer children from this stress before it becomes toxic. Providing safe, secure and nurturing relationships (sometimes called “relational health”) helps reset the body’s stress system. In addition, research suggests positive childhood experiences are just as important.

One of the most important is to spark moments of connection. This may be through shared book reading, for example, or participating in family routines and community traditions. You can also model how to accept all emotions. Relational health is key to combating adversity, and promoting skills like collaboration, connection and communication that are essential to help children develop resilience and thrive.

When parenthood gets challenging, talking with your child’s pediatrician is a great first step. Pediatricians are trained to not only monitor your child’s physical growth, but also their social-emotional health.

We want to ensure all children, and their families, have the resources and skills needed to thrive. To do that, we will always be ready to listen, without judgment and with compassion.


Dr. Nerissa S. Bauer is a behavioral pediatrician in Indianapolis and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. This column provided by Tribune News Service.

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King: Gig economy focuses on worker independence

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King: Gig economy focuses on worker independence

Napoleon didn’t deride the English as “a nation of shopkeepers,” although that phrase is commonly attributed to him. In fact, it was Bertrand Barere de Vieuzac, a French revolutionary who used it when attacking the achievements of British Prime Minister William Pitt, the Younger.

I think Napoleon was too smart not to have realized that a nation of shopkeepers is a strong nation, and that if the English of the time were indeed a nation of shopkeepers, they would constitute a more formidable enemy.

A nation of shopkeepers, to my mind, is an ideal: self-motivated people who know the value of work, money and enterprise; and who are almost by definition individualists. So, I regret the constant threats to small business coming from chains, economies of scale, high rents and some social stigma.

But mostly I regret that in our education system, self-employment isn’t celebrated and venerated as being equivalent to work at larger enterprises. We define too many by where they work, not by what they do.

I have always believed that one should aspire to work for oneself, to eschew the temptations of the big, enveloping corporation and to strike out with whatever skills one has to test them in the market and to have the customer, not the boss, tell you what to do.

Our education system produces people tailored to be employed, not self-employed.

But things are changing. The gig economy was well underway before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and now it is roaring. Many employees found that the servitude of conventional employment wasn’t for them.

The gig world differs from the small business world that I have described in that it is small business refined to its absolute core: a one-person business, true self-employment.

There are many advantages in self-employment for society and for the larger business world. Hiring a self-employed contractor is easier for a company, not having to create a staff position and pay all the costs that go with it. Laying off a contractor isn’t as traumatic. The worker is more respected, and is asked to do things not commanded. The system gains efficiency.

But if employers come to see the gig economy as just cheap, dispensable labor, then the gig economy has failed.

The gig worker shouldn’t expect security but should be treated in a business-to-business environment. He or she needs to know how to drive a bargain and to have the moral courage to ask for a contract that is fair and recognizes the value that is intrinsic in the gig relationship.

I am a fan of Lyft and Uber. They offer self-employment to anyone with a driver’s license and a car — and the companies will even get you into a car. But the bargain is one-sided. The driver has the freedom to work what hours he or she chooses but not to negotiate the terms of their engagement. That is decided by a computer in San Francisco.

This gig worker can’t hope to hire other drivers and start a small business: It doesn’t pass the gig contract concept. I have talked to many ride-share drivers. They revel in the freedom but not the income.

Gig workers can be, well, anything from a plumber to a computer programmer, from a dog walker to an actuary.

But for the free new world of gig working to become part of our business fabric, the social structure needs to be adjusted by the government to allow for the gig worker to enroll in Social Security and to charge expenses against taxes as would an incorporated business. Jane Doe, who makes a living designing websites, needs to know that she is a business, not just freelancing between jobs.


Llewellyn King is executive producer and host of “White House Chronicle” on PBS. This column was provided by InsideSources.

