When evolutionists discuss the evolution of war, or of monogamy, or of religion, they rob mankind of any basis for judging good and evil.Cooperation evolves: Another paper typical of the “evolution of cooperation by game theory” genre appeared in PNAS recently. Revealing the Darwinian assumptions, the abstract states, ” In evolutionary models of indirect reciprocity, natural selection favors cooperation when observability is sufficiently high.” Working with 2413 human participants as their lab rats, the authors implied their evolutionary model applies to all human behavior – including altruism and some of the most noble human ideals. It’s all evolutionary selection. It works the same way in yeast, except that humans have an inexplicable habit of helping people they don’t know, even when observability is zero. “In sum,” they confidently assert nonetheless, “we show how indirect reciprocity can be harnessed to increase cooperation in a relevant, real-world public goods game.” But is increased cooperation good? Who judges what is public good? And who harnesses the harnessers?Monogamy as an evolutionary strategy: All the science news outlets repeated, without question, a claim in Science Magazine, based on an open-access paper in PNAS, that monogamy evolved from male infanticide (paper’s title: “Male infanticide leads to social monogamy in primates”). The article begins with a photo of the royal couple with new baby, presumably as pawns of a large evolutionary game, thereby robbed of all dignity. Typical quote from the article:Resolving this debate is important, researchers say, especially for understanding the evolution of human mating behavior. Although humans aren’t completely monogamous, “the emergence of pair-bonding in humans was a major evolutionary transition, which dramatically altered the evolutionary trajectory of our species,” says Sergey Gavrilets, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Many researchers think that we could not have evolved our large brains without joint parental care during the extended period of helplessness required for infant brains to grow to their full size. “Understanding the forces that drove that transition can help us better understand the causes of human uniqueness,” Gavrilets adds.Science Daily repeated this idea in two articles. Another uncritical news source was Live Science, although its staff writers allowed for other factors in the “evolution of monogamy” (and, incidentally, “the evolution of infanticide”). Regardless of what other mammals do, none of these sources even considered whether monogamy is right or wrong for humans on any other basis than evolution.Thank evolution for… menopause: Got hot flashes, women? “Thank evolution,” Science Daily says. Thanking presumes the purposeful appreciation for an intentional good act, or (in sarcasm), the despising of a purposefully bad act. Obviously, one cannot thank evolution, a non-intelligent, purposeless process. The fact that “menopause sets humans apart from other primates” might lead some to suppose a reason humans are set apart, but Darwinian evolution can come up with a “number of hypotheses” to explain any observation. The article is full of questions, possibilities and suggestions. That’s the habit of evolutionary explanations: imagining scenarios that portray humans, with all their uniquenesses, as descendents of apes through natural selection.Child sacrifice: A more grotesque case of human evil was described in PNAS about Inca child sacrifice. Mummies of victims were seen to have been drugged before their deaths, and were probably seduced by the conviction they were helping the tribe in some way. The authors are very careful to describe, but not condemn, the treatment of these young victims:Examination of three frozen bodies, a 13-y-old girl and a girl and boy aged 4 to 5 y, separately entombed near the Andean summit of Volcán Llullaillaco, Argentina, sheds new light on human sacrifice as a central part of the Imperial Inca capacocha rite, described by chroniclers writing after the Spanish conquest. The high-resolution diachronic data presented here, obtained directly from scalp hair, implies escalating coca and alcohol ingestion in the lead-up to death. These data, combined with archaeological and radiological evidence, deepen our understanding of the circumstances and context of final placement on the mountain top. We argue that the individuals were treated differently according to their age, status, and ritual role. Finally, we relate our findings to questions of consent, coercion, and/or compliance, and the controversial issues of ideological justification and strategies of social control and political legitimation pursued by the expansionist Inca state before European contact.With language like that, can any of them argue that what the leaders did was wrong? Maybe coercion was an evolutionary strategy for survival of the tribe. Who could argue otherwise? Live Science found good in this abhorrent rite: “After being selected for the deadly rite, the Maiden likely underwent a type of status change, becoming an important figure to the empire; the other two children may have served as her attendants.” One of the paper’s co-authors found even more to praise in Inca child sacrifice:“[The Maiden] became somebody other than who she was before,” said study lead author Andrew Wilson, an archaeologist at the University of Bradford in the U.K. “Her sacrifice was seen as an honor.