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Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States: 2015

July 15, 2015 Comments off

Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States: 2015
Source: National Association of Music Merchants Foundation

Music has been found in every society since the dawn of recorded human history. What is it about this art form that has so permeated hearts and minds through the ages? Modern research has been instrumental in shedding light on this important question and is leading us to a deeper understanding of the power of music to improve the human condition and positively impact our lives and communities.

Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States: 2015, conducted by Grunwald Associates LLC. In this study, we invited communites nationwide to provide us with information about their music education programs. Owing to many political and economic factors, it is a common narrative that acccess to music education in not universal and is often under threat for reduction or elimination. Against this backdrop, this study measures the beliefs and attitudes about music education through the eyes of the two most important and knowledgeable stakeholder groups: teachers and parents.

National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association Announce Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Patents Rankings

June 26, 2015 Comments off

National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association Announce Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Patents Rankings
Source: National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) have announced the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2014. The report, published annually since 2013, utilizes data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to highlight the important role patents play in university research and innovation.

The NAI and IPO compile the rankings each year by calculating the number of utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which list a university as the first assignee on the printed patent. The full report of the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted Patents in 2014 can be found at www.Academyofinventors.com/pdf/NAI-IPO-Top-100-Universities-2014.pdf

The top 15 universities worldwide ranked include: The University of California System, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tsinghua University (China), Stanford University, University of Texas, California Institute of Technology, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, University of Michigan, National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan), Korea Institute of Science Technology, University of South Florida, University of Pennsylvania, and the Institute of Microelectronics of Chinese Academy of Science.

The Rise of Alternative Capital

May 24, 2015 Comments off

The Rise of Alternative Capital
Source: Insurance Information Institute

A new Insurance Information Institute white paper examines the impact of alternative capital on reinsurance, says I.I.I. chief actuary and paper co-author Jim Lynch.

What sounds like a dry topic actually may in the long run significantly affect the entire insurance industry, right down to the humble buyer of a homeowners policy.

It’s a dry phrase, so let’s parse the phrase alternative capital on reinsurance by starting at its back end. Reinsurance is the insurance that insurance companies buy. Insurance companies accept risk with every policy. They work hard to ensure they don’t have too much risk in one area, like too many homes along Florida’s Atlantic coast.

When they do, they protect themselves by buying reinsurance. Instead of buying a policy that covers one risk, the insurance company enters into a treaty that can cover thousands in case of a catastrophe like a hurricane.

Hospitals — Economic Contribution Often Overlooked (2015 Update)

May 19, 2015 Comments off

Economic Contribution Often Overlooked (2015 Update) (PDF)
Source: American Hospital Association

In 2013, America’s hospitals treated 134 million people in their emergency departments, provided care for 544 million other outpatients, performed almost 27 million surgeries, and delivered nearly 4 million babies. Every year, hospitals provide vital health care services like these to millions of people in thousands of communities. However, the importance of hospitals to their communities extends far beyond health care.

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry publishes Digital Music Report 2015

April 27, 2015 Comments off

IFPI publishes Digital Music Report 2015
Source: International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

Revenues from digital music services match those from physical format sales for the first time, according to IFPI’s Digital Music Report, published today.

Digital revenues rose 6.9 per cent to US$6.9 billion, representing 46 per cent of all global music sales and underlining the deep transformation of the global music industry over recent years. The industry’s overall global revenues in 2014 were largely unchanged, falling just 0.4 per cent to US$14.97 billion (US$15.03 billion).

The new report shows an industry in continuing transition, with consumers embracing the music access models of streaming and subscription. Another steep increase in subscription revenues (+39.0%) offset declining download sales (-8.0%) to drive overall digital revenues, while the number of paying users of subscription services rose 46.4 per cent to an estimated 41 million.

Subscription services are now at the heart of the music industry’s portfolio of businesses, representing 23 per cent of the digital market and generating US$1.6 billion in trade revenues.

Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2015 — Fifth Annual Update on the Retirement Preparedness of the Boomer Generation

April 22, 2015 Comments off

Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2015 — Fifth Annual Update on the Retirement Preparedness of the Boomer Generation (PDF)
Source: Insured Retirement Institute

Each year the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) conducts a survey to measure the retirement preparedness of the Boomer generation. This report, the fifth in the series, summarizes the results of the 2015 survey and analyzes key changes over the past five years.

As Baby Boomers age, and as more members of the cohort are either in or very near retirement, the survey responses are changing. For an increasing number of Boomers, especially those that have not taken steps to plan effectively, retirement reality is not aligning with retirement expectations.

Overall satisfaction fell considerably in this year’s study, following a significant decline last year. However, respondents who have taken steps to prepare for retirement, such as working with financial advisors, calculating retirement goals, purchasing retirement income products such as annuities, and developing retirement plans report much higher levels of overall economic satisfaction and retirement preparedness. As we’ll see in the detailed study results, Boomers who have prepared, and have realistic expectations, for retirement are much more likely to report overall satisfaction, confidence in their retirement readiness, and progress toward a secure retirement.

Terrorism Risk Insurance Program: Renewed and Restructured

April 6, 2015 Comments off

Terrorism Risk Insurance Program: Renewed and Restructured
Source: Insurance Information Institute
From blog post:

The April 2013 Boston bombing may have marked the first successful terrorist attack on U.S. soil since the September 11, 2001 tragedy, but terrorism on a global scale is increasing.

Yesterday’s attack by the Al-Shabaab terror group at a university in Kenya and a recent attack by gunmen targeting foreign tourists at the Bardo museum in Tunisia point to the persistent nature of the terrorist threat.

Groups connected with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State committed close to 200 attacks per year between 2007 and 2010, a number that grew by more than 200 percent, to about 600 attacks in 2013, according to the Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland.

Latest threats to U.S. targets include calls by Al-Shabaab for attacks on shopping malls.

And a recent intelligence assessment circulated by the Department of Homeland Security focused on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists.

On January 12, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015.

A new I.I.I. white paper, Terrorism Risk Insurance Program: Renewed and Restructured, takes us through each of more than eight distinct layers of taxpayer protection provided under TRIA’s renewed structure.

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