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Whether it can be labeled single-payer, socialized remedies, national health, etc., it is all alike and it is going to never work in the United States. In just about any nation the place that the government goes the health system, fees have escalated well outside of expectations; prolonged waits pertaining to treatment are generally commonplace; care can be rationed and a few treatments are generally denied; and income taxes have increased to purchase the unanticipated cost improves. There are generally no actually successful nationalized health systems, when good quality of proper care is than the gold normal: The PEOPLE healthcare technique. By nearly all measures on the other hand, the PEOPLE lags behind all kinds of other industrialized international locations.
According on the World Wellbeing Organization, the PEOPLE ranks 24th on the globe in life-span This figure alone must be cause pertaining to alarm, nevertheless upon even more examination, we learn that this reasons get little about our health system plus much more about the means we travel, what many of us eat, each of our violent actions, our cigarette smoking use, and our drug abuse.
The PEOPLE spend additional on health, per capita, than just about any other industrialized land. But yet again, if many of us examine precisely why, we see that this has additional about factors aside from the true cost involving healthcare, similar to legal accolades and service fees, defensive remedies, malpractice insurance plan, the substantial cost involving advanced technological innovation, and not least; the substantial cost we all incur to the government mandates put on health insurance agencies. We shell out more for medications than some other country. On the other hand, the charge of drug treatments still remains just 10% of our own total charge of health. Upon even more examination, you can thank your own government just for this. More for this later
There isn’t a arguing versus significant reform of our own healthcare technique, but your prescription to the cure is not written by simply our latest government. The Democrats in command of the PEOPLE government have merely one fix; additional government. That they know zero other means, it is their DNA. Nevertheless even adding aside state policies, there isn’t way for the single payer system to function in The US.
With a team of more than a dozen illustrators and sculptors, Weta Workshop is highly unusual in the special effects industry.
Making up a quarter of the company’s core staff, the existence of such a large creative ensemble is testimony to the value that company founders Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger place in good design. In fact, they have gone to lengths to build the company’s reputation on that very strength.
Weta is in the business of creating new worlds and realising them to the very highest degree of reality. While much of the company is dedicated to constructing these imaginary worlds for the camera, they must first be designed.
Weta,s designers are responsible for finding a creative vision for each new film or television project that both meets the expectations of the director and fulfills the need to create something in which audiences will believe. The world must underpin and support the story and not require a level of explanation or disclaiming that would otherwise distract or break viewers out of their enjoyment of the narrative.
In realising fantasy worlds such as those of The Lord of the Rings or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, everything must be designed, from the belt buckle worn by a soldier to the eye colour of a background Orc. This demands intensive design at all levels, be they broad stylistic considerations or the most minute detail of a barely discernible costume element, which is why Weta’s creative team includes artists and craftspeople of many disciplines and background.
Design is undertaken illustratively, sculpturally and in the form of model-making. Illustration often starts the process, but the move to three dimensions is usually swift, employing sculpting techniques ranging from physical sculptures undertaken with plasticene and clay to sculpting directly into the computer with the very latest organic digital modelling equipment.
Conceptual model making is similarly broad in its use of diverse media. A single prototype model might have parts that have been handsawn out of a block of wood and others precision engineered by computer and fashioned on the company’s rapid 3D prototyper. By embracing all these diverse technologies, both traditional and cutting edge, and partnering them in innovative and unexpected combinations, has yielded such a rich bag of tools for Weta’s artists to use in creating a unique experience for moviegoers.
Not surprisingly then, the process of experience design at Weta is also very fluid and collaborative. Ideas are shared and explored in open forum. A single design will pass through many hands as it is explored, refined and finally brought into being. Initially, the most important step in the process is understanding the brief, which is not just what is set by the director when he or she asks for an environment, but also the unspoken demands made by the subject matter itself, to say nothing of the inescapable awareness that everything that appears on screen will be measured against what has gone before.
In appreciating Peter Jackson’s nuance-filled and yet bold and sweeping vision for The Lord of the Rings, it became quickly obvious that a level of sensitivity was needed in the making of this film that is not always apparent in large productions.
Author J.R.R. Tolkien imagined a fantasy world, but one grounded in an historical reality not so dissimilar to our own. Rather than overwhelm an audience with its novelty, Tolkien’s world quietly won over its readers with its familiar elements until Middle-Earth became as real to them as any time or place in our own past.
