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Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Analysis#biz john paul titlow More and more freelancers and small businesses are taking their invoicing and billing online, according to data released today by FreshBooks, a popular Web-based invoicing service. According to the data, $1 billion changed hands across the FreshBooks platform between January and early May of this year. In 2009, by comparison, this milestone was not reached until August, which suggests that online invoicing is growing at an accelerated rateThe average invoice size during the first five months of 2010 was $1,677. Of the 23 countries that FreshBooks looked at, the highest average invoice amount were Mexico and Sweden, at $4,669 and $4,423, respectively. Interestingly, the United States, the world’s biggest economy, fell to 16th place, with an average invoice amount of $919. Of the countries included in the data set, the least activity was seen in Malaysia, which had an average invoice size of $406.On average, invoices on FreshBooks were paid in 22.8 days. [Click to enlarge] 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…
An average of 34.96% schools in the eight northeastern states had usable toilets for girls in 2018 compared to 36.66% in 2016, data analysed from the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2018 report revealed.With 75.7% schools – a marginal increase from 75% in 2016 – having usable toilets for girls, Sikkim performed better than the national average of 66.4% last year. But the State’s show was overshadowed by the less-than-satisfactory performance by seven other states in the region.Nagaland was the next best State with 47%, an increase from 40.9% in 2016, followed by Mizoram with the highest percentile increase from 25.3% to 34.9% in these two years.The other five states performed poorly, the steepest drop for Assam being 38.3% from 54.2% in 2016. Manipur had 9.1% schools having fewer usable toilets for girls, followed by Meghalaya (8.6%), Arunachal Pradesh (7.6%) and Tripura (7.3%).J&K suffers too The national averages hide major variations across the states, with deficiencies particularly marked in Jammu and Kashmir apart from most of the north-eastern states, the ASER report, prepared by NGO Pratham, said. In Jammu and Kashmir, 48.2% schools had toilets for girls last year, up from 46.7% in 2014 (data for J&K for 2016 was not available). The State provided drinking water in 54.6% schools in 2018, better than the average 44.4% schools in the north-eastern states.The average for the Northeast last year was poorer than the 44.99% in 2016. Sikkim, Assam and Mizoram had an average 68.53% schools that had drinking water facilities in schools. The national average was 74.8%.According to the report, 2018 completed eight years of compulsory schooling for the first cohort of students to benefit from Right to Education Act 2010.National picture“Nationally, substantial improvements are visible over this eight-year period in the availability of many school facilities mandated by RTE. The fraction of schools with usable girls’ toilets doubled, reaching 66.4% in 2018. The percentage of schools with books, other than textbooks, available rose from 62.6% to 74.2% between 2016-18.
“Just a few more minutes and you will reach. Think of the breathtaking views up there. You can do it.” Like a stuck record, I keep repeating these words to myself as I bravely trek up the steep 8-km hill to Tiger’s Nest, or Taktsang Monastery, sitting on the edge of a sheer cliff. Raj, our friendly Bhutanese guide for the trip, slows his pace to keep me company. But I am in no rush. I am enjoying stopping and chatting with passersby as they motivate each other. Coming from a city where the pace of life is absolutely maddening, going slow is my motto and agenda for these four days. It is not everyday that I go to the Kingdom of Happiness, and I want to experience it at leisure.Looking at the emerald green mountains around me, my thoughts flash back to my journey here. I sat in awe as the charter plane, part of the MakeMyTrip package, flew over the tallest mountain range in the world and then close to the Mount Everest. The sight of this towering, snowclad Himalayan peak, shimmering under the bright morning sun made me goosebumpy. Coming out of my reverie, I start walking again. We are climbing from 7,382 to 10,200 ft and when I reach, huffing and puffing, I am quite proud of what I have accomplished. For me, it is as good as scaling the Everest.The sight of the Taktsang monastery, hanging at the edge of a sheer vertical cliff,Mount Everest is spectacular and I wonder how it was constructed way back in 1692. Butter lamps flicker inside as I bow my head in silence and close my eyes for five minutes. It’s peaceful and silent. As I walk out to the terrace, I am entranced by the surreal sight of Paro spread out at my feet.Like almost every monastery in Bhutan, this one too has a legend associated with it. I am told that at Tiger’s Nest, Guru Padmasambhava travelled from Tibet to Bhutan on the back of a tigress and meditated here for three months in the 8th century after subduing a demon.To me Bhutan seems a land that proudly retains its culture, and has managed to keep its distance from the hustle-bustle of the 21st century. After all, this tiny mountain kingdom has given the world the concept of Gross National Happiness as a measure of progress