Smart Retailer Acquired by Jones Publishing

first_imgIn addition to the consumer titles, Jones Publishing also distributes books and digital versions of its print magazines, hosts several websites and attends various tradeshows. Jones Publishing Inc. bought Smart Retailer, formerly Country Business, from Country Sampler, a publishing division of Annie’s, to expand its craft and collectibles portfolio.Smart Retailer, published by Country Sampler since 1993, is a b-to-b retailing magazine that features gifts, crafts and collectibles. Jones Publishing, founded in 1986, maintains a big presence in the market, already publishing four special-interest magazines.“[Smart Retailer’s] a perfect fit,” says Ryan Jones, president of Jones Publishing. “It will create a synergy, proving a business-to-business element in our line to complement our current consumer-focused titles.”Smart Retailer joins The Crafts Report, a monthly business magazine for the crafts professional published since 1975; Fired Arts & Crafts, a monthly publication that serves artists and teachers working with metal-clay projects and fired art forms; DOLLS, a monthly magazine and multi-platform media site that offers information for doll collectors; and Teddy Bear & Friends, which is a bi-monthly title focused on expert advice and bear-making techniques for collectors and connoisseurs.last_img read more

Netflix added subscribers like gangbusters but it wont book as many next

first_img Is Netflix too expensive? Netflix doesn’t think so In a letter to shareholders, Netflix said it was in the middle of its price hikes in the US, Brazil, Mexico and some parts of Europe, which created “some modest short-term churn” — jargon for people quitting. But it downplayed the threat of new competitors like Apple and Disney rolling out streaming services. The company called them “world class consumer brands” but indicated their presence wouldn’t impact Netflix’s growth.”We don’t anticipate that these new entrants will materially affect our growth because the transition from linear to on demand entertainment is so massive and because of the differing nature of our content offerings,” Netflix wrote. “We believe we’ll all continue to grow as we each invest more in content and improve our service and as consumers continue to migrate away from linear viewing.”Netflix noted that its streaming video represents about 10% of viewing hours on televisions in the US.In its results, international subscriber base grew by 7.86 million members to 88.63 million, beating the 7.3 million additions the company predicted. In the US, Netflix added 1.74 million streaming customer, for a total of 60.23 million, surpassing its 1.6 million guidance.In the second quarter, Netflix expects to add only 300,000 streaming members in the US and 4.7 million new members internationally. Netflix predicts 55 cents per share in earnings for the period, while on average, Wall Street analysts who track Netflix expect 99 cents.Overall for the first quarter, Netflix reported a profit of $344 million, or 76 cents a share, compared with $290.1 million, or 64 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 22 percent to $4.52 billion.Analysts on average expected per-share profit of 57 cents — a penny more than Netflix’s guidance — and $4.5 billion in revenue. Digital Media 1:36 Earnings Netflix Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Netflix’s Triple Frontier, an action flick starring Ben Affleck, was streamed by 52 million accounts in the first month.  Netflix Netflix’s latest report on its business had a twist ending this time: The streaming-video giant still is adding customers like crazy, but it doesn’t expect its growth to keep pace in the coming monthsUS subscribers grew by 1.74 million and its members abroad climbed by 7.86 million, Netflix said in a report Tuesday on its first-quarter financial performance. But the company predicted the current quarter’s subscriber ranks would increase by just 5 million people, roughly half of the 9.6 total members it added in the first three months of the year. Netflix also touted the viewership of some of its originals. Heist movie Triple Frontier, starring Ben Affleck, was watched by more than 52 million households in its first four weeks. Umbrella Academy, a superhero drama based on a comic book by Gabriel Bá, has been watched by 45 million subscribers in its first four weeks, the company said.Netflix’s cautious outlook comes days after entertainment giant Disney unveiled its Netflix rival, Disney Plus. Launching in the US later this year for $7 a month, Disney Plus will mark the company’s aggressive move onto Netflix’s streaming turf. Given the eye-popping catalog of shows and movies Disney plans to put on its streaming service, it’s easy to lose sight of how dominant Netflix is likely to stay. Compared with Netflix’s total subscribers, which surpassed 148 million per Tuesday’s report, Disney’s most optimistic projection for its growth five years after launching will still be shy of 100 million Disney Plus members.  Tags Post a comment 0last_img read more

