Dhoni unwell, misses match-eve net practice

first_imgIndia skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday created quite a flutter by skipping the team’s practice session ahead of Tuesday’s s third and final Test against the West Indies here as he was unwell.India have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.”He told the physiotherapist (South African Evan Speechly) that he is unwell and that’s the reason he did not come for the practice,” senior teammate VVS Laxman told reporters at the mandatory match-eve media conference at the Wankhede Stadium here.”Please ask the physio,” replied Laxman when queried whether Dhoni would play in the final match of the three-Test rubber in which the hosts have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead.last_img read more

‘Gas leak’ scare forces Rajya Sabha to adjourn

first_imgIt seems the UPA government at the Centre is not the only one in need of a makeover. The Parliament too seems to be in urgent need of one.The 85-year-old architectural marvel has already been showing signs of wear and tear. On Thursday, a foul smell created a flutter among the parliamentarians forcing the Rajya Sabha to be adjourned twice.It was during Question Hour when members complained of a ‘gas leak’. “It smelt like ammonia,” an MP said.As news spread, the parliament secretariat got in touch with the Urban Development Ministry and the CPWD, the agency responsible for the Parliament’s upkeep. Senior CPWD officers rushed to the House to detect the source of the ‘gas leak’.After some sniffing around, the officials attributed the gas leak to a sewer line running under the Rajya Sabha chamber.”There is a six-foot high sewer that emanates from Rashtrapati Bhawan and passes from under Parliament. As the security personnel had asked for the air vents of the drain to be shut for security reasons, the fumes could have found its way to the air-conditioning duct,” an official said.The air ducts and exhaust fans had to be cleaned to clear the air of the foul smell. Three years ago a similar problem had cropped up and the CPWD had to clean the drain. Truckloads of garbage, including utensils, were unearthed from the drain, the official said.This is the second time in a week that the House was disrupted. Two days ago a power outage had forced Parliament to be adjourned for a while.advertisementlast_img read more

How to not fail at your New Year’s Resolutions, according to science

first_imgIt’s not necessarily about what you resolve to do, but how you go about doing it. A recent study from finder.com.au shows that sharing your resolutions with friends and family makes you more likely to accomplish them.According to the study, 2 out of 3 people fail their New Year’s resolutions. And 80% of those failures happen in the first three months! The beginning of the year is crucial.However, 3 out of 4 people who did succeed in accomplishing their resolutions attribute their success to sharing their resolution with others. Overall, you’re much more likely to succeed if you share your goals.What makes for a great resolution?• Set achievable goals• Hold yourself accountable by using some kind of tracker—finder.com.au provides one here.• Share your goals with others• Stick to it for 3 months!It doesn’t matter if your goals are personal or professional, or whether they have to do with health and fitness or travel. (Although 58% of folks have reported making health-related resolutions!) All that matters is how you go about accomplishing them. So keep things simple, hold yourself accountable, share your goals with others, and we’ll check in on you in March!Want more like this? Join Freelancers Union (it’s free!) and never miss a post.Larissa Pham is an artist and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She… hasn’t made a New Year’s resolution yet.last_img read more

R Ashwin asks Cheteshwar Pujara to play an ‘important game’ in TNCA League

first_imgIt took just a call from his national team colleague Ravichandran Ashwin and Cheteshwar Pujara was convinced that he needed to play an “important game” for his club MRC ‘A’ in Tamil Nadu CA’s first division league.India’s dependable No 3 landed and scored 162 for MRC against Crombest Club giving another example of his commitment towards the game irrespective of the level of competition.He plays only one format now and last played for Saurashtra in the Mushtaq Ali T20 where he scored a quickfire hundred.”Basically, I wanted to get some match practice in between and also you need to be in touch with the game. Ashwin told me it was an important game for the club, so I came over to play the match,” Pujara said in a matter-of-fact manner after turning up for MRC”Obviously, I have had a long season and am trying to monitor my workload as well. Overall, I think when you are playing good cricket, it is good to play some odd matches in between and take things forward from here,” he added.That he thinks about the game is well known but he left everyone surprised when he said that one of the reasons for playing TNCA league was to get some good game time against spin bowling on tricky tracks.”I have heard good things about the TNCA league from some of the Saurashtra teammates. It is good to play on such wickets as playing on such pitches helps me prepare better. If you are doing well in club cricket, you gain a lot of confidence. When it comes to playing spin, this experience will help,” he added.advertisementPujara is happy that 2018 and early part of 2019 has gone well for him.”See…the important thing is to be in touch with the game. Also, I have been batting well this season. It has been fantastic. I think especially the Australia series was really important and the way we played. Even personally I think it gave me lot of confidence… I have realised my game even better.”He is happy that he is more than made up for his bad patch in Test cricket with a very good 2018-19.”It was a matter of time and I have been scoring runs regularly. There was a phase where I didn’t score too many runs in Test cricket. 2018 and (first part of) 2019 has been good so far and I would just like to continue from where I have left.”I was playing some matches for Saurashtra. I played Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and scored some runs even there. So things are changing. I am scoring runs even in shorter formats now,” he told reporters here after scoring 162 at No.3 for MRC ‘A’ against Crombest RC in a TNCA First Division match here.The MRC ‘A’ team is led by India Test spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who has played a few matches in the local league this season.Pujara once again stressed that he never felt any pressure of being compared to the legendary Rahul Dravid.”When I started my career, I always thought I should not be compared to Rahul bhai since he has scored more than 10,000 runs in Test and even ODI cricket. He (Dravid) has publicly said that let him be the first Cheteswhar Pujara rather than Rahul Dravid.The MRC ‘A’ coach M Venkataramana, a former India player, said having Pujara in the team was a good one as it provided him a great experience to handle a high-profile player.”It is a great experience to handle such a high profile player. To have Ashwin along with him, it will help budding cricketers in the side.He also said by interacting with the likes of Pujara and Ashwin, the young cricketers will learn a lot and would also get new ideas from the experienced stars.”Being around with international cricketers like Pujara and Ashwin will help the players in the team as they will offer new ideas. The youngsters can gain a lot by watch the big stars prepare for the game and imbibe new things,” he added.last_img read more

