Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Getting an upgrade

By coincidence, I attended weapons of mass destruction (WMD) training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama during the week of the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013. On my way home to Salt Lake City from Atlanta, Delta cancelled the flight. 

I wrote in my journal for April 19. "Blood test at 4:45 a.m. and then went to the Atlanta airport where I waited five hours for my plane to Chicago Midway and then to SLC where I arrived at 9:53 p.m."

As I recall, other passengers from the cancelled flight were able to catch earlier planes but 11 of us were left stranded in the airport. Most of us had attended the courses at Anniston. Finally, we got to Chicago and an unscheduled flight was brought in for us for the final leg home. There were 11 of us on the flight to Salt Lake City. Because first class was empty, we asked for an upgrade but were denied. So each of took an empty row and tried to make ourselves comfortable.


Photo Courtesy Flickr Commons

Victor M. Walker wrote December 2, 2022 in AFAR online magazine about getting upgrades. People are more likely to get upgrades, she wrote, if they are dressed in business attire. They also get upgrades if they have elite status. She interviewed Dave, an airline agent.

"Dave says there’s a saying among airline professionals that the closer a traveler gets to the aircraft, the more expensive an upgrade gets: If you’re offered an upgrade as an elite member, you typically won’t have to pay for it; if you’re offered one at check-in as a non-elite, you’ll pay a discounted rate. But you’ll pay the most if you’re trying to upgrade at the check-in counter. Taken together? It’s improbable a traveler without some sort of elite status is to receive an upgrade—and the likelihood that attire would be the sole reason for an upgrade on that flight to San Francisco virtually non-existent."

Thursday, September 29, 2022

How to get more social media followers

Crowd close up from Flickr Commons

 How to get more social media followers

By James Elder

  1. Real time marketing- Real time marketing is marketing or advertising on the fly. This is especially effective when you plan it out and use your social media to advertise during a large trending event like the Super Bowl or World Cup.
  2. Influencer marketing- Influencer marketing is when you have a social media influencer or online personality advertise your product or service to their audience to sway them into purchasing what you're selling. This can also be done with celebrities as well such as using a musician to sell audio equipment or software.
  3. Create a daily, weekly, or monthly series- This is where you create a series of videos or clips that are relevant to your product and get your audience in the habit of looking forward to what you post next and entices them to purchase your product.
  4. Run a contest or give away- It's show that social media accounts that hold some form of a contest or give away grow 70% faster than those that don't which increases your audience and makes your product appear to be even more appealing to the masses.
  5. Hosting an AMA- Hosting an AMA, or ask me anything, is a great way to interact with your followers and allows them to learn more about you, your company, and the product you're selling through a Q&A. This is especially effective when you already have an established audience or customer base and have had some experience.
  6. Video Content- Using videos, you can keep your potential customer's attention easier while advertising and giving information about your product. This is mostly effective with shorter videos or clips less than 30 seconds.
  7. Team up with another brand- Team up with another brand that isn't your competitor but may have a similar audience or customer base. These campaigns are a winning situation for both companies and can be used to advertise special promotions for both companies products and increase sales and profit.
  8. How tos and tutorials- If it works for the product you're selling, posting how tos and tutorials can be an effective way to gain customer interest by showing how your product is beneficial and useful and makes it more appealing.
  9. Run a social-exclusive deal- Running special sales or deals exclusive to followers on your social media is a good way to entice others to follow your page and gain a larger audience or potential customer base by enticing them with special deals or promotions on your product.
Plus one extra: Marketing with purpose- Marketing with a clear purpose beyond profit will increase a businesses chance of growth and success.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Webpage Accessibility for visually impaired and hard of hearing

 Not all people can read your social media messages. In fact, over 12 million Americans 40 and older have some sort of visual impairment with 1.3 million legally blind. 

The number of young people under 18 with vision difficulty was 547,083 in 2019. Visual impairment cases in the U.S. are expected to double by 2050


John Whiting of WebAim talked about 10 things that PIOs (andweb developers) can do to make web content more accessible.


1.     Understand your responsibilities


Web Content Accessibility Guidelines were developed in 1999, revised in 2008 and updated in 2018. A checklist of standards is available onthe WebAim website. These are mandated by federal statutes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Types of Assistive Technology Used


2.     Use proper heading structure from headings styles


This is a chart of acceptable heading styles listed in Word.


3.     Give images alternative text


Alternative text should be:

• Be equivalent.

• Be succinct.

• NOT be redundant.

• NOT use the phrases "image of ..." or "graphic of ..." to describe the image.


4.     Format your tables

  • Caption or heading
  • Table headers
  • Column or row


5.     Choose text colors with good contrast

This tee-shirt is red, but the color blind see it in green.