Rohingyas going nowhere as cash crunch looms

first_imgIn this file photo taken on 23 November, 2017 a Rohingya refugee woman walks with a child in the Balukhali refugee camp in the Bangladeshi district of Ukhia. Photo: AFPWith a repatriation plan in tatters and funding evaporating for a million refugees with ever-growing needs, Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar to Bangladesh face a grim future one year after the latest eruption of a decades-old conflict.Raids by Rohingya militants on 25 August last year across Myanmar’s Rakhine state spurred an army crackdown which the United Nations has likened to “ethnic cleansing”.Around 700,000 of the Muslim minority fled by foot or boat to Bangladesh, their villages ablaze behind them, in an exodus unprecedented in speed and scale.The crisis has heaped enormous pressure on Bangladesh’s impoverished Cox’s Bazar district, which already hosted around 300,000 of the stateless group.Myanmar says it is ready to take those who fled back.But it refuses to recognise the Rohingya as citizens, falsely labelling them “Bengali” illegal immigrants.A deal between Myanmar and Bangladesh to start sending them back has also gone nowhere, caught up in bureaucracy and mistrust, with fewer than 200 having been repatriated so far.Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi this week said it was up to Bangladesh “to decide how quickly” repatriation can be done, while insisting the “terrorist threat” posed by Rohingya militants remains “real and present”.Without safety, citizenship and compensation for homes and land torched or commandeered by the army since they fled, the Rohingya do not want to go back.- Funding crunch -But life in the camps, among the most densely populated places on earth, looks set to get harder.A UN-led appeal for around $1 billion to fund the refugees until March has yielded only a third of that sum.The slow response has alarmed experts.”Giving generally peaks in that first year (of a crisis)… then it’s much harder to fund,” Peter Salama, the emergency response chief of the World Health Organization (WHO), told AFP.Myanmar border guard police patrol the fence in the `no man`s land` zone between Myanmar and Bangladesh border as seen from Maungdaw, Rakhine state during a government-organized visit for journalists on 24 August, 2018. Photo: AFPWithout a major cash injection, “remarkable” success in controlling outbreaks of diphtheria, cholera and other diseases could be undone, he said, and provision of non-life saving help — such as family planning and mental health — will likely evaporate.”Bangladesh’s government really deserves more regional and international solidarity and support,” he added.The World Bank has pledged $500 million to help with infrastructure, health and education of the Cox’s region.But Bangladesh is tiring of its role as host and insists it will soon relocate around 100,000 Rohingya from Cox’s to a remote, flood-prone island.- ‘History of darkness’ -Myanmar has driven out its Rohingya since the late 1970s.”Our history is of darkness,” said Mohammed Kashim, 27, one of thousands of Rohingya refugees born in Bangladesh, but denied citizenship by both countries.”I have never stepped on Myanmar soil.”And he probably never will.First he must be “verified” as someone who belongs in Myanmar — near impossible given he was born outside the country.Refugees who are verified are required to take a ‘NVC’ card that does not grant them full citizenship or rights.Myanmar is unrepentant about last year’s crackdown and denies widespread human rights violations, murders, rapes and mass arson of Rohingya villages despite reams of evidence.But international pressure for accountability is mounting.Last week Washington hit four Myanmar military commanders and two infantry divisions with punitive financial sanctions over rights abuses and “ethnic cleansing”.The UN Security Council is set to meet next week to discuss the issue, while testimony is being gathered across the camps to press the International Criminal Court (ICC) into launching proceedings against Mynamar.”There is finally a recognition (in Myanmar) that they cannot merely outlast the opprobrium,” Aaron Connelly from the Lowy Institute think tank told AFP.But Myanmar is shielded at the UN by ally China, a permanent member of the Security Council. Meanwhile state media reported that the Myanmar military’s Commander-in-Chief was in Russia — another permanent member — on the eve of the anniversary of a crackdown he ordered.- Security high in Rakhine -Myanmar has remade northern Rakhine state without the Rohingya, redistributing land and building new security posts.It has built massive “transit” camps — some with room for 30,000 — for any returnees.Rohingya refugees fear without citizenship those camps will become permanent, like the ones holding 129,000 Rohingya since 2012.”We are citizens by birth,” said Nay Lin Aung, 35, among hundreds of Rohingya living on a patch of no-man’s land between the two countries.”We won’t go back as they (Myanmar) are not calling us with a sincere mind.”Inside Rakhine fear, tension and hatred are razor sharp.”Both communities (of remaining Rohinya and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists) have their worries now… so the government has reinforced security,” ahead of the anniversary said Ye Htoo, deputy administrator of Maungdaw district on a government-steered trip to Rakhine this week.last_img