10 months agoCardiff boss Warnock admits interest in Dundee fullback Kamara

first_imgCardiff boss Warnock admits interest in Dundee fullback Kamaraby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff City boss Neil Warnock admits he’s interested in Dundee fullback Glen Kamara.The 23-year-old Finland international is out of contract at the end of the season.Warnock said, “I have always looked at Scottish football and he is a good player (Kamara).”He has had an up and down start to his career, but he is one of a number of Scottish lads we have looked at. I’m not confident at all (of signing new players) as it is so difficult in January.”But it’s better for me when we have had a couple of results that we have had. It is easier talking to players when you are not bottom of the league.”We can try and convince them we have a chance of staying up and ask them to come and help us out.”It is far better for me to talk to players in that situation. And if you look at the club and the crowds that are following us, it is an appealing place to come to.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Who Oklahoma Is Reportedly Replacing DC Mike Stoops With

first_imgA general view of an Oklahoma Sooners football game.NORMAN, OK – NOVEMBER 25: The Oklahoma Sooners and West Virginia Mountaineers in between plays at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated West Virginia 59-31. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)Oklahoma has made a major coaching move, as head coach Lincoln Riley has reportedly decided to fire longtime defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, the brother of former OU head coach Bob Stoops.News of the firing was first reported by James Hale.“TFB contributor, James Hale has learned via a source that Sooners coach, Mike Stoops is out as defensive coordinator,” he reports.TFB contributor, James Hale (@jhale24) has learned via a source that #Sooners coach, Mike Stoops is out as defensive coordinator.Please be respectful.https://t.co/slsOb8kPki— TFB Sooners (@TFB_Sooners) October 8, 2018The firing has since been confirmed by multiple other outlets.The decision to move on from Stoops is a long-awaited one for many Oklahoma fans, who reached their tipping point on Saturday during the loss to Texas.Where does Oklahoma turn from here?Reports suggest that Ruffin McNeill or Bob Diaco will be named the interim defensive coordinator.I would expect either Ruffin McNeill or Bob Diaco to be the #Sooners interim DC— Ryan Aber (@ryaber) October 8, 2018Oklahoma dropped to 5-1 on the season with the loss to Texas on Saturday. The Sooners, No. 11 in the latest top 25 poll, have an off week before facing TCU.Stay tuned for an official update on Stoops.last_img read more

Tehseen Poonawalla moves EC against Sadhvi Pragya, says BJP fielding terror accused in polls

