Sports Direct Lose out on England Football Flop

England’s laughable and inevitable early exit from the World Cup cost Sports Direct up to £20m in lost profits, the group said, as disappointed football fans failed to buy replica shirts.

Dave Forsey, chief executive, said Roy Hodgson boys’ lacklustre performance was much more significant to the business than a dispute with Adidas which meant Sports Direct could not stock replicas of the on-field strips of key teams, including the winner Germany and runners-up Argentina. The brand has pulled stock from a number of different retailers, because it was unhappy at the presentation of goods or customer service.

“England’s early exit meant a £10m to £20m swing to [underlying profits],” he said. “It’s all about England for the World Cup for our stores. What affects sales primarily will always be how long England lasts in the tournament.”

While Sports Direct revealed a healthy 15.6% rise in pretax profits to £239.5m on sales of £2.7bn, up 23.8% in the year to 27 April, driven by strong sales of sportswear as well as the acquisition of fashion chain Republic, Forsey said performance would have been better if the national team had hit the back of the net more often.

However, Forsey said Sports Direct was hopeful of stocking the key Adidas football strips it wants, including Premier League team Chelsea’s after “encouraging discussions” with the sports brand which stopped supplying certain strips to Sports Direct earlier this year. Forsey was not able to confirm if and when Adidas might begin supply but he said:”Top-level engagement has been encouraging for the last couple of weeks and both teams see opportunities for their side.”

Sports Direct is also seeking a rapprochement with shareholders after a bruising battle over the bonus scheme which would have significantly benefited the chain’s founder, Mike Ashley. On Wednesday, the company said Ashley had chosen to withdraw from the scheme, just two weeks after it had been approved. The move was widely welcomed by major institutional shareholders who felt the bonus arrangements were inappropriately structured.

They want Ashley, who owns a 58% stake in the company but does not receive any pay for his role as executive deputy chairman, to be rewarded by a salary or a dividend that would benefit all investors. Shareholders had threatened to vote against the re-election of the chairman Keith Hellawell and some non-executive directors, but Forsey said their protests had not affected Ashley’s decision.

11 Ways to Overcome Anger

Anger is something that virtually all of us have within us and is something best tackled by ourselves and our own actions.

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Anyway here are 11 ways to calm your anger!

1. Ask: “Am I improving the situation?” This works especially well with the Big Girl. If I get angry with her, she has a complete melt-down. It’s unpleasant, but her reactions have sure helped me get better control of myself. Now, when I have the urge to snap, I think, “Is this going to help the situation?” And the answer is always NO.

2. Find “an area of refuge.” I lifted this phrase from a sign near an elevator at Yale Law School—it struck me as funny. Research shows that when people’s thoughts are unoccupied, brooding sets in. So I try to “find an area of refuge” in my mind; that is, to dwell on serene thoughts instead of brooding and fussing. Along the same lines…

3. Distract myself. Indulging in “overthinking”—dwelling on trifling slights, unpleasant encounters, and sadness—leads to bad feelings. I can enrage myself by obsessing on some petty annoyance. In what the Big Man calls the “downward spiral,” I begin to rail about every negative episode in recent memory. Now I deliberately distract my thoughts, usually by thinking about some writing question.

4. Ask: am I mad at myself? Martha Beck makes the interesting argument that we brood on other people’s faults when we subconsciously identify with them; what we condemn in other people is what we condemn in ourselves. So now when someone is making me angry, I ask myself, “Can I accuse myself of the same fault?” In a telling bit of psychology, I’ve noticed Beck’s observation to be very true for other people, but not so much for myself! Do I suspect a bit of self-denial might be going on…?

5. Laugh. Humor is the answer to everything (humor and exercise). Now when I absolutely can’t hold back my anger, I at least try to insert a joke, or make fun of myself, or assume a lighter tone as I rant on. So instead of sniping out a comment like “Can you PLEASE just answer my emails so I can deal with these horrible logistics issues?!” I might say something like, “I’m thinking of getting a homing pigeon that will fly to your office and rap on your window with its beak until you send me an answer.” The added advantage of this approach is that no matter how the other person responds, I feel less angry and more light-hearted when I adopt a lighter tone.