Houstons Weather Means Animal Overpopulation Is A YearRound Problem

first_imgWhile it might not feel like it in January, Greg Damianoff says Houston’s warm weather and mild winters contribute to the city’s stray animal problem.“Our problem is year-round because of the climate,” he said. “Animals can eat, drink, and procreate year round.”Damianoff is the director of BARC, the City of Houston’s animal shelter and adoption facility. He says his department takes in between about 26,000 and 27,000 animals each year. And the problem continues to grow as the city’s population does the same.“It’s the same story as always – it’s irresponsible pet ownership that puts us in this situation to begin with,” Damianoff said.He adds that if people were to license their pets, spay or neuter them, and adhere to the number of animals they’re allowed to have by law, then the problem wouldn’t be so substantial.In the audio above, Damianoff updates Houston Matters on the latest efforts to address the city’s stray animal population. And Salise Shuttlesworth, founder and executive director of the no-kill animal shelter Friends for Life, talks about how organizations like hers partner with the city to address this issue. 00:00 /15:02 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Xcenter_img Listen Photo provided by Harris County Public HealthThe Harris County Animal Shelter. Sharelast_img read more

DeConstructing Uncle Tom Awakens Audiences to Endemic Racial Bias

first_imgDe-Constructing Uncle Tom was performed entirely in blackface minstrelsy by a diverse group of actors during The Atlas Theater’s Intersections Festival. (Photo by Shantella Y. Sherman)When The Conciliation Project founder Tawnya Pettiford-Wates decided to explore a deconstruction of the archetype Uncle Tom from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s controversial novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” it’s doubtful she knew the impact her work would have.  Staged entirely in blackface minstrelsy, De-Constructing Uncle Tom provides an historical trajectory of the tall-tale, originally published in 1852.   The hour-long production demonstrates how the racial stereotypes Stowe manufactured continue to adversely position Black families, churches, athletes, and youth, in the white American consciousness.Pettiford-Wates said that the untold history of the nation’s racial past compels audiences to question their own education and knowledge of history.  By presenting such lessons in minstrel character the company strikes at deeply-held belief systems and unrealized prejudices.  Admittedly, the blackface proves overwhelming at first, forcing viewers to look beyond the grotesqueness of saucer eyes and big red lips, against coal-black skin.  The challenge is to see and acknowledge the people beneath the caricature.“I didn’t like the blackface… it made me feel embarrassed, but I understand why.  I’ve read Uncle Tom’s Cabin and it was painful to read Black people described like we were animals.  There was no humanity in [Stowe’s] work.  I brought my son with me to the show because I wanted him to understand that society’s perceptions of you can be a dangerous,” said Jamal Rayford.  “He’s fifteen and looked me dead in the face and said, “White people wear masks too because they’re afraid.”As a part of the performance’s epilogue, the company of actors remove their make-up in the presence of the audience.  The process, called de-masking, is one of the production’s most prolific moments, shared between the actors and audience as a moment of solidarity.  This de-masking is occurring regularly in popular culture – undertaken recently by actresses Viola Davis and CCH Pounder on primetime television shows, How to Get Away with Murder and The Sons of Anarchy.De-Constructing Uncle Tom was performed entirely in blackface minstrelsy by a diverse group of actors during The Atlas Theater’s Intersections Festival. (Photo by Shantella Y. Sherman)“The lies live behind the masks.  So when you symbolically wipe off the mask, you expose the lie,” Pettiford-Wates said following a recent performance at The Atlas Theater’s Intersections Festival.  “That’s not to say that people can’t put it right back up again, that’s why I say consciousness has to be intentional.  That’s why you have to intentionally take it off.”Pettiford-Wates said that taking off the blinders and seeing the truth — even though painful and ugly, is necessary to the nation’s healing.Audience member Cheryl Dyson said that this ritualistic removal of make-up and wigs by African- American women in popular television shows and the actors in the play help disabuse Americans of lying about race and establishing new barriers.“De-Constructing Uncle Tom shows that although they’ve been modernized over the years, few white people view African Americans today outside of the characteristics of Uncle Tom, Mammy, and Topsy. Removing the masks symbolizes a refusal to keep up the pretense by Black people.  It is scary for the larger society because it simultaneously exposes whites, and systems of oppression we’ve come to accept as normal,” Dyson said.The Conciliation Project (TCP) has an 11-year history of facilitating difficult conversations around race and racism through the use of theatre.  The Richmond-based social justice theatre company partners with organizations and communities to engage in the long process of healing our nation’s historic past.last_img read more

