Neilands also falls in “Tour de France”, Sagan is punished for…

first_imgAs in yesterday’s stage, sprinters were expected to fight for victory today. There were many small hills on the 167.5-kilometer-long stage, but one of the largest was near the finish line, which had no effect. At the beginning of the day, only a French driver from Matiere Ladañuss from “Groupama – FDJ” went. Later, others tried to break away from the large group, but without success.Ladaanus was captured 43 kilometers before the finish, but a moment later the Austrian mountain specialist Gregor Milberger withdrew from the race. As expected, the huge peleton was approaching the finish line in very large numbers. After the work was done by the team members, the best sprinters fought for the victory. Vouts van Arts, Jumbo-Visma’s talent, took the lead for a short time, but Peter Sagan was passing by on the right side, pushing van Art’s elbow to free himself, for which he was later punished. Meanwhile, at the very last moment, the leaders flew past the left edge of Keileb Juenen, winning the second stage victory of this year’s Tour de France by a few centimeters in court.Although Sagan finished in second place, the judges punished him for pushing. Thus, the Slovak sprinter was ranked 85th in the stage, which meant that the second was and the green Sprinter rating shirt was retained by the tenth stage hero Sam Bennett.If Toms Skujiņš, who was able to continue the prestigious race, experienced a heavy fall in yesterday’s stage, then in today’s stage Krists Neilands fell 30 kilometers before the finish, but he quickly recovered. Two Spaniards, Jon Izgirre, who immediately resigned, and Jose Rohas were also involved in the fall. Neilands and Skujiņš reached the finish line together, taking the 108th and 109th place, respectively. They were one minute and 26 seconds behind the leader.Finish spurt showing Sagana (white shirt on the right side) pushing (video around 54 seconds):Caleb Ewan takes his second stage victory of this Tour de France in Poitiers. 👏 Wout van Aert is beatable! 😱 But just because Sagan bumped into him, Peter will be relegated, I would say… #– Mihai Simion (@ faustocoppi60) September 9, 2020Tour de France 11. posms:VName and surnameCountryThe teamTime1.Keileb JudenAustraliaLotto Soudal4:00:012.Sems BenetsIrelandDeceuninck-Quick-Step3.Vouts van ĀrtsBelgiumJumbo-Visma4.Brian CockIn FranceB&B Hotels-Vital Concept5.Klemens VenturīniIn FranceAG2R La Mondiale6.Madss PedersensDenmarkTrek-Segafredo108.Christ NeilandsLatviaIsrael Start-Up Nation+1:26109.Toms SkujinsLatviaTrek-Segafredo+1:26Tour de France overall rating:VName and surnameCountryThe teamTime1.Primožs RogličsSloveniaJumbo-Visma46:15:242.Egans BernalsColombiaIneos Grenadiers+0:213.For threads MartinIn FranceCofidis+0:284.Roman BardéIn FranceAG2R La Mondiale+0:305.Nairo KintanaColombiaArkea Samsic+0:326.Rigoberto UransColombiaEF Pro Cycling+0:327.Thaddeus PogacharsSloveniaUAE-Emirates+0:448.Adams JeitssGreat BritainMitchelton-Scott+1:029.Migels Anhels LopessColombiaAstana+1:1510.Mikels LandaSpainMovistar+1:4242.Toms SkujinsLatviaTrek-Segafredo+55:0982.Christ NeilandsLatviaIsrael Start-Up Nation+1:40:42last_img read more

