How cruise lines are rethinking pretty much everything

With many ships poised to return, operators are making hundreds of changes to improve the safety of sailing.

Big-name cruise companies have been on pause since mid-March, after they voluntarily ceased operations a day before the CDC issued a “No Sail Order” for any ships carrying more than 250 passengers. In the months since, smaller ocean and river lines have developed new pandemic-era health and safety guidelines aimed at restoring traveler confidence in cruising.

And travelers are interested, says Rob Clabbers, president of Q Cruise & Travel in Chicago and a member of T+L’s Travel Advisory Board. “We have some clients who literally can’t wait to get back on a ship,” he explains. When they do eventually board, vacationers will find a new routine — at least in the near term.

Continue reading… “How cruise lines are rethinking pretty much everything”

0

The future of live events is here and depends on these 4 factors

474D316D-9E1D-4FB4-AFD6-4E7057492C3C

The future of live events is here and depends on these 4 factors

 When it comes to reimagining what the events industry will look like in the near future, these are the four things we should all be thinking about.

If there was ever a catalyst to reimagine the events space, the coronavirus is it.

Over the years, corporate live events have transformed to include celebrity speakers, VIP access, exclusive private dinners, mobile-first ticketing, and a wide assortment of high production value add-ons—one of which being a film recording or, more recently, live streaming capabilities. But it wasn’t until the majority of the world went into quarantine that the concept of digital broadcasting went from being a cool addition to an in-person event to becoming its central focus.

Continue reading… “The future of live events is here and depends on these 4 factors”

0

Why you need to plan for failure as much as you do success

E11BAC4B-66F5-4B7B-9EC7-C173421C02EA

Many champion a company’s ability to overcome failure. But how often do you recognize the need to build failure into your business plan?

There’s rarely a straight path from Point A to Point B, as any business owner will tell you. Creating a strong, marketable app might take three iterations and a major pivot between the second and third. Becoming the industry leader in customer service likely came on the back of a near-miss PR disaster, when a renewed focus boosted the team’s work.

What’s often missing in this discussion, of course, is the space needed to make those kinds of mistakes. For small-business owners, especially those getting started or struggling to get by, having enough in savings can be the difference between having to close or having another six months, year, or more to keep pursuing their goals.

According to a 2018 study, nearly 40 percent of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $400 emergency expense without selling an item or borrowing money. Even before a pandemic, a looming recession, and rental housing crisis highlighted the problem. In a tight financial spot, how can entrepreneurs avoid the worst while positioning themselves for the best?

Continue reading… “Why you need to plan for failure as much as you do success”

0

The role of cognitive dissonance in the pandemic

DE4482C2-7296-45B5-A057-0424F4754EA5

The minute we make any decision—I think COVID-19 is serious; no, I’m sure it is a hoax—we begin to justify the wisdom of our choice and find reasons to dismiss the alternative.

Members of Heaven’s Gate, a religious cult, believed that as the Hale-Bopp comet passed by Earth in 1997, a spaceship would be traveling in its wake—ready to take true believers aboard. Several members of the group bought an expensive, high-powered telescope so that they might get a clearer view of the comet. They quickly brought it back and asked for a refund. When the manager asked why, they complained that the telescope was defective, that it didn’t show the spaceship following the comet. A short time later, believing that they would be rescued once they had shed their “earthly containers” (their bodies), all 39 members killed themselves.

Heaven’s Gate followers had a tragically misguided conviction, but it is an example, albeit extreme, of cognitive dissonance, the motivational mechanism that underlies the reluctance to admit mistakes or accept scientific findings—even when those findings can save our lives. This dynamic is playing out during the pandemic among the many people who refuse to wear masks or practice social distancing. Human beings are deeply unwilling to change their minds. And when the facts clash with their preexisting convictions, some people would sooner jeopardize their health and everyone else’s than accept new information or admit to being wrong.

