Archive for July, 2015

Patagonia says ‘Denim is a filthy Business”

July 31, 2015 Leave a comment
Patagonia Denim
Knowing how conventional cotton is grown and denim is made we’re out to change the industry. Patagonia Denim uses only 100% organic cotton grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. An innovative dyeing process enables us to dramatically reduce water, energy and chemical use and produce less carbon dioxide compared to conventional denim dyeing processes. Fair Trade Certified™ for sewing, Patagonia Denim is the way denim should be made.

(BLOGMASTER NOTE: AM4U inc dye’s any color using NO Water and allows reshoring of foreign production see

Categories: Uncategorized

The Top 4 Ecommerce Platforms

July 31, 2015 Leave a comment

SaaS ecommerce platforms are quickly replacing traditional licensed or on-premise solutions due to the cost effectiveness of the cloud. When it comes to everything else, however, that is important to your ecommerce brand, how do the biggest SaaS and licensed competitors stack up? In this guide, you’ll get a side-by-side comparison of ecommerce solutions based on security, uptime, analytics, account support and more.

Download this guide to learn:
• The main differences between competing ecommerce solutions including uptime, security and more
• The cost differentiation of deploying a cloud versus on-premise solution
• The hidden costs many ecommerce solutions don’t include in their overall pricing outlines

Categories: Uncategorized

Reflections on My 65-year-old Concept of the Human Soul

July 31, 2015 Leave a comment

(blogmaster note: please excuse my momentary digression from fashion for an ego trip)

Reflections on My 65-year-old Concept of the Human Soul

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Newly discovered mimivirus could be a forth ‘domain’ of life!! Read on…..

When I was a 16 year old college freshman in 1949, studying bio-physics, I marveled at the amazing similarities between atoms and galaxies like our own Milky Way.

Atoms are composed of a nucleus which has a loyal group of particles spinning around it, just as our star, the sun, has planets spinning around it, as do many of the other stars in all galaxies. And all of the ‘glue’ holding these solid forms of matter together is a mysterious energy force known as GRAVITY (Energy, as in Einstein’s famous formula  )

The atom bomb showed 2 years earlier what incredible energy was contained in holding these simple atoms together.

Then I learned that all atoms that exist today were born during the Big Bang of creation and they cannot and do not die. They merely morph between the three known states of Matter: solid, liquid, and gas.

Finally, learning the fact that our physical bodies are constructed entirely of these immortal atoms caused me to dismiss the few shreds of religion I had left from my childhood Sunday school teachings and I was tempted to shout EUREKA!

My college roommate, an old friend from high school, and I stayed awake many night trying to make some sense about these scientific facts until finally I came up with a postulation of what happens to the atoms and all of their unspent energy when we die.  Here is my theory of death and the hereafter:

  • The Soul is Our Glue. It is the energy which our atoms use and re-use as we age to contain this energy.
  • Death is caused when our atoms give up their Glue (soul) and release all this energy to replenish the Dark Matter in our galaxy, from whence it came.
  • We are the GODS of all our atoms and our/their death causes their solid matter to morph into a gaseous state awaiting a new form that will populate the fertilized ovum that becomes a baby’s atoms when their X&Y chromosomes split and merge in the womb.

All of this sophomoric musing has stuck with me over the past 65 years, and so far, science has done nothing to convince me that my theory is wrong. In fact, the recent discovery that ALL galaxies we have seen contain in their centers a Black Hole (which aggressively swallows all nearby energy and matter) has only convinced me that I was on to the truth these many years ago.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Newly discovered mimivirus could be a forth ‘domain’ of life!! Read on…..


Biology’s ‘dark matter’ hints at fourth domain of life

Step far enough back from the tree of life and it begins to look quite simple. At its heart are just three stout branches, representing the three domains of life: bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. But that’s too simple, according to a band of biologists who believe we may be on the verge of discovering the fourth domain of life.

The bold statement is the result of an analysis of water samples collected from the world’s seas. Jonathan Eisen at the University of California, Davis, Genome Center has identified gene sequences hidden within these samples that are so unusual they seem to have come from organisms that are only distantly related to cellular life as we know it. So distantly related, in fact, that they may belong to an organism that sits in an entirely new domain.

Most species on the planet look like tiny single cells, and to work out where they fit on the tree of life biologists need to be able to grow them in the lab. Colonies like this give them enough DNA to run their genetic analyses. The problem is, the vast majority of these species – 99 per cent of them is a reasonable bet – refuse to be cultured in this way. “They really are the dark matter of the biological universe,” says Eisen.

Life’s dark matter

To probe life’s dark matter, Eisen, Craig Venter of the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, and their colleagues have resorted to a relatively new technique called metagenomics. This can “sequence the crap out of any DNA samples”, whether they are collected from the environment or come from lab cultures, says Eisen.

