Ten Things I Wish I’d Have Known When I Started Speaking

first_imgHere are ten things that I wish I’d have known before I started speaking.Use Toastmasters to write your keynote: I joined Toastmasters because I wanted to be a better, more polished speaker. As I completed the first manual, the Competent Communicator manual, I realized I had made a grave mistake. I wrote and delivered 11 speeches that were designed to entertain my Toastmasters club. I should have used each of those speeches to write one segment of my keynote. That would have been a better investment of time.Give the same speech as many times as possible: Back to Toastmasters. I gave each speech there only once. Huge mistake. The point of Toastmasters is stage time. You don’t have to treat your Toastmasters club to a new, entertaining speech. That isn’t the point. The point is to improve. The best speakers you will ever see will have you believe they are delivering their material for the first time. But in actuality, they’ve given the speech dozens—if not hundreds—of times before. It looks fresh because they’re professional enough to rehearse.Write every word of every speech: I missed my calling. I should have been a late night talk show host. I love to riff with people. I get a chance to do some of that in workshops. But just because you can speak extemporaneously doesn’t mean that you should. If you are giving a speech, write that speech. Rehearse every word. Memorize it backwards and forwards. Don’t worry about delivering it as precisely as you’ve written it; you won’t. But the fact that you have such great command of the material will allow you to bring in new ideas and real time events as you see fit. I spent too much time speaking off the cuff.Fearlessly tell your story: You have a story. You don’t think it’s a great story because you were there when it happened. We weren’t there, so we only get to live that experience with you if you share it with us. I used to think it was selfish to tell my story. But I learned that your story is what connects you to your audience. It also builds the foundation for the ideas that you share.Rehearse standing up: I used to rehearse my speech only in my head. I still do a lot of visualization before I speak. I go through the whole thing in my head. But I also go through the physical motions standing up. Rehearsing standing up, going through the physical motions, builds it into your nervous system. It also makes it way easier to memorize your speech.Record your rehearsal: This one is going to sting a little. Record yourself giving your speech. I used to hate to hear my recorded voice. But if you want to know what your speech is going to sound like to your audience, you need to record it. I record every keynote before I deliver it. I usually record it straight into my computer so I can move it to my iPhone and listen to them later.Your body language matters as much as your words: You can always tell how confident a speaker is by how they move. Unconfident speakers cover their genitals with both hands (I know, I know, but it’s true). Or they have trouble figuring out what to do with their arms. They hold their arms in front of them like a Tyrannosaurus Rex.  It took me a long to time to learn to stand with arms at my sides. It also took me a long time to figure out how to figure out where to be and what to do with myself on a big stage.Your audience wants you to set them free: They are there for the experience. They want to be educated. They want to be entertained. They want to be enthusiastic. And they want to participate. I wish I’d have know sooner how true this is. The more real, authentic, and free you are, the more you give you audience permission to be real, authentic, and free. They want to give you their energy, but you have to help the release it.Hang around when you speak: I’ve always been pretty good about hanging around. But I see a lot of speakers show up right before they go on and disappear as soon as they’re done. If you hang around, you learn. You get to listen to other speakers. You get to listen to what other people have to say. You can learn a lot about speaking, and you can learn a lot about the organization to which you’re speaking.Watch the videos. Every time.: It burns! It burns! You have to watch the videos. I used to hate it. Here’s what I learned. When I thought I was giving tons of energy, it wasn’t even showing up as a blip from the audience’s view. When I thought I was being outrageous, it showed up as mildly energetic. You will not do anything that improves your speaking faster than watching yourself on video and making adjustments. I still do this. And I still don’t smile enough.last_img read more

Two Bites of Dessert

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now I read somewhere once that the maximum amount of pleasure you can derive from eating dessert comes in the first two bites. Any bite beyond the second bite doesn’t increase the pleasure. In fact, it reduces it.The same is true for the distractions and novelties that engage your time and attention. Television is an interesting distraction. There are dozens and dozens of excellent television shows you might watch. Devoting one hour to television each week is one thing, but devoting four hours a day to television is quite another. The Internet isn’t any better. And neither is living in your inbox.I bring this up for one important reason. If you are doing something that doesn’t help further your goals, and does not also create a tremendous amount of value in the way of pleasure, then you are wasting your time.Look at the activities that you engage in. Are you engaged in these activities because they are moving you closer to your goals? Are you doing what speaks to your highest calling? Are you engaged in activities because they create the most value for you and the people you care most about? Is what you do for pleasure really about relationships, the important stuff? If the answer to these questions is no, then you really should be doing something else.There is no such thing as time management, there is only “me management.” What you give your time, your focus, and your full attention to is your experience of life. What you give yourself to will represent the quality of your life and the quality of your contribution.Are you spending time on novelties and distractions and avoiding the work you really should be doing now? Are you sitting down to eat dessert (and nothing but dessert) for hours and hours on end? Two bites is enough. There is no greater pleasure beyond that.Decide what’s most important, and do that instead.last_img read more