Ecuador’s indigenous Cofán hail court-ordered end to mining on their land

first_imgA court in Ecuador’s Sucumbíos province has ordered that the mining concessions already in operation on territory claimed by the Cofán indigenous people, and those currently in the process of being granted, must be canceled, affecting some 324 square kilometers (125 square miles) in total.The ruling also requires that reparations be made for any impacts caused by recent mining.For the community, the court’s decision is a victory that represents a milestone for the rights of all indigenous communities in Ecuador. In January 2018, the Cofán indigenous people of Sinangoe, Ecuador, discovered several machines mining the Aguarico riverbed near Cayambe Coca National Park. This came as a surprise to them because they’d never been consulted about any mining projects in their territory. They decided to speak out against the violation of their rights to prior consultation as well as the rights of nature and a healthy environment, which are both recognized in the Ecuadoran constitution.After nearly a year of legal struggle to halt the mining and the water pollution that came with it, the provincial court of Sucumbíos ordered that the concessions already in operation and those currently in the process of being granted must be canceled, affecting some 324 square kilometers (125 square miles) in total. With the court’s ruling, mining will not be allowed in any of those areas. Additionally, the decision requires the reparation and/or remediation of the areas already affected by mining. Before any new concession is granted, miners must begin the prior consultation process with the Cofán de Sinangoe community.When members of the Cofán community learned of the verdict in October 2018, they were overjoyed. “Sinangoe is fighting for the well-being of everyone, not only for the A’i Cofán community, but for everyone in Sucumbíos province: for the A’i Cofán, Siona, Secoya, Kichwa, and for other nationalities that are uniting to defend their rivers,” said Mario Criollo, the president of the Cofán community of Sinangoe. “This victory is a great achievement for our children and for future generations. We will continue to watch over our land and fight to have our property titles.”The Cofán community of Sinangoe spent months protesting state entities that granted mining concessions in their territory without the community’s permission. Image by Jerónimo Zuñiga for Amazon Frontlines.Not only was the violation of their right to prior consultation recognized, the court also reaffirmed their rights to water, a healthy environment, and the right of nature. “These themes were included in the community’s initial complaint, but they were not recognized in the court’s first decision,” said María Espinosa, coordinator of the Amazon Frontlines legal program and a lawyer for the Cofán de Sinangoe. “We are pleasantly surprised that this judge has done such an extensive analysis of rights. [This decision] extends its analysis to indicate that other communities and groups are equally affected.”This victory, in Criollo’s words, sets an important standard for the Cofán community and for all the indigenous communities in Ecuador defending their territories from mining. Also in October, Ecuador’s National Water Secretariat (SENAGUA) recognized the Cofánes, Chingual and Aguarico rivers as protected waters, a move that reinforces the court’s decision and represents a step forward in the application of the rights of nature.A nearly year-long legal battleFollowing the discovery of mining activities, the Cofán community requested a protective action with the help of the Ombudsman’s office to halt the mining. In an article published by Mongabay Latam in September 2018,  Nicolas Mainville, the coordinator of the environmental monitoring program at Amazon Frontlines, described how the mining was affecting the area. “In [the Puerto Libre concession], 37 acres [15 hectares] of trees were cut down, over one mile [1.6 kilometers] of road was constructed, and seven different sites were added that included pools and camps,” he said.According to Mainville the levels of pollution in the Aguarico River were not being measured, so it is unknown how much cyanide was used in the mining operations. Members of the Cofán community had requested these measurements many times, arguing that they could see a change in the water color.The Aguarico River has been contaminated by mining activity. Image by Jerónimo Zuñiga for Amazon Frontlines.Halfway through the year, they received good news: in a historic decision on July 27, a judge from the canton of Gonzalo Pizarro, an administrative division in Sucumbíos province, ruled in favor of the Cofán community and the Ombudsman’s office. The judge declared that the community’s right to free and informed prior consultation had been violated, ruling against the Ministry of Mining, the Ministry of Environment, the Mining Regulation and Control Agency (ARCOM), and SENAGUA. The court ordered the immediate suspension of all 20 mining concessions that had already been granted, along with the 32 concessions that were still being processed. This decision affirmed the communities’ claims regarding their right to prior consultation, but not to water, a healthy environment or the rights of nature.However, the decision was immediately appealed by the defendants. At the appeal hearing on Sept. 5, the institutions named as defendants in the case claimed that it had not been necessary to do the prior consultation process because, they said, the mining activity did not take place within Cofán territory, nor did it affect the interests or rights of those in the community.  “There is a clear lack of knowledge and an act of bad faith on the part of the ministries,” Espinosa said at the time.In the midst of these tensions, the three judges hearing the appeal decided to postpone their verdict until after they visited the area to observe the damages and analyze the arguments given by the parties. Uncertainty and anxiety in the Cofán community grew until Oct. 22, when the judges issued the historic ruling in their favor.The Cofán have expressed concern that the Aguarico River’s crystal-clear water may be contaminated with cyanide. Image by Jerónimo Zuñiga for Amazon Frontlines.Consultation or notification?Espinosa spoke to Mongabay Latam about the importance of this case. “This [ruling] confirms that their right to prior consultation was violated. It recognizes that they are the ancestral owners of that land and that decisions affecting them can’t be made without consulting them or knowing their opinions, especially for mining activity,” she said.However, Espinosa pointed out that even if the Cofán community was to be consulted before future mining concessions were granted, there were no guarantees the community’s position would be adhered to since there are no laws in Ecuador regulating the prior consultation process.“The guideline applied by the government for the consultation turns it into a process of simply notifying and informing the communities, but it doesn’t take into account their opinions,” Espinosa said. “Therefore, until a law exists that is created by consulting and agreeing with members of the community, they will not accept nor yield to any consultation processes.”Banner image caption: Members of the Cofán community of Sinangoe walk along the Aguarico River as a backhoe removes land in the background. Image by Jerónimo Zuñiga for Amazon Frontlines.This story first appeared on Mongabay Latam on October 25, 2018. Article published by Willie Shubert Conservation, Forests, Freshwater Fish, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Illegal Mining, Indigenous Peoples, Law Enforcement, Water Pollution center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Universal Orlando News — Week of August 17, 2019