 Yellow is one of the hardest colors to see in an advertisement or presentation slides.


6.     Don't rely on color

  • Ensure enough contrast
  • Don’t rely on color alone.
  • Don’t remove underline from links


7.     Make links descriptive

Poor – Click here

Good – Click here for our campus map

Better – Click here for our campus map

Best – Campus map


For more information on this topic, read Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine since 2014-


8.     Use lists correctly


Use numbers when there is order or a hierarchy.

Use bullets when equal importance.



9.     Use captioned videos

Descriptive transcripts are recommended for all media.


10.  Convert (don’t Print) to PDF

 If Create PDF is not available, use “Save As” 




Source: WebAim presentation for the the Utah PIO conference. (September 13, 2022).

Monday, September 19, 2022

Fire Preparedness for Individuals with Autism


Visual showing the Autism Center interior at Utah Valley University

Every year, people with autism, and sometimes their family members, are seriously injured or die in fires because they have not mastered fire evacuation skills. Independent evacuation skills are important to maintain safety in the home, at school/work, and in the community. 

The September 26th project was developed after the death, in a housefire, of a prominent autism advocate and her son with severe autism. The UVU Autism center is promoting fire preparedness for individuals with autism in the run-up to September 26th. Here is the link to the 9/26 event with links and information about the annual emergency preparedness checkup for autism and special needs families. (  

Often, children with autism are not required to participate in home or school fire drills because well-meaning adults feel that the drill will be an overwhelming sensory experience or create too much stress. This approach results in people with autism who lack critical skills to protect themselves in the event of an emergency.

Tips to Support Independence for Fire Drills/Fire Evacuation

Individuals with Autism should fully participate in all emergency drills.

  • Parents can provide a letter to their school district indicating that they want their child to fully participate in drills.
  • Fire drill evacuation goals can be written into IEPs.

Practice evacuation WITHOUT sounding the fire alarm until the child is able to successfully leave through the nearest exit and go to a designated meeting place with minimal support

  • Practice drills with the alarm sounding (sound and strobe) until the child is able to independently evacuate and go to a designated meeting place.
  • Designate a meeting place that is safe and secure (for example, a fenced area, or a car/van) to minimize wandering or bolting.

Use prompting and prompt fading, as needed, to support learning

  • Have a preferred item or activity available in the meeting place as a reward for evacuating.
  • Teach a coping skill to help the child tolerate the alarm/strobe while evacuating.
  •  Make sure that the skill is something the child always has access to. For example, teach the child to cover their ears with their hands rather than relying on headphones which may not be readily available in an emergency.
  • Use picture schedules or video models to support learning.

 Visit the local fire station (Consider hosting a Community Day)

  • Provide fire fighters with a personal information sheet for the individual with autism so they can assist in the event of an emergency.
  • Help the person with autism become familiar with fire fighters in full turnout gear so they are comfortable interacting and taking direction in an emergency.

PRACTICE until the individual is able to evacuate independently when an alarm sounds.
PRACTICE at least 4 times a year to maintain evacuation skills.

  • Get support from a qualified professional if you need assistance teaching this skill.
For questions or additional information, contact: The Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah. 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Ivermectin and Cancer

Cancer cell dividing, SEM - Stock Image - M132/0909 - Science Photo Library
 The following are studies and links to articles about Ivermectin and Cancer.  More studies are available at google scholar. Search for "cancer" and "ivermectin."

Juarez, M., Schcolnik-Cabrera, A., & Dueñas-Gonzalez, A. (2018). The multitargeted drug ivermectin: from an antiparasitic agent to a repositioned cancer drug. American journal of cancer research, 8(2), 317–331.

Ivermectin belongs to the group of avermectins (AVM), a series of 16-membered macrocyclic lactone compounds discovered in 1967, and FDA-approved for human use in 1987. It has been used by millions of people around the world exhibiting a wide margin of clinical safety. This review summarizes the in vitro and in vivo evidences demonstrating that ivermectin exerts antitumor effects in different types of cancer.

 Liu, J., Zhang, K., Cheng, L., Zhu, H., & Xu, T. (2020). Progress in Understanding the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Antitumour Effects of Ivermectin. Drug design, development and therapy, 14, 285–296.

This review summarizes the published studies to define the current progress in the characterization of ivermectin and cancer. Ivermectin causes cell death in cancer cell lines. Ivermectin can affect the growth and proliferation of cancer cells and plays several different roles, such as its functions as an RNA helicase, a small-molecule mimetic of the surface-induced dissociation (SID) peptide, an activator of chloride channel receptors, and an inducer of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. In addition, ivermectin induces the multidrug resistance protein (MDR), has potent anti-mitotic activity, targets angiogenesis and inhibits cancer stem-like cells (CSCs). Many studies have proven that ivermectin exerts antitumour effects and might thus benefit patients with cancer after sufficient clinical trials. 