first_imgTehseen Poonawalla moves EC against Sadhvi Pragya, says BJP fielding terror accused in pollsTehseen Poonawalla wrote a complaint letter to the EC against the candidature of Sadhvi Pragya asking the EC to ‘debar Sadhvi Pragya from contesting Lok Sabha elections’.advertisement Sanjay Sharma New DelhiApril 18, 2019UPDATED: April 18, 2019 18:25 IST Tehseen Poonawalla wrote letter to EC against candidature of Sadhvi Pragya | Photos from PTIHIGHLIGHTSMalegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya joined BJP on April 18, 2019Tehseen Poonawalla raised object to Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya’s candidatureFather of victim in Malegaon blast also filed application against Sadhvi Pragya Singh ThakurTehseen Poonawalla today (April 18) filed a complaint with the Election Commission (EC) against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur’s candidature in the Lok Sabha elections on the grounds that she faces terror allegations.Tehseen Poonawalla has moved the EC against Sadhvi Pragya’s nomination.Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on April 18, 2019.The BJP has fielded Sadhvi Pragya as Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.Tehseen Poonawalla wrote a complaint letter to the EC against the candidature of Sadhvi Pragya asking the EC to ‘debar Sadhvi Pragya from contesting Lok Sabha elections’.In the letter Poonawalla wrote, “It is of utmost importance to note that Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Sqaud (ATS) has pronounced Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur as the ‘principal conspirators’ of the Malegaon blast dated September 29, 2008, which left six dead and 101 injured.”Poonawalla further wrote in the letter, “Thakur is currently facing charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and also stands accused of murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy, and of promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion. That the court had observed that Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur had planned the conspiracy with the aim to spread terror and cause communal crack in the society. The BJP is fielding a terror accused as a candidate in Bhopal.”According to an ANI report, earlier in the day, father of a victim in Malegaon blast also filed application against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur after she was declared the BJP candidate from Bhopal.Application questioned her candidature before National Investigation Agency (NIA) court citing Sadhvi Pragya’s health which was one of the reasons in her bail application.advertisementTehseen Poonawalla took to Twitter and wrote, “If Hardik Patel can be barred then even Sadhvi Pragya must be prevented from contesting. This is the duty of the Election Commission. We cannot have two rules. Moreover, by stating this is a ‘dharam yudh’, Sadhvi Pragya has violated the model code of conduct. She was granted bail coz she was unwell!”If #HardikPatel can be barred even #SadhviPragya must be prevented from contesting . This is the duty of the #ElectionCommission . We cannot have 2 rules. Moreover by stating this is a dharam yudh, Sadhvi Pragya has violated the MCC.She was granted bail coz she was unwell !Tehseen Poonawalla (@tehseenp) April 18, 2019Sadhvi is facing trial in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.Saffron-clad Thakur (48), with her trademark short hair and sporting a rudraksh mala, became the face of right wing extremism after being arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.Arrested in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Sadhvi Pragya was given a clean chit by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), but the trial court refused to discharge her from the case.She was granted bail by the Bombay High Court in 2017. Six people were killed and over 100 injured when a bomb went off near a mosque in Malegaon in north Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008. According to the prosecution, it was the handiwork of a Hindu extremist group.The court dropped the charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against her, and she is now being tried under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.In view of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur’s image as an RSS-basher and the city’s 4.5 lakh Muslim voters (out of the total 18 lakh-plus voters), the BJP decided to field a hardline Hindutva leader against the Congress leader, party sources said.Last month, when her name started doing rounds as a probable BJP candidate, Sadhvi Pragya told PTI, “I am ready to take on Digvijay Singh if ‘sanghatan’ (organisation) asks me to do so,” she had said, calling the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister an “anti-Hindu leader who called Hindus terrorists”.Today, alleging torture by jail officials, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, alos broke down while addressing the party workers.#WATCH: Alleging torture by jail officials, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, breaks down while addressing the party workers pic.twitter.com/UVUomvmJZ2ANI (@ANI) April 18, 2019Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur while alleging torture by jail officials said, “Woh kehalvana chahte the ki tumne ek visfot kiya hai aur Muslimo ko maara hai. Subah ho jati thi pit te pit te, log badal jate the peetne wale, lekin pitne wali main sirf akeli rehti thi.”ENGLISH TRANSLATION: They wanted me to say I was involved in the blast and killed Muslims. Throughout the night I used to face the thrashing.(With inputs from PTI)Also Read | Lok Sabha Election 2019: All dates, full schedule, constituency-wise details, all you need to knowAlso Read | Sadhvi Pragya, Malegoan blast accused, joins BJP; who is she?Also Watch | Sadhvi Pragya Thakur joins BJP, may take on Digvijaya Singh from BhopaladvertisementGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byMohak Guptalast_img read more

Novatek Eyes LNG Transshipment Complex in Kamchatka

first_imgRussia’s natural gas producer Novatek has signed an agreement of intent on implementing a project for the construction of a marine LNG transshipment complex in the territory of Kamchatka.“The construction of the Kamchatka transshipment complex will increase the efficiency of LNG deliveries from the Arctic zone by optimizing transport logistics,” Leonid Mikhelson, NOVATEK’s Chairman of the Management Board, said.The deal, signed with the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Development of the Far East and the Government of Kamchatka Territory, provides for Novatek’s investment in the amount of around RUB 70 billion (USD 998.5 million).“We plan to create a Russian LNG hub for shipments to consumers in the Asia-Pacific region. This investment will contribute to the development of the Northern Sea Route allowing for the optimal use of the existing Arctic tanker fleet. “The project will give an additional impetus to the economy of the Far East, create additional jobs and facilitate gasification of Kamchatka by using the boil-off gas from the LNG transshipment complex,” Mikhelson explained.last_img read more

Amazon unveils futuristic mini-drone delivery plan

first_imgWashington- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says his company is looking to the future with plans to use “octocopter” mini-drones to fly small packages to consumers in just 30 minutes.The US retail giant’s ambitious project still requires additional safety testing and federal approval, but Bezos estimated that Amazon “Prime Air” would be up and running within four to five years.A demo video posted on the company’s website showed the tiny robotic devices picking up packages in small yellow buckets from Amazon’s fulfillment centers and then whizzing through the air to deliver the items to customers just 30 minutes after they made their purchase on Amazon.com. “I know this looks like science fiction. It’s not,” Bezos told CBS television’s “60 Minutes” program.“We can do half-hour delivery… and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds (2.3 kilograms), which covers 86 percent of the items that we deliver.”The mini-drones are powered by electric motors and could cover areas within a 10-mile (16-kilometer) radius of fulfillment centers, thus covering a significant portion of the population in urban areas.They operate autonomously and drop the items at the target locations thanks to GPS coordinates transmitted to them.“It’s very green, it’s better than driving trucks around,” said Bezos.Amazon said the octocopters would be “ready to enter commercial operations as soon as the necessary regulations are in place,” noting that the Federal Aviation Administration was actively working on rules for unmanned aerial vehicles.It projected a more optimistic timeline than Bezos himself for the project to be activated, saying the FAA’s rules could be in place as early as 2015 and that Amazon Prime Air would be ready at that time.Bezos hinted that part of the motivation behind the mini-drones was to make sure Amazon remains on the cutting edge of the retail industry.“Companies have short life spans… And Amazon will be disrupted one day,” he said.“I would love for it to be after I’m dead.”last_img read more

