Visiting for the Rugby World Cup, or simply passing through and looking for a place to refuel? Leicester is the place to go if you’re a fan of big cats and big nights out.Home to rugby giants, the Leicester Tigers, Will Cooper finds the perfect place to enjoy a pint and a decent plate of food in this East Midland’s city in our handy guide. 1. ShivalliBirmingham might have the balti, but Leicester has loads of excellent curry houses, ideal for a pre or post-match munch. Shivalli on Welford Road, specialises in vegetarian feasts, with more than 50 meat-free dishes on their menu – get there for the all-you-can-eat vegetarian lunch buffet and fill your boots with delicious food for a great price. Top tip: have a light breakfast to maximise your gorging capacity before you head to the game.https://instagram.com/p/eIpem9qhlD/2. Gelato VillageIt’s not traditionally recognised as a pre-match treat, but everyone loves ice cream right?! Hopefully the sun will be out, but even if he hasn’t got his hat on it’s still worth heading to Gelato Village for a proper Italian gelataria experience. With a huge selection of flavours to choose from, be careful that you don’t spend too much time deciding (and drooling) over their cones that you miss kick-off. https://instagram.com/p/xMLUsoE9hw/3. The PUBFrom the outside, you’d think this is a traditional English boozer, but you’d be wrong! The PUB puts a modern spin on a timeless classic and has been renovated in a contemporary style. In the old pedestrian area of New Walk, you’ll find plenty of English ales to quench your thirst, mostly from local breweries, plus a good selection of quality foreign imports. The knowledgeable bar staff are happy to help you choose your poison if you’re looking a bit overwhelmed by their extensive menu. The food menu is pretty solid too, perfect soaker for all those pints.https://instagram.com/p/sUuZcdRww_/4. The Western PubFounded by two Leicestershire locals with a passion for good beer, Steamin’ Billy Brewing Co. operates a handful of pubs and bars in and around Leicester. In all of them you’ll find locally-sourced produce, the majority of ales they serve are brewed by the company and The Western is a great spot for match-day (or none match-day) beers – in the know fans of football and rugby love this place. https://instagram.com/p/2EJgH_qbUU/5. The Boot RoomLocated in a former shoe factory, it’s a relaxed and informal but smart setting for food. It is one of Leicester’s best independent high-end restaurants and regularly receives a listing in the Michelin Guide. They pride themselves on not over complicating things – this holds for the ambiance and the food. The menu is full of recognisable modern British classics, from fish pie to popcorn panna cotta, cooked to perfection. https://instagram.com/p/1nqm4NDufn/6. The Swan and RushesA favourite with Leicester Tigers fans due to its proximity to their rugby ground, the Rugby World Cup games are to be played at the larger Leicester City stadium (home to the city’s football club) so it’s not quite as close, but it’s still a good old fashioned East Midlands boozer where you’ll likely get some rugby chat with the locals. The selection of real ales, lagers and ciders is top notch too.https://instagram.com/p/t-oop8MS1b/Going to any other games this Rugby World Cup? Check out our handy guides to some of the host cities:10 places for post-match munch in Milton KeynesGo ‘out out’ in MK after the match and see a different side to the Buckinghamshire ‘burb.Top 10 places to eat and drink in Manchester Check out our Top 10 pick of places to eat and drink in the city of Oasis and Manchester United – ideal for 2015 Rugby World Cup visitors.Top 10 bars and restaurants in London for rugby fans Our tips for 10 best places to eat and drink in London post-World Cup match.Leeds: where to eat and drink for during the RWCWe give the lowdown on the best places to soak up some Rugby World Cup atmosphere in Leeds.Top 10 places to eat and drink in Cardiff for rugby fans Travelling to Cardiff for the 2015 Rugby World Cup? Take note of our top tips on where to eat and drink in the Welsh capital.Top 10 places in Gloucester for scrummy scran during the RWC It’s rugby-mad Gloucester’s time to shine as it welcomes the Rugby World Cup.Exeter’s 10 best rugby pubs and fan friendly restaurants With its cosy pubs and buzzing local student community, Exeter is set to prove Devon can party come the Rugby World Cup.Newcastle’s top bars and restaurants on rugby daysOur top picks of the Toon – here to help you have a ball during the Rugby World Cup in Newcastle without having to try.Brighton feasts for rugby fans: top 10 caf**é**s and restaurantsIf you’re heading to the games, or fancy a cheeky weekend beside the seaside, there’s plenty of fish and chips to be had but you might want to shake things up – here’s 10 of the best local bars and restaurants for you to check out.7 incredible rugby stadiums around the world Get set for the Rugby World Cup with our world tour of where to see rugby at its very best.Find hotels in Leicester_Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels _and car hireReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedTop 8 places to eat and drink in Leeds for rugby fansWe give the lowdown on the best places to soak up some Rugby World Cup atmosphere in Leeds.Top 10 places to eat and drink and party in Newcastle for rugby fansOur top picks of the Toon – here to help you have a ball during the Rugby World Cup in Newcastle without having to try.12 top places to drink and party post-match during the Rugby World CupNot ready to call it a day after the rugby? Discover the best post-match party spots!
