Social distancing requirements have made it difficult for a variety of businesses and programs to operate — including meal packaging efforts for food insecure individuals.As COVID-19 stay-at-home orders progressed volunteer groups began cancelling meal packaging events with The Outreach Program, a national nonprofit that addresses hunger. This created a supply issue for food banks that still needed access to shelf-stable goods.Then, the Kansas National Guard stepped in.Rick McNary, vice president of strategic partnerships at The Outreach Program, received a call from the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, which was willing to fund production costs. KDEM informed McNary that the National Guard could be used as volunteers, since they were deployed and didn’t have to comply with social distancing guidelines as soldiers.Now, the guardsmen have packaged three million meals — currently working on the fourth million — for food insecure Kansans.“It’s given us the opportunity to help hungry people that simply did not exist until the Guard came in, not on this scale,” McNary said.Guardsmen first measure out ingredients and use a funnel to pack them into a bag. Once completed, the bag is weighed, sealed and then put into a large box before it is packaged into a seven-meal pantry pack.Since late April, about 40 to 50 soldiers have shown up to a former Leawood Hy-Vee to work in one of seven meal packaging lines. Soldiers pack, weigh, seal and box food bags that include menu items like mac and cheese, Spanish rice and minestrone soup.The food is then put into seven-meal “pantry packs” to be distributed at food pantries throughout Kansas. There has been a focus on providing assistance to western Kansas, following COVID-19 outbreaks at meat packaging plants, McNary said.Additionally, soldiers have shown the nonprofit a different operational approach, First Lieutenant William Burwell said.“This is a great opportunity for us to use the training we received in support and logistics, and helping the community is obviously something we signed on to do in the state of Kansas,” Burwell said.The Outreach Program and the National Guard have been working out of the former Leawood Hy-Vee. The building, 12200 State Line Road, will soon be renovated by Barstow School into an educational center serving metro area students and families.Jennifer Dreiling, Barstow School vice president for external advancement said the Barstow School is honored to work alongside partners “to help the most vulnerable during this pandemic by creating millions of meals to proactively address hunger.”“Making our Leawood facility available is one small way we can do our part and create a sense of security and normalcy for our families in need,” Dreiling said.Each of the seven meal varieties are shelf-stable, protein-rich, nutrient-based and easy to make.Volunteer groups willing to package meals using The Outreach Program’s social distancing method are wanted. These can include civic-based or faith-based groups, as well as companies.To volunteer, contact Rick McNary via phone at (316) 734-6845 or via email at [email protected] Production costs at this time are covered, but those interested in sponsoring a $14 pantry pack can also reach out.
I have been reading Fast Company magazine for nearly 20 years. I regard it as one of the few innovative, forward-looking business pubs in the world — behind WIRED. So, when I saw this from L-Acoustics, I wanted to give the company kudos and recognition! L-Acoustics has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies (MIC) for 2020. The list identifies the businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture, showcasing a variety of ways to thrive in today’s fast-changing world. This year’s MIC list features 434 businesses from 39 countries.“It’s a privilege to be recognized by Fast Company as a leading global innovator,” says L-Acoustics CEO Laurent Vaissié. “Our founder, Dr. Christian Heil, introduced the V-DOSC line source array system in the early ’90s, revolutionizing the concert audio experience and altering sound system design forever. This invention spun a new era for the loudspeaker industry, today resulting in nearly 100% adoption of line array technology by top tours, venues and festivals worldwide. Over the years, L-Acoustics continues to encourage a unique culture of innovation and product design excellence, developing industry standards like K1 and the first 3D sound design modeling software with Soundvision, or introducing flexible directivity with Panflex. Recently, L-Acoustics has once again raised the bar for the live sound experience with L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology, which breaks down the limitations of traditional stereo systems to create a more intimate connection between the artist and audience. We shape the future of sound, and it sounds absolutely spectacular.”L-ISA was introduced in 2016, and since then, 12 million spectators have enjoyed more than eight thousand performances in L-ISA, which is a 40% jump over the past year alone. High-profile deployments of the technology have included Aerosmith’s ongoing Deuces Are Wild Las Vegas residency at the Park Theater at Park MGM, as well as Lady Gaga’s Enigma and Jazz & Piano residencies in the same venue.The North American concert sound market has experienced a rapid rise in L-ISA productions, notably including the following tours: Bon Iver (Autumn), Mark Knopfler (Down The Road Wherever), Lorde (Melodrama), Childish Gambino (This Is America), and Blue Man Group (Speechless). Other innovative artists — such as alt-J, deadmau5, and ODESZA — have likewise embraced the technology for engaging one-off performances, as have the Colorado Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic for cinema-related events.The reach of L-ISA has also extended beyond the realm of conventional live sound reinforcement to include installations at various experiential venues (NYC’s ARTECHOUSE and SPYSCAPE), theatrical productions (L.A.’s CAGES, Miami’s Sleeping Beauty Dreams, and NYC’s Broadway Bounty Hunter), houses of worship (Atlanta’s Mount Paran Church of God), and corporate events (Dreamforce and others), among other applications.Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out the most groundbreaking businesses on the planet across myriad industries, also judging nominations received through their application process.The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.“At a time of increasing global volatility, this year’s list showcases the resilience and optimism of businesses across the world. These companies are applying creativity to solve challenges within their industries and far beyond,” said Fast Company Senior Editor Amy Farley, who oversaw the issue with Deputy Editor David Lidsky.Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March/April 2020) is now available online. And, visit L-Acoustic’s website for more information.