6. Get some exercise. Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.

7. Take a timeout. Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.

8. Identify possible solutions. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.

9. Unplug. Technology encourages us to react quickly. The minute we get that text or feel the phone vibration, we’re racing to respond. Reacting impulsively is a trigger for angry outbursts. Set aside time each day to be free from checking email, social media sites, and text messaging.

10. Train your mind to respond slower. Think, speak, drive, text, listen, cook, eat, and walk slower. When you slow down, you’ll feel more in control of your options and your inner life.

Leave post-it reminders on the computer, your car dashboard, and your front door. Our brains are not trained to remember many things, so write it down.

11. Sleep on it! Honestly, if I had to choose just one option to manage anger, it would be getting sufficient sleep. Sleep deprivation is a huge culprit in negative moods, including anxiety and depression.

Commit to going to bed earlier during the week. It’s nearly impossible to make calm, measured, responsible choices if you can barely keep your eyes open.

Bottom line: You have everything you need to change. With daily commitment, practice, and patience, you’ll increase problem-solving abilities so you can manage your anger, rather than have your anger manage you.

Remember, living in the past causes depression. Living in the future causes anxiety. Living in the here-and-now enables you to make healthy choices to increase emotional well-being.

 

 

New movie based games at Microgaming

Microgaming is one of the pioneers of the iGaming industry. Its first operation was launched in 1994 – it was the first of its kind. Later Microgaming has abandoned this line of business, focusing on the development of online games instead. The company turns 20 this year, and the list of its games includes over 500 titles.

Microgaming releases new games quite often. New games are added to the company’s offer every month. This year Microgaming has released several new titles this year, like the Lucky Koi, Avalon II, Untamed – Crowned Eagle, Loose Cannon, Girls with Guns – Frozen Dawn, Football Star (a title honoring the 2014 FIFA World Cup that will take place this summer in Brazil) and Cool Wolf. And the good news is more great games are set to follow.

The company has announced at the beginning of this year that it has made arrangements with Studiocanal S.A. for the rights of an iGaming adaptation of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a massive blockbuster and instant classic with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the title role. The game is set to be released this summer.

Only a week later Microgaming has announced a similar deal, this time with Universal, for the release of a game based on one of the most game-changing movie trilogies of all times, Jurassic Park. This game will also be released in the summer of 2014.

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV series of our days. This HBO series, based on the novels from the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series written by George R. R. Martin. This epic tale has stolen the hearts of millions of people all around the world, even having the dubious honor to be the most pirated TV series of all times. Microgaming has signed an agreement for the release of a game based on the TV series in February, with a release in the second half of this year. Surely a piece of good news for the series fans.

Microgaming has a long history of releasing games based on successful movies and TV shows. Some of their games have become instant classics – The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, based on the popular Batman movies directed by Cristopher Nolan, are hugely popular titles in their offer, and the game based on Battlestar Galactica (the favorite TV show of yours truly) is also among the preferred ones of the players.

Want to play Microgaming games? You can do so by visiting one of the operations that offer their games to their registered customers – websites like Platinum Play, Royal Vegas or Euro Palace, among others. Good luck, and have a good time playing the latest Microgaming titles.

Downs syndrome Man sings at ballpark

Many people dream of singing the national anthem at a major sports event, but few can do it with a spirit rivaling Michael Mullins.

Here is a video of him here…

http://vimeo.com/93660175

Mullins, a 38-year-old die-hard Red Sox fan, has Down syndrome. Last week, he realized a dream he’s had for nearly a decade: Singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Fenway Park, capacity 37,400, to open for the Red Sox.

According to the Metro West Daily News, Mullins has spent the last 10 years singing the national anthem for a minor league team, and four years lobbying the Red Sox for a chance to sing at Fenway. He’s been helped along by the Michael Lisnow Respite Center in Hopkinton, Mass., where he lives.

“Nope, I’m not nervous,” he told Boston’s WCVB in an interview before the big day. “Piece of cake.”

