First Edition: July 12, 2013 This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including articles on data tracking of doctors and comparing the rollout of the Medicare Part D drug plans to implementation of the federal health law.Kaiser Health News: Connecting Minnesota’s Latino Community To Health CareMinnesota Public Radio’s Elizabeth Stawicki, working in partnership with Kaiser Health News and NPR, reports: “When Samuel Alcocer arrived at the reception desk of a North Minneapolis clinic with a swollen cheek in 1996, he was desperate for relief. One of his wisdom teeth had erupted into a throbbing, painful ache. At the time, Alcocer, a native of Santa Cruz in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, spoke no English. No one at the clinic spoke Spanish. … Seventeen years later, Alcocer helps to make sure others don’t have a similar experience, working as a Spanish interpreter at the same clinic in Minneapolis. … [Latinos] are a big part of the state’s uninsured population. One in eight Minnesota Latinos lacks health insurance” (Stawicki, 7/12). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Republicans Ready To Try Obamacare Repeal – Again And Again Now on the Kaiser Health News blog, Mary Agnes Carey reports on the House GOP leadership’s plan for more votes against the health law next week: “The House will vote next week on measures to delay the 2010 health law’s individual and employer mandates, House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday. The votes would be the 38th and 39th time House Republicans have voted to repeal all or part of the law. Congressional Republicans saw a new opportunity to kill or weaken President Obama’s signature policy achievement last week. That was when administration officials announced that the law’s requirement that employers with 50 or more workers offer insurance in 2014 or pay a fine had been postponed for one year” (Carey, 7/11). Check out what else is on the blog.The Wall Street Journal: Hospitals Prescribe Big Data To Track Doctors At Work Marnie Baker, a pediatrician at California’s MemorialCare Health System, has an easy manner and ready smile. Now, though, her job is to be the bearer of a serious and, for some of her colleagues, unwelcome message. She’s the voice of a program that digitally tracks their performance, informs them when they don’t measure up—and cajoles them to improve. MemorialCare is part of a movement by hospitals around the U.S. to change how doctors practice by monitoring their progress toward goals, such as giving recommended mammograms. It isn’t always an easy sell (Wilde Mathews, 7/11).The Associated Press: Q&A: Latest Health Law Fight: Battle Of MandatesIf businesses get an extra year to meet a new health care mandate, why not everybody else? Republicans, seizing on the White House delay for employers, are demanding that the Obama administration give individual Americans an equal break. But the White House says that’s just a thinly disguised gambit for dismantling the entire health care overhaul. … The battle of the mandates is the latest clash in the long-running political fight over health care — a fight that’s far from over. Under President Barack Obama’s big overhaul, most people will be required to have insurance starting next Jan. 1, and larger businesses were supposed to offer affordable health care to their employees who average 30 hours of work a week. Here are some questions and answers in the aftermath of the administration’s sudden delay of the employer mandate (Alonso-Zaldivar, 7/12).NPR: Messy Rollout Of Health Law Echoes Medicare Drug ExpansionIt hasn’t been a good week for the Affordable Care Act. After announcements by the administration of several delays of key portions of the law, Republicans returned to Capitol Hill and began piling on. “This law is literally just unraveling before our eyes,” said Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee. “I don’t know how you can conclude that this is not a total fiasco.” But this isn’t the first time a major health law has gotten off to a rocky start. In the beginning, things didn’t look so good for the now very successful Medicare prescription drug law, either (Rovner, 7/12).The Wall Street Journal: Appeals Court Upholds Obamacare’s Employer MandateA federal appeals court Thursday upheld a central plank of the new federal health law, rejecting a challenge to Obamacare’s employer mandate. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Virginia said the plaintiff, Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, had legal standing to bring the case. But it rejected the school’s claim that the employer mandate was unconstitutional. The provision, which requires large employers to provide health coverage for workers or pay a penalty, is now supposed to start in 2015 after the Obama administration delayed enforcement for a year (Gershman, 7/11).The Hill: Wegmans Grocery Chain Cuts Healthcare For Part-Time WorkersThe Wegmans supermarket chain has stopped offering health insurance to its part-time employees, according to a report in The Buffalo News. The popular chain had previously offered coverage to employees who worked at least 20 hours per week. But the company has dropped that benefit, citing President Obama’s healthcare law, employees told the News. The healthcare law requires large employers to offer insurance to all employees who work more than 30 hours per week. The Obama administration announced last week that it would not enforce the requirement until 2015 (Baker, 7/11).The New York Times: North Carolina House Passes New Restrictions On AbortionLegislation that would impose new restrictions on abortion clinics moved out of the North Carolina House of Representatives on Thursday in a form that would give wide power to Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration. The bill became the focus of battling factions in the Republican Party this week, with a series of public legislative debates and back-room maneuvering over how to create new limits that would appeal to the governor, who is a Republican. Mr. McCrory threatened to veto a Senate measure that would have required doctors to be present for all doses of abortion drugs and force clinics that perform abortions to meet standards similar to those of an ambulatory surgical center (Blinder, 7/11).The New York Times: Ready Access To Plan B Pills In City SchoolsLast month, the Obama administration seemingly changed the landscape of access to emergency contraception across the country when, in a reversal, it agreed to allow the best-known pill, Plan B One-Step, to become available to all ages without a prescription. Until recently, only those 17 and older could buy it over