“Perhaps so, but was the Maiden not deceived by an evil system of lies, her life cut short unnecessarily? How could an evolutionist argue that? Live Science called it a method of social control that probably created a climate of fear, but that’s not the same thing as calling it evil. In evolutionary terms, social control through fear might just be a workable strategy for survival; if not, well – lots of animal populations go extinct.Darwinian doctrine is a deadly poison on humanity. It robs our humanness of everything that is good, true, or beautiful. In Darwin’s imaginary universe, nothing is good, because there are no eternal, objective moral categories. Stuff just happens. Nothing is beautiful, because beauty is just a sensation of material neurons. And nothing can be true, because Darwinian materialism denies the non-materiality and necessity of reason or logic. Ay, there’s the rub: Darwinism destroys itself. It cannot judge whether itself is good, true, or beautiful. Indeed, it cannot be any of the above! Such categories are ephemeral; they evolve, too, and can just as easily become their own opposites (evil is good, lies are true, ugliness is beautiful). Such a position is hopelessly muddled and incoherent. It destroys all reason, including reasons to argue for Darwinism. The universal acid has eaten itself.Darwinists have lost their way. They are wandering about, blinded by their own fogma. Rescue them, and you will rescue humanity. It would be a good, true, and beautiful thing to do. Really. (Visited 33 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Carl Sagan’s TV series Cosmos is coming back in version 2.0 with a new cast of atheists to spread the gospel of scientism.Two generations have passed since Cosmos became a hit TV series in 1980 with the atheist popularizer of science, Carl Sagan. Now, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the PhD astrophysicist and director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium, is reviving it with the help of PBS and Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan. Tyson, no less enthusiastic and articulate than his predecessor (if not more so), is also, like Sagan, an atheist, a staunch believer in cosmic evolution, and a passionate defender of science as the fountainhead of all certifiable knowledge.The new 13-episode Cosmos series will begin airing in March on Fox and the National Geographic channel. Space.com tells about the “rebooting” of the series and how, 34 years later, it is being recast for a new generation that expects cutting-edge video and audio. A video clip promoting the new series begins with Sagan’s memorable opening manifesto of materialism from the old series, “The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be” – an assertion beyond science that launched a thousand commentaries and criticisms, such as the book Cosmos: Carl Sagan’s Religion for the Scientific Mind by Christian apologist Norman Geisler.Producer of Cosmos 2.0 Brannon Braga (Star Trek) describes the series as, if not opposed to religion, at least one-up to it:“Science doesn’t have to be the opposite of religion in terms of its emotional value,” he said. “Science can move you like any other story. Science can be a visceral, emotional experience. Religion doesn’t own awe and mystery. Science does it better.“The producers expect the new series to continue on past its initial release in reruns, disks and other media platforms for many years. Undoubtedly there will be a book and website. While clips of Sagan will be interspersed in the shows, Tyson will have many advantages not available to Sagan in 1980: the internet, social media, and 34 years of planetary and astronomical discoveries.The original Cosmos was criticized for its promulgation of a largely debunked “warfare hypothesis” of science vs religion. Judging from the trailer, that theme will still be prominent. Sagan portrayed religion as anti-intellectual, responsible for all the wars and regresses of nations. Science was always the savior and liberator of mankind. Central to the plot was Darwinian evolution – not just biological, but cosmic. The trailer includes flashbacks that will probably make it into the “reimagining” of Cosmos: religion burning Giordano Bruno at the stake for suggesting the possibility of life on other worlds, for instance (a largely distorted, though inexcusable incident – he was killed for other sins, historians say).As Cosmos 2.0 makes “the case for science,” it will undoubtedly equate science with cosmic evolution.Critics of scientism had better