2016 Masters Golf Tee Off Times

Above is the guy I want to watch

Here are the tee times and pairings for Thursday’s round at the 2016 Masters tournament. With 89 players, it’s the smallest field at Augusta National since 2002.

Amateur player denoted by asterisk

8:05 AM – Arnold Palmer (Honorary Starter, Non-competing) Gary Player (Honorary Starter) Jack Nicklaus (Honorary Starter)

8:20 AM – Jim Herman, Steven Bowditch

8:31 AM – Trevor Immelman, Robert Streb, *Derek Bard

8:42 AM – Larry Mize, Victor Dubuisson, Kevin Streelman

8:53 AM – Sandy Lyle, Bernd Wiesberger, Vaughn Taylor

9:04 AM – Webb Simpson, Chris Wood, Thongchai Jaidee

9:15 AM – Tom Watson, Charley Hoffman, Lee Westwood

9:26 AM – Zach Johnson, Rickie Fowler, *Cheng Jin

9:37 AM – Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Dufner, Patrick Reed

9:48 AM – Jordan Spieth, Paul Casey, *Bryson DeChambeau

9:59 AM – Justin Thomas, Emiliano Grillo, Dustin Johnson

10:21 AM – Vijay Singh, Hideki Matsuyama, Chris Kirk

10:32 AM – Harris English, Andy Sullivan, Kevin Na

10:43 AM – Phil Mickelson, Marc Leishman, Henrik Stenson

10:54 AM – Justin Rose, Jamie Donaldson, Daniel Berger

11:05 AM – Adam Scott, Kevin Kisner, Brooks Koepka

11:16 AM – Mike Weir, Cameron Smith, *Sammy Schmitz

11:27 AM – Ian Woosnam, Troy Merritt, Byeong-Hun An

11:38 AM – Darren Clarke, Billy Horschel, Matthew Fitzpatrick

11:49 AM – Mark O’Meara, David Lingmerth, *Paul Chaplet

12:00 PM – Keegan Bradley, Brandt Snedeker, Kiradech Aphibarnrat

12:22 PM – Charl Schwartzel, Davis Love III, Rafael Cabrera-Bello

12:33 PM – Danny Lee, Russell Knox, Smylie Kaufman

12:44 PM – Bubba Watson, Branden Grace, Ian Poulter

12:55 PM – Bernhard Langer, Hunter Mahan, *Romain Langasque

1:06 PM – Jason Day, Matt Kuchar Ernie Els

1:17 PM – Graeme McDowell, Fabian Gomez, Scott Piercy

1:28 PM – Jimmy Walker, Soren Kjeldsen, Anirban Lahiri

1:39 PM – Danny Willett, Sergio Garcia, Ryan Moore

1:50 PM – Angel Cabrera, Shane Lowry, J. B. Holmes

2:01 PM – Martin Kaymer, Bill Haas, Rory McIlroy


What’s The Difference: Saas, Cloud or Hosted

What are our collective perceptions of SaaS, Cloud computing, and Hosted solutions. Of course we are mainly interested in supply chain solutions, but the definitions appliy to any application. If you’re not completely certain, here is a primmer on the major differences and some discussion of the advantages of each. This falls far short of a full detailed explanation, but the basic concepts are accurate.


These are generally accepted definitions of the three types of services. That said, there is always some room for variance and exception based on the provider and the application. We are interested in your experience with these services, so please comment if you have something to add.

Technical Traits

SaaS – Software as a Service

SaaS has been around for several years, and its most often cited example is Salesforce.com.

  • The application is installed on a system that is accessible via the Internet.
  • Generally Multi-tenant, meaning that each account exists as a segment of the system’s database rather than as a separate database in itself. Some systems may have discrete instances of identical databases.
  • Setup is quick,  typically only a matter of creating an account ID.
  • There is generally only one instance of the software. This means that updates to the application affect all users at the same time.
  • Customization is done by turning features on and off for each account rather than modifying the program separately for each account. This may limit the ability to customize the system for any particular customer.
  • The computers hosting the application are usually located in a data center.
  • These systems are infinitely scalable.
Cloud platforms are relatively newer than SaaS systems, and they are not entirely the same. Clouds are computing resources (computer CPUs, disk drives, database engines) linked together via network connections. They may or may not be in the same location, and the users may never know the exact location of their data.

Hosted systems are typically single instance applications. They are likely to be the same applications that would be installed on computers within the enterprise.

