Category Archives: mayitfactdvf

Breaking through the stereotypes immigrants are learning about Indigenous peoples on InFocus

first_imgAPTN InFocusStarting over in a new country is stressful. There’s a lot to learn.But what happens when you hear inaccurate information?  How do you know what is true and what is false?People who work with newcomers say stereotypes and myths about Indigenous peoples are repeated unchallenged, leading immigrants to be misinformed and even afraid of the population.“There is not much education for newcomers to learn about their cultures and their diversity that exists within their community of the Indigenous people,” says Hani Ataan Al-Ubeady, the community engagement co-ordinator with Immigration Partnership Winnipeg.However, his group is working to change that, he tells InFocus host Melissa Ridgen.“My perception of Indigenous people was very, for quite a while, was very negative,” says  Roxanna Alchmetova, who came to Canada from Kazakhstan at 12.“It took me a while to realize and to learn that the things they were teaching me were not correct.”Alchmetova wants to take her education into her own hands and learn the truth about Indigenous peoples in Canada.She is writing her thesis on Indigenous Newcomer relations.  And looks at how, among other things, new Canadians can build stronger relationships with Indigenous peoples and participate in acts of reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.Eliyana Angelova, a newcomer from Bulgaria, says she too was told many negative stories about Indigenous peoples when she first arrived.She says she was told to not live near them, that they were dangerous.But once she got to know them, she realized the stories she was told weren’t the whole story.“You need the personal story to understand and to learn. Just like listening to the histories without the face is different.”Angelova works with other newcomers and Partnership Winnipeg to help dispel stereotypes and debunk myths believed by many Canadians.“Therefore it’s essential to create an orientation toolkit to educate newcomers,” adds Al-Ubeady.He says he and the rest of the team at Partnership Winnipeg are developing materials and resources so Canadian newcomers will have the facts.last_img read more

Morocco approves Islamic finance legislation

Taroudant – Morocco’s House of Representatives issued on Tuesday a final approval to the project of Islamic finance law, which authorizes the establishment of Islamic banks and allows private companies to issue Islamic bonds.After months of delays, the Moroccan parliament finally approved the Islamic financial bill that will regulate Islamic banks and sukuk issues in the kingdom.This new bill will pave the way to financial institute to establish full-fledged Islamic banks in Morocco. Said Khayroune, the head of parliament’s economics and finance committee, told Reuters that “The bill has been voted by 161 votes and no one was against it.” “The bill will be effective once it is published in Morocco’s official bulletin in coming days,” he added.Since the coming of the Islamist-led government in 2011, the government has been attempting to develop Islamic finance in order to attract wealthy Gulf stakeholders and to meet the needs of a growing clientele looking for “halal” transactions.Last month, Brahim Benjelloun Touimi, the CEO of “Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur” (BMCE), said that the bank was preparing to launch an alternative subsidiary as a joint venture with a major Islamic financial institution from the Middle East, without revealing the identity of that financial institution.Islamic banks, like other banks, carry out all banking and financial transactions, including trade and investment and craft projects that contribute to the economic and social development in conformity with Islamic law and sophisticated modern techniques. read more

Crowdfunding boosted the growth of these tiny Canadian startups almost overnight in

Freire had some concerns about competing with countless other drone products on Indiegogo and rival crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, including many that were very early in their development stages. But he was confident that the Indiegogo community would respond to the fact that the PlexiDrone was a far more polished product almost ready to be manufactured.“You could say it’s a saturated market to some extent, but there are a lot of people who are making money just from building custom products for a small number of end users where they’re not really thinking about the larger-scale picture and the regulatory aspects of it,” he said.“Our background is in aerospace engineering so from Day 1 we went out and we met with Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration, we got special flight operating certificates in Canada, we’re working with the FAA on allowing people to use the PlexiDrone commercially as well for film and photography. So we’re thinking ahead of the game in a couple of dimensions.”The third most successful Canadian campaign was for the Vanhawks Valour smart-bike, which offers riders turn-by-turn navigation, blind spot detection technology, and digital tracking of trips. More than $820,000 was raised to get the bike into production.Both Freire and D’Souza said they only expect crowdfunding to grow as a trend next year.“I certainly see it as something that’s here to stay — people assumed that eBay would go the way of the dodo too after free local online classifieds came around,” D’Souza said.If anything, Freire said he’s concerned that crowdfunding might get too big and overrun with campaigns launched by large companies.“The one thing that I worry about is that it’s going to become a platform for larger companies that are already well established to come in and use their funding for better marketing, better PR and it’s going to be easy to exploit and take away from the spirit of what crowdfunding currently is,” Freire said.Tam said he’s heard those concerns but thinks it would only help small companies if huge corporations also used Indiegogo and Kickstarter. He feels it would further legitimize the crowdfunding concept and lead to more consumers supporting start-up companies.“Tech companies understand that big companies coming in and playing in this space is not necessarily taking anything away from them, if anything it’s bringing credibility and it’s bringing public awareness,” Tam said.“Companies who are crowdfunding their products know that they’re not in competition with Samsung and LG and Sony and Apple, they’re aspiring to bring products to market that those companies don’t have a product for yet.”Mass Fidelity, DreamQii and Vanhawks have yet to deliver their products. As crowdfunding campaigns have ballooned in size and popularity, concerns have grown about companies making promises about products that they can’t keep.But horror stories of badly botched campaigns are relatively rare, argued D’Souza, who added that his supporters have not been skeptical of his claims to date.“Most of the failures are the little guys out there, most of the big campaigns have actually delivered — and if not (they’re late) on the delivery schedules they may have promised,” he said.“We might have had one or two out of 3,000 (supporters) who are skeptics and said, ’How can I be sure your product will deliver on its claims?’ Being a serious company, we made some casual promises of money back, we plan to launch in retail and offered the crowdfunding customers the same warranty we would for retail customers.” TORONTO — There was $1.3 million raised for high-fidelity wireless speakers, almost $1.2 million for specialty drones and $820,000 for smart-bikes.In 2014, three tiny Canadian companies went from teetering in obscurity to making headlines on tech blogs around the world thanks to successful crowdfunding campaigns that spurred exponential growth almost overnight.Once the domain of hobbyists and tinkerers, crowdfunding is increasingly becoming a growth strategy for real — but still small — companies with big ideas.“An older paradigm about crowdfunding was four guys in their garage who couldn’t find money any other way,” said Steve Tam, a marketing manager with Indiegogo Canada.“Now we’re seeing an increasing number of companies who are either already in market or have a very validated product and are using crowdfunding as a part of their marketing campaign, or their fundraising, or their access to international markets.“This is a really cool place for people to find new ideas and concepts.”Mass Fidelity, headquartered just east of Toronto, turned to Indiegogo earlier this year. The company sought about $55,000 to help get its Core wireless speaker system from the prototype stage into production.“We considered it a bit of a get-the-word out exercise, we were a small company no one had heard of based in sleepy old Toronto. It was the ability for us to make a sales pitch to a much wider audience than we normally could,” said co-founder Neil D’Souza.Crowdfunding? 7 steps to help you prepare for a successful U.S. campaignFour ways to get the media behind your crowdfunding campaignHow to make your startup’s crowdfunding campaign a hitTo the Core team’s astonishment, the modest crowdfunding campaign raised more than 25 times what the company was originally seeking, eventually surpassing $1.3 million.“It literally has changed our company. We’re going to accelerate our growth in a manner that we couldn’t have possibly managed. We’re going to be somewhere in 12 months that we were probably going to be in 36 months,” D’Souza said.The second most successful crowdfunding campaign in Canada this year was for the PlexiDrone, targeted at photographers and videographers, which raised $1.17 million after setting a goal of about $115,000.“We could’ve spent $2 million on PR and marketing and we would not have gained the worldwide exposure that we have,” said Klever Freire, chief executive of DreamQii, the company that created the PlexiDrone.Michael Barker/CNW Group/DreamQii read more