In This Issue… * Risk assets healing is wiped out… * Euro and A$ lead currencies lower… * Gold can’t find a bid… * Chinese renminbi takes baby steps lower… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! A Full-On Risk Aversion Day… Good day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well… ding dong me, I forgot that I said I was going to write from home on Mondays, that is until I was ½ -way to work… UGH! Oh well, I’m here in the sauna, so let’s get to what’s on my mind today, no wait, you probably don’t want to know what’s on MY mind, but rather what’s going on in the world… So, here we go! On Friday, I left you with the thought that the risk assets, were attempting to heal from Thursday’s bloodletting… There was no U.S. data to swing the traders one way or the other, so, it appeared that the week would end with some healing in the risk assets… But, that appearance didn’t last long, and soon the small gains that had been booked were wiped out… But still, no major sell off like on Thursday, so at least the risk assets had that going for them! This morning, we have more selling going on… The currencies led by the euro and Aussie dollar (A$), are both down significantly, and Gold just can’t seem to find a bid these days. The S&P futures are down early this morning too… So, at this point of the day, it appears that we’ll see a down day, a day of risk aversion, and weaker values. We went into Friday, with the thought that 4 of the largest economies in the Eurozone, were going to send their leaders to a meeting in Rome to work on a plan that would be presented at the European Summit this coming weekend… Well, I don’t know if the Eurozone leaders took my suggestion of coming up with a blueprint on how they will address this debt debacle as a whole, and stop the putting out fires one at a time… I guess we won’t find that out until this next weekend… I sure hope they did, otherwise, I feel that the Eurozone and euro will be in for a world of hurt… In Germany, they did announce that German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, had agreed to underwrite the debt of Germany’s 16 states, which is a form of burden-sharing, and will be called “Deutschland Bonds”, which will give Germany two tiers of bonds… straight Gov’t. bonds, and these new “Deutschland Bonds”… So, what does that have to do with the Eurozone as a whole? Well… what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander, right? So, if Merkel will agree to sharing debt burden within Germany, then why not for the Eurozone? Well… If I were Angela Merkel, I would be very concerned about joint debt sales in the 17-nation currency union, as long as budgets are set by the national governments… In fact, German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said it all, when he told reporters that, “as long as the national states make the decisions, they have to be liable. If you can spend money on my tab, you won’t be thrifty.” And doesn’t that make sense? Now switch gears, and come across the pond to the U.S. The U.S. Gov’t makes the budgets, and they spend our money… not theirs… which means they don’t have to be thrifty, right? But, apparently this just doesn’t occur or appear in the thought box above a trader’s head that what’s going on in the U.S. is more absurd than what’s going on in the Eurozone. Well… there are two reasons we get away with it folks… the first and biggest reason is the fact that the U.S. dollar is still the reserve currency of the world, and the second reason is that most people in the U.S. don’t give a rat’s tail about how much debt the U.S. has, or worry about how that it will get paid down, or worry about the tax burdens their kids and grandkids are going to have to deal with… Of course, that’s not you, dear readers, but think of yourself as the “minority” when it comes to awareness of this situation here in the U.S. They know all about Greece… Because the media makes a big deal out of a country which has the economy about the size of the economy of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, and that New York City’s economy is larger than Greece’s… When I go out on the road to talk to people, you would be amazed at the number of people that 1. Don’t know the consequences of these debt burdens here in the U.S., 2. Don’t know that the dollar, even though it’s in rally mode now, has lost a major chunk of its purchasing power, and 3. Don’t know that they can do something to protect themselves from the potential further declines of the dollar… But, as I’ve said… take the Pfennig Readers, and the people I talk to while out on the road, and it’s still a small group, when compared to the U.S. population as a whole… Speaking of a country with debt… Over in Japan, they are set to pass a consumption tax hike bill… This would be a brand spanking new tax on the Japanese people… So, this illustrates what I was just talking about regarding the tax burdens on our grandkids… So, here, in the land of Debt, they will pass a new tax to help pay for Gov’t debt… But… here’s something to think about regarding Japan’s economy… The new tax, if passed this week, will go into effect in 2014… So… don’t you think that the Japanese economy could get boost from consumers rushing out to buy before this tax gets implemented? So, short-term, it could be a good thing… long-term, it’s not such a good thing… I saw a story headline on the Bloomberg this morning that caught my eye… The title: Central Banks Commit to Ease as Threat of Lost Decades Rises… So, if you’re like me, that title intrigued you, and you’ll read on… according to the Bloomberg, “Central Bankers are finding it easier to support their economies than to spur expansion as the prospect of Japanese – like lost decades looms across the developed world.” OK.. Chuck again here… Now, I’ve said that the U.S. was turning Japanese for almost a decade now… and every time the U.S. implements another form of stimulus, and keeps their interest rates near zero, they play right into the Japanese lost decades scenario… Peter Dixon, the global equities economist at Commerzbank, said, “Japan’s experience shows central banks can mitigate the worst effects of the current environment, but it’s going to be very hard for them to stimulate demand.” I think the Fed Heads are finding that to be very true… So… why meddle in the first place? If a country’s economy needs to clean out the excesses then let it! Part of our financial meltdown problem is the fact that the Fed had to meddle in recessions that we the U.S. economy was supposed to experience going back to 2001… Eventually, these problems build up and then spill out… that’s exactly what has happened… the more you meddle, the bigger the problem down the road. Just ask Japan! So… the U.S. data cupboard gets restocked this week, but, for the most part, I believe that the focus will be on the European Summit that will begin on Thursday. But, for those of you keeping score at home… Today we’ll see New Home Sales for May, which should remain about the size of April’s 343,000. Another regional manufacturing report, this time from Dallas. Tomorrow, the S&P/ CaseShiller Home Price Index, and Consumer Confidence. As we go along this week, there will be more, but no sense in talking about them now… But, keep in mind the mantra that has been taken on by the traders once again, and that is… the dollar gets rewarded for awful / weak data in the U.S. strange as it might seem, that’s what’s happening! Well.. I said above that Gold just can’t seem to find a bid lately… and that about says it all! The past few months have really been a test of convictions for Gold owners… I don’t know this to be true, it’s just my opinion, but I would have to think that given the currency debasement going on all over the world, that investors will be seeking out Gold as a store of wealth… It’s just going to take some time, as it will take some time for the sheeple to realize what their Government has been doing to the purchasing power of their currency… And China continues to allow the renminbi to weaken VS the dollar… by small amounts, yes, but still.. this has to be the longest they’ve gone in this direction since 2008… In fact the BRICS are all performing very badly these days… Something I did not foresee a few years ago… These countries had everything going for them… Then There Was This… are you ready to scream at the walls? I just returned from a trip to the wall… Here’s a story that was in the Washington Post this past weekend… enjoy… “One-hundred-thirty members of Congress or their families have traded stocks collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars in companies lobbying on bills that came before their committees, a practice that is permitted under current ethics rules, a Washington Post analysis has found. The lawmakers bought and sold a total of between $85 million and $218 million in 323 companies registered to lobby on legislation that appeared before them, according to an examination of all 45,000 