prepare themselves, because this miniseries is bound to be very appealing to a lot of people, including Christians, Jews and other theists. It will also provide a shot in the arm to the new atheists who are becoming increasingly assertive. Cosmos 1.0 took on a life of its own that has lasted for over 3 decades, reaching around the world as one of the most successful and widely-watched science documentaries in TV history. Now, with 34 years of progress in animation, production quality and scientific advances, it would be surprising if Cosmos 2.0 does not surpass its famous predecessor.One reason is Neil deGrasse Tyson himself. He is a dynamo: energetic, tall, muscular, handsome, articulate, smart, funny, possessing an engaging aura that exudes positive vibes. For some, he will gain extra points simply for being black. He’s likeable, very intelligent, and already has a big following. I’ve seen how effective he is as a communicator; once he gave a special video greeting to the Cassini team and had them all on the edge of their seats. In my opinion, he will be more effective than Carl Sagan in communicating the case for scientism, especially when it’s clear from the trailer he will be presented to viewers as almost a demigod or superhero. What is unknown is whether viewers who can download Lord of the Rings on a smartphone will be so jaded by high-tech wizardry as to find another miniseries just another miniseries. Sagan didn’t have to compete with a thousand cable channels, Netflix and YouTube.Much of the appeal of Cosmos 2.0 will be all the stuff that’s right about it. There will be plenty of good science, like a depiction of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and the Titan landing. Christians will say “amen” as Tyson debunks astrology and other superstitions. This will desensitize them to the poison in the pill, when the “warfare of science and religion” theme (largely discredited by philosophers and historians) builds bit by bit, anecdote by anecdote. Many viewers won’t know the truth about the Bruno affair, the Galileo affair, and the Christian faith of great scientists, because the stories will be spun to fit the warfare mold. He will also make the origin and evolution of life look very simple and plausible. As Tyson announces “The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be,” his persona along with the careful scripting and appealing visuals will make it hard to dismiss. Church-goers may come to their pastors with lots of questions. The worst possible answer is: “I don’t understand science; just have faith.”Parents, pastors and youth leaders should not shield young people from the series; they’re going to get the same propaganda in college anyway, most likely, or in the general culture. You don’t build strong faith by ignoring challenges. You get it by facing them with better weapons and the skills to use them. And Christians have the better weapons! Despite its arrogant facade, the scientism theater is a house of cards if you know where the weaknesses are. For instance, by using logical argumentation, evidence, and reasoning, Tyson and the cast will be cutting their legs out from their own materialistic feet. Where does logic come from? From hydrogen? Perceptive viewers will also notice Tyson turning science into a religion, with superstitious imagery that makes astrology look tame (examples: a big eye embedded in the Ring Nebula; zipping around the universe on a whim faster than the speed of light, space aliens everywhere). With a few master strokes, you can unmask the Cosmos production set as a den of thieves. They plagiarize parts of the Christian worldview (belief in truth, logic and morality) to build a materialistic castle of paper on sand. Pastors and teachers can empower young people and adults with good answers and apologetic training; it will make them stronger after the battle than before. It can actually make them excited about their faith, more passionate to defend it.Specific unbiblical scientific claims should be faced. Creation-Evolution Headlines has a search bar for researching many evolutionary claims; if you don’t know something, look it up. Don’t be overly critical; for instance, both Tyson and Sagan are reputable astronomers deserving respect for their science; Sagan did valuable work for NASA’s Mars and Venus missions, for instance, and became a bit less arrogant in his atheism in later years. Be circumspect in your criticisms; don’t call them fools or evil; go after the claims, not the men. But especially, freshen up your critical thinking skills with our Baloney Detector, recognizing card stacking, big lie*, half truth, visualization**, loaded words, glittering generalities***, suggestion, reductionism, red herring, equivocation, straw man, and other tricks of the propaganda trade. Since the series will be heavy into astronomy, read up on our biographies of Newton, Galileo, Kepler and other Bible-believing astronomers; also, know something about the anti-Darwin biologists and the sordid history of the Darwinian revolution. A prepared mind can enjoy the good aspects of the series, learning things, appreciating its strengths but remaining alert to its weaknesses. It’s safe to say this will be one of the strongest and most consistent presentations of scientism one is likely to see on TV. If you can rock that Goliath to sleep with a logical stone, you’ve got reason for confidence.