BASL goes to court over impeachment

Some international rights groups have expressed concern over the impeachment. The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, has urged Sri Lanka to “reconsider” the motion and ensure that proper due process is carried out. (Xinhua) The chief justice had denied all the allegations including not declaring over bank accounts and misuse of power against her.The chief justice came under criticism by the government after her ruling against a bill that sought wider power for Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa. The BASL which represents all the lawyers in the country and part of the judges said that the PSC on Thursday refused to accede to request of the Supreme Court to postpone the probe until a constitutional interpretation is given on the impeachment procedure. The policy making body of 11,000 lawyers of Sri Lanka said Wednesday that they went to the Supreme Court challenging the impeachment of country’s first female chief justice.The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) had filed an action against the Speaker of the Parliament and 11-member Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake on 14 charges, the Bar President Wijedasa Rajapaksa said. In its fundamental rights action, the Bar Association has asked the Supreme Court to issue an immediate order to stay further proceedings of the impeachment as it violates the fundamental rights of the legal fraternity and of the citizens of Sri Lanka. read more

Cabinet approves proposed FTA with Singapore

Cabinet has approved the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be signed with Singapore, the Government said today.The Government said that cabinet approval for the FTA was sought by Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama. The agreement consists of provisions regarding trade in goods and services, service liberalization, investments, public procurement, etc.It was decided to sign the agreement subject to clearance from the Attorney General. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Yemen UN Security Council hails new peace accord warns against violent disruptions

Yemen has recently emerged from a complex UN-backed transition, but the past few months have been marked by violence and unrest in some parts of the country, with scores of thousands of Houthi people from the north descending on the capital, Sana’a. “The members of the Security Council emphasise that any actions disrupting security and the carrying out of attacks and threats against political opponents are unacceptable and threaten the peace and security of the whole country,” the 15-member body said in a press statement, stressing the need for all parties to turn over all medium and heavy weapons to legitimate State security bodies.“These actions must cease now. In this regard, the members of the Security Council underline the necessity for all the parties, including the Houthis, to abide strictly by the terms of the Peace and National Partnership Agreement in its entirety.”The agreement was signed at the weekend as part of efforts led by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Adviser, Jamal Benomar. The Council underlined that President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi is the legitimate authority based on election results and all parties and political actors must unite behind him to keep the country on track to stability and security.“The members of the Security Council call for rapid formation of the new government and, in particular, stress the need for all parties to respect and uphold the paramount importance of security organs that are loyal to the state,” the statement said. read more