first_imgOperating Hours & Early Park AdmissionCityWalk is open until 2:00 a.m. daily, with free self parking starting after 6:00 p.m.AdmissionTwo-day, two-park tickets are $284.99 per adult and $274.99 per child (plus tax). NOTE: Universal is running a buy two days get three days free promotional offer, good for five days for the price of two.Volcano Bay tickets are at Anytime pricing at $80 per adult and $75 per child (plus tax).Showtimes and RefurbishmentsUniversal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration ShowtimesAugust 17 – 23: 9:00 p.m.Universal’s Superstar ParadeAugust 17 – 23: 7:00 p.m.The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts CastleAugust 17 – 23: Ongoing from dusk till park closeComplete showtimes are available on Universal Orlando’s website.Refurbishments & ClosuresFear Factor Live!: August 5 – November 15 (use for Halloween Horror Nights)Royal Pacific Resort Lobby Enhancements: March 1 – October 31 (phased)Events & FestivalsVelvet Sessions at the Hard Rock Hotel returns with Bret Michaels on Friday, August 23. Tickets are $65 plus tax per person and include specialty cocktails, food, valet parking, and the concert. Tickets are available online.Universal Orlando is celebrating their Annual Passholders this summer for Passholder Appreciation Days! Running August 12 – September 30, find exclusive discounts, offers, collectables, events, and more. For more information and details refer to Universal’s Passholder site.Halloween Horror Nights is back! This year experience houses based on Ghostbusters, Stranger Things, Jordan Peele’s Us, and more while you run from zombies, vikings, chainsaw maniacs, and Dragula in the streets. Halloween Horror Nights 29 runs on select nights September 6 – November 2. Tickets are on sale now.See you next week, and make sure to leave a question below for the Mail Bag! Share This!Schools are going back into session and the park crowds are letting up, but Universal is full steam ahead with Halloween Horror Nights. This week we check out all the latest announcements from the nation’s premier Halloween event plus more to plan our your week at Universal Orlando.Halloween Horror Nights Scare Zones and ShowsThis year Universal has set the bar right with their scare zones, locations through the park that transform into hellish Halloween scenes. Between undead Vikings, plastic surgery obsessives, double-tapped zombies, deadly arcades, and a horror concept album come to life, this year event is packed with screams.The inventive and insanely popular Academy of Villains performance group is back with a new totally new show, Academy of Villains: Altered States. Universal’s Cinematic Celebration transforms into a new lagoon show at HHN, Halloween Marathon of Mayhem. Neon lights and classic horror movies play on the water while a synth pop soundtrack plays. Showtimes are nightly during HHN at 10:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m., and 12:00 a.m.House of 1000 CorpsesWow-weee that’s a lot of corpses! Rob Zombie’s cult 2003 movie, House of 1000 Corpses, is coming to Halloween Horror Nights 29. Walk through the roadside attraction Captain Spaulding’s Museum of Monsters and Madmen where you’ll come face to face with a murderous surgeon, a psychotic family, and their previous victims.Halloween Horror Nights runs on select nights September 6 – November 2. Tickets are on sale now.Weekly Crowd LevelsDetailed crowd level information can be found here.Weatherlast_img read more

Photo library: South Africa at work 15

first_img{loadposition tc}Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download South Africa at Work contact sheet (1.5MB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) Hoedspruit, Limpopo province: Mango-picking at New Dawn farm. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, » Download high-res image Hoedspruit, Limpopo province: Mango-picking at New Dawn farm. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, » Download high-res image Hoedspruit, Limpopo province: Willie Frost sorting mangoes after fruit picking at New Dawn farm. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, » Download high-res image Hoedspruit, Limpopo province: Willie Frost sorting mangoes after fruit picking at New Dawn farm. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, » Download high-res image Hoedspruit, Limpopo province: Loading picked mangoes at New Dawn farmPhoto: Chris Kirchhoff, » Download high-res image Hoedspruit, Limpopo province: From left, Anna Mathebula, Dahine Mokope, Chepeseyep Thehthe, Florence Moropane and Joyce Mathebula slicing mangoes at New Dawn farm. The mangoes are then washed in a sterilising bath before being packed on trays for drying. The fruit is dried in kilns for 12 and 16 hours depending on the water content. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, » Download high-res image Hoedspruit, Limpopo province: From left, Richard Mohlala and Neina Mohlala packing sliced mangoes for drying at New Dawn farm. The fruit is dried in kilns for between 12 and 16 hours depending on the water content. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, » Download high-res image Hoedspruit, Limpopo province: A man staffs a phone booth at an informal market on the road to Acornhoek. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, » Download high-res image Hoedspruit, Limpopo province: Hawkers at an informal roadside market. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, » Download high-res image SOUTH AFRICA AT WORK 15: {loadposition saatwork}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about the image library? Email Janine Erasmus at read more

