SoundCloud confirmed the word that it was around to stay, later posting this to its official Twitter page: In recent weeks, things have not been looking good for the streaming service SoundCloud. Rumors have been circulating that the popular site would only be able to stay afloat for fifty more days, and industry experts had more or less agreed that the streaming service was on its last leg and not going to last much longer. After firing a good chunk of their staff due to budget cuts, SoundCloud clarified that they were fully funded through Q4, though projections for the company still looked bleak.Chance The Rapper Inspires Chicago Bulls To Donate $1 Million To Chicago Public SchoolsHowever, such projections failed to take into account one thing: Chance The Rapper. Chance holds a special place in many of our hearts, not just for his music, but for his philanthropic streak that has widely gained him fans from all walks of life. After donating millions of dollars to Chicago Public Schools, it’s clear that the independent artists digs being a hero. Yesterday, Chance tweeted the following: Turns out Chance did some hard work fast, as this morning, the rapper tweeted this: Bless you, Chance the Rapper, for being the hero we don’t deserve.[H/T YourEDM]
Nikhil Naik, Scott Duke Kominers, and their collaborators are hoping to transform the way scientists study urban environments, with an assist from Google.In joint work with Edward L. Glaeser, the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard, and César A. Hidalgo and Ramesh Raskar, associate professors at the MIT Media Lab, Kominers, an associate professor in the entrepreneurial management unit at Harvard Business School (HBS) and the department of economics, and Naik, a Prize Fellow in economics, history, and politics, authored a study that uses computer vision algorithms to examine millions of Google Street View images to measure how urban areas are changing.“Lots of people, including social scientists and urban planners, are interested in studying why places evolve and how much change happens in different cities,” Naik said. “But there is a lack of data on the physical aspects of urban change.”That’s where Google Street View imagery comes in. For the past decade, Naik said, the tech giant has collected millions of Street View images from across the country as part of its mapping service. It also keeps those imaging maps up to date by periodically rephotographing the same locations in major cities. Consequently, Street View contains a rich database that researchers can tap to follow cities through time.Using Street View images to track urban change isn’t a new idea. In 2014, then-doctoral student Jackelyn Hwang and Robert Sampson, the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard, published a study that employed volunteers to analyze Street View images and locate signs of gentrification across 3,000 city blocks in Chicago.West First Street in South Boston has seen significant development from 2007 to 2014.Naik and co-authors took this effort a step further by using artificial intelligence to automate the process.“By having a computer do it, we were able to really scale up the analysis, so we examined images of about 1.6 million street blocks from five cities: Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Detroit,” Naik said.At the heart of the system is an artificial intelligence algorithm the collaborators taught to view street scenes the same way humans do. Originally developed in work among Naik, Raskar, and Hidalgo during Naik’s graduate studies at the MIT Media Lab, the algorithm computes “Streetscore,” a rating for perceived safety of streetscapes, based on Street View photos and image preferences collected from thousands of online volunteers.“We built on this algorithm to calculate Streetchange, the change in Streetscore for pairs of Street View images of the same location captured seven years apart,” Naik said. “A positive value of Streetchange is associated with new construction or upgrades, and a negative value is associated with overall decline.”In two validation studies — one using images scored by humans, and another using municipal data from the city of Boston — the authors found that their algorithm accurately detected how blocks changed between 2007 and 2014. Armed with Streetchange data generated by the algorithm, Naik and others then took a street-level look at several longstanding theories of urban change involving urban economics, planning, and sociology.“We found a lot of support for what’s called the ‘human capital agglomeration theory,’ which argues that you tend to see urban improvement when you have a significant density of highly educated individuals,” Kominers said. “The data suggests that other demographic characteristics — factors like income, housing costs, or ethnic composition — do not seem to matter as much as density and education do.”The metamorphosis of Boston’s Seaport District is one of the city’s major successes.The study provided some support for a theory called “tipping,” in which neighborhoods that have already developed tend to develop further. The authors also found evidence for the “invasion” theory, which argues that areas around successful neighborhoods, or close to central business districts, tend to see greater improvement over time.This highlights how urban inequality is real, Kominers said. “Our findings reinforce the extreme importance of human capital and education at all stages of development,” he said. “It matters for people’s access to jobs and livelihoods, but it’s also important to their abilities to improve their environments. And the patterns of urban change we see help illustrate why urban inequality persists.”Naik said that the study shows that artificial intelligence and geospatial data can be used to measure the built environment and sample populations and to conduct urban science at unprecedented resolution and scale. “We’ve focused on urban change here, but there are many possibilities for the future.”This research was supported with funding from the International Growth Centre, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a Star Family Challenge grant, the National Science Foundation, the William F. Milton Fund at Harvard, the Ng Fund of the Harvard Center of Mathematical Sciences and Applications, the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group sponsored by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, the Google Living Labs Award, and a gift from Facebook.To learn more about Streetchange, visit its website.
