Odds & Ends: Jason Alexander’s a Lucky Stiff

first_imgHere’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Nikki M. James View Comments Star Files Tony Nominee Nick Cordero and Zach Braff’s Bromance Blossoms Tony nominee Nick Cordero and Zach Braff’s bromance continues to blossom. Cordero stopped by CBS’ The Couch to talk behind the scenes at Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway…and his “prince” of a co-star, naturally. Check out the interview below. Forbidden Broadway to Last Forever The Great White Way will be haunted by these jokes for the rest of time. The cast of Gerard Alessandrini’s Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging! records the original cast CD for DRG Records May 15—the release date will be announced soon. Lucky Stiff, Starring Jason Alexander and Nikki M. James, Scheduled for 2015 Release The previously reported film adaptation of Lucky Stiff, starring Tony winners Jason Alexander, Nikki M. James and more, is one step closer to a movie theater near you. According to Variety, Arclight Films has just launched sales of the film in Cannes and it is scheduled for a 2015 release. The musical comedy is adapted from Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s 1988 stage show.last_img read more

‘Stay away’ – German fans warned ahead of Bundesliga restart

first_imgHowever, Seifert says while they are taking every reasonable step to discourage fans from meeting up, “the DFL’s responsibility ends at a certain point”.The centrepiece of Saturday’s return to action is Borussia Dortmund at home to Schalke in the Ruhr derby, a match which would usually draw a crowd of 82,000 to Signal Iduna Park.Instead, it will be the first time this fixture is played behind closed doors since it began in 1925.Germany’s huge stadiums – for example Bayern Munich’s enormous Allianz Arena holds 75,000 – will remain empty for the forseeable future.There are fears in the German football scene that the ‘Ultras’ — hardcore fans who often lead the chanting at matches — will lose their hard-earned influence at their clubs.Some groups of these hardcore supporters are opposed to games being played in empty stadiums, because they feel the initiative is driven by financial reasons.The clubs are eager to finish the league season before June 30 in order to collect around 300 million euros ($324 million) due from TV contracts.Helen Breit from the nationwide football supporters group “Unsere Kurve” (Our Curve) said she refused to watch a single match without fans on television.“For me, football is in the stadiums,” she told Munich-based paper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.“I’ve been going to almost every Freiburg match for more than ten years and watching football on TV is not an option for me.”– Football is ‘sick’ –Another group feels the resumption of football during a pandemic, which has claimed 7,500 lives in Germany, shows how “sick” professional football has become.“A continuation of the season would be sheer mockery of the rest of society,”  Ultras groups across Germany said in a joint statement last month.“Professional football is sick enough and should remain in quarantine.”But for the vast majority of fans, the decision to play the nine remaining round of matches behind closed doors makes the best of a bad situation.Even if the fans cannot be in the stands in person, Moenchengladbach have found a novel way of allowing them to be seen by the players — for 19 euros ($21), Gladbach fans can buy a cardboard cut-out of themselves which will be placed on the terraces of Borussia Stadium.Share on: WhatsApp It could be a long time before supporters like these Bayern Munich fans can gather in stadiums againBerlin, Germany | AFP |  The Bundesliga returns on Saturday in empty stadiums, but German fans are being warned to stay away and authorities have warned matches could be halted if too many supporters gather outside the grounds.German football will be blazing a trail among Europe’s top leagues by resuming two months after it was halted by the spread of coronavirus, but its strategy is fraught with risks.In a football-mad country which boasts the highest average attendances in the world, will supporters banished from stadiums be able to stay away?In Saxony, where third-placed RB Leipzig will host mid-table Freiburg on Saturday afternoon, the state’s Interior Minister Roland Woeller has issued a clear threat.“Fans must not use matches behind closed doors as an excuse to gather in front of the stadiums or elsewhere,” he said.“This could lead to matches being stopped.”His concerns are justified.Several hundred fans gathered in Moenchengladbach when the hosts beat 2-1 Cologne on March 11 — the only previous German league game played behind locked doors, just days before the shutdown.Eintracht Frankfurt have appealed to their supporters before they resume their season against ‘Gladbach on Saturday.“We’ve talked a lot with our fans and said: ‘listen guys, don’t show up at the stadium’,” Frankfurt’s sports director Fredi Bobic told ESPN.Under German league rules put in place to resume the season, the home side is responsible for ensuring fans do not try to approach the stadium to support their team from a distance.After weeks of meticulous planning and mass testing of players and backroom staff, it would be a nightmare for the Bundesliga if the fans were to derail the fragile recovery attempt.Christian Seifert, CEO of the Bundesliga, does not expect fans to play into the hands of critics who fear they will mass outside grounds despite large public events being banned in Germany.Seifert accused the critics predicting that football fans would fail to respect the pleas for restraint of making “sweeping statements”.“I don’t believe that the fan scene and the fan organisations will do their critics… the favour of behaving in exactly the way” that those doomsayers fear, he said.The Bundesliga boss said all the talks he had held on the issue “do not give any indication” that supporters will gather.Broadcaster Sky has agreed to show some of Saturday’s matches on a free-to-air channel, allaying fears that fans will gather in bars or public places which have a subscription for the pay-per-view service.– Historic first –last_img read more