A list of those killed and injured in the Humboldt Broncos bus

first_imgThe driver of a transport truck who caused the deadly collision last April involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison. Jaskirat Singh Sidhu had pleaded guilty earlier this year to dangerous driving. Judge Inez Cardinal began the sentencing by reading aloud each of the victim’s names.The 16 who died in the crash:Logan Alexander Boulet: A 21-year-old defenceman from Lethbridge, Alta.Adam Scott Herold: A 16-year-old defenceman from Montmartre, Sask.Logan William Hunter: An 18-year-old forward from St. Albert, Alta.Jaxon Christopher Joseph: A 20-year-old forward from St. Albert, Alta.Jacob Paul Benjamin Leicht: A 19-year-old forward from Humboldt, Sask.Conner Jamie Lukan: A 21-year-old forward from Slave Lake, Alta.Logan Evan Schatz: A 20-year-old forward from Allan, Sask.Evan Thomas: An 18-year-old forward from Saskatoon, Sask.Parker Allen Tobin: An 18-year-old goalie from Stony Plain, Alta.Stephen Wack: A 21-year-old defenceman from St. Albert, Alta.Tyler Anthony Bieber: A 29-year-old play-by-play announcer from Humboldt, Sask.Dayna Brons: A 24-year-old athletic therapist from Lake Lenore, Sask.Mark Travis Cross: A 27-year-old assistant coach from Strasbourg, Sask.Glen Doerksen: A 59-year-old bus driver from Carrot River, Sask.Darcy Haugan: The team’s 42-year-old head coach from Humboldt, Sask.Brody Joseph Hinz: The team’s 18-year-old statistician from Humboldt, Sask.—The 13 players who were injured:Graysen Cameron: The 19-year-old forward from Olds, Alta., can’t play hockey again after suffering back injuries, a concussion and an eye injury. He had surgery in November to remove metal rods and screws in an attempt to improve his mobility. He has become an assistant coach for the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs, a top-tier, triple-A hockey team in the Alberta Midget Hockey League.Brayden Camrud: The 20-year-old forward from Saskatoon overcame a severe concussion, loss of feeling in one of his arms and neck issues. He also had some cuts on his hands. He has returned to play with the Broncos this season and continues to attend physiotherapy.Kaleb Dahlgren: The 21-year-old forward from Saskatoon received a fractured skull, a puncture wound in his head, a brain injury and six broken vertebrae in his back and neck. He also had blood clots in one arm and behind one eardrum. He is still in rehabilitation and is seeing a neurologist to determine if he will be able to play competitive hockey. He attends York University in Toronto full time and has committed to play for the university’s Lions hockey team.Bryce Fiske: The 21-year-old defenceman from La Ronge, Sask., suffered a neck fracture, skull fracture, left shoulder fracture and pelvis fracture. His spleen was lacerated and his left lung was punctured. His jaw was fractured in four places, he’s missing two teeth and his tongue was severely injured. He is still in a significant amount of jaw pain and in treatment for his injuries. He is studying commerce and playing hockey for the Ridgebacks at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.Morgan Gobeil: The 19-year-old defenceman from Humboldt, Sask., has a traumatic brain injury. He sustained multiple skull fractures, three facial fractures, rib fractures and lacerations to his liver and spleen. He spent 333 days in hospital and was the last injured player to be released. He takes part in physical therapy, where he is working on balance, sitting on his own, standing on his own and taking steps.Matthieu Gomercic: The 21-year-old forward from Winnipeg had a separated shoulder, a concussion and cuts to his hand and chin. His spleen was enlarged, his teeth shifted and his jaw was slightly displaced. He gets headaches and has problems with one shoulder. He also continues to deal with emotional issues as a result of the crash on a daily basis. He has joined the Ridgebacks at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and is studying kinesiology.Xavier LaBelle: The 19-year-old defenceman from Saskatoon suffered a fractured skull, facial fractures and deep lacerations, as well as a brain injury that led to post-traumatic amnesia for two weeks. He has scarring on his face, neck, head, arms and back. The severe facial and other injuries made him unrecognizable after the crash, which resulted in a misidentification that led to further chaos and heartbreak for many. He continues to face daily challenges.Layne Matechuk: The 19-year-old defenceman from Colonsay, Sask., suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. He had extensive facial fractures and a sternum fracture. Both of his lungs collapsed. He was in a coma for a month and had to learn to walk and talk again. He is able to walk, but has a significant limp. He also has difficulty using his one arm due to the brain injury. The extent of his recovery from the brain injury is still not known.Derek Patter: The 20-year-old forward from Edmonton suffered bleeding outside his brain, as well as right shin and fibula fractures, a nasal bone fracture and significant cuts and bruises. He continues to struggle with his leg. He has returned to play with the Broncos this season.Nick Shumlanski: The 21-year-old forward from Tisdale, Sask., walked away from the crash despite having a fractured bone behind his ear and a lumbar avulsion fracture. He has been told the physical injuries to his ear may never heal but he doesn’t expect that will have a significant effect. His back seems to have healed, but he continues to deal with emotional issues as a result of the collision. He is playing hockey for the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers in Charlottetown, P.E.I.Tyler Smith: The 20-year-old forward from Leduc, Alta., had two broken ribs, a broken shoulder blade, a broken collarbone and a punctured lung. He had six inches removed from his small intestine due to the injuries. He also had a stroke and is required to take Aspirin daily. He is expected to require annual MRIs. He returned to play with the Broncos for about a month in the fall, but decided to step away so he can continue his recovery at home.Ryan Straschnitzki: The 19-year-old defenceman from Airdrie, Alta., suffered a brain bleed, concussion with memory loss, cracked right shoulder blade and a collapsed right lung. He was also paralyzed from the chest down and the injury is expected to be permanent. Straschnitzki played in an exhibition sledge hockey charity game in Calgary in September and is hoping to eventually represent Canada at the Winter Olympics.Jacob Wassermann: The 20-year-old goalie from Humboldt, Sask., suffered a brain injury, a broken shoulder blade, fractured ribs and nasal bone fractures. Both of his lungs collapsed and a spinal cord injury resulted in paralysis from the naval down. It’s expected to be permanent. He attends physiotherapy three times a week to get stronger. His father said in November that Jacob has started to have movement in his hips. He has turned to sledge hockey to keep his on-ice dream alive.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