individual congressional stock transactions contained in computerized financial disclosure data from 2007 to 2010. Almost one in every eight trades — 5,531 — intersected with legislation.” Chuck again… Did you walk away for a moment to visit a wall nearby? To recap… The healing of the risk assets faded on Friday, and an all-out risk aversion is going on this morning, led by the euro and A$… The Eurozone leaders of the 4 largest economies met to hopefully lay out a blueprint to present to the Eurozone Summit attendees this coming weekend… I say hopefully, because if they don’t, The Eurozone and euro are in for a world of hurt… Currencies today 6/25/12… American Style: A$ $1.00, kiwi .7860, C$ .9715, euro 1.2480, sterling 1.5548, Swiss $1.0390, … European Style: rand 8.4565, krone 6.00, SEK 7.0610, forint 230.25, zloty 3.4150, koruna 20.6415, RUB 33.19, yen 79.85, sing 1.2835, HKD 7.7590, INR 57.07, China 6.3630, pesos 13.92, BRL 2.0650, Dollar Index 82.57, Oil $79.18, 10-year 1.63%, Silver $26.73, and Gold… $1,568.10 That’s it for today… A great weekend for my beloved Cardinals… I watched the game on Saturday and couldn’t believe all the red in the stands at the K.C. stadium! WOW! Of course, about 5 years ago, we took Alex to K.C. for a Cardinals’ game, but to see it on TV, that was impressive, Cardinals fans! Penalty kicks? You decide the winner of a game that will decide the European Champion by Penalty Kicks? I like soccer, I played a lot of soccer as a young man, as I grew up in South St. Louis, the soccer capital of the U.S. But, the sport will always lack fans in the U.S. as long as an important game is decided by Penalty Kicks… And with that… I had better stop, and get this out the door… Thank you for reading the Pfennig, and I hope you have a Marvelous Monday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.com
In This Issue.* Eurozone GDP contracts in 4th QTR. * BOJ candidate says yen is at equilibrium. * NZ manufacturing soars! * Remember the chocolates!And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!Happy Valentine’s Day!Good day. And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! I’m back, again! Yes, things keep pushing me down, but I keep coming back! I don’t really feel like crowing though, so, I’ll move along. Another trip to MD Anderson in Houston is put to bed. And Happy Valentine’s Day to all you love birds out there! My Valentine is off on a trip with Alex to visit a college, so, I’ll spend the next 4 nights in a very quiet house, alone!Well, the Big news going through the markets this morning is the GDP reports from the Eurozone. Most importantly, the GDP report from Germany. German 4th QTR GDP contracted -.6% and then the rest of the Eurozone members’ reports were just as weak. Now, we all have been tracking the recent data for Germany, and it appears now that the 4th QTR was a trough. But that didn’t stop some mental giant from making a really dumb statement. European Central Bank (ECB) Vice President, Constancio, said that, “negative interest rates are a possibility. no decision has been made.” Well, I don’t have to tell you that those kind of statements will send a currency to the woodshed in a NY Minute, and that’s exactly what his words did to the euro. But, isn’t this just a bunch of baloney? First. the data is old and already water under the bridge, and second, where did this ECB VP get this idea? For this “negative interest rates” thought was like a grenade from left field. Totally unsuspected, and for my two cents, unlikely!I want to thank Chris for taking the conn on the Pfennig for me, once again! Chris admits that he loves writing the Pfennig for short intervals. And I think he does a fantastic job of writing the Pfennig, as does Mike when he’s asked on short notice to take the conn. Well, yesterday, Chris talked about the G-20 meeting, and how the members of G-20 are very squeamish about member countries manipulating their currencies lower. And yes, the G-20 members are all for avoiding policies that lead to competitive currency devaluations, but policing this will be one mousetrap that I doubt gets built.Russia’s Finance Minister doesn’t want this idea to fade. Anton Siluanov , Russia’s FM, wants G-20 members to put it in writing, and have more specific language regarding the policing of this matter. I applaud Mr. Siluanov. for I have always held to the thought that currency policy should be based on market conditions, and fundamentals. So, Let’s quit all this beggar thy neighbor currency manipulation, and get back to allowing the markets to direct where a currency should trade, based on fundamentals. I expect to hear lots of statements coming from the G-20 meeting that begins today.I see that the currencies, for the most part, haven’t really changed much this week while I was away, being stuck, and scanned. The euro has the biggest move, and it’s downward. But still in a pretty good place, I think. And. I think that we’ll continue to see the Eurozone, namely Germany’s, economic data improve this year. But then that’s just me. I’m sure “real economists” can point out to me all the reasons I’m wrong. But then these would be the same “real economists” that called for the collapse of the euro, and a break-up of the Eurozone and said it would happen in 2012. I’m just pointing that out, because I’m a smart-alec.Well. the Japanese yen, which is the focus of the G-7 and now G-20 meetings, continues to be the currency everyone wants to short. Last night though, yen gained some ground, when the Bank of Japan (BOJ) upgraded their assessment of the economy. Then possible BOJ Gov. candidate (the current BOJ Gov. only has one more meeting under his control), said that yen in the 90-100 range had reached its equilibrium. That’s better than the previous ranges that were far above/ weaker than that! So, yen gets some love on Valentine’s Day.Chris included some thoughts I had sent him on the cover story in last week’s Economist, regarding the Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and even Finland. These countries certainly should be looked to as examples of how you can go from a horrible banking crisis in the 90’s to sound fiscal positions today. A couple of years ago, when I was writing for the Sovereign Society’s “Currency Capitalist”, I highlighted the way the Nordic countries handled their banking crisis, which was completely different from the way we did it here. Therefore, I don’t expect us to come out of our banking crisis so secure, and fiscally sound.In China. it’s the same-o, same-o. The Economist had a great article in it regarding China’s willingness to widen the distribution of their currency. Banks in Hong Kong and now Taiwan now offer deposit accounts in renminbi/ yuan. I’ve told you about how the surge in Dim-Sum bonds being issued, just adds to the methods that China’s using to promote the use of its currency beyond its borders. So, none of this is new to you dear reader. but, for those that are new to class, these moves by the Chinese to gain a wider distribution of their currency, may be new to them.In New Zealand last night, their manufacturing Index (PMI) increased to 55.2 in January, VS 50.4 in December. That’s a HUGE increase folks, add to that impressive data print, an increase in Consumer Confidence this month, and you have the ingredients for a strong move in the New Zealand dollar / kiwi! At one point overnight kiwi was trading over 85-cents! It has seen some profit taking since then, but still has had a very impressive night! Kiwi is also gaining VS the Aussie dollar (A$), as the A$ feels the pinch of rate cut talks..Well. I’m glad that our President is thinking that bridge repairs are needed in this country. our infrastructure is getting old. And I also liked that he vowed to not add one dime to the deficit. I’m going to leave that right there. I’m afraid I might get on my soapbox and begin to preach. but then, I would probably be just preaching to the choir, eh?Then There Was This. from King World. and it’s a little long, but it plays well with the currency wars theme that we have going right now. This is a snippet of an article I found, written by Robert Fitzwilson, founder of The Portola Group. talking about how we need to follow the bouncing ball again, that is oil, precious metals and tangible assets.