Talent search – Francis looking to develop promising players for Fast5 netball team

first_img “I was asked in January to be part of one of the squads, but because I don’t want to limit my ability I took the contract for six months. But where fast5 is concerned I think we stand a good chance, it’s how you apply yourself on the day,” she explained. “Although we have had success in the longer version, I believe we have better success in Fast5 because we came second and third was our worst, so I found this is my calling in Jamaica and I am going to give it my best shot,” she said. “I never thought that I would be back in the national program, but I am back and I am elated. Coaching is my passion, where I go and coach I try to do it to the best of my ability. Now I am more experienced, when you talk about understanding the role of management and people who hire you to do a job. I can accept changes, I can make adjustments to who is in charge,” she said. Netball Jamaica president, Paula Daley-Morris, said her return to the fold should have a positive impact. “We want to have a separate coach for the Fast5 because it is such a different game, we needed someone with experience and a good track record and she (Francis) came to mind and we approached her and she accepted,” said Daley-Morris. “She has a lot of plans for the squad and the passion she brings is infectious. We are happy to have her back. She has had success like any of our other coaches, she is the one who got the silver in FASTnet, so she has the level and we are hoping she repeats it.” Continuing, she said: “We are making sure the best minds are around the game and we are providing them with opportunities not just for their natural talent, but for the good of the country.” National netball icon, Connie Francis, who was reappointed to the national netball program recently, said the experience she gained while outside of the Jamaica set-up will serve her well in a new role as head coach of the country’s Fast5 team. Francis, who coached the Sunshine Girls from 2006 to 2011, did a stint in St Lucia from 2012 to 2015, helping the eastern Caribbean to country to qualify for the Commonwealth Games for the first time in their history. She added that her involvement and assistance with the grassroots program there helped her realise she had a knack for developing talent. “It (job) will be a challenge because some players I would like (to have) in the squad may not be possible. So it’s about going around the island seeking talent. When I worked overseas I had to develop new talent and I realised that I have some ability to work on new talent and let them enjoy the game, so it’s about growth and having experience. “I want to see what these new girls bring, but I want to let them know that playing for the Sunshine Girls is a big task and whoever is chosen will have to give their best, so I am looking forward to really coaching them,” she told The Gleaner. Netball Jamaica gave Francis the option to choose the version of the game she wanted to assist with and based on her past experience she believes they have a greater chance of success in Fast5. GOOD CHANCElast_img read more

