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Parts of California have seen more than a foot of rain since Sunday, when the latest wave of moisture hit, thanks to an atmospheric river bringing storm after storm to the western United States. The disastrous weather spread from Northern California into the central and southern parts of the state. In sections of of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (west of Los Angeles), more than 16 inches of rain has fallen as of early this morning, prompting evacuations and flood alerts.

The storms are blamed for at least 14 deaths throughout the state. Floodwaters killed one person on Monday in San Luis Obispo County and a 5-year-old boy remains missing.

The National Weather Service (NWS) warned on Tuesday that heavy rain will continue to fall, causing more flash flooding, mudslides, and misery to the state. Forecasters expect Southern California to see at least seven more inches of rain over the next few days with “no significant let up” expected.

[Related: Strong storms and strange weather patterns sweep the US.]

As of early Tuesday morning, more than 11 million people in in western Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties are under a flood warning, while about 34 million people across California are under flood watches.

On Monday, evacuation orders were issued for parts of Santa Barbara County due to worries about mudslides in areas where wildfires have made the ground less stable. “LEAVE NOW! This is a rapidly evolving situation,” Santa Barbara County officials said. “Be prepared to sustain yourself and your household for multiple days if you choose not to evacuate.”

“We’re in the midst of a series of significant and powerful storms,” Sheriff Bill Brown of Santa Barbara County said in a briefing on Monday. “Currently, we’re experiencing a storm that is causing many problems and has the potential to cause major problems across our county, especially in the burn scar areas.”

On Tuesday, shelter-in-place orders are in place for some areas of Santa Barbara County and all public schools are closed.

[Related: It’s not in your head: The weather is weirder, and climate change is the reason why.]

According to the NWS, the state is seeing between 400 and 600 percent above average rainfall levels and comes after a recent drought. The deluge has filled water reservoirs, which “are now above their historical average levels.” However, the drought and devastating wildfires means that the land less able to soak up as much water, making California extremely vulnerable to flooding.

High winds are also a concern for both inland and coastal areas. More than 37 million people were under wind alerts on Monday in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Arizona, and Wyoming, with Oroville, California recording a 132 MPH wind gust.

This current round of severe weather is part of a relentless parade of atmospheric rivers slamming the West Coast. Atmospheric rivers are dense areas of moisture from over the ocean that is brought to land an airborne current. They have the power to carry over one billion pounds of moisture overhead and this current stretch due to a steady west-to-east jetflow that is pushing these overhead rivers into California.

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The Best Rain Jackets To Wear When It’s Hot Out

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When it’s warm outside but raining, you want a jacket to protect you from the elements, but not suffocate you. Sure, you could use an umbrella, but that ties up one of your hands, drips when you get to your destination, and takes up space on crowded sidewalks or subways.

To know how to start looking for the right jacket for the weather of the moment, it helps to first understand the basics of how a jacket keeps precipitation out without keeping perspiration in.

Layers

At the heart of this type of gear is a membrane. You’ve likely heard of the most famous brand of waterproof, breathable membranes: Gore-Tex. (Other companies have their own takes on the tech; Outdoor Research makes “AscentShell,” for example.) The idea behind the porous membrane is that it can let water vapor molecules out—that’s your sweat!—but not allow big fat water droplets through to your skin.

To protect that membrane from the rough world outside and the oily grime on your own skin, outdoor companies build jackets that have multiple layers. Typically, they’ll sandwich the membrane between an outer textile and an inner one that faces your body. The outer textile will also have what’s called a DWR, or durable water-repellent coating, on it, to make the raindrops bead up and roll off rather than sitting on the fabric and seeping through.

In general, a very lightweight jacket is less durable—but more comfortable in the summer—than a heavy-duty one, which would hold up better under a heavy backpack during a serious expedition. One simple indicator of how robust the jacket is to check its actual weight, which will be measured in ounces. For example, a lightweight jacket could weigh just around 6 ounces, whereas a gnarly, heavyweight item could be over a pound.

The right fit, and pit zips

It doesn’t matter how good your rain jacket is if it doesn’t fit your body. A baggy jacket can create pockets of muggy air, called “microclimates,” between you and the garment. And if the fabric is all bunched up, it won’t be able to let your sweat pass through it easily. A jacket with built-in stretch will let you buy a size that fits snugly but still give you a nice range of motion. Pick a jacket that will fit your body closely—with room for a thin insulating layer if you want to be able to wear it when it gets chillier out—without restricting your motion.