Supportive friends make teenagers more caring

first_imgCaring for others dips during adolescence but when young people feel supported by their social circles, their concern for others rebounds, suggests new research.Values of social responsibility decrease between the ages 10 to 16 before levelling off in later adolescence, the study showed. “Relationships with parents, schools, and peers do get more complex during adolescence, and some young people may start to feel less bonded to those around them,” said Laura Wray-Lake, one of the researchers and assistant professor in psychology at the University of Rochester in New York.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“But, if a student has support from their parents and their school, and they also have supportive friends, those relationships are going to give them a boost in terms of pro-social engagement,” Wray-Lake noted.“Increase in young people’s perceptions of positive relationships is related to increases in social responsibility. It is also true that decrease in positive relationships resulted in decline in social responsibility,” Wray-Lake explained.The study involved over 3,500 US adolescents from rural, suburban and urban communities. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe researchers also looked at students’ individual behaviour and found that over time, volunteering resulted in an increase in values of caring. The actual experience of being civically engaged appears to enhance social responsibility values, the researchers said. The opposite is true, however, for substance use. An increase in substance use is related to lower social responsibility over time. According to the study, published in Developmental Psychology, young people who get involved with risky behaviour might have values that are more hedonistic-living in the moment and having fun-which can conflict with social values that lead to helping and caring for other people.last_img read more

Beat holiday blues with these simple tips

first_imgMany people who are returning to their daily routines after taking time off to celebrate Christmas and New Years, find it a struggle to adapt back into their everyday lives. But one can beat the holiday blues by taking care of a few simple steps like settling back to home quickly but to work slowly.Global research from Booking.com, an online accommodation booking website, revealed that travel gives us such an emotional boost that people consider planning and going away on holiday more for their happiness than other big life occasions. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHere are some simple tips that will help find a balance while getting integrated into that normal, pre-holiday daily routine again:* Settle back home quick: If you travelled over the holiday season, unpack as soon as you get back, set your watch back to the right time, and arrange a grocery delivery for when you return. The more comfortable and organised you feel once you’re back home, the easier the transition back will be.* Settle back to work slowly: Avoid overwhelming yourself with too much work as soon as you get back. Instead ease yourself in making reasonable, do-able to do lists for the first few days till you are able to catch up with everything. It may even be a good idea to go back on a Thursday or Friday so that the weekend doesn’t feel too far away! Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive* Go towards the light: One of the reasons that travel is the key to happiness is because we spend more time in natural daylight rather than confined indoors all day long so even though you may not be able to stroll down to the beach, at least try and go out for a short walk once a day. It can make a real difference to how you feel.* Make sure you have stuff to look forward to: Having something scheduled in your diary that you’re looking forward to, is a great way to get through the January blues. It doesn’t have to be something big or fancy. A reservation at a favourite restaurant, a quick weekend getaway, plans to see a movie you’ve been waiting for, or a day off from work where you get to explore the city are all wonderful ways of giving yourself a sense of perspective when you’re feeling down. * Stay connected: While hiding away and hibernating until spring may seem appealing, it’s actually really important that you make a point of meeting up with family and friends. * Make sure the basics are there: Sleep well, eat well, get back into an exercise routine and generally make sure that you are taking care of you. These are the basics that are often overlooked, but they’re so important to our overall well being.* Capture and recall the memories: Keep the memories made over the Christmas season alive by telling the stories and going through your photos and maybe even framing a couple.* Do something new: Take up a new hobby, learn a new language or join a class that you have been meaning to for a while – things like this don’t take much investment financially but still give you that great sensation of doing something for the first time!last_img read more