Markowska, A., Kaysiewicz, J., Markowska, J., & Huczyński, A. (2019). Doxycycline, salinomycin, monensin and ivermectin repositioned as cancer drugs. In Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters (Vol. 29, Issue 13, pp. 1549–1554). Elsevier Ltd.

Chemotherapy is one of the standard methods for the treatment of malignant tumors. It aims to cause lethal damage to cellular structures, mainly DNA. Noteworthy, in recent years discoveries of novel anticancer agents from well-known antibiotics have opened up new treatment pathways for several cancer diseases. The aim of this review article is to describe new applications for the following antibiotics: doxycycline (DOX), salinomycin (SAL), monensin (MON) and ivermectin (IVR) as they are known to show anti-tumor activity, but have not yet been introduced into standard oncological therapy. To date, these agents have been used for the treatment of a broad-spectrum of bacterial and parasitic infectious diseases and are widely available, which is why they were selected. The data presented here clearly show that the antibiotics mentioned above should be recognised in the near future as novel agents able to eradicate cancer cells and cancer stem cells (CSCs) across several cancer types.



Friday, September 09, 2022

Bill Donovan, an American hero

Donovan: America’s Master Spy - Audible Audiobook – Kindle or Softcover available on Amazon Richard Dunlop (Author), William Stephenson - foreword, Eric Jason Martin (Narrator)

As a people we've come a long way from the time when Bill Donovan wasn't appointed Attorney General of the United States because he was Catholic. Hoover at first promised and then denied the appointment when the Ku Klux Klan and other supporters pressured him to change his mind. Although religion and color no longer stand in the way of someone's appointment or election to high positions in the country, politics appears to be as dirty and corrupt today as it was in Donovan's day. Today the door is still closed to anyone who is not an insider.

This book is well worth listening to or reading. Bill Donovan was a real American hero, having risen from poverty to be one of the most respected men in the nation. He was a World War I hero and Medal of Honor winner who, because of his knowledge and understanding of countries and their leaders, was appointed by President Roosevelt to lead the nation's first spy agency during World War II.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Do's-and-don'ts in Kosovo

Do you know the culture of Kosovo? These practical do's-and-don'ts were provided by the Dutch Ambassador for people wanting to do business in Kosovo. He suggested the following commercial etiquette when in Kosovo. 

In Kosovo many people speak English. However, if one of your business partners speaks limited English, it is wise to hire a good interpreter. Find out which language your business partners speak, because Kosovo has two official languages Albanian and Serbian. 

 It is a good idea to print one side of your business cards in English and the other side in the language of the people you are doing business with. This can be, for example, Albanian, Serbian, Bosnian or Turkish.

Family relations are very important in Kosovo. Show respect for this and know that many business contacts are made through these informal networks. 

Kosovars are hospitable and can invite their business partners for lunch, dinner or receptions. Accept these invitations whenever possible. Also accept offers of coffee, tea or other drinks. Here you have to respect your hosts by drinking what they drink. (Most people don't drink alcohol.)

During an acquaintance, Kosovars spend quite a lot of time in light-hearted conversations, before business is discussed. So don't get straight to the point. For example, first ask about the welfare of the host's family. Informal conversations are part of building a business relationship. Avoid political topics.  

Kosovar business partners do not necessarily expect a gift. It is therefore better not to give a business gift, unless a good relationship has already been established. A personalized gift often works better than an expensive gift. 

Source: Netherlands Government Agency for Enterprise. 24 July 2019. Do's-and-don'ts in Kosovo.


Prizren - Oldest and most beautiful city in Kosovo - JohnFisher Photo

WalletHub Unemployment Report - Utah number 2

 With the U.S. gaining 678,000 jobs in February, exceeding the previous month’s 481,000 jobs, WalletHub today released updated rankings for the States Whose Unemployment Rates Are Bouncing Back Most, along with accompanying videos and audio files, to illustrate which areas of the country have had the best recovery so far.

In order to identify the states whose unemployment rates are bouncing back most, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on six key metrics that compare unemployment rate statistics from the latest month for which data is available (February 2022) to key dates in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A. 

Bounced Back Most Bounced Back Least
1. Indiana 42. Delaware
2. Utah 43. Connecticut
3. Nebraska 44. Alaska
4. Kansas 45. Texas
5. Montana 46. Massachusetts
6. Oklahoma 47. Maryland
7. Minnesota 48. New Mexico
8. Alabama 49. Hawaii
9. New Hampshire 50. California
10. Arizona 51. District of Columbia

 To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit: