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Oral Roberts University
Oral Roberts University (ORU) is a private evangelical university in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Founded in 1963, the university is named after its founder, evangelist Oral Roberts, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Sitting on a 323-acre (1.31 km 2 ) campus, ORU offers over 70 undergraduate degree programs along with 20 graduate programs across 6 colleges.    ORU is classified among "Baccalaureate Colleges: Diverse Fields".   Most popular majors include ministry and leadership, nursing, engineering, psychology, and business administration.  The university enrolls approximately 4,000 students.   
Students may take part in mission trips as part of 60 clubs that are available through the university. In 2018, over 500 students completed trips across five continents. Students are required to attend weekly chapel services. 
The name Poughkeepsie is derived from a word in the Wappinger language, roughly U-puku-ipi-sing,  meaning 'the reed-covered lodge by the little-water place', referring to a spring or stream feeding into the Hudson River south of the downtown area. 
English colonist Robert Sanders and Dutch colonist Myndert Harmense Van Den Bogaerdt acquired the land from a local Native American tribe in 1686, and the first settlers were the families of Barent Baltus Van Kleeck and Hendrick Jans van Oosterom. The settlement grew quickly, and the Reformed Church of Poughkeepsie was established by 1720.
The community was set off from the town of Poughkeepsie when it became an incorporated village on March 27, 1799.  The city of Poughkeepsie was chartered on March 28, 1854. 
The city of Poughkeepsie was spared from battle during the American Revolutionary War and became the second capital of the State of New York after Kingston was burned by the British. In 1788, the Ratification Convention for New York State included Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and George Clinton. They assembled at the courthouse on Market Street and ratified the United States Constitution, and New York State entered the new union as the eleventh of the original Thirteen Colonies to become the United States. In 1799, a new seal was created for the city.
Poughkeepsie was a major center for whale rendering, and the industry flourished during the 19th century through shipping, millineries, paper mills, and several breweries along the Hudson River, including some owned by Matthew Vassar, founder of Vassar College. Families built palatial weekend homes nearby, such as the Astors, Rogers, and Vanderbilts, due to the area's natural beauty and proximity to New York City. The Vanderbilt Mansion is located several miles up the Hudson from Poughkeepsie in the town of Hyde Park and is registered as a national historic site it is considered to be a sterling example of the mansions built by American industrialists during the late 19th century. The city is home to the Bardavon 1869 Opera House, the oldest continuously operating entertainment venue in the state.
The city of Poughkeepsie is located on the western edge of Dutchess County, in Downstate New York's Hudson River Valley Area.
It is bordered by the town of Lloyd across the Hudson River to the west and by the town of Poughkeepsie on the north, east and south. There are two crossings of the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie: the Mid-Hudson Bridge for motor vehicles and pedestrians, and the pedestrian Walkway over the Hudson.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 5.7 square miles (14.8 km 2 ), of which 5.1 square miles (13.3 km 2 ) is land, and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km 2 ) (comprising 10.05%) is water.  Poughkeepsie lies approximately 75 miles (121 km) north of the center of the New York megacity.  It is 73.5 miles (118.3 km) south of the New York state capital of Albany. The highest elevation of Poughkeepsie is 380 feet (120 m) above sea level on College Hill. Its lowest is on the Hudson River.
Historic districts Edit
Poughkeepsie has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa) with relatively hot summers and cold winters. It receives approximately 44.12 inches (1,121 mm) of precipitation per year, much of which is delivered in the late spring and early summer. Due to its inland location, Poughkeepsie can be very cold during the winter, with temperatures dropping below 0 °F (−18 °C) a few times per year. Poughkeepsie can also be hit by powerful nor'easters, but it usually receives significantly less snow or rain from these storms compared to locations towards the south and east. Extremes range from −30 °F (−34 °C) on January 21, 1961, to 106 °F (41 °C) on July 15, 1995.
|Climate data for Poughkeepsie, New York (Hudson Valley Regional Airport), 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1931–present|
|Record high °F (°C)||70 |
|Average high °F (°C)||36.0 |
|Daily mean °F (°C)||27.1 |
|Average low °F (°C)||18.2 |
|Record low °F (°C)||−30 |
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.82 |
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||9.5||9.8||11.2||11.2||12.6||12.9||11.3||11.7||10.5||10.5||10.0||11.1||132.3|
|Source: NOAA  |
|U.S. Decennial Census |
The American Community Survey's 2018 estimates placed the population at 30,356.  There were 14,240 housing units. 39.8% of Poughkeepsans were non-Hispanic white, 36.4% were Black or African American, 0.2% American Indian or Alaska Native, 1.2% Asian American, 5.0% multiracial, and 0.3% from some other race. An estimated 15 persons were of Pacific Islander heritage according to 2018's estimates. Hispanic and Latin Americans collectively made up 17.1% of the city's inhabitants. Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans made the two largest groups of Hispanic and Latin Americans in the city, followed by Cubans and others.
