Rather Than Slip into Depression, Man Quits Job, Sells Possessions, and Travels the World With a Ferret

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreSWNSDespite enduring a string of heartbreaking losses in the same year, this former airman has transformed his life for the better—and he did it by quitting his job, selling all of his possessions, and traveling the world with his pet ferret.25-year-old Charlie Hammerton was determined to change his life after he was left grieving the deaths of his best friend, mother, and adopted mom all in the same year.His mom Jan died in March 2017 aged 53 after suffering from motor neurone disease; then his best friend Will Moss passed away aged 22 just a few months later from a suspected drug overdose. At the end of the year, his adopted mum Samantha passed away from a heart attack. LOOK: When Grandma Confesses She Has Never Seen the Ocean, Grandson Takes Her On Epic Cross-Country Trip“It was horrible for me, but I didn’t want to get into a rut because of it all,” says Hammerton. “I did think about killing myself a couple of times because I didn’t know where to turn.Living in Arnold, Nottinghamshire at the time, he decided to turn his back on a promising career and put almost all of his money into a globe-trotting adventure with his “best pal”: Bandit the rescue ferret.“I was living in a nice flat, had a good job and had three cars. I had a lot of savings behind me and I was lucky enough to be very secure,” he added. “But it was all just ‘stuff’ to me and didn’t really mean anything. So I decided to get rid of the lot and set off with Bandit.”SWNSHammerton then quit his job and sold almost all his possessions—including his three cars. Collectively, he managed to drum up £15,000 ($19,500) for his dream trip, £5,000 of which he spent on a campervan.Starting out in February 2018, Hammerton and Bandit ventured through Holland, Germany, Sweden, Norway, France, Spain, and Italy.MORE: Man Completes Ultimate Nonstop Road Trip By Visiting All 419 National Park Service Sites in AmericaThe inseparable pair traveled for a total of 8 months to more than 25 towns and cities in 11 countries, all of which Hammerton documented on their public Facebook page.His hilarious holiday album is full of snaps of Bandit posing in front of iconic landmarks—from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Colosseum in Rome.SWNS“Traveling was the most amazing experience of my life and it was completely liberating,” said Hammerton. “We followed the sun across the world and camped under the stars in amazing places.“It was beautiful and I spent it with my best friend,” he added. “I have less money now but I am much wealthier as a person.”SWNSHammerton rescued Bandit from an animal sanctuary in 2015—and the pair have been inseparable ever since. The little ferret even stayed with him at his military digs in Coningsby whilst Charlie was working for the Royal Air Force (RAF).“He has seen me at my best and my worst and has always been with me,” says Hammerton. “Bandit has been with me through thick and thin.”SWNSIn addition to their cross-continental road tripping adventures, they have also raised awareness for different charities. The pair have walked across Hadrian’s Wall in aid of the motor neurone disease charity MND, and also skateboarded 40 miles across London in aid of a drug awareness charity.In November 2018, Hammerton released a book about his travels called “Before Our Adventures”, which is now available on Amazon.“The book is all about how you can take anything bad and turn it into something really good,” said Hammerton. “Everyone has the right and the ability to do that. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, but there’s no need to.SWNS“I went through a really rough time and developed serious depression. I felt suicidal and just didn’t know what to do with myself,” he continued. “A chain of bad things had happened to me and I had good reason to feel really miserable about my life.“But I decided that was not what I wanted to be. I didn’t want this to define me. I channeled the negative energy and turned it into something positive.”Charlie now works in schools across the country teaching youngsters about how to build confidence, self-esteem, and outdoor living skills such as camping and bushcraft.SWNSBe Sure And Share The Inspiring Story With Your Friends On Social Media…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Mendoza expands program eligibility