One other key detail to look for when shopping for a jacket is the pit zip: a zipper under each armpit that you can pull to create an opening to let your body breathe even better. When it’s chilly or the weather is truly nasty, you can close them back up.

Just two layers

An extreme example of a lightweight, breathable rain jacket is a line that Gore-Tex makes calls Shakedry. Instead of sandwiching the membrane between two layers, the outer layer of the jacket is the membrane itself—there’s no fabric covering it. It’s just a two layer jacket: a membrane, then an inner textile against your body.

This is not the kind of jacket to buy and throw underneath a heavy backpack on a multi-day hike (the material might eventually wear out), nor is it a budget option. Instead, a jacket with Shakedry tech is intended for activities like running or biking. And while they’re very lightweight, they carry a heavy price tag. Two garments that use Gore-Tex’s Shakedry material are the Arc’teryx Norvan SL Hoody (for men or women), which costs $299 but weighs less than 4.5 ounces, and the North Face Hyperair trail jacket (for men or women), which is $250.

In brief: You’re paying a premium price for a jacket that’s very light and breathable, but likely less durable.

Other options

You don’t need to shell out over $200 for a super-lightweight piece of gear. These are other popular options in the category:

Outdoor Research makes a popular jacket called the Helium II. It costs $159, and weighs just 6.4 ounce or 5.5 ounces for men or women, respectively.

REI has their own brand of gear, and their Co-op Essentials lightweight jackets come in at less than $100 and less than 9 ounces—see their men’s and women’s options. Their Drypoint GTX jacket is pricier, but newer.

Finally, REI Outlet is a good place to check for deals. Right now a Marmot PreCip rain jacket is about $70 for women or men. Both models have pit zips to let your armpits vent.

16 Easy And Fun Google Photos Tips And Tricks

Google Photos is a good cloud storage option for your photos, even though its days of unlimited storage are over. The 15GB of free online storage you get with a Google account is now shared across several apps like Gmail and Google Drive. 

Table of Contents

1. Create Movies, Photo Collages, and Animations

You might have noticed that occasionally Google automatically creates collages and animations from your photos, but you can create them yourself whenever you want. Explore the section of Google Photos called Utilities. That’s where you can create a new movie, animation, or collage.

Movies can have soundtracks, and you can control how long each photo appears. When you choose images for a Collage, Google will automatically arrange them into a single image for you. To create an animated gif, choose Animation. 

2. Search Logically

Search by people, places, objects, and specific dates by typing in the search bar at the top of the desktop site or the bottom of the mobile app.

3. Label People & Pets

Select your name and view all selfies and photos of yourself from over the years. Create a slideshow and see how you’ve changed! 

4. Search by Emoji

You can even search by emoji when using the Google Photos app on a mobile device.

5. Add Background Blur

Google One members and Pixel owners can use the Portrait Blur feature that intelligently blurs the background of pics of people. Google just announced that these users would soon be able to blur the backgrounds of other photos as well. 

6. Hide Location Information 7. Download All Your Photos

Google provides a relatively easy way to download all your photos at once by using Google Takeout. Google Takeout is also a great way to export or download all Gmail emails.

8. See the Original While You’re Editing 9. Add Old Photos with PhotoScan 10. Not Just for Android Phones

iPhone users can enjoy Google Photos, too. Download the Google Photos iOS app. 

11. Cast Your Screen to Your TV

If you are using Google Photos on an Android device, you can share photos with everyone in the room by casting your screen to another device, like a television. 

12. Save Space

Deleting photos isn’t the only way to save space in your Google Photos account. Compress your high-quality photos, so you free up space and don’t run up against the dreaded photo storage limit. In the Google Photos app, select your profile picture in the top right corner.

13. Share Images and Albums

There are many sharing options inside Google photos. Share individual images or whole albums with specific people, or create a link that anyone can use. If you add more pictures to a shared album, people you’ve shared the album with (or who have the link) will be able to see the new photos you add to the album.

When you share a photo from within the Google Photos app, you’ll see options to share via Google Photos or other messaging and social media apps.

14. Create Photo Books

While digital photos are great, it’s also nice to have something physical you can hold. On the desktop site, select the Print store to assemble your best photos into a photo book. In the app, select the More icon (three dots) and choose Order photo. You can create a photo book, order a photo print, or create a canvas print of the photo. These make excellent gifts, especially for parents and grandparents. 

15. Use Locked Folders for Better Security

To move a photo on your device to a locked folder, select the More icon and Move to Locked Folder. Moving an image to a locked folder means that it’ll be hidden from other areas of Google Photos and other apps on your device. The photo won’t be backed up or shared, and it will be deleted if you uninstall Google Photos. 

