Monthly archives for November, 2020

The Ministry of Tourism will co-finance the construction of the pool this year as well

first_imgThe Ministry of Tourism will co-finance the construction of the pool with non-refundable funds this year as well, and it is expected that the tender will be announced by the end of March. The exact amount of funds will be known after the adoption of the state budget, but it is predicted that it will be within the framework of last year’s program, when about 8,5 million kuna was allocatedTourism Minister Anton Kliman confirmed for tportal that the state will continue to support the construction of the pool. ‘Any program that makes it possible to raise the quality of accommodation and create additional offers is commendable. Improvement and expansion of accommodation and development of offers are a key factor in the further development of Croatian tourism. Especially those offers that will enable the attraction of guests in the time before and after the season, in which we have great potential for growth. That is why the Ministry of Tourism will continue to provide support that will enable this potential to be used and Croatian tourism to become even more competitive. ‘, Kliman pointed out.Photo: FbIn total, from 2013 to 2015, it was co-financed 447 pool construction projects, mostly for private renters. A total of more than was allocated from the state budget for that 18,8 million kuna. On average, the highest amount of support was HRK 40.000.The terms of the tender are not yet known, but it is expected to be the same as in previous years. Last year, the conditions were exclusively for the construction of new pools of a minimum of 30 square meters for outdoor pools, and 20 square meters for indoor pools. Also, it is necessary to have registered a minimum of three rooms with six accommodation capacities. Objects must have a category of three to more stars. The maximum amount of aid is HRK 40.000.We expect all the details about the new tender by the end of March 2016.Source: Tportal.hrlast_img read more

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Valamar Riviera is investing half a billion kuna in the destination Rabac

first_imgValamar Riviera, a leading tourism company and one of the most active investors in tourism in Croatia, will invest around HRK 2017 million in 500 in the construction of two luxury resorts in Rabac – Family Life Bellevue Resort 4 *, which will become the first TUI Family Life next season brand in Croatia and Valamar Girandella Resort 4 *.In 2017, the Bellevue and Albona hotels will be completely reconstructed and become the Family Life Bellevue Resort 4 *, which will be able to accommodate guests in 372 rooms. New investments in swimming pools, restaurants, beaches, entertainment and other facilities in this resort will significantly improve the quality of service according to TUI standards, point out Valamar Riviera and add that TUI plans to bring about 4 guests to Family Life Bellevue Resort 80.000 *, or more than 400.000 overnight stays, primarily through the opening of new aviation markets from Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.As part of the Valamar Girandella Resort 4 * project, all three pavilions, the central building with a restaurant and three villas to accommodate guests will be renovated according to a specific concept. Thus, one pavilion will be converted into accommodation according to the concept of adults only with its own pool and pool bar and reception, the other pavilion will be converted as a family concept, and the villas will be upgraded and expanded into premium accommodation. The third pavilion will be completely reconstructed into a hotel intended for families with pool facilities, which will be jointly branded with an international concept specialized for families, and the renovation is planned for 2018. After the renovation, Valamar Girandella Resort will be able to receive guests in 399 accommodation units. Great attention will be paid to the arrangement of promenades, bike paths, beaches and parking lots, which will significantly enhance the overall appearance of the destination.Construction works are already starting this fall, and the resorts are planned to open at the beginning of the 2017 tourist season, which will reposition the destination of Rabac as the leading holiday destination of a high category. The announced projects will create the need to create more than 300 new jobs in the coming year, which will stimulate the economic development of the local community.last_img read more