A leading trade union lawyer has dismissed expectations that a Supreme Court ruling will prompt a rush of asbestos-related litigation. The ‘trigger case’ judgment last week ruled in favour of allowing insurance claims by families of people who died after exposure to asbestos. Following the ruling, the trade union Unite suggested that ‘thousands’ of cases would be launched now the insurers’ ‘responsibility holiday’ was over. But Ian McFall, head of asbestos policy at national trade union firm Thompsons, said obstacles preventing meritorious claims for diseases such as mesothelioma were still in place. ‘Any talk of floodgates opening is ill-informed nonsense,’ said McFall. The judgment merely ‘restores the status quo’, he said. McFall said changes to the no win, no fee system and abolishing the recoverability of after-the-event insurance – which covers medical tests and tracking down insurers – meant cases were still difficult to launch. The cost of tracking down beneficiaries of decades-old policies is also blocking hundreds of cases, he said. It is almost two years since a government consultation recommended setting up a ‘fund of last resort’, funded by insurers, but there is still no sign of progress from the Department for Work and Pensions. Leon Taylor, a partner at City firm DLA Piper, said the result will be ‘a relief’ to thousands of disease victims and their families, as well as employers’ liability policy holders, whose mesothelioma-related insurance claims have been on hold pending the outcome. The Association of British Insurers welcomed the ruling and blamed the case on a ‘small group’ of insurers acting independently and at odds with the industry. ABI director Nick Starling said: ‘The ABI and our members are committed to paying compensation as quickly as possible. ‘We have always opposed the attempt to change the basis on which mesothelioma claims should be paid, as argued by those who brought this litigation.’
Leading cellular operators are enhancing wireless spectrum efficiency and boosting network capacity by more than 500% by adopting technologies including Massive Multi-input Multi-output (MIMO), Active Antenna Systems (AAS) and LTE-Pro. Active Antenna Systems with 64 transceivers pose significant challenges to design power amplifiers with the small form factors, high efficiency and linearity needed for multi-carrier configurations. By combining Qorvo’s ultra-compact, advanced power amplifier (PA) modules with NanoSemi’s Digital Pre-distortion (DPD) intellectual property, operators are able to implement highly efficient, small form-factor Massive MIMO transceivers for next-generation base stations.They have also demonstrated linearization of the QPA2705 cascaded Doherty driver amplifier and QPD2730 dual-channel GaN Doherty PA final stage with -58 dBc for 60 MHz LTE signals, and -55 dBc for 100 MHz LTE signals.Qorvo is demonstrating their GaN power amplifiers for base station infrastructure at Booth 839 at the IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS), in San Francisco from May 24-26. Qorvo in conjunction with NanoSemi, have demonstrated ultra-wideband linearization results with their Gallium Nitride (GaN) power amplifiers for wireless infrastructure. NanoSemi is a leading developer of digital linearization and compensation algorithms.The QPA2705 from Qorvo is an integrated GaN driver and GaN Doherty power amplifier with 30 dB gain, P3dB of 44 dBm, PAE of 35% at 37 dBm average output power in a compact 6×10 mm surface mount package for next generation massive MIMO applications. Using this amplifier with NanoSemi’s proprietary digital compensation algorithms, they have achieved impressive results.