“Talk of currency wars continues to dominate the financial news. Ghosts of the ’30s and the “beggar thy neighbor” policies have been resurrected. This is not about beggaring a neighbor this time around. This is not about nationalistic policies to provide markets for goods and employment for citizens. In the Western bloc countries, this time around it is about allowing citizens to remain unemployed. It is about maintaining banking systems at all costs. It is really a policy of “beggaring thy citizens”, not thy neighbor. It is about power. It is about China wanting to regain what they consider their historic role as the economic powerhouse. Russia and China both know that gold is sovereignty and power.Gold, oil and the success or failure of the yuan as a reserve currency are the only bouncing balls that matter in this game of Titans. As investors, we can only step out of the fiat currency arena and acquire what the powerful desire, primarily oil and precious metals. Tangible assets should also be accumulated, not for their role in global supremacy, but their intrinsic value for whatever comes next.The devaluation of fiat currency is on a non-linear trajectory. The dollar deteriorated relatively slowly for 90 years. It deteriorated rapidly in the next 10 years. The final destruction will take only a few years. It could virtually happen overnight as we saw with Venezuela and North Korea.”Chuck again. remember. what I keep telling you, folks..The dollar leads the pack for the currencies in their downward moves. And will remain the leader.To recap. Eurozone 4th QTR GDP contracted, but from the looks of the latest German economic data, this might have been the trough. But it was enough to push the euro down overnight. Japanese yen saw some love on V.D. as a BOJ hopeful called yen’s current range its equilibrium. And Kiwi was the best performer overnight, after a very impressive PMI report.Currencies today 2/14/13. American Style: A$ $1.0340, kiwi .8480, C$ .9985, euro 1.3340, sterling 1.5515, Swiss $1.0840, . European Style: rand 8.9015, krone 5.5170, SEK 6.3345, forint 219, zloty 3.1325, koruna 19.0280, RUB 30.12, yen 93.35, sing 1.2375, HKD 7.7550, INR 53.92, China 6.2316, pesos 12.72, BRL 1.9665, Dollar Index 80.52, Oil $96.93, 10-year 2.03%, Silver $31.01, and Gold. $1,647.57That’s it for today. Well. What did you get your sweetheart? I read a very funny article the other day written by a woman regarding what women want for Valentine’s Day. Here’s a hint. They may tell you they are on a diet, but it doesn’t mean they’re on one today! And here I always thought it was flowers! This will be the first VD that I’ve been away from my sweetheart, since we first met in 1972. Whoa! That’s a long time ago! I wasn’t here to wish you all a Shrove Tuesday earlier this week. My Irish heritage, comes out big time this time of year! The Mardi Gras celebration here in St. Louis, looked like fun was had by all. But now it’s time to reflect. and with that, I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday!Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837
The primary unit of time measurement for high-frequency traders might be the microsecond, but for normal retail traders, it’s vital to know the best months, days, and even half-hours of the day to make market transactions. Consider Black Friday, the most active shopping day of the year. Let’s say a 60”, 1080p plasma HDTV normally goes for around $900 but on Black Friday is discounted to $500. That’s a 44 percent savings. If you had a desire to own this TV and were somehow guaranteed a way to bypass the rabid mobs, you’d be careless to spend $900 on it the day before. Likewise, you’d be at a disadvantage to buy or sell a security without first conducting some level of research to determine the optimal time, statistically speaking, to make a transaction. At the very least, you should know when not to make a transaction. Fortunately, much of this research has already been conducted. My friend Jeffrey Hirsch, following in the footsteps of his late father Yale Hirsch, has for years edited the invaluable Stock Trader’s Almanac, which is updated annually. The book is notable for finding reliable patterns in market trends and behavior, on both the macro and micro scale. It also gave birth to such well-known investing adages as “Sell in May and Go Away” and the “January Barometer.” 07/09/2010 5.28% 10/03/2008 -4.84% What’s interesting here is that, even though September is historically the worst month in which to trade, it had three of the best weeks and only one of the worst weeks. Conversely, December, one of the best months in which to trade, had only two of the best weeks. No week in December fell in the “worst” category, however. Days: Which day is the best to buy? Which day is the best to sell? That depends on whether we’re talking about days of the week, days of the month, or days preceding or following holidays—there are innumerable contexts and implications to consider, all of which have already been carefully studied and scrutinized by Yale and Jeffrey Hirsch. According to Hirsch, the best day to trade was once the last trading day of the month, followed by the first four trading days of the next month. Front-runners who noticed and took advantage of this trend, however, changed that, and a shift occurred in 1982. Since then, the strongest days tend to fall on the ninth, tenth, and eleventh trading days of the month. In the chart below, you can see what Hirsch’s research says are the days of the week when the greatest likelihood that performance will rise in the Dow will occur. Between 2008 and 2014, Mondays have been the weakest, rising less than 50 percent of the time—the only trading day to fall more than it rises, in fact. 06/30/2011 4.02% 01/18/2008 -4.02% 06/08/2012 3.59% 01/04/2008 -3.50% 03/13/2009 9.01% 01/24/2014 -3.52% 09/03/2010 4.33% 08/19/2011 -4.01% 11/28/2008 9.73% 08/05/2011 -5.75% Source: Stock Traders Almanac 2014, U.S. Global Investors 08/26/2011 4.32% 06/27/2008 -4.19% Again, these charts are imperfect and show only probability. Trading activity can fluctuate widely, especially prior to and after earnings and economic announcements. And there will always be the unforeseen event—a workers’ strike, a CEO’s termination or resignation, civil unrest—that shakes up the market. Now compare the TSX Venture and Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF, both of which have their own DNAs of volatility, to the NASDAQ 100 ETF, which tracks the 100 largest and most active non-financial and international companies listed on the greater NASDAQ—in other words, blue-chip stocks. 10/14/2011 4.88% 11/25/2011 -4.78% 11/30/2011 7.25% 9/23/2011 -6.41% 09/16/2011 4.70% 07/29/2011 -4.24% 10/31/2008 11.29% 10/10/2008 -18.15% 03/27/2009 6.84% 05/23/2008 -3.91% What this shows is that, in August, September, and October, it’s time to “nibble” on stocks, as prices are dropping. In March, April, and May, it’s time to “trim.” As I said, the Dow has been improving slightly in September over the last few years. Its 20-year return has risen to -0.51 percent from its 50-year return of -0.77 percent. Theoretically, investing from November 1 through April 30 and then switching to fixed-income products for the rest of the year seems to be a safe and effective strategy. If you back-test this to 1950 with an initial $10,000 investment, you would have gained an estimated 6,740 percent. Investing the same $10,000 from May through October would have cost you $1,024. What a difference six months makes. I must stress, however, that this chart, and those that follow, shows only probability. Like a basketball bouncing down a rocky mountainside, nothing is certain, and actual behavior varies. Macro events such as presidential elections, midterm elections and changes in fiscal and monetary policy have a dramatic effect on the outcome of the market. For further data, check out the Almanac’s best and worst S&P 500 entry and exit dates, separated into the five best months (November through April, excluding February) and seven worst months (May through October, including February). Weeks: Below you can see the best and worst weeks of the Dow, ranging from 2008 to 2012. 12/20/2013 2.96% 02/20/2009 -6.17% 09/13/2013 3.04% 10/24/2008 -5.35% As a special case study, let’s focus just on the three days before and after a holiday, specifically Labor Day, which Americans recently celebrated. Historically, how does the market react to this particular day? The following chart tracks the historical 33-year performance of four major indexes three trading days before and after Labor Day. As you can see, investors tend to be bullish on the Friday preceding the weekend (-1) and bearish starting Tuesday, the first trading day of the week (+1). The NASDAQ does slightly better than the other three both before and after the holiday, leading into the rest of September. 10/28/2011 3.58% 11/21/2008 -5.31% 07/17/2009 7.33% 05/07/2010 -5.71% 01/31/2008 3.63% 06/20/2008 -3.78% There’s plenty more research on the best days on which to trade—and which to avoid—in The Stock Trader’s Almanac. Hours and Half-Hours: Canada is the largest natural resource market in the world. The TSX Venture Exchange, with a market capitalization of over $37 billion, represents approximately 2,250 small-cap companies, many of them in the mining and metals space. 