in place of economic indicators. Never mind the eight lakh local people, this philosophy begins working for me from the moment I land. Soon after arriving in Paro–which I am told is the world’s second toughest landing strip after Alaska, the first thing I spot is a board that says ‘130 Years of Peace, Unity and Happiness’. It is an appropriate welcome. I am already beaming with the picture of Mount Everest etched in my mind. Just after leaving the airport, we pass by a park where the 15th Paro Archery (the national sport) tournament is underway. All the men are attired in their national dress, gho, a single piece of cloth that is tied with a belt and women in kira, a long cloth till their ankles. It is compulsory to wear this in a few public areas and all government offices. We watch the competitors aim at a target which is a mind boggling 340 ft away, and I, a city bird, wonder how they can they even focus on the target so far.Paro Valley is quiet with a small market. The houses, made of mud and wood, are sprinkled along different hills so that the town does not look congested. After spending a day here, we are on our way to the capital, Thimphu. It is vibrant, lively and much bigger than Paro. There is a certain buzz in the air in the Bhutanese capital, but it never loses the air of serenity I am already getting accustomed to. What strikes me is the absence of traffic lights-, not just in Thimphu, but across the country. We visit a number of dzongs (ancient monastery-fortresses) but it is Punakha Dzong that mesmerises me the most. Three hours away from Thimphu, it is located at the confluence of two rivers. This peaceful setting takes my breath away, making me stare for a few moments. We stop by at a park next to Punakha Higher Secondary School where children are sitting during their break. Some are chatting, others are studying. A spirit of well-being and calm hangs in the air as the river gushes by. I cannot help thinking that if my school had been located in such a place, I would have fared better with my studies. We walk over a wooden bridge, festooned with colourful prayer flags and then along a pathway strewn with flowers to reach the dzong. Four purple jacaranda trees outside are a perfect contrast to the crimson red robes worn by the monks.Incense and chants fill the air. Chimi Lhakhang monastery is next on our list. Also known as the temple of fertility, people from across the country come here to pray for a child. We walk for 15 minutes through fields to reach there. A group of young monks playing with a ball catch my attention. It is the sweetest sights ever–little monks clad in maroon robes, but not missing out on a carefree childhood. As far as I can gauge, the happiness concept is not mere talk. Wherever I look, people appear content, whether it is a monk, a child or women behind shop counters.Inside the monastery, I am surprised when the priest blesses us with a phallus. Legend goes that Lama Drukpa Kunley, who travelled from Tibet to Bhutan, would hit the evil with his penis. He told people that the phallus was lucky and they should keep one in their home to drive away evil spirits. That is why many houses have graphic paintings of phalluses. I am rather amused to see all this.Back in Thimphu, we roam around the market. Even small shops here have a bar and you can pick up local liquor from the general stores as well, but smoking is frowned upon and banned in public. On our last evening in Thimphu we visit Bhutan Kitchen, a popular restaurant. Food in Bhutan is spicy. The fiery red chilli is a staple, which they tend to throw into practically every dish. I could not get enough of Ema Datshi, the national dish made with green chillies in a cheese sauce. The meal starts with Ara, a potent local drink made of grains like rice, wheat and barley. We then have the Bhutanese staple red rice, served with chilli beef, and the meal turns out to be amazing.I head back to Paro and then finally need to pack my bags for our return journey. These four days have been like time out from my world of rush, hurry and noise and I cannot help wishing that I could also pack some of the leisure, calm and serenity of this magical land to take back with me forever.advertisementadvertisement At a glanceGetting there: MakeMyTrip runs packages that include charter flights from Delhi/ Mumbai to Paro. Tour Fare: Rs. 33,333 onwards per person.When to go: March to November is the best season.Must doStay:Paro: Affordable: Tashi Namgay Resort; tel: +975 08 272 318; www.tnr.bt. Cost: Rs. 2,900 for two.Luxury: Zhiwa Ling; tel: + 975 08 271 277; www.zhiwaling.com. Cost: Rs. 11,250 for two.Thimphu: Affordable: Namgay Heritage Hotel; tel: +975 02 337 113; www.nhh.bt. Cost: Rs. 3,700 for two.Luxury: Amankora Thimphu; tel: +975 08 272 333; www.amanresorts.com. Cost: Rs. 58,000 (approx) per person.Eat: It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you are open to experimenting try butter tea. It is salty and made from yak milkShop: Beef or red chilli pickle from the farmers market in Thimphu.See: The 51.5 metre high statue of Shakyamuni Buddha close to Thimphu. It is the tallest statue of Buddha in the country.FYICurrency in Bhutan: Indian currency is accepted in Bhutan. It is on par with Bhutan’s currency, Ngultrum. However, Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 bank notes are not accepted. It is best to take lower denominations from the bank or airport before. These can be used in hotels and most of the shops.Hot dealA hill getaway: MakeMyTrip offers a 7 night/8 day package with airfare, breakfast, dinner & sightseeing for Rs. 33,333 per person. www.makemytrip.com advertisement