Social media success story HootSuite wants to anchor Vancouver area tech boom

by News Staff Posted May 16, 2012 4:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Social media success story HootSuite wants to anchor Vancouver area tech boom VANCOUVER – As Facebook prepares for its massive initial public offering, likely Friday, the booming social media market has also produced a breakthrough year for a Canadian company.Vancouver-based HootSuite, which provides software for managing and analyzing a wide array of social media networks, is on track to double its user base and workforce in 2012, and may be approaching a value of $500 million.Its CEO has visions of the company helping foster a community of web entrepreneurs that could turn the city into a high-tech investment hub.The company is set to hit six million users by the end of the year, with a paid client list that includes the Prime Minister’s Office, The White House, and two-thirds of the Fortune 100 companies.HootSuite — whose software allows users to control Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn from one “dashboard” — had a workforce of 35 employees a year ago. That’s expected to soon reach 250.In March, the company received $20 million in investments from OMERS Ventures, the venture capital arm of an Ontario pension fund, which marked one of the largest Canadian venture transactions in a decade.Then earlier this month, TechCrunch, an influential Silicon Valley blog, reported that HootSuite is closing in on a $50-million round of investments from some of the largest social media companies, including Facebook and Google.Ryan Holmes, HootSuite’s CEO, is calling these reports rumours, but confirms the company’s revenue run rate — an extrapolation that uses current financial results to forecast results over time — would make a $500-million valuation “fair for investors.”“This will be one of the biggest years for our company ever,” says Holmes. “We have some pretty aggressive projections, and we’ve been beating those projections month after month.”About 96 per cent of HootSuite’s users do not pay to use the program and have access to only the basic functionality.But users can also pay for access to tools and data to analyze their social media impact and increase engagement with their audience. These enterprise packages start at $1,000 per month, with some large companies paying as much as $100,000 per month.Holmes, born and raised in British Columbia, isn’t planning to sell any time soon. Though he’s had many offers along the way, his intention is to build HootSuite into a billion-dollar company, which could have a huge impact on Vancouver’s technology business community.“There is a very Canadian phenomenon of selling early at a small valuation, and not going for the big-value, high-risk strategy,” says Thomas Hellmann, a professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.Hellmann has authored studies on the subject, including one that showed Alberta and British Columbia startups sold earlier on average than those from anywhere else in Canada or the United States.This trend is well established in Vancouver, where a number of promising digital startups have sold quickly and moved to Silicon Valley, including Flickr, Zite and Summify.But Holmes and a handful of other Vancouver entrepreneurs are trying to change that pattern, says Brent Holliday, a technology investment banker with Capital West Partners.“What you find from [Holmes]… is the attitude of, ‘Screw that, we want to build the next RIM,’” Holliday says.“You know, a massive, globally well-known company. And you can’t do that if you keep selling out your best innovations at $50 million.”Comparisons to Research In Motion — which at its height had 20,000 employees and a value of $77 billion — remain far-fetched.Still, HootSuite could potentially play the same role in Vancouver that RIM did in southern Ontario, an “anchor company” that fosters a community of smaller technology firms, Holliday says.“The smart people get attracted to the big companies, and then they spin out and create new companies. That’s the whole lesson of Silicon Valley. And Vancouver has not had that.”For his part, Holmes is explicit about his intention for HootSuite to become a legacy company for the community, such as PayPal became for San Francisco.“You had a group of folks who were in early on PayPal, and when PayPal had its exit they all had massive upside. And as a group, they’ve continued to co-invest with each other, and they’ve funded some of the top web brands.“I’d love to see a group (in Vancouver) with great consumer web chops, who understand all this web 2.0 development and experience, which our team is very heavy in.”But HootSuite’s rapid growth also raises concerns about what happens when the social media market slows down.“This is a symptom of the time,” says Hellmann about HootSuite’s value. “It is very clear that this is intimately linked to the hype around the Facebook IPO and a couple of other companies in the social media space that have reached astronomical valuations.”The mobile photo-sharing application Instagram, for example, was recently purchased by Facebook for a staggering $1 billion.The investors cited by TechCrunch in the rumoured $50-million HootSuite investment round include the giants of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — the same companies that HootSuite builds its program to manage.Hellmann cautions that investors may have to brace for the social media bubble bursting in the next few years.Yet while many social media companies are faced with the difficult task of monetizing their millions of consumers who use the product for free, HootSuite can rely on a solid base of subscription-paying customers.“Our enterprise [plans] start at a $1,000 per month and go north of there,” says Holmes.HootSuite’s paid users also include McDonalds, The New York Times, Pepsi Co. and the U.S. Department of State.“Instagram might have 40 million users, but they don’t have a revenue model,” says Holliday. “HootSuite’s six million users are worth a lot more to an acquirer.” read more