The Leadership Playbook: Leaders Provide Focus

first_imgFocus is the elimination of options. Focus is the discipline of saying no to all but the few things that are most important. Leaders provide that focus.A leader is often presented with countless opportunities. There is always an endless stream of ideas, some of them good, a few of them great, and a very small number that are compelling. A leader has to protect the organization he leads from most of these opportunities to pursue the few opportunities that will deliver their strategic objectives.Not every potential client is worth pursuing. They’re not all created equal. Some of your prospective clients are going to be willing to work with you, provided you do something way outside your core competencies. It can sound and feel like a good idea to gain new competencies, but it is almost always a distraction.There are countless change initiatives that would help you improve your efficiencies or improve your operational capabilities. There are now hundreds of things you could be doing better. But you must deploy the limited time, energy, and psychic bandwidth against only the most important initiatives.There is always some new, shiny object that captures your attention as a leader. It might be social selling. It might be big data. It might be the latest and greatest sales methodology. You cannot ignore the major political, economic, societal, and technological trends that are reshaping the world in this Disruptive Age. But you also can’t allow your team to tackle projects that aren’t going to produce the results you need, and you can’t allow them to spread their effort across so many initiatives that nothing gets done as well–or completely–as it needs to be.Leadership requires that you say no to all but the few, critical, strategic initiatives that are going to move the organization you lead into the future. Saying no to small things is the only way to protect the time and energy necessary to say yes to big things. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

The Leadership Playbook: What Not to Do. Who Not to Do It With.

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Strategy is about deciding how you intend to compete and win. It’s your plan to create an advantage, and it is how you create focus. As a leader, you are charged with ensuring that your sales strategies and sales tactics are aligned with the company’s overall strategy; they serve as a guide to what you will do.Strategy is also a guide to what you will not do.Who You Won’t ServeBringing strategy to life means deciding who you will not serve. It dictates who you will not pursue as clients as much as it dictates who you will. It is the underlying foundation for both targeting (the dream clients you will call on) and disqualifying (who you will not call on).If your company is not the price leader, your strategy will dictate that you forego calling on prospects whose primary deciding factor for choosing a partner is price. A price-driven prospect needs value creation around obtaining a lower price, and your value-creation lies elsewhere. That’s a strategic mismatch.Some large, well-known companies live their strategy, and it is, in part, why they are so successful. Apple Computers purposely and willingly gives up market share in laptop computers by targeting and selling to a higher price point; they are willing to lose all of the potential laptop buyers whose primary concern is price. The other side is WalMart. They are the low price leader, but if you want a clean, bright store instead of a warehouse for your household shopping, WalMart is willing to forego your business.This guidance is critical to leading the sales force effectively. When you can tell your sales force who not to call and why, you free up their time and the resources to focus on who you do want them to pursue.What We Won’t DoTargeting and qualifying are also more effective when the sales force has been provided concrete guidance as to what you won’t do.If there are some things that you can’t, won’t, or don’t want to do because your strategy dictates otherwise, then helping the sales force to understand the strategy prevents them from wasting time pursuing the wrong prospects.If a prospect requires a solution that you cannot provide, if they have very specific needs that you aren’t able to meet, or if they operate in a way that requires something other than what you do, eliminating the time working on these prospects frees up time for better activities.Because you need to identify and move opportunities through the pipeline from target to close, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to serve everybody. You might believe that maybe you can find a way to make what you do work, or maybe you could change the prospect’s mind about what they need. And sometimes, you may be able to find a way. But the great majority of the time, doing so is a more complicated decision that means making a bad strategic choice.Your strategy should guide what you do, as well as what you will not do. It should also guide who you target and who you disqualify. These decisions are critical, and you owe the sales force clear guidance.last_img read more