first_imgThe applicant pool is open – individuals who attained undergraduate degrees with non-business majors are now invited to apply to the One-Year Masters of Business (MBA) Program within the Mendoza College of Business.  Brian Lohr, director of MBA and Masters of Science and Business (MSB) Admissions, said the changed policy recognizes the achievements of individuals who honed business expertise in the workplace. He said applicants are welcome to apply to the program if they can demonstrate “significant knowledge of fundamental business concepts.”  “The change in requirement takes into consideration more recent trends in the education and employment landscape by recognizing that candidates often have developed considerable knowledge about business through a meaningful work experience after graduation,” Lohr said. “They may have landed in a role that required them to manage budgets, manage projects or supervise others and they gained a lot of on-the-job training in essential business operations.” Lohr said this policy revision was a joint effort between several Mendoza representatives, including both Lohr and Dean Roger Huang. The group changed the policy in order to facilitate the addition of diverse perspectives to the One-Year MBA Program, though the requirements for admission have not changed, Lohr said. “We look for three primary items when we evaluate candidates: academic excellence, leadership and a consideration for others,” Lohr said. “These three components have not changed, this just allows us to look at a little bit of a broader pool.” According to the program’s website, its requirements are, “an undergraduate degree from an accredited university where English is the primary language, a demonstrated proficiency in fundamental business knowledge and skills usually gained through significant work experience, three credit hours of financial accounting and three credit hours of statistics.”  His own experience working in a field he did not study as an undergraduate pushes him to advocate for the extension of eligibility for Mendoza’s programs to prospective students who did not study business during their undergraduate careers, he said. “I am one of those folks,” Lohr said. “I was an English major as an undergraduate but I worked for Lockheed right when I got out of school. About a week after I was hired, I went to my boss and asked him why he hired me, since I didn’t have an engineering or business degree.” He said he felt this experience showed him how when people with distinct backgrounds work collectively to solve a problem, a more innovative solution can be reached.  “I think that’s what makes the classroom environment so different at Notre Dame, those backgrounds allow you to look at problems from different perspectives. I think that is a really good thing that we have going on in Mendoza: about a third of my two-year class is from business, about a third is from math, science or engineering and a third is from humanities. “The diversity makes for interesting discussions and allows students to look back on their experiences to attack a problem from a different angle,” Lohr said. “This [type of education] is unique and fostered here.” Lohr said he expects the extension of eligibility to graduates with non-business majors to increase the quality of Mendoza’s One-Year MBA Program.  “I’m not sure how this will impact the applicant pool, though I feel strongly that it will grow significantly because of that change,” Lohr said. “That just makes sense for Notre Dame, to [work to] attract the best and brightest candidates … to hinder that with stringent prerequisites didn’t make a whole lot of sense. “Our ability to bring in the best and brightest MBA candidates in the world is critical to our continued success.” Lohr said the program has continued to climb Businessweek’s rankings since its inception, and he hopes this change will facilitate the rise of Mendoza’s program. “In 1997 we were not ranked within the top 50 MBA programs and now we’re a part of the top 20 programs based on Businessweek’s last survey,” he said. “We’re excited about what the future holds.” Contact Nicole Michels at nmichels@nd.edulast_img read more

Jerry Springer — The Opera Extends Off-Broadway; Matt McGrath to Take Over Title Role