Alberta Energy Regulator will appeal Redwater case to Supreme Court

Alberta Energy Regulator will appeal Redwater case to Supreme Court (CREDIT: via http://www.aer.ca) by Sandra Prusina Posted Apr 28, 2017 1:37 pm MDT Last Updated Apr 28, 2017 at 1:45 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CALGARY – The Alberta Energy Regulator said Friday it will appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada a case that pits creditors’ rights to oil and gas assets against environmental liabilities.The lawsuit involving bankrupt Redwater Energy Corp. has been closely watched as a precedent-setting case, as financial difficulties continue to afflict the oil and gas industry after more than two years of low commodity prices.On Monday, the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld in a 2-1 decision a lower court’s ruling in favour of Grant Thornton, Redwater’s trustee in bankruptcy, and its lender, ATB Financial, who wanted to sell off its productive wells to pay creditors and leave the others for the industry-supported Orphan Well Association to remediate.The AER argued funds from the sale of the productive wells must be used to cover cleanup expenses for the unproductive wells, a position backed by appeal interveners from the Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan governments as well as the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.The regulator said it was disappointed by Monday’s decision, and will continue to press its case that the regulator is not acting as a creditor as it looks to protect the public and the environment.In their majority decision, two of the appeal court judges found “no errors” in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench ruling in May 2016 that provincial regulations are in conflict with the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, and that the latter takes precedence. Alberta Energy Regulator|Redwater read more

Photo of boy pulled from rubble reminder of unimaginable horrors Syrian children

“No child in Syria [is] safe while the conflict drags on,” Christophe Boulierac, a spokesperson for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) told the press at a regular briefing in Geneva, referring to the photograph which went viral on social media yesterday and has galvanized world attention to the suffering in Aleppo, Syria’s iconic second city. “More than 3.7 million Syrian children under the age of five know nothing but displacement, violence and uncertainty,” he added underscoring the sheer desperation of the situation facing them and millions more in need of humanitarian aid in Syria and neighbouring countries. According to UNICEF, the situation in Aleppo has continued to deteriorate in the past two weeks. It is particularly dire for civilians living in eastern parts of the city where taps have gone dry and the population, including approximately 100,000 children, rely on water from wells potentially contaminated by faecal matter and are unsafe to drink. Heavy fighting and escalation of violence since 4 August have also prevented technicians from repairing the severely-damaged electricity and water systems. Furthermore, children living in those parts also face risks of outbreaks of water-borne diseases. In the midst of this situation, the UN children’s agency has been able to deliver 300,000 litres of fuel to water pumping stations in western parts of Aleppo, providing water to some 1.2 million people. It has also provided water purification tablets and suppled four million litres of drinking water, via trucks, on a daily basis to the western parts of the city. However, these supplies were “not enough and it was not a solution,” said Mr. Boulierac. Children prepare a fire for cooking in Aleppo city, Syria. As of 2 August 2016, children are again facing terrible threats from new intense attacks and fighting in the western parts of the city. Photo: UNICEF/Khuder Al-Issa “It [is] critical for UNICEF to be able to reach all parts of the war-torn city and to provide much needed assistance,” he stressed, reiterating the agency’s call on all parties to the conflict to immediately allow safe and protected access for technicians to conduct urgent repairs to restore electricity and water networks. “The fighting [must be] stopped in order to do that,” he underlined. Aid would never be suspendedAt the same briefing, Bettina Luescher, a spokesperson for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said the agency is deeply concerned about the situation in Aleppo and that during the week, it had been able to feed some 20,000 people in eastern parts of the city. “Aid would never be suspended. [We are] ensuring that the little kids, grandmothers, mothers and fathers got food whatever it took,” she stated. Responding to a question, she said that in June, 30 per cent of the food went into opposition-controlled areas, and that political opinions of people did not matter. “[The] number one goal [is] to feed civilians,” she stressed. Furthermore, she explained that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the ground need a 48-hour pause immediately. “Many little boys and girls need help, as they were in the same situation as little Omran,” she said, stressing that the siege has to stop. “It [is] hard, but not impossible to come up with a 48-hour pause,” she added. UN envoy welcomes evacuation of persons with urgent needsIn related news, Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria welcomed the reports of evacuation of some 39 people, including several children and those in need of medical treatment from the besieged towns of Fouah (in Syria’s north-west) and Madaya (in the country’s south-west). The evacuations were conducted by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). Thanking all those who were involved in the extraction, Mr. de Mistura said: “While this is a positive step, areas remain besieged by parties to the conflict and Syrians are in need of food and medical assistance to enter these areas” He reiterated that in some places, including in the two towns, convoys have not been allowed to enter for over 110 days. He added that there are also reports of desperate need for food and other assistance in towns such as Darayya, a suburb of the capital Damascus. The Special Envoy urged all parties to the conflict to allow humanitarian access and to evacuate those Syrians in need of medical assistance. read more

Britain set for most beautiful autumn in years predicts RHS

As well as brightly-coloured leaves and berries, autumnal bulb flowers like nerines and crocuses are out in their full glory, after benefitting from a good baking over the summer.Russell Watkins, Floral Team Leader at Harlow Carr, said those working in the gardens have been excited by the brilliant autumn display so far.He added: “Near the historic Bath House, the giant crimson glory vine – Vitis coignetiae – is beginning put on its annual show of fiery shades, cloaking the huge oak up which it has scrambled.“This is a sight to behold across the garden due to its huge size. Elsewhere, many of the garden’s acers are also on the turn, putting on a show of buttery yellows through to fiery orange and vibrant red, depending on the variety.“Whilst all this is going on, the exotic bed below the entrance steps – filled with a host of delightful dahlias – will continue to put on its impressive display until the first hard frost signals it’s time to get lifted.” It is a brilliant year for fruit, Jonathan Webster, Curator at RHS Garden Rosemoor in North Devon, said, adding that they are “quite literally seeing the fruits of the hot summer as the likes of Sorbus (mountain ash), Callicarpa (beauty berry) and crabapple have the best fruit [he’s] seen in a long time.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Britain is set for the most beautiful autumn in some years because of the heatwave, the RHS has predicted.The cold snap followed by the weeks of hot weather created the optimal condition for spectacular, bright autumnal hues, with some trees sporting red and amber leaves three weeks early.Plenty of sunshine encouraged high concentrations of colour pigments in leaves, which will help to intensify the burnished colours of autumn.While the heatwave helped ready the leaves for a spectacular display, autumn colours will be particularly beautiful if we get cold nights, as that contributes to good leaf colour.Because of the hot summer, trees will hang heavy with a glut of bright autumn fruit, which is also good news for wildlife.Tim Upson, RHS Director of Horticulture, told The Telegraph that brightly-coloured magnolias have fruited well and that gardens have enjoyed a bumper crop of acorns. At their garden at Harlow Carr, the higher-than-usual summer temperature has seen the garden bring a lotus into flower for the first time ever, followed by a sudden dip in temperature this weekend that has triggered the turning of the leaves. Some early Autumn colour at Harlow Carr Some early Autumn colour at Harlow CarrCredit:Royal Horticultural Society read more

CCFR plans meetings on property tax levy increase

first_imgClark County Fire & Rescue will host two meetings later this month ahead of an Aug. 1 vote for a 9-cent property tax levy increase for district residents.Should voters agree to the levy increase, the money would go toward replacing aging vehicles and hiring seven to nine firefighters, which district staff said would reduce response times in the 153-square mile district, which serves 40,0000 people in Clark County and Ridgefield, La Center and Woodland.Currently, the property tax levy rate for the district is $1.41 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The 9-cent increase would cost the owner of a $300,000 home an additional $27 per year, or $450 total.The district will offer two meetings to answer questions about the proposed levy, both at Station 21, 911 N. 65th Ave., Ridgefield. The meetings will be 9-10 a.m. July 22 and 6-7 p.m. July 27.District voters approved a $1.50 rate in 2006. That rate declined as property values increased, ultimately stifling the district’s revenue, staff say.Fire Chief John Nohr said that and the economy have led to a roughly $10.4 million in lost revenue.Layoffs and budgetsWhile the district did lose the roughly $2.4 million contract for fire services in the city of Battle Ground to Clark County Fire District 3, Nohr said the accompanying layoffs and other reductions made it a wash.last_img read more

Vancouvers mayoral race unorthodox complicated

first_imgThe mayoral race in Vancouver is, in theory, a one-candidate race. Councilor Anne McEnerny-Ogle won 63.11 percent of the vote in the primary, and her opponent on the November ballot, Steven Cox, withdrew in September. But there are a lot of unknowns.Cox is still on the ballot and therefore can still receive votes. If he wins, the council would appoint a new mayor based on a pool of applicants if he declined to accept the position.There’s also a newcomer. Jonathan Sauerwein declared his write-in candidacy Oct. 2 after Cox withdrew.The position will pay $2,488 a month and involves duties similar to those of city council members, plus representing the city at various meetings and functions. In Vancouver, a non-elected city manager runs the daily operations of government.Here’s what McEnerny-Ogle and Sauerwein had to say about a few key issues. Responses have been edited for clarity.Most important issue• McEnerny-Ogle: We need to build a stronger sustainable economy for businesses that bring strong family-wage jobs while encouraging the construction of housing for those families and employees.• Sauerwein: Traffic. We need to work with the county and state to make Clark County a business-friendly zone to compete with Portland. By doing this, we can reduce the number of people who have to drive to Oregon for good paying jobs.last_img read more

Authority for Closing Smaller Facilities included in Chairmans Mark of NDAA

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR A new authority permitting the Defense Department to close or realign small installations outside of the BRAC process, with the consent of state and local officials, is included in House Armed Services Chair Mac Thornberry’s portion of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill. “The chairman’s proposal recognizes that there are small installations around the country that have outlasted their purpose and their continued operation places an undue burden on the taxpayers and on the local community,” according to a summary released Friday. On Base reported last week that the authority would be introduced as an amendment to the defense policy bill. The text of the chairman’s mark will be released today, ahead of the committee’s markup scheduled for Wednesday.The proposal does not authorize a new round of base closures as Thornberry remains concerned that DOD “does not have a full and accurate accounting of its real property or a realistic assessment of its excess capacity,” according to the summary. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told lawmakers he does not believe the department’s existing assessment of its excess infrastructure is accurate, it adds.The chairman’s mark also includes Thornberry’s plan to cut overall spending on DOD’s support activities — primarily civilian resources management, logistics management, services contracting and real estate management — by 25 percent by FY 2021. A summary of the chairman’s mark issued by the committee’s Democrats indicates that Thornberry’s initial proposal to eliminate seven defense support agencies, including the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), has been modified, however. That summary lists two agencies that would be eliminated entirely — Washington Headquarters Service and the Test Resource Management Center. Funding would be cut by a total of $442.5 million from 11 other activities and agencies, including OEA.The Democrats’ summary says the spending reductions, which “are not justified by underlying analysis,” could harm military readiness, quality of life for personnel and efforts to eliminate wasteful spending. Cuts to OEA could affect support and grant programs for defense communities, it states.DOD photo by Army Sgt. James McCannlast_img read more

Aliens vs comet junk NASA scientist weighs in on Oumuamua debate

first_img 8 Photos 1 Tags The year’s wackiest ‘evidence’ aliens and UFOs are real (pictures) A respected Harvard scientist still says aliens might be responsible for the mysterious object that has stirred up so much drama since visiting from another stellar mama in 2017. Now, a longtime NASA scientist says you can save that idea for Futurama. His new research suggests it might have broken apart before it even arrived.At this point there are just a few things everyone agrees on when it comes to the space object known as Oumuamua. The consensus is that it came from outside the solar system, it appears to have had an unusual, oblong shape, and it unexpectedly accelerated on its way out of the solar system.Trying to explain all these pretty unusual characteristics has led scientists to produce a number of hypotheses, including Oumuamua as a dead comet, a piece of an obliterated planet and even a mysterious hunk of dark matter.  But the most earth-shattering notion so far has come from Harvard astronomy chair Avi Loeb. The astronomer suggested in November that the speedy, cigar-shaped space rock might actually be an alien space sail of sorts. The conclusion reached in a paper by Loeb and researcher Shmuel Bialy quickly went viral, and Loeb has doubled-down on the idea over and over in the face of criticism and smirks from colleagues. Best places in space to search for alien life But Loeb isn’t buying Sekanina’s idea at the moment.”My main concern with the cloud of debris idea is that in order for radiation pressure from sunlight to provide the observed push on Oumumua, the thickness of the object needs to be less than a millimeter,” he told me via email. “This would be very difficult to arrange in a natural setup of a porous debris cloud.”But Sekanina, who was recently called the “grandmaster of comet decay,” believes his model adds up and that a cloud of comet crap wouldn’t have to be that well organized to explain Oumuamua’s movements. He conceptualizes the object “as a monstrous, very irregularly shaped and devolatilized fluffy aggregate of loosely bound dust grains.”So the debate rages on. We may never know for sure what Oumuamua is or was, but one thing is clear: My 2019 Halloween costume will be “a monstrous, very irregularly shaped and devolatilized fluffy aggregate of loosely bound dust grains.” Sounds like the perfect mix of timely and terrifying but just a little bit cute, too.NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations — erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves — with everyday tech. Here’s what happens. Share your voice NASA Space Comment The most baffling thing about Oumuamua is the fact that it seemed to accelerate on its way out of town. This would be expected from a comet that gets heated up by the sun, causing trapped gas in its nucleus to expand and shoot through holes and weak spots in the crust, kind of like steam jetting out of the hole in a teapot. The effect can act just like thrusters on a rocket. But there were no signs of outgassing on Oumuamua, meaning something else was pushing on it to speed it up. Loeb suggested that the radiation pressure from the sun itself provided the boost. But for this explanation to work, Oumuamua would have to be quite thin, like a sail on a ship. The Breakthrough Starshot project (which Loeb is a part of) is actually working on a similar design to send a tiny spacecraft to Alpha Centauri. So perhaps Oumuamua is evidence that another intelligent civilization beat us to the idea, according to Loeb.But longtime NASA scientist Zdenek Sekanina has another idea that’s not nearly as tantalizing as an alien space sail: Oumuamua was really just the leftover debris cloud from an interstellar comet that broke apart shortly before it was first spotted by astronomers. What if Oumuamua is really just a cloud of junk from a cracked-up comet? NASA “This model of ‘Oumuamua provides an opportunity to consistently explain its nongravitational acceleration as an effect of solar radiation pressure,” he writes in a paper posted to Cornell’s pre-print Arxiv server (PDF) last week. “The rest of the parent dwarf comet’s debris is expected to have escaped detection.”The idea here is that a cloud of dust and debris from an interstellar comet that went to pieces when it came too close to our sun is obviously less dense than a big rock cigar. This notion of a porous cloud could explain why the relatively weak radiation pressure exerted by the sun was enough to accelerate it. Imagine the effect a breeze would have on three different objects: a cloud, a plastic bag and a rock. Solar radiation pressure is like the breeze and Oumuamua is one of the three objects. If it’s a cloud, as Sekanina suggests, or something very thin, lightweight and manufactured like a plastic bag, as Loeb posits, then its behavior makes sense.  Sci-Tech 26 Photoslast_img read more