16. Enable Back Up & Sync

As soon as you install the Google Photos mobile app on your phone, you’ll be prompted to enable the Back Up & Sync. This feature automatically saves new photos and videos when you have internet access, which is great if you don’t have much device storage space. Then you’ll always be able to find your images and videos in your Google Photos library. You can set it to only backup and sync when you’re connected to wi-fi. 

Amazon And Zappos: Oil And Water Of Retail Culture

How right he was.

While that’s all well and good from a financial perspective, the bigger question remains unanswered: What happens to my free two-day shipping? I joke, but only as much as I need to convey the cultural oil and water that seems to exist between the internal philosophies of these two companies.

Dueling Incentives

When’s the last time Amazon, out of the blue, decided to upgrade your purchased merchandise to a faster delivery option? Sure, you can try out Amazon Prime for expedited shipping. And the company does indeed offer free shipping for orders you place above the $25 mark–but don’t think that this calculated sales incentive is anything but. Amazon’s return policy on apparel? You get 30 days, period.

My frequent interactions with Zappos (disclaimer: I wear a size 16) have often brought forth upgraded shipping options and discounts that seemingly arrive out of the blue. Again, a calculated move by Zappos, but it just further illustrates where both companies come from in regards to how they perceive and/or promote customer loyalty.

A Size 15 of Social Media

The dissimilarities don’t just end there. Just consider at each retailer’s social presences. Amazon’s Twitter feed follows all of 12 users. Its content consists of one-line descriptions of a product to check out (or, occasionally, a breaking news element or funny Internet meme). Number of customers engaged? Zero, as Amazon doesn’t @reply Twitter users — at least, I could find no evidence of such dating back to April 1, which is right around when I became extremely bored.

Zappos, in contrast, thrives on Twitter and the customer engagement the service promotes. As of this article’s writing, the official Zappos Twitter feed has 1,022,125 followers, making it the second-largest retail presence on twitter behind Whole Foods. More importantly, Zappos itself follows 406,641 people–factor in retweets, and Zappos could presumably contact half-a-million fans with a message in seconds.

I could continue on through the cursory list of Web 2.0 platforms. YouTube? Zappos has uploaded 117 unique videos that resulted in 32,622 views for its official channel. Its video content, ranging from Zappos employees playing guitar solos to “A day in the life of…” segments, has reached up to 100,000 views for an individual video. Amazon? Um. This isn’t Amazon. I can’t find any official Amazon presence on YouTube at all. Facebook is the only “big three” platform where Amazon tops Zappos by 4,929 fans to 1,467. That’s ultimately balanced out by Zappos’s big MySpace win: 6,181 fans to Amazon’s goose egg.

Checking Zappos’s Product Description

Why all the numbers? Because Amazon hasn’t purchased a new shoe store; it has purchased a culture. Marketing pundit Seth Godin puts it best: Amazon already has substantial resources and leverage in the online buying and shipping space. It lacks the corporate culture and one-to-one customer connections that Zappos brings to the table.

Zappos wins a long-term retail strategy and significant investor return out of the deal; Amazon gets a chance to see how social media and the opportunity to build out a new social investment on the back of an 800-pound gorilla. Customers? Well, maybe Amazon will Tweet a coupon or two their way. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Cleft Lip And Cleft Palate Causes Symptoms Diagnosis And Treatment

Openings or cracks in the upper lip, the palate, or both are known as cleft lip and cleft palate, respectively. When a developing baby’s facial tissues don’t fully seal, it can lead to cleft lip and cleft palate.

The most prevalent birth malformations are cleft lip and cleft palate. Although they most frequently manifest as solitary birth abnormalities, they are also linked to a variety of inherited genetic diseases or syndromes.

Although having a child with a cleft might be unpleasant, cleft lip and palate can be fixed. In the majority of infants, a series of operations can attain a more normal look and restore normal function with little scarring.

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate: Causes

When tissues in the baby’s face and mouth don’t correctly fuse, cleft lip and cleft palate develop. During the second and third months of pregnancy, the tissues that make up the lip and palate often fuse. Nevertheless, the fusion either never happens or happens partially in infants with cleft lip and cleft palate, leaving a hole (cleft).

Most cleft lip and cleft palate instances, according to researchers, are brought on by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. A concrete reason isn’t found in many infants.

Clefting genes can be passed down from either the mother or the father, either individually or as part of a genetic condition that has a cleft lip or cleft palate as one of its symptoms. Sometimes a baby inherits a gene that increases their risk of developing a cleft, but the cleft is brought on by an environmental factor.