‘Poisoned’ rhino horns to beat poachers

first_img9 April 2013The latest attempt to counter the thriving crime of rhino poaching in South Africa comes in the form of a poisonous substance with which a game reserve is now treating its rhinos’ horns.Consumers of the “poisoned” rhino horn, generally found in Asia, risk becoming seriously ill from ingestion as it is contaminated with a non-lethal chemical package.Private game reserve Sabi Sand Wildtuin, at the southern end of the Kruger Park, is tired of watching an entire species vanish before its eyes.The reserve has resorted to taking matters into its own hands by injecting ectoparasiticides into the horns of 100 of its rhinos.Ectoparasiticides are not intended for consumption by humans; they are generally used for the control of ticks and parasites in animals. An ectoparasiticide is an antiparasitic drug used in the treatment of ectoparasitic infestations. It kills the parasites that live on the body surface.Toxic side-effectsAlthough not lethal in small quantities, they are toxic and symptoms of accidental ingestion may include severe nausea, vomiting and convulsions, among other side effects.Because of these side-effects, the treated rhino and their horns must be visibly identifiable, to avoid ingestion of treated horns by humans.Andrew Parker, the chief executive of Sabi Sand Wildtuin Association, says the reserve is leading this programme because it is located at the epicentre of the problem, at the southern end of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, where up to 70% of rhino killings occur.In addition to making whoever consumes the rhino horn very ill, the ectoparasiticides are accompanied by a pink dye that can be detected by airport scanners.“We realised that the treatment of the horns, along with an indelible dye, would go a long way towards helping us achieve our goal of protecting all rhinos in South Africa from poaching,” says Lorinda Hern of the Rhino Rescue Project.The dye is visible on an X-ray scanner even when ground to a fine powder. Airport security checkpoints are almost certain to pick up the presence of this dye in a treated horn regardless of whether the horn is intact or in powder form.“Testing is ongoing and comprehensive, to ensure that the animals have in no way been harmed by the administration of the treatment and, based on the research, it is believed that the treatment should remain effective for approximately three to four years, after which re-administration would be required,” says Hern.Diminishing the lucrative tradeThere is no doubt a solution to rhino poaching needs to be found. The number of rhinos lost to poaching in South Africa exceeded 300 in 2010 and over 400 in 2011.This week, the government said 203 rhinos had been killed by poachers so far this year, including 145 in Kruger Park.Rhino horn on the black market is worth an estimated R600 000 (US$66 000) a kilo for mature horns, which average four to 4.5kgs in weight when they are sawn or hacked off close to the animal’s skull.The poachers themselves receive a fraction of the R2.4-million to R2.7-million ($264 000 to $300 000) value of each horn from the syndicates that plan the raids and export the material.Logically, a permanent solution to poaching is to eliminate the demand for rhino horn altogether. Education will go a long way to teaching consumers that rhino horn contains no nutritional or medicinal value, however, education will not produce an immediate result – and results are needed urgently.The Sabi Sand game reserve hopes that these two tactics, implemented for the first time in South Africa, will put a dent in the lucrative rhino horn trade.“The media in South Africa and globally maintain a close watch on the shrinking herds of our rhino,” Parker says. “The same platform can expose exactly what the poachers are up against from now on.“They have had an easy ride so far, running a vast and brutal, hugely profitable trade under the noses of government authorities between here and Asia. Now we are forcing them to answer to their consumers about what they are passing off as medicine,” he adds.Sabi Sand has launched a widespread media campaign and posted signs on its fences to make poachers aware that its rhinos’ horns have been poisoned.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Ind vs NZ- 2nd Test: Sehwag misses ton but India in command in 2nd Test