Microsoft Solitaire was developed by a summer intern in 1988

first_imgBefore Candy Crush Saga there was Solitaire on PC. The hours wasted in front of this game are too high to count. Just know that an intern was responsible for your lost hours. Yes, Microsoft’s Solitaire program was built by an intern named Wes Cherry. It was in the summer of 1988 he ported the tabletop game to Windows. But Cherry never received a dime for his contributions. Is he bitter? What is he doing now?The answers to these questions: No, he’s not bitter, and he’s living out his days making hard cider on Vashon Island. Not too bad.Reddit’s /r/todayilearned community started a psudo-AMA after a user posted a Wikipedia article detailing Solitaire’s origins on Windows. Cherry eventually became aware of the conversation and decided to chime in after his website became “Reddit slammed.” In the thread he details the history of its development and answers any questions users might have.Cherry says he was motivated to write a Solitaire game for Windows 2.1 after having played a version of the game on the Mac.“The code is nothing great…the only slightly interesting thing is the optimizations I did to get card dragging to work smoothly,” he writes. “Back in those days getting a pixel onto the EGA buffer took getting out a hammer and chisel and chipping away at the silicon for an eternity.”He explained that within the larger body of Microsoft was an internal company known as Bogus software. Cherry put his game on their server “where a bunch of guys having fun hacking Windows to learn about the API tossed their games.” A program manager took note of Cherry’s game and made the call to include it in Windows 3.0.However, Cherry explains that it became clear he wouldn’t be receiving any payment from Microsoft other than an IBM XT computer. “I was perfectly fine with it and I am to this day,” he says.Though, people have been known to compensate him as a joke by giving him a penny. Why a penny? In a interview back in 2008, someone asked Cherry how they could pay him back. And he replied, asking for one penny per copy. So far he’s up to 8 cents. But who knows now that Reddit has been made aware.last_img read more

Stretchable Silicon May Inspire a New Wave of Electronics

first_img Group develops wearable, stretchable memory device for monitoring heart rate Citation: Stretchable Silicon May Inspire a New Wave of Electronics (2007, June 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-06-stretchable-silicon-electronics.html “Electronics that are bendable have many potential applications, but reversible stretchability is a different and much more technically challenging characteristic,” said corresponding researcher John Rogers, a materials scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), to PhysOrg.com.Rogers and colleagues from UIUC and the University of Arizona created an ultra-thin silicon membrane from a silicon wafer and merged the membrane with a slab of a silicon-based polymer. The overall process involved several steps but, in short, the group first “pre-strained” the polymer slab, pulling it taut, before they topped it with the prepared silicon. When they released the strain the silicon buckled, resulting in a series of raised wavy ridges forming a herringbone-like pattern. The finished composite membrane is about 100 nanometers thick and can stretch biaxially – that is, in both the vertical and horizontal directions.The group performed several stretching tests on the membrane by pulling it from various directions. Stretching it horizontally caused the herringbone pattern to straighten out. Stretching along the diagonal produced similar changes until, at full stretch, straight diagonal ridges formed. And stretching along the vertical direction – perpendicular to the waves – produced straight vertical ridges. In each case, the membrane recovered its original pattern when the strain was released. These temporary stretching-induced structural changes occur primarily at the membrane’s central region. In its pre-stretched state, the herringbone pattern is far less pronounced at the membrane’s edges. There, the waves give way to fairly straight ridges, and thus the edge of the membrane does not have the elasticity of the central region. However, Rogers and his colleagues say that this could be an asset in certain applications. For example, a medical imaging system that is stretchable – able to conform to the contours of the human body to achieve more detailed images – might perform better if regions directly above the device’s photodetectors (which collect light reflecting from the object being imaged) are kept flat.In their paper describing the work, in the May 8 online edition of Nano Letters, Rogers and his colleagues also discuss theoretical predictions of the membrane’s behavior. They note that these predictions match their experimental observations, specifically in terms of the shape and dimensions of the waves. This theoretical component of the research, performed by UIUC scientist Young Huang, a co-author of the paper, is a significant result of their work.Rogers and his group have previously produced structures with similar qualities: stretchy, ridged nanoribbons made of silicon and gallium arsenide. Other research groups have made circuit components consisting of stretchable metal wires connecting rigid islands. However, the nanoribbons are only stretchable lengthwise and the wire-island structures provide circuit-level stretchability rather than stretchable devices.Citation: Won Mook Choi, Jizhou Song, Dahl-Young Khang, Hanqing Jiang, Yonggang Y. Huang, and John A. Rogers. “Biaxially Stretchable ‘Wavy’ Silicon Nanomembranes” Nano Lett., ASAP Article 10.1021/nl0706244 S1530-6984(07)00624-8Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Images of the stretchable silicon membrane (a,b,c) The membrane in the relaxed state before stretching in the horizontal, diagonal, and vertical directions, respectively (d,e,f) The membrane during stretching in these directions (g,h,i) The membrane at full stretch. Credit: John Rogers Scientists have created a form of nanoscale silicon that is stretchable. The new material may help pave the way for a class of stretchable electronic devices, such as “smart” surgical gloves and personal health monitors, that are not possible to create using current technology and materials.last_img read more