first_imgMatt McGrath(Photo: Bruce Glikas) View Comments More Jerry! The off-Broadway premiere of Jerry Springer — The Opera has received an extension at The Pershing Square Signature Center. Originally slated for a run through March 11, the musical will now run through April 1. In additional news, Lucille Lortel Award winner Matt McGrath (The Legend of Georgia McBride) will join the cast on March 13 in the role of Jerry Springer, replacing original star Terrence Mann. Jerry Springer — The Opera began previews on January 23 and opened on February 22.Jerry Springer — The Opera features The Jerry Springer Show as you’ve never seen it before, with passionate arias, soaring ballads and giant production numbers. While the studio audience cheers, a parade of bickering guests fight and curse until violence breaks out and Jerry must face his trickiest guest ever. The show features a book and lyrics by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas and music by Thomas, with direction by John Rando and choreography by Chris Bailey.The cast of Jerry Springer — The Opera also includes Will Swenson as Warm-Up/Satan, Jill Paice as Baby Jane, Jennifer Allen as Irene/Mary, Florrie Bagel as Peaches, Sean Patrick Doyle as Tremont, Luke Grooms as Dwight/God, Nathaniel Hackmann as Chucky/Adam, Billy Hepfinger as Steve, Justin Keyes as Montel/Jesus, Beth Kirkpatrick as Zandra, Elizabeth Loyacano as Andrea/Valkyrie and Tiffany Mann as Shawntel/Eve. The musical’s ensemble will comprise Brandon Contreras, Bradley Greer, Kim Steele and Nichole Turner.The production features set design by Derek McLane, costume design by Sarah Laux, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, sound design by Joshua D. Reid and projection design by Olivia Sebesky.last_img read more

Spoiling The Ending Makes For A Better Story

first_imgScientific American: Old Yeller dies, Darth Vader​ is Luke’s dad, Little Red Riding Hood lives. Did I spoil it? Yes I did. But maybe I did you a favor.Spoilers enhance the enjoyment of a story, according to findings to be published in the journal Psychological Science.Researchers presented three versions of classic stories to 30 subjects. Each story had an ironic twist, or a solved-mystery, or a dramatic end. One version was the original—no spoiler–another had the spoiler woven into the story and the third gave the spoiler right off the bat.Turned out the subjects significantly preferred a spoiled version of the ironic twist stories best. The literary stories were the least preferred. But subjects enjoyed the spoiled version more than the original.Read the whole story: Scientific Americanlast_img read more

Scientists decode the brain activity patterns of sentences

first_imgEmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Researchers at the University of Rochester have, for the first time, decoded and predicted the brain activity patterns of word meanings within sentences, and successfully predicted what the brain patterns would be for new sentences.The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure human brain activation. “Using fMRI data, we wanted to know if given a whole sentence, can we filter out what the brain’s representation of a word is—that is to say, can we break the sentence apart into its word components, then take the components and predict what they would look like in a new sentence,” said Andrew Anderson, a research fellow who led the study as a member of the lab of Rajeev Raizada, assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences at Rochester.“We found that we can predict brain activity patterns—not perfectly [on average 70% correct], but significantly better than chance,” said Anderson, The study is published in the journal Cerebral Cortex. Pinterestcenter_img LinkedIn Anderson and his colleagues say the study makes key advances toward understanding how information is represented throughout the brain. “First, we introduced a method for predicting the neural patterns of words within sentences—which is a more complex problem than has been addressed by previous studies, which have almost all focused on single words,” Anderson said. “And second, we devised a novel approach to map semantic characteristics of words that we then correlated to neural activity patterns.”Finding a word in a sentenceTo predict the patterns of particular words within sentences, the researchers used a broad set of sentences, with many words shared between them. For example: “The green car crossed the bridge,” “The magazine was in the car,” and “The accident damaged the yellow car.” fMRI data was collected from 14 participants as they silently read 240 unique sentences.“We estimate the representation of a word ‘car,’ in this case, by taking the neural activity pattern associated with all of the sentences which that word occurred in and we decomposed sentence level brain activity patterns to build an estimate of the representation of the word,” explained Anderson.What does the meaning of a word look like? “Coffee has a color, smell, you can drink it—coffee makes you feel good—it has sensory, emotional, and social aspects,” said senior author Raizada. “So we built upon a model created by Jeffrey Binder at the Medical College of Wisconsin, a coauthor on the paper, and surveyed people to tell us about the sensory, emotional, social and other aspects for a set of words. Together, we then took that approach in a new direction, by going beyond individual words to entire sentences.” The new semantic model employs 65 attributes—such as “color,” “pleasant,” “loud,” and “time.” Participants in the survey rated, on a scale of 0-6, the degree to which a given root concept was associated with a particular experience. For example, “To what degree do you think of ‘coffee’ as having a characteristic or defining temperature?” In total, 242 unique words were rated with each of the 65 attributes.“The strength of association of each word and its attributes allowed us to estimate how its meanings would be represented across the brain using fMRI,” said Raizada.The model captures a wider breadth of experience than previous semantic models, said Anderson, “which made it easier to interpret the relationship between the predictive model and brain activity patterns.” The team was then able to recombine activity patterns for individual words, in order to predict brain patterns for entire sentences built up out of new combinations of those words. For example, the computer model could predict the brain pattern for a sentence such as, “The family played at the beach,” even though it had never seen that specific sentence before. Instead, it had only seen other sentences containing those words in different contexts, such as “The beach was empty” and “The young girl played soccer.”The researchers said the study opens a new set of questions toward understanding how meaning is represented in the brain. “Not now, not next year, but this kind of research may eventually help individuals who have problems with producing language, including those who suffer from traumatic brain injuries or stroke,” said Anderson.The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and the National Science Foundation supported the research. Sharelast_img read more