In 2018, there were 12,627 households, out of which 19.8% had children under the age of 6 living in them.  56.1% of households has children from 6 to 17 living with them. 14.0% of householders aged 65 and older lived alone. The average household size was 2.33. A total of 6,606 families lived within the city of Poughkeepsie and the average family size was 3.21.
The median household income from 2014 to 2018 was $42,296 and the mean income was $60,763. 
At the 2010 census there were 32,736 people.  The population density was 5,806.2 inhabitants per square mile (2,243.8/km 2 ). There were 13,153 housing units at an average density of 2,556.6 per square mile (988.0/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 52.8% White, 35.7% Black or African American, 10.6% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 1.6% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 5.3% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races.
There were 12,014 households, out of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.8% were married couples living together, 19.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.4% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.9% under the age of 18, 12.2% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.0 males.
The median household income in the city was $29,389, and the median income for a family was $35,779. Males had a median income of $31,956 versus $25,711 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,759. About 18.4% of families and 22.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.3% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.
Per Sperling's BestPlaces, nearly 54% of Poughkeepsie and its surrounding area have religious affiliation.  The largest Christian organization is the Catholic Church (37.8%), served by the Latin Church-based Archdiocese of New York. The second and third largest Christian organizations are Methodism (2.6%) and Presbyterianism (2.0%), which stem from Anglican or Episcopalianism (1.7%). Anglicans or Episcopalians within the city limits and surrounding area are primarily served by the Episcopal Diocese of New York.
The fifth largest Christian group is Pentecostalism (1.3%), followed by Lutheranism (1.1%), the Baptist Church (0.9%), the Latter-Day Saints (0.3%), and Christians of other denominations including the Eastern Orthodox and United Church of Christ (2.7%). The second largest religious group outside of Christianity is Islam (2.4%). The Islamic community primarily identifies with Sunni Islam in the area. Following Islam, 0.8% of the population profess Judaism and 0.1% practice an eastern religion.
Statue of Ipi - History
Egypt, antiquities from the Second Intermediate Period (1786-1567 B.C.)
The actual history of this period has not been completely established despite hundreds of years of scholarship. At the end of the Twelfth Dynasty, the central Egyptian government broke down and the power of the pharaoh diminished considerably. At the beginning of the Thirteenth Dynasty, the system of forts that kept out Asiatic invaders broke down.
Cedar coffin of the steward Seni, Twelfth Dynasty the profusion of objects, birds, etc. on the right are offerings for the afterlife British Museum, London, U.K.
Asian immigrants moved in large numbers to the eastern part of the Nile Delta, they were probably originally from Lebanon and Syria. Many of them were craftsmen and traders. They were the first to bring the use of the wheel as a means of transportation for Egypt because of the Hyksos chariots were now used in battles in Egypt. They also raised the level of bronze craftsmanship considerably. They created their own government. The kings of this period were called Heqan khasot, which translates as "princes of foreign countries." The Greeks abbreviated this as Hyksos. The Hyksos kings prevailed during the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Dynasties.
Funerary stela of the sculptor Userwer, Twelfth Dynasty, British Museum, London, U.K.
The Hyksos adapted to Egyptian society quite successfully. They called themselves Egyptian names, were adherents of the Egyptian religion. Because they were originally from the East, they worshipped the god Baal. In Egypt Baal was connected with the Egyptian god Set, so the Hyksos were closely tied to Set-worship.
Gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise pectoral necklace, Mereret, an aristocratic woman pyramid of Senwosret III, late Twelfth Dynasty Egyptian Museum, Cairo.
By the beginning of the Thirteenth Dynasty (1786-1633 B.C.) Lower Egypt was for all intents, independent of the formerly central Egyptian government. There were sixty recorded kings for the Thirteenth Dynasty. The bureaucracy continued to function, temples and monuments continued to be built. Standards of craftsmanship did not appreciably decline. The Fourteenth Dynasty (1786-1603) was characterized by more political volatility: seventy-six kings are in the king list of Manetho. But the reasons for this remain enigmatic. The Fourteenth Dynasty's capitol was Xois, the principal city of the sixth nome of Lower Egypt.