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‘Ordinary Joe’ star riffs on show’s ‘what if’ premise

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‘Ordinary Joe’ star riffs on show’s ‘what if’ premise

The new NBC drama “Ordinary Joe” stars James Wolk and envisions one character’s life as it progresses along three different career paths: as a cop, a nurse or a famous musician.

“The show is a ‘what if?’ premise,” said Wolk. “What if you had made a certain career choice, and how does that drastically affect your life? In our story, I play Joe Kimbreau and you see him on the day he’s about to graduate college and he’s faced with three very different paths.”

Had Wolk’s life taken a different direction, he might have gone to law school, he said. But acting it was, and for many audiences one of his more memorable roles was on “Mad Men” as the upbeat account man Bob Benson, aka the guy on the receiving end of Pete Campbell’s indignant “Not great, Bob!” mini-tantrum.

Wolk’s credits also include “Lone Star,” “Political Animals,” “Goliath” and “Watchmen.” When asked about a cringeworthy moment from his career, he told a story about the CBS drama “Zoo,” about a global animal uprising. Wolk starred as a zoologist who is running safaris in Africa when the show begins.

It ran for three seasons from 2015 to 2017. But his first day at work was one for the dogs.

His worst moment: “I was playing a character who had spent 10 years in South Africa, and when I got the role I called my friend who is South African and I said, ‘OK, I want to come in with a strong South African accent. Because this guy grew up there, he’s been living there for 10 or 15 years — don’t you think he’d have a South African accent?” And my friend said, ‘Yeah, of course he would.’

“He lives in the States now, so he put me on the phone with a bunch of his friends who he grew up with in South Africa. And I’m going through hours on the phone with these guys. I’m getting the lingo, I’m getting their slang, I’m working on the accent. I’m going deep into it.

“And I go down to Louisiana, where we filmed the show. And my wife had said to me prior to the first table read, ‘Jimmy, did you do the South African accent at any other point, like when you read for the role or when you met with anyone?’ And I said, ‘No.’ And she said, ‘Well, did they tell you should have a South African accent?’ And I said, ‘No. No, no, no — but this guy has been living in South Africa for 10 or 15 years, you don’t understand, he would have a South African accent. I’m a serious actor, I’m going to have this accent.’

“So I ignored her advice and went to the table read. And because it’s the first day, people from the network are there, the producers are there, the writers are there. I was playing the lead of the show, so I had a lot of lines. It wasn’t just one scene. So I did the entire script with a South African accent. And slang, like: ‘I’m from Joburg!’ (Slang for Johannesburg.) I just went for it. Every scene.

“We finish the table read. And afterward our creator-executive producer slowly walked over to me and he goes, ‘Hey.’ And I go, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ I’m thinking: I nailed that.

“And he goes, ‘So … what’s going on with your voice?’ And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And he was like, ‘You’re kind of saying certain words certain ways.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m doing a South African accent.’

“And he goes, ‘Yeah. Don’t do that.’ ”

— Tribune News Service

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Finding cause of pup’s upset tummy

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Finding cause of pup’s upset tummy

As luck would have it, my dog finally stopped throwing up after a few days, but I wonder if you might add some insight into the cause. My dog is just under a year old and is a pitbull cross. She is spayed and fully vaccinated. Two weekends ago, I took her to a large outdoor festival where there were a lot of dogs with their owners. Many of the dogs drank water from the same bowls as we made sure to hydrate them during a hot day. The following day, I gave her some treats with some of the meat trimmings left over from our barbecue. It was the next day that she started vomiting some yellow bile in the early morning and this happened a few times as well as the next day. Could either the shared water or the meat been the cause of her vomiting? I want to make sure that I avoid exposing her again to whatever made her sick. Lastly, should I be concerned? Could she have picked up a parasite?

Sometimes we do not know what causes a dog to vomit. Vomiting may occur immediately after ingesting something that does not sit right with the stomach, or it can occur some time later. What you describe is called bilious vomiting, which is sometimes seen with an empty stomach, more often in the morning hours due to stomach acidity and a lack of food. It is usually not problematic and can be corrected by changing diet, time of feeding or medications as needed.