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Heroin use spikes among whites who abuse prescription painkillers

first_imgShare on Facebook Share on Twitter In 2008-2011, the risk of past-year heroin use, ever injecting heroin, past-year heroin abuse or dependence, and the perception of availability of heroin increased as the frequency of nonmedical opioid use increased for all race and ethnicities, but particularly for non-Hispanic Whites.“We found that individuals endorsing past year non-prescription opioids who also use heroin are likely to be in more advanced stages of their drug use,” said Martins. “The individuals tend to use prescription opioids as a substitute for heroin when heroin is unavailable, to augment a heroin-induced ‘high,’ to ‘treat’ withdrawal symptoms, and to curb heroin use.”Regarding frequency of use, for Hispanics, increases were significant only among those using opioids about 1-29 days in the past year. Among blacks and whites, significant increases in the rate of heroin use were observed among those using prescription opioids more frequently (100-365 days) in the past year.Consistent with earlier research, with the exception of Hispanics, frequent prescription opioid users of all race and ethnicities and heroin users were at increased risk of ever injecting heroin and of past year heroin abuse and/or dependence. “This is alarming and raises concern since injection drug use among prescription opioid users can contribute to the spread of HIV, as recently reported in Southern Indiana, as well as of Hepatitis C,” says Martins.“It is possible that Hispanics who were frequent opioids users–more than 100 days per year–and who were also likely to use heroin in previous years, are now only able to use prescription opioids 1-29 days a year in the past 12 months due to recent constraints in the prescription opioids market,” observed Martins.“The noteworthy increase in the annual rate of heroin abuse or dependence among non-Hispanic Whites parallels the significant increase in nonmedical opioid use during the last decade and the growing number of heroin overdose deaths described for this race and ethnic group in recent years,” said Martins. “Overall, our results suggest a connection between opioid and heroin use and heroin-related adverse outcomes at the population level, implying that frequent nonmedical users of prescription opioids, regardless of race or ethnicity, should be the focus of public health efforts to prevent and mitigate the harms of heroin use.” Pinterest Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health looked at the frequency of nonmedical prescription opioid use and the risk of heroin-related behaviors and found that past-year heroin use rose among individuals taking opioids like oxycontin and these increases varied by race and ethnicity. The most significant rise in heroin use was among Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites, where the rate of heroin use for the latter group increased by 75 percent in 2008-2011 compared to earlier years. Findings are online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.Nonmedical prescription opioid use is defined as using a substance that is not prescribed or taking a drug only for the experience or the feeling it caused. The research, led by Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, sheds light on the racial and ethnic differences in trends of nonmedical opioid and heroin use over time.Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a large nationally representative household sample of 67,500 people, and self-reported heroin use within the last 12 months, the researchers examined the change in patterns of past-year non-prescription drug and heroin use between 2002-2005 and 2008-2011 across racial and ethnic groups. The study also looked at the association between past year frequency of both, heroin-related risk behaviors, and exposure to heroin availability. For those who had endorsed using heroin in the past, participants were also asked how they administered the drug.center_img Share LinkedIn Emaillast_img read more

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Review examines nutritional issues related to autism spectrum disorder

first_imgIndividuals with an autism spectrum disorder may be malnourished due to selective eating patterns, limited food repertoire, fear of eating new or unfamiliar foods, hypersensitivity, and other mealtime behavior issues. As a result they may require nutritional supplements or fortified foods to ensure that they fully meet dietary guidelines.Although not all research findings are consistent, studies do indicate that children with an autism spectrum disorder are more likely to be overweight or obese. Unusual dietary patterns as well as decreased opportunities for physical activity may be contributory factors. Interestingly, the authors also point to studies indicating that individuals with an autism spectrum disorder are also more likely to be underweight than the general population. It appears that their unusual dietary patterns can lead to overweight and obesity as well as underweight.Given the steep rise in the prevalence of individuals with autism spectrum disorders coupled with their higher mortality rates, the authors point to “enormous public health implications.” They call for more research to help diagnose autism spectrum disorders as early as possible and to develop effective nutritional strategies that enable individuals with an autism spectrum disorder to live healthier lives.In addition, the authors also note that most nutrition research has focused on the needs of children with autism spectrum disorders. With the number of middle-aged and elderly people with autism spectrum disorders growing, the authors stress the need for research to focus on the nutritional needs of these adult populations as well. Pinterest Share on Facebook Share Emailcenter_img About 1 in 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder. This represents a 78% increase in the incidence of autism spectrum disorder since 2002 (although some of the increase may be due to improved diagnostic capabilities). Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder may have poor nutrition because they often exhibit selective eating patterns as well as sensory sensitivity that predispose them to restrict their diets.The July 2015 issue of Advances in Nutrition, the international review journal of the American Society for Nutrition, features “Nutritional Status of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Do We Know Enough?” This article evaluates the latest scientific studies examining nutritional status and nutritional needs of individuals dealing with these complex behavioral disorders.The authors of the article examine a number of early warning signs that nutrition scientists have discovered that may alert parents as well as health care providers to the possibility of an autism spectrum disorder. For example, they discuss research suggesting that lower folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 concentrations could be possible biomarkers for earlier diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. In addition, the authors point to abnormally accelerated growth rates in infants and children as a signal of autism. LinkedIn Share on Twitterlast_img read more

