About – Inhibiting Ebola virus and SARS-CoV-2 entry

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The mechanisms by which cells defend against many viruses remain largely unknown. Defining these mechanisms is important not only for understanding viral pathogenesis but also for informing the development of antiviral therapeutics. The concerted efforts of antiviral factors within cells are central to host cell defense. Without these factors, the cell remains defenseless against potentially harmful pathogens. Understanding how the cell defends itself is particularly important for viruses that have the potential to affect global health, such as Ebola virus (EBOV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). On page 241 of this issue, Bruchez et al. (1) developed a transposon screening approach in a human osteosarcoma cell line to identify a mechanism by which CD74, previously only associated with antigen presentation, directly inhibits EBOV and SARS-CoV-2 entry into host cells.

Ebola virus cell entry Normal cellular entry (left) of Ebola virus (EBOV) involves binding to cells expressing DC-SIGN (dendritic cell–specific ICAM-3–grabbing non-integrin 1) and TIM1 (T cell immunoglobulin mucin receptor 1), macropinocytosis, and cathepsin-mediated cleavage of the viral glycoproteins. Together with NPC1 (Niemann-Pick C1), glycoprotein cleavage allows fusion with endosomal membranes and genome release into the cytoplasm. However, CIITA (class II major histocompatibility complex transactivator) up-regulates the CD74 p41 isoform, which inhibits cathepsins and prevents genome release into the cytoplasm (right). GRAPHIC: KELLIE HOLOSKI/SCIENCEViruses must gain entry into the host cell to replicate. In the case of EBOV, an enveloped virus, virions are internalized by macropinocytosis . Once virions reach endosomes, host cathepsin proteases cleave viral glycoproteins. The glycoproteins then fuse with the lysosomal membrane, which is followed by release of the viral genome into the host cell cytoplasm, where viral replication can occur (2). Thus, cathepsin-mediated cleavage is a critical step in the entry of many enveloped viruses, including EBOV, into the host cell.

Similar to EBOV, coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, are enveloped viruses that undergo a series of entry steps culminating in genome release. Coronavirus entry also requires delivery of incoming viral particles to host lysosomes, where the coronavirus spike protein is cleaved by cathepsins to facilitate fusion between virus and host membranes (3, 4). However, in contrast to EBOV, SARS-CoV-2 also requires the activity of transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) to prime the viral spike protein (5). Thus, despite their differences in size and shape, EBOV and SARS-CoV-2 rely on similar proteolytic processes to gain entry into a target cell.
Bruchez et al. used a transposon screen in which transposable elements were inserted in front of or within genes. This approach allowed for tandem gene activation and inactivation in a single screen. To identify host factors involved in EBOV infection, the authors infected these cells with EBOV and identified two main “hits,” including Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1), an intracellular EBOV receptor that is required for entry, thus validating the approach (6). NPC1 is a cholesterol transporter in the lysosome and is essential for EBOV fusion of the glycoproteins with the lysosomal membrane and subsequent genome release.
Additionally, the authors found that activation of the transcription factor major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II transactivator (CIITA) inhibited EBOV infection. CIITA is a nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain–like receptor (NLR). Typically, NLRs detect pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) within the cell and trigger an intracellular antimicrobial signaling cascade leading to nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) nuclear translocation and expression of various proinflammatory cytokines. Unlike most NLRs, CIITA acts mainly as a transcription factor to promote the expression of other genes, including serving as the master regulator of MHC gene expression. MHC presents peptides from either intracellular (MHC class I) or extracellular (MHC class II) proteins to adaptive immune cells. CIITA induces the expression of MHC class II genes to initiate antigen presentation. The authors determined that expression of CIITA was specifically associated with inhibition of cell entry by EBOV, thus defining the step of the viral life cycle that CIITA inhibits (see the figure).
Bruchez et al. identified CD74 as the CIITA-controlled host factor responsible for inhibiting EBOV entry. CD74, often called the invariant chain or Ii, is enriched in immune cell populations and associates with MHC class II. It localizes to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes and facilitates MHC class II export from the ER to vesicles that fuse with the late endosome, resulting in trafficking to the cell surface (7). CD74 also blocks the peptide-binding groove so that MHC molecules do not bind peptides prior to trafficking. Thus, without CD74, MHC class II molecules are not properly processed, and antigen presentation becomes impaired.
Bruchez et al. show that the thyroglobulin domain of CD74 is required for its antiviral activity. This domain inhibits cathepsins (8). CD74 has four isoforms but only two of them, p41 and p43, have the thyroglobulin domain. The authors show that the p41 isoform is responsible for the antiviral activity of CD74 against EBOV entry and inhibits SARS-CoV-2 fusion, suggesting a broad antiviral activity of CD74 against many cathepsin-dependent viruses. These findings highlight the often shared strategies of distinct viruses that are co-opted from host cells to promote cell entry.
These findings suggest that molecules involved in antigen presentation could also possess direct antiviral activity and that other factors with defined functions may possess additional roles in antiviral immunity. CIITA activates antiviral factors that inhibit a broad range of viruses, such as human T cell leukemia virus type 2 (HTLV-2) (9), although the steps of the viral life cycle that it targets differ from those for EBOV and SARS-CoV-2. During HTLV-2 infection, CIITA acts more directly and inhibits the viral transactivator protein (TAX2), which promotes transcription of the viral genome and thus directly inhibits HTLV-2 replication (9). Some viruses have evolved mechanisms to inhibit this restriction. For example, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), an oncogenic DNA virus, encodes Zta, a protein that directly inhibits CIITA and results in down-regulation of MHC class II molecules. This potentially allows EBV to escape recognition from the immune system (10).
The identification of host factors that could be targeted therapeutically to limit the replication of broad families of viruses may be an effective approach to combat viral-mediated disease. However, the therapeutic benefits of viral entry inhibitors are likely most effective prior to the onset of symptoms and the development of disease, given that by these stages, viral particles have already gained entry into the cell and begun to efficiently replicate.