*Example of a big lie from Cosmos 1.0: Sagan stated emphatically, “Evolution is a fact, not a theory. It really happened.” Then he tried to illustrate it with trivial examples of microevolution and even artificial selection.**Example of visualization: In Cosmos 1.0, Sagan narrated a series of one-dimensional drawings of animals morphing into one another, following evolutionary stages from bacteria to man. This is not only asinine, but contrary to evolutionary theory itself. Straight-line “orthogenesis” is a debunked theory. Animals do not evolve as one individual into another; offspring and whole populations must be considered. It was pure propaganda – simplistic, at that.***Example of glittering generalities: In the last episode of Cosmos 1.0, Sagan summed up the whole cosmic evolution scenario in sweeping generalities. At one point, he said, “Eyes evolved, and now the cosmos could see.” As evolution advanced, leading to sumptuous scenes of civilization, transportation and space exploration, with a final musical crescendo, he capped it all off with this monstrous generality that he admitted sounds like “epic myth”: “These are some of the things that hydrogen atoms do, given fifteen billion years of cosmic evolution.”(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
LATEST STORIES “It feels great,” Lamb said. “We fought so hard the whole game. Everybody who came in contributed and played well. They made a big run late. It just feels good to get that win and cap it off like that.”Toronto looked to have won the game after Kawhi Leonard hit the go-ahead basket with 44 seconds left, then blocked Kemba Walker at the other end.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsCharlotte got one final chance after Leonard missed a jumper with 5.8 seconds to go. Pascal Siakam knocked the inbounds pass away from Lamb, who chased the ball into the back court before launching the game-winning 3-pointer.“He made a tough shot,” Siakam said. “I don’t know how I could have defended it better. Yeah, March Madness.” View comments MOST READ Hornets coach James Borrego called Lamb’s basket “a contested bomb.”According to ESPN, Lamb’s winning shot was from 48 feet, making it the second-longest, game-winning buzzer-beater in the past 20 seasons. Tyreke Evans hit a 49-footer against the Grizzlies on Dec. 29, 2010.“I know he threw up a prayer,” Walker said of Lamb’s long heave. “I guess the basketball gods were on our side tonight. That was an unbelievable shot.”Walker had 15 points and 13 assists and Willy Hernagomez had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who overcame an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Boston on Saturday.“It’s a big win,” Walker said. “That’s an unbelievable team over there. They’re going to be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs. That was impressive.”ADVERTISEMENT Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) protects the ball from Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)TORONTO — Jeremy Lamb added a dose of March Madness to Sunday’s NBA action.Lamb banked home a half-court shot at the buzzer and the Hornets beat the Toronto Raptors 115-114, Charlotte’s third straight win.ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Zion Williamson, Duke survive UCF’s late misses, reach Sweet 16 Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Dwayne Bacon made five 3-pointers and scored 20 points, and rookie Miles Bridges scored 16 for Charlotte, which began the day 2 1/2 games behind eighth-place Miami and 1 1/2 games behind ninth-place Orlando in the Eastern Conference playoff race.“I feel like this is turning our way,” Borrego said. “If we keep playing this way, we’re going to give ourselves a chance.”Leonard scored 28 points and Siakam had 23 for the Raptors, who lost consecutive home games for the second time this season. Toronto lost to New Orleans on Nov. 12 and Detroit on Nov 14.All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry returned for Toronto after missing the previous two games because of a sore right ankle. With Lowry in the starting lineup, the Raptors were at full strength for the first time since the trade deadline acquisition of center Marc Gasol, and the subsequent signing of free agent guard Jeremy Lin.Still, having a full complement of players didn’t pay off for the Raptors, who surrendered 18 points on 13 turnovers. Toronto had 22 turnovers in Friday’s home loss to Oklahoma City, one shy of their season worst.Charlotte led 109-96 with 7:50 remaining. Then Toronto’s Fred VanVleet hit back-to-back 3-pointers and dunks from Siakam and Leonard cut it to 109-106 with 5:26 to go.Leonard’s jumper made it a one-point game before Bacon ended Toronto’s 12-0 run by making one of two at the foul line.Siakam and Bacon swapped layups before Leonard tied it with a pair at the foul line.The Hornets led 58-57 at halftime.Ten of Charlotte’s 12 field goals in the third quarter were 3-pointers, including five from Bacon. The Hornets set a franchise record by making 10 of 15 from long range in the third. Charlotte took a 95-83 lead into the fourth. Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Google Philippines names new country director Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting TIP -INSHornets: Charlotte shot 18 for 41 from 3-point range. … G Tony Parker was away from the team for personal reasons. … F Cody Zeller (left knee) missed his seventh straight game and F Nicolas Batum (illness) missed his second straight. F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (concussion protocol) was absent for the third straight game. … Charlotte made nine 3-pointers in a quarter against Sacramento on Jan 25, 2016.Raptors: Toronto recorded an assist on each of its first six baskets and 11 of 12 in the first quarter. … Gasol started and scored 17 points. … The Raptors came in 29-8 at home, tied for the second-most home wins in the NBA.BEEN A WHILELamb was asked whether he remembered the last time he hit a half-court buzzer-beater.“In my driveway growing up, counting down by myself,” he said.STILL SORELowry said his ankle is still sore, but he wanted to get back into game action before the playoffs.“It’s a work in progress,” he said. “This is a good first step for me.”UP NEXT Hornets: Host San Antonio on Tuesday night.Raptors: Host Chicago on Tuesday night.
Mohamed Salah Mohamed Salah: Every award that the Liverpool & Egypt star has won in an astonishing year Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 19:30 5/31/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() Getty Images Mohamed Salah Liverpool Egypt World Cup Premier League The 25-year-old enjoyed a stellar debut campaign at Anfield in 2017-18, with his efforts seeing him end the season with an enviable haul of honours Mohamed Salah has become a global phenomenon, with his exploits during a remarkable debut season at Liverpool seeing him showered with praise and prestigious awards.When those at Anfield sanctioned the £36.9 million ($49m) purchase of the Egyptian forward from Roma, few could have predicted the impact he would make on Merseyside.Having previously flopped in England during a forgettable stint at Chelsea, the 25-year-old has gone on to take Premier League and Champions League competition by storm. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Here, Goal takes a look at Salah’s stunning achievements during the 2017-18 campaign, with his heroics on the field delivering rich rewards off it – with the promise of more to come!How many goals has Mohamed Salah scored for Liverpool? With Liverpool having made him their record signing in June 2017, Salah opened his competitive goal account on his Premier League debut against Watford.He reached double figures in the English top-flight in just 13 outings – equalling the Reds record previously set by Daniel Sturridge.Salah had 20 goals in all competitions by Christmas – with Ian Rush the only other man to have managed that feat for Liverpool – while he would beat Fernando Torres and Sturridge to 20 in the Premier League.Mido’s mark of most goals by an Egyptian in English football was smashed by February, as was the record for most left-footed efforts – with Anfield icon Robbie Fowler knocked from that particular perch.A first hat-trick arrived when putting four past Watford in March, before going on to reach the 40-goal mark, with Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez passed in a 38-game Premier League campaign.In total, Salah found the target against 17 different opponents in the league – no player can claim to have bettered that tally – with his 32 efforts seeing him wrestle top goalscorer bragging rights from Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Competition Appearances Goals Premier League 36 32 Champions League 15 11 FA Cup 1 1 Total 52 44 What awards did Mohamed Salah win in 2017-18? Unsurprisingly, given how prolific and consistent he proved to be, Salah ended the season with an individual trophy haul which would make Barcelona and Real Madrid icons Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo proud.Collective prizes once again proved elusive for Liverpool, as they fell at the final hurdle in Champions League competition, but their talismanic forward swept the board in England and caught the eye in Europe. Salah’s roll of honour ANNUAL AWARDS PFA Player of the Year FWA Footballer of the Year Premier League Player of the Season Liverpool’s Player of the Season Liverpool’s Players’ Player of the Season CAF African Footballer of the Year BBC African Footballer of the Year Arab Footballer of the Year Premier League