Los Alamos School Bond Election Will Fund Remodeling Of White Rock Schools If Passed By Voters

first_imgLos Alamos School Board President Ellen Ben-Naim updates the Board on the upcoming school bond election during Tuesday’s School Board Meeting. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com Bonnie J. GordonLos Alamos Daily Postbjgordon@ladailypost.comDuring the summer, the Los Alamos School Board passed a motion to go forward with a School Bond Election on Nov. 5, the day of the election for School Board and the UNM-Los Alamos Advisory Board.According to School Board President Ellen Ben-Naim, cost was an important reason. The district will not have to pay for a Special Election in the spring. Ben-Naim updated the Board on the bond election at the Aug. 13 School Board Meeting.The early date also will give the School District an opportunity to get going on projects at once.“If it passes, it will give us time to jump right in when it’s time to sell the bonds,” Ben-Naim said.Another reason to go with an early date is the diminishing amount the state will match for school remodels, she said. Every year, the amount of possible matching funds will decrease according to a formula put forward by the New Mexico Public Education Department. The amount will decrease to a low point of 94 percent local funding and 6 percent in state matching funds in FY 2024.“The District has a great track record on rebuilding and refurbishing our schools,” Ben-Naim said. “Now it’s White Rock’s turn.”Chamisa and Pinon elementary Schools are the only schools in the District that have not been remodeled or undergoing a remodel.Ben-Naim gave an update on current building projects. Barranca Elementary will be completely renovated by March 2020. The project is well underway, with grades one through six moving into their classrooms on the first day of school.“The renovations going on at Mountain School will mean it will last another 12 to 15 years,” Ben-Naim said.Construction on the new Sullivan Field field house will begin in November of this year, she said.Ben-Naim stressed that if the bond issue passes, taxes will not increase.“The 2017 bond election was $13 million and this one is for $20 million, however property values have increased, and Los Alamos now has a higher residency, so an individual will not see an increase,” she said.The School District does not take a position on the bond issue vote. It does provide information, but isn’t urging voters to support or reject the bond issue.Early voting begins Oct. 8 and voting ends Nov. 5. This is a walk-in election, not a mail in ballot election. In addition to the bond issue, those in Los Alamos will be voting for new school board members. (The two White Rock representatives are not up for election this cycle.) The town votes for UNM-LA Advisory board as a whole, not by districts.When asked if voters in Los Alamos proper would support a bond to remodel the White Rock schools, Ben-Naim said she thinks they will.“By and large, this is a community that supports education county-wide,” she said.last_img read more

