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In The Great Debate Over Beatles Vs. Elvis, Beatles are America’s Favorite Band While Elvis is Musical Artist Number Two

October 2, 2014 Comments off

In The Great Debate Over Beatles Vs. Elvis, Beatles are America’s Favorite Band While Elvis is Musical Artist Number Two (PDF)
Source: Harris Interactive

In 1964, four musicians from Liverpool appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Now, fifty years after that iconic performance, John, Paul, George and Ringo, otherwise known as The Beatles, are America’s favorite musician or band, moving up from a tie for third place in 2010. Their counterpart in that 2010 tie, Elvis Presley – who appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956 – moves up to the number two spot this year.

After dropping a “secret” album earlier this year and performing with her husband to sold-out crowds around the country, Beyoncé debuts on the favorite musician or band list at number three.

They debuted their first album 46 years ago and their song “Stairway to Heaven” consistently lands on classic rock top ten lists, and now Led Zepplin debuts in the number four spot. And after conducting his farewell tour, the “King of Country,” George Strait, moves up two spots to number five on this year’s list.

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New From the GAO

October 1, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Report
Source: Government Accountability Office

Natural Gas: Federal Approval Process for Liquefied Natural Gas Exports. GAO-14-762, September 26.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-762
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666176.pdf

Transforming the Electricity Portfolio: Lessons from Germany and Japan in Deploying Renewable Energy

October 1, 2014 Comments off

Transforming the Electricity Portfolio: Lessons from Germany and Japan in Deploying Renewable Energy
Source: Brookings Institution

Amid an ongoing international debate on the reduction of carbon emissions, Germany and Japan are undertaking a dramatic shift in their electricity portfolios. The 2011 Japanese earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility accident have sparked both Japanese and German energy policy to shift away from carbon-free nuclear energy and towards renewables. However, despite large gains in market share by renewables, these two countries have seen increases in both fossil fuel usage and carbon emissions as the market share of nuclear energy has declined.

This shift raises fundamental energy policy questions: how can countries simultaneously decarbonize their electricity mix while phasing out nuclear energy? What are the costs and challenges of large-scale renewable integration? Who will bear these costs? In the Energy Security Initiative’s latest policy brief, authors John Banks, Charles Ebinger and Alisa Schackmann seek to answer these questions while identifying potential relevant lessons for large-scale deployment of renewables in the United States.

Passenger Travel Facts and Figures 2014

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Passenger Travel Facts and Figures 2014
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today released Passenger Travel Facts and Figures 2014, a snapshot of the characteristics and trends of personal travel in the United States; the network over which passenger travel takes place; and the related economic, safety, and environmental implications. The 77-page report summarizes the basic demographic and economic characteristics of the United States that contribute to the demand for passenger travel; examines travel patterns by trip purpose, transportation mode, and household characteristics; provides a picture of the passenger transportation system in 2005 and 2011 and summarizes movement on the system by transportation mode and congestion impacts; discusses the economic characteristics of passenger travel and tourism and discusses the safety, energy, and environmental impacts of passenger travel. It is intended as a companion to Freight Facts and Figures, which is produced jointly by BTS and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Economic Growth Widespread Across Metropolitan Areas in 2013

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Economic Growth Widespread Across Metropolitan Areas in 2013
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Real GDP increased in 292 of the nation’s 381 metropolitan areas in 2013, led by widespread growth in finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing, nondurable-goods manufacturing, and professional and business services, according to new statistics released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Natural resources and mining also spurred strong growth in several metropolitan areas. Collectively, real GDP for U.S. metropolitan areas increased 1.7 percent in 2013 after increasing 2.6 percent in 2012.

Country Analysis Brief: Saudi Arabia

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Saudi Arabia
Source: Energy Information Administration

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest holder of crude oil proved reserves and was the largest exporter of total petroleum liquids in 2013. In 2013, Saudi Arabia was the world’s second-largest petroleum liquids producer behind the United States and was the world’s second-largest crude oil producer behind Russia. Saudi Arabia’s economy remains heavily dependent on petroleum. Petroleum exports accounted for 85% of total Saudi export revenues in 2013, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)’s Annual Statistical Bulletin 2014.

With the largest oil projects nearing completion, Saudi Arabia is expanding its natural gas, refining, petrochemicals, and electric power industries. Saudi Arabia’s oil and natural gas operations are dominated by Saudi Aramco, the national oil and gas company and the world’s largest oil company in terms of production. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and the Supreme Council for Petroleum and Minerals have oversight of the oil and natural gas sector and Saudi Aramco.

USPS OIG — Mail Innovations

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Mail Innovations
Source: U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General

Despite the sharp increase in digital communications in recent years, mail still elicits a strong connection with recipients. Past work by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) reveals that mail is a critical piece of an omnichannel strategy, which gives consumers a seamless and meaningful experience across a variety of media channels and provides marketers with a rich source of useful information. Now, more than ever, advertising campaigns must compete for recipients’ attention, as people are exposed to hundreds, if not thousands of advertisements on a daily basis. To give consumers of all ages advertising messages that are relevant, interesting, and dynamic, mailers can incorporate a number of innovations into their mailpieces. These innovations can allow the marketing message to stand out, either by providing additional content in an easily accessible digital space, incorporating handy electronics into the mailpiece, or using unique materials and design to capture the reader’s attention.

This paper provides an overview of ten mail innovations that range from commonly used and well-known tools to some that are still emerging, and even one that is still in the research and development phase. The OIG interviewed companies that create and support these innovations to learn more about them and what they can do to strengthen a mail campaign. These innovations can be more effective engaging customers and garnering a positive response, either in terms of recipient feedback or sales metrics.

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