the counter. But New York City had long ago come to an accommodation with the idea that girls as young as 13 or 14 should have easy access to the pill. Through a patchwork of nurses’ offices and independent clinics operating in schools, students can now get free emergency contraceptives like Plan B One-Step in more than 50 high school buildings, generally in neighborhoods with high teenage pregnancy rates (Hartocollis and Bond, 7/11).USA Today: Blood Drive To Challenge Ban On Donations From GaysGay men across the nation plan to offer to donate their blood Friday, even though they expect to be turned away. The blood drive, targeting 53 donor sites nationally, is designed to protest a 1977 federal policy barring gay and bisexual men from donating blood (Leys and Hall, 7/11).The Wall Street Journal: Defanged HIV Shows Promise In Gene Therapy Six children with rare genetic diseases were successfully treated using gene therapy that was delivered with a modified form of the AIDS virus, researchers said Thursday. HIV, which causes AIDS, is proving a boon to gene therapy because the ability to infect cells that makes the virus so dangerous has also rendered it an efficient agent for delivering replacement genes into a patient (Winslow, 7/11).Los Angeles Times: Gene Therapy Using HIV Helps Children With Fatal Diseases, Study SaysItalian researchers have used a defanged version of HIV to replace faulty genes — and eliminate devastating symptoms — in children suffering two rare and fatal genetic diseases. Improved gene therapy techniques prevented the onset of metachromatic leukodystrophy in three young children and halted the progression of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome in three others (Pandika, 7/11).Los Angeles Times: Probe Of California’s Prison-Based Mental Health Facilities OrderedCiting evidence of doctor shortages, treatment delays and “denial of basic necessities, including clean underwear,” a federal judge on Thursday ordered an in-depth probe of conditions at prison-based mental health facilities run by the California Department of State Hospitals. U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton has been overseeing mandated improvements of care for mentally ill prisoners throughout California, treatment that the courts 18 years ago deemed so substandard as to be unconstitutional (Romney and St. John, 7/12).Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. As Deficit Talks Resume, Health Law Funding Fight Escalates News outlets report little optimism that talks between a group of Republican senators and the White House will resolve the impasse. Meanwhile, House Republicans are expected to use the battle over raising the debt limit as leverage to block the health law — either by stripping away its funds, or delaying implementation.The New York Times: Deficit Talks Resuming, But Few Sound HopefulThe two sides had said they would meet during the August recess, but the gathering will be the first in that time and is intended to take stock before Congress reconvenes in September. Neither side expressed optimism in interviews, with talks snagged on the same issues that killed past bipartisan efforts: Republicans’ demands for deeper Medicare cuts and President Obama’s insistence that they, in return, agree to higher taxes on the wealthy and some corporations (Calmes, 8/28).The Washington Post: The House GOP Is Bracing For Debt-Limit Battle And Likely To Target Obamacare FirstBoehner (R-Ohio) has proposed a short-term budget bill to keep the government open into the new fiscal year with relatively little fuss. But during a speech in Boise, Idaho, on Monday, he said House Republicans will draw a line in the sand over lifting the federal debt limit, demanding spending “cuts and reforms that are greater than the increase in the debt limit.” … What kind of change? Senior Republican aides say it is becoming clear that Boehner will have to launch a concerted assault on the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature health-insurance initiative. The Heritage Foundation, the Club for Growth and other conservative groups are demanding a full-on attempt to defund the law, and at least 80 House Republicans have signed on (Montgomery, 8/28).The Hill: How The Obamacare Defunding Battle Exploded Into Political ShowdownThe fight over defunding ObamaCare is a fight conservatives have spent months itching for. But few thought it could have intensified so fast, especially after President Obama’s reelection triumph and Democrats picking up seats in both chambers of Congress last November (Baker, 8/29).Bloomberg: Republican Health-Care Attack Shifts From Defund To DelayRepublican congressional leaders, in a fresh strategy after repeatedly failing to dismantle President Barack Obama’s health-care law, are leaning toward an effort to postpone it rather than choke off funding. Freshmen Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah have commanded the spotlight during this month’s congressional recess, saying they want to shut down the government unless the law is defunded (Przybyla, 8/29).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Today’s headlines include news coverage of yesterday’s update from the Obama administration regarding the number of people who have enrolled in private health insurance through the health law’s online marketplaces. Kaiser Health News: Report: Nearly 3.3 Million Americans Have Enrolled In Private Obamacare PlansKaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports: “Nearly 3.3 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance plans since October through the online marketplaces created by the health law, with enrollment continuing to surge through January, an Obama administration report said Wednesday. But the number of young adults signing up continues to lag expectations, which could impact insurance premiums next year. Insurance industry officials have been closely watching the mix of customers to make sure they get enough healthy people to balance the cost of covering older Americans who generally require more medical care” (Galewitz, 2/12). Read the story. Kaiser Health News: Florida Moves To Manage Health Care For Foster KidsKaiser Health News staff writer Marissa Evans, working in collaboration with The Miami Herald, reports: “Chris and Alicia Johnson have 10 kids — three biological, five adopted out of foster care and two foster children — all under one roof on the outskirts of Orlando, Fla. While providing love, support and encouragement for their foster kids, they’ve sometimes run into roadblocks trying to get them health care, including needed mental health services, because few providers take Medicaid insurance. Another