Golden Boot MONTHLY AWARDS Premier League Player of the Month x3 PFA Player of the Month x4 Liverpool’s Player of the Month x7 Liverpool’s Goal of the Month x6 WEEKLY AWARDS Champions League Player of the Week x2 Champions League Goal of the Week x2 TEAM AWARDS PFA Team of the Year CAF Team of the Year What’s next for Mohamed Salah? The sky would appear to be the limit for a man who now sits comfortably alongside the global elite.A 44-goal haul is a remarkable achievement for anybody not named Messi or Ronaldo but the challenge now is replicating those heroics, or at least getting close.Salah has more than enough talent in his locker to ensure that he is no one-season wonder at Liverpool, but he will be a marked man in 2018-19 as domestic and continental foes seek to better contain his obvious threat.If he can keep his personal bar at its current height, then there is every reason to believe that a standing as a modern day Premier League legend will be quickly secured – as will a place in Anfield folklore.Before all of that, though, Salah has international commitments with Egypt to contend with, with his goals having led the Pharaohs to their first World Cup appearance since 1990.An untimely injury in the Champions League final threatened to dash those dreams as he was forced from the field in tears after tangling with Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos, but initial fears have since been calmed.A few eye-catching showings on a global stage and more productivity on the domestic front should ensure that talk of a tilt at the 2018 Ballon d’Or grows in intensity, along with links to the likes of Real Madrid, with it possible that the biggest prizes for Salah are still to come. 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But as Advanstar and UBM’s events portfolio marched ahead, PR Newswire’s performance was flat and its Other Marketing Services businesses declined 8-percent. The losses there were mainly due to a cut in online revenue, “reflect[ing] a decision to focus on Tech products with higher quality leads.” Amid a series of major changes, UBM’s revenue shot up 26 percent in the first half of 2015. The gains were largely driven by the integration of Advanstar and the progression of its “events first” strategy, the company says. All of that change came as several executive leadership positions were vacated, then filled with new personnel. UBM has appointed a new CFO, and new CEOs of PR Newswire and its Americas division in recent months. In fact, as a whole, UBM’s 120-plus major events performed similarly well. Driving almost two-thirds of the company’s revenue, events grew 3.3 percent, with much of that growth attributable to the events first strategy put into place in late 2014. As part of that shift, the company has focused on its larger shows, selling or closing almost 40 events and several related lines of business in order to consolidate resources. UBM also bought three events during the period, and is in the process of rolling out a number of operational changes. While underlying revenue actually declined 4.1 percent to about $710 million, the October acquisition of U.S. event producer and publisher, Advanstar, accounted for a significant portion of UBM’s additional $148 million through June. The division boosted its events revenue—totaling almost three-quarters of its total income—by 2.9 percent in the first half. Integration efforts with its new parent company are ahead of schedule, as well, UBM reports. A favorable foreign exchange environment also added to top line growth in the first half, the company notes.
5 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. In his book Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website, SEO and online marketing expert Jon Rognerud shows you how to build a high-performance website and get top ranking on all search engines. In this edited excerpt, the author explains how to find out what keywords your competitors are using and how you can use that data to improve your search engine rankings.It’s important when analyzing keywords that you know which keywords your competitors use and if you’re in the proper league to either continue to use them or try for keywords that are still popular yet not used as often.Some paid keyword analyzers can tell you which competitors use which keywords, but this is often limited to what’s used for Google AdSense campaigns. A good way to determine what keywords your competitors are using is to use keyword research tools to extract keywords from their pages, and then copy and paste your selected keyword into a search engine such as Yahoo! or Google to see where they show up.An easy way to find target keywords for your competitors is to see what Google thinks they are by using the new interface to Google Keyword External tool (updated to look and act like the version supplied within Google AdWords.) The new keyword tool allows you to select languages, local search targets and more.Use these steps to discover keywords from competitor