GAZETTE: How many folks have been asked not to come in?CHEN: [The number is] very small — three or four — because we told our Family Advisory Council we were moving forward with this and sent written and email communication to our families and to frequent visitors. So most people were not surprised when they came to visit.We are also no longer allowing volunteer programming, which is a sad thing. We have a huge number of volunteers, but I think it is a prudent measure. We also have a wonderful, multigenerational program on one of our campuses, which is co-located with a K-8 school. The kids would come over to do activities and visit. That has been temporarily suspended. We also hosted quite a number of events — parties and celebrations and things of that nature — which have all been suspended until further notice.GAZETTE: How hard is it to make these decisions, given the importance of social connectivity and visits from family to the lives and emotional health of your older residents?CHEN: It’s incredibly hard. At the end of the day, for the people who live with us, this is their home. And in our homes, we have visitors, guests, people coming in and out. Likewise, when someone is living here, we’d like them to have visitors and social support. But we’re trying to balance the psychological and emotional well-being of our residents against their heightened risk for complications and mortality from this virus. We continue to learn more, but the highest-risk group — if you’re talking about mortality — is people over the age of 80 who have comorbid conditions. That describes a lot of people who live here.GAZETTE: How closely have you followed the Life Care Center situation near Seattle? Are there lessons that you can draw from that? Or is what you’re doing drawn from standard public health practice?CHEN: I only know what’s been published. What we have seen from that is it’s about avoiding exposure to an infected person as much as possible, and then being as aggressive as possible if exposure occurred.I hope that when this all improves, everyone who’s been involved would openly share what we should be doing as a nation in terms of our public health infrastructure — in particular for our older patients and those in long-term care. “Because there’s no vaccine, because there’s no targeted treatment for this virus yet, we would implore the public to really think about protecting our most vulnerable population, namely the very old and those with chronic medical conditions.” This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.As the number of cases and deaths alike mount from COVID-19, the respiratory illness associated with the new coronavirus, the toll of fatalities at a skilled nursing center in Washington state reached 19, highlighting the deep danger the virus presents to the elderly.Harvard-affiliated Hebrew SeniorLife offers a continuum of care for 3,000 elderly people daily, with a range of services including residential assisted living, short-term rehabilitation, outpatient services, and long-term care for those with chronic illness. In a Q&A interview aimed at understanding the challenges involved, Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor Helen Chen, Hebrew SeniorLife’s chief medical officer, discussed steps the facility has taken to combat the virus and the outlook going forward.Q&AHelen ChenGAZETTE: How concerned are you for your elderly residents and patients in the face of this epidemic?CHEN: We’re very worried, and I know they’re anxious because I’ve been getting a lot of emails from them. For the inpatients, many are here because they’re not cognitively able and, for them, we’re just trying not to make them anxious. But it is really the families of those patients and residents who have expressed the most concern.GAZETTE: Are you taking any special steps in the face of this?CHEN: We’ve enhanced staff training and are looking at revising protocols regarding personal protective equipment. But the main intervention is limiting visitation, and no visiting if you are ill. We recognize that many people who live here are reliant on their family members for emotional and social support, but we’re encouraging people to limit visits with an eye toward protecting the vulnerable people who live with us. Today I heard from security that we’ve had a significant decline in the number of visits, which is, I think, a good thing.For those who do come, we have moved to screening all visitors who enter any of our health care campuses and most of our housing sites. The health care campuses are a particular focus because people who live in a long-term chronic hospital or in the rehab unit are at high risk. They are older and have comorbid conditions, so every visitor receives a health and travel assessment before they’re allowed on campus.GAZETTE: Does that screening happen when you walk in the door?CHEN: Yes. There’s a symptom review, there’s a travel review, and there’s an exposure review. And if the answer to any of those questions is yes, then you’re asked to not come in. And so far people have been compliant and have left. So that is a good thing. “We’ve enhanced staff training and are looking at revising protocols regarding personal protective equipment. But the main intervention is limiting visitation, and no visiting if you