We Help People Because We Can

first_imgA few days ago, on the way home from dinner with my wife and my youngest daughter, I noticed a dark figure standing on a street corner in the cold, rainy weather. He was holding a cardboard sign, but I couldn’t make it out because it was too dark, and the weather was too bad. I knew what the sign said without having to read it.I asked my wife to roll down the window and ask the man holding the sign to come over the car, and I had my daughter hand me my bag so I could grab my wallet. I was just back from speaking in Las Vegas, and I knew I had a little cash. I handed the man two $20 bills, all the cash I had on me.The homeless man took the money, said thank you, and head down, turned away from the car. He was ashamed to look at the money in front of us, so he carefully looked as he walked away, maybe hoping we wouldn’t notice. When he realized he had $40, he turned around and started crying.Bawling his eyes out, the homeless man said, “Thank you. I can go home. I can go home. Thank you!” He ran behind my car and kept right on running. We were all emotional because the man was crying as he literally ran to his “home,” whatever that meant, and $40 isn’t life changing money—for us.My daughter asked, “What if he uses that money for drugs or alcohol?” I told her that there is nothing that I could do about that, and that I would have given him the money regardless. We don’t help people in need so we can judge them or control their behavior. Any one of us can make life decisions that don’t turn out the way we want them to and find ourselves in need of help.We help people because they need our help. We give because we are fortunate enough to have the means to do so. The more you are given, the more you have to give.Whatever your religious beliefs, this season is a good time to remember that you are here for a reason. Your life is the greatest gift you have ever been given, and you are here to do something purposeful and meaningful with that life. For my money, nothing shows your gratitude for that gift as much as making a difference in the lives of others.last_img read more

An Invitation to the 2017 Virtual Sales Kickoff – Episode 25

first_imgIn 2015, over 2,400 people attended the first ever Virtual Sales Kickoff. In 2016, that number more than doubled, with 5,400 people attending and 4,600 more watching the replay. This is your invitation to the 2017 Virtual Sales Kickoff. Sign up at www.virtualsaleskickoff.com.last_img

Discipline Never Ends

first_imgIf you’ve never read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People you need to do it. Covey talks early in the book about setting yourself up for “private victories.” That means you have to keep all of the disciplines that make you worth doing business with in the first place. You need to keep the commitments you make to yourself, first, and always.If you say to yourself, “I’m going to prospect everyday for an hour,” do you keep that commitment? Because if you don’t keep the commitments to yourself, you are missing the fundamental discipline of all people who are successful in every human endeavor. The ability to get yourself to take action even though the reward may come in the future, possibly the distant future, is the one discipline that success requires.In order to maintain the discipline required for the success you want, you need to understand the difference between discipline and goals. A discipline is something that you do religiously, and you keep this practice because it’s something you want to do forever. It may or may not be attached to a goal, but even if it has no goal you are going to continue to do it.Some people exercise everyday. They aren’t doing it because they’re going to run a marathon. They do it because they want to maintain their good health. They aren’t willing to make concessions about exercise. It is a discipline. In sales, some people make prospecting a discipline. They make prospecting calls every day. They block off one hour and dial 15 numbers every single day. They don’t have a goal as in, “I’m going to make 100 cold calls,” because when they made 100 cold calls they’d be finished. A discipline is something you do forever and ever with no reason to stop.A goal is different. It has a beginning and an end. For instance, if you’re training for a marathon you do it religiously until that marathon is run. Afterwards, there is no reason to train anymore. Perhaps you create a new goal, like running a triathlon, which you will train for until that goal is met. Unlike having a goal, a discipline is not focused on achieving one thing; its entire point is that it exists in perpetuity. Having personal discipline is more difficult in this technology driven world we inhabit. We have become trained to like instant gratification. We are accustomed to immediate access to everything. We are accustomed to wanting and receiving, and have a much more difficult time with the concept of working and waiting. The truth is that all truly successful people know is that success is never instant, and discipline never ends. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