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate: Symptoms

A split (cleft) in the lip or palate is typically obvious from birth. The symptoms of cleft lip and palate include −

One or both sides of the face may be affected by a split in the lip and palate (roof of the mouth).

A lip split that just looks like a little notch in the lip or that extends through the upper gum and palate and into the base of the nose

A gap in the roof of the mouth that has no impact on facial appearance

Less frequently, a cleft only affects the soft palate muscles (submucous cleft palate), which are in the rear of the mouth and protected by the lining of the mouth.

This kind of cleft is frequently undetected at birth and may not be identified until later when symptoms manifest. Submucous cleft palate symptoms and signs might include −

Having trouble eating

Swallowing issues that might cause food or fluids to leak out of the nose

Speaking with a nasal tone

Persistent ear infections

When to Visit a Doctor?

Your doctor may begin coordinating treatment when they discover that your child has a cleft lip and palate, which is often discovered at delivery. Make an appointment with your baby’s doctor if they see any of the signs and symptoms of a submucous cleft palate.

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate: Risk Factors

Cleft lip and palate development in infants may be influenced by several variables, including −

Family background. Cleft babies are more likely to be born to parents who have a family history of cleft lip or cleft palate.

Exposure to certain chemicals when pregnant. Pregnant women who smoke, drink, or take certain drugs may be at an increased risk of developing cleft lip and palate.

Diabetes. According to some data, pregnant women who were previously diagnosed with diabetes may be more likely to give birth to children who have cleft lips or palates.

Becoming overweight when pregnant. There is some evidence to suggest that children born to obese mothers may be more likely to have cleft lip and palate.

Whether they have a cleft palate or not, males are more likely to develop a cleft lip. Females are more likely to have cleft palate without cleft lip.

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate: Diagnosis

The majority of cleft lip and cleft palate instances are identified at birth and don’t need any additional testing to be diagnosed. More often than not, cleft lip and cleft palate may be noticed during an ultrasound before the infant is even born.

Sonograms before childbirth

During a prenatal ultrasound, sound waves are used to produce images of the growing fetus. A doctor may notice a variation in the face structures after reviewing the images.

From about the 13th week of pregnancy, ultrasonography can identify a cleft lip. Accurately diagnosing a cleft lip may get simpler as the fetus continues to develop. When a cleft palate develops on its own, ultrasonography imaging is more challenging.

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate: Treatment

Cleft lip and palate therapy aims to restore a child’s ability to eat, speak, and hear normally as well as to give them a normal facial look.

Many doctors and specialists work together to treat kids with cleft lip and palate, including −

Cleft repair specialists, including plastic surgeons and ENTs

ENT surgeons

Doctors of ear, nose, and throat (ENTs, also called otorhinolaryngologists)

Pediatricians

Children’s dentists

Orthodontists

Nurses

Experts in hearing or hearing

Speech pathologists

Counselling on genetics

Psychologists and social workers

Surgery is used to correct the defect, and treatments are used to treat any associated diseases.

Surgery

Surgery is normally carried out in the following order −

Within the first three to six months of life Cleft lip repair by the age of 12 months, or sooner if possible Cleft palate repair

Follow-up operations — between the ages of 2 and late adolescence

A hospital is where cleft lip and palate surgery is performed. General anesthesia will be administered to your kid, so they won’t be conscious or in discomfort during the procedure. The treatment of cleft lip and palate involves the use of a variety of surgical methods and techniques.

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate: Prevention

Parents are naturally worried about the potential of having another child with the same problem once a kid is born with a cleft. While many cleft lip and cleft palate instances cannot be avoided, take the following actions to better understand the condition or reduce your risk −

Have a look at genetic counseling. Before getting pregnant, let your doctor know if there is a family history of cleft lip and palate. Your doctor could suggest that you speak with a genetic counselor who can assess your likelihood of giving birth to children with cleft lip and cleft palate.

Use pregnancy supplements. Ask your doctor if you should take prenatal vitamins if you intend to become pregnant soon.

Avoid using alcohol or cigarettes.

During pregnancy, using cigarettes or alcohol increases the chance of having a kid with a birth defect.

Conclusion

Both cleft lip and cleft palate are congenital deformities that have an impact on a variety of structures and functions, including speech problems, appearance, feeding, nutrition, and more. To attain functional and aesthetic well-being, patients with oro-facial cleft deformity must have treatment at the appropriate time and the appropriate age.