VINCENT PEIRANI LIVING BEING: Les Victoires du Jazz 2014

Jazz You Too

Listening to the sound of the accordion clearly evokes part of my country’s musical heritage, naturally that is not what comes from Vincent Peirani’s instrument, as he comes from Nice, and the accordion has always been charismatic to French music in a varied and peculiar way. Vincent studied classical music before starting to play with jazzmen and bands, his talent brought him recognition, his bands/projects consume his diverse influences from rock to electronica reflecting his own taste for freedom and exploration.

There are more than 500 festivals celebrating jazz in France, thousands of young musicians study and play, Les Victoires du Jazzdistinguish the best artists in the scene, both Vincent Peirani, revelation of the year, and Emile Parisien, artist of the year, play on this Les Victoires Du Jazz video.

Where is Vincent Peirani now? Check his upcoming concerts athttp://www.vincent-peirani.com/concerts

Vincent Peirani (accordion), Emile Parisien (soprano…

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Meet the Scientist Connecting the Dots Between Air Pollution and Dementia

first blush, you might not think air quality is related to brain health. But what if the two are connected? Air pollution continues to worsen in the developing world, especially in rapidly developing countries like China and India; at the same time, our global population is aging, and dementia rates are expected to rise accordingly. Increasingly, research suggests a link between air pollution exposure and the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. How might this relationship be possible, and what might it mean for what the world is — or isn’t — prepared to handle in the coming decades?

Aaron Reuben is a science writer, recovering policy wonk, and neuropsychologist-in-training who’s exploring just these questions. A PhD student at Duke, Reuben’s journalistic endeavors include an eye-opening feature for Mother Jones (cross-posted at Grist) that draws attention to the connection between dementia and dirty air.

Driving Reuben’s work is the notion that the countries that will see the most aging in the coming years are the same countries that are going to have the most polluted air — and the same places that have some of the least developed infrastructure for diagnosing and treating brain disease. I caught up with Reuben to chat about the state of the science, the justice issues at stake, and the difficulties of communicating the invisible.

Q: What do we know about the links between air pollution and dementia?

A. There are two branches of relevant science here. The first body of research studies people in older age brackets and maps their health outcomes onto possible air pollution exposures generated from regional pollution monitoring data. When you do that, you find that people who are exposed to more air pollution, particularly fine particles, show an increased risk for dementia and pre-dementia, called mild cognitive impairment. A study that came out of Taiwan, for example, drew on a cohort of nearly 100,000 people and showed that for every unit increase in exposure to particle pollution, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s went up by more than 100 percent.

Of course, before we can say that one causes the other, one of the things that needs to happen is data to arrive from longitudinal studies in which you follow people from day one, categorize their exposures, follow their outcomes, and control for things you’d like to control for, like exposures to other toxins like lead. But every month and every year, more and more studies are coming out, and the fact that they’re all finding the same thing is very compelling.

The other kinds of studies that are contributing to the evidence base are animal studies. You can’t sit someone down and expose them to air pollution and watch their brains degenerate in real time. But you can do that in mice. There are a lot of studies coming out now on changes in cell dynamics and epigenetics in mice exposed to air pollution, and you see that many of the changes are in the direction of Alzheimer’s disease and heavily related to dementia outcomes. Something that’s really sexy that hasn’t been published yet are studies using transgenic mice that have been engineered to develop Alzheimer’s-type pathology. If you expose generations of these mice to air pollution and that changes the development of pathology, then you can make a call that in this particular animal, the exposure to fine particles fostered the disease. So far the mouse studies are pointing in the same direction as the cohort studies.

Q: So are we at smoking-causes-lung-cancer levels of evidence?

A. No, we’re not there yet. But when people ask me this, I also ask them how long it took to get there for lung cancer. How long did we think cigarettes caused cancer before we were finally willing to say ‘we know’? It took decades. I don’t think anyone thinks the evidence is going to start weighing against this trend. It’s a matter of how long new research needs to pile up before people are willing to make a bold statement.

Q: And what do we know about how pollution might contribute to dementia?

A. There are a couple ways we think it works. One is by nature of the fact that some of the particles are very small. Your sense of smell is a very potent sense, and there is a direct connection from the nose to the brain via the nasal nerve. That means that once you get something in your nose, if it’s small enough, it can pass into the nerve and make its way all the way to the brain.

Keep in mind that pollution particles typically bring in a host of other nasty things with them, including heavy metals: things that can directly kill neurons. The end result is a disruption of the brain’s homegrown immune system. Microglia cells — which clear waste, trim away dead neurons, improve synaptic connections, and clear pathogens — end up performing an unsuccessful process. They continue to release oxidative chemicals that are designed to kill pathogens, but instead of killing anything, the chemicals just accumulate and disrupt neural activity. The damage this causes looks a lot like what you see in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients.