Mamata defends Minister’s red beacon

first_imgHours after a controversy broke out when Trinamool Congress (TMC) Minister Arup Biswas used a red beacon on his vehicle, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that he had “not done anything wrong” as the State government is yet to pass any law in this regard.Earlier in the day, Mr. Biswas was seen using a red beacon on his vehicle in the Darjeeling district. The Centre from May 1 has banned the use of a red beacon on any vehicle.“Arup Biswas has not done anything wrong. We are yet to pass any law [regarding the use of a red beacon],” Ms. Banerjee told journalists at Nabanna, the State secretariat. She further accused the Centre of “imposing” restrictions on the use of a red beacon, which comes under the Concurrent List. “We have written to the Centre in this regard but are yet to receive any response,” said Ms. Banerjee.Pointing out that she does not use a red beacon on her vehicle in Kolkata and adjoining areas, Ms. Banerjee argued that the State’s ministers and bureaucrats have to use the red beacon while travelling on National Highways because of security reasons. “Earlier, it sufficed to have a red beacon but now, as a result of the Centre’s decision, an escort vehicle along with security personnel will be required. This will increase the government’s expenditure,” the Chief Minister said.‘No consultation’She further criticised the Centre for neither discussing the matter with State governments nor giving them any time to figure out an alternative to the red beacon. “The order [banning the red beacon] was passed without any hearing [consultation with State governments],” said Ms. Banerjee.Earlier in the day, Mr. Biswas said that the “State government has not banned it [red beacon on vehicles].”In April, the Centre announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had decided to scrap a rule that allowed the Central and State governments to select dignitaries who would be allowed to use a red beacon to on their vehicles. The authority of the State governments to decide who could use flashing blue lights on their vehicles was also taken away.last_img read more

A drought on U.P.’s doorstep

first_imgUttar Pradesh is staring at a drought, the senior-most official in the State has said.Noting that the State received low rainfall during the monsoon, Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar has instructed divisional commissioners and district magistrates to brace for a “potential drought”.Mr. Kumar has instructed officials to coordinate with all departments and take “necessary steps on a priority basis”.The Chief Secretary has issued a three-page order containing a set of instructions to various departments of the government, including those of Farm, Irrigation, Energy, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Animal Husbandry, Food and Civil Supplies and Water Resources. A government spokesperson said officials had been instructed to publicise ways of preserving moisture in the soil, to ensure that government tube-wells are operational, and fill ponds with water.Alternative crops“He also said that apart from food and seeds, adequate availability of alternative crops must be ensured,” the spokesperson said. Officials have also been told to get non-functional transformers changed within 24 hours, get hand-pumps activated and mobilise water tankers to supply water to households.There must also be sufficient feed for cattle and medicine in veterinary clinics, the order said. Wells must be deepened and farmers employed under the rural employment guarantee programme to meet the risk of famine. Mr. Kumar has instructed senior state and divisional officials to hold meetings at the district level with officials of all related departments and as per the parameters of the drought manual of 2016 examine the ground situation in their districts.If the districts expect to be affected by drought, the local officials have been I asked a to provide the government with a specific proposal recommendation by October 25.From October 30 to January, 2018, official will also have to produce weekly updates of the situation.Last year, the state government had declared 50 districts in UP as drought-affected.last_img read more

5 Cong. MLAs join NPP in Meghalaya

first_imgEight MLAs, including five from the Congress, on Thursday joined the BJP ally at the Centre, National People’s Party (NPP), in poll-bound Meghalaya.All eight MLAs, who recently resigned from the Assembly, joined the NPP at a rally here.NPP spokesperson James K. Sangma said along with them, 10 members of the tribal autonomous district councils have also formally joined the party. The NPP is headed by Mr. James K. Sangma’s brother Conrad K. Sangma. Both are sons of former Lok Sabha Speaker P.A. Sangma.The eight MLAs had resigned from the State Assembly on December 29 last year and announced that they would be joining the NPP.last_img

M.P. police selection drive in another row

first_imgIn a shocking incident, medical tests of female and male candidates appearing for the ongoing recruitment drive in the Madhya Pradesh Police were allegedly conducted in the same room at the Bhind District Hospital on Tuesday.The matter came to light after a video of male applicants stripped to their undergarments standing in front of a female candidate surfaced on social media. The video showed two male doctors sitting in front of a table, two male applicants, wearing underwear, standing close to one of the doctors to get height and chest measured, a male constable watching the procedure of the medical test and a female applicant allegedly waiting for her turn to undergo the test in the hospital room. No women doctors or nurses are seen in the footage.Dr. Ajit Mishra, civil surgeon of Bhind District Hospital, said: “We have ordered an inquiry into the incident and have issued warning letters to all the team members of the examination committee.”“Today, we have deputed one lady doctor and one nurse for the medical tests,” he added.last_img read more