11/23/2012 3.35% 11/14/2008 -4.99% Best 20 Weeks Worst 20 Weeks 12/23/2011 3.60% 05/18/2012 -3.52% With the TSX Venture, it’s generally smarter to sell rather than buy in the morning. Over the last two and a half years, this is when prices tend to be high. There’s heavy volatility as the market is reacting to what might have happened since the previous trading day’s closing bell. Unless you really know what you’re doing in this particular market, if you buy in the morning, you can often expect to see your shares sink as the day unfolds. The “safest” time to buy would be in the late afternoon. The market has cooled somewhat and traders are gauging where things might be headed. The challenge during this time, however, is that volume has dipped and, as a result, spreads have widened. A similar pattern emerges, a little like the shape of a waterslide, if you chart the intraday performance of the Market Vector Junior Gold Miners ETF, which gives investors exposure to small and intermediate gold and silver companies. Prices are highest in the morning, decrease throughout the afternoon, and then get a final boost starting around 3:00. Making a trade at 9:30, then, will have a vastly different outcome than making one at 1:30. Thirty-five years ago when I was just getting started in the investment business, I asked Yale how he managed to arrive at his findings. He told me that his background in music composition enabled him to “hear” melodies, if you will, in four-year presidential cycles, seasonal cycles, weekly cycles, and more. This interdisciplinary approach of combining music and finance should inspire all investors to leverage their own unique skills, talents, and backgrounds to seek patterns in the market that others might overlook. If you don’t already own a copy of the Stock Trader’s Almanac, I urge you to make a special trip to the bookstore. You can also visit the book’s website and sign up for a free seven-day trial. The site provides a wealth of helpful and fascinating information for investors to peruse. The Best Times to Trade Previously I discussed market patterns in four-year presidential cycles and seasonal cycles. But now let’s look at months and work our way down to half-hours of the trading day. Months: “Sell in May and Go Away” is more than a clever expression. The Stock Trader’s Almanac has over six decades’ worth of data to support the reliability of this strategy. Based on the S&P 500 Index’s monthly closing prices, November, December, and January are the best months for trading volume. Conversely, the worst-performing months of the year fall between May and October. Even though the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been up four of the past five Septembers, the ninth month has still been the worst-performing since 1950 for all of the major indexes and exchanges, including the Dow, S&P 500, NASDAQ, and Russell 1000 Index. 04/18/2008 4.25% 02/08/2008 -4.40% Week Ending % Change Week Ending % Change Best and Worst Weeks for the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2008 through 2014 Over the same timeframe as the previous indexes, the pattern here has almost reversed. Relative lows in the morning. Modest improvement throughout the trading day. You could, in this market, reasonably buy in the morning and sell in the afternoon. You don’t have to be as obsessed and intuitive with statistics and patterns as Yale or his son Jeffrey Hirsch, but it pays to participate. If there’s one thing I want to leave you with, it’s that research must be conducted on the market you’re planning to trade in before you enter. Click here for more info on Frank Holmes and U.S. Global Funds.
The rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means that crops are becoming less nutritious, and that change could lead to higher rates of malnutrition that predispose people to various diseases.That conclusion comes from an analysis published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine, which also examined how the risk could be alleviated. In the end, cutting emissions, and not public health initiatives, may be the best response, according to the paper’s authors.Research has already shown that crops like wheat and rice produce lower levels of essential nutrients when exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide, thanks to experiments that artificially increased CO2 concentrations in agricultural fields. While plants grew bigger, they also had lower concentrations of minerals like iron and zinc.Fewer nutrients in crops means fewer nutrients in food. People who don’t get enough of the right nutrients are more likely to get sick. For instance, kids who don’t get enough zinc are more likely to contract diseases like malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea.A multidisciplinary research team from Stanford put the puzzle pieces together and saw a potentially disturbing chain of events.”We expect nutrient deficiencies to really increase dramatically from higher carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” says Dr. Sanjay Basu, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and one of the study’s authors. “In the long run, I think it’s likely to cause some chronic problems we haven’t prepared for.” But how many more people would get sick, and what could be done to keep that from happening?To answer this question, the researchers took the data we already know about carbon dioxide and crop nutrients and extended it to future CO2 concentrations. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are expected to rise from 400 parts per million to 550 ppm by 2050.Assuming people keep eating the same things, the researchers were able to predict how many more people would become nutrient-deficient as a result of their less nutritious diets. From there, the researchers then inferred changes in disease rates.The results suggest that rising CO2 will cost the world roughly 125 million disability-adjusted life years – which are roughly equivalent to a year of healthy life – because of higher rates of disease between now and 2050.That number can be hard to wrap your head around, but Dr. Samuel Myers, senior research scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says that it’s in line with previous estimates of “somewhere between 100-200 million people being pushed into risk of deficiency.” Myers has authored several papers on the effect of CO2 on crop nutrition but wasn’t involved in this study.Most of the people affected would be in areas prone to malnutrition in Southeast Asia and Africa. Developed regions, such as Europe and North America, are unlikely to be heavily affected.Next, the researchers simulated what would happen if countries took steps to mitigate the threat, such as reducing CO2 emissions in line with the Paris Agreement on climate, or passing out zinc pills to affected populations.The researchers found that roughly half of the added disease burden could be avoided if CO2 levels were cut to levels stipulated by the Paris Agreement—480 ppm. But public health initiatives, like iron distribution or malaria mitigation, would only reduce the problem by a 20 percent.”Some of the climate change mitigation policies might be even more effective than public health measures to help avert this problem,” states Basu.Mathematical biologist Irakli Loladze, an associate professor at the Bryan College of Health Sciences in Lincoln, Neb., says that this is the study’s most important finding.”The novel part is their estimate for the effects of various interventions,” Loladze explains. “What’s interesting is that interventions such as zinc or iron supplementation actually have little effect.”Although it’s tempting to believe that nutrient deficiencies are easily solved, Loladze points out it’s often difficult. “Many will often say, ‘Hey, let’s just do supplementation. Everybody will take a pill.’ Which of course is very naive thinking,” Loladze says.He cites iodine as an example. Iodine deficiency has been effectively treated in many places by adding iodine to food staples like salt. Still, hundreds of millions of people remain iodine deficient because their governments lack the money to implement such large-scale health programs.Other warn against taking the authors’ estimates of disease burden too literally. Predictive models are only as good as the numbers they use, and some of the estimates plugged into the model are murkier than others.”We don’t have highly accurate information about what everyone in the world is eating,” says Harvard’s Myers.Myers also highlights the difficulty of linking diet to nutrient deficiency, since the absorption of many nutrients – especially iron – is influenced by a variety of factors such as personal health and whether food contains iron-binding compounds that inhibit absorption. Still, Myers emphasizes that the numbers used in the study are the best we’ve got.A few things could happen to keep the predictions from coming true. Carbon dioxide emissions could be cut, and global diets could shift. Diets have changed dramatically in places like China, where more people are eating meat, a better source of iron than most plant-based foods. Additionally, Myers notes that some crop varieties appear resistant to the CO2-associated decrease in nutrition, and those varieties could provide the foundation for agricultural production in an increasingly CO2-rich atmosphere.The burden of addressing nutrient deficiency is not likely to fall on the people most responsible for the change. In the end, the study highlights how the habits of affluent countries trickle down to affect the world’s poor.”It’s the wealthy people in the world who are emitting lots of carbon dioxide,” Myers says. “Wealthy consumption patterns are putting the poorest, most vulnerable people in harm’s way.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