A Weird NFL Weekend Leaves Us Even More Confused

gfoster: (Geoff Foster, sports editor): NFL Week 14 was very odd in many respects (and the week isn’t over) with the Raiders, Niners and Giants winning and the Rams, Texans, Steelers and Patriots all losing. It all went a long way to making the playoff picture even murkier. What was your biggest takeaway from the week?Salfino (Michael Salfino, contributor): How much should we be worried about the Rams? Is every offense entitled to one hiccup like this, or is it part of a pattern that began with the Lions, who did not care about play-action at all and just covered the receivers. The Bears also did not bite. Does Los Angeles have a Plan B?neil (Neil Paine, senior sports writer): It was definitely startling to see the Rams’ offense be held in check so thoroughly. Jared Goff was terrible. Todd Gurley did next to nothing. The Rams’ offensive expected points added in the game was -23.5. That was 29.6 points worse than their second-worst offensive game of the season … which was Week 13 vs. Detroit. And it was 33.8 points of EPA worse than their low before the Detroit game.sara.ziegler (Sara Ziegler, assistant sports editor): I know people talk a lot about playing in the cold as a problem, and I usually roll my eyes. But was that a factor here?neil: The Rams have only played four games where temp was under 50 degrees in the Sean McVay era.Salfino: I know, that temperature stuff. I just can’t believe these guys from all different parts of the country are suddenly able to only play in warm weather. But that’s going to be the theory of the case now almost certainly.gfoster: The Rams game at Detroit was definitely curious. They came out of the bye completely flat, Goff played poorly, and most people kinda wrote it off to rust. But now I’m starting to wonder if teams, as Mike alluded to, are starting to figure out this McVay offense.Salfino: This kind of thing has happened before. The 1994 49ers team that won the Super Bowl and was electrifying on offense laid an egg against the Eagles that year, losing 40-8. They had 189 yards that game.And on defense, the 1985 Bears famously flubbed a primetime game against the Dolphins late in the year for their only loss that season.gfoster: That Detroit game was in a dome, Sara.Salfino: This can’t be Cooper Kupp, can it? My theory of playing the Rams was to just ignore the running game. I figured a team that gave them fits would basically concede Gurley. What really surprised me about the Chicago performance was that Gurley didn’t even get going. They had nothing. The Bears didn’t even accept the slow death of Gurley running.sara.ziegler: But why didn’t the Rams even try to run Gurley? Only 11 carries?neil: Good question, Sara. They had been almost exactly balanced (49.7 percent pass/50.3 percent run) on first down, but last night they passed on 73 percent of first downs. Despite averaging 4.6 yards per carry on the first downs where they did run.Salfino: My feeling watching the game with Gurley is that the Rams wanted to get wide open passes by faking to Gurley like they usually do, and then when that didn’t work, they were behind the down and distance and had to straight-up pass, with typically disastrous results.neil: Right — Goff had a 23.0 passer rating on 1st down.Salfino: What happens to a play-action offense when no one buys into the deception? When the defense just ignores it?sara.ziegler: I guess I would argue that you should just run the ball.Especially with a guy like Gurley.Salfino: Exactly right. That’s when they should run. This is probably why McVay was so hard on himself in the post-game.sara.ziegler: And for good reason! LOLgfoster: Let’s talk about the ending of the Dolphins-Patriots game, which was probably the highlight of the year. Although, I may be partial to the Chris Carson front flip a couple weeks ago.neil: Incredible. Just look at the diagram: Longest game-winning scoring play in NFL history, I believe.Salfino: Kenyan Drake made the best nonlateral decision ever on a lateral play. Or maybe the worst since anyone other than Gronk easily tackles him.gfoster: The funniest sequence of that was when Drake was looking to lateral more and then you could see him to say to himself, “Oh wait, I can just run this in from here.”sara.ziegler: Gronk definitely failing his defensive audition.Salfino: Why was Gronk even on the field? It was not a Hail Mary situation 69 yards from pay dirt.neil: Right, clearly Ryan Tannehill doesn’t have the arm for that throw in the air. He’s not Patrick Mahomes.gfoster: Tannehill can throw 80 yards. You didn’t know that?sara.ziegler: gfoster: I’m saying Saints over Chargers. Cardinals with the first pick (they have at Seattle and Rams still).And if the Chargers get drilled by the Chiefs on Thursday, I will sneak into WordPress and delete all of this.Check out our latest NFL predictions. Salfino: Did Drake just laugh at the idea of Gronk tackling him?Gronk looked like I imagine Brady would trying to make that tackle. And ironically, he finally looked like Gronk on offense.neil: And Bill Belichick left Devin McCourty off the field for that play in favor of Gronkowski. Shades of Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl. Too cute for his own good.gfoster: I mean, come on.Salfino: The Ravens did everything right on defense. Tyreek Hill takes standing eight counts with three different injuries. And you look up at the end of the game and Mahomes has nearly four bills and the Hill has 139 receiving yards. Spencer Ware looked very dangerous. How can anyone stop the Chiefs?neil: The diagram on that one is amazing, too: TeamCurrentProjected remainingTotal 29Jets40.94.9 3149ers30.73.7 Salfino: The Ravens blitzed the hell out of Mahomes, and it really seemed to give him fits, but then again you look at the stat sheet and are like, “??????”gfoster: I would normally say here that the Chargers could hang with the Chiefs and look like the AFC’s Super Bowl-bound team. But that was a somewhat lifeless effort by them Sunday. Against Jeff Driskel and probably the worst defense in the NFL.sara.ziegler: I guess we’ll find that out on Thursday, when the Chiefs and Chargers play.Salfino: I thought it was going to be typical Chargers. But maybe typical Chargers is having easily the second-best team in the conference and somehow being the fifth seed. As for the Bengals performance, it fits the “letdown game” theory between Pittsburgh and Kansas City.gfoster: Although, it should be noted that Mike Badgley hit four of four field goals, including a 59 yarder. That actually ties the total of made Chargers field goals for the last two seasons.sara.ziegler: LOLSalfino: How is Hill going to play that game on Thursday? He was like Rocky on the stool at the end of that Ravens game.The thing about the Chargers that’s weird is their pace of play. They were 29th in plays before last week and then put up another relatively low play count.Could Mike Tomlin get fired if the Steelers miss the playoffs? Should he?sara.ziegler: Not in light of the Le’Veon Bell mess, I’m guessing.The Steelers’ running game was nonexistent, with no James Conner even.Salfino: Has Bell’s absence even hurt the team? Sunday was the first game you could say they lost because of it, arguably. But the defense could not stop Derek Carr. Think about that sentence in the context of this year.gfoster: I don’t think this Steelers team is very good. They now have the Patriots and then AT the Saints. They could easily be 7-7-1 going into final week.sara.ziegler: I’ve been amazed all season at how high the Steelers’ Elo was. But they just kept winning — until the past three games.neil: Looking at our Elo, though, the Steelers usually pick up steam late in seasons. They haven’t had a swoon like this since 2012. Wins sara.ziegler: I just need to take a second to thank Drake for giving me 12.2 fantasy points on that play.