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Koko the gorilla shows apes may be closer to being able to speak than first thought

first_imgShare Email Share on Twitter Share on Facebook The vocal and breathing behaviors Koko had developed were not necessarily supposed to be possible.“Decades ago, in the 1930s and ’40s, a couple of husband-and-wife teams of psychologists tried to raise chimpanzees as much as possible like human children and teach them to speak. Their efforts were deemed a total failure,” Perlman says. “Since then, there is an idea that apes are not able to voluntarily control their vocalizations or even their breathing.”Instead, the thinking went, the calls apes make pop out almost reflexively in response to their environment — the appearance of a dangerous snake, for example.And the particular vocal repertoire of each ape species was thought to be fixed. They didn’t really have the ability to learn new vocal and breathing-related behaviors.These limits fit a theory on the evolution of language, that the human ability to speak is entirely unique among the nonhuman primate species still around today.“This idea says there’s nothing that apes can do that is remotely similar to speech,” Perlman says. “And, therefore, speech essentially evolved — completely new — along the human line since our last common ancestor with chimpanzees.”However, in a study published online in July in the journal Animal Cognition, Perlman and collaborator Nathaniel Clark of the University of California, Santa Cruz, sifted 71 hours of video of Koko interacting with Patterson and Cohn and others, and found repeated examples of Koko performing nine different, voluntary behaviors that required control over her vocalization and breathing. These were learned behaviors, not part of the typical gorilla repertoire.Among other things, Perlman and Clark watched Koko blow a raspberry (or blow into her hand) when she wanted a treat, blow her nose into a tissue, play wind instruments, huff moisture onto a pair of glasses before wiping them with a cloth and mimic phone conversations by chattering wordlessly into a telephone cradled between her ear and the crook of an elbow.“She doesn’t produce a pretty, periodic sound when she performs these behaviors, like we do when we speak,” Perlman says. “But she can control her larynx enough to produce a controlled grunting sound.”Koko can also cough on command — not particularly groundbreaking human behavior, but impressive for a gorilla because it requires her to close off her larynx.“The motivation for the behaviors varies,” Perlman says. “She often looks like she plays her wind instruments for her own amusement, but she tends to do the cough at the request of Penny and Ron.”These behaviors are all learned, Perlman figures, and the result of living with humans since Koko was just six months old.“Presumably, she is no more gifted than other gorillas,” he says. “The difference is just her environmental circumstances. You obviously don’t see things like this in wild populations.”This suggests that some of the evolutionary groundwork for the human ability to speak was in place at least by the time of our last common ancestor with gorillas, estimated to be around 10 million years ago.“Koko bridges a gap,” Perlman says. “She shows the potential under the right environmental conditions for apes to develop quite a bit of flexible control over their vocal tract. It’s not as fine as human control, but it is certainly control.”Orangutans have also demonstrated some impressive vocal and breathing-related behavior, according to Perlman, indicating the whole great ape family may share the abilities Koko has learned to tap.center_img Koko the gorilla is best known for a lifelong study to teach her a silent form of communication, American Sign Language. But some of the simple sounds she has learned may change the perception that humans are the only primates with the capacity for speech.In 2010, Marcus Perlman started research work at The Gorilla Foundation, where Koko has spent more than 40 years living immersed with humans — interacting for many hours each day with psychologist Penny Patterson and biologist Ron Cohn.“I went there with the idea of studying Koko’s gestures, but as I got into watching videos of her, I saw her performing all these amazing vocal behaviors,” says Perlman, now a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of University of Wisconsin-Madison psychology Professor Gary Lupyan. LinkedIn Pinterestlast_img read more