dispensaries.com A new study involving millions of medical records and analysis of patient outcomes has found that those who use marijuana have a better chance of surviving after being hospitalized with a heart attack.While researchers from the University of Colorado said further study is needed, they also wrote that they “would strongly suggest that marijuana use is associated with a significant decrease in in-hospital mortality” for those admitted with a heart attack.It’s yet another in a growing list of potential medical uses for cannabis that is being stymied, at least in the United States, by the continued illegal status of marijuana at the federal level and the lack of quality cannabis for research purposes.Related: Researchers Find People Who Use Cannabis Are More Motivated to ExerciseThe Impact of Heart DiseaseHow cannabis could impact heart health is a major area of study for researchers. That’s because heart disease accounts for about one in every three deaths in the United States, according to findings in research funded by the American Heart Association. Other eye-opening numbers from the research include:Every day, about 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease. That’s one death every 40 seconds.To put it in perspective, more Americans die of heart diseases every year than those who die of cancer and Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease – combined.About 92.1 million American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease or are living with the after-effects of strokeThe costs associated with cardiovascular diseases and stroke are estimated at more than $316 billion, a number that considers health expenditures and lost productivity.With those kinds of numbers, it’s no surprise people take notice when a study finds that there is possibility a new treatment that can prevent death from heart attack.Related: Harvard, MIT Receive $9 Million Donation to Conduct Marijuana ResearchThe Study’s FindingsAcute Myocardial Infarctions (AMI) is the medical term used to describe a patient who has had a heart-related emergency. To understand how marijuana might impact those who experience an AMI, the University of Colorado researchers analyzed hospital records for 1,273,897 AMI patients. They then focused on the 3,854 among that group who admitted to marijuana use.They found that those who used marijuana had a decreased risk of:DeathShockHaving to have a balloon inserted into a blocked arteryOf the three, the first one obviously caught the researcher’s attention the most. “Perhaps the most striking finding of our study is that marijuana use prior to AMI was associated with decreased in-hospital mortality post AMI,” they wrote.They added that this finding actually keeps with what has been discovered in previous studies, citing a 2017 study led by researchers from the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Texas State University and Nassau University Medical Center in New York.The 2017 study found marijuana use did not increase the chance of mortality among those hospitalized with a heart attack. Those earlier researchers also had analyzed millions of patient hospital records.Follow dispensaries.com on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest cannabis news. Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. Next Article May 21, 2019 Add to Queue Guest Writer Health How cannabis could impact heart health is a major area of study for researchers. –shares Image credit: katleho Seisa | Getty Images Free Green Entrepreneur App Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Study Finds Marijuana Users Have Better Chance of Surviving Heart Attack 3 min read Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. Download Our iOS App
1 min read Microsoft to Cut 2,850 More Jobs Add to Queue Microsoft Corp. said it would cut about 2,850 more jobs over the next 12 months, taking its total planned job cuts to up to 4,700, or about 4 percent of its workforce.The company said in May it would cut 1,850 jobs in its smartphone business, most of them in Finland.Microsoft bought Finland-based handset maker Nokia in 2014 in an ill-fated attempt to take on market leaders Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Chief Executive Satya Nadella, who took the helm just two months before the deal closed, has since focused on restructuring the struggling phone business.Microsoft had about 114,000 full-time employees as of June 30.(Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty) Reuters –shares This story originally appeared on Reuters Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Microsoft Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand July 29, 2016 Next Article Enroll Now for $5 Image credit: photogearch / Shutterstock
The American Heart Association emphasizes the importance of assessing levels of physical activity, both in the clinic and within the workplace. They also highlight the need for physicians to objectively assess cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), as current methods (patient questionnaires) are open to patient bias.Accurate and objective CRF assessments that are based on exercise tolerance are often expensive and require professional facilities and specialist staff to carry out.The new study led by Harvard University researchers suggests that a simple, free test based on push-up capacity could be a useful way to assess CRF.The study, which is the first of its kind, was carried out under the hypothesis that “higher fitness levels would be associated with lower rates of incident CVD.”The researchers used data from fitness tests from over 1,000 firemen in the US state of Indiana. Over a period of ten years, medical records were observed to measure the amount of cardiovascular disease diagnoses.Each participant undertook baseline and periodic physical exams that included push-up capacity and maximal or submaximal exercise tolerance tests between the years 2000 and 2007, with surveillance lasting until 2010.With an average age of 39.6 (the actual ages ranging from 21 to 66), the cohort also had an average body-mass index (BMI) of 28.7. Despite being occupationally active, the cohort’s BMI score of 28.7 put them in the overweight range.Out of 1,104 men, 37 experienced health problems related to CVD, including heart failure, sudden cardiac death, or receiving coronary artery disease diagnoses. The study claims “significant negative associations were found between increasing push-up capacity and CVD events.”Professor Jeremy Pearson stated “this study shows that fitter firefighters have less chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke in the next decade.”Whilst the results may not be revolutionary, the study highlights that ‘push-up tests’ could be a simple, universal, cost-effective way of predicting CVD, potentially with more accuracy than a treadmill based test.Senior author of the study and a specialist in cardiovascular disease Stefanos Kales said that “push-up capacity is positively correlated with aerobic capacity and physical fitness,” and that “these types of objective functional markers are generally good predictors of mortality”.It is important to note that this study dealt with only one group of people, and the study’s results may not be reflected in different groups of people. Other cohorts, such as women or people who are less active, would need to be tested to definitively prove this test’s findings. Source:Yang J., et al. Association Between Push-up Exercise Capacity and Future Cardiovascular Events Among Active Adult Men. JAMA Network Open. 15 February 2019. The narrowing of our arteries with fatty substances, which can eventually lead to heart attacks and strokes, starts early, often in our 20s and 30s. Keeping fit, no matter your age, is an important way to reduce your risk.”Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director, BHF By Lois Zoppi, BAFeb 18 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)A new study has found a link between the number of push-ups a person is able to do and the risk of cardiovascular disease. The findings show that middle-aged men who are able to complete 10 push-ups could reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by as much as 97 percent.g-stockstudio | ShutterstockCardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. It is well documented that smoking, hypertension, diabetes, and lack of physical activity are some of the main risk factors for developing CVD.