As such, it may be that neither the shared water bowls nor the meat trimmings caused what you observed and since it seems to have resolved there is little need for concern. There can always be some small amount of risk associated with many dogs being together, including parasitism, so having a fecal sample tested for that might be worthwhile. Giving a dog meat trimmings needs to be done carefully since some dogs have sensitive stomachs and too much fat can lead to a bout of pancreatitis.

Between your two events, there is always the possibility that your dog may have also ingested anything else that might have triggered an upset stomach but luckily it sounds as if things have resolved. Should the vomiting return, I would have your veterinarian take a look at your dog.


Dr. John de Jong owns and operates the Boston Mobile Veterinary Clinic. He can be reached at 781-899-9994.

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Franks: Fine members of Congress for not doing their jobs

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Franks:  Fine members of Congress for not doing their jobs

The last time Congress successfully fulfilled its administrative duties was during my third term in Congress in 1996 for fiscal year 1997. At that time, all 12 regular appropriation bills to fund the federal government were enacted before the start of the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Since then, we have been relying on continuing resolutions to fund the government. How can we stop the madness?

Just imagine if you failed to perform your job for 25 years, but still boldly requested a new service agreement every two to six years, per House or Senate re-election. Your boss may be impressed by your chutzpah, but he or she would likely laugh in your face and suggest you admit yourself into some other type of institution other than Congress.

This is a bipartisan problem. The mainstream media should be screaming daily about this, demanding that members of Congress do the basics and informing Americans of their negligence in doing so.

Americans should also know that Congress has only 15 cents to every annual dollar to spend on discretionary items once massive spending for our military/national defense is removed. It was not this way when I was in college. We had more than 60% of our federal budget for discretionary items and federal government agencies.

What has changed? Our national debt for one thing. It is out of control. As of today, our debt has ballooned to more than $28 trillion. It first eclipsed $1 trillion in 1981 when Reagan was president and Joe Biden was a senator. Our national debt is a bipartisan failure.

Of the $4.4 trillion federal budget of 2019, most of the dollars spent went toward mandatory entitlements, which accounted for nearly 62% of the whole. These entitlements — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid being the largest — must be paid to those eligible to receive them.

Then we must attend to our massive debt, which grows by the second. This debt accounts for about 8% of our entire budget. Defaulting on our debt payments is not an option.

That leaves 30% for discretionary spending. Remember, about 15% of the 30% is spent on our national defense. That leaves us with a dime and five pennies, or, if you prefer, three nickels. Not good.

Solutions

1. Make the funding of the government and all budgetary matter biennial. Congress has more than proven that it cannot do the job on an annual basis. With an additional 12 months, hopefully, it can be accomplished on time via regular order and frequent open rules on the House floor for rigorous debate.

2. Seriously discuss entitlements, the elephant in the room. They cannot be allowed to eat up most of our yearly budget, despite the obligations to our fellow Americans, who did nothing to deserve ill treatment or a severely diminished quality of life.

3. The people who deserve admonishment are our politicians. Today, yet another potential federal government shutdown looms.

Congress and the White House should be able to at least complete the basics of governing smoothly or be forced to do so by risk of a personal penalty or fine.

The three triggers for punishing members of Congress should be related to the three most basic parts of their job — passing a budget, funding the federal government under regular order and managing the debt status of the United States.

A fine should be a percentage of their adjusted gross income from their most recent federal tax return. This would make it fair. Make the fine equal to 10, 15 or 20% of their AGI payable to a nonprofit like the United Way of America.

The result? Congressional gridlock would end. There would be a rebirth of compromise and bipartisanship. The work in Congress would get done.


Gary Franks is a former U.S. representative from Connecticut and visiting professor/adjunct at Hampton University, Georgetown University and the University of Virginia. He is now a public policy consultant and columnist. This column provided by Tribune News Service.

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