April 22 2002 East Crescent construction gears u

first_imgApril 22, 2002 East Crescent construction gears up for another major pour for thesecond floor slab. The Planning Department staff use a builder’s levelto check several critical elevation points. [T] >>left photo>> By applying silicon caulk to seal the gaps, the>>construction crew makes sure that there will be no concrete leakage>>between the plywood forms during the pour. The concrete used for the>>pump pour generally has more fluidity due to the plasticizer added to>>the mix in order to gain workability without compromising the>>strength. >>right photo>> The silt bed is prepared for the careful>>casting of the ceiling relief design into the reinforced concrete>>slab. The silt also works as a good form/concrete separater. [T]last_img read more

The UK government has outlined a number of new mea

first_imgThe UK government has outlined a number of new measures in an effort to clamp down on the illegal streaming of copyrighted content.After calling for views about illicit IPTV streaming devices, the Intellectual Property Office published its response yesterday stating that while existing laws are working, the government will also push ahead with a range of steps to tackle infringement.These include considering administrative site blocking – looking at the evidence for doing this, the potential impact it could have, and identifying how it could be introduced – as an alternative to today’s requirement for High Court injunctions against specific sites.The government also said it is working to further develop its understanding of how apps and a new generation of smart TVs might affect infringement; is researching consumer attitudes about the use of illicit streaming devices in order to come up with more effective strategies to reduce their levels of use; and will deliver up-to-date training to trading standards officers via existing ‘IP in Practice’ courses.“Illegal streaming damages our creative industries. We have always been clear that media streaming devices used to access ‘paid for’ material for free are illegal. Recent prosecutions have shown that if caught, sellers of boxes adapted in this way face fines and a prison sentence,” said minister for intellectual property, Sam Gyimah.“Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are backing our booming creative industries which is why we are taking further steps to tackle this threat and in our recent creative industries sector deal outlined support to create the right conditions for them to continue to thrive.”The government highlighted that the use of illicit streaming devices – like Android TV or Kodi boxes that have been altered with apps or add-ons that make it possible to watch paid content for free – damages the UK’s £92 billion creative industries.However, it said that a number of recent prosecutions show existing laws are working. This summer, for example, the owner of a pirate football streaming service was jailed for five years in Newcastle Crown Court, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud and dishonestly obtaining services for another, contrary to the Fraud Act.Kieron Sharp, chief executive of UK intellectual property protection organisation, FACT, said: “TV boxes and sticks that allow consumers to illegally stream TV, films and sport not only have a huge effect on the content owners and broadcasters but the thousands of people working tirelessly behind the scenes to put this content on our screens.“Given the scale of the impact on the creative industries it’s clear more needs to be done to tackle this issue. The government has correctly identified that additional efforts are required to limit the spread of illegal streaming from other sources such as smart TVs and social media apps.”The full ‘UK Government response to the call for views regarding illicit IPTV streaming devices’ paper can be accessed here.last_img read more