Another mechanism comes via the lungs. When pollution particles are inhaled into the lungs, they tend to be small enough to make it past the body’s defenses and end up in the deepest tissue, where they then pass into the bloodstream. When they do that, they trigger an immune reaction that circulates molecules related to inflammation, cytokines, in the bloodstream — the kind of thing that seems to cause chronic low-level inflammation wherever the particles go. We’re not sure if the particles can enter the brain through the blood directly or if the chemicals they trigger actually reach the brain, but there’s evidence that they interact with the blood-brain barrier and damage it somehow. It’s all about low-level inflammation that turns into long-term damage. Particles that enter through the nose will cause neuroinflammation directly, and particles that enter through the lungs will also cause neuroinflammation indirectly.

Q: You’ve suggested we’re past the tipping point at which this theory is going to be wholly refuted, but you’ve also cited overly cautious scientists who are wary of overstating the evidence. Why do you think this hesitance exists?

A. I think in all of science there’s a tendency to be as precise as possible. It’s never unusual for scientists to hedge their bets. But the other thing I think is going on here is that there’s been a sort of history of jumping the gun on Alzheimer’s. We’ve been talking about one cause, but there are many ways to brain disease. The brain is uniquely susceptible to damage. Air pollution isn’t causing all the dementia we see around us. There’s pesticide exposure, there are concussions — there’s not just one way to get this disease. And it’s also a function of your cumulative exposures and your genetic predisposition.

There’s a lot to fear when it comes to dementia. It comes out of nowhere, there’s no cure, it erases everything about you. If you can point to something that’s causing it, people are going to take you seriously. That’s what happened with the aluminum scare in the 1980s, which led to sensationalist headlines and people worrying about their pans and the things they were drinking. The studies that found unusually large aluminum deposits in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients were real, but that didn’t mean that your personal exposure to aluminum actually influenced your dementia risk. The field of gerontology remembers this and is going to be slow to embrace air pollution. Especially because it’s something that everyone is exposed to, unlike, say, a concussion.

Q: I’m interested in what you just said about air pollution being something that everyone is exposed to. There are obviously inherent justice questions at stake here given the inequities of air pollution exposure. How does environmental justice enter the conversation for you?

A. I think there are two things going on, and neither of them are good. The same communities that are reliably exposed to the most air pollution are the same communities that have the fewest resources to defend themselves or compensate for the effects.

Something you see time and again is that high-income, high-resourced individuals not only can buffer themselves against exposure to air pollution — they live in the nice parts of town, they don’t live by busy roads, they live by a lot of greenery, which we know can reduce pollution levels — but they also have the resources to respond to the kinds of cognitive impairments that we’re predicting. Researchers at the University of Southern California have found that air pollution levels are linked to developmental disorders. We know that if your child has a developmental disorder, there are plenty of services and activities you can do to improve their cognitive abilities. These are the kinds of things that aren’t always available to low-income communities, who are also at greater risk.

Another thing that people are talking about are the synergistic stressors at play. It’s not just that you’re living in a neighborhood that has higher levels of air pollution, it’s that there might also be more violence in your social environment. You might have an incarcerated family member. These are many forms of adversity that, on their own, modify the way the brain develops and modify a slew of risk factors. When you put them all together, these effects may be magnified.

Q: What if I buy your story about air pollution and dementia but can’t move out of my heavily polluted neighborhood? What are my options?

A. Something we used to study in my old lab was called cognitive reserve. The basic idea is that there are some things you can do that appear to make you more resilient against showing symptoms of disease or brain injury. It’s based on old evidence of people who had died and, once an autopsy of their brain was done, appeared to have had Alzheimer’s-like pathology — but there was no evidence they had Alzheimer’s when they were alive. And it seems to be the case that they were compensating somehow to the brain damage.

There are certain things we know lead to good cognitive reserve. Yes, a lot of them are associated with your socioeconomic status, but some of them aren’t. If you have a higher IQ, it seems you’re buffered a bit against insults to your brain. For every year of education you get, your risk of presenting Alzheimer’s goes down — not because you’re immune to the disease, but because if you start to get early damage, you’re more able to deal with the damage in a way that maintains your cognitive function. More physical activity is another one.

With respect to age, young people and old people are the most vulnerable. Young people’s brains are still developing; old people have brains that are less likely to bounce back and repair themselves after injury. As a society, we can choose to design better communities around some of this knowledge. In California, there’s a law that says you can’t put an elementary school on a busy road.