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Are you really happy? Self-reported well being doesn’t match up with external observation

first_imgEmail Pinterest Share on Twitter Share LinkedIncenter_img In a recent study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers discovered that there is a huge difference between how respondents rate their own life satisfaction and how others rate it based on an interview.During the study, which included 500 participants in various parts of Austria, participants were first asked to rate their overall satisfaction with life on a scale of 1 to 10.  Participants were then interviewed and given more open-ended questions about good and bad experiences, health, and other aspects of life.  Each interview was analyzed by 12 different raters and participants were placed on a new scale from 1 to 11 intended to add more depth to the distinct categories.The new scale included the following categories: Share on Facebook 11—Light-hearted happiness: Respondents are authentically pleased with life. Their issues tend to be small and they cope easily.10—Light-hearted happiness with minor impairments: Respondents are mostly lighthearted. They mention negative circumstances but they don’t really impact overall mood.9—Resilient happiness: This is similar to the previous category, except the negative circumstances have occurred in a major area of life. These people have strong coping skills and are accepting of life’s challenges. 8—Still positive hedonic balance but impaired in central area: Similar to the previous category, but coping skills are weaker. These people are characterized by resignation (e.g. “I’ve gotten used to it”).7—Ambiguity: These respondents reported both strong positive and negative experiences and emotions.6—Balanced: This category is like the Ambiguity category, but less intense.5—Small emotions/close-lipped: Known as “shallow or indifferent,” these respondents showed no strong negatives or positives.4—Unfulfilled: Respondents are slightly negative. They show a lack of satisfaction and “seem to live a life they would not have chosen.” They justify or downplay their unmet goals and dreams.3—Disharmonious life but with support: These respondents are “sad, burdened or stressed, but with positive resources or support.” They have problems in major life areas that impair their mood, but they still have positive experiences or people to bring them joy.2—Disharmonious life without support: This is like the previous category, but without a positive support system. Life brings these people down, and they are not eager about the future.1—Dominant depression: Characterized by total despair, unhappiness, hopelessness and dissatisfaction with life’s circumstances.After conducting and analyzing the interviews, researchers found that there were extreme discrepancies between how respondents self-rated their life satisfaction and how they reported their lives in a narrative to the raters. For instance, only 15 people self-rated their satisfaction at a 5 or worse, but external raters gave 40 people ratings of 5 or lower.  Even more surprising—only 6 of those low-rated cases matched.The team found that people tended to rate their satisfaction very highly, but when interviewed, described dissatisfaction and unhappiness that led to lower ratings by the researchers.“Considering what people actually report in the interview, some high ratings seem to mainly express that their burden was not worse than normal, unbearable or as a reason to complain,” said Ivo Ponocny, corresponding author of the study.One respondent rated her life satisfaction as a 10—the highest possible score—but raters put her in category 3—“disharmonious life but with support.”  The respondent repeatedly complained of dissatisfaction with her work/life balance and regretted having kids too young, but also expressed appreciation for her supportive husband.Not only did self-reports not line up with external ratings, but different raters tended to also rate the same respondent differently. There was little reliable correlation between ratings overall.“Assuming that the interviews create a valid impression of life at all, the ratings obviously do not mean the same to the subject and the observer,” noted Ponocny.Future research is clearly needed to help scientists develop a better understanding of how to reliably measure life satisfaction. One thing is clear from the study, however—people tend to egregiously overinflate their own reports of life satisfaction.  It may be because of pressure to sound positive, fear of complaining, or as a defense mechanism.“Good ratings should not be misinterpreted by researchers as indicating lives full of positive emotional experience, at least concerning some part of the population,” Ponocny said. “Doing so will…artificially overestimate well-being.”More research and a better understanding of satisfaction with life will help scientists be able to pinpoint ways to help and support those who are suffering.last_img read more

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Genetics play role in character traits related to academic success, study says