Rajasthan Cabinet clears loan guarantee to farmers

first_imgIn a populist move ahead of the State Assembly elections, the Rajasthan Cabinet has decided to provide a guarantee to the State Apex Cooperative Bank to take a loan worth ₹ 5,000 crore from the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) for funding the State government’s crop loan waiver scheme for farmers. The Cabinet has also relaxed the two-child norm for government employees.In its meeting held here on Wednesday, the State Cabinet extended the time for organising camps to give loan waiver certificates to farmers till August 15, and approved 13 proposals for investments in different sectors. The waiving of loans to the tune of ₹ 5,077 crore in the cooperative sector is set to benefit over 16.5 lakh farmers.Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje presided over the Cabinet meeting. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore said the clause in the government employees’ service rules for compulsory retirement on the birth of a third child would be deleted, thereby relaxing the two-child norm introduced in 2002.Thirteen proposals for investments worth ₹ 6,000 crore in different sectors across the State were approved, said Mr. Rathore, while claiming that the projects would create thousands of jobs. The investments would be made in the sectors such as cement, mining, textiles, agro-processing, plastic manufacturing, business process outsourcing, distilleries and beverages, and auto parts.Moreover, additional benefits will be extended to individuals and institutions investing money in the State’s backward regions. Among other decisions, land was allotted to six community-based organisations for housing schemes, a proposal for giving houses to the families of martyrs in the Armed Forces was cleared, and a committee was appointed for recruitment to the Home Guards.last_img read more

Berhampur launches drive to ‘cure’ trees

first_imgUsing the knowledge of senior botanists, nature lovers initiated an experimental effort in Odisha’s Berhampur on Sunday to cure trees affected by human activities by using traditional ingredients. Berhampur Development Authority (BDA) chairperson Subash Moharana, Forest Department officials, city MLA Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik, Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ashis Behera, environmental activists and several botanists took part in the initiative started by Sabuja Bahini, Anchalika Vikash Parishad and other organisations.For the past one week, efforts are on to remove metal nails, wires and publicity materials from the trunk of the trees in and around Berhampur as they are the reason behind the slow death of trees. Posters on tree trunks“It was seen that toxic metallic oxides produced through corrosion had started to damage the internal parts of these trees. Fungal infection caused by posters nailed on tree trunks was a major problem. So, it was decided to take up some measures to heal the wounds,” said Mr. Behera.Traditional methodsSenior botanists — Prof. Sachidananda Padhi and Prof. Brahmabihari Panda — were consulted to provide remedial measures. “As plants have great self-healing power, we decided to provide natural remedies to them which would help them heal the wounds by themselves,” said Prof. Padhi. “So, we decided to experiment with a concoction comprising turmeric, neem leaves, gobar [cattle dung] and clay collected from ponds,” said Prof. Panda. No chemical ingredients like modern pesticides or fungicides were used in the mixture.In the concoction, turmeric and neem serve as disinfectants for the wounds and fungal infections while gobar and clay help the plant cells to regenerate. On Sunday morning, environmental activists along with the DFO, local MLA, BeDA chairman and botanists filled up the wounds found on the tree trunks with the concoction.Sibaram Panigrahy of Sabuja Bahini said that as the process involved no costly materials, the general public should start saving the trees in their area through this process in future.Chyau Patnaik, a physician, said he got involved in the medical treatment of plants for the first time.Dr. Patnaik said in the coming Assembly session, he will try to bring a private member Bill to save trees in urban areas from getting damaged by human interventions.The Super Cyclone of 1999, Phailin of 2013 and the Hudhud in 2014 had uprooted several big trees in Berhampur. Efforts are on to save the trees and provide them longevity, said Mr. Moharana.last_img read more

Militants kill four policemen in J&K

first_imgFour policemen were killed and four service rifles were snatched on Tuesday when a group of militants attacked a security picket in south Kashmir’s Shopian.“Militants in the afternoon fired upon the guard post deployed at Shopian’s Zainapora,” said a Srinagar-based police spokesman. “The militants fired indiscriminately as they approached the post. Three policemen manning the picket died on the spot and the fourth injured policeman died later in a hospital.”The Zainapora area houses a ‘minority’ colony and is guarded round the clock.Breaks lullThe shooting at the picket is the first major attack in the past more than one month and breaks a lull that had been created by the security forces’ ongoing offensive against militant outfits in south Kashmir. The stepped up operations in November, which left 37 militants dead, had deterred attacks on the security forces.Authorities identified the deceased policemen as Abdul Majeed Ganaie, Mehraj-ud-din Dar, Anees Ahmad Mir and Hameed-ul-lah Ganaie, all locals.In a statement issued in Srinagar to local news agencies, the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.“I strongly condemn the attack on the police post in Shopian and condole the deaths of police personnel in the line of duty,” said National Conference vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah. “I pray for their souls.”Condemning the attack, Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said, “It bears repetition, violence achieves nothing but destruction. I express my solidarity with the families of jawans. I am relieved that no harm was caused to any civilians in the minority pocket they guarded.”last_img read more