But no, we can’t all move. In Beijing, if you wanted to move, you’d have to change your whole life. You can’t escape the pollution.

Q: I feel like there’s a certain paradox here when you mention a place like Beijing. We’re building these factories in the name of progress, but for whom? If people’s brains are atrophying because of exposure to air pollution, there’s a pretty abysmal vicious circle going on.

A. It’s not just that we’re going to die younger or age more poorly. There’s lots of evidence that you’re stopping people at the start of their lives. Studies have found that kids drop IQ points for every unit of air pollution exposure. Or look at what’s happening in Flint. There’s a whole generation of kids getting set at a disadvantage from day one. We’re doing the damage to ourselves.

Q: Something like climate change is already so slow and abstract. Something like air quality isn’t always something you can see. When you combine these kinds of things with mental health or brain health — which are already siloed off from the rest of the health spectrum — there’s a lot of abstraction going on in one place. That must make these effects particularly difficult to communicate. Does this ever leave you frustrated?

A. This actually reminds me of something I’m working on now, which is trying to look at the long-term effects of exposure to positive things like parks and green spaces — improved environments. I think of it as the flipside of these stressors. Almost everyone you talk to can speak at a personal level to the benefit of green spaces. Trying to find that effect in data and trying to make that data compelling is hard. There are a lot of things that are going to contribute to how well or how poorly you live. Something like your environment is just one of them. Trying to pull out the influence of that one factor is really hard, both scientifically and with respect to communication.

But we do know the places where people are getting older. In a lot of those places, we can reliably say there are going to be greater rates of dementia than there should be. A lot of those places don’t have infrastructure yet for diagnosing or treating these things, and I think it’s time we started thinking about the resources that need to be put into place in the areas where the air is bad. At some point we’re going to have to start paving the way to dealing with the brain health crisis that’s coming. Of course, it’d be great to clean up the air in these places, and we know how to clean up the air, but we’re not going to be able to do it right away. In the meantime, we know who the people are at risk, and we know pretty well what’s going to happen. Can we start getting ready for that in a real way?

Outrageous Excuses for Being Late to Work

If you’re like most managers, then you probably have to deal with certain staffers who make a habit of being late to work: A significant share of employees come in late at least once a month—if not weekly, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. That’s not to say that modern professionals are expected to show up every day at 9 a.m.—the whole “9 to 5” thing is widely considered passé by employees and employers alike. However, there are general expectations for schedule accountability, and most managers require team members to show up on time every day. Many, in fact, have fired someone for being late, findings reveal. As part of the research, CareerBuilder has also compiled a list of “outrageous late excuses,” and we’ve included some of those here. They involve everything from wild animals to wardrobe malfunctions to, yes, even dangerous hair dryers. (And just when you think YOU’VE heard it all …) Nearly 2,600 hiring and HR managers and more than 3,250 employees took part in the research. –

Democratic Race Heating Up, Not Winding Down

The pundits and the political hacks are calling for Bernie Sanders to either drop out or to “tone down” his message. Instead, both campaigns, in a sign that neither really thinks the race is over, have turned up the heat. Hillary Clinton is holding conference calls with victims of gun violence trying to paint Sanders as pro-gun. Sanders is pressing for a debate in Brooklyn prior to the New York primary.

Sanders has pulled ahead in Wisconsin and is already making appearances in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York. Clinton has been forced to spend time in New York, where Bernie is pushing hard for a debate before the April 19th primary. Sanders also seems to be getting under Clinton’s skin. She blew up at a Greenpeace activist who asked whether she would pledge to reject money from the fossil fuel industry going forward. Clinton claimed she was not taking their money and in an angry tone said she wished Bernie Sanders would stop lying.

Eva Resnick-Day, the activist who asked Clinton to take the pledge, said the following in an op/ed on the Greenpeace web site:

To be clear, we are talking about more than just individual contributions from oil and gas employees. According to data compiled by Greenpeace’s research department, Secretary Clinton’s campaign and the Super PAC supporting her have received more than $4.5 million from the fossil fuel industry during the 2016 election cycle. Eleven registered oil and gas industry lobbyists have bundled over 1 million dollars to her campaign.

Greenpeace USA, along with 20 other organizations, launched the pledge to #FixDemocracy, asking all presidential candidates to reject future fossil fuel contributions, champion campaign finance reform, and defend the right to vote for all.

When we launched the campaign, Sanders signed the pledge immediately. Hillary’s campaign responded, but did not sign. Unsurprisingly, the Republican presidential candidates who won’t even admit that climate change is real – while real communities on the frontlines are already impacted – did not respond to our request.

