Kent Swig launches his own cryptocurrency

first_imgTerra Holdings’ Kent Swig (Swig Equities, iStock)Real estate investor and Terra Holdings owner Kent Swig has secured $6 billion in gold reserves to back his new cryptocurrency.DIGau, his digital token, will be pegged to the market price of the gold, Bloomberg News reported. The gold is guaranteed by liens that Swig and partner Stephen Braverman secured against mining claims in Nevada and Arizona through their company, Dignity Gold.Read moreBig on Bitcoin: Caruso now largest real estate firm to accept rent in cryptocurrencySocialite relists UES co-op for $45M The Covid churn: Inside resi brokerages’ recruiting games “Gold was one of the original rock-solid backings of all currencies,” Swig told the publication. “We’re not reinventing the wheel here. What we’re doing is applying the world’s stable backing of a lot of things to a very advanced technology.”ADVERTISEMENTWhile cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have seen massive swings, pegging the new coin to a physical asset could stabilize it.Swig’s new coin isn’t the first attempt to combine gold and crypto; other attempts haven’t had much success, according to Bloomberg. But an interest in both has increased in recent years, as investors seek to protect themselves against inflation.Billionaire Rick Caruso’s real estate firm recently became the largest real estate firm to accept rent in cryptocurrency.[Bloomberg] — Sasha JonesContact Sasha Jones Email Address* Tags Full Name* Message* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink CryptocurrencyKent Swiglast_img read more

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Change in the air at HSPH

first_imgThis is one of a series of occasional stories on the measures that Schools at Harvard are taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.While testing a new air-monitoring system in a laboratory at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Daniel O. Beaudoin intentionally spilled a small amount of acetone on the floor. The system detected the substance, increased airflow to the space, and cleared the air in just 36 minutes. The acetone melted the wax right off the floor tiles, a small price to pay for improved safety — and sustainability.In 2008, Harvard President Drew Faust announced the University’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent from 2006 levels by 2016 (including growth). To date, HSPH has cut its emissions by 19 percent, and the School’s investments in energy efficiency have resulted in savings of more than $1.3 million per year since 2006.Systems installed in laboratories have contributed significantly to the School’s energy savings. (Many are from Aircuity, a Newton, Mass., sustainable design company.) Labs require a constant supply of fresh air that must be cleaned, heated or cooled, and humidified. After this intensive process, none of the treated air can be recirculated.Each Aircuity system at HSPH reduces energy consumption by adjusting the number of air changes per hour in a lab based on actual conditions in the space.“The Aircuity system pulls columns of air from a lab through a vacuum pump to a centralized station with a series of sensors,” said Beaudoin, manager of operations, energy, and utilities at HSPH. “The sensors in the central station monitor temperature, humidity, small particulate matter, large particulate matter, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and total volatile organic compounds. Based on real-time readings, the system will adjust the ventilation rates in the lab.”When no research is being conducted, it is unnecessary to run air changes at a high rate, so the system decreases airflow. Conversely, when sensors detect a chemical spill, the system ramps up to the maximum number of air changes per hour to flush out the space. With the exception of biosafety level 3 labs (where researchers deal with lethal bacteria and viruses), all labs in the François-Xavier Bagnoud Building have been outfitted with Aircuity systems over the past two years.Other HSPH buildings benefit as well.LED lighting and motion sensors installed throughout HSPH have also resulted in significant electricity savings. In the Kresge Building, high-efficiency LED lights replaced incandescent and fluorescent fixtures in all the offices renovated last summer. On the ninth floor of the building alone, the total number of watts expended per square foot was cut by more than 50 percent.A 43,000-square-foot former schoolhouse at 90 Smith St., renovated to house HSPH administrative offices, is 100 percent LED-lit. Completed in February, the building was designed in compliance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) commercial interior guidelines. HSPH also has worked with local utilities to maximize energy efficiency, and learned from the New Buildings Institute’s “core performance guide.” Based on energy modeling, an “advanced building” may perform as much as 45 percent better than code.Beaudoin and other operations personnel often collaborate with student and staff groups on campus. The Environmental Health and Sustainability Club at HSPH, started in 2007, has hosted park cleanups, designed water bottles for first-year students, and organized volunteer events with the Food Project, a Massachusetts urban farming program.“Right now we’re working to create a speaker series about the effect of climate change on health,” said HSPH doctoral student Peter James, one of the club’s founding members and its current president. “For example, changing temperature distributions may lead to increased infectious disease transmission. It’s an emerging area of research.”An HSPH sustainability group, eco-opportunity, holds monthly meetings to discuss sustainability initiatives.“It’s one of the premier models for Green Teams campuswide, as far as having representation from each department in the School and implementing things as a team,” said Longwood sustainability manager Claire Berezowitz, who heads eco-opportunity along with Tiffany Colt, assistant facilities manager at HSPH. “The composting program that started a couple years ago was largely the result of work done by eco-opportunity.”Sebastian’s Café, the HSPH cafeteria, has full composting and recycling and no longer sells bottled water. Led by general manager Laurie Torf, the café was the first Harvard food service facility to earn a Green Restaurant Certification from the Green Restaurant Association of America.This month, eco-opportunity is holding its third “Take the Stairs” competition to encourage walking instead of using the elevator. An online tracking system helps participants follow their progress. In the 2010 competition, students, faculty, and staff collectively climbed 44,396 flights of stairs.“We did Mount Kilimanjaro the first year and Mount McKinley last year,” said Berezowitz. “It’s really gotten the word out about eco-opportunity, and it’s something to engage everyone at the School in sustainability.”last_img read more