problem? Not being able to take foster children in different health care plans to the same doctors. Those difficulties are not unusual for the nation’s nearly 400,000 foster children, whose health care can be complicated by cycling from one placement to another, undiagnosed childhood trauma and a failure to receive preventive care, according to experts” (Evans, 2/13). Read the story and check out the related chart. The New York Times: 3.3 Million Enrolled On Health Marketplaces, Including More Young People, Government SaysThe administration reported a modest uptick in the enrollment of young adults, a group avidly sought by insurers because they are usually healthier and need fewer costly medical services. In a new report on enrollment, the administration said that 1.9 million people had selected health plans in the federal marketplace from October through January, while 1.4 million chose plans in state-run insurance exchanges (Pear, 2/12). The New York Times: Over 1 Million Added To Rolls Of Health PlanMore than 1.1 million people signed up for health insurance through federal and state marketplaces in January, according to the government, and the number of young people enrolling increased faster than that of any other group. The results were hailed by Obama administration officials, who expressed increased optimism that they had overcome their initial stumbles and erased many doubts about the viability of the health care law (Shear and Abelson, 2/12). USA Today: More Than 1M Signed Up For Health Coverage In JanuarySebelius called the statistics “very, very encouraging news. We’re seeing a healthy growth in enrollment.” Young people between the ages of 18 and 34, who are considered essential to the long-term financial health of the insurance market, went from 24% of enrollees between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 to 27% in January, according to the new records. … The Obama administration isn’t concerned about the number of young people who have signed up for insurance, said Julie Bataille, communications director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The number of young insurance customers is “on track” with expectations, she said (Kennedy, 2/12). Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Enrollment Continues To IncreaseThe national total was still short of the administration’s goal of 4.4 million enrolled by the end of January. It remains unclear how many people who have selected a health plan have actually paid and how many did not have insurance previously. But the latest report provides new evidence that the marketplaces are gaining traction after a disastrous launch last fall (Levey, 2/12). The Washington Post: Health Insurance Enrollment On Target In JanuaryStill, the lingering imprint of those early problems remains visible in the new report. Overall, the 3.3 million people who have signed up for coverage are about 1 million fewer than federal officials had anticipated by the end of January. That difference dovetails with a revised prediction last week by congressional budget analysts — that 6 million Americans, instead of 7 million, are likely to get insurance through the marketplaces by the time this year’s sign-up period ends March 31 (Goldstein, 2/12). Politico: More Than 3 Million Signed Up Through Obamacare Exchanges, Officials SayKey data is still missing. The numbers don’t show how many of the sign-ups on the state and federal exchanges have actually paid their premiums. Nor do officials know how many were previously uninsured (Cheney and Millman, 2/12).NPR: After January Surge, More Than 3 Million Have Enrolled In ObamacareJanuary was a miserable month for weather, but the wintry blasts in much of the country weren’t enough to stop people from shopping for health insurance. More than 1.1 million people signed up for coverage through state and federal health exchanges in January, according to a just-released report, bringing the total to just shy of 3.3 million people (Rovner, 2/12). The Wall Street Journal: Health Exchanges Hit 3.3 Million Enrollees Through JanuaryBut Republican lawmakers said there was no reason for the Obama administration to cheer, given the continuing troubles with the 2010 federal health-care law. They noted independent reports indicating that many of the people using the exchanges already had been buying insurance on their own (Radnofsky, 2/12).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Most States Lag In Health Insurance Sign-UpsMost states are still lagging when it comes to sign-ups under President Barack Obama’s health care law, but an Associated Press analysis of numbers reported Wednesday finds a dozen high-achievers getting ahead of the game. Huge disparities are emerging in how well states are living up to federal enrollment targets, and that will help determine if the White House reaches its unofficial goal of having 7 million signed up by the end of March, six weeks away (2/12). Politico: Obamacare Finally Clears The TowerThere are still reasons to be skeptical of the numbers, and health care experts warn that the administration still has a lot of work to do by the end of March — when enrollment ends for this year — to get the right mix of customers so there are enough healthy people to pay for the sicker ones. But the new report is good enough that it might reset Washington’s expectations: maybe Obamacare isn’t going to be a train wreck after all. Maybe it’ll be more like one of those Metro trains that runs kind of slowly, and sometimes stops in the middle of the tracks for no apparent reason, but eventually gets you where you need to go (Nather, 2/12). The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: The Uninsured Rate Is At A Five-Year Low. Is Obamacare The Reason? Gallup’s newest poll shows another decline in the uninsured rate, in a survey taken in late January and early February. It found that 16 percent of American adults reported lacking insurance coverage, the lowest number Gallup has recorded since 2009 (Kliff, 2/12). The Wall Street Journal: For Many, Few Health-Plan Choices, High Premiums on Online ExchangesHundreds of thousands of Americans in poorer counties have few choices of health insurers and face high premiums through the online exchanges created by the health-care law, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of offerings in 36 states. Consumers in 515 counties, spread across 15 states, have only one insurer selling coverage through the online marketplaces, the Journal found. In more than 80% of those counties, the sole insurer is a local Blue Cross & Blue Shield plan (Martin and Weaver, 2/12). The Associated Press/Washington Post: Senate Clears Debt Limit Measure For ObamaThe president is now clear to sign the bill, which allows the government to borrow all the money it needs to pay bills such as Social Security benefits, federal salaries, and payments to Medicare and Medicaid providers. Failure to pass it would have likely sent the stock market — which dipped modestly as the voting dragged on — into a tailspin (2/12). The Wall Street Journal: Boehner Strategy Signals A Shift For RepublicansConservative and tea-party groups outside Congress were incensed by the move, orchestrated by Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. But GOP lawmakers defended the strategy, which enabled Mr. Labrador and 198 other Republicans to oppose the debt-ceiling bill—it passed with the votes of Mr. Boehner, 27 other Republicans and 193 Democrats—and clear the way for them to try to redirect attention to the president’s health-care law (Peterson and Hook, 2/12). The Washington Post: Senate Votes To Restore Benefits To VeteransSenators voted 95 to 3 Wednesday to restore military retiree benefits cut last year as part of a compromise budget deal, adopting a House bill that covers the move by extending reductions to Medicare (Lowrey, 2/12). The New York Times: Conservative Group Enters Michigan Fray On Side Of Tea PartyThe group, Americans for Prosperity, will spend about $230,000 on advertisements thanking Representative Justin Amash for fighting against President Obama’s signature health care law, officials there said — a shot at establishment donors who are rallying behind his challenger, Brian Ellis (Confessore, 2/12). NPR: Judge Dismisses Assisted Suicide Case Against Pennsylvania NurseA Pennsylvania county judge has thrown out an assisted suicide case against a 58-year-old nurse named Barbara Mancini, who was accused of homicide last year for allegedly handing her 93-year-old father a bottle of morphine. The decision is the latest in a series of recent developments signaling a reluctance of courts and state legislatures to criminalize medical care that may hasten death (Knox, 2/12). Los Angeles Times: Animosity Between Head Of AIDS Group, L.A. County Supervisor Emerges Long-simmering animosity between two Los Angeles political figures reached new heights this week when their bad blood surfaced in a footnote attached to a federal judge’s ruling. The footnote revealed a series of vitriolic remarks made by AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein about Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky (Sewell, 2/12). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. First Edition: February 13, 2014
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The CEO of a huge software company finds out that the system isn’t working perfectly. And, a profile of a company simplifying the system as well as a look at some “hazards” of electronic medical records. NPR reports on how the FDA uses insurance billing records to spot drug side-effects on a large scale.The Richmond Times-Dispatch: HealthcarePays Trying To Simplify Health Care Payment SystemThe proprietary technology developed by HealthcarePays is helping to simplify the health care payment system, making it more streamlined when reconciling medical claims. “The movement of money is an underlying problem in the health care system,” said Dave Adams, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “It’s difficult for doctors and other health care providers to map out what they should get paid or which patient the payment is for.” The Powhatan County-based company puts electronic payments into a common format that can be received in a doctor’s or dentist’s billing system (Tupponce, 7/20).The Washington Post: Little-Known InterSystems Grows To Dominate An IT Market In Age Of Obamacare Terry Ragon’s knees ache. Age and love of marathons have taken their toll on the 64-year-old billionaire owner of InterSystems, a Cambridge, Mass., database software company. Little known outside the niche its technology dominates, InterSystems underpins health-related information for the national health services of England, Scotland and Wales and the U.S. Defense Department, … Ragon, [is] mentioning his knees for a reason. “I saw two doctors at two different facilities on the same day,” he says. “Both did X-rays. I can’t believe that the way they like to do them is so different they couldn’t share one. But each one got reimbursed.” The duplication adds time, cost and inconvenience (Coffey, 7/18).The Boston Globe: Hazards Tied To Medical Records RushPresident Obama and Congress poured $30 billion in taxpayer subsidies into the push for digital medical records beginning in 2009, with only a few strings attached and no safety oversight of the vendors who sell the systems. The move was touted as a way to improve patient care and help rein in medical costs. Five years later, the explosion in the use of the electronic records has created the potential for efficiencies and safety benefits but also new risks for patients, the scope of which still is not fully understood (Rowland, 7/20).NPR: Big Data Peeps At Your Medical Records To Find Drug ProblemsTo do a better job of spotting unforeseen risks and side effects, the Food and Drug Administration is trying something new — and there’s a decent chance that it involves your medical records. It’s called Mini-Sentinel, and it’s a $116 million government project to actively go out and look for adverse events linked to marketed drugs. This pilot program is able to mine huge databases of medical records for signs that drugs may be linked to problems (Greenfieldboyce, 7/21). Obamacare’s Health IT Rules Bring Challenges, Opportunities
Stat: Robert Califf: Trump Budget Proposal Is ‘Ridiculous’ Stat: Obama Vs. Trump: Early Report Card On How Health And Science Are Changing A Look At Where Trump Has Diverged From Obama On Health Policy Stat is tracking five key health areas to identify where things are changing, where it’s unclear and where it’s just more of the same. Meanwhile, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration speaks out against Trump’s budget cuts — This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Dr. Robert Califf, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, on Tuesday called President Trump’s budget blueprint “ridiculous” and implored the scientific community to “speak out against it.” Califf made the remarks while moderating a panel at a meeting on how clinical trial data should be shared within and beyond the research community. The two-day meeting was hosted by the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the top peer-reviewed medical journals. (Swetlitz, 4/4) In less than three months in office, President Trump has made abundantly clear he will not approach health and medicine the same way his predecessor did. He is proposing dramatic funding cuts to the National Institutes of Health. He has already tried — and so far failed — to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama’s signature legislation. The early signals of how he’ll handle the opioid crisis have recovery advocates on edge. … Three months ago, STAT looked at five key areas and assessed whether Trump was likely to diverge from Obama — or not. Now we’re revisiting those issues, focusing on the new president’s record so far. (Scott, 4/4)