‘Revise Bru voters’ list after they return to Mizoram’

first_imgA conglomerate of major civil societies and student bodies on Friday demanded that revision of voters’ list among the Bru refugees living in Tripura be conducted only after they return to Mizoram, the State they originally belong to. Leaders of the NGO Coordination Committee placed the demand at a meeting with the Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer Ashish Kundra here. “Our stance is clear. Revision of voters’ list for Mizoram should be conducted only inside the State, and for the Brus, only after their return to Mizoram,” NGO Coordination Committee chairman Vanlalruata said after the meeting. He said the CEO informed them about instructions from the Election Commission to conduct revision of the electoral rolls in the Bru relief camps in North Tripura district. Mr. Vanlalruata said the Committee would hold a meeting about the EC’s instruction. “We discussed the modalities of Bru voters for parliamentary elections,” the CEO said, adding that the meeting was held in a spirit of mutual understanding. The meeting was held after an umbrella organisation of the Bru refugees living in six relief camps in Tripura urged CEC Sunil Arora to direct the Mizoram election department to revise rolls in the relief camps.last_img read more

‘Expedite implementation of Forest Rights Act’

first_imgThe Odisha State Food Commission has again asked the State government to expedite implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006, that would help ensure food and nutritional security to the vulnerable section of society.In a letter addressed to all Collectors, OSFC chairperson Ranglal Jamuda pointed out that “out of 4,25,563 IFR titles distributed till December 2018, demarcation of land has been completed in respect of 2,99,471 titles representing 70.37% of the total titles.”“It is a matter of serious concern that in seven important districts (where more than 5,000 titles have been distributed) the performance on demarcation of titles is significantly below the State average,” said Mr. Jamuda.Demarcation of titlesKeonjhar has completed demarcation of titles in case of only 34.37% while Nabarangpur achieved 34.4%, Koraput (33.68%), Sundargarh (52.96%), Deogarh (48.12%), Nuapada (35.80%) and Ganjam (51.94%).“In all these seven districts the Collectors should undertake special drive for demarcation of land. The amins posted in other tehsils may be re-deployed in tehsils having more number of pending cases for demarcation,” Mr. Jamuda directed.Mr. Jamuda, a retired IAS officer, said the government should take the services of retired revenue inspectors and amins to expedite implementation.Demarcation of land regularised under Individual Forest Right and correction of preparation of record of rights have been completed only in case of Bhadrak district.Similarly, in case of correction of RoRs, cumulative achievement has so far been 1,78,039 titles, only representing 41.83% of the titles distributed.“Despite a series of instructions, the extent of land developed utilising Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme funds till December 2018 is only 56,340.53 acres. In five districts there was no activity in this regard,” said Mr. Jamuda.last_img read more

CBI files FIR on mills sale

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation has registered an FIR to probe alleged irregularities in the sale of 21 State-owned sugar mills during the tenure of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in 2010-11, resulting in a loss of ₹1,179 crore to the exchequer.The case, in which seven persons have been named as accused for using forged documents while purchasing the mills from the U.P. State Sugar Corporation Limited, has been lodged on a reference from the Yogi Adityanath government. Six preliminary enquiries have also been initiated into the allegations.Probe soughtThe State government had sought a CBI probe into the sale of 21 mills and alleged graft in the purchase of seven closed mills in Deoria, Bareilly, Laxmi Ganj, Hardoi, Ramkola, Chittauni and Barabanki. It was also being pursued by the Lucknow Police.last_img read more