🙌Salfino: Fantasy scoring on that play is hilarious. It goes as a Tannehill touchdown pass. There were no screams about that because who’s playing Tannehill?sara.ziegler: LOL, good point.Salfino: How dumb are the Dolphins though for not getting a guy as electric as Drake the ball more on offense? But they’re 7-6. Have to be one of the worst winning teams at this juncture of the season in memory, but they do own wins against the Bears and Patriots.gfoster: Salfino is not a Frank Gore fan.Salfino: OMG, Frank Gore. The dude is a survivor, I’ll give him that. He’s going to end up in the Hall of Fame, too. But he’s been just a guy for so long now.gfoster: Neil wrote about this recently. Is this Patriots team just not intimidating?Gronk’s “defense” is getting the headlines, but he had a big game offensively Sunday. There’s no doubt the offense is world’s different when he’s healthy — and it’s hard to remember a playoffs when he was remotely healthy.Salfino: The Patriots’ problem is that they lacked offensive upside. But then Tom Brady really looked like the Brady of old vs. Old Brady. Gronk got rolling. Gordon was hyper-efficient. The running game was trash, but that’s sort of old-school Patriots too. Even the defense struggling seemed normal. But losing that game was not normal at all. If you told me New England was going to lose, I’d figure it was their offense flagging the game.neil: Although it’s worth noting they forced zero turnovers against a Tannehill Phins offense.sara.ziegler: That’s sort of the beauty of those lateral plays actually working: It’s a fluke, not a systemic problem for them.neil: But this is definitely the type of toss-up game they usually find a way to win, not lose.sara.ziegler: For sure. Which is what made it so fun!neil: At least for 31 fanbases searching for Patriots schadenfreude.Salfino: I really thought one of the Patriots and Steelers would emerge in the AFC, and now maybe both of those teams are going to be playing wild-card weekend.gfoster: There are four AFC teams at 7-6: Ravens, Colts, Dolphins, Titans. Which one of those is going to make the playoffs in your eyes? Or will it be the Browns, Neil?neil: They’re “in the hunt”!For the first time in approximately 30 years.Salfino: I think the sixth team in the AFC will be the Colts. Andrew Luck is totally out of his shoulder issue and throwing the ball downfield. T.Y. Hilton has nearly 600 receiving yards in the past four games. Luck-to-Hilton is maybe the most lethal combination in football right now.gfoster: Not Luck-to-Ebron?neil: For what it’s worth, our model thinks the Ravens still have the best chance at 55 percent.sara.ziegler: I like the Ravens. They were super unlucky to lose to the Chiefs. gfoster: He seems like he’s looking to run. You watch a QB like Watson, Rodgers, Mahomes — they are so reluctant to do it. Always have eyes down the field until they physically cross the line of scrimmage.Salfino: My theory with Allen is that his running is so effective and reliable that it’s hurting his development as a passer.gfoster: He also has the worst supporting cast of possibly any QB ever.Salfino: Darnold escapes to throw and not run, too. Especially on his touchdown pass Sunday, which was an incredible play.sara.ziegler: Allen is like Bizarro Mahomes.Salfino: Sara mentioned the Eagles. Is their window closing? They’re going to have to rebuild their defense, which is bereft of impact players. Their skill players are mediocre. Alshon Jeffery is not a No. 1 receiver, remotely. Suddenly their team-building seems suspect.sara.ziegler: They had seemed to be playing better since that walloping by the Saints. But maybe not so much.neil: Will we look back at 2017 as a weird, one-off year in general?Eagles take advantage of a strange hiccup in the general arc of the game?Salfino: Especially winning with Foles.gfoster: One more NFC East thought: The Amari Cooper trade was probably the most derided front office move of the year. I myself openly laughed at it. Now…sara.ziegler: Salfino: The Cooper trade is going to go down in history as the best in-season deal. He was the missing piece. Everyone else is now in the role that they are suited to be in. Dak Prescott was explosive Sunday. I can’t believe I’m saying it.The bug for the Cowboys was supposed to be their decision-making by Jerry Jones and his family, and that’s turned out to be their strength. Seriously, name the team that’s drafted better recently than the Cowboys. Now add Cooper to this. God, I hate myself for saying this.gfoster: The issue with that trade was more relative to the wide receiver market. Golden Tate, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas were all traded for a far smaller return. The difference is that prior to the deal, I would have lumped Cooper in with that tier of receiver, but it’s possible that his problem was even more Derek Carr than I thought.Salfino: My view is that Cooper is an explosive player who can take the top off the defense. Those other guys, including Gordon now, cannot.gfoster: OK, before we go, I want to get in one college football question off the big news of the weekend: Did Heisman voters get this one right?Salfino: Oklahoma somehow pulled a Favre to Rodgers in college football.sara.ziegler: I’m still kinda shocked that Kyler Murray won.It really came down to performances in the conference championships.neil: It’s funny because the Tua-is-unstoppable narrative had been in place for like two months (or more). Yet the signs were there that Kyler was a legitimate threat to him. He had a better NCAA passing efficiency, better QBR. Betting odds even favored Kyler on Saturday AM.Salfino: My take is that Alabama would be great/No. 1 in the country with pretty much a typical college QB, but Oklahoma absolutely must have Murray to rank where they are. So Murray is the MVP of college football for sure.gfoster: Here’s the flip side of that: Tagovailoa barely played in the fourth quarter most of the season, while Murray was needing to score 40 to 50 points every week to beat any team.Salfino: I’ve heard the draft people concede the Murray would be a first-round pick. Now the question I guess is how high? There are no rules anymore after Baker.sara.ziegler: Unless he’s an Oakland A by that point…gfoster: And, likewise, Mahomes coming out of the same Big 12 nonsense football that looks like two 11-year-olds playing Madden.Salfino: If Murray is a top-five pick, the financial calculus changes dramatically. He may never get another MLB contract. Look at ninth-overall picks in history, for example.neil: Yes it does change the formula we looked at here.gfoster: All right, last question:Quickly give me the Week 14 Super Bowl prediction and No. 1 overall pick prediction, since we have a legitimate race this year.neil: I guess I shouldn’t stick with my October pick of the Vikings…sara.ziegler: LOLThey’re not out of it…neil: Although who knows! We’ll see tonight.sara.ziegler: I still think it will be the Chiefs out of the AFC, but who knows from the NFC.Even after last night, I just can’t get behind the Bears.gfoster: Sara, just pick the Vikings, it’s fine. We will forget about it.sara.ziegler: I can’t. The moment I do, it’s over for them.Salfino: I think the Raiders are the favorite for the No. 1 pick because San Francisco is going to face backups against the Rams in Week 17. I picked Saints-Steelers in the preseason. I will stick with the Saints — figuring that Payton figures it out. AFC has to be the Chiefs now. They do have a pass rush. They absolutely cannot lose Hill or Kelce though. (And obviously Mahomes.)Betting on Andy Reid in January though and the Chiefs in January at home, yikes.sara.ziegler: I’ll take a long shot for the No. 1 pick with the Jaguars. That’s a team that looks like it does not care.neil: I will speak for the model and pick the Saints coming out of the NFC. We have them at 26 percent to win it all. AFC favorite is Chiefs, though I share Mike’s concerns there, despite my crush on Mahomes.And I’ll go with the Cardinals at No. 1, our model’s pick for the worst record. 28Bills41.25.2 30Raiders30.83.8 32Cardinals30.63.6 And that year they could pin it on Charlie Batch starting some games.Salfino: Explain to me how Roethlisberger goes 25-for-29, the Steelers defense is still near the top of the league in yards allowed per play, and they lose to the Raiders. Tomlin totally blows the end of the game by not calling a timeout, he gets his own lateral play to work, and then the kicker falls down.sara.ziegler: Field goal kicking has been about average this year, at 84.2 percent made. But this week was a bad one for kickers, who made only 42 field goals out of 56 attempts.Salfino: Steelers vs. Patriots is the game of the week, but not for the reasons we thought going into the season. These are two desperate teams now. The Steelers are teetering on elimination, and New England can’t win the conference without a bye, IMO.Do you know how hard it is to pass like Roethlisberger has this year and have a top defense in yards per play and still struggle to win?gfoster: They haven’t beaten a truly good team this season. Especially now that we can safely call the Panthers a bad team.And the Jags.And the Falcons.The Steelers’ best win was arguably over the Browns!Salfino: They really should have beaten the Chargers, though. But you’re right.sara.ziegler: And they would have beaten Oakland, if not for their kicker falling down.neil: … another really bad team.Salfino: Are we worried about the Saints? They did not really bounce back at all offensively from last week’s loss to the Cowboys. You have had the feeling all year that Sean Payton was worried about the depth of his receiving corps, and they had nothing other than Michael Thomas on Sunday — and Thomas really had to grind it out. Nothing in that game against a terrible Tampa defense was easy, which is shocking.gfoster: But on Thanksgiving, we were singing the praises of Brees’s ability to throw TD passes to four different guys who walked in off the street and put on Saints jerseys.Salfino: I think the Saints defense is underrated now and the Saints offense is overrated.gfoster: Where are Austin Carr, Keith Kirkwood, Tommylee Lewis and Dan Arnold?Salfino: Arnold was inactive on Sunday. Crippling loss.That quartet sounds like a country rock band lineup.neil: Are we rattling off Saints WRs or members of the 1973-74 Cavaliers?Salfino: Nice pull, Neil!gfoster: Brees and the Saints are always bad in Tampa, it seems. Kinda like how Brady always seems to struggle in Miami. What is it about Florida?(Brady was good Sunday, though.)Salfino: The Saints really pulled that game out of the fire and it was huge. Could give them the No. 1 seed, and I think they really need it.gfoster: Here’s a question: If we could switch the results of one of the narrow losses in the first eight weeks, are we talking about the Giants as a sleeper playoff team?neil: People are talking about the Giants as a sleeper playoff team NOW.(At least on WFAN.)gfoster: They have two wins more impressive than Pittsburgh: at Texans, Bears.Salfino: Eli Manning is going to resign the Giants into giving him a lifetime contract. He is sucking all hope out of their prospective QB search.Eli is the Frank Gore of QBs.neil: Sara and I theorized that Eli paid Kyle Lauletta to keep screwing up.“Here’s $50, go commit a traffic violation in New Jersey.”Salfino: Eli’s last four wins were against opposing QBs Mullen, Fitzpatrick, Daniel, Sanchez.sara.ziegler: My favorite thing in football this season is how bad the Giants are at tanking.Salfino: Exactly! It’s not that hard.sara.ziegler: Remember when the Giants basically didn’t play Saquon Barkley in the second half against Philly?And handed the Eagles that game?Salfino: Although the Jets would have the No. 1 pick right now if Sam Darnold didn’t mess it all up by winning.neil: Broadway Sam can’t help himself.gfoster: A lot of teams are struggling to tank. These guys need to watch more NBA. The Niners won’t quit.Salfino: What about Josh Allen’s insane running. This is not a sustainable QB model, or am I wrong?neil: Did I read that Allen broke a Mike Vick rushing record Sunday?😳Salfino: No QB ever had two consecutive games of 99+ yards rushing (in the modern era anyway), and now he has three.neil: (In case you can’t tell, I am addicted to these things.)Salfino: Only one player could make that throw, and only one receiver could race to make that catch. The probability for Mahomes-to-Hill should have been, like, 50 percent 🙂neil: Maybe Aaron Rodgers could. But certainly only one QB on a playoff-bound team.Salfino: Yes, maybe Rodgers.sara.ziegler: (And he probably doesn’t have a receiver this year who could catch it.)neil: That might not have even been Mahomes’ most jaw dropping pass of the day! Simulated ties included as half-wins. Forecasting the race to the bottomFewest projected 2018 wins according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL Elo model read more