are ill.” GAZETTE: What should family members know ahead of time about visiting an elderly family member, either in your facility or another? Should they put all visits off? Monitor their own health and then make a decision?CHEN: It’s a very individualized decision regarding whether or not to visit with someone. Everybody should use common sense and judgment about symptoms. If you have a cough and a fever, if you’ve got respiratory symptoms and you’re short of breath, if you’ve traveled to a place of concern or if you may have been exposed to someone who did — especially if you’re symptomatic — then I would definitely ask, “Do I really need to visit my grandma today? Can I wait and can I Skype her? Can I do FaceTime?”I know that’s hard for some of our older adults who aren’t technologically savvy, but maybe now is the time to get them hooked up. It really would be heartbreaking if, in wanting to do something positive for someone’s emotional or mental health, you ended up infecting them.GAZETTE: Any advice to people considering elective surgery like hip replacement that might land them in a rehabilitation facility? Should they consider delaying it?CHEN: I haven’t seen any specific recommendations — and I’m not advising anyone — but my personal take, separate from the rehab issue, is to ask, do you want to be in the hospital during this time if something’s really completely elective and can absolutely be delayed? Why not wait until we either know more or we have more experience or we have more clarity about the true prevalence? If it could wait, I might consider having a conversation with my primary care doctor or surgeon.GAZETTE: Anything else the public should know concerning this new virus and our elderly, whether at Hebrew SeniorLife or elsewhere?CHEN: I’m saying this to everybody — everybody — and I can’t emphasize this enough: really, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. I know people are tired of hearing it, but it is really true. During the SARS epidemic, washing your hands, using good cough etiquette, using social distancing and not touching your face, they estimate dropped SARS spread by 30 to 50 percent.And, because there’s no vaccine, because there’s no targeted treatment for this virus yet, we would implore the public to really think about protecting our most vulnerable population, namely the very old and those with chronic medical conditions. Think carefully about whether — even if you think you just have a cold — you want to expose this very vulnerable population to your viral pathogens. Our elders are vulnerable and we’re all very concerned about their health. The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.
Earlier today, I had the opportunity to keynote the Cloud Foundry Summit Asia with Cloud Foundry Foundation CEO Sam Ramji. Notably, this is the first year that Cloud Foundry is governed by an independent industry board as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. Under this leadership, Cloud Foundry has become the de facto industry standard for developers of cloud native applications.Cloud Foundry has become the largest community driven, open source project for the development of cloud native applications. Many successful commercial Cloud Foundry service options are available today and easily accessible by developers. The services are supported by leading enterprise IT vendors including EMC, IBM, HP, Microsoft, SAP, VMware, and Pivotal. Many enterprise organizations have built and deployed modern mobile, web, and big data applications using Cloud Foundry, particularly in the financial services, manufacturing, and retail industries.However, the development of custom software that delivers differentiated capabilities requires more than just new tools and technology skills. To achieve the full benefits of cloud native application development, enterprise IT needs to embrace new agile development methodologies and confront several organizational challenges.The primary focus by the IT industry in 2015 has been on implementing the transformation to IT infrastructure needed to support modern cloud native mobile, web, and big data applications. Successful businesses realize this capability must be a core IT competency that can not be outsourced. In fact, many organizations are already at work reconstituting their in house capabilities.The good news is that the Cloud Foundry community is helping enterprise IT learn and implement the new tools, as well as the technology skillset and the modern software development methodologies to use them.The Cloud Foundry Foundation was wildly successful this year with the establishment of the independent governance board, growth of community participation, and the release of new functionality that has allowed the industry to rally around a standard platform for the development of cloud native applications.The challenge for 2016 will be continuing to expand Cloud Foundry’s technology capability while enterprise IT organizations build their software development capacity, implement modern software development methodologies, and develop their organizational skills. Companies that do this successfully will be the winners not only in 2016, but also in the new digital economy.John Roese currently serves as the chairman of the Cloud Foundry board of directors.