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About – Top 45 Modern Partition Wall Ideas – Engineering Discoveries

Even with an open-concept design for your home, zoning of space is necessary for some order. The key is designing partitions that do not totally cut off individual spaces but allow continuity throughout. Go for customized structures with designs that don’t look bulky or rigid, allow light to pass through and let you see through them. Make sure they look good — bear in mind overall proportion to the surroundings — and are functional too, to make the most of your space.

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About – MessageBird’s $200 Million Fundraise Likely Last Before an IPO

  1. • Company conducted the financing entirely via Zoom, Hangouts
    • Funds to support M&A with company preparing for 2021 listing

Robert Vis Photographer: Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg
MessageBird said it’s raised $200 million of new funding at a valuation of $3 billion in what’s expected to be the last cash injection before an initial public offering next year.
Some of the funds will be used for acquisitions, and MessageBird still believes it will be “IPO-ready” in the first half of 2021, Chief Executive Officer Robert Vis said in an interview this week.
“We think there’s going to be considerable consolidation going forward, so part of the raise is to put us in a position to do M&A,” said Vis, who founded MessageBird in 2011. “This could be anywhere from a very small company to a very sizable one.”
The founder also said he’s been approached by what seems like “every single SPAC provider in the world,” but that the company hasn’t decided whether to stick to a traditional IPO. Investments have poured into special-purpose acquisition companies this year with several businesses, including ChargePoint Inc. and Hims Inc., announcing deals with the publicly traded takeover vehicles.
MessageBird lets companies add a few lines of code to their app or website so customers can text, email or call-in with questions. Revenue is on track to grow 50% to about 300 million euros ($353 million) this year, buoyed in part by demand from e-commerce clients moving sales and support online, and the company is “around the profitability line,” Vis said.
The Amsterdam-based company’s IPO would follow U.S. rival Twilio Inc., which is now valued at about $44.4 billion four years after it listed at a $1.23 billion market value. Twilio’s share price has roughly tripled during the Covid-19 crisis due to a surge in demand for its products by companies depending on online services like WhatsApp and Zoom to resolve consumer complaints as stores sit vacant.
Vis said the pandemic’s impact on the business hadn’t just been related to fiscal details or staffing, but also a fundamental shift in his opinions about remote working and fundraising via video conference.
“I raised this $200 million from investors I’d never met before, all on Zoom and Google Hangouts,” Vis said. “I’m excited about thinking about what this will be like during IPO.”
The round was led by San Francisco-based Spark Capital, with participation from existing investors such as Atomico, Accel and Y-Combinator. MessageBird said Spark’s General Partner Will Reed will join its board.
Vis founded MessageBird in 2011 after selling his micropayments business, Zaypay. MessageBird now has about 350 employees in 21 cities, and additional offices in Singapore, San Francisco, Sydney and Bogota.