first_imgVirender Sehwag narrowly missed out on a century but laid the foundation of a strong Indian reply after the host bowlers bundled out New Zealand for 350 on day two of the second cricket Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Saturday.At stumps, the hosts were comfortably placed at 178 for the loss of two wickets with Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid batting on 11 and seven, respectively.SCORECARDSehwag smashed a typically aggressive 96 that came off 120 deliveries and included 15 fours and a six, while Gautam Gambhir, too, brought to an end his poor run of scores with a much-needed fifty.Both the openers, however, got out in quick succession.Sehwag was bowled while trying to hoick Daniel Vettori over midwicket while Gambhir (54) was caught down the leg side by Gareth Hopkins off a Tim Southee delivery.The flamboyant Sehwag drove, pulled and employed the cut with real authority during his stay at the wicket, while Gambhir relied on the occasional nudges, flicks and drives to collect his runs during their crucial 160-run partnership that gave India the platform to dominate proceedings on Sunday.In the last session, the two openers looked at ease as they collected 98 runs before getting out. Sehwag leaned on his backfoot and smashed a Brent Arnel delivery through backward point to begin the proceedings after tea.In the same over, he flicked one that was going down the leg, through deep square leg region for a boundary. As he was approaching his fifty, Sehwag upped the ante whacking Vettori over midwicket for a boundary and then took a single to get to his half-century.advertisementSuch was Sehwag’s dominance during the final session that Vettori, after being at the receiving end of his onslaught, took himself out of the attack.Replacement Kane Williamson, too, met with a similar fate. The belligerent opener smashed the part-timer for 14 runs, which included two fours and a lofted shot straight down the ground for maximum, moments after completing his half-century.The story went on similar line for Tim Southee as Sehwag hit the pacer for a flurry of boundaries in the following overs.Gambhir was not too far behind as the left-hander, searching for ways to come out of the bad patch that has plagued his career of late, rocked back to cut a Vettori delivery for a four through point.Sehwag didn’t quite start aggressively, and was two off 23 at one point, but once he got his eye in, there was no looking back.Tim Southee strayed one down the leg and Sehwag whipped it off his pads and then drove the bowler through the cover region for a boundary.The Delhi dasher, in the next over, steered one down the third-man region for a boundary, and then flicked another Martin delivery through the midwicket region.Gambhir, meanwhile, after getting a life at the start of the innings, got into the act and collected some useful runs through drives and pulls. There was a chance for New Zealand when Gambhir nicked Tim Southee but the edge flew over Ross Taylor at first slip.Earlier Harbhajan Singh, after going wicket-less on the opening day, accounted for four New Zealand batsmen, while Zaheer Khan added two more to his two wickets on the first day, to give the Indian batsmen enough time to notch up a competitive total.Struggling with the ball in recent times, Harbhajan gave the hosts an important breakthrough when he had Jesse Ryder, who threatened to take the game away from India with a valiant knock of 70, caught at first slip by VVS Laxman.The off-spinner then accounted for skipper Vettori, Southee and last man Martin, after Zaheer removed Hopkins and Williamson.On a high after scoring a century in the first Test in Ahmedabad, Ryder continued his good run with the bat as New Zealand, resuming at an overnight 258 for four, went to lunch at 341 for the loss of five more wickets.The left-hander struck 10 boundaries during his knock that came off 120 deliveries, and got to his fifty with a cut over backward point off S Sreesanth.Ryder’s knock was important from New Zealand’s point of view, especially after Zaheer threatened to run through the Kiwi line-up with an incisive spell of swing bowling early in the morning, and Harbhajan’s dismissal of Vettori sometime before lunch.Zaheer gave India the start they needed when the left-arm seamer, bowling from round the stumps, had Hopkins trapped in front in the day’s third over.The round-the angle line again did the trick for Zaheer as the seamer trapped Williamson before the batsman could get his bat around to give the bowler his fourth wicket.advertisementHarbhajan then got into the act, first removing Vettori, and then accounting for the crucial wicket of Ryder who was looking good for a century.The burly New Zealander started the visitors’ recovery after Tim McIntosh, in the company of Martin Guptill, laid the foundation with a sedate century on Saturday.With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

Why did people donate $700,000 online to a bullied bus monitor?