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Holt: UW softball needs to lose to improve

first_imgWell, I guess it’s that time again. The Badger Herald sports department is pleased to bring you its obligatory “bash the UW softball team column,” courtesy of yours truly.Two years ago, the Badgers limped to a program-record for losses, with a 15-40 mark. That stunning .231 winning percentage is actually a bit better than UW softball’s inaugural season, where it played .223 ball with a 14-39-1 record.It didn’t seem like Wisconsin could do any worse than that. Winning less than 25 percent of your games is no small feat when you’re a Big Ten school.Surely they couldn’t do any worse, right?Apparently someone shared that sentiment with head coach Chandelle Schulte and the Badgers, who responded with a resounding, “challenge accepted!”My tenure as softball beat writer covered the 2009 season, which astoundingly matched that 15-40 record. I saw every kind of loss: Blowouts at the hands of Northern Iowa; bad-luck wind that pushed every Notre Dame ball out of the park and kept every Wisconsin ball in the air long enough for an outfielder to get under it; UW lost on a play at the plate against Illinois and was screwed over by a bad call in extra innings against Ohio State.The Badgers seemed to find every possible way to lose. It was almost poetic in a way, like variations on the story of Romeo and Juliet: You know they die in the end, it’s just a matter of how.But this year was supposed to be different. UW had big recruits coming in, game-changers. The kind of players you can build around, that would make an immediate impact. The future is bright and all that junk.Nevermind, I guess.It’s not that the players are terrible. A look at the stat sheet seems to indicate improvement. Freshman Molly Spence is hitting .379/.448/.650 with six home runs and 23 RBIs to lead the team. Classmate Shannel Blackshear has four homers and 21 RBIs, while fellow freshman Whitney Massey has a respectable .290/.393/.460 line and two home runs.The Badgers had 12 total home runs last season.Wisconsin is hitting .261 as a team, good for seventh in the Big Ten. Last year’s squad hit a miniscule .214, had just a .282 on-base percentage and actually slugged less than that, at a .275 mark. The Badgers have already scored 141 runs, compared to 114 last season.So why then, at 11-25, is Wisconsin almost no better off than it was at this point last season? Pitching might be the problem.Wisconsin is dead last in the conference in ERA, with a 4.77 team mark. Letty Olivarez’ 3.55 ERA would be decent — if this were baseball. In softball, true aces tend to have ERAs lower than 2.25, with Michigan sending out two of the best in the nation, with Jordan Taylor and Nikki Nemitz owning 1.27 and 1.66 marks, respectively.To put it into perspective, seven Big Ten teams have lower ERAs than UW’s senior pitcher. Fourteen other Big Ten pitchers that regularly start games have lower ERAs than Olivarez, who has given up 80 earned runs along with 80 walks.And Olivarez is the bright spot on the UW pitching staff, which doesn’t bode well for the future. Junior Kristyn Hansen and freshman Meghan McIntosh have ERAs of 7.99 and 7.56 in 16 and 20 appearances respectively.The two are third and second-to-last in the conference in earned run average.But despite better hitting and comparable fielding to last season, Wisconsin is primed for disappointment for the third year in a row. The question is, will it be the same kind of disappointment, namely, 40-loss disappointment?I can only hope so.But the Badgers — who need to go 2-15 the rest of the season to match that now-hallowed mark of futility — sadly, might not make it there. Outside of Big Ten play, UW gets Northern Illinois (18-24), South Dakota (12-25-1) and North Dakota (12-28).Chances are UW at least splits those three series, despite my fervent hopes to the contrary.Now why, why would I root against the Badgers, who have a chance to glean something positive as a team out of this season? I don’t hold any grudges against Schulte or her players, so why would I pray for the trifecta of 40-loss seasons?Sometimes you have to burn down the forest before it can re-grow.I don’t know what it will take to turn this program around. Maybe Wisconsin needs a new coach, maybe it needs new players, maybe it just needs to stop trying. But even if UW finishes the season on its current pace, it will still have just a 16-37 record.That’s improvement, but remember, five games were rained out. This club still looks years from even approaching a .500 season.If the program truly wants to turn itself around there are going to have to be big changes and lots of them. But if Schulte and the Badgers display these miniscule improvements, the illusion of progress might be made, and years from now we’ll look back and realize the program just treaded murky, mediocre water.So root, root, root for the home team — if they don’t lose, it’s a shame. Because maybe it’s one, two, three strikes and you’re out — and the club can get a truly fresh start.Adam is a junior majoring in journalism. What’s really wrong with the softball team, and what will it take to fix it? E-mail him at [email protected]last_img read more

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