As part of its settlement with the EPA and California’s Air Resource Board, VW’s Electrify America not only has to invest billions in electric vehicle infrastructure, it also has to make some other specific investments in electrification.One of those investments was announced this week as a new fleet of electric vehicles to be used in a “on-demand” service in the city of Sacramento. more…The post Electrify America launches a fleet of ‘on demand’ electric vehicles with Envoy in Sacramento appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
Our Tesla Roadster Was Finally Delivered: Video Above: Fine tuning the edges for a perfect fit (Image: EVANNEX)He continued, “Tesla is the perfect car for the future and the modularity makes it cost effective. Satellites are already in place for software updates worldwide—anywhere, anytime. We are almost at the tipping point for self-driving cars, and Tesla is leading the way.”The Millers just returned from a road trip to visit family in the Chicago area. The trip began in South Florida. Here are some of George’s observations:Autopilot was great, and we used it almost the whole way, even on smaller roads. The only stops were for charging and eating at the same time. Even the small town of Peru, IL had six superchargers.Hotels with destination charging are key for an EV trip. We liked the Hilton chain. These chargers are a win-win for both hotels and Tesla.Storage area in the trunk and frunk proved to be very helpful. We transported Christmas presents on the way there, and the puzzle collection on the way home. Source: Electric Vehicle News Above: George owns over 3,000 interlocking puzzles (Image: EVANNEX)George smiled and thought for a moment. “Puzzle solvers (and makers) must have logical minds and the ability to make good decisions. Buying a Tesla was the perfect solution to my car buying puzzle.”“In his own way, Elon Musk is a puzzle solver,” George continued. “Whether it’s an automotive design problem, a manufacturing problem, or thinking outside the box, Elon shines.” Check Out This Incredible Tesla Roadster Sculpture Above: George and Roxanne with their new Model S (Image: EVANNEX)George refers to himself as a “puzzle prototyper,” and every year in his shop, Puzzle Palace, he makes about 100 puzzles for the International Puzzle Party held in the US, Europe, and Japan annually on a rotating basis. I asked him if his unique way of thinking drew him to Tesla. Above: Puzzle Man (Image: EVANNEX)A few years back, George was interviewed for his thoughts on the 80’s puzzle phenomenon that took the world by storm, the iconic Rubik’s Cube. “If it’s too small, it’s bad . . . If it’s too large, it’s bad,” he told the New York Post . “You want something that fits in your hand.”I decided to ask George about the parallels of designing successful puzzles and the challenges of designing a smaller electric sedan with mass appeal.George liked the metaphor. “Well, all of the pieces have to fit together. The problem is that you can try to fit the pieces in ways that don’t solve the puzzle. At first, the Tesla team struggled, but they figured it out.“George explained that Tesla solved a puzzle that had eluded other automotive manufacturers. They made the pieces fit together with the introduction of Model 3. The Silicon Valley company brought to market a wildly popular, lower-priced, zero emissions vehicle. Above: George prototyping for a new puzzle (Image: EVANNEX)George’s interest in Tesla began with his first Roadster, VIN #1050. His first wife wanted a sports car but George rejected the usual internal combustion engine options. On a lark, both George and his wife took a test drive in a Roadster. Both exited the Roadster wearing the famous Tesla smile. Decision made!Now on his third Tesla, George and Roxanne just took delivery of a Model S P100D and have the next generation 2020 Roadster on order. MASTER PUZZLE MAKER SAYS TESLA PUTS ALL THE PIECES TOGETHERRecently I met George Miller, a world-renowned puzzle maker. George makes 2D- and 3D-puzzle prototypes and builds hundreds of high quality puzzles each year, including classic puzzle reproductions, new puzzle designs, and ultra-modern puzzle creations. It turns out both George and his wife Roxanne are Tesla enthusiasts.*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Barbara Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.Check Out These Stories: Top: Trunk filled with Christmas presents for family visit; Bottom: Coming home the trunk would be filled with puzzles from George’s collection (Image: EVANNEX)Charging stations were everywhere. We stretched the limit to about every four hours for stops.Bluetooth connection was solid all along. We were able to listen to audio books during our trip (including the Elon Musk biography by Ashlee Vance). Above: George enjoys driving his Tesla Model S on road trips (Image: EVANNEX)George and Roxanne Miller are the kind of people who exemplify the Tesla owner. Their adventurous spirit, and logical, intelligent minds, make this car the pinnacle of these puzzle makers’ automotive dreams.*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. Watch Tesla Model S P100D Smoke Pair Of Dodge Demons Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 13, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News
Buemi explained that Nissan had to recalculate its energy targets due to the red flag caused by Nelson Piquet Jr and Jean-Eric Vergne’s early crash, but was left to rue Wehrlein starting the 43rd lap with a few seconds to spare.This extended the race by an extra tour due to FE’s new-for-2018/19 45-minute-plus one lap race format and that ultimately meant the Nissan drivers ran out of energy.“We need to recalculate constantly how many laps you expect the leader will do,” Buemi explained, “because the leader decides the amount of laps.“If [Wehrlein] would have crossed the line nine seconds earlier we would have done one lap less and we would have been fine. But of course, he crossed the line a bit earlier and we went out.”Rowland explained to Motorsport.com that “at the end we were matching our target for a race that was a lap shorter than it was and then we ran out on the last lap”.He continued: “It’s one of the most simple things to do and that’s why it’s most frustrating for the team because they work very hard all week and they do a fantastic job and they’re gutted with what happened.“As am I, but we have to take the positives – we’ve been mega this weekend, so I’m happy.” Source: Electric Vehicle News Buemi and his Nissan teammate Oliver Rowland were running fourth and third at the start of the final lap of Saturday’s race, just behind Pascal Wehrlein and eventual race winner Lucas di Grassi.But both Nissan drivers hit 0 percent energy just after the start of the final tour and ended up 20th and 21st in the final classification, with Rowland, who had run second for most of the race, ahead.When asked what had happened after the race, Buemi told Motorsport.com that the team “didn’t calculate the amount of laps right, basically”.“We underestimated by one lap so we ran out of energy earlier,” he continued. “It’s a software issue on the strategy software we have.“It basically tells you how many laps you need to do and then you use the energy according to that. So, we’ve done a mistake there and paid a big price.“[I’m] a bit speechless, to be honest. I don’t want to find any excuse or whatever, it’s just a shame because to do an extra lap, if you start from the beginning if you have it right, it’s peanuts [in terms of energy] because we are doing so many laps.“It’s a short lap, to do an extra lap really costs nothing, maybe a tenth per lap.”More from the Mexico E-Prix:Mexico City E-Prix: Di Grassi grabs last-gasp win from WehrleinDi Grassi “couldn’t believe” epic last-lap Mexico City win Sebastien Buemi was “speechless” after the Nissan e.dams team’s dramatic energy loss in the Mexican ABB FIA Formula E race, which he put down to a strategy software miscalculation. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 22, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News
GFG Teases Kangaroo Electric Hyper-SUV Ahead Of Geneva GFG Style And Envision Presents Sibylla Concept Electric Car Check Out This New Kangaroo Electric Hyper SUV Four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, and three suspension modes.It was at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show where Italdesign Giugiaro introduced the interesting Parcour – a supercar powered by the Lamborghini Gallardo’s engine, but with the ground clearance you’d usually expect from a lifted wagon or a crossover. The coupe and roadster concepts were applauded for their unusual configuration, but ultimately never saw the light of day as production models.More from GFG Style Its sleek bodywork is made entirely out of carbon fiber to keep the weight in check, while the trick adjustable suspension has three selectable modes: Racing (ground clearance of 140 mm / 5.5 inches), Road (190 mm / 7.5 inches), and Off-Road (260 mm / 10.2 inches) for when the going gets tough. Those massive 22-inch alloy wheels might not seem off-roading material, but the ability to considerably raise the body enables the Kangaroo to tackle difficult terrain.The 90-kWh battery pack has enough juice for more than 280 miles (450 kilometers), although it’s unclear on which fuel consumption testing procedure. Power is provided by a pair of electric motors each developing 180 kW, so combined output stands at the equivalent of 483 horsepower (360 kW).What you see here is more than just a pretty face as the car has already evolved to a running prototype based on an electric platform developed in partnership with CH Auto. The “Hyper SUV” as described by its creators promises to do 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in only 3.8 seconds and top out at an electronically governed 155 mph (250 kph).Aside from showcasing the running prototype, GFG Style will also have on display at the Geneva Motor Show a clay model with the roof and hood in exposed carbon. In addition, the Kangaroo is going to ditch the wheels and tires to make room for tracks as the people behind the car believe it would be a hoot to use on icy and snowy roads. Why are we bringing this up? Because Giorgetto Giugiaro and his son Fabrizio are the founders of GFG Style and for this year’s Geneva show they have prepared something similar in philosophy. Attempting to combine the performance of a supercar with the utility of vehicles featuring a generous ground clearance, the Kangaroo is a futuristic jacked-up EV with all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering. Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 4, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News
Instagram: Unmatched_Tesla_Model3So in order to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today, instead of just drinking a pint of green beer, I wanted to showcase a stunning green Tesla. It turns out that the Model 3’s owner, Isaac, actually works for Tesla and told me that the car’s unusual vinyl wrap actually changes color depending on the light source.Isaac explained that the wrap is part of Avery’s ColorFlow series, named Fresh Spring Gold/Silver. When Isaac originally looked at the wrap though, he explains, “all I saw was just matte gold. So I was like let’s do this. After the car was finished, I couldn’t believe the colors… the wrap is color changing depending on how you look at it.” Instagram: Unmatched_Tesla_Model3Kudos to Isaac from spreading the mission of Tesla as both an avid owner and passionate employee of the company. Going green is something every Tesla owner does when they leave the gas pump behind. Having an electric vehicle with zero tailpipe emissions can, without a doubt, help the environment. And that’s something to be thankful for this St. Patrick’s Day.*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 17, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News TESLA OWNER GOES GREEN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAYRemixing the look of a Tesla can be subtle or bold. Many of the most eye-catching Tesla mods are prowling the streets of South Florida after leaving Signature Custom Wraps. And often the most stunning Tesla transformations are found on social media. I recently stumbled across an especially striking Tesla from a Model 3 owner in California’s Bay Area with the handle, Unmatched Tesla Model3, on Instagram.*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs. Source: Electric Vehicle News Instagram: Unmatched_Tesla_Model3Isaac continues, “The first day I posted online people were going crazy about it because it was the first Tesla in this obscure wrap. The color just makes you smile… And since I work for Tesla I wanted people to look at my car and just say WOW, I want one now.”“Looking around the Bay and seeing all these Teslas made me so happy… [it’s] why I wake up and go to work every day,” Isaac says. “I couldn’t be more excited. I have many more mods planned out to make this already beautiful green Tesla look even more insane. Let’s change the world for the better together. The transition to sustainable energy starts with the world as a whole, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