first_imgThis is the question recently posed* by Slate’s Seth Stevenson in reference to the case of Karen Klein, the bullied bus monitor in upstate New York. Students called her horrible names and brought her to tears. When video of her torment was posted online, a groundswell of appalled people donated more than $700,000 to a spontaneous campaign on IndieGoGo. (Klein accepted the money, retired and put $100,000 of the sum toward an anti-bullying cause she created.)As Stevenson notes, campaigns to help suffering individuals crop up online everyday – including for people in life and death situations – but they rarely spark the scale of reaction to Karen Klein. What was it about this particular situation that prompted a response from 32,000 donors?Stevenson asked Stephen Reicher, a psychology professor at Scotland’s University of St Andrews, and Reicher cited the following factors – which should be familiar to those of us who enjoy reading about behavioral economics!1. A tangible cause: As Reicher told Stevenson, “To say lots of people are suffering is an abstract concept. To see this one woman suffering, and be able to help her, is more concrete.” This is the identifiable victim or singularity effect I’ve often cited on this blog.2. Archetypal elements: Reicher talked about how the video causes us to flash back to our own childhoods on the school bus, which is powerful. It also inverts roles – the children are bullying the adult, which seemed to evoke strong emotions. This reminds me of the Story Wars idea — that basic universal themes unite audiences around causes.3. Online dynamics: The network effects of the Internet encourage piling on – and can guide our actions. We see this in fundraising all the time – collective action begets more collective action. We join the crowd.Bottom line? What we know works, worked in a big way because of Karen Klein’s story. Remember that, above all, is always the root of every movement. There is someone who stood for something – or meant something to us – and everything grows from that.*Hat tip to Clam Lorenz for sending me this article!last_img read more

Fundraisers, not just donors, are sick of endless appeals

first_imgPhoto via Green America.The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a fascinating interview with fundraising guru Penelope Burk, author of the upcoming Donor-Centered Leadership.Turns out it’s not just donors who grow weary of too many direct mail appeals and telemarketing calls. It’s apparently a frequent reason fundraisers quit their jobs — the relentless pressure to bombard donors. They’d prefer to take the time to figure out which solicitations work, but they often aren’t given the time or latitude to have a more thoughtful approach.Over-solicitation, says Burk, is the most common reasons donors give for stopping their support of a charity. Instead donors want to know what’s been done with their money. Then they’d be willing to give again. But too often, they get appeals instead of thanks and reports on impact.No wonder we have 60% churn in our sector.So what do we do instead? Here’s Burk’s advice.1. Thank donors after they give.2. Send them a follow up thanks with detailed information about how their money was used.3. Only ask for money AFTER you do these two things, and when you do, be as specific as you can about why you are asking for money. What specific cause will benefit?Great advice.Do you agree? Do you feel this way?last_img read more

Trouble connecting? Plug into identity.

first_imgIn just 68 words, Seth Godin recently summed up a fundamental truth of human behavior that all nonprofit fundraisers should take to heart. (Read it here: “People like us do stuff like this.”) Rather than focusing on need or showing a donor what their gift can accomplish, those looking to move proverbial mountains should spend more time understanding and appealing to shared identity. When individuals perceive themselves as part of a community (or “tribe”, as Seth would say), they’re more likely to act in a way that supports conformity and loyalty to this group. If you can show or suggest that a group would act in a certain way as part of their shared identity, the individuals who identify with this group are much more likely to act in the same way. This means that if you’re a graduate of Virginia Tech, you’re more likely to give to a cause if other Hokies are also supporting the cause. If you’re a Mets fan, you’ll sign up for the blood drive in Queens — because that’s what Mets fans do. If you live in the Lone Star State, you won’t mess with Texas.There are many types of shared identity, such as those created through:Location — a neighborhood, a nationalityCommon experiences — graduating classes, survivorsShared passions — birdwatchers, mountain bikersBy plugging into these social norms of community pride and self-identity, fundraisers and changemakers can inspire people to change behaviors, take action, and give.How are you appealing to your audience’s identity and sense of community to rally support for your cause?last_img read more