The World’s Forests at Your Fingertips

first_imgA new electronic tool called Global Forest Watch (GFW) offers the public, policymakers, and scientists near-real-time data on Earth’s forests through an interactive website. Launched last week by the World Resources Institute, the tool allows users to track deforestation over time, find recently clear-cut areas and current fires, and receive alerts when there are changes to specific tracts of interest.A coalition of governments, scientists, and environmental groups worked on the interactive map for 2 years. The target audience is everyone from activists to wildlife biologists to companies interested in the origin of the products they buy from forested areas. “If you’re trying to monitor deforestation in near real time for law enforcement, for supply chain management, we think this will be a very helpful new tool,” says Nigel Sizer, an ecologist who leads the forest team at WRI, a nonpartisan environmental think tank in Washington, D.C.Scientists have loaded GFW with a variety of data sets and tools. Satellite data from Landsat, MODIS, and other remote sources are tapped. Users can view political boundaries, protected areas, and commercial areas for logging, mining, or palm oil production. Maps are accompanied with sliding time bars to allow users to scroll backward and forward. The data sets underpinning the website are linked in a single place, helping scientists new to the geographical data navigate the information. Citizen scientists are encouraged to post stories linked to particular forests.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Most of the voluminous data accessible with GFW was already publicly available before last week’s rollout. But few outside universities or a handful of government agencies or specialized nonprofits could use it to track deforestation reliably, says geographer Christopher Justice of the University of Maryland, College Park. Scientists at his institution helped provide to WRI analyzed Landsat data showing changes in forest cover. Another group, which joined WRI 2 years ago, created a data product that includes alerts of new deforestation every 16 days. The partners in the collaboration include Google, which helps analyze and visualize the data.“Before, if you were lucky you could analyze one, two, maybe three chimpanzee sites for deforestation,” says Lilian Pintea, a conservation biologist with the Jane Goodall Institute in Vienna, Virginia. That group’s efforts to compare conditions at different chimp habitats was limited by an arduous process that required researchers to download raw satellite data, process the images to remove noise and clouds, and then analyze them for changes. “Now, for the first time, we can compare how the chimpanzee habitats are changing at the scale of their entire range,” Pintea says. His group is using the deforestation alerts tool to send rangers to investigate possible new deforestation events. WRI plans to spend up to $3 million over the next few years for small grants to encourage developing country scientists to conduct research with their tool.GFW is the latest step in democratizing forest data in hopes of stemming deforestation around the world, says Steve Schwartzman, who heads the tropical forest program at the Environmental Defense Fund in Washington, D.C. In 1999, WRI began monitoring forests with printed reports and maps. In 2002, Brazil began making its satellite data on forests public. Six years later, the U.S. Geological Survey opened up its archive of Landsat satellite data.A paper based on that treasure trove, High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change, wowed researchers with its detailed analysis. Aided by the cloud computing power of Google’s Earth Engine, the paper analyzed 12 years of forest change at a resolution of 30 meters. Now, processed data will be available for anyone with an Internet connection to build off that work.Schwartzman says transparency is “one of the elements that has contributed to the big drop in Brazil’s deforestation,” helping spur greater protection of indigenous territories and certain endangered forests and a crackdown on illegal deforestation. “In itself, more transparency doesn’t lead to stopping deforestation. But this is a terrific step.”last_img read more