The Fifteenth Dynasty, with its six Hyksos kings, seems to have started in about 1670 B.C. The capitol was now at Avaris in the eastern portion of the Nile Delta.
Relics from this period have been excavated in Israel, Crete, Iraq, and far into the Sudan. However, the Hyskos never completely controlled Thebes.
Granite statue of lion, inscribed with name of Hyksos king Khyan, Fifteenth Dynasty 500 mm x 260 mm British Museum, London, U.K.
Stucco and painted plaster mummy mask, ca. 1750-1650 B.C., excavated at Mirgissa Louvre, Paris, France.
In later times, the Hyskos were characterized as brutes who terrorized Egypt. This reflected the xenophobia of ancient Egyptian culture more than the reality of politics or society under the Hyksos. This was a time of scientific as well as cultural advancement. The earliest extant mathematical document--the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus--dates from the rule of King Auserre Apophis I during Hyksos times. (Auserre Apophis I ruled for forty years.) This Papyrus is an elaborate combination math test, multiplication table and geometry guide. Here are some of the problems it illustrates: (1) A pyramid is 140 units inlength on one side, and 5 palms and one finger in its slope. What is its vertical height? (2) There is a container shaped like a circle that is 9 cubits high. It is 6 cubits wide. How much corn will fit into it?
Detail Rhind Mathematical Papyrus Fifteenth Dynasty, 32 cm British Museum, London, U.K.
During the Hyksos period, other immigrant groups found a temporary home in Egypt, among them the C-Group and Kerma people. Another group, the pan-grave people originally came into Upper Egypt as cattle-herders.
The pan-grave people were Nubian semi-nomads who immigrated to Egypt in the late Middle Kingdom (ca. 2035-1668 B.C.) and Second Intermediate Period (1720 - 1550 B.C.) They were mercenaries who acted as a police force in the Valley of the Kings. They are called pan-grave people because their graves were circular, shallow, pit graves. (B.J. Kemp, Ancient Egypt: a social history, Cambridge University Press, 1983, pp. 169-71.)
Bone with painted horn Bucranium, ca. 1640-1550 B.C. 41.5 cm x 75 cm Pan Grave, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
In about 1650 B.C. the Thebans began to rebel against the Hyskos rulers. At the start, the movement was probably confined to Upper Egypt. The chief politicians were called king, prince, and other royal titles, but still paid taxes to the Hyksos authorities.
Detail, Priest Amenhotep's wooden coffin, exterior, 200 cm in length ca. Twelfth to Thirteenth Dynasties British Museum, London, U.K.
Political discontent finally evolved into violent conflict at the end of the Second Intermediate Period. Brutal wounds can been seen in the mummified remains of the Theban king Seqenera Taa II, who fought the Hyksos. Kamose, Seqenera's son, became even more zealous in his campaign against the Hyksos king Apopi. Kamose took the title "He who bends the Two Towers," one of the names of the god Horus. Kamose was extremely successful until he reached the Hyksos capitol Avaris. At that point, the Nubians, allies of the Hyksos regime, attacked the Thebans from the south. The valiant story of Kamose's victories and escape from the Nubians was inscribed on a stele at the temple of Amun.
Sandstone statue of Queen Ahmose-Nefertari, daughter of King Kamose last king of the Seventeenth Dynasty wife of King Ahmose 21 cm Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
The statue below demonstrates that even during civil war, the Thebans managed to create pieces of high aesthetic and technical quality. Originally, the statue was about 1.8 m high. The statue once has eyes of inlaid jewels. The back of the statue has a unique feature. There are two small figures of the goddess Ipi. Ipi is typically depicted on magic wands to protect newborn babies. Here she protects the king.
Red granite statue of King Sekhemrawadjkhau Sebekemsaf, from Karnak Seventeenth Dynasty, 180 cm British Museum, London, U.K.
Ahmose, the son of Kamose, was the first king of the New Kingdom and the Eighteenth Dynasty. He achieved what his father could not, the expulsion of the Hyksos from northern Egypt. But when this happened and the circumstances under which it happened are unknown. Ahmose also had great military successes in Nubia and Palestine. Almost immediately after the expulsion of the Hyksos, Ahmose undertook enormous building and rehabilitation projects in Thebes and Abydos, however, his tomb has never been identified.