Approaching this design task for a film required an attitude more typically befitting an historical period piece than a sword and sorcery epic. The creatures and cultures might not be of our earth, but they were of an earth, and had to appear no less real. They therefore had to be layered in the kind of detail that comes with time and evolution. Within each culture, styles of art had to be devised and consistently applied across everything from the cant of a roofline to the device etched upon a button. Likewise, among the creatures, physiological laws that govern the shapes and functions of real animals had to apply in Middle-Earth.
The design phase for this project was necessarily long, with the first illustrations being undertaken years before cameras would roll; but no less would suffice.
In the years since, Weta’s creative directors have applied this same philosophy of experience design to all the other projects the company has touched, regardless of genre. Just as it has been felt in the design of King Kong or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger aim to bring this unique Weta touch to many new worlds in the years to come.
Anything less would be a disservice to the client, audiences and the work, and wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun.
After sliding well below the $431 support level for a time on 6 May, the market staged an impressive recovery back above the support level, and went on to test resistance at $452. Since then BTC has been meandering between support and resistance in an impressive show of resilience and increasing volume.
Although the medium down trend remains in place until it is formally broken, which would currently be at around $450, the market is currently showing reluctance to trending any lower.
There was a time on 6 May when the exchange rate had broken well below support at $431, on the precipice of plunging much lower, below $300 and possibly even as low as $250. A very strong wave of buying came in to the market on 7 May, lifting the exchange rate all the way back to the exact resistance level of $452. Since then the exchange rate is forming a new range with interim support at $439 and resistance remaining at $452.
The new strength in the market is particularly impressive considering there was news from China of two more exchanges having banking facilities relating to Bitcoin restricted, with a final deadline from the Peoples Bank of China to be in full compliance by 10 May. In past weeks this news would have shaken the market, but this time it had almost no effect whatsoever. If the 10 May deadline by PBoC comes and goes without further market reaction, it is reasonable to conclude that the China effect that has blighted the Bitcoin market for so long will finally be over and behind the market.
Elsewhere the positive news continues to flow unabated on all fronts. While we cannot know the precise implications of each individual piece of news, taken collectively the future of Bitcoin is being reinforced on all almost fronts. The notable area where considerable work needs to be done is in mainstream consumer awareness. While a few months ago the general public was prepared to be open minded about and even welcome Bitcoin, the Mt. Gox debacle and the extremely prejudiced and inaccurate mainstream media reporting that followed it seriously damaged the credibility and public opinion of Bitcoin generally. Consequently Bitcoin largely remains in the hands of the original loyal following who are much more technically able to understand and use Bitcoin.
Before Bitcoin is ready for prime time and the mainstream various issues need to be addressed and are being addressed. The main ones are these:
- Ease of use: The general public are not technical and have no wish to be technical. Only a minute percentage of people can use a personal computer to its maximum capability, the majority content to know how to switch the PC on, surf the web and load and use a few programs in a basic way. Bitcoin must be at least as simple to use as online banking, Paypal and in particular a credit card with all security in place. Most wallets today are too complex for the majority especially with the need for two factor authentication, multi-sig etc. There is a big future for Bitcoin enabling companies and technologies such as for example the Bitcoin hardware wallet Trezor, a forerunner of such technologies. The general public are also extremely lax when it comes to backing up valuable data, often losing it sooner or later due to hard disk failure for example, so secure and simple backing up of wallets and Bitcoin related data also has large growth potential.
- Security: This is a huge issue with Bitcoin stealing trojans appearing at an alarming rate. Bitcoin is frequently being stolen from even experienced users, so the general public have no chance unless Bitcoin is made theft proof and simple to use at the same time. While “two factor authentication” and “multi-signature” are viable solutions, they still need to be usable by the majority, which again is where hardware solutions such as the Trezor come in.
- Exchange: Bitcoin needs to be able to be exchanged easily to and from Bitcoin and fiat currency as easily and conveniently as other currencies. Bitcoin exchanges are probably not the future therefore but an interim solution. The future must be in decentralised peer to peer exchanges and in particular Bitcoin ATM’s. Exchanges may still have a role in corporate type services.
Bitcoin Market Outlook
The market remains in the grip of the medium term down trend characterised by most players sitting on the sidelines and leaving BTC at the mercy of the short traders selling in to the down trend.