Cambridge college admits that a bell it had on display for decades

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. A Cambridge college has admitted that a bell it had on display for decades was originally from a slave plantation in Guyana.St Catharine’s College said that the bell, which carried the inscription “De Catherina 1772”, will be donated to a Dutch national museum for a major exhibition on slavery next year. Earlier this year the College announced that it had “shuttered” the bell off from view while it investigated its origins. The move came after Cambridge University announced that it will launch an inquiry to see how the 800-year-old institution benefited from the slave trade.Researchers have been commissioned to pore over the university’s archives to how much it gained from the “Atlantic slave trade and other forms of coerced labour during the colonial era”.  The mission bell was donated to St Catharine’s College by alumnus Edward Goodland in 1961, three years after his arrival in the British colony of British Guiana, which is now Guyana.Mr Goodland, who studied at St Catharine’s from 1930-33 and went on to become a successful industrialist, moved to Guyana in 1958 after he was appointed as the technical director at Bookers Sugar Estates.According to an archived issue of the College’s magazine, St Catharine’s College Society, the bell was “believed to have been a plantation bell, used for regulating the work-schedules of slaves on the sugar plantations”.The magazine noted that the bell “can hardly have been cast in Demerara, and is believed to have been made on the Continent, perhaps in Holland, and probably some years before 1772.”The bell was initially hung in a belfry outside the Porter’s lodge where it was used to “summon College residents to food and to prayer”, the magazine says but in 1994 it was moved to a less prominent position in one of the accommodation blocks.From September 2020, the bell will go on display at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam as part of an exhibition on slavery in the Dutch colonial period.Prof Sir Mark Welland, Master of the College, said: “The bell was gifted to St Catharine’s College in 1961 simply on the basis of the coincidence of name inscribed on the bell – ‘De Catharina’. It is time for the true history of the bell to be told as an educational tool.”Taco Dibbits, director of the Rijksmuseum, said: “In our exhibition, bells from across the world will represent the international dimension of the system of slavery, and the different meanings of bells for enslavers and enslaved.“With the bell from the De Catharina plantation, the museum will pay tribute to the enslaved people of Demerara, a forgotten part of the Dutch colonial era.“The Rijksmuseum is grateful to St Catharine’s College for this opportunity, and will explore together with the College the possibilities for a permanent location for the bell, either in the Netherlands or Guyana.” read more

Rose Ramdehol partners with Hero Motorcycles for exclusive distribution

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCPL proliferating Tourism in Guyana, among other sectorsSeptember 12, 2018In “Business”Hero MotorCorp extends title sponsorship of CPL for 3 yearsAugust 28, 2019In “latest news”GBTI hosts auto fair for affordable vehicle financingApril 14, 2019In “Business” Local automotive dealers Rose Ramdehol will now be the exclusive distributors of Hero Motorcycles in Guyana and the English speaking Caribbean. This partnership was unveiled on Wednesday at the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club.India’s High Commissioner to Guyana HE Mr V Mahalingam has a feel of one of the motor cycles at the event (Carl Crooker photo)The Hero brand which is the title sponsor for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is expected to be an economical brand for the Guyanese public. Representative from the company Josh Ramdehol speaking at the ceremony expressed elation of being able to land the deal which he believes will be beneficial to Guyana given its success in Asia.Ramdehol highlighted the green initiative the company has taken, citing the great fuel consumption of the affordable motorcycles.CPL Commercial Director Jamie Stewart spoke of the history of the partnership which has been a fruitful and the long standing impact they have had on support sports across the spectrum.Bank of Baroda Managing Director Arun Kumar Gupta disclosed that they had no issues being in partnership given the success of the motorcycle around Asia especially the appeal it has to customers in India.The ceremony also had the presence of India’s High Commissioner to Guyana H.E. Mr. V. Mahalingam who also hailed the success of the company.Rose Ramdehol is expected to have Dawn 150 cc, Hunk 150cc, Dash 110cc and Glamour 125 cc at their South Road Bourda location .Displays of the machines are set to be on show for the CPL matches in Guyana. read more

BME launching AXXIS central blasting system at Electra Mining

first_imgBlasting and explosives leader BME will be launching its new AXXIS central blasting system (CBS) at the international Electra Mining exhibition at Nasrec near Johannesburg in September. Alongside a range of BME products that will be featured on its stand at the show will be an interactive display allowing visitors to experience the ease of using the CBS, and to understand the many benefits of the system in a simulated underground environment using augmented reality (AR) technology.The new AXXIS CBS system allows underground mining operations to initiate blasts from a safe and convenient place on surface, bringing the benefits of electronic detonation technology to underground mining. The system allows real-time local monitoring – as well as remote access monitoring capabilities – which allow quicker decision making and better operational transparency in the underground environment.  BME’s world record breaking AXXIS surface system will also be featured at the stand, and visitors will be able to log detonators ‘on the block’, allocate timing designs and fire a virtual blast.The company is the largest provider of emulsion explosives to South Africa’s opencast mining sector, and has been a pioneer in leveraging electronic detonation technology to achieve higher quality and more cost effective blasts across a range of commodities. Its AXXIS system last year facilitated a record blast at Kansanshi, Africa’s largest copper mine, initiating 6,690 electronic delay detonators (EDDs) in one blast.last_img read more