The earliest known Shabti (small funerary statue in the casket of the deceased) of a king, limestone figure of King Ahmose, ca. 1520 B.C. Eighteenth Dynasty 28.7 cm. British Museum, London, U.K.
The first heart scarab found intact, tomb of King Sobhekemsaf, Thebes, Egypt. Scarab with head of a man mounted in gold ca. 1590 B.C. 3.8 cm. long x 2.5 cm. wide. The purpose of such a scarab was to protect the heart for the afterlife. It was put over the heart of the mummy during the funerary rites. British Museum, London, U.K.
Стела "царского писца", "опахалоносца по правую руку" царя Тутанхамона, "великого управителя царского хозяйства" Ипи - одно из самых ярких произведений древнеегипетской пластики в собрании Эрмитажа. Она относится к кругу памятников, представляющих постамарнское искусство времени правления преемников царя-реформатора Эхнатона. Почти всю поверхность известняковой плиты занимает сцена поклонения сановника Ипи статуе бога бальзамирования и покровителя умерших Анубиса. Слева на троне восседает шакалоголовый Анубис. Одеяние бога перехвачено поясом, шея украшена двойным ожерельем. Правой рукой Анубис держит за петлю знак жизни "анх", левую - с жезлом "уас" - протягивает навстречу идущему к нему Ипи. Ипи изображен в сложном парадном одеянии - рубахе с широкими рукавами и длинном переднике. Жест поднятых в молитве рук типичен для изображений адорантов. Различная трактовка образов Анубиса и человека подчеркивает, что Ипи стоит перед божеством. Фигура Ипи гораздо более тонко моделирована, а фигура Анубиса традиционно плоскостна, рисунок ее контуров графичен и сух. Перед статуей бога мертвых - жертвенник с сосудом для ритуальных возлияний и два связанных бутона лотоса. На стеле прекрасно сохранилась первоначальная раскраска, выполненная, согласно канону, минеральными красками. В цветовом решении фигуры Анубиса преобладают характерные для божеств цвета - синий и зеленый, краски для которых получали из ляпис-лазури и малахита. Надписи стелы содержат жертвенную формулу, имя и титулы Ипи.
TED Prize winner Sarah Parcak unearths ancient mysteries on Minutes”
What’s the best way to find something lost on the ground, like a historical site from a civilization lost to time? For archaeologist Sarah Parcak, the answer’s obvious — from way up above, using satellites, of course. As a space archaeologist, she’s mapped the lost city of Tanis (of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark fame) and identified thousands of other potential ancient sites in Iceland, Europe and across North Africa — and now she’s letting everyone in on the fun with her $1 million TED Prize wish, GlobalXplorer .
To get an up-close introduction to the revolutionary techniques of space archaeology, 60 Minutes joined Parcak at her tomb excavation site in Lisht, Egypt, a village 40 minutes south of Cairo with a history dating back more than 4,000 years.
When they arrived, the biggest find of the season had just been unearthed — a hand, and a piece of stone tablet describing a powerful man, inscribed with one name: Intef. Interestingly, the slab is damaged in a way that hints it might have been intentionally desecrated. “Did he step on too many people on his way to the top?” Parcak speculates. “Who was this guy? What did he do?”
“But that’s what makes archeology interesting,” says Parcak. “It’s like you’re reading the ancient version of the National Enquirer in slow time.”
Yet, ironically, archaeologists like Sarah are in a perpetual race against time — hoping to find and secure ancient sites before they can be looted.
So far, less than 10% of the Earth has been explored and secured by archeologists, leaving many sites vulnerable to looting. For instance, after the Arab Spring in 2011, hundreds of ancient sites and antiquities in Egypt were left unprotected and open for pillage. Looking at satellite images, Parcak was able to identify some 800 places where looters were digging into unprotected tombs to bring out antiquities for sale. When they saw the satellite evidence of looting, the Egyptian government asked Parcak to excavate Intef’s tomb at Lisht, to preserve and protect what remains.
This isn’t a new development — looting, says Parcak, has been going on for thousands of years, at a cost to history that’s priceless.
“The most important thing for archeological discovery is context,” she tells 60 Minutes . “That’s why for us, as archeologists, looting is such a huge problem. Because when an object is taken out of its original context, we don’t know where it comes from. We can’t tell you anything about it aside from, ‘Well, it’s a mummy, or, ‘It’s a statue.’ But that’s kind of it. The story doesn’t get told.”