New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

first_img Explore further First machine learning method capable of accurate extrapolation More information: Nobuyuki Umetani et al. Learning three-dimensional flow for interactive aerodynamic design, ACM Transactions on Graphics (2018). DOI: 10.1145/3197517.3201325 Citation: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic (2018, August 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from Machine learning can make extremely time-consuming methods a lot faster. Before, the computation of the aerodynamic properties of cars usually took a day. “With our machine learning tool, we are able to predict the flow in fractions of a second,” says Nobuyuki Umetani. The idea to use machine learning came up in a discussion between the two long-time collaborators. “We both share the vision of making simulations faster,” explains IST Austria Professor Bernd Bickel. “We want people to be able to design objects interactively, and therefore we work together to develop data-driven methods,” he adds.So far, it has been extremely challenging to apply machine learning to the problem of modeling flow fields around objects because of the restrictive requirements of the method. For machine learning, both the input and the output data need to be structured consistently. This structuring of information works well for 2-D images, where a picture can be easily represented by a regular arrangement of pixels. But if a 3-D object is represented by units that define its shape, such as a mesh of triangles, the arrangement of these units might change if the shape changes. Two objects that look very similar to a person might therefore appear very different to a computer, as they are represented by a different mesh, and the machine would therefore be unable to transfer the information about the one to the other.The solution came from Nobuyuki Umetani’s idea to use so-called polycubes to make the shapes manageable for machine learning. This approach, which was originally developed to apply textures to objects in computer animations, has strict rules for representing the objects. A model starts with a small number of large cubes which are then refined and split up in smaller ones following a well-defined procedure. If represented in this way, objects with similar shapes will have a similar data structure that machine learning methods can handle and compare.The researchers also proved in their study that the machine learning method achieves an impressive accuracy, a prerequisite for engineering. Nobuyuki Umetani explains: “When simulations are made in the classical way, the results for each tested shape are eventually thrown away after the computation. This means that every new computation starts from scratch. With machine learning, we make use of the data from previous calculations, and if we repeat a calculation, the accuracy increases.” The new software instantly shows stream lines as well as pressure on the surface (color-coded) of interactively deformable shapes. Credit: Nobuyuki Umetani When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model the flow of air around the object by having a computer solve a complex set of equations—a procedure that usually takes hours, or even an entire day. Nobuyuki Umetani from Autodesk research (now at the University of Tokyo) and Bernd Bickel from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have now significantly sped up this process, making streamlines and parameters available in real time. Their method, which is the first to use machine learning to model flow around continuously editable 3-D objects, will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver, where IST Austria researchers are involved in a total of five presentations. Provided by Institute of Science and Technology Austria 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.last_img read more

Researchers make android childs face strikingly more expressive

first_img Provided by Osaka University he newly developed face of the Affetto child android robot. Affetto’s face was first revealed in published research in 2011. Credit: Osaka University 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. Despite advances, capturing humanistic expressions in a robotic face remains an elusive challenge. Although their system properties have been generally addressed, androids’ facial expressions have not been examined in detail. This is owing to factors such as the huge range and asymmetry of natural human facial movements, the restrictions of materials used in android skin, and the intricate engineering and mathematics driving robots’ movements.A trio of researchers at Osaka University has now found a method for identifying and quantitatively evaluating facial movements on their android robot child head. Named Affetto, the first-generation model was reported in a 2011 publication. The researchers have now developed a system to make the second-generation Affetto more expressive. Their findings offer a path for androids to express greater ranges of emotion, and ultimately have deeper interaction with humans.The researchers reported their findings in the journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI.”Surface deformations are a key issue in controlling android faces,” study co-author Minoru Asada explains. “Movements of their soft facial skin create instability, and this is a big hardware problem we grapple with. We sought a better way to measure and control it.”The researchers investigated 116 different facial points on Affetto to measure its three-dimensional movement. Facial points were underpinned by so-called deformation units. Each unit comprises a set of mechanisms that create a distinctive facial contortion, such as lowering or raising of part of a lip or eyelid. Measurements from these were then subjected to a mathematical model to quantify their surface motion patterns.While the researchers encountered challenges in balancing the applied force and in adjusting the synthetic skin, they were able to employ their system to adjust the deformation units for precise control of Affetto’s facial surface motions.”Android robot faces have persisted in being a black box problem: they have been implemented but have only been judged in vague and general terms,” study first author Hisashi Ishihara says. “Our precise findings will let us effectively control android facial movements to introduce more nuanced expressions, such as smiling and frowning.” Explore further More information: Hisashi Ishihara et al, Identification and Evaluation of the Face System of a Child Android Robot Affetto for Surface Motion Design, Frontiers in Robotics and AI (2018). DOI: 10.3389/frobt.2018.00119 Affetto: a realistic robot baby is looking at you (w/ Video) Japan’s affection for robots is no secret. But is the feeling mutual in the country’s amazing androids? Roboticists are now a step closer to giving androids greater facial expressions to communicate with. Citation: Researchers make android child’s face strikingly more expressive (2018, November 16) retrieved 17 July 2019 from read more