Photo: Dan Rahn Quality child care revolves around the children. Photos: Dan Rahn • The quality of child care matters. Children in high-quality care aren’t as aggressive and tend to have higher language and thinking skills than children in lower-quality care.Smaller adult-to-child ratios are better. Your child’s care provider needs to be sensitive and responsive to children and child-centered in their beliefs.The care system should revolve around the children. The child’s needs should be top priority. The best settings are ones that provide stimulation and teach a child how to solve problems.• Hearing language helps build language. By reading, singing and interacting with your children, you help them develop language skills. Watching a lot of television can possibly lower your children’s language skills. So be careful of the amount of time they spend in front of the TV.• Parents play the most important role in a child’s development. If children receive loving care at home, they’re less likely to show problem behavior in school or child care. A parent who is warm and responsive to a child’s needs, who spends time interacting with him or her and who sets consistent limits is an important asset for any child.When the study was first released, one of the investigators recommended that parents and especially mothers cut back on their work outside of the home.Other researchers have since stepped forward, saying that his recommendations were not based on the study’s findings but on his personal beliefs. Positive interaction with providers is an important part of quality child care. Many parents have no choice when it comes to placing youngsters in child care, Bales said. What they can do is be conscious of the quality of care their child receives. When a national study found children in day care more likely to show signs of aggression, much of the media coverage depicted child care as a breeding ground for violence.But Diane Bales, an Extension Service child development specialist with the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences, thinks the study findings weren’t as cut-and-dried as the media portrayed them.”The quality is the biggest concern,” Bales said. “Look for a child care where the workers are open with parents. It’s also good when the providers want to know about a child’s likes and dislikes and then respond to those needs.”The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study involved 1,300 children. Researchers found that about 17 percent of children in child care more than 30 hours a week show signs of aggression.Many Positive EffectsBut that percentage isn’t particularly high, Bales said. And it isn’t different for children in child care than for all children. So it’s not certain that the aggression is related to the child care. And some of the study’s findings suggest that high-quality child care has many positive effects on children.Many U.S. parents send their kids to child care every day. So it’s important to focus on the positive things, Bales said, that can be gained from child care and ways it can be improved.When evaluating their child’s care, she said, it’s important for parents to remember the study’s findings:
Business Roundtable Releases Fourth Quarter CEO Economic Outlook Survey (So. Burlington, Vt.) Reflecting nationwide trends, the mood of the chief executives of Vermont’s leading businesses took a step downward in the fourth quarter, with leaders decidedly less optimistic about sales prospects, capital outlays, and employment levels for the winter and spring, compared to third quarter forecasts. The mood of the statewide business community was assessed late in the fourth quarter and released today by Vermont Business Roundtable Chairman Tim Volk and President Lisa Ventriss. “Not surprisingly, given the recurring challenges in international financial markets and the subsequent reaction by consumers, economic expectations within our membership have deteriorated since our last survey in September,” Ventriss said. “Vermont’s economy is intricately linked to the global economy and it shows in the survey findings.” The Roundtable’s fourth quarter ’08 membership survey showed greater pessimism today against CEO expectations in the previous quarter. Forty six percent of respondents anticipate no change in sales volume in the next six months, but those who anticipate increases have shrunk from 51 percent in the third quarter to 27 percent in December. For capital spending, similar percentages of respondents anticipate either no change or a decrease (43 and 40 percent, respectively), and those who anticipate increases have shrunk from 38 percent to 17 percent. For employment, 40 percent of respondents anticipate a decrease (up from 18 percent in the last survey), 35 percent anticipate no change, and those who anticipate an increase have shrunk from 40 percent to 25 percent. Survey results from the Vermont CEOs differed somewhat from nationwide results released late last week by the National Business Roundtable. Although more national business leaders expected an increase in sales (38 percent versus 27 percent) they were more reluctant to increase capital spending (10 percent versus 17 percent) and far more likely to expect reductions in employment (60 percent versus 40 percent). Chairman Volk, who is