“The question is, what are they from?” says Eisen. Because the team has no idea what organism the genes belong to, the question remains unanswered. There are two possibilities, he says. “They could represent an unusual virus, which is interesting enough. More interestingly still, they could represent a totally new branch in the tree of life.”When Eisen and Venter used the technique on samples collected from the Global Ocean Sampling Expedition, they found that some sequences belonging to two superfamilies of genes – recA and rpoB – were unlike any seen before.

The exciting but controversial idea has met with mixed reactions. “It’s a very good piece of careful work,” saysEugene Koonin at the National Center for Biotechnology Information in Bethesda, Maryland.

Younger than they look?

But Koonin and others think any talk of a fourth domain of cellular life is premature. Radhey Gupta at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, calls the finding “very exciting”, but cautions that there are other explanations.

For instance, the sequences could be from cellular organisms living in unique habitats that caused their genes to undergo rapid evolution. That would give the false impression that the “new” life forms diverged from all others a very long time ago.

“There is still debate [over] how to clearly distinguish the three proposed domains of life, and how they are interrelated,” Gupta says. “The suggestion [of] a fourth domain will only add to the confusion.”

Eric Bapteste at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France, is far more receptive. “The facts are that there is lots of genetic diversity, and unquestionably most of it is unknown to us,” he says. “It’s legitimate to consider that there’s genuinely new stuff out there.”

Further analysis of the samples could determine whether the two gene families studied have evolved unusually rapidly or are from a cellular organism with a universally bizarre genome, he says.

Parent organism

Looking at the actual samples could also help pin down exactly which organism the strange genetic sequences belong to, says Eisen.

If Eisen’s gene sequences did turn out to belong to a new domain of life, it wouldn’t be the first time the tree of life has had to be redrawn. Until the 1990s, it had just two branches: one for eukaryotes – animals, plants, fungi and some other strange forms, including the slime moulds – and one for everything else. Then, gene analysis revealed that the “everything else” branch could be divided into two domains: bacteria and archaea.

mimivirus: despite being recognized as a virus, it contains many genes found only in cellular organisms. “People have suggested they might be a fourth branch themselves,” says Eisen. “If you think of those mimiviruses as a fourth branch, maybe our sequences represent a fifth branch – we just don’t know yet.”



Categories: Uncategorized

Back-to-school shoppers rely more on smartphones and less on social media

July 30, 2015 Leave a comment
July 30, 2015, 11:04 AM

Sandra Guy BY SANDRA GUY Senior Editordownload (1)

Only 10% will turn to social networks for recommendations, down from 35% in 2011, a Deloitte study finds. But 44% of smartphone owners will research on their devices and 29% buy via mobile.

An annual survey of back-to-school shoppers suggests they’re more reliant on their smartphones than ever before, and less on social media.

Four out of five smartphone owners plan to use those devices in some way as they shop in advance for their schoolchildren, according to the study commissioned by business and technology consulting firm Deloitte. The largest percentage, 57%, will use their devices to get coupons or price and sales information, while 44% of smartphone owners will access a retailer’s website forback-to-school shopping. Among other uses, 29% will complete their purchases using their smartphones and 21% will access a mobile shopping app. The online survey polled a sample of 1,015 U.S. parents of school-age children from July 5-8, and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

The results reveal that more parents—31%—plan to complete their back-to-school shopping, whether online or offline, after the start of the school year, a 5-percentage-point increase from 2014. Spending will remain flat for children in grades K-12 and college, at $1,747, compared with $1,766 last year, the study states.

The results also show that retailers no longer control the shopping agenda, even for bargains, and that online retailers must focus on satisfying the customer with excellent service and free shipping.

“Today is about share of heart. Do customers really like me? Do they like doing business with me?” says James Dion, head of Chicago retail consulting firm Dionco Inc.

“This comes with how easy you are to deal with; how good is your return policy? Do you have live chat? Do you have a community that I care about? Do you share my values?” Dion says. “Free shipping is critical.”

A retailer must become part of a consumer’s day-to-day life to keep up, he says.

Dion cited as examples of retailers doing it right as Apple, No. 2 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, Kiehl’s, (No. 1) and subscription lingerie service Adore Me (No. 634).

Dion says he found it surprising that only 10% of those polled this year said they rely on social media for back-to-school shopping advice, down from 18% last year and 35% in 2011. The finding reflects a new generation of nonconformists, even though they value social media interaction, he says. “Social media is becoming less of a commercial thing for them,” Dion says.

Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at NPD Group, says consumers are seeking products when they need and intend to use them, even at the expense of bargain hunting. Retailers are responding by more closely integrating their online and store operations, and they should do so with even greater sophistication, he says.

Other findings show:

  • 80% of smartphone owners in Deloitte’s survey plan to use their devices in the back-to-school shopping process, an increase of 6 percentage points over last year. Smartphone device ownership among the respondents has more than doubled, to nearly 90% this year from 40% in 2011.
  • Of all the devices consumers own, they plan to use their smartphones most frequently for back-to-school shopping, ahead of their laptops, PCs and tablets.
  • Consumers show little awareness of in-store beacon technology, which are small pieces of hardware that can send messages to a consumer who is in a store if she has downloaded the retailer’s app. Beacons, which use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) wireless networking technology common on all newer smartphones, enable retailers, for example, to notify a shopper of a nearby sale-priced item. Among back-to-school shoppers surveyed, more than half (51%) are unfamiliar with in-store beacon technology and another one-third (32%) say they do not plan to use it.
  • While online shopping destinations continue to climb year-over-year and hold the No. 2 spot (44%) behind discount/value department stores (86%), 55% of parents shopping for children in grades K-12 also say they will research online first before making a purchase in a store.
  • Cyber security risks are a big concern, as 54% of back-to-school shoppers surveyed say they are more concerned than last year about the protection of their personal data when shopping online. More consumers are concerned about personal data security when shopping online (68%) compared with shopping in physical stores (50%

Parents and college students diverge when it comes to shopping influences: 55% of parents say they rely primarily on their child’s school for recommendations of what to buy this summer, while 74%t of students say they’ll rely on friends for advice, according to the “Back to College” portion of the study.

Categories: Uncategorized

Abercrombie Is Debuting a New Athleisure Line This Week

July 29, 2015 Leave a comment

“The collection is a nod to the brand’s athletic heritage, featuring sporty items that can be dressed up or down including cropped fleece tops, structured leggings, tanks with mesh inserts and ribbed jersey dresses,” the brand’s release reads. The line will also include a peplum skirt, bomber jackets, and zip-front hoodies.

Abercrombie already has most of these categories covered in its online shop, but this will be a deeper extension into athleisure. Interestingly, the much-maligned Abercrombie logo is still present in many of the designs; albeit not so prominently displayed.

Categories: Uncategorized

ATF to Join Pilot Test of International Trade Data System

July 29, 2015 Leave a comment


Thursday, July 30, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has announced that no sooner than Aug. 19 it will begin participating in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s pilot test of the International Trade Data System for processing import-related forms and data using the partner government agency message set and the Automated Commercial Environment.

ATF encourages the voluntary participation of U.S. importers in this pilot. Importers or their licensed customs brokers who wish to participate must have the capability to file the relevant data through ACE using a software program that has completed ACE certification testing for the PGA message set.

Instead of using the existing process, participating U.S. importers will use the PGA message set to send pertinent information through ACE for CBP release and receipt. These data elements include agency program codes, category type codes, ATF category code, type codes and exemption codes. CBP will validate this information and electronically transmit entry and release information to ATF for purposes of satisfying CBP’s certification requirements.

Categories: Uncategorized

Senate Dems press gun dealers on background checks (Like WalMart does!)

July 29, 2015 Leave a comment


Getty Images

Senate Democrats are appealing directly to gun retailers in a renewed push to expand background checks in lieu of congressional action on the divisive issue.

Gun safety advocates in Congress have long called for lawmakers to close background check loopholes that allow criminals to buy guns online and at gun shows, but to little avail.

Now, they’re turning their attention to gun retailers such as Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops in hopes of convincing them to tighten their policies. They’re asking these stores to voluntarily refrain from selling guns to people who have not passed background checks.

“That’s a voluntary decision by the gun dealers,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told reporters Tuesday. “It’s a voluntary decision to enable a killer; it’s a voluntary choice to empower a murder.”

Blumenthal was speaking at a gun safety press conference hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

At issue are existing regulations that allow people to purchase guns at retail stores without completing a background check.

These stores must submit information about prospective gun buyers to the FBI so it can run background checks on them before the sale is made. In many cases, the background checks are instant and the sale is made on the spot. But sometimes it takes longer to complete.

If the FBI does not respond within three days, the store is allowed to move forward and make the sale. According to Everytown, more than 15,000 dangerous people have obtained gun through this loophole over the last five years.

Gun safety advocates are calling on stores to voluntarily refrain from selling firearms to what they say is a small fraction of people who have not completed an FBI background check.

This marks a change in strategy for gun safety advocates. They have long pressed for lawmakers to strengthen background checks, but amid a gridlocked Congress they are now turning their pleas to industry.

Some have already listened. Wal-Mart, Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dunham Sports, Academy Sports & Outdoors and Big 5 Sporting Goods, for instance, only sell guns to people after the FBI has completed their background check and approved the sale, according to Everytown.

“Why not do as Walmart has done?” Blumenthal asked. “Insist that there be a background check before you sell the gun.”

“That’s something every gun retailer could do this week at no consequence to their bottom line,” added Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who also spoke at the press conference.

Categories: Uncategorized
%d bloggers like this: