Jordan Coyle and Picador continue incredible run with fourth Canadian win at Spruce Meadows

first_img Derry’s Jordan Coyle and the Elan Farm-owned gelding Picador have tonight (Sunday) recorded their fourth five-star win in-a-row at Spruce Meadows Summer Series in Canada, after they galloped to victory in the Lafarge Cavalry Charge 1m50.A fantastic competition saw Coyle cross the line clear in 75.67 seconds to take the top prize ahead of America’s Beezie Madden in second with Jiva (75.96). Jordan’s younger brother Daniel Coyle finished third with CHS Krooze (ISH) with a time of 76.97 and he also took fourth place with Farrell (78.97).Jordan Coyle and Picador had claimed their third Spruce Meadows win on Saturday in the Imperial Winning Round 1m50 after another outstanding performance.“He’s (Picador) unbelievable , I’ve never had a horse quite like him. He’s always ready to go and just fast. I can trust him to jump the jumps and that makes my job easier” – Coyle commented afterwards. Home  »  General  »  Jordan Coyle and Picador continue incredible run with fourth Canadian win at Spruce Meadows 7 July 2019, 22:03 Jordan Coyle and Picador continue incredible run with fourth Canadian win at Spruce Meadows Tags:last_img read more

Take your skills to the next level with online learning

first_imgThis is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.Today, it’s not enough to be “just” a writer or a graphic artist.Writers often need to know how to create infographics or edit photos. Graphic artists need to understand Web design. Classes are a convenient way to keep pace and expand your skill set.Thankfully, nearly anything you need to learn is available online and on demand, at various skill levels and price points. Here’s an overview of seven online resources (in alphabetical order).CourseraCoursera offers 1,800 courses from what it describes as, “World’s best universities and industry partners.” Founded in 2012, it’s is one of several Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), created to democratize education by making it accessible to all. While the value for certificate or degree programs has been debated, for creative professionals looking to fill gaps in knowledge or develop a cursory understanding of a topics, Coursera offers programs worth investigating.Cost and other info:Free access to video lectures and some assignmentsMust pay for courses to earn a certificateIn 2016, they introduced a subscription model for access to “Specializations”—bundles of six to eight courses on a specific topic. Subscriptions cost $39-$89 per month.Ed2GoThe online learning company is connected to a network of more than 2,100 colleges and universities. They call themselves the industry leader in affordable online learning for adults, providing the “highest-quality continuing education. “Classes cover a broad range of topics, from “Healthy Living Suite” to “Business and Marketing Writing.” Web Design is offered as a one-year, 330-hour course and costs $2,995, while a web design stand-alone course is priced at $390.Cost and other info:Classes start at $140Bundled classes may offer a better valueProfessional certification availableRegimented start datesLinkedIn Learning and Lynda.comLinkedIn describes its classes as “personalized eLearning for every employee; a data-driven platform for relevant skills development.” While the focus would seem to be on companies, they offer numerous topics for creative professionals.LinkedIn bought in 2015, and has rebranded and integrated many classes into their site. You can still sign up for classes at Note: Microsoft purchased LinkedIn in 2016, so further changes may be coming.If you’re new to freelancing, there’s a course in freelance fundamentals, which was last updated in 2013. “Content Marketing Fundamentals,” with more than 42,000 views, is a popular topic. Also popular: “Writing in Plain English” with nearly 35,000 views.Cost and other info:After a free 10-day trial, basic plans start at $24.99 per month for unlimited classesCurrent Freelance Forum vice president Harry Hayes’s took several courses that helped him advance in his career. Click here to read the article.PluralsightPluralsight offers more than 5,000 online courses including creative classes in 77 categories. They claim to update their course offering daily. Their website boasts: “Don’t just keep up with technology. Master it… The on-demand technology platform you count on to say relevant, with tools that measure your skills and solve your problems—faster.”A free test measures your skills, identifies gaps in knowledge and recommends a path based on your results. Mentoring sessions are available via screen share, chat or video.Cost:Free 10-day trial for up to 200 minutesSubscriptions cost $29 per month, $299 for one yearShaw AcademyBased in Dublin, Ireland, Shaw Academy—and Wikipedia—claim it’s the world’s largest live online educator. It was created in partnership with companies involved in e-commerce and telecom, including Adobe, GoDaddy and Vodafone.A point of difference is live, online teaching and human support. Their Slogan: “Master any Skill in 4 weeks with our Live Interactive Webinars!” and mission statement, “Our mission is simple, to educate everyone, everywhere. They offer more than 50 courses in 10 categories, including photography, design, marketing and language.Cost:$39.95-49.95 per monthCaveat: Several sites had mixed reviews from former students who said they push lifetime membership and sellingSkillshareSkillshare was recommended to me by an instructor at General Assembly in Atlanta. offers more than 14,000 video classes from “expert practitioners” with a focus on creative topics.After registering through email or Facebook, you’re asked to choose three topics from creative, technology and business for a custom recommendation. This generates hundreds of specific courses and asks you to save three or more. Examples:Photoshop Demystified: A Beginner’s Guide to Digital PaintingCopywriting Basics for Successful Sales: Time-Tested Tactics that Prompt ActionInDesign in 30 Minutes: Recreate Your Favorite Magazine LayoutContent Marketing: Create a One-Minute VideoIt then takes you to your classes. For 30 days, you have unlimited access to more than 14,000 classes. On this screen, you can search for classes, skills and teachers.Cost and other information:$120/year$18/monthLike to teach? According to Skillshare, teachers earn $3500 on average with the top making $30,000 or more per year.Udemy.comWith inspirational slogans, such as “Own your future by learning new skills online” and “What course will your life take,” Udemy offers more than 45,000 courses and has 15 million students. The pay-as-you-go model can be an affordable option to gain exposure to a topic without paying for more than you need.Udemy is a program that allows entrepreneurs to create and sell courses. A search of “Udemy” generates more articles about teachers and how much they are paid vs. courses offered, and how to use it to gain visibility. When visitors sign up, Udemy takes a percentage.Cost and other info:Can also sign up for a free trial$20 – $200 per courseCheck for coupons and special offersWay for sellers to create classes and sell their expertiseUdemy takes a percentage of class pricePiracy issues with course have been reportedNo Excuses: Learning Options for EveryoneThere are numerous options for online learning. While there are free alternatives such as YouTube videos, online courses offer the discipline and organization of real classes for a relatively small fee.What classes have you taken classes from these or other online communities? How do they compare with in-person classes? Share your thoughts for a follow-up article.Cheryl Syrett is a freelance marketing writer and editor. You may contact her at [email protected]last_img read more

Perimeter Defense: 4 Technologies for Detecting and Preventing Illegal Logging

first_imgA version of the post also appears on Mongabay’s WildTech blog.Forest defenders—from indigenous groups to government authorities—continue to struggle in stopping illegal logging. Faced with scant resources, rampant corruption and vast tracts of difficult terrain to monitor, being an effective forest manager is often an impossible task.So they’re turning to a growing suite of forest-monitoring technologies. These tools, which are in various stages of development and deployment, are providing bird’s eye forest views and remote detection that was the stuff of science fiction just 10 years ago.WRI recently hosted a technology summit, “Perimeter Defense: Innovative Technologies for Detecting and Preventing Illegal Logging,” in San Francisco to examine the challenges of monitoring forests and preventing illegal logging, as well as how to scale up effective deployment of technology. Participants discussed some of the most cutting-edge technologies with current and potential application to forest monitoring, including:Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)Better known as “drones,” UAVs have endless non-military applications including wildlife conservation, traffic and natural disaster management, territory mapping and forest carbon stock measurement. Guatemala’s National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP), for example, has been exploring the use of drones to monitor and enhance patrolling of the country’s protected areas. Indigenous communities in Peru and in Guyana, with the help of Digital Democracy, are using drones to map their territory and detect illegal logging and mining activities.On-the-Ground SensorsTrailguard and AmbushCam are security systems that use visual and thermal cameras and infrared sensors to capture photos of intruders into protected areas, and immediately transmit these photos to authorities. The devices, which are used for detecting wildlife poachers, are strategically placed at chokepoints and in areas of known traffic and can help authorities to take immediate action.Similarly, Rainforest Connection has developed an audio detection device from repurposed cellphones and solar panels that can be hidden in tree canopies to pick up errant noises, such as chainsaws, trucks and motorcycles. The device is paired with an alert system that instantaneously notifies users when a suspect noise is detected. The system is still undergoing development, but has shown success in pilot tests in Indonesia, Cameroon and Brazil.Satellite ImageryGlobal Forest Watch, a 70-partner-strong initiative convened by WRI, is an online forest monitoring system designed to improve the accessibility of forest information on a global scale. The premier dataset on GFW comes from satellite data analysis performed at the University of Maryland, detailing annual tree cover change globally at a resolution of 30 meters by 30 meters. GFW then integrates this data with complementary data sets on forest concessions, intact forest locations, and other layers, and allows the public to submit stories from the field. All of these features combined allow anyone with an internet connection to track tree cover change in near-real time.UrtheCast, a Vancouver-based company, is perhaps best-known for streaming high-definition video of Earth from the International Space Station. However, the company will soon launch a constellation of 16 satellites that, when combined, can see all parts of the globe, even through cloud cover. The data will allow users to see not just forest cover, but also the structure of tree canopy beneath, thus enabling the detection of forest degradation earlier than ever before.Crowdsourcing ApplicationsSome initiatives garner the power of the masses to report observations and contribute data, which are then aggregated and used to inform the public or alert authorities. TIMBY, or “This is My Backyard,” is a set of reporting tools first developed to target illegal logging in Liberia. TIMBY’s simple reporting app allows community groups to report illegal deforestation activities and upload images, videos and audio using a smartphone. Stories built from aggregated reports and analysis can then be shared publicly to hold government officials responsible for taking action against illegal loggers.Moabi, based on OpenStreetMap, is a mapping platform that encourages collaboration across user groups to share and refine spatial data to monitor natural resource use and improve land use planning. The platform, currently focused on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, allows users to access a database of maps, including forest, protected areas, indigenous lands, concessions, roads, and others, and also contribute and edit datasets. Similar technologies allow communities to report illegal logging on their mobile phones.Technology Can Only Go So FarThese technologies can empower people to monitor and defend forests in ways previously impossible. However, as emphasized repeatedly during the recent Perimeter Defense Summit, technology can only be a part of the solution.Increased information and transparency is only useful if translated into action. This requires increasing resources for forest monitoring and enforcement, engaging with local communities and governments, communicating results and ideas with others, and understanding the local context to identify and apply the most cost-effective tools. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution – technological tools must be adapted to local realities.last_img read more