How to market from the inside out

first_imgSurvey those who support your cause.Do they consume the information you provide? Are they subscribing to your newsletter or reading your nonprofit’s blog? Are they engaged with your social media updates? Why or why not?Understand your core supporters.Each audience is different. Once you can identify your cause’s most ardent supporters, you can work on passing them the microphone once in a while. Learn how they got involved with your cause in the first place. Do they have a personal connection? What is that connection? Do a little digging to find out.Pinpoint which stories are most compelling to your current audience.Note any trends or parallels in your current collection of messages. Do one-off appeals work best? Uplifting stories? Harrowing tales?After completing the steps above, take a look at all of your fundraising and marketing messages.Turn the most effective pieces into outward-facing communications aimed at gaining new supporters. Voila! You have vetted material that you know is helpful and worthwhile to those who care.For more social good and cause marketing news, follow Allison on Twitter. 1) Marketing from within can inform your donor retention strategy. 2) This type of marketing will give your audience the tools to communicate your message. 3) Ultimately, this will further your mission by helping you raise more money online. In my recent interview with Jay Baer on his book Youtility, we explored how companies and nonprofits can use social concepts to make their marketing focused more on helping people, and less about hyping a product or cause. Here’s an excerpt from that conversation:AM: One of my favorite parts of the book is when you describe the relationship between the youtility concept and social media. “If [your brand is] interesting and useful and helpful, your supporters and prospects will do more of your marketing for you, helping your organization work less arduously and expensively on interruption marketing in its various guises.” What are some baby steps to help those well versed in push marketing move to more of a listening role? JB: Thank you. Indeed, content (youtility) is fire, and social media is gasoline. The best first step in that process is to make sure that your employees/volunteers/donors fully understand and appreciate your useful content. Almost every organization has their target audiences for content upside down. You should be marketing from the inside out. If your existing volunteers don’t know about and love your useful content, why should brand new people? Why this is relevant for nonprofits:center_img How to do “inside out” marketing:last_img read more

10 ways to thank your donors

first_imgImage credit: flickr member nateOneAfter the busy nonprofit year-end giving season comes the often overlooked nonprofit thank you season. Remember to give thanks for donations early and often. Showing constant, authentic appreciation for your donors (new and old) is crucial for retaining supporters.Need to breathe some new life into your donor gratitude plan? Here are ten thank you ideas to inspire you in the new year.1. Always send a thank you (and tax deductible information) within 48 hours of receiving a donation. Many online giving tools such as DonateNow automatically generate a donor receipt, but be sure to tailor or add a thank you message to the receipt. Then, follow up with a more personalized2. Send a birthday card to donors and remind them that they are important to the work your organization accomplishes.3. Have your board members personally call donors to say thanks. I recently did this as a board member for my alma mater’s alumni association. Out of the 25 people I called, only one person had received a thank you phone call from an organization before.4. Ask those who directly benefit from donations to write a handwritten note of thanks. Animal organizations could try letting their clients express their thanks to donors with a special piece of artwork.5. Create a YouTube video to thank donors when you reach a campaign goal. A great example of this are charity: water’s 5th birthday thank you videos.6. Have some exciting news to share? Send a special announcement to donors with images and a big bold note to thank them for making the accomplishment possible.7. Invite donors to a thank you reception. You’ll not only show your appreciation, but you’ll get face time with your donors and have the opportunity to learn more about why they support your organization.8. Many organizations send thank you cards and year-end appeals during the November/December holiday season. Don’t overlook other holidays as occasions to express your love and thanks.9. Dedicate social media shout outs to thank and recognize donors.10. Send donors a top ten list of accomplishments for the year to demonstrate how donations make an impact (and then make it clear that without their support, you wouldn’t have a top ten list).Donors are your organization’s superheroes. Saying thanks and reminding them of their VIP status should be at the top of your to do list in 2014. What are your favorite ways to thank donors? Share your ideas in the comments.last_img read more