Cognitive dissonance, coined by Leon Festinger in the 1950s, describes the discomfort people feel when two cognitions, or a cognition and a behavior, contradict each other. I smoke is dissonant with the knowledge that Smoking can kill me. To reduce that dissonance, the smoker must either quit—or justify smoking (“It keeps me thin, and being overweight is a health risk too, you know”). At its core, Festinger’s theory is about how people strive to make sense out of contradictory ideas and lead lives that are, at least in their own minds, consistent and meaningful.

Continue reading… “The role of cognitive dissonance in the pandemic”

0

The CDC lost control of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Then the agency disappeared

FCB9902E-B7FE-4E16-B9B8-D2059DC7AEE0

The world’s premier health agency pushed a flawed coronavirus containment strategy — until it disappeared from public view one day before the outbreak was declared a pandemic.

 On January 17, the world’s most trusted public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced it was screening travelers from Wuhan, China, because of a new infectious respiratory illness striking that city.

It was the CDC’s first public briefing on the outbreak, coming as China reported 45 cases of the illness and two deaths linked to a seafood and meat market in Wuhan. Chinese health officials had not yet confirmed that the new illness was transmitted from person to person. But there was reason to believe that it might be: four days earlier, officials in Thailand confirmed their first case, a traveler from Wuhan who had not visited the seafood market.

“Based on the information that CDC has today, we believe the current risk from this virus to the general public is low,” said Nancy Messonnier, the CDC’s director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Messonnier, 54, was a veteran of the CDC’s renowned Epidemiological Intelligence Service, where she had risen through the ranks during the national responses to the anthrax attacks and the previous decade’s swine flu pandemic to eventually head the agency’s vaccines center.

Most of the novel coronavirus’s infections apparently went “from animals to people,” she explained, and human transmission was “limited.”

There were many reasons why the information the CDC had on January 17 was wrong. It was wrong because China’s leaders withheld what they already knew about the virus from the World Health Organization. It was wrong, perhaps, because Trump administration officials had cut CDC staffers in Beijing who might have reported the truth directly from China. And it was wrong because past coronavirus outbreaks provided a false guide to an illness new to humanity.

Continue reading… “The CDC lost control of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Then the agency disappeared”

0

3 ways COVID-19 could actually spark a better future for Africa

20881A44-90C4-4755-A486-23AFF6900B63

Coronavirus is severely testing Africa’s social, economic and political resilience.

COVID-19 is forcing African states to invest in their health systems.

A lack of essential healthcare supplies has triggered a debate about the necessary industrialization of Africa.

In 1990, when Cameroon’s football team did the unthinkable and beat Argentina in the World Cup, the proportion of the world’s population living below the poverty line was 35.9%. Fast-forward 35 years to 2015, following a global adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this figure now stands at 10%.

Continue reading… “3 ways COVID-19 could actually spark a better future for Africa”

0

Coronavirus: Experts warn of bioterrorism after pandemic

423706BF-0C1E-45BC-B684-DA426EDCCB62

The Council of Europe has warned of a potential increase in the use of biological weapons, like viruses or bacterias, in a post-coronavirus world. Terrorists would not forget “lessons learned” during the pandemic.

Security experts from the Council of Europe have warned that the global coronavirus outbreak may increase the use of biological weapons by terrorists in the future.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how vulnerable modern society is to viral infections and their potential for disuption,” the council’s Committee on Counter-Terrorism said in a statement.

The deliberate use of disease-causing agents — like viruses or bacterias — as an act of terrorism “could prove to be extremely effective.”

Continue reading… “Coronavirus: Experts warn of bioterrorism after pandemic”

0

Peter Diamandis: When will our stay-at-home lockdown end?

68ACFDF7-EE07-4910-8A76-332A28D6B3C4

I live in Los Angeles, CA, where we have now been on lockdown for about a month.

A few days ago, California Governor Newsom announced a 30-day extension of the shelter-at-home order, through at least May 15th. Ouch. The same is happening in states and countries worldwide.