domains:Access the keyword tool and log in.Input your competitor’s web address.Review the listings, and scroll down to view all and see the collection of keywords including ad group ideas.You would pick the keywords that have (exact) search counts and that closely match your site as a starting formula. A combination of head and long-tail keywords should be included in an Excel tracking sheet. As you enter some of these keywords into Google, you’ll see varying results for paid results. These will help you understand how “commerce viable” a keyword is. The more ads, the more you can consider it to be a moneymaker. You can further input top keywords into Spyfu.com and Keywordspy.com to discover more detail, including potential paid campaigns and their resulting landing pages. This will give you a broad view of your competitor’s use of keywords, pages and overall strategy.For each of the top five sites, select keywords that seem reasonable, match your market and have search volume, and then take a look at the results that come up. Don’t worry as much about the sponsored listings, as these spots are out of your league if you have limited funds. Expand the research, and focus on the first ten direct listings of the search engine results. Ask yourself: Do these listings relate to the keyword at hand?Having the exact keyword phrase in your title helps you rank better with search engines. Additionally, you can check on the number of inbound links of these sites. Use LinkVendor to do this. If you have a Google webmaster account (you should!), your incoming links will be revealed there. Rather than simply hunting down links, however, search for quality links back to you, which are of higher priority. The search engine will return how many inbound links the website has. Make sure to select the “Except from this domain”–we want to show only external links, not links within the site.Now, what do you do with all this information, particularly if the number is high? Even if the number of inbound links is in the thousands, you don’t necessarily have to discount a keyword. In order for inbound links to be useful for search engines, they must relate to the keywords used throughout your website. For example, if you’re looking to rank well for refinancing loans yet your inbound links are for subprime mortgage loans, you’ll get a good search engine ranking for subprime mortgage loans rather than what you originally wanted, which was refinancing loans. A solid information architecture with keyword research to build out your pages will help avoid this problem. You’ll make sure that you target pages across your site, not just your homepage.You’ll get some legitimate traffic, since some subprime loans are also refinancing loans, but the traffic wouldn’t be as relevant as if you had inbound links that related directly to refinancing loans. If this is what’s happening with your competitor’s keywords, you can take advantage of it by creating a site with the appropriate inbound links.How can you determine if a competitor’s inbound links relate to the keywords used on its site? OpensiteExplorer.org will show your competitors’ anchor text and a lot more around domain authority, diversity of linking domains, which is important, and total links.A powerful tool that you can try on a 30-day free trial is Market Samurai. It provides a complete, integrated system for all online marketing efforts, and it’s a killer tool. The link analysis can show you all incoming links sorted by page rank or by anchor text use, and can easily be exported. Find out who they are, and submit for a link. You may be surprised to find out that top, or first page, listings of Google have low page rank values but extremely targeted page and anchor text matches. This is a big secret to success.You can effectively compete even if a site has a smaller number of legitimate inbound links. The key is to ensure that your links directly relate to the keywords used on your site; if your competitors don’t, you may be rewarded with top placement. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. March 18, 2014 Enroll Now for Free
March 5, 2015 Labeling any data as “bad” feels a little bit like betrayal to the true data fanatic, but you know when the data you’re collecting is a little…well, under the weather. Website traffic suddenly drops to zero, you’re missing data when you run your reports and names appear in five different formats. By that same token, you know what healthy data looks like. It’s clear, easy to understand and ties into your overarching strategy.Still, it can be hard to discern whether your data is truly in tip-top shape, and unless it is, the information you glean from it isn’t going to propel your startup forward. It’s important to regularly assess your data infrastructure for quality and effectiveness to fuel your business in the most efficient way possible.The first step is creating a rubric so you can treat your data to a regular checkup. Here’s how to get started:1. Establish a