president of the Burlington-based marketing firm Kelliher Samets Volk, says the results of the CEO survey reflect the realities of the marketplace and subtle differences in Vermont’s business community versus national business leaders. “Although the state is experiencing the same kind of moodiness that is felt nationally, our CEOs appear more willing to maintain employment levels and invest in their businesses. This suggests that there is some insulation along our borders from the full effect of the financial storms affecting other states.” When asked to identify the single initiative that could favorably impact their competitiveness, members offered up several themes, many of which Vermonters have control over, including research and development and training investments, more environmental court judges, reliable telecommunications bandwidth, investments in infrastructure, bolstering credit markets to keep students in college, and high quality regulatory processes, among others. The Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey provides a forward-looking view of the economic assumptions and attitudes of chief executive officers for 110 of the state’s top employers. Vermont’s construction, education, health services, finance, real estate, insurance, hospitality/leisure, manufacturing, information, transportation, utilities, professional/business services and non-profit industries are represented. The response rate for this quarter was 59 percent. Historically, rates have varied from 40 to 73 percent.1. How do you expect your company’s sales to change in the next six months?SalesINCREASENO CHANGEDECREASEQ1 200483%13%4%Q2 200480%15%4%Q3 200471%25%4%Q4 200477%22%1%Q1 200578%19%3%Q2 200575%23%2%Q3 200574%24%2%Q4 200572%24%4%Q1 200678%20%2%Q2 200678%22%0%Q3 200669%25%6%Q4 200673%23%4%Q3 200851%35%14%Q4 200827%46%27%Totals may not equal 100 due to rounding.2. How do you expect your company’s capital spending to change in the next six months?CapitalINCREASENO CHANGEDECREASEQ1 200462%30%8%Q2 200443%41%15%Q3 200451%42%7%Q4 200445%46%9%Q1 200555%37%8%Q2 200549%43%8%Q3 200557%38%5%Q4 200550%35%15%Q1 200645%45%10%Q2 200653%40%7%Q3 200640%50%10%Q4 200656%39%5%Q3 200838%42%20%Q4 200817 %43%40%Totals may not equal 100 due to rounding.3. How do you expect your company’s employment to change in the next six months?EmploymentINCREASENO CHANGEDECREASEQ1 200457%38%4%Q2 200450%48%2%Q3 200459%37%4%Q4 200458%39%3%Q1 200555%38%7%Q2 200549%42%9%Q3 200549%44%7%Q4 200560%35%5%Q1 200654%39%7%Q2 200650%45%5%Q3 200643%49%7%Q4 200653%41%5%Q3 200840%42%18%Q4 200825%35%40%Totals may not equal 100 due to rounding.-###-The Roundtable is composed of 110 CEOs of Vermont’s top private and nonprofit employersdedicated to the vision of making Vermont the best place in America to do business, be educated, and live life..-30-
By Kay Valle/Diálogo December 11, 2017 Military personnel from the Humanitarian Rescue Unit of the Conference of Central American Armed Forces (UHR-CFAC, per its Spanish acronym) participated in the first joint training on search and rescue operations. The UHR-CFAC course trained 30 service members in the city of Comayagua, northwest of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, October 29th–November 3rd, 2017. The training, provided through the Regional Humanitarian Aid Training Center (CARAH, per its Spanish acronym) in Honduras, included six service members from each CFAC member nation. “The five participating teams conducted a joint technical, tactical, and operational exercise to progress professionally,” Honduran Army Colonel José Luis Mendieta Corea, director of CARAH and commander of UHR for the Honduran Armed Forces, told Diálogo. “That’s necessary to get to the right level of operational readiness.” Participants trained on topics such as incident command systems as well as map reading, knots, and rigging. They also demonstrated their knowledge in search and rescue, aquatic rescue, triage, and victim packaging, among other skills. Humanitarian Rescue Unit Central America suffers the effects of natural disasters such as tropical storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires, floods, and landslides, among others. To counter these threats, readiness and response must remain at the highest levels and be carried out in coordination. UHR-CFAC, a branch of CFAC, began its operations in 2000. It was established to meet international aid requirements in the event of natural or human-caused disasters. UHR-CFAC conducts humanitarian aid and rescue operations upon request of the country affected. The unit is made up of service members from each member armed force’s UHR. Since its founding, UHR-CFAC participated in various humanitarian aid operations. Its most recent operation was the earthquake in Mexico in September 2017. According to Col. Mendieta, UHR-CFAC can “assist its member nations and other countries throughout the world, in coordination with public agencies that provide emergency response.” Central American cooperation El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras founded CFAC in November 1997, as a specialized regional military organization. The Dominican Republic joined in 2007. CFAC’s purpose is to promote cooperation efforts, coordination, and mutual support among the armed forces. In addition to providing