Source:https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/health-news/artificial-intelligence-identifies-key-patterns-from-video-footage-of-infant-movements Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 27 2019Subtle characteristics in the spontaneous movement of very young babies may reveal clinically important aspects of their neurodevelopment. Visual assessment of typical movement patterns (General movements, GM) by a clinical expert is known to be effective in early identification of e.g. cerebral palsy (CP).”A three month old infant shows frequently occurring stereotypical, dancing-like movements throughout the body and limbs. A noted absence of them is highly predictive of later emergence of CP,” says Sampsa Vanhatalo, professor of clinical neurophysiology, University of Helsinki.A very early identification and subsequent therapeutic intervention would be highly beneficial for alleviating the neurodevelopmental impact of CP. Currently, a child is diagnosed with CP at much later age, typically between 6 months and 2 years of age. GM analysis holds promise in early detection of CP, however, it needs special expertise that is currently obtained through international teaching courses, which effectively limits the number of doctors or therapists with the relevant skills. In addition, GM analysis in its present form is based on visual assessment, which is always subjective.”There is an urgent need for objective and automated methods. They would allow employing movement analyses at much wider scale, and make it accessible to basically most, if not all, children in the world,” says Vanhatalo.THE STICK MAN REVEALS THE ESSENTIALSResearchers at University of Helsinki and University of Pisa set out to explore the possibility that a conventional video recording of an infant lying in bed could be transformed to a quantified analysis of infant movements. They collaborated with people from an AI company based in Tampere, Neuro Event Labs, who were able to create a method for an accurate extraction of children’s movements (using a technique known as pose estimation), allowing for the construction of a simplified “stick man” (or skeleton) video.Next, the researchers gave the stick figure videos to doctors with GM expertise to see whether diagnostically crucial information was preserved in those videos.Using the stick figure videos alone, the doctors were able to assign diagnostic groups in 95% of cases, proving that the clinically essential information had been preserved.The study shows that an automated algorithm may extract clinically important movement patterns from normal video recordings. These stick figure extractions can be directly used for quantitative analyses.Related StoriesArtificial intelligence set to revolutionize the field of proteomicsAI coach feasible and useful for behavioral counseling of teens in weight-loss programMachine learning identifies bugs that spread Chagas diseaseTo demonstrate such potential, the researchers provided a proof of concept analysis where simple measures of stick figure movements showed clear differences between groups of infants with either normal or abnormal movements.Use of stick figure videos also enables world-wide sharing among research communities without privacy concerns. This has been a significant bottleneck in setting up multinational research activities within this domain.”This will finally enable a genuinely Big Data kind of development for better quantitative movement analyses in infants,” Vanhatalo states.”Since this study, we have collected larger datasets, including 3D video recordings, and we are currently developing an AI-based method for infantile motor maturity assessment. The rationale is straightforward: there is a developmental issue with the child, if the computational assessment of the motor maturity does not match with the child’s true age.”MOVEMENT ANALYSIS TELLS ABOUT NEURODEVELOPMENT AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTIONSIn addition to early CP detection, automated movement analyses have many potential applications in the assessment of infant neurological development.”We could create one kind of functional growth chart,” says Vanhatalo.Movement analyses could also be used in diverse ways to improve therapeutic decisions. Such methods could provide quantitative means to objectively measure efficacy of different therapeutic strategies; one of the global hot topics in restorative medicine.Automated movement analyses could also allow out-of-hospital screening of children to identify those that need further care, or to provide assurance of normality in cases with concern about child’s development.”Use of machine learning and artificial intelligence allows for the extraction of substantial amounts of clinically useful information from a simple home-grade video recording. The ultimate aim is to find methods that will make it possible to provide high and even quality infant healthcare everywhere in the world,” Vanhatalo summarizes.
Source:https://ki.se/en/news/genetic-analysis-can-provide-better-dosage-of-antipsychotic-drugs Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 16 2019An initial gene analysis may yield better outcomes when patients are treated with the antipsychotic drugs risperidone and aripiprazole. A novel study shows how the activity of a specific enzyme, which metabolizes the two drugs, affects the individual dose that should be given for optimal treatment. The study is published in The Lancet Psychiatry and has been conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet, in collaboration with the Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo, Norway.The enzyme CYP2D6 metabolizes many different drugs in the body, including the antipsychotic drugs risperidone and aripiprazole. The activity of the enzyme differs widely in the population due to variations in the CYP2D6 gene.In collaboration with Espen Molden’s group at the Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have studied how CYP2D6 gene variants affect the treatment result in 2,622 patients with psychosis or schizophrenia receiving either risperidone or aripiprazole.Related StoriesGenetic contribution to distractibility helps explain procrastinationDoes genetic testing affect psychosocial health?Study: Treatment of psychosis can be targeted to specific genetic mutationThe results show that patients with low CYP2D6 enzyme activity were given the drugs at too high a dose, while patients with high enzyme activity were given the drugs at too low a dose. As a consequence, many of them switched medication.”In patients with too low or too high activity of the CYP2D6 enzyme, treatment failed to a larger extent, most likely due to side effects and lack of efficacy, respectively,” says Marin Jukic, researcher at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Karolinska Institutet and the study’s first author.Compare dose changes”Interestingly, we found that without knowing which gene variant the patient had, the psychiatrists had in the main altered the dose based on the clinical outcome, and this correlated with the anticipated effects of the patient’s specific CYP2D6 genotype,” says Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg, Senior Professor at the same department at Karolinska Institutet and the study’s last author. “However, the dose changes were insufficient to avoid side effects or lack of effect. This is the first time we have been able to retrospectively compare dose changes during routine clinical treatment with the patient’s specific genotype.”The researchers believe that genotyping, i.e. the identification of the specific gene variant the patient carries, before initiation of risperidone or aripiprazole treatment, would result in much more effective treatment for millions of patients globally.”Further studies are now needed to test other psychoactive drugs in order to generate additional scientific evidence to support new recommendations in psychiatry,” says Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg. “Psychiatrists also need more education in this area.”In the early 1990s, Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg’s research group was the first in the world to show the presence of several variants of the CYP2D6 gene explaining why some people, the so-called ultra-rapid metabolizers, require higher drug doses than others.
Source:Plataforma SINC Having this possibility on the horizon favours the patients’ focus on living well, a better acceptance of palliative care and a greater openness to meaningful conversations with the health team about the end of their lives.”María Arantzamendi Setting priorities and making choicesThe later phase continues to integrate advanced cancer into everyday life in order to minimize its impact. “The key is to be aware of one’s life span. This makes them focus on what really matters, set priorities and make choices,” she adds.Related StoriesSpecial blood test may predict relapse risk for breast cancer patientsLiving with advanced breast cancerNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerFor the researchers, four strategies facilitate this challenge: making adjustments in daily life to integrate treatments or problems derived from the disease, maintaining a positive attitude, normalizing the natural aspects of life – for example, that all human beings die – and having hope – being open to new possibilities, such as feeling better.The fourth phase consists in sharing the experience of living with the disease and involves maintaining family and social relationships that help one feel supported. The authors indicate that it is necessary to have someone to count on, especially in the family environment. They also stress the importance for patients of protecting their loved ones.The last phase shifts attention away from oneself and the disease to ‘living in the moment.’ “Participants made significant contributions to their family, community and society, such as donating their bodies to science, helping others or planning for their family’s well-being after their death,” Arantzamendi stresses.Likewise, the strategies they used to maximize life time were fundamentally two: paying full attention to moments of joy or beautiful things and controlling thoughts, particularly those related to illness and death.Acceptance: a process with ups and downsThis study, published in the journal Qualitative Health Research, has several implications for practice. The authors stress that acceptance is key to living well with advanced cancer, although it requires time and is a process with ups and downs.Therefore, they do not recommend health professionals to focus prematurely on acceptance, as this may interfere with the construction of a supportive therapeutic alliance. On the other hand, they emphasize that maintaining a positive attitude is of great importance, but that this does not imply leaving aside one’s awareness of the proximity of death. That leads to the second step, to accept, to a greater or lesser extent, the illness, the limitations that arise, the finitude… and to cope with the situation with relative peace.”María Arantzamendi, researcher at the University of Navarre Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 14 2019A qualitative study of 22 cancer patients shows how acceptance is key to living as well as possible, although it requires time and is a process with ups and downs. Led by the University of Navarre, this research emphasizes the importance of focusing on life rather than on the disease.Each year 14.1 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed, 8.2 million people die from the disease and another 32.6 million live with it. In recent years, new therapies have favored an early diagnosis and a progressive increase in life expectancy.It is no longer rare to see cancer as a chronic pathology that, although it cannot be cured, can be controlled for many years. For oncologists, this implies a new challenge: to increase the quality of life of patients in this period.A study spearheaded by the Instituto Cultura y Sociedad (ICS) of the University of Navarre, in which the University of British Columbia (Canada) has also collaborated, analyses the experience of 22 people with advanced cancer who receive treatment in three health centers in Spain.The number of patients is reduced because it is a qualitative research, that is to say, it requires a very close follow-up, with in-depth interviews. The so-called theory of how to live well with chronic diseases, proposed in 2017 by one of the authors of this new work, Carole Robinson was applied to this group.This theory was developed from a field study of 43 patients and describes five interconnected phases: struggle, acceptance, living with chronic disease, sharing experience, and rebuilding life.Qualitative research techniques have shown what this process is like for this type of patient. According to María Arantzamendi, a researcher at the University of Navarre and the main author of the new study, “the process of living with advanced cancer revolves around the awareness of the finitude of life with five phases that patients can relive throughout the process.”The first phase begins with a struggle, when patients are either diagnosed with advanced cancer or are aware that something is happening to them; they experience shock, anger, anxiety and fear.Participants recognized that, over time, they realized that this struggle created additional difficulties for them – even if they returned to it following complications or bad news – and that it was counterproductive for them to move on with their lives. The researchers emphasize the importance of love and family support for a good life at the final stages of the disease. “This also requires the involvement of health professionals, especially as regards helping patients to find the balance between sharing their experience and keeping information in order to protect their loved ones,” she concludes.
“This would be true regardless of race or ethnicity, so we might expect to see menthol flavoring making it more difficult for everyone to quit. The fact that we didn’t find consistency across racial and ethnic groups, we think, might point to the causal role of social influences like tobacco marketing,” he added.Related StoriesTelomere shortening in adulthood is not caused by smoking, say researchersCollege affirmative action bans may increase smoking rates among minority high school studentsStudy reveals how habitual smoking may contribute to development of hypertensionBig Tobacco’s marketing efforts have included heavier advertising of menthols on billboards in predominantly African American neighborhoods, and ads in African American-centric magazines, compared to white communities and periodicals.In addition, the industry has provided philanthropic support to organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Urban League, Giovino added.A recent study by Giovino and colleagues suggests that tobacco companies are holding onto the menthol market better than non-menthol cigarettes. “Less quitting by menthol smokers is part of the reason why,” he said.Smokers’ inaccurate perceptions of menthol cigarettes have further compounded cessation efforts, Giovino says.”Some people believe they are less dangerous, even though they are, in epidemiological studies, found to be at least as dangerous as non-mentholated cigarettes,” he said. “Menthol is a topical anesthetic that numbs the respiratory tract. People inhale them more easily, which gives the perception of safety.”The idea for the study stemmed from a conversation between Smith and study co-author Biruktawit Assefa, now with Yale University School of Public Health, who worked with Smith when she was an undergraduate intern at Yale.”We wanted to more conclusively look at whether there are racial differences in how menthol flavoring may impede smoking cessation, across studies published on the topic,” Smith said.Essentially, it’s about social injustice, said Smith, who wants to use research “to give power back to communities from which power has been taken.””It all comes down to power and who has more of it and who has less of it, and why,” Smith added. Banning menthol from tobacco products — which the study recommends — might help shift the power, he said.”Such a policy might effectively take some power away from the tobacco industry and give it back to blacks and African Americans in the U.S.,” Smith said. Source:University at BuffaloJournal reference:Smith, P.H. et al. (2019) Use of Mentholated Cigarettes and Likelihood of Smoking Cessation in the United States: A Meta-Analysis. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntz067. Much of the rationale for why menthol flavoring might impede cessation has to do with how menthol flavoring might make the nicotine in cigarettes more reinforcing.” Philip Smith, study’s lead author Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 17 2019For decades, Big Tobacco has sold African American smokers on menthol-flavored cigarettes through targeted marketing campaigns. That’s among the reasons why, in the U.S., black smokers who prefer menthols are 12% less likely to quit smoking compared to non-menthol users, according to the results of a newly published study.The findings, reported today in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, underscore the role that mentholated cigarettes play in smoking cessation efforts, particularly among African American tobacco users, says the study’s lead author, Philip Smith, an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health at Miami University (OH).Menthol cigarettes were first sold in the 1920s. The tobacco industry began targeting African Americans in the 1940s and menthol use grew along with the belief that menthols were less dangerous, according to Gary Giovino, the study’s senior author and a professor of community health and health behavior at the University at Buffalo who has extensively studied the marketing and use of menthol cigarettes.The study — a meta-analysis of 19 studies plucked from a review of more than 400 abstracts — looks at the association between menthol use and smoking cessation.The finding that menthol flavoring was associated with less success in quitting smoking among African Americans wasn’t surprising, Smith said. The lack of association for white smokers, however, was.