$31m to advance H2@Scale

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

No snow without fire

first_imgGet your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

Sassa refunds pensioner’s stolen money

first_imgJames Matthews, 90, from Silvertown, is relieved that he was refunded his R3 000 which was fraudulently withdrawn from his South African Social Security Agency account. An elated James Matthews, 90, from Silvertown, is relieved that the R3 000 which was fraudulently withdrawn from his South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) account was refunded to him.Mr Matthews is of the view that he was refunded only because of the Athlone News article about his ordeal (“Card fraud woes haunt pensioner,” Athlone News, November 20, 2019)The author, poet and activist had been saving up some money on his card, as he wanted to buy himself something special for Christmas. In November, his neighbour, Kevin Fransman, who looks out for the well-being of Mr Matthews, told the Athlone News about how they struggled to withdraw the pensioner’s money, but that the card was declined at all the ATMs they tried.By Monday November 4, when his card was still being declined, Mr Matthews and Mr Fransman went to the Athlone Sassa office to get some answers. Mr Matthews then cancelled his Sassa card and opened a bank account.Shivani Wahab, the regional Sassa spokesperson, confirmed at the time, that an investigation was under way, and that Mr Matthews’ pension will be paid into his bank account in December. She added that Sassa had zero tolerance for fraud and was working with banks and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that fraud within the system was defeated. Said Mr Matthews: “I just want to thank the Athlone News for the hard work they do. I am sure my matter was resolved because of your intervention.”last_img read more


first_imgAustria: The 936m Birgl tunnel was holed through on April 28, as part of a project to double-track the 208 km Tauern line from Salzburg to Rosenbach.China: On May 9 work began in Lhasa on a 919m bridge required for the Qinghai – Tibet railway scheme.Europe: This month Logistica Mediterranea Cargo, a joint venture of Renfe and Trenitalia, is to introduce a weekly service between Reggio Emilia and Burriana near Valencia, with 15 gauge-convertible vans carrying 50 tonne loads each. A twice-weekly intermodal service linking Piacenza and Barcelona-Morrot is expected to start shortly.Germany:DB and the Land of Brandenburg have reached an agreement for a 3 km extension of Berlin S-Bahn Line S25 from Lichterfelde Süd into central Teltow by 2004, costing €33m.By 2005 €60m is to be spent to upgrade the 130 km/h Regensburg – Schwandorf – Weiden – Marktredwitz line for use by 160 km/h tilting trains.Prignitzer Eisenbahn GmbH has signed a 10 year agreement to operate services in Brandenburg. The Land will provide an €8·3m annual subsidy, and PEG is acquiring eight Stadler Regio-Shuttle vehicles for Meyenburg – Pritzwalk – Neustadt, Putlitz – Pritzwalk and Neustadt – Neuruppin services. Japan: JR East plans to lay optic fibre cables alongside two Shinkansen routes by 2008 to carry ATC data, removing the need to use Japanese Telecom Holdings Co infrastructure.Netherlands: On April 1 Belgian open access operator Dillen & Le Jeune Cargo signed an agreement with ProRail for access to the Dutch network. DLC will run freight trains between Antwerpen, Roosendaal, Eindhoven and Venlo.As part of the Randstadspoor project the transport ministry has approved the €27m quadrupling of tracks to the west of Utrecht and construction of two new stations to serve housing developments at Leidsche Rijn, for opening in 2010.Russia: An EM2-O24 prototype EMU officially entered service on April 25. One of three new EMU designs being developed jointly by New Transport Technologies and the Ministry of Railways, it is air-conditioned and has three classes of seating.Spain: A ceremony on May 6 marked the start of work on a 765m single-track spur that will enable Renfe to operate a circular suburban service in Sevilla from February 2004 (RG 3.03 p119). Costing €5·1m, the spur is part of €57·3m of infrastructure works, while €5·1m is to be spent on three new stations and up to €50m on two new EMUs and refurbishment of 12 trainsets.ERTMS Level 1 signalling is being tested on Renfe’s Albacete – Xlast_img read more