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah today hailed the widows who celebrated Holi in Vrindavan and said all temples must be opened for women to enter. More than a thousand widows in Vrindavan broke from tradition to celebrate Holi at an ancient temple in the Uttar Pradesh town.Describing it as a “wonderful thing”, the National Conference leader and former Union minister said, “I think we all should be proud that this is happening. It is a great thing and India is moving forward in a positive manner.””I think this is a great thing that temples are opening up for women. They are a part of this nation and if you want women’s empowerment, then it is vitally important that all temples must be opened to women,” he added.On the terror attack in Brussels, he said the world should unite to fight the menace of terrorism.”The world has realised that terrorism is the greatest threat. When we were telling them that terrorism is a factor that will affect you, they did not believe us. Today, those words must be vibrating in their ears.”The threat to this world is the terrorist and a terrorist has no religion, he has one aim… to only pick a target and blow it up,” he said, adding that the world “must get together and form a united front to fight terrorists”.Replying to a question on the indication of the end of the deadlock in government formation between BJP and PDP, he said, “There should be a positive outcome. We have been waiting for so many months for them to form the government. We hope they will form the government”.advertisementAsked what he feels about the government that would be formed in the state, he said, “They will form the government; whether it will be good or bad ask me after one year.”On the statement by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav that cricket was a “slave’s game”, he said that sports should be seen as sports.”I don’t think I need to mention the name, but I think sport is sport whether it’s cricket, golf, tennis, hockey or any other game and we are proud Indians that we have an excellent (cricket) team and we hope that we will win the present World T20 tournament,” he said.
Pep Guardiola does not envisage Jadon Sancho returning to Manchester City, but conceded a move back to his old club could not be ruled out.The exciting winger made his England debut during the international break after making a flying start to the season for Borussia Dortmund.Sancho has provided six assists and one goal for the Bundesliga leaders despite only one of his seven league appearances coming as part of the starting line-up. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! The teenager has received praise in some quarters for opting to take the risk of continuing his development outside of England after deciding his chances of breaking into the first-team at City would be limited.Guardiola was asked ahead of City’s Premier League clash against Burnley if Sancho would ever return to the Etihad Stadium and, while not fully discounting such a scenario, he pointed to the fact Sancho did not appear content at the club.”I don’t know, in football you never say no, but I don’t know. I think when he decided to move on from here it is because he doesn’t want to be here,” he said.”When he doesn’t want to be here, I think he’s not looking forward to coming back here. That is what I think right now.”Maybe in the future – new club, new managers – but I don’t know.”Sancho is one of a cluster of young English players to have tried their hand in the Bundesliga over the past couple of seasons and reports suggest his fledgling success could lead to a future wave of youngsters heading to Germany.City youngster Phil Foden is among those to have been tipped to follow Sancho’s path, but Guardiola believes such trends in football are common.”English teams look at Spanish players and Spanish teams look at Italian players. You cannot control them at that age,” he added.”We know what we have done with Jadon. We did absolutely everything, he decided to move to Germany. All the best. He is doing really well at the start of his career, hopefully he can achieve what he is looking for and it is a good sign for England. I’m glad he’s playing well.”One of the reasons Sancho may have felt his first-team path was blocked is due to the domestic form of new England team-mate Raheem Sterling.Sterling scored twice in England’s surprise 3-2 Nations League win in Spain, strikes that ended a three-year wait to add to his international tally.It was welcome relief for Sterling, who faced criticism in some quarters over his performances at the World Cup, but Guardiola – while acknowledging a “stronger mentality” – thinks little has changed because of his brace.”Because he scored in one game two goals? The criticism when he played in England is for one or two years. [There is] no change because he scored two goals,” Guardiola said.”His character and personality does not depend on scoring two goals. The most important thing – he knows – at 23 years old, he can still be better.”His mentality is stronger than before from my point of view. He plays so good, so well in terms of movement – he creates room for Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli, Harry Kane et cetera.”