Sales And Distribution Management

Sales and Distribution Management – Budget

Sales budget is a financial plan, which shows how the resources should be allocated to achieve forecasted sales. The main purpose of sales budget is to plan for maximum utilization of resources and forecast sales.

The information required to prepare a sales budget comes from many sources. One of the best sources is the salesperson who deals with the products on a daily basis. The company can also gather information from the production department regarding the date of manufacture or expiry.

It is very important to forecast the accurate sales because the budget of other departments is based on the sales budget. For example, the production is manufactured as per the sales forecast, but if the sales forecast is not accurate, either the production will be less or more than desired.

Objective of Sales Budgeting

The objective of sales budgeting is to plan for and control expenditure of resources (money, material, facilities and people) necessary to achieve the desired sales objective. It aims at leveraging and maximizing profits.

Sales budgeting is also a tool or control, which helps by comparison with the actual results. If the actual of sale is more than that of budget, we can say it is a favorable condition.

Methods of Sales Budgeting

There are a variety of methods which can be used to prepare a sales budget.

The following are some of the popular methods to prepare a sales budget −

Affordable Budgeting

This is a method generally used by organizations dealing in industrial goods. Also, firms, which do not give importance to budgeting or firms which are having small size of operation, make use of this judgmental method.

Rule of Thumb

Such as a given percentage of sales. Companies involved in mass selling of goods and companies dominated by the finance function are the major users of this method.

Competitive Method

A few companies, the products of which face tough competition and many challenges in selling and which need effective marketing strategy to maintain profits, make use of this method. Using this method needs knowledge of how our competitor is working with regards to resource allocation.

Companies make use of a combination of the above methods. Depending upon the past experiences, budgeting approaches are refined time to time. The status of the sales & marketing helps the organization to figure out the extent of sophistication needed in approaching sales budgeting.

Preparation of Sales Budget

Preparation of sales budget is one of the most important processes of the sales. Generally, companies prepare the sales budget based on the principle of bottom up planning. Preparation of a budget for revenue and sales will depend on the sales organizational structure; each departmental head is asked to forecast their sales volume and expenses for the coming period.

For Example, − in a leading automobile company, the budget would be prepared district wise and all the Budgets from each district would be submitted to the Regional office. Clubbing of all the District budgets is done at the Regional or Zonal level or Division wise. A division Budget is prepared and these Divisional wise budgets would vary product wise or market wise. So the Division wise budgets are finally submitted to the Manager, Sales as either product oriented or market group oriented.

Division wise budgets across all divisions would be submitted to the Central sales department and they would scan and finalize the company’s Sales Budget. Now the marketing budget is combined with the budgets of the sales and marketing staff departments, which will give a clear picture of total sales expenses, other marketing related expenses and approximate sales revenue generated for the company. Some of the common items in each sales budget include Employee Salaries, Administrative Expenses, Marketing Expenses and many more.

Direct selling expenses include boarding and lodging for salesperson, food and travel, and along with these −

Commission or incentive based sales

Employee benefits like medical insurance, gratuity and retirement contribution

Office expenses like internet charges, mailing, telephone, office supplies

Miscellaneous costs

Advertising and promotional materials like −

Selling aids

Contest awards

Product samples catalogues

Price lists

Other miscellaneous materials

Communicating Overall Objectives

It is important for the top management to present their goals and objectives to the marketing department and argue effectively for an equitable share of funds. The chief sales executive of the firm should take the inputs from all supervisors and managers in preparing the sales budgets and encourage them to come with different ideas so that after the preparation of the Budget, they could take responsibility and show involvement in achieving the targets and implementing them.

While preparing the sales budget, we need to set a preliminary plan so that we can allocate the resources and the efforts needed to sell the products, increase the customer base and territories. Any revisions in the Budget can be identified in the initial sales budget so that the sales manager could provide a realistic budget with maximum efficiency. Deviations should also be identified in each stage of development of sales budget.

As the budget is prepared by taking inputs from all levels of the hierarchy, the entire team would cooperate to achieve it. In case of failure, the sales manager should have control points in order to get the budget on track. He could also include some motivational factors like rewards, public commendations and recognition in the budget, which will motivate the employees to have a positive attitude, resulting in achievement of the budget goals.

Selling the Sales Budget to Top Management

Each and every division usually demands for additional funds and so there could be deviation from sales budget. These deviations should be addressed by the sales managers and they should justify each deviation in their budgets, as these would affect the profit percentage. In other words, there should be scope for deviations as well in sales budget.

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