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It’s Not Marketing. These 18 Products Are Truly Limited Editions

  1. Companies often use the illusion of scarcity to make products appear more exclusive than they are. But not these.
    1 October 2020, 10:35 CEST

Source: Vendors
A McDonald’s sandwich and an Hermès handbag may sound like improbable counterparts, but the appeal of both arises from the same impulse: scarcity. That five-figure status purse is so hard to buy it’s supposedly sold only to those willing to join a waiting list; likewise, the McRib appears for a short time each fall, as if out of nowhere, sparking a frenzy among fans who resort to using an online locater to find the nearest supply.
It’s not about “good taste,” either: The appeal is an instinct hardwired into the human brain. “As things are unavailable, we’ve learned we need to fight harder to get them,” says Kelly Goldsmith, a behavioral scientist and associate professor of marketing at Vanderbilt University whose research focuses on scarcity. “Whether that’s bison meat when we were cave people or A grades at school when you’re marked on a curve.”
Americans, who are more acquainted with abundance, are especially susceptible. Think of supermarkets bursting with 100,000 different products or the one-click, two-day time frame it takes to have anything we want shipped straight to our home. In our brain, a lack of something triggers a stronger reaction than too much.

A cabinet of collectible curiosities.Illustration: Franco Zacharzewski
Scarcity marketing is more common in the luxury sector than anywhere else. Scoring a hard-to-find sneaker is more than a purchase—it’s an ego-boosting success, Goldsmith says. “You’re not only showing the rest of the world how special you are,” she says. “You’re showing yourself that, too.”
Economic uncertainty is likely to further burnish the appeal
of products that seem scarce, according to research by Eesha Sharma, an associate professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. Thanks to the instinct dubbed compensatory consumption, she says, “if you feel like you have fewer financial resources than other people, you offset the perceived deficit by acquiring things that are unavailable to others.”
Unlike the supply of the McRib and the Birkin, which are artificially throttled, some products do exist in truly finite quantities. They might be limited because of their rarity, such as a bottle of Benedictine rescued from a sunken ship. Others require a complex manufacturing process that cannot be replicated over and over. We’ve scoured the world for 26 of them to get while you can.

From left: Scott Fraser Ripley shirt, Gold & Wood glasses, Christy Dawn dress.Source: Vendors
The British menswear designer has a personal obsession with Italian-American knitwear from the 1950s through the 1970s and estimates that he has at least 200 pieces in his closet. Fraser used those classics as starting point for a Talented Mr. Ripley-inspired collection, which is produced outside Milan by a team of four people. Each merino wool piece takes about five weeks to finish. £310 ($400)
The design team at Christy Dawn in Los Angeles relies on dead stock fabric supplier Ragfinders of California for as much as 98% of its raw materials, says Chief Executive Officer Aras Baskauskas. Bolts as short as 3 yards go toward producing one-off designs and limited runs. The origins of this approach are practical: As a startup, it couldn’t afford the minimums that most textile manufacturers mandate, and it’s since become a signature of the brand. From $198
Ten craftspeople work in the Luxembourg atelier of this ultraluxe optician, and it can take as many as three days to produce a single pair of glasses. Collections include one called Supersonic, which incorporates shards of the wing of a decommissioned Concorde into the design. Another, Copa, comes with 23-karat gold leaf laid by craftsmen in Versailles who use fiercely guarded, proprietary techniques. From €2,014 ($2,349) per pair
Bespoke women’s tailor Lamb relies on vintage fabrics dating to the ’80s and ’90s for many of her designs. Her fine silks, tweeds, and woolens are often from small European mills no longer in existence, using techniques that digital printing and modern looms have rendered outmoded. The silk prints, for instance, were screened on long tables with hand-mixed inks. Lamb typically only has enough scraps of these fabrics to make three unique garments at most. Handmade jackets from $3,650, silk print blouses from $995

From left: Achille Salvagni vessel,7 Hydrowood couch, Wolf Whiskers shaving brush.Source: Vendors
Peter Wolf is a U.S. Navy vet turned artisan who now fashions handmade wooden shaving brushes in his studio in Hampton Roads, Va. Wolf works only with the finest materials, including High Mountain White badger hair for the bristles. Because he hand-turns each on a lathe, production is limited to no more than 40 such brushes each month. He offers two dozen or so standard handles but also accepts custom commissions. From $78
Italian interior designer Salvagni stumbled on a centuries-old haul of unused pigments from the same Murano factory that design legends Napoleone Martinuzzi and Tomaso Buzzi once used. Although these archival colors often incorporated now-outlawed chemicals, Salvagni persuaded glass blowers to use them in a collection of vessels whose shades are impossible to replicate. From $8,700
Venice was once the world’s velvet-making hub, where more than 1,000 weavers specialized in the plush fabric. Today only a handful remain, including this producer who specializes in soprarizzo velvet, which combines cut and uncut pile to maximize softness and texture. Using original 18th century looms, the material is produced through such a painstaking process that no more than 12 inches in length is made daily. Price on request
When Tasmania’s Pieman River was dammed in 1986 to generate hydroelectricity, nearby forests were flooded and the timbers there submerged. An entrepreneur has begun retrieving the preserved logs from the depths, dubbing the virgin trunks “hydrowood.” An estimated five years’ worth of wood is available for salvage. Such prized finds have been used by local furniture maker Simon Ancher in one-off pieces. Custom couch from $10,000
Erstwhile Diesel creative director Wilbert Das ditched fashion to operate a boutique hotel in Trancoso, Brazil, where he’s returned to design. His Rural Modern furniture collection uses only material sourced from within a 5-mile radius; the Retalho lamp shade is made solely from dead stock fabrics, mostly antique linen, and takes a month to complete. He’s made eight to order so far. $850

From left: Bona Furtuna olive oil, Bizzaria oranges, Carter Cutlery knife.Source: Vendors
As a karate-obsessed teen, Murray Carter stumbled on his future profession on a trip to Japan. While there he met 16th generation bladesmith Sensei Yasuyuki Sakemoto, whose family specialized in forging samurai swords. Carter spent six years apprenticing with him before returning to the U.S. to open his workshop, where he and his team turn out a limited number of hand-forged, laminated steel knives each year. From $180
Seagate Technology LLC Chairman Steve Luczo bought a patch of land in Corleone, Italy, in memory of his grandmother Rose, who once tended the olive trees there. Those groves now produce gourmet extra virgin olive oil, his passion project. The most rarefied edition is drawn from only nine trees, some of which are 1,500 years old. $150
Once a year, Andrew Lawson harvests honey from the hives of the botanical garden on Tresco, in the Isles of Scilly, off England’s Cornish coast. Thanks to Galapagos-like weather patterns protecting them from incursions of disease that now blight most colonies, these bees offer the ultimate organic honey treat. Lawson doesn’t sell the results commercially; he posts an alert on the garden’s social media account when a few jars are available. First come, first served. £7 per jar
The origins of this aptly named citrus fruit date to the Medici-fueled Renaissance heyday of Florence, when botanical experiments were commonplace. Bizzaria is a graft chimera in which the cells of the rootstock and cultivar end up blending, so the resulting plant displays traits of both parents—in this case, a Florentine citron and a sour orange. Once thought lost, it was rediscovered by gardener Paolo Galeotti in 1980 and is propagated in limited numbers for sale. A mere 100 plants are available for purchase each year. From €35 per plant
Four foragers. Three hours. One bee. The pompona vanilla pod is harvested by a tiny group that wades into the Peruvian Amazon to hunt down a wild-flowering alternative to the standard vanilla plant. Humans hand-pollinate most of the pompona pods, but the aptly named endangered dilemma bee does it naturally. It’s the only insect able to help the mythical plant, as it lands on the flowers when they open for three hours once a year. The resulting pods are five times larger than a standard beans and have a distinctive smoky, leathery aroma. The entire annual harvest maxes out at a couple of hundred pods. About $25 per pod
From left: Cognac Frapin 750, Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Champagne, Zwack Unicum Riserva liqueur.Source: Vendors
Founded in 1270, Cognac Frapin marks its 750th anniversary this year by introducing a made-to-order blend relying entirely on liquid drawn from barrels that date to the 19th century. Limited to 21 bottles, one for each generation of the family, this blend is packaged in a Baccarat decanter and a wooden box, complete with a key to lock it away from thirsty guests. $50,000 per bottle
The standard edition of Zwack is a staple herbal liqueur in Hungarian bars, made by the namesake family since 1790. A new limited-edition riserva is a pet project of the latest generation to steer the distillery, siblings Izabella and Sándor. They take ordinary unicum and age it not once but twice before adding some Tokaji wine from the cellars of Izabella’s own winery. Both bitter and fruity, the result is a whiskeylike after-dinner drink. Only 13,000 bottles are made each year. About $30
In the late 19th century, phylloxera aphids ravaged the vineyards of the Old World. There were a few exceptions, though: Small patches of land proved resistant to the blight for reasons that remain unclear even now. One of them was on the Bollinger estates in Champagne, where the vines still produce limited-edition cuvées, known as vieilles vignes (“old vines”). About 2,000 bottles are produced at a time, but only in exceptional years. $1,050
Last year, OceanX recovered a stash of rare De Haartman & Co. Benedictine liqueur, originally intended for the czar of Russia, from the 1917 shipwreck S.S. Kyros. The salvage company has started selling a handful of the 900 or so bottles to ordinary buyers. A selection of cognac found in the same wreck is also available. From $7,000 per bottle

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Staff Scientist Research Position in Forest Microbial Ecology & Evolution job with Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute | 518615.

Staff Scientist Research Position in
Forest Microbial Ecology & Evolution
The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI; http://www.stri.si.edu) seeks to hire a staff scientist to pursue an independent, internationally recognized research program in forest microbial ecology and evolution. The position is funded by generous support from the Simons Foundation. The successful candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to world-class science that includes publication in international peer-reviewed literature and will enhance and complement existing strengths in our research institute. Research interests in forest microbial ecology may include plant-soil-microbial interactions, the role of microbes in biogeochemical and/or carbon cycling, plant pathogen dynamics, and microbial responses to global change, among others. Familiarity with both traditional culturing and next-generation sequencing methods and other tools for studying microbial communities is highly desirable. Previous tropical experience is not required.
The position is full-time research. A fully equipped microbial laboratory is available and funds are provided for additional laboratory setup costs and on-going research, including postdoctoral and technical support staff, supplies, and travel expenses. Staff scientists may also compete for additional intramural and external research funds. Opportunities are available to mentor post-doctoral fellows, students, and interns who are drawn from an international community, to teach in graduate training programs with affiliated universities, and to conduct outreach to local and international audiences.
STRI is headquartered in the Republic of Panama, with modern research and laboratory facilities, a library with extensive holdings in the natural and anthropological sciences, and terrestrial and marine field stations throughout the country. Panama and adjacent regions of tropical America present abundant opportunities to study microbial communities across experimental and natural gradients of climate and soil fertility. The Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) maintains a series of long-term forest dynamics plots across multiple environmental gradients, and STRI’s Agua Salud site supports a secondary forest dynamics monitoring network and experimental plantations. STRI has a vibrant and collaborative scientific community of 37 staff scientists and hosts over 1200 scientific visitors per year, including fellows and interns supported through an intramural program. Staff scientists maintain diverse research programs in the ecology, evolution, physiology, development, and behavior of marine and terrestrial organisms and ecosystems, both ancient and modern, and the role of human interactions in shaping tropical environments. Strong interdisciplinary links between our scientists and the broader Smithsonian community provide excellent opportunities for addressing large-scale long-term research questions that are not possible elsewhere.
Applicants must have a Ph.D. and post-doctoral research experience in a relevant field. Early- to mid-career candidates are especially encouraged; applicants at all postdoctoral stages will be considered. Annual salary is commensurate with experience. Compensation packages include allowances to support foreign living expenses, including educational expenses for dependent children. The position is based in Panama and relocation expenses are provided. For more information on the position, including answers to frequently asked questions, please see http://stri-sites.si.edu/recruiter/users/jobs.php
To Apply: Interested candidates should submit the following as a single PDF file: cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of research accomplishments and interests, three to five significant publications, and the names and contact information of three references to strisearch@si.edu. The position is open until filled; review of applications will begin on 15 November 2020. Address inquiries to the search committee chair, Dr. Kristin Saltonstall, at SaltonstallK@si.edu.
STRI does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, committed to diversity in its work-force.