support operations during natural disasters, CFAC deals with threats such as narcotrafficking and organized crime, and also participates in peacekeeping operations. CFAC has specialized centers in each country: in the Dominican Republic, there is the Regional Humanitarian Rights Training Center; in Guatemala, the Regional Peacekeeping Operations Training Center; in El Salvador, the Regional Training Center for Countering Transnational Crime; and in Nicaragua, the International Humanitarian Demining Training Center. CFAC established its newest center, CARAH, in Honduras in 2014. “With regard to humanitarian aid, all nations will converge in Honduras,” Col. Mendieta said. “The plan is to continue this annual [UHR-CFAC] training with the same number of participants per team, and the mission is to achieve a successful training opportunity.” First joint training Instructors from each CFAC member nation taught the exercise with support from the Honduran firefighters and the Honduran group Personnel Used in Fire and Rescue Missions. Each phase of the training event took place in different parts of Comayagua to mimic disaster conditions. “This went beyond learning on the ground,” Col. Mendieta said. “It involved improving every detail. And now, as a result, our disaster response will be standardized. For example, for the search and rescue course, we performed a vertical rescue from the bridge over the Humuya River, and an aquatic rescue at the small dam in the town of Taladro.” The instructors evaluated all five teams using a point system based on conceptual understanding, physical performance, and conduct. Guatemala’s UHR earned the highest scores. “Guatemala’s UHR took first place due to their dedication, hard work, leadership, and spirit of selflessness and commitment,” Guatemalan Army First Lieutenant Milton Estuario Buc Galindo, commander of the Guatemalan UHR’s Technical Unit for Civic-Military Operations. “The training we’ve had has been efficient and effective,” 1st Lt. Buc said. “Our personnel has the knowledge necessary to respond to any possible event.”
The “Risk-Based Capital Study Act of 2015” (H.R. 2769) is among a handful of NAFCU-backed regulatory relief bills of interest to credit unions that could get marked-up as early as next week by the House Financial Services Committee.Brad Thaler, NAFCU’s vice president of legislative affairs, talked about H.R. 2769 as well as H.R. 1266, to replace the CFPB director post with a bipartisan commission, and H.R. 2287, to provide greater transparency to the NCUA budget process, during the association’s member-only call-in Tuesday. He said these bills could be marked up by the full committee this fall, possibly next week.The RBC study bill was introduced June 15 by Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., with Reps. Denny Heck, D-Wash., and Bill Posey, R-Fla., signed on as original cosponsors. The bill, which now has 11 cosponsors, would require NCUA to “stop and study” its second risk-based capital proposal before moving forward with it.Posey and Heck both spoke in support of the bill during NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus last week in Washington. Other Caucus speakers rallying to credit unions on RBC were House Financial Services Vice Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. continue reading » 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Get the TRX Home2 System (originally $200) for just $185 at TRX with free shipping!Those seven foundational movements we mentioned? Push, pull, plank, rotate, hinge, lunge and squat. Nothing complicated! And if you’re worried about how you’ll be able to perform them, don’t be. Practically everything about TRX can be personalized. First, you can adjust the foot cradles and strap length to fit you. Second, you can adjust the difficulty of your workout depending on how you’re feeling that day. As the site says, “Generally, the closer your center of gravity is to the floor — or the more directly under the anchor point you are — the harder the exercise will be.” Just make sure you’re hanging the strap at least six feet off the ground and that the bottom of the foot cradles are three inches from the ground when fully lengthened!Reviewers are so thrilled with this home training system, their ratings bursting with stars. They say it’s become their “favorite piece of fitness equipment” and that “the quality is exceptional.” It’s “so easy to install” and “so user-friendly,” and it offers them a better, harder-hitting workout in a shorter amount of time compared to other systems and equipment. They say it’s “perfect for indoor and outdoor workouts,” so it’s multi-seasonal, and it’s so easy to take on trips. Plus, it’s “versatile and engaging,” which is a huge plus. Anything that keeps working out fun! Of course, many recent reviewers are also just so thrilled to have something so reliable and effective available to them during the pandemic, which is a factor for all of us right now. And hey, gym memberships are expensive in general — but this TRX will practically pay for itself in just a short while! See it!Get the TRX Home2 System (originally $200) for just $185 at TRX with free shipping!Every TRX Home2 System comes with the suspension trainer, the subscription to the app, a door anchor, a suspension anchor and a