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Twitter Pinterest Share Character traits, such as grit or desire to learn, have a heavy hand in academic success and are partially rooted in genetics, according to a psychology study at The University of Texas at Austin.Though academic achievement is dependent on cognitive abilities, such as logic and reasoning, researchers believe certain personality and character traits can motivate and drive learning.In a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, UT Austin psychology associate professor Elliot Tucker-Drob found that genetic differences among people account for about half of the differences in their character, and that the remaining variation in character was influenced by environmental factors occurring outside of the home and school environments.center_img Email “Until now, parenting and schooling have been suggested by research as likely explanations for character, but our study suggests otherwise,” said Tucker-Drob, who examined how genetic and environmental factors influence character and its relation to academic achievement using data from 811 third- to eighth-grade twins and triplets.Twin studies, such as the Texas Twin Project at the UT Austin Population Research Center and Department of Psychology, compare similarities of identical and fraternal twins to estimate genetic influences on personality, interests, school grades and behavior problems. By comparing siblings, researchers learned that outside of what could be genetically explained, variance in a child’s character could be attributed to unshared environmental effects, ruling out experiences shared by siblings such as parenting and attending the same school.“As with intelligence and personality, genetics form a sizable part of the basis for character,” said Tucker-Drob, co-director of the Texas Twin Project. He and his colleagues examined seven educationally relevant character measures that represented work ethic, enjoyment or desire to learn, attitudes toward education, and self-appraised abilities. The researchers also assessed how character measures were associated with the “big five” personality traits — openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism — which have been used in past research to predict academic achievement.In the study, genetics accounted for 69 percent of a person’s general character, with 31 percent of variance accounted for by environmental influences. Furthermore, each character measure was heavily correlated with openness and conscientiousness, which were 48 and 57 percent heritable respectively.Character measures promoting intellectual curiosity, such as intellectual self-concept, were linked more heavily to openness, which showed sizable associations with academic achievement; those representing work ethic, such as grit, associated more with conscientiousness, which was modestly correlated with academic achievement.“This may indicate that aspects of character that are associated with interest and desire to learn may be stronger drivers of academic achievement than aspects of character associated with diligence and hard work,” said Tucker-Drob, noting that one way genes influence academic achievement is by influencing aspects of character that are relevant for learning.Because character was not found to be systematically associated with the family environment, “programs to improve character will need to be creative,” said co-author and psychology associate professor Paige Harden, co-director of the Texas Twin Project. “Interventions will need to introduce experiences that are not already varying across families, in order to positively affect children’s character and ultimately their academic achievement.” Share on Facebooklast_img read more

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Rushing to complete work on deadline could mean lower quality outcomes

first_imgLinkedIn Share Email Pinterest New management research from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University shows that when deadlines are in place workers, tend to complete their tasks at the last minute, often leading to lower quality outcomes.In “Deadlines, work flows, task sorting, and work quality,” Natarajan Balasubramanian, associate professor of management at the Whitman School of Management, and his co-authors, Jeongsik Lee (Drexel University) and Jagadeesh Sivadasan (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), examine the impact of deadlines using large-scale patent data. They find that patent applications tend to cluster around the end of the month and those month-end applications are, on average. more complex. What’s more, the work quality is lower for tasks completed at month-end.“Our study is valuable because it examined work flows, task complexity and work quality across thousands of firms for several decades,” said Professor Balasubramanian. “We now have novel, large-scale evidence for the effect of deadlines on job-flows and have quantifiably demonstrated the negative effects deadlines can have on work quality.”center_img Professor Balasubramanian added that these findings suggest managers need to be vigilant about understanding the negative work quality effects of using deadlines, and should review to fully discern if the benefit of accelerating projects outweighs the possible negative effects on work quality.“Further, to the extent that the use of deadlines leads to poorer-quality and ‘fuzzier’ patents, deadlines have broader implications for the process of technological innovation,” said Professor Balasubramanian.The study is forthcoming in Management Science. Share on Twitter Share on Facebooklast_img read more

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Are extraverts always at an advantage in team-based work?