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Bhakra Dam in India – About Gobind Sagar Stores

The dam, located at a gorge near the upstream Bhakra village in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh of height 226 m. The length of the dam is 518.25 m and the width is 9.1 m. Its reservoir known as “Gobind Sagar” stores up to 9.34 billion cubic metres of water. The 90 km long reservoir created by the Bhakra Dam is spread over an area of 168.35 km2. In terms of quantity of water, it is the third largest reservoir in India, the first being Indira Sagar dam in Madhya Pradesh with capacity of 12.22 billion cu m and second Nagarjunasagar Dam. Bhakra dam is 15 km from Nangal city and 20 km from Naina Devi town. Nangal Dam is another dam in Punjab downstream of Bhakra Dam. However, sometimes both the dams together are called Bhakra-Nangal Dam though they are two separate dams. Overview of the dam:- Around 226 m high and 518 m long, Bhakra dam is the 2nd highest dam in India after the Tehri dam. It is also the highest straight gravity dam in the world. Bhakra dam is constructed on Satluj river and located in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab border near Nangal city. The construction of dam was completed in 1963. Bhakra dam is straight gravity cum concrete dam having four spillway radial gates with designed spillway capacity of 8212 cumec

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Fat Bears Take Over Alaska | Nature and Wildlife

Fat Bears Take Over Alaska in 2020
“Every year I go north to photograph these amazing bears through July and September. Each bear will consume between 75-150lbs of salmon … more
October 06, 2020

The Katmai Region of Alaska is unlike any region on Earth when it comes to conservation and grizzly bears.
Here, bears are protected and they thrive on rich healthy diets of wild berries and salmon from Bristol Bay.
Photo Credit: Greg Piper ©@Gregpiperartso

Fat Bears don’t start off as fat bears, they start off as hungry spring cubs like this guy here photographed with his sockeye salmon prize — stolen right from the mouth of mom and his two siblings.
These cubs must fight for their share. Even within the protected borders of Katmai National Park & Preserve, they may be protected from man, but they are not from other bears. In the hierarchy of the bear world, nothing comes without a fight and for the three years these cubs live with mom, they learn a timid bear is a hungry bear.
Photo Credit: Greg Piper ©@Gregpiperarts

Returning fat bear finalist, bear number 151 aka “Walker,” catches a red sockeye salmon at the falls on Brooks River.
It’s very rare to capture a red sockeye jumping up the falls, it’s even more rare that a bear would fish the top of the falls this late in the season. It just so happens old “Walker” was crossing the top of the falls, paused to look down for a minute and this guy, as destiny would have it, jumped right into his waiting mouth.
Photo Credit: Greg Piper ©@Gregpiperarts
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They say the early bird gets the worm…well the early bear gets “fat.” One of the best times to feed is early morning. As the sun rises, so do the bears.
A fat bear candidate spends time in the river early, often, and late. These bears have a regimen of eating, sleeping, eating, sleeping that lasts 24 hours a day.
Photo Credit: Greg Piper ©@Gregpiperarts

The reigning runner up from 2019 and returning heavy weight, designated bear #775 “Lefty” is my personal favorite.
His fishing style makes him a joy to watch and his distinctive droopy left ear earns him his name.
Every other bear leaving the river always precedes his entrance to Brooks Falls. Once “Lefty” picks his spot, in this case the top of the falls, then and only then will the other bears slowly and cautiously rejoin the feast. This battle-hardened bear has earned his place at the top of the chain and his many visible scars prove it.
Photo Credit: Greg Piper ©@Gregpiperarts

Even the most healthy fat bears don’t come close to winning the annual competition. This one thousand pounder is a mere middleweight in the ring of “Fat Bear” candidates.
Photo Credit: Gregory Piper ©@Gregpiperarts
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Bears are naturally curious and I captured this image with a remote camera rig, allowing me to be 150 feet away. This cautious mom came over to investigate the situation before allowing her cubs to relax on the beach while she fished near the mouth of the Kulik river in Katmai.
Her cubs also decided to check out my camera, just before trying to eat it and dragging it 50 yards down the beach.
Photo Credit: Greg Piper ©@Gregpiperarts

The feast starts well before September and bear #909 is getting an early start at the first sight of silver salmon in the falls. She won’t get in the “Fat Bear Week” bracket without getting the jump on the fish.
After grabbing her catch she strolls over to her favorite rock to sever up this delicious feast of skin, eggs, and protein.
Photo Credit: Greg Piper ©@Gregpiperarts

If there was a fat bear cub category, then this little guy would take the prize. These cubs and their mom traveled over 25 miles to the Kulik river to feed on the last run of sockeye in the area.
What may come as a surprise, studies show that salmon are not a grizzly bear’s first choice for food. In fact they prefer berries, especially blueberries, and grass to salmon.
Bears are simply “opportunity” eaters and salmon are common in Katmai and widely available in Alaska, making them the easiest and most effortless dinner to plate.
Photo Credit: Greg Piper ©@Gregpiperarts
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One of my favorite bears is this mammoth #480 “Otis.” Just look at the stare in his eyes.
His position near the top of the Brooks Falls hierarchy is firmly unopposed. He fishes at the far end of the falls and simply waits for his meal to come to him. From his shaded position under the trees, he has a clear view of the sun basked river allowing him to see the salmon as they await their turn to attempt a falls jump. He simply steps out and snags his meal of choice.
He is consistently in the “Fat Bear Week” finals and I have never witnessed another bear challenge him or his preferred spot.
Like “Lefty,” he is rapidly aging and the loss of his canine teeth signals his impending demise and rapid decline in the hierarchy, as it does with all bears.
Photo Credit: Greg Piper ©@Gregpiperarts

“Walker,” aka bear #151, makes the catch on top of Brooks Falls.
An image of a silver jumping into an awaiting hungry mouth is easy to capture at Brooks Falls, a red sockeye is almost impossible. I was luckier than “Walker” on this sunny September day.
Photo Credit: Greg Piper ©@Gregpiperarts

“The Catch,” an iconic image at Brooks Falls. Hundreds of thousands of photographers flock to Katmai every year to attempt to capture this image.
The raw cycle of life in the wild.
The immense power of such beauty.
The sustainability of our natural world.
Photo Credit: Greg Piper ©@Gregpiperarts
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Salmon are simply “the” vital element in Alaska’s diverse ecosystem.
Alaska’s fishery brings in over 3 billion dollars to the state’s economy annually, providing 32,900 jobs with over 1,000 of those jobs in bear viewing alone. Future generations of fat bears are under threat from human development projects disrupting this pristine wilderness. No salmon, equals no fat bears. And without fat bears, what would October really be?
Photo Credit: Greg Piper ©@Gregpiperarts

This image encompasses a bear’s life. This guy is well on his way to achieving “Fat Bear Week” status in Katmai. I captured this image at the end of September as the unlimited buffet continues and these beautiful bears prepare for the long winter ahead.
Heavy is the weight of the crown, but not nearly as heavy as the “Fat Bear Week” champion who will wear it.
Have an Epic 2020 “Fat Bear” Week my friends.

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How To Choose The Right Color For The Right Room

Natural is a safe but elegant choice.
Neutral colors such as beige, cream or white don’t usually stand out. They’re a safe choice because of that but they’re also elegant. Choose neutrals for the walls of the living room if you want it to look simple and classy but include a more vibrant accent color for the accessories.

Mix and match.
What’s great about a white background is that you can basically use any colors you like for the little things like the lamps, the photo frames, the area rug or the pillows. Take this opportunity to reate a cheerful décor.

Don’t underestimate gray shades.

Gray is a color that doesn’t really tell us much. It looks neutral but if you know how to use it can make the whole room stand out. Use a darker shade with a blue or purple tint for a glamorous look or a light shade for a bright and modern look.

Teal is a vibrant but also relaxing color.
Very few colors can be as bold as teal and still feel relaxing. Combine this color with bright shades to emphasize its royal look. It always look amazing when combined with white and yellow.

Purple always looks glamorous.

Many people are too afraid to use strong colors such as purple in their homes. However, it’s better to risk it with a bold shade than to have a boring house. Purple is a color that looks glamorous no matter what the setting is.

Yellow is the most cheerful color

Yellow is often associated with the sun and summer. It’s a wonderful color for small spaces because it makes them feel larger. It’s also great for spaces like playrooms. Yellow looks amazing when combined with white but it also usually needs a contrasting shade.

A darker shade of green can often look surprising.

Green is a fresh and vibrant color associated with nature but we rarely see dark shades of green in nature which is one such a color can often take us by surprise. Keep things simple and interesting at the same time.

Combine cool and warm colors.

A balanced décor should include both warm and cool colors. For example, If you paint the walls gray or blue, then use orange, red, yellow or brown for the furniture and accessories. You can mix and match several different shades as long as the overall look is harmonious.

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Small Businesses, ‘Pinterest Shop’ And Social Community

This year, it’s good to be a small business; especially if you are one that gets to be featured on Pinterest Shop, Pinterest’s new online marketplace for small merchants. According to Marketing Dive, “the rollout of the feature is timed ahead of Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30, an annual occasion that urges people to support local businesses during the holiday rush.”
Imagine if you could make a shop out of all your favorite pins. That’s basically what Pinterest did here, selecting seventeen luck brands to be featured in a curated pin-shop.
“My dog ate my notepad with all my passwords in it.”Learn More
The Pinterest Shop closely resembles a Pinterest user profile where curated boards have been replaced by merchant profiles and all pins within the boards are shoppable products. Marketing Dive describes this new platform feature as Pinterest “touting its ability to capture the attention of shoppers who use its digital pin boards to find inspiration and collect images of products or types of products they may be interested in buying.”
As I said before, Pinterest hand-selected a small collection of merchants to be a part of their shop opening — and they’re looking for more. They’ve decided to focus primarily on highly creative and crafty small businesses with a positive mission.
If any of this sounds like your brand, now’s the time to apply to be apart of the Pinterest Shop.
These knowllidge together can be successfully implemented by Democratic Social Economy, a multi-million member social community around the world. The platform of this community stimulates the creation of Business for each member and at the same time, harmonizing the interests, creates the conditions for a comprehensive and successful business cooperation for each member.

Democratic Social Economy & Business



Instagram Business Close Friends List And Social Community

In December 2018, Instagram officially launched its new story feature, “Close Friends.” This feature allows you to create a list of “Close Friends” you can exclusively share stories with on a day to day basis.
This “Close Friends” feature was initially made for followers to share more private moments, one of many attempts Instagram is taking to make their app more about human connectivity.
Every marketer and entrepreneur knows that most, if not all, Instagram features made for pleasure can always be used for business.
So we found five ways to use Instagram close friend list for business. First, here’s a quick guide to creating your first close friend’s list.
Who Should You Add to Your “Close Friends” List?
As a business, you’ll need to be a bit more innovative with who you’ll be adding to your “close friend” list.
Instagram’s close friend’s list is an opportunity for you to start crafting your engagement and building rapport with real fans and customers. Since it’s so perfect for posting exclusive content, that means you’ll need to decide who gets access and who doesn’t.
Who should be added to your close friend list?
We did the math and found out that it all depends on your goals, and since you only have one close friend list, you’ll have to pick one goal and stick to it.
Here are some suggestions for the type of goals you should pick for your close friend’s list:
Brand ambassadors or Affiliates
Manage your brand ambassador and use your list to update, encourage, and engage with them. If you have affiliates, let them know when you’ll be having exclusive webinars or new ways for them to make more money with your brand.
Superfans or VIP customers
If your goal is to grow your fan base then create buzz about an exclusive VIP program by adding super fans or giveaway winners to your close friend list. They can receive discounts, heads up on surprise sales and more.
If your goal is focused on building employee engagement and advocacy, then use your close friend’s list to share company exclusive content and updates with your team.
Instagram Pro Tip
Still not sure who you should be adding to your close friend list?
Run a contest or giveaway with a prize and give winners access to your close friend list. Allow people who want to be added to your inner circle to come to you!
Five Ways Your Business Can Use Close Friends List
It’s time to decide what kind of content you’ll be sharing.
1. Exclusive Promotional Discounts Codes
Let’s say that you need to get a certain number of sales by the end of the month. Create a teaser for followers to join your close friends list on Instagram for exclusive discounts.
Ask followers to comment on a post in your feed and tag a friend, and when you’ve selected followers try to limit the number of people you’ll add, this will:
Give your brand more exposure as followers will be tagging friends, so you’ll be sure to see an increase in followers.
Create a sense of urgency to join. When people feel like something is scarce, their more likely to act based on their fear of missing out.
Limit the amount of discounts but still entice other people willing to buy at pay full price.
Instagram Pro Tip
Calculate how many discounts you’ll need to hand out to meet sales for the month, then hand out 20-40% times that amount.
2. Exclusive Product Launches
Share news on a product before it launches of new collections or items before they hit the store. If you’re using your close friend’s list for brand ambassadors, this could be the perfect opportunity to reach out to you about promoting your products.
..You can see more…
These knowledge, together can be successfully implemented by Democratic Social Economy, a multi-million member social community around the world. The platform of this community stimulates the creation of Business for each member and at the same time, harmonizing the interests, creates the conditions for a comprehensive and successful business cooperation for each member.

Democratic Social Economy & Business