“He is so excited. This is the biggest day of his life,” added center director Sharon Lisnow.

Mullins really is becoming the talk of Beantown. News of Mullins’ performance tonight is quickly getting around, according to Alex Dunn, liaison from the Center who’s assisting Mike on his big day.

“We’ve been walking around, and he’s in a Rex Sox shirt, and people keep asking him if he’s going to the game,” Dunn says. “We tell them, ‘Oh, he’s not just going to the game, he’s singing the National Anthem!’ Everyone wants to shake his hand.”

For Mullins, the gig is also an opportunity to raise awareness for a cause dear to his heart.

“I like doing disability awareness,” Mullins remarks, as he’s performing on the park’s Disability Awareness Day.

8 Ways to be happier!

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beach time!

We all want to be happier don’t we? Here at Good News Stories we have uncovered eight ways to be happier 🙂

1. Buy some happiness. Our basic psychological needs include feeling loved, secure, and good at what we do. You also want to have a sense of control. Money doesn’t automatically fill these requirements, but it sure can help. I’ve learned to look for ways to spend money to stay in closer contact with my family and friends; to promote my health; to work more efficiently; to eliminate sources of irritation and marital conflict; to support important causes; and to have enlarging experiences. For example, when my sister got married, I splurged on a better digital camera. It was expensive, but it gave me a lot of happiness.

2. Don’t insist on the best. There are two types of decision makers. Satisficers (yes, satisficers) make a decision once their criteria are met. When they find the hotel or the pasta sauce that has the qualities they want, they’re satisfied. Maximizers want to make the best possible decision. Even if they see a bicycle or a backpack that meets their requirements, they can’t make a decision until they’ve examined every option. Satisficers tend to be happier than maximizers. Maximizers expend more time and energy reaching decisions, and they’re often anxious about their choices. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

3. Exercise to boost energy. I knew, intellectually, that this worked, but how often have I told myself, “I’m just too tired to go to the gym”? Exercise is one of the most dependable mood-boosters. Even a 10-minute walk can brighten my outlook.

4. Stop nagging. I knew my nagging wasn’t working particularly well, but I figured that if I stopped, my husband would never do a thing around the house. Wrong. If anything, more work got done. Plus, I got a surprisingly big happiness boost from quitting nagging. I hadn’t realized how shrewish and angry I had felt as a result of speaking like that. I replaced nagging with the following persuasive tools: wordless hints (for example, leaving a new lightbulb on the counter); using just one word (saying “Milk!” instead of talking on and on); not insisting that something be done on my schedule; and, most effective of all, doing a task myself. Why did I get to set the assignments?
5. Take action. Some people assume happiness is mostly a matter of inborn temperament: You’re born an Eeyore or a Tigger, and that’s that. Although it’s true that genetics play a big role, about 40 percent of your happiness level is within your control. Taking time to reflect, and making conscious steps to make your life happier, really does work. So use these tips to start your own Happiness Project. I promise it won’t take you a whole year.

6. Jon Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis, teaches positive psychology. He actually assigns his students to make themselves happier during the semester.

“They have to say exactly what technique they will use,” says Haidt, a professor at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. “They may choose to be more forgiving or more grateful. They may learn to identify negative thoughts so they can challenge them. For example, when someone crosses you, in your mind you build a case against that person, but that’s very damaging to relationships. So they may learn to shut up their inner lawyer and stop building these cases against people.”

Once you’ve decided to be happier, you can choose strategies for achieving happiness. Psychologists who study happiness tend to agree on ones like these.

7. Cultivate Gratitude

In his book, Authentic Happiness, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman encourages readers to perform a daily “gratitude exercise.” It involves listing a few things that make them grateful. This shifts people away from bitterness and despair, he says, and promotes happiness.

8. Foster Forgiveness

Holding a grudge and nursing grievances can affect physical as well as mental health, according to a rapidly growing body of research. One way to curtail these kinds of feelings is to foster forgiveness. This reduces the power of bad events to create bitterness and resentment, say Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons, happiness researchers who edited The Psychology of Happiness.