While I’ve never sat still for so long, I also have never worked harder and been more productive.

Yet the question remains: how long will we be on lockdown? When will life return to some semblance of normalcy?

Continue reading… “Peter Diamandis: When will our stay-at-home lockdown end?”

0

‘We can’t go back to normal’: how will coronavirus change the world?

32D7854F-D412-4719-969B-119FBF4106DB

Times of upheaval are always times of radical change. Some believe the pandemic is a once-in-a-generation chance to remake society and build a better future. Others fear it may only make existing injustices worse.

Everything feels new, unbelievable, overwhelming. At the same time, it feels as if we’ve walked into an old recurring dream. In a way, we have. We’ve seen it before, on TV and in blockbusters. We knew roughly what it would be like, and somehow this makes the encounter not less strange, but more so.

Every day brings news of developments that, as recently as February, would have felt impossible – the work of years, not mere days. We refresh the news not because of a civic sense that following the news is important, but because so much may have happened since the last refresh. These developments are coming so fast that it’s hard to remember just how radical they are.

Continue reading… “‘We can’t go back to normal’: how will coronavirus change the world?”

0

Japanese spacecraft ‘bombs’ asteroid in scientific mission

C43E467D-F963-439E-87DB-DCBE07A6BA4CArtist’s impression of Hayabusa2

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is working to confirm that its experiment to bomb the asteroid Ryugu was successful. Today at 11:36 am Japan time, JAXA’s unmanned Hayabusa2 deep space probe deployed the SCI (Small Carry-on Impactor), which is designed to blow a hole in the surface of Ryugu to allow for deep sampling, but safety issues prevented the spacecraft from witnessing the detonation directly.

Shooting explosives at an asteroid may seem like a great way to break the monotony of a dull afternoon, but it has a very serious purpose. Aside from pure science, the world’s space agencies are very interested in gaining as much information as possible about the structure and composition of asteroids because it may one day be necessary to deflect or destroy one that is on a collision course with Earth.

Continue reading… “Japanese spacecraft ‘bombs’ asteroid in scientific mission”

0

Marijuana is getting cheaper. For some states, that’s a problem.

AEF4D328-980C-46C0-AC10-1883250EB53C

Bags of marijuana sit on shelves in a building at the Los Suenos Farms facility in Avondale, Colorado, on Feb. 25, 2016. (Matthew Staver / Bloomberg)

Wholesale marijuana prices in Colorado have fallen by a third in just the past 12 months, continuing a price crash that began soon after the drug was legalized. Although this implies that some marijuana entrepreneurs are going to go bankrupt, the bigger financial hit will be felt by states that tax marijuana based on its price.

Marijuana prices are collapsing in Colorado and in other legalization states (e.g., Oregon, where the price can go as low as $100 per pound) because a legal business is dramatically cheaper to operate than an illegal one. Because states generally set their marijuana tax rates as a percentage of price, their revenue per sale sinks in direct proportion to the fall in marijuana prices. Ironically, in a bid for more tax revenue per marijuana sale, Colorado increased its marijuana tax rate from 10 percent to 15 percent last year, only to see the anticipated added tax revenue wiped out by falling prices in a year’s time.

Continue reading… “Marijuana is getting cheaper. For some states, that’s a problem.”

0

Inside the ‘World Cup of E-sports’

D940EDB5-7676-4124-BA30-2F1E1E27B992

The League of Legends World Championship Finals in Incheon, South Korea, on Nov. 3.

Two squads battled it out at a 50,000-seat stadium in the South Korean city of Incheon. Photography by Jean Chung

This weekend, legends were created in South Korea, the birthplace of esports.

Watched by tens of millions of people each year, the world championship finals of League of Legends this year featured two squads battling it out at a 50,000-seat stadium in the South Korean city of Incheon.

Continue reading… “Inside the ‘World Cup of E-sports’”

0