Homecoming floats constructed in half the time as usual

Pi Beta Phi deviated from its original plan for Float to instead highlight its philanthropy. Photo courtesy Pi Beta Phi. By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer. This …
Pi Beta Phi deviated from its original plan for Float to instead highlight its philanthropy. Photo courtesy Pi Beta Phi.

By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer

This year’s Homecoming float participants will be showing their work at McLane Stadium for a pep rally on Friday night where the audience can get an up-close look.

“McLane on Friday night will be the big event, the Homecoming event,” Frisco senior Ashley Madden, parade chairperson, said.

Kappa Alpha Order with Alpha Phi, Phi Kappa Chi with Kappa Alpha Theta and Pi Beta Phi will present their floats for judging on Thursday and will be awarded in front of everyone on Friday.

“It’s kind of like after a normal parade they get parked in front of Tidwell to be able to walk over and look at. That’s the general idea,” Madden said. “We’re hoping to draw more of a crowd this year because they’re more front and center, so people can see the work that has gone into them. There will also be a video shown during the prep rally about the work that went into the floats.”

Madden said groups usually work eight weeks on floats, but this year they only had about four weeks to finish.

“They lost originally two weeks when we came back to school, when no organizations could meet and then they also lost an additional week when Baylor extended that,” Madden said. “And so that was the official build time, but I feel like they lost a lot of time over the summer. In normal years, they submit their themes and their designs in the summer. Then, they get approved, and they can start ordering materials and start on the first day of school, but because everything was so up in the air over the summer, it got pushed back.”

Celina senior Ben Whisman, float coordinator, said his expectations in the beginning also changed over time. There were plans for 13 floats from organization chairs, he said, and only three floats remain now.

Portland, Ore. senior Kate Pitcher, float chair for Pi Beta Phi, said they decided to stick with plans for a float because it has been the only activity chapter members are allowed to do together.

“We felt like it would just be unifying for our organization and fun and to be able to take advantage of that opportunity to see each other in person,” Pitcher said.

No float design rules or requirements have changed except for determining the float class, Whisman said. Floats are organized into classes, depending on how much money each group plans to spend. They are judged by class and a grand champion is awarded across all classes usually. This year is a little different.

“They do not have to designate a class standing until they finalize everything and then go, we spent this much money, so we will be in this class,” Whisman said. “That’s completely fine with me. I think we’re going to have one in each category, but that might change to where they all end up in one class. No matter what, I think all of them are still going to be fantastic because I’m still blown away with the amount of time that they’ve had yet the level that they’ve done.”

Pitcher said they stuck with a simpler theme and promoted their philanthropy this year. In doing so, she said that Pi Beta Phi was able to donate $3,000 to their philanthropy with the leftover float budget and plans on donating the 2,000 books used in the float display to elementary school kids.

“Originally, we had picked a theme with the fraternity that we paired with, but when they dropped out, we didn’t feel like we had the building capabilities to continue with that theme,” Pitcher said. “And so because it is kind of a weird year with COVID, we decided to make our float theme our philanthropy, which is ‘Read, Lead, Achieve.’ So chapter members actually donated books to our book displays on the float, and the main feature on our float is a giant rainbow made out of books.”

Baylor alumni won’t be able to see these floats in person though. The pep rally was approved as an in-person event, but to meet social distancing guidelines and safety requirements, only students are allowed to attend in person. Up to 1,000 students will be allowed in each event location at McLane: the stadium, alumni tailgate area and student tailgate area, Madden said.

Digital lender Capital Float buys Walnut

Digital lender Capital Float said on Tuesday it had acquired Pune-based Walnut (Thumbworks Technologies Pvt. Ltd.), makers of the personal …

Digital lender Capital Float said on Tuesday it had acquired Pune-based Walnut (Thumbworks Technologies Pvt. Ltd.), makers of the personal financial management (PFM) app, in a deal amounting to $30 million.

Walnut is a personal finance management mobile application that helps users to automatically track expenses, bank and card balances, bill payments, and split expenses within a group.

It has more than seven million downloads on Play Store.

“We’re excited to partner with Capital Float as we aim to exponentially grow and bring Walnut and its intuitive features to millions of more Indians,” Patanjali Somayaji and Amit Bhor, co-founders of Walnut, said in a statement.