Which is why Parcak is so excited about GlobalXplorer, which lets thousands of people help pore over satellite maps together to find potentially historic sites — which local governments can then help secure for future generations to learn from. Join her and thousands of other citizen scientists (now scouring Peru) in the fight to protect history and our global heritage.
Recycling history: And all of Hanuman’s men put this temple together again
Pancahmukhi Hanuman Temple Karachi dates back to 1500 years old.
KARACHI: It was a tough fight – including a lawsuit and a call for donations – but one of Karachi’s oldest Hindu temples is finally being renovated.
The 1,500-year-old Shri Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir is finally getting a facelift with the use of its old stones after its management battled with land grabbers to regain partial control of its original land.
One of the oldest temples in the city, the Shri Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir is tucked away in Soldier Bazaar. Even though work on its renovation suffered a setback a couple of years ago, its management is adamant that it will complete it, despite encroachments on the temple’s plot, intimidation and threats by land grabbers as well as a lack of funds.
“The temple was supposed to be renovated within two years. But a shortage of funds and the cases we have been fighting for the ownership of our land have slowed down the process. Yet we won’t give up,” says the determined Shri Ram Nath Maharaj, the temple’s caretaker. The Hanuman temple holds special significance for Hindus.
“It is the only temple in the world which has the natural statue of the Hanuman deity, and is not man-made. Years ago, the statue was discovered from this place,” he explains, pointing towards the 8-foot blue and white statue, which is located in a room that will not be touched for renovation or reconstruction. The rubble of building material and grilles lies around the temple as construction continues on a free langar khana or soup kitchen and a praying area. To preserve the look and feel of the temple, the original yellow stones are being used to rebuild the arched walls. “We believe in preserving our temple. We had to renovate because it was in ruins, with parts of the roof caving in.”
Blocks of old stones are being moulded into new ones. “The process of using the old stones to rebuild is time-consuming, difficult and costly. It is easier to buy new material and use it,” explains the Maharaj.
Renovations start soon. Donate generously.
But as Dr Noman Ahmed, the chairperson of the architecture and planning department at the NED University, put it, houses of worship are usually preserved by using the same material from which they were originally built. “Unless there is a defect in the stones, the same ones can be used to rebuild them,” he said. However, there is rarely major reconstruction done on ancient buildings. Instead there are minor restorations or cleaning. “Temples can be rebuilt in a personal capacity but it is better to seek professional help from the government’s heritage department,” he urged.
The temple isn’t being renovated with the yearly budget allocated to the Sindh minorities’ affairs ministry. Instead, poor Hindus and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement stepped up with donations.
“We need Rs4.5 million for the reconstruction,” said the Maharaj. “We have received half of the money but we need the rest to complete it.” A banner hangs in the temple requesting for donations.
Encroaching on the house of worship
The Shri Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir has faced the same issue as many of the temples in the city – encroachment. Half of the 2,609 square feet land of the temple has been taken over.
According to documents shared by the Maharaj, in 1995 the plot (GRE 270 and 271) was divided into 10 parts. Land grabbers claimed the lease. In 2006, the temple won back four of these plots after the lease was cancelled by a district court and then-DDO East Sultan Ahmed issued a notice.
The anti-encroachment department was ordered by the City District Government Karachi to remove the illegal encroachers from three other plots, but even though six years have passed, that decision has yet to be implemented. “The illegal owners continue to reside on the land which belongs to the temple. We are still fighting in court for the ownership of the other two plots,” said the Maharaj as he sat in his incense-filled office, where a stereo played bhajans or hymns and pictures of Hanuman adorned the walls.
It seems that the temple has its work cut out. The official who runs the anti-encroachment work in KMC, Abdul Malik, was unaware of the illegal occupation on the temple’s land. “I know there is a temple in Soldier Bazaar, but I don’t know if there are encroachments around it,” he said, promising to look into it. Maharaj hopes to win back their land. “We could once again attract foreign devotees. When we win back our land, I will make guest rooms, a parking lot and a place for shoes,” he said. For now, the Shri Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir has to make do with what little land it has managed to regain.
The Spectacular Rise Of SPACs: The Backwards IPO That's Taking Over Wall Street
The SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, has become the hottest trend on Wall Street this year. It allows a company to go public without all the paperwork of a traditional initial public offering. Above, the Charging Bull statue in New York City's Financial District. Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images hide caption
The SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, has become the hottest trend on Wall Street this year. It allows a company to go public without all the paperwork of a traditional initial public offering. Above, the Charging Bull statue in New York City's Financial District.
Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
This year, the hottest trend on Wall Street could be summed up in one strange and unfamiliar word: SPAC.
Shaquille O'Neal's got a SPAC. Former House Speaker Paul Ryan's got a SPAC. Famed investor Bill Ackman launched a $4 billion SPAC. And a 25-year-old became the youngest self-made billionaire thanks to — you guessed it — a SPAC.
So what is a SPAC? A "special purpose acquisition company" is a way for a company to go public without all the paperwork of a traditional IPO, or initial public offering.
In an IPO, a company announces it wants to go public, then discloses a lot of details about its business operations. After that, investors put money into the company in exchange for shares.
A SPAC flips that process around. Investors pool their money together first, with no idea what company they're investing in. The SPAC goes public as a shell company. The required disclosures are easier than those for a regular IPO, because a pile of money doesn't have any business operations to describe.
Then, generally, the SPAC goes out and looks for a real company that wants to go public, and they merge together. The company gets the stock ticker and the pile of money much more quickly than through a normal IPO.
The investors now own stock in a real company, not just a shell company. And the sponsor who put the work into organizing the SPAC gets a big chunk of the company as a reward.
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For the last two decades, SPACs have existed on the fringes of the financial world.
"They have this sort of shady origin story," says Usha Rodrigues, a professor at the University of Georgia School of Law.
Today's SPACs are descended from the "blank-check corporations" of the 1980s, which "really had a bad reputation," Rodrigues says.
They were so infamous for scamming investors that a federal law was passed to crack down on them.
Along the way, the blank-check model was reinvented as a SPAC, with crucial safeguards for investors. For instance, if an investor didn't approve of the company a SPAC sponsor chose to merge with, the investor could get his or her money back, plus interest.
But SPACs remained unpopular. Until now.
IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, and deal-making in general are all up sharply right now — no wonder, as the stock market is currently booming.
But SPACs, specifically, are surging like nothing else. SPAC launches have quadrupled since last year, and an astonishing number of SPAC combinations (the transactions that actually take a company public) have been announced.
"I've probably done, you know, one or two SPAC combinations a year for the last five years — until this year," says Sarah Morgan, a lawyer with the large energy-focused law firm Vinson & Elkins. "This year the market just exploded. [SPACs] are over 50% of my practice this year."
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SPACs are sparking new attention in part because their built-in advantages — speed, control and less uncertainty for founders who want to go public — are particularly appealing in a year marked by volatility.
Austin Russell is the CEO of Luminar, a company that makes lidar — technology that detects surrounding objects, sort of like radar but using lasers — for self-driving vehicles.
He founded the company as a teenager, and now Luminar has contracts with companies like Volvo.
It was time to go public. Russell said that "mechanically and financially," a SPAC just made sense — and you can't argue with the speed.
"You got through the process end to end in, you know, like four months, as opposed to having to spend huge time and distraction for the better part of a year or two," he says.
But Russell didn't agree to a SPAC until he'd seen several other "very legitimate" companies go public through the process.
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That's another key element in the meteoric rise of SPACs: After high-profile, well-regarded companies and investors started getting involved in SPACs, other people were more willing to give it a shot.
As Russell put it, a SPAC is now "pretty cool."
Russell completed his company's SPAC merger this month — a transaction that made him Forbes' youngest self-made billionaire.
SPACS can also mean big bucks for the sponsors who organize them, who are rewarded with a big chunk of equity when they close a deal. In fact, sponsors can make so much money if they complete a SPAC that some critics worry there's an incentive to merge with a mediocre company just to get their payday.
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And that raises a big question: whether this SPAC craze will be good for investors. The stock market is booming now, and SPACs are a boom within a boom, but will that actually lead to returns?
Some of this year's SPACs have performed badly on the stock market, and others have raised bigger concerns.
After zero-emission truck-maker Nikola went public through a SPAC, it was accused of fraud, which the company denies.
Today's SPACs are much safer investments than the fraudulent blank-check companies of the '80s, says Rodrigues, but the same streamlined, speedy process that appeals to founders could increase the perils for investors.
"The flip side of making things easier for companies is inevitably that the risk of fraud to investors goes up," she says. "I don't know any way to square that circle."