Glimpse of the Universe’s First Split Second Boosts Inflation Theory

first_imgIf imagining the big bang makes your head ache, what happened an instant later might make it explode. Cosmologists think the just-born universe—a hot, dense soup of matter and energy—went through a burst of expansion faster than the speed of light. Like a magical balloon, the cosmos doubled its size 60 times in a span of 10-32 seconds. This phase, known as inflation, ended well before the universe was even a second old.Now, 13.7 billion years later, cosmologists have detected what they say is the first direct evidence of this inflation—one of the biggest discoveries in the field in 20 years. From studying the cosmic microwave background (CMB)—the leftover radiation from the big bang—they have spotted traces of gravitational waves—undulations in the fabric of space and time—that rippled through the universe in that infinitesimally short epoch following its birth. The imprint of these gravitational waves upon the CMB matches what theorists had predicted for decades. The findings, announced this morning at a scientific presentation at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, also show that gravity—at the smallest scale—follows the rules of quantum mechanics, similar to other forces such as electromagnetism.“This is an astounding result,” says Alan Guth, a cosmologist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and one of the original proponents of inflation. Guth—who was not involved in the work being highlighted today—says the researchers showed him a draft paper a week ago, after swearing him to secrecy. “The observations are at a very high level of significance,” he says. Andrei Linde, a cosmologist at Stanford University in California who developed one of the most theoretically successful models of inflation, agrees: “If these results are right, inflationary theory has passed its most difficult test ever.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The discovery comes from observations by a small but sophisticated telescope at the South Pole dedicated to a project known as the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP). Just like visible light and other kinds of electromagnetic radiation, a cosmic microwave’s electric and magnetic fields could be oscillating along any of an infinite number of orientations. The telescope used by the BICEP researchers is designed to map the orientation—or polarization—of the CMB as it varies in different parts of the sky. In data taken from a small patch of the sky between January 2010 and December 2012, the researchers found a random pattern of faint pinwheel-like swirls in the CMB. Such swirls, called B modes, are the hallmark of gravitational waves in the primordial universe and—many cosmologists say—are the smoking gun for inflation.“We believe that gravitational waves could be the only way to introduce this B-mode pattern,” says John Kovac, a cosmologist at Harvard and one of the four principal investigators of BICEP.According to the standard model of cosmology, when the universe sprang into existence, it contained a quantum field similar to an electric field that was roiled with quantum fluctuations. Inflation magnified those infinitesimal fluctuations to enormous size, seeding differences in density, energy, and matter that ultimately led to the cosmic structure we see today, with galaxies and other features. The fluctuations also created variations in temperature of the CMB across the sky, from which cosmologists have determined the content of the universe in terms of ordinary matter, mysterious dark matter whose gravity binds the galaxies, and weird space-stretching dark energy.But, thanks to quantum mechanics, not only did the quantum field created in the big bang fluctuate—so did spacetime itself. Inflation stretched that spacetime jittering into gravitational waves billions of light-years in wavelength. The waves left their own imprint on the CMB, scattering CMB photons in a way that created the polarization pattern that Kovac and his colleagues observed.BICEP scooped a gaggle of other experiments, including the European Space Agency’s Planck spacecraft. Suzanne Staggs, a cosmologist at Princeton University who works on the Atacama B-mode Search in Chile, says she was shocked when she heard the news. “The more I think about this, the more excited I am because the signal is so big,” she says.Kovac says the experiment’s success was due in large part to advances in the technology for measuring CMB polarization. The detectors for the telescope used to make the observations were made by the same group—led by Jamie Bock at the California Institute of Technology—that developed detectors for Planck. Whereas Planck was launched in 2007, “we have been able to go down to our telescope every year and upgrade the detectors,” Kovac says. Also, Planck was surveying the entire sky while BICEP’s telescope was focused on a small region. “We are now eagerly awaiting Planck’s polarization results,” Kovac says.The discovery of B modes is just the beginning, researchers say. The strength of the current signal tells theorists the energy density during inflation. By studying the statistical distribution of larger and smaller swirls on the sky, they may be able to piece together a detailed picture of the energy and density distribution in the primordial universe. That would help in nailing down a precise model of inflation.“For us, it’s huge, as big as it gets,” says Marc Kamionkowski, a cosmologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, of the results. “It’s not every day that you wake up and find out what happened one trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the big bang.”last_img read more

A geomagnetic storm is coming—should I worry?

first_imgThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) is forecasting a moderate to strong geomagnetic storm to occur sometime later today or tonight, U.S. Eastern time. What does that mean? Will it knock out power grids? Will there be a lot of radiation? Your questions, answered.Q: What causes a geomagnetic storm?A: The sun is now just about at the peak of its 11-year solar cycle, meaning that there are a significant number of sunspots visible. Sunspots look like dark freckles on the sun, but they’re actually regions of intense magnetic activity. Clusters of these sunspots can be sources of solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs), sudden bursts of energized particles that swiftly stream out from the surface of the sun. The largest type of these is called an X-class flare. If an X-class flare is powerful enough and aimed directly at Earth, it can cause radiation storms in Earth’s ionosphere and wreak havoc with radio communications.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Q: So what’s happening today?A: According to Thomas Berger, the director of SWPC in Boulder, Colorado, there were two back-to-back CMEs from the sun earlier this week, the second of which produced an X-class flare yesterday at about 1:45 p.m. It’s expected to reach Earth later this morning or early afternoon.Berger noted yesterday at a NOAA press conference that this X-class flare is not expected to produce a particularly large event, as these things go; there are perhaps 100 to 200 of this size of geomagnetic storm in a given solar cycle. (This one’s rated a G3, on a scale of 1 to 5.) “It’s expected to be manageable and not cause any major interruptions to power transmission,” he said. But he added that space weather scientists are paying closer attention to this event than might otherwise be warranted because two back-to-back CME events, both directed at Earth, is a bit more unusual, and because it’s possible that the two could interact on their way to Earth. The second, more powerful event is also traveling faster than the first and could overtake it (although current models suggest it won’t).Q: Should people flying in planes today worry about radiation?A: No. There are different types of space weather—geomagnetic storms, which affect communications, and solar radiation storms. Although this is expected to be a G3-level geomagnetic storm, it’ll only be an S1 solar radiation storm. Airlines (and astronauts) have procedures in place for storms level S3 and above. Q: What about aurorae? Will we see pretty lights?A: Maybe! You need clear skies, but it’s possible that if you’re far north enough you’ll see aurorae tonight. For example, in the United States, Berger said, for a storm this size, it could be visible at night along the northern tier states bordering Canada, but it’s unlikely to be visible farther south.last_img read more