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Hosting a holiday party? 3 Things to Keep in Mind.November 5, 2018 By Administrator There are many factors that go into hosting a great holiday party. Whether it’s prepping your family’s homemade, traditional recipes, cleaning your home for guests or decorating for the perfect holiday festivity, hosting a party is a lot of work! At the same time, it can be fun & your guests may look forward to your party for weeks. While we wish parties could be all fun and games, there are some risks you should be aware of.Alcohol We all know and understand the risks of drinking too much alcohol. However, when you are the host of a party and serving alcohol, you could be liable if someone leaves your home after drinking too much and gets into a car accident. As a host, be aware of how much your guests are drinking and ensure they have a safe ride home. Even if that means calling a taxi or Uber for them.Tripping HazardsThere are many ways a guest could trip and fall inside or outside your home. You can be liable and a home insurance claim may need to be placed if a guest is injured on your property. Here are a few things to consider to avoid a tripping hazard.Have a clear walkway path from your driveway to front door. Ensure there are no extension cords, cracks in the sidewalk or an icy path where your guest could fall.Clear toys, decorations or other objects from the hallways or stair case in your home.Ensure your rugs aren’t bunched where a guest could trip.Distracted CookingDid you know cooking is the number #1 reason for home fires? It’s easy to get distracted when you’re hosting a party and trying to cook your meal at the same time. However, don’t allow yourself to multi-task or leave the kitchen while heating elements are running. Other things to consider:Know where your fire extinguisher is located in your home.If a grease or oven caught fire, would you know what to do? For a grease fire, don’t throw water on it, but instead, smother it. For an oven fire, keep the door closed and turn off the oven.If you like to deep fry turkeys, keep it at least 10 feet away from your home.Holiday parties give lasting memories for not only the host, but the guests as well. However, being prepared is crucial to protect yourself from liability. For questions about your home or liability insurance, contact our agency!Filed Under: Blog
The impressive fictional word of Westeros has taken the drama genre by storm. Its popularity is incomparable to any other T.V. show out there today. One question that’s been brewing from the beginning is just where George R. R. Martin and his screen adaptation writers get their inspiration. Surely they can’t have made all this up?Season 8Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke.photo: Helen Sloane/HBOWell, it turns out they didn’t. While some people speculate about storylines borrowed from Shakespeare’s plays, a number of elements in Game of Thrones come directly from real episodes in history.We’ll start from the beginning and explore, chronologically, some notable parallels between Earth’s real history and the fictional history of Westeros.Ramsay Bolton’s Torture Tactics are Not NewsIwan Rheon as Gordon Ramsey Photo: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBOThe creepy obsession with mutilation exhibited by Ramsay Bolton is nothing new to world history. For centuries, humans have resorted to obscene violence for the sake of interrogation or retaliation.King Ashurbanipal of Assyria (668 – 627 BC) once allegedly threaded a dog chain through an enemy king’s jaw and forced him to live in a dog kennel. Even closer to Bolton’s sick expertise is the act of flaying, or skinning.Detail of a stone monument of Ashurbanipal as a basket-bearer. 668-655 BC. From the temple of Nabu at Borsippa, Iraq, currently housed in the British Museum Photo by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) CC BY-SA 4.0In the second century, the Romans flayed Rabbi Akiva for teaching the Torah and in 1199, Pierre Basile was flayed by the English for assassinating King Richard I. We can only hope they didn’t enjoy it as much as Bolton.The Wall Exists in Real Life – in Scotland!The Wall Season 7 Photo by Photo courtesy of HBOIn 122 AD, Hadrian’s Wall was built at the extreme northern limit of the Roman empire over speculation and fear of the “barbarous” settlements on the other side of the wall. The Wall in Game of Thrones is a recreation of the smaller, Roman version.In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Martin recollects a trip to the real life wall in 1981, saying “It was the sense of this barrier against dark forces — it planted something in me.Hadrian’s Wall and Walltown Crags near Greenhead in Northumberland.But when you write fantasy, everything is bigger and more colorful, so I took the Wall and made it three times as long and 700 feet high, and made it out of ice.” Scotland isn’t nearly as cold Martin’s fictional north, but the resemblance is uncanny.Wildfire Came From the GreeksPhoto: courtesy of HBOThough Greek fire is a tad less magical than wildfire, its use in the Siege of Constantinople in 717 AD is shockingly similar to the latter’s use in the Battle of the Blackwater.Stannis Baratheon employed alchemy in an attempt to take King’s Landing in Westeros and the Umayyad navy made use of one of the earliest known versions of a flamethrower in an attempt to take Constantinople in the Byzantine Empire.Both aggressors — fictional and historical — lost their respective sieges, leaving the victimized kingdoms standing strong. It’s hard to decide what’s cooler: magical inextinguishable fire, or the existence of flamethrowers in the 8th century.Dinner With an Extra Helping of DeathPhoto Courtesy: Helen Sloan/HBOAlong with advanced torture tactics and avant-garde weapons, the bloodiness of the Red Wedding is not part of Martin’s obscene imagination — thankfully for his therapist. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he admits that he was inspired by another equally deceptive dinner in history.Bothwell Castle, a seat of the Black Douglases from 1362 to 1455Though there were only two casualties, the Black Dinner of 1440 was held under the guise of a peace offering and resulted in death. Brothers of the Douglas clan were invited to dine with the King of Scotland, but upon arrival they were served an omen: a black bull’s head.The two were immediately put on “trial”, and beheaded before dessert. Considerably less messy than the 15,000 casualties in the Riverlands, the Black Dinner was nonetheless shockingly deceptive behavior.Why Lannister is Easily Mixed Up with LancasterPhoto Courtesy: Helen Sloan/HBOIn an all-encompassing parallel, Martin doesn’t hesitate to admit that the entire series was based on the War of the Roses. Before Game of Thrones, he had considered writing a novel about the war. “But the problem with straight historical fiction is you know what’s going to happen,” he said in Rolling Stone.“I wanted to make it more unexpected, bring in some more twists and turns.” In the 1400s, the York and Lancaster families spent over 30 years fighting over the throne of England.Wars of the RosesIn Westeros, the Stark and the Lannister families (and Baratheon and Targaryen and Tully and Arryn and Tyrell …) do the same. Martin told The Guardian, “My model for this was the four-volume History of the Plantagenets that Thomas B. Costain wrote in the ‘50s.”From this select time in history alone he garnered enough ideas and inspiration for the love, lust, and lore that exists in Westeros.Winter Already CamePhoto Courtesy: Helen Sloane/HBOIt’s the infamous Game of Thrones tagline that rounds up these historical inspirations. In history, the Medieval Warm Period had kept the Earth unseasonably warm for almost three centuries.But in the 13th century, cold weather began to set in. Starting around 1275, plants began to die out because of plummeting temperatures. Glaciers began to spread. Famine struck Europe in the early 14th century, and major rivers and lakes froze over. Sound familiar? Winter, indeed, had come to the world.Photo Courtesy: Helen Sloane/HBOIt lasted for approximately 500 years, setting a record temperature low in 1650. It doesn’t seem so far fetched now, when considering the fact that winter lasts for generations in Westeros.Read another story from us: The mythology behind Game of Thrones White WalkersWhile his written and televised Game of Thrones may be an imaginative masterpiece, Martin’s creation is not unparalleled. In fact, the series falls in line with many memorable events throughout our own history, supporting the theory that there is no original idea.
Dilip Ghosh slams Mamata Banerjee for not visiting protesting doctors at NRS Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of the state had witnessed a 104-day strike in 2017 seeking creation of separate Gorkhaland state.The agitation saw a split in the GJM, that rules the semi-autonomous Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in the hills, with the Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa faction shifting loyalties to the ruling Trinamool Congress.BJP candidate Raju Sing Bista won the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat.Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency has been returning BJP candidates since 2009, with Jaswant Singh winning the seat that year followed by Surinder Singh Ahluwalia in 2014. In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief BJP Bengal Chief Dilip Ghosh. (File)West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, whose party swept the north Bengal region including Darjeeling seat in the Lok Sabha elections, Sunday said the party has never promised to create a separate Gorkhaland state. Advertising Make TMC leaders return ‘cut money’ with interest: BJP Advertising Related News Cooch Behar DM had issued notification: BJP sees appeasement in ‘midday meal dining room’ Ghosh also said the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will soon be implemented in West Bengal on the lines of Assam.“We want development of Gorkha people. We are sympathetic to the Gorkhaland statehood demand, but had never promised a separate state,” he said while speaking to the media after a workers’ meet here in Jalpaiguri district.Reacting to the statement of the BJP chief, Darjeeling MLA and Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) spokesperson Neeraj Zimba said, “Dilip Ghosh has his own political compulsions but that does not stop us from continuing our demand for separate Gorkhaland state.” Best Of Express 1 Comment(s) Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home By PTI |Nagrakata | Published: July 14, 2019 8:20:32 pm “We want a permanent political solution to the issue,” he said.Absconding Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Bimal Gurung, in an interview to PTI in April this year before the Lok Sabha elections, had claimed the BJP has promised to look into the Gorkhaland demand.Wanted in many cases including sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, murder and rioting, Gurung is on the run for over two years.However, for the first time in about three decades, the Gorkhaland statehood demand was not a poll issue in the Darjeeling Hills as parties, including the GJM and GNLF, sought development and restoration of democracy in the region.
By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Updated: July 16, 2019 10:25:32 pm Advertising Delhi: Ex-BJP MLA acquitted for ‘stopping’ train in 2010 Related News According to sources, the supporters had gathered in front of Howrah’s AC market on Dobson Road to chant Hanuman Chalisa. After some time, cops from Howrah City Police station arrived and tried to disperse the workers from the spot as they were blocking the road and had no permission.Police told iebangla that the event by BJP workers blocking the road was a hindrance to the movement of traffic. Hence, they requested the workers to move aside. However, the BJP supporters refused to give in and police had to intervene.BJP leader Ishrat Jahan, who was present on the spot during the clash, told iebangla, “Chanting Hanuman Chalisa is a religious affair. It wouldn’t have been much of a problem to allow that for ten minutes. It was unfair on the part of police to treat common people and the BJP workers this way. They have forcefully stopped us from chanting.” Read in BanglaThe BJP youth wing workers have been chanting Hanuman Chalisa at the Hanuman Mandir on Dobson Road for past two weeks. The police had barricaded a space for the devotees to pray. Mukul Roy claims 107 West Bengal MLAs from CPM, Congress, and TMC will join BJP BJP leader Ishrat Jahan at the Hanuman mandir on Dobson Road.Controversy erupted in Bengal’s Howrah area after BJP supporters organised a programme of chanting Hanuman Chalisa on Tuesday and police had to intervene to disperse the crowd. Day after quitting as Rajya Sabha MP, Neeraj Shekhar joins BJP 1 Comment(s)