Norwich boss Farke on Man City upset: Courage, amazing spiritby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveNorwich City boss Daniel Farke hailed his stand-ins for their shock victory over Manchester City.City’s long injury list meant Farke was forced into several changes, but his players did him proud.“It was a debut in the starting line-up for Sam Byram, a debut in the starting line-up for Ibrahim Amadou in a position that isn’t his natural one, and a first game for Alex Tettey,” said Farke. “It was difficult but we had to deliver against perhaps the best team in the world, and we did it in our style. We totally believe we are capable of reaching something extraordinary today, and we showed amazing spirit.“We have a lot of long-term injuries so it will be difficult. So we need this spirit and attitude because there will be setbacks and difficult moments and that’s when we will need our togetherness, and to remember moments like today.“Each and every game will be different, with teams with different styles and quality, but we have to take out of this game that if you stick together you always have a chance. Even if no one bets on you, with bravery and commitment and togetherness you can go far.”The boss also had a word for the City fans, who created an incredible atmosphere for the entire 90 minutes.“Carrow Road was an explosion and we needed this,” he said. “Without our fans, and their help to bring us over the line, we wouldn’t have had a chance to win today. We needed this unity from the fans, and big compliments to our supporters – they were crucial for our win.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Andrei Pyatov warns Man City: Shakhtar Donetsk always play to winby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveShakhtar Donetsk goalkeeper Andrei Pyatov insists they’re capable of beating Champions League opponents Manchester City.Shakhtar host the English champions tonight.Pyatov said, “I am not a soothsayer, but I know that Shakhtar always plays for victory. “Therefore, obviously, we will go for the maximum result. But we understand with whom we will play. “Tomorrow we will see everything: which of the two will do better and who will deserve the victory.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Watford keeper Ben Foster: Man City will soon hit tenby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford goalkeeper Ben Foster believes Manchester City will hit ten goals against a team soon.The Hornets felt the full force of the champions’ attacking power on Saturday as they were thrashed 8-0 at the Etihad in the Premier League.”They will do it to somebody, there will be a nine or 10 out there soon,” Foster said.”As a goalie, coming here in the first place it’s almost an achievement to keep it at one or two goals. At times, if they’re on it, they are incredible.”They were scary at times. It was just relentless. You could see them opening us up and the chances developing in front of your eyes. It was absolutely no fun. In all honesty, it could have been double digits.”
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker/WikipediaMADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he thinks NFL players should stop protesting during the national anthem and instead speak out against domestic violence.The Republican former presidential hopeful sent a letter Monday to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith saying he believes players are showing disrespect for the flag and veterans. Players should drop the “divisive political sideshow” and speak out against domestic violence instead, the governor wrote.NFL league meetings Tuesday offer an opportunity to strongly condemn domestic violence, Walker added.“My request is simple: stand for the American flag and the national anthem out of respect for those who risk their lives for our freedoms, and then take a stand against domestic violence to keep American families safe,” Walker wrote. “That’s something we can all agree on, and that just might help the NFL reunite with many of its devoted fans.”Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the protests last season when he refused to stand during the anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality. With Kaepernick out of the league this year, other players have taken up his cause.President Donald Trump has been pressuring owners to discipline players who don’t stand for the anthem. Asked why Walker decided to inject himself into the debate, the governor’s spokesman, Tom Evenson, said October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the governor was moved by survivors’ stories he heard at the annual Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse awards ceremony last week.The letter comes a day after the Green Bay Packers lost star quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone during a game against the Minnesota Vikings. Rodgers may be out for the season.Packers coach Mike McCarthy has said backup Brett Hundley will replace Rodgers. Still, questions are swirling about whether the Packers might try to sign Kaepernick, who was born in Milwaukee and lived in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, until he was four years old.Evenson said the letter wasn’t meant to signal the Packers shouldn’t consider Kaepernick as a replacement for Rodgers.