Twitter shares lift off as profits soar Trump weighs in

first_img Citation: Twitter shares lift off as profits soar; Trump weighs in (2019, April 23) retrieved 17 July 2019 from “We are reducing the burden on victims and, where possible, taking action before abuse is reported.”Twitter has also faced intense pressure from governments around the world to remove “hate speech” and incitements to violence.Dorsey said much of the effort to deal with inappropriate content is based on machine learning and other technical tools, enabling Twitter to “proactively” remove tweets that violate its terms of service.”Our number one priority as a company continues to be health,” Dorsey told a conference call.He added that Twitter aims to become “more conversational” and has launched a prototype for a new app called “twttr,” with the goal of “making conversation on Twitter feel faster, more fluid and more fun.” Twitter has ramped up efforts to remove abusive content and “hate speech” under pressure from governments around the world “The best thing ever to happen to Twitter is Donald Trump,” the president tweeted after the quarterly update, borrowing a quote from a television journalist.”So true, but they don’t treat me well as a Republican. Very discriminatory, hard for people to sign on. Constantly taking people off list. Big complaints from many people.”Shortly after, but away from TV cameras, Trump received Dorsey at the White House, the president’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told AFP, without detailing their discussions.Trump then tweeted again, confirming the meeting.”Lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform, and the world of social media in general. Look forward to keeping an open dialogue!” Trump said alongside a photo of Dorsey and others in the Oval Office.Twitter told AFP that Dorsey “had a constructive meeting” with Trump at the president’s invitation.”They discussed Twitter’s commitment to protecting the health of the public conversation ahead of the 2020 US elections and efforts underway to respond to the opioid crisis,” Twitter said.Trump has over several months maintained that Twitter and other Silicon Valley platforms have discriminated against conservatives, a claim roundly rejected by tech firms.The quarterly results appear to show Twitter on a positive track, according to Jasmine Enberg of the research firm eMarketer.Enberg said the move to use monetizable daily active users—those seeing ads on the platform—leads to a “value proposition to advertisers” to reach “a committed, though not very large user base when compared with other social platforms.” Explore further Twitter, whose San Francisco headquarters are pictured, has changed measurement of its user base to show a smaller but active core audience © 2019 AFP The first-quarter report showed a profit of $191 million, compared with $61 million a year earlier, while revenues increased 18 percent to $787 million for the short messaging platform.Twitter shares soared 15.6 percent to close at a nine-month high of $39.76 after the update from the short messaging platform, showing gains in advertising revenue and some signs that its user base is growing.Trump, arguably the platform’s most prominent user, sought to claim credit for the strong Twitter results while renewing his allegations of bias.On his Twitter feed, Trump said the results were good but could be better “if Twitter wasn’t playing their political games” and argued for “more, and fairer, companies.”Twitter’s global user base appeared to show modest growth even as the company transitions to a different way of measuring it.The longstanding metric of monthly active users was 330 million in the January-March period, an increase of nine million from the past quarter but down slightly from a year ago.But Twitter no longer will use that measure, switching instead to “monetizable” daily active users—134 million in the past quarter, up from 120 million last year.Chief executive Jack Dorsey said Twitter is benefiting from its moves to root out abusive and inauthentic content that had hurt Twitter’s reputation.”We are taking a more proactive approach to reducing abuse and its effects on Twitter,” said Dorsey. Twitter shares flew higher Tuesday after a surprisingly robust quarterly report, which sparked a fresh tirade from President Donald Trump over his claims of unfair treatment by social media. Dorsey said the experimental app enables users “to see the entire conversation on one surface” without needing to click through various tweets.Trump takes creditThe messaging platform has become an important tool for celebrities, politicians and journalists, but has failed to grow as quickly as Facebook and other social media among mainstream internet users.Its troubles had sparked speculation that it might need to sell itself to survive.Trump, who uses the platform for policy and political commentary, appeared to take credit for Twitter’s turnaround, even as he renewed his claims of bias. CEO Jack Dorsey said a strong quarterly profit report shows Twitter is making progress in rooting out abusive and hateful content on the messaging platform Twitter triples profits, global user base steadies 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.last_img read more