Illinois Statutes Chapter 625. Vehicles §-601.General speed restrictions
(a) No vehicle may be driven upon any highway of this State at a speed which is greater than is reasonable and proper with regard to traffic conditions and the use of the highway, or endangers the safety of any person or property. The fact that the speed of a vehicle does not exceed the applicable maximum speed limit does not relieve the driver from the duty to decrease speed when approaching and crossing an intersection, approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, or when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions. Speed must be decreased as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person or vehicle on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.
(a-5) For purposes of this Section, “urban district” does not include any interstate highway as defined by Section 1-133.1 of this Code which includes all highways under the jurisdiction of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.
(b) No person may drive a vehicle upon any highway of this State at a speed which is greater than the applicable statutory maximum speed limit established by paragraphs (c), (d), (e), (f) or (g) of this Section, by Section 11-605 or by a regulation or ordinance made under this Chapter.
(c) Unless some other speed restriction is established under this Chapter, the maximum speed limit in an urban district for all vehicles is:
2. 15 miles per hour in an alley.
(d) Unless some other speed restriction is established under this Chapter, the maximum speed limit outside an urban district for any vehicle is (1) 65 miles per hour for all or part of highways that are designated by the Department, have at least 4 lanes of traffic, and have a separation between the roadways moving in opposite directions and (2) 55 miles per hour for all other highways, roads, and streets.
(d-1) Unless some other speed restriction is established under this Chapter, the maximum speed limit outside an urban district for any vehicle is (1) 70 miles per hour on any interstate highway as defined by Section 1-133.1 of this Code which includes all highways under the jurisdiction of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (2) 65 miles per hour for all or part of highways that are designated by the Department, have at least 4 lanes of traffic, and have a separation between the roadways moving in opposite directions and (3) 55 miles per hour for all other highways, roads, and streets. The counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair, and Will may adopt ordinances setting a maximum speed limit on highways, roads, and streets that is lower than the limits established by this Section.
(e) In the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will, unless some lesser speed restriction is established under this Chapter, the maximum speed limit outside an urban district for a second division vehicle designed or used for the carrying of a gross weight of 8,001 pounds or more (including the weight of the vehicle and maximum load) is 60 miles per hour on any interstate highway as defined by Section 1-133.1 of this Code and 55 miles per hour on all other highways, roads, and streets.
(f) Unless some other speed restriction is established under this Chapter, the maximum speed limit outside an urban district for a bus is:
1. 65 miles per hour upon any highway which has at least 4 lanes of traffic and of which the roadways for traffic moving in opposite directions are separated by a strip of ground which is not surfaced or suitable for vehicular traffic, except that the maximum speed limit for a bus on all highways, roads, or streets not under the jurisdiction of the Department or the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is 55 miles per hour
1.5. 70 miles per hour upon any interstate highway as defined by Section 1-133.1 of this Code outside the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will and
Luna—raised in a mix of Pooyoukitchum, Ipi and Mexican-American heritage and traditions—says this convergence of experiences, information and histories propels his creative thought and ingenuity as a multimedia performance and installation artist.
The 2015 National Artist Fellowship is recognition to Luna’s extraordinary talent. His upcoming project and working title, “Atmospheric Rituals” has Luna intensely examining and pondering “cultural authenticity” as it relates to Indigenous origin stories and current DNA mapping of human migration. This new work will incorporate numerous elements: live performance, video, original music, autobiography, cultural identity, juxtaposing poignancy and humor. His plans to maximize efficient use of modern technology inventively and innovatively will make the project ready for tour as either a live performative work or an installation.
Luna’s collaborator for the project will be Denise Uyehara, like Luna, also an award-winning interdisciplinary performance artist. Uyehara’s work “investigates what marks us in our migration across borders of identity.”
In studying DNA mapping, James learned that the theory indicates that Native cultures originated from Central Asia. This contradicts countless traditional creation stories and other scientific theories. So Luna and Uyehara together are exploring the intersecting overlays and fissures between their own genetics, cultural backgrounds, and imaginations to develop “Atmospheric Rituals.” The larger scope of “Atmospheric Rituals” will re-imagine theory and story considering Indigeneity to include Siberia, Tibet and the Pacific Rim.
“I think somewhere in the mess, many Indian artist forgot who they were by doing work that had nothing to do with their tribe, by doing work that did not tell about their existence in the world today, and by doing work for others and not for themselves.”