metrics hierarchy.Look at your overarching business goals, and prioritize your metrics accordingly. To ensure your goals are balanced, focus on the five pillars of success: strategy, methodology, technology, implementation and adoption. Then, prioritize goals for each of the pillars so your rubric can gauge the well-being of every layer of your operation.Related: How Small Businesses Can Embrace Big Data2. Share the responsibility.When you know which metrics are important, hold yourself and your team accountable. Monitor your highest priorities yourself, setting a schedule for regular checkups. Plug it into your calendar so you don’t forget.Delegate other metrics, making sure everyone knows when and how they should be performing checkups and to whom they are reporting. Employees should be able to look at the metrics they’re responsible for and detect any shifts in purpose or outliers that could be attributed to errors.3. Create a rubric document.Craft a living, breathing document that will act as your data standards guide. It should outline answers to questions such as “Does the data we’re collecting tie into the overall strategy goals?” and “Does everybody understand best practices for naming and inputting data?”Establish a checklist so the manager of that metric can cross-check that the data is living up to your standards at regular intervals.Related: Data Crunch: 5 Analysis Tools for Small Businesses4. Make it easy.Your rubric should be accessible with the click of a button. It should be present on your team members’ dashboards in a digestible, intuitive format so your team can navigate it with ease. In data, there is such a thing as too many choices, so don’t create 20 reports if you only need five. There’s no point in empowering everybody to take control of data health when the checklist itself is unhealthy.5. Check early and often.Create your rubric as soon as you can. Establishing a data-driven culture is important as you grow, and it’s far easier to achieve this culture while your company is still young and mobile.Your rubric should be like any other teammate. It should be involved in every decision you make and every meeting you attend. Embed the rubric into your processes, and schedule regular group checkups so you can collectively track your team members’ data health and address any issues they might be facing.6. Don’t be afraid to change.The whole point of establishing metrics in the first place is to help you achieve your overall business goals. If the data you’re tracking turns out to be unrelated to your goals, shift your focus and reassess your hierarchy of metrics.Your company is in constant flux. Your definition of a “healthy company,” your priorities, your goals and the world around you will all change whether you like it or not. So your analytics system needs to grow with you.Integrating analytics into your company culture will reveal whether you have an ineffective data infrastructure. Backed by good data, you can keep striving toward those beautiful business goals with the knowledge that you’ll cross the finish line in great health.Related: How to Lay the Foundation for a Data-Driven Business With A/B Testing Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 4 min read
ACV now the only tour op to offer all-inc privileges at Curaçao resort MISSISSAUGA — Got clients looking for an all-inclusive stay in Curacao? ACV has just announced that it’s now the only tour operator to offer the three-star Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club as an all-inclusive property.Selling features of the resort include two bars, a pool, playground, tennis court and fitness facility, and three restaurants –two of which are at an additional cost. Guests also have free use of snorkelling equipment, one free diving lesson, free shuttle service to downtown and access to facilities at nearby property Sonesta Kura Hulanda Village & Spa.Kura Hulanda is part of ACV’s Privileges program, which offers clients preferred room locations, early check-in and late checkout, free Internet and three guaranteed à la carte dinners.Another featured property in Curaçao is the four-star Kunuku Aqua Resort. Exclusive to ACV, this resort is ideal for families and groups, and includes 114 rooms and apartments that can accommodate up to six guests. It also features an outdoor pool, a children’s pool with waterslides as well as a playground. Complimentary shuttle service is also available to nearby Sambil, Willemstad and Daaibooi beach.More news: Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaKunuku is part of ACV’s Play program, which offers a free eat, play and stay for kids aged 12 and under. With Play, families also receive an exclusive flight experience including free seat selection, priority boarding and a $10 in-flight meal voucher for every member. For more information, visit vacations.aircanada.com. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, February 21, 2017 Travelweek Group Tags: Air Canada Vacations, Curacao Share Posted by