mesh carry bag. So convenient. And did you know it’s even machine washable? It just keeps on getting better. You can see why this is such a top gift choice for Us this year. Plus, that sale price doesn’t hurt! And remember, if you want to take things a step further, TRX sells so many other fitness essentials, such as other bundles and systems, exercise bands, foam rollers, medicine balls, agility ladders, jump ropes and more. Explore the site today and start setting yourself (or a friend) up for crushing those upcoming New Year’s resolutions! See it!Get the TRX Home2 System (originally $200) for just $185 at TRX with free shipping!Looking for more? Shop other bestsellers here and see everything else at TRX here!Check out more of our picks and deals here!This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful, such as face masks, self tanners, Lululemon-style leggings and all the best gifts for everyone in your life. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at [email protected] Happy shopping! This bestselling home training system is for both beginners and pros, ready to challenge either and change their lives for the healthier. As one of its 500+ reviewers says, it’s like a “very efficient and compact gym” for your home. All you need is a doorway, or even a beam, pole or tree trunk in the yard. No other equipment — not even shoes! No personal trainer either. Every purchase comes with a free one-year subscription to the TRX app, so you’ll be set with audio and video coaching from real humans and unique, personalized workouts!So, let’s rewind: What exactly is TRX? It stands for Total-Body Resistance eXercise, and it actually originated as a Navy SEAL exercise. Basically, you hang the strap directly overhead (or to a vertical base) and suspend a part of the body above the ground, using the strap to maintain balance. 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After four decades travelling in some 20 countries to spread the gospel of judo, Tsuneo Sengoku is not about to let a minor inconvenience like a global pandemic slow him down.The 75-year-old “judo missionary” has coached some 100,000 people in the martial art since embarking on a tour through Asia, Africa, Europe and North America in the late 1970s.”I’m just an ordinary old man without judo,” said a smiling Sengoku, who was decorated by Japan in 2016 for his commitment to promoting the sport overseas, which he says is his reason for living. The former policeman moved to Bali in 2007 to train local people, mainly school students, free of charge on “the final leg” of his global mission to teach judo.Sporting the white-and-red belt that marks him out as a high-ranking expert, Sengoku was coaching four days a week at his dojo, where Japanese body-armor adorned with the national flags of Japan and Indonesia is on display.Like the rest of the sporting world, Sengoku has been sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic and was forced to close his dojo where more than 50 locals used to train.All events and competitions in both Indonesia and Japan involving Sengoku and his trainees have been cancelled due to the outbreak. Topics : ‘Kindness, discipline’ The coronavirus-wracked world could learn a lot from judo, Sengoku believes, especially its emphasis on patience and compassion for others.”Now I want to tell my students about the importance of patience, which is actually part of the philosophy of judo,” he added.Sengoku also said judo requires compassion for other people, known as “Jita-Kyoei”, or mutual prosperity for oneself and others, which is one of the main teachings of judo founder Jigoro Kano.”It’s time to exercise grand master Kano’s spirit of Jita-Kyoei,” he said. “I want to call on people to hang on and work together.”Wayan Tulus Wiarta, a senior high-school student who has been trained by Sengoku for more than 10 years, says he dreams to be a top judoka in his country and compete in Japan where judo was established.Wiarta, however, said competition does not mean everything to him as he has learned much more than just judo from Sengoku.”Mr. Sengoku taught me about a lot of things — kindness, discipline, being on time,” he said.”Judo is about more than just competition,” he said.Sengoku says he still vividly remembers the excitement of the 1964 Games in Tokyo, to which he contributed as a police guard.Although his own Olympic ambitions fell short, he said he was looking forward to watching young judoka compete for glory in Tokyo again — whenever the postponed Games eventually takes place.Sengoku, who runs his dojo with donations while he lives off his pension, has been working out by himself every day since the shutdown so he can be ready to reopen at any time.”I’m very much looking forward to seeing their smiles again when my dojo reopens,” said Sengoku, who lives alone as his family members are all in Japan.”This dojo is my destination. I will spend the rest of my life here,” he added. But the thought of giving up his mission has never crossed his mind — indeed it has hardened his resolve.”I won’t quit teaching. On the contrary, because of the coronavirus, my motivation to train children has grown,” he said.”I will never let the coronavirus break my dream that I spent my life on. I want to share the wonderful world of judo with more and more people.”