All it will take is the down trend to be broken to cause the shorts to cover Once a new up trend is established the previous short players will go long, and all those sitting on the sidelines waiting to buy in to the next phase of the bull market will do so. Taken with the ongoing flow of positive news it is quite likely that once a new bull market is established the exchange rate will move upwards rapidly, reclaiming much of the ground lost to the bears this year.
On the charts, the $450 area has now assumed even more significance, now being not only the resistance level, but also the point at which the exchange rate can break up through the trend line.
$452 is therefore shaping up to be the last major battle ground between bulls and bears, the prize being a new dynamic phase of the long term bull market. This next week will be crucial in this process.
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Applying design to environmental issues
In our consumer oriented society, the design of the items we commonly purchase often falls victim to marketing the virtues of cost and convenience. How often do we think about design and the environment in the same context and what can we do about it?
The design attributes of our homes and work places start with the environment in mind mostly to keep warmth in and cold and rain out but our most commonly purchased consumer items are often designed with little consideration for the environment.
We see hundreds of examples of this in our visits to our shopping centres, but probably remain blissfully unaware it.
Our food is beautifully presented in packaging that is designed to minimise cost and maximise convenience and appeal. About 60% of New Zealands plastics production is used for food packaging (domestic and export) in one form or another. People will happily buy bananas and oranges wrapped in polystyrene and cling film instead of relying on natures packaging, fruit skins, to keep the edible contents clean.
Daily shots of functional foods, bakery items, meats, dairy products, soft drinks, spreads, snacks and a host of other foods, and non-foods, are presented to consumers in plastics or made with plastics and we buy them. Then we dispose of them without thought to the consequences because a truck comes along once a week and takes them away – out of sight, out of mind.
Those of us who think we care about the environment when we make our purchasing decisions will choose items designed and packaged in recyclable plastics and we put the waste materials out on rubbish collection day. But how environmentally friendly is plastics recycling? Is it better than nothing, or are there alternative approaches?
Non-renewable petroleum resources are used to make most of the plastics we currently use, but with each cycle of recycling (melting and reuse) the properties of the plastic deteriorate and eventually the plastic cannot be reused. Non-renewable fuel is used to pick up the plastics and transport them to recycling centres. At the recycling centre the plastics have to be hand-sorted and then more fuel used to transport each type of plastic to a reprocessing plant where more energy or fuel is used to melt and reprocess the plastic. Fuel is again used to take the recycled plastic back to a manufacturing centre and then back to the consumer as a product and the cycle of energy use starts all over again.
World-wide, concerns about the environment and sustainable use of finite resources have been a major driver behind governments legislating to try and force manufacturer and consumer behavioural changes. This in turn has meant that in the last twenty years or so, there has been increasing scientific research directed towards finding alternatives to oil-based plastics. Some of these alternatives are now starting to emerge as commercial products they are new materials (e.g. biodegradable plastics) based on using feed stocks such as starches, oils and proteins derived from plants or of microbiological origin. Ideally this alternative approach will bring us closer to truly sustainable production systems that are not using non-renewable resources, but we still have a long way to go.
Most of our modern farming systems rely on external energy (fuels) and nutrient (i.e. fertiliser) inputs. The latter, such as urea, are largely derived from petroleum resources. Truly sustainable farming systems in the future will probably have to be built around acceptance of lower crop yields as a result of less intensive nutrient inputs within totally closed systems. To do this, we can design and develop compostable packaging out of some of the new generation plant-origin materials such as poly-lactic acid. End-of-life disposal of these materials into composting systems would mean that we can then add the compost back to our farms to replenish nutrient loss.
Having addressed potential solutions to our environmental challenges, where does this leave design?
Design can help lead the way by developing new farming, industrial and social systems. Design can also lead the way by learning how to use the new generation materials for both new types of packaging and as structural components in the household and industrial items we use daily. This will be a major challenge as these new materials do not have the same chemical and physical properties as the oil-based plastics we have become used to. Hence new industrial and product and marketing designs will need to be developed.
And as consumers we will need to change our lifestyles, expectations and habits to enable this to happen.
Dr Nigel Larsen is the Science Group Manager, Food & Biomaterials Innovation at Crop & Food Research, and is also on the Management Committee of the Biopolymer Network. Nigels current research interests include the production of new biodegradable materials from plants and the application of nanotechnologies in materials.