Consumer finance foray

The acquisition follows shortly after Capital Float announced its foray into the consumer finance vertical.

“Their [Walnut co-founders] approach towards leveraging technology to solve financial concerns of the common individual was particularly impressive, and we eagerly look forward to working closely with them,” Sashank Rishyasringa and Gaurav Hinduja, co-founders of Capital Float, said in a statement.

These Houses Have the Ultimate Water View

… one of the Biennale’s directors, who posits that if architects can take a leading role on vital environmental issues through emerging technologies like …

Outside of Seattle, where houseboat construction is being curtailed because of the potential impact on local salmon populations, Ms. Bethell said, the most prominent areas in North America for floating homes are the San Francisco Bay Area; Vancouver, British Columbia; Key West, Fla.; and Portland, Ore.; where the number of floating homes has doubled since 2012.

The trend is also expanding rapidly in Asia and the Middle East, but it is furthest along in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands, which is mostly below sea level. Estimates report that the country now has more than 10,000 floating residents, none more densely packed than in Ijburg, a growing development of floating homes clustered off man-made islands on the eastern edge of Amsterdam.

Over 50 of these residences — featured in the 2014 U.K. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale — were designed by Marlies Rohmer Architects & Urbanists and developed by Amsterdam-based Monteflore. The simple, industrial-inspired homes, floating on concrete bases (the current norm) were fabricated in a factory and floated into place.

“Most of the world now lives in cities, and most cities are near water,” said Ton van Namen, managing director of Monteflore. He said his team was working on a floating development along the west coast of Wales, and had been approached by interested parties from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates.

Koen Olthuis, an architect from the Netherlands who founded Waterstudio.NL, one of more than a dozen European firms specializing in boutique buoyant homes, sees floating architecture as the future. He said he had built more than 150 floating residences in the last 15 years, including a group of floating villas in Dordrecht, south of Rotterdam, that use heat exchange power and have extra-large foundations to create terraces and other outdoor spaces.

Now he is increasing his repertoire as both a designer and a planning consultant for floating hotels, restaurants, stores, resorts and private islands, and even floating cities.

Wild Ride: Net Element Rallies 70% After Jon Najarian Joins Its Board

Net Element, which is a financial technology company, announced back in December it was partnering with Bunker Capital and launching a new unit focused exclusively on blockchain technology. The announcement sent the stock soaring more than 500 percent from around $5 per share to as high as …

Net Element International Inc (NASDAQ: NETE) stock jumped 71.6 percent Thursday after the company announced Najarian Family co-founder and CNBC analyst Jon Najarian joined the company’s board of directors. This week’s volatile trading is the latest move in what has been a wild ride for Net Element investors in recent months.

Net Element Roller Coaster

With roughly $10 million added to Net Element’s market cap in 24 hours, investors seem to be betting that Najarian’s name and reputation can help the company with its new high-tech focus.

Net Element, which is a financial technology company, announced back in December it was partnering with Bunker Capital and launching a new unit focused exclusively on blockchain technology. The announcement sent the stock soaring more than 500 percent from around $5 per share to as high as $33.51. The move was promptly met with selling pressure, however, and within three days the stock was back below $15.

The stock continued to drift lower through the first couple of months of 2018, reaching as low as $5.22 this week when the company announced it had terminated its previously announced plans for a partnership with Bunker Capital.

The Najarian Bounce

The stock traded back above $10 on Thursday following the Najarian announcement.

“I am excited for what the future holds for Net Element, and am eager to support and advise on the Company’s current strategy,” Najarian said in a statement.

Certainly Najarian’s presence boosts Net Element’s visibility and credibility, but Najarian has relatively limited experience in blockchain technology. Najarian’s Investitute recently launched an educational course for investors called “Crypto Basics.” Najarian also hosts the International ICO Channel, which focuses exclusively on cryptocurrency ICO news.

Low Float Volatility

Much of this week’s big move in Net Element may be due to its share structure as well. Several low float stocks have endured extreme volatility this week. Net Element has a minuscule 1.8 million-share float and a relatively high 17.4 short percent of float, according to Yahoo Finance. At those levels, it wouldn’t be surprising for a large news item to trigger a short-term short squeeze.

The addition of Najarian was announced at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, and the fact that the stock didn’t start skyrocketing until Thursday afternoon is even more evidence that the move may be more technical than fundamental in nature.

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