The Clinton campaign also attacked Bernie Sanders on guns when they held an event with parents of an Aurora, Colorado, shooting victim. The parents attempted to sue the gun manufacturer, but the case was thrown out because of immunity laws that protect gun manufacturers. Sanders supported the legislation that granted immunity but has expressed willingness to re-address the issue.

Hillary Clinton is also taking aim at Sanders’ time as an Independent, claiming that her long ties to the Democratic Party should mean something.

Let’s be clear, if the Clinton campaign thought they had the nomination wrapped up, they would not be attacking Sanders. They will need his supporters in November to beat the Republican nominee.

Sanders has also turned up the heat, challenging Clinton to a debate in New York. The pressure seems to be working, and it appears that both sides are close to a date and location. If Sanders were no longer a threat there would be no New York debate talks.

Despite the media narrative, Bernie Sanders does have a path to victory. The media is doing everything they can to spin for Clinton. One example is John King reporting on CNN that he has run the numbers and if Bernie won the rest of the races with 55% of the vote he would not catch Clinton. Why did King pick 55%? Maybe it has something to do with Nate Silver showing how Sanders would catch Clinton with 56% of the remaining vote.

OK, 56.6% – not an easy task, but possible. King did point out that if Sanders got 55% of the remaining delegates Clinton would not have enough delegates to win on the first ballot, but she would be ahead. Even with that admission, it is so clear that the mainstream media is trying to tell voters what will happen instead of reporting what is happening. There are over 2,000 pledged delegates left to be allocated and 208 super delegates who are uncommitted. Of course, the super delegates who have committed can change their mind at any time. So while Hillary Clinton has the easiest path to the nomination, it is not a sure thing.

Many Sanders supporters have had enough of the media spin and are taking to the streets. On Sunday over 1,000 protesters showed up at CNN’s Los Angeles headquarters to protest the lack of coverage of the Sanders campaign. The strength of his campaign despite the biased media coverage Sanders has received makes you wonder where he would be if the media did their job and didn’t constantly dismiss his chances.

All signs are pointing to a big night for Sanders on Tuesday. It remains to be seen if his momentum will continue to New York and the other eastern states that round out April. Perhaps we should all wait and see how people vote before dismissing Bernie’s chances. I expect Sanders to go all the way to the convention. After all, the political revolution is about more than Bernie. It is also about reforming the Democratic Party. If Bernie dropped out before the convention, the power that his delegates would hold at the convention would all but vanish. Expect the Sanders delegates to arrive in Philadelphia with a reform agenda that includes things like an end to super delegates. Win or lose, the political revolution will continue. As Harold Meyerson said, “Bernie Sanders’s campaign didn’t create a new American left. It revealed it.”

Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

CHARLES MINGUS: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

Jazz You Too

Why is a post about this tune “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” performed by the Mingus Big Band driving so much (it’s not really that much) traffic to my blog? It’s not even the original song, that’s why I decided to post the original ballad composed by Charles Mingus, dedicated to saxophonist Lester Young who had died a few months before the album “Mingus Ah Um” was recorded, and named after Young’s favourite type of hat.

In a beautiful and really unforgettable melody, John Handy plays an exceptional tenor sax solo, but now it’s time to get back to the main reason of this post – the traffic to my blog – apparently the YouTube uploader of the Goodbye Pork Pie Hat‘s version by the Mingus Big Band confessed he ignored the name of the saxophone soloist and asked for help to identify him.

Two of the…

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Lawmakers urge Amtrak to hire a magician as its new CEO

More powerful than a locomotive perhaps

Last month, Amtrak president and CEO Joseph Boardman announced he would be stepping down from his position by September 2016. The news came just days after President Barack Obama signed the incredibly important infrastructure spending bill that called for significant reforms to the railroad. Today, House Republicans issued a letter calling on Amtrak’s board to appoint “a visionary” and “dynamic leader” who can help implement the spending bill.

The five-year, $305 billion Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act was the first infrastructure bill funded for longer than two years in almost two decades. The bill also reorganizes Amtrak’s business and finance operations, as well as addresses the enormous backlog of repairs along the railroad’s Northeast Corridor, which is the nation’s busiest. It calls for $5.45 billion to be spent sprucing up Amtrak over the next five years, and Congress wants the new guy to do it with finesse,

Under Boardman’s watch, Amtrak had one of its worst disasters in decades — the May 12th, 2015 derailment outside of Philadelphia that killed six passengers and wounded 200. That said, Boardman was reportedly well liked by most members of Congress, at least those that didn’t consider Amtrak to be a “a Soviet-style railroad with Soviet-style operations.”