first_imgEmail Share on Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest New research taking an in-depth look at the role of energy in the perceived advantage of being an extravert has been conducted by the University of Surrey in collaboration with the Center for Creative Leadership in North Carolina (USA), Erasmus University (The Netherlands), Grenoble Ecole de Management (France) and Cornell University (USA). The resulting academic paper has been published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior.While it has long been thought that extraverts are at an advantage in team-based work, it has not until now been clear exactly what that advantage might be or how extraverts gain this advantage. The recent study reveals that when a team agrees on the goals it needs to reach and the right approach to achieve them, extraverted people are able to develop more energizing relationships with their teammates. As a result, they are perceived as proactively contributing to their team – for example by proposing new ideas or offering suggestions for improvements.However when there is team task conflict, this advantage appears to be reversed. Extraverts then develop energizing relationships with fewer of their teammates and are not viewed as proactively contributing to the team. In these situations they may be perceived as advocating ideas in a dominating, assertive or even aggressive manner, potentially prolonging task conflict within teams.center_img Share on Facebook Share The researchers studied 27 project-based teams at their formation, peak performance and after they were disbanded. Each team was asked to develop a formal presentation on a Human Resources challenge in a three and a half month timespan, with conflicts, frequency of communication and relationships formed between teammates measured at each stage.Professor Alexandra Gerbasi, Director of the Centre for Leadership and Decision-making at Surrey Business School, commented, “With shifts in organisational structures leading to more collaborative, team-based work, it’s often assumed that extraverts have an advantage when it comes to achieving success in the workplace, especially in team-based work.“Our research shows that extraverts’ ability to energize their teammates has a lot to do with how much agreement there is within the team. In situations where there is a high level of conflict, extraverts can be seen as ‘shouting the loudest’, showing a less desirable and productive side of being extraverted.”last_img read more

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Study: About half the population faces considerable difficulties in attracting and retaining mates

first_img“The evolutionary framework is extremely powerful in enabling us to understand mating and the challenges it involves, and should be used to comprehend and address the problem of poor mating performance, which apparently many people face.”The study, which surveyed 1,116 women and 780 men from Cyprus, found that about one in five participants found intimate relationships difficult and about half faced difficulties in either starting or keeping a relationship. Men and women were very close in their mating performance.“The take home message is that if you face considerable difficulties in attracting and retaining mates, you are not an exception as about one in two adult individuals are in a similar situation,” Apostolou told PsyPost. The researchers believe dating troubles are so common because there is a mismatch between the social environment humans evolved in and the current social environment in the post-industrialized world.“In addition, your difficulties most likely are not because there is something wrong with you,” Apostolou said, “but because the mechanisms that you rely on in order to attract and retain mates evolved in a different context than the one you are in now. Simply put, they are not broken but their range of functioning is not optimal for modern conditions.”The researchers also found that sexual functioning, self-esteem, self-perceived mate value, choosiness, personality, attention to looks, and mating effort were significant predictors of difficulties in starting and keeping a relationship.“I would say that, at least to my knowledge, this is the first study that has attempted to measure mating performance and its predictors, so considerable more work is needed if we are to gain a better understanding of the phenomenon,” Apostolou said.“A good start would be to attempt to replicate the findings of this study to different cultural settings. In addition, much more work is necessary in order to understand the predictors of poor mating performance. Subsequently we need to answer the following question: How can we address the underlying causes of poor mating performance so that people do better in the domain of mating?”The study, “The challenge of starting and keeping a relationship: Prevalence rates and predictors of poor mating performance“, was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. The research was co-authored by Marios Shialos, Elli Kyrou, Artemis Demetriou, and Anthi Papamichael. Share Email LinkedIn A new study on mating performance in humans suggests it is common for people to face difficulties in intimate relationships.“The current literature on the difficulties of human mating is thin, while many psychologist hold false beliefs about what causes people to perform poorly,” said study author Menelaos Apostolou, an associate professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of Nicosia“For instance, psychoanalysts are likely to tell a man that he has difficulties with women because of his poor relationship with his mother when he was 5 years old. Such approaches are totally unfounded, and thus not useful in helping people who face difficulties in mating.” center_img Share on Twitter Pinterest Share on Facebooklast_img read more

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