Exclusive tour of San Onofre Nucelar Power Plant

first_imgExclusive tour of San Onofre Nucelar Power Plant KUSI Newsroom March 18, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – It hasn’t produced electricity since it was shut down in 2012, after a Mitsubishi Steam generator malfunctioned, sending radiation into the environment. It hasn’t ‘buried’ any nuclear waste since August, when one of the canisters malfunctioned and the operation was shut down again. But now there’s hope. Later this month, San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant could get the green light to begin ‘temporary storage’ until they can find a ‘permanent home”.“It’s to our benefit to get this out of here, there is no benefit to us and I mean sooner rather than later. There is no benefit whatsoever”, says Ron Pontes, Decommissioning manager at San Onofre Nuclear Plant.Now that mistakes have been corrected and safety procedures have tightened up, San Onofre is waiting for the N.R.C. to give the go ahead. That could happen after a *Webinar* later this month.“We feel like we’re ready, we’re ready to move fuel again now that all of these actions have been taken”, says Pontes.Right now, tons of nuclear waste is either stored or waiting to be stored, inside steel canisters and buried in the ground about 300-feet from the Pacific Ocean. The canisters sit about five feet above the water table and they are welded shut. They are also surrounded by five feet of seamless concrete. “It’s virtually impossible for water to get in there to begin with”, says Pontes. He says this knowing that the area is surrounded by earthquake faults and a rising sea level. “Even if a Tsunami hit here, it would not get into the nuclear storage containers”.But this is a ‘short term’ solution to a long term problem. Eventually, this stuff will be taken off the coast and stored elsewhere. “Yucca Mountain” in Nevada was the intended resting place. “But President Obama shut it down”. This, after taxpayers spent 15-billion dollars building it. Posted: March 18, 2019last_img read more

Boy suffers serious back injury after scooter vs car collision

first_imgA 14-year-old boy suffered serious back injuries after he was struck by a vehicle Saturday afternoon, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.The boy was riding a non-motorized scooter when he exited a parking lot in the 200 block of West Fifth Street went into the street without looking, Sgt. Duncan Hoss said. He was struck by an eastbound 2007 Honda Civic driven by Whitney Hunter, 47, of La Center. The boy suffered a leg injury and serious back injuries and was transported to an area hospital, Hoss said. The boy’s name was not released and his condition was not available Monday night. None of the five occupants of the Civic was injured.Hoss said that there were no citations issued.last_img read more

Geraghty Testifies On Tribal Law And Order Commission Report Findings

first_imgState Attorney General Michael Geraghty testified before a legislative committee this week to respond to a national report that singles out Alaska for its high rates of violence against Alaska Natives, especially Native women. The Indian Law and Order Commission report was deeply critical of Alaska’s law enforcement and judicial system. But the state’s Geraghty says the Indian Law and Order Commission is trying to impose lower 48 solutions that won’t work in Alaska.Download Audiolast_img

Alaska News Nightly Wednesday May 22 2019

first_imgDemocrats in Washington, D.C. are still hoping to block drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The latest attempt surfaced at a U.S. House committee meeting. Palmer man dies in Prince William Sound floatplane crash Coast Guard cutter captain relieved of duty after investigation of crew member death Kenai radio reporter claims she was attacked while covering Soldtona abortion rally NTSB releases preliminary report on May 13 mid-air collision Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @AKPublicNews Akiak loses a mile of riverbank to erosion House bill seeks full PFD this year, with lower amounts in the future Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan Adelyn Baxter, KTOO – Juneau Donna Vukich, 60, was sentenced to almost three years in prison for misappropriating funds from the utility. Federal authorities said this is the largest embezzlement from an organization receiving federal funds ever prosecuted in Alaska. Liz Ruskin, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Washington D.C. Anchorage adopts Climate Action Plan ANWR fight not over for Democrats in Congress The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report for a fatal May 13 mid-air collision of two flightseeing planes in Southeast Alaska. While reporting on a rally against abortion bans in Soldotna yesterday, the news director of KSRM Radio on the Kenai Peninsula says she was assaulted by someone driving by. Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage People in Akiak woke up on Monday to find their smokehouses in the river. Massive erosion along the riverbank had eaten those structures earlier that morning. The House bill could provide the basis for breaking the current impasse over the budget and permanent fund dividends. But it’s unclear how much support there is for the bill in the Legislature. With more than 100 pages, the document sets ambitious goals, like reducing the city’s carbon emissions by 80 percent within about 30 years. Isabelle Ross, KDLG – Dillingham US Postal Service announced Tlikakila River stamp Rallies took place across the country Tuesday as abortion rights supporters spoke out against the recent passage of more restrictive legislation in several states. Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau Former Naknek Electric Association manager sentenced for embezzling over $500,000 An Alaska river in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is now on a national postage stamp. The United States Postal Service yesterday announced a new stamp series of 12 wild and scenic rivers from around the country. Renee Gross, KBBI – Homer The U.S. Coast Guard temporarily relieved the commanding officer of the Homer-based Cutter Hickory Tuesday after it concluded its investigation into the death of one the vessel’s crew members. Isabelle Ross, KDLG – Dillingham A 75-year-old Mat-Su borough man was killed in a Tuesday floatplane crash in Prince William Sound. Henry Leasia, KHNS – Haines DEC extends public comment period for Palmer Project permits Wednesday was the deadline to submit comments to the state on a controversial mineral exploration project near Haines. The public had 30 days to review Constantine Metal Resource’s plan for managing waste during the excavation of a mile-long access tunnel. Greg Kim, KYUK – Bethel Juneau protesters rally in support of abortion access Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage Aaron Bolton, KBBI – Homerlast_img read more

Game of Thrones season 8 has more than 600000 disappointed fans clamoring

first_imgGame of thrones season 8 episode 5 release dateGame of Thrones (@gameofthrones/Instagram)Game of Thrones season 8 is marching towards its end and fans are disappointed to see the fate of several characters and their respective story arc. A petition is calling on HBO to reshoot a whole new season.As earlier reported, an online petition has been started by disappointed Game of Thrones fans who are urging HBO to redo season 8 because of the poor writing. Earlier this week, that petition had only 13,000 signatories but in just 24hrs, the number of signatures has crossed more than 600,000.The ongoing HBO series, which is based on George RR Martins’ acclaimed books, has faced severe criticism online because of its poor writing. Fans have even stated that they expected something more from a series like Game of Thrones but in the end, they were left disappointed because of the poor execution of such highly anticipated story.As earlier stated, after seeing the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones season 8, disappointed fans have demanded HBO to have a complete do-over with some “competent writers.”At the time of writing this, the online petition has more than 610,000 signatures from all over the world and it requires only a million. Given the ongoing speed, there are chances that it will reach 1 million signatures by the end of this week.Disappointed fans who signed the ongoing petition left several comments about the final series and even stated that everything “seems rushed,” “totally disrespected the author,” and even stated that the makers have completely thrown away last eight years of character development into the drain. Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6 promoGame of Thrones (@gameofthrones/Instagram)”The story fell apart, the characters became caricatures of themselves–and some worse, unrecognizable–and the world lost the cohesiveness and believe-ability it had maintained previously. Do not mistake this petition as fans who ‘don’t like the dark turn it took,’ since I think this fanbase can handle really dark things. I’d argue that we no longer recognize the narrative and characters we once knew,” wrote one fan.While talking about Daenerys Targaryen’s story arc, another fan wrote, “What they did to Daenerys was a total travesty and a cliche, sending the message that a woman in power will be overcome by her emotions and cannot be trusted. Such a disappointment.”last_img read more

Meet the cryptocurrency billionaire who built no 1 exchange in 8 months

first_imgChangpeng Zhao speaking at an event.YouTubeFrom zero to cryptocurrency billionaire, Changpeng Zhao has vaulted from obscurity to the cover of Forbes magazine in just 8 months.The founder of Binance, who goes by the name of CZ, has steered his company to a $200 million profit in its second quarter of existence and built a personal fortune of nearly $2 billion.”If you had asked me a month ago when we would hit the number one spot, I might have answered six to nine months. If you had asked me about unicorn status, I might have thought the same period. This growth has surprised even me,” CZ had told news website Medium early this year.Binance can process a blazing 1.4 million transactions a second and on a peak day this year, processed 3.5 billion new orders, cancels, and trades.The 41-year-old Chinese-Canadian coder, who wears a black hoodie, like some cross between Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, owns a large chunk of the company. But before fame and fortune turned in his favor, CZ flipped burgers at McDonald’s and worked overnight shifts at a gas station in Vancouver to cover the household expenses.Educated at McGill University in Canada, his first summer job was with a trading exchange in Tokyo. After he finished college, CZ was offered work by the same company in Toyko and spent the next four years there before moving to New York.Then, in 2013, Zhao learned about Bitcoin from a venture capitalist with whom he played poker. His interest steered him to dig deeper into the cryptocurrency space and by the end of last year, he had decided to make his move.Despite all the regulatory headwinds surrounding digital currencies globally, CZ told Bloomberg earlier this year that he’s as optimistic as he’s ever been about cryptocurrencies.”I’m convinced 100 percent that crypto is the future,” said Zhao, who is the single largest shareholder in Binance and makes all the company’s key decisions. “I just know it will happen.”last_img read more

100000 Rohingyas to be shifted to safer ground before June

first_imgRohingya refugee camp Photo : ReutersBangladesh has begun relocating 100,000 Rohingya refugees to safer ground before the monsoon season for fear of deadly landslides and floods in the congested camps, an official said Sunday.The UN says about 150,000 refugees in Bangladesh’s southeast — where nearly one million Rohingya in total live in shanties on hillsides — are extremely vulnerable to disease and disaster this rainy season.Humanitarian groups have been racing to reinforce the basic shelters erected hastily by the Rohingya as they fled across the border after a fierce army crackdown on the community in western Myanmar.Nearly 700,000 refugees have crossed the border since August into the Cox’s Bazar region, clearing trees and packing whole hillsides with unstable shanties.Bangladesh’s refugee commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said 100,000 refugees living in “priority” areas most at risk from floods and landslides would be relocated before June.”We have already shifted some 10,000 refugees from different locations to safer settlements,” he told AFP.Bangladesh had allocated roughly 3,500 acres (14 square kilometres) of forested land in Cox’s Bazar to the newly-arrived Rohingya to build simple shelters.But the forest is being felled at a rate of four football fields a day, Kalam said.The refugees, who use the firewood for cooking, have already cleared 5,000 acres of forest, Cox’s Bazar deputy district administrator Mahidur Rahman told AFP.The once lush hillsides have turned barren, exposing the topsoil and leaving them highly vulnerable to landslides during heavy rain, he said.”Some 200,000 people are vulnerable to landslides,” he said.Monsoon rains wreak havoc every year in Cox’s Bazar and the adjacent Chittagong Hill Tracts, a tropical forest zone home to wild elephants.Last season heavy rain triggered landslides in the tract region, killing 170 people. Experts blamed deforestation for worsening the impact of the mud avalanches.More than 100 people were killed in landslides in the region in 2012, and two years earlier heavy rain killed around 50.In the past week UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed fears the Rohingya were “extremely vulnerable” to the annual storms.He told reporters he had stressed to Bangladesh that “higher ground is the best place for this kind of relocation”.Dhaka had earlier said about 100,000 refugees from the persecuted Muslim minority would be shifted to an island in the Bay of Bengal where the Bangladesh navy is building accommodation for the refugees.But Abdul Mannan, the Chittagong regional commissioner, told AFP the Rohingya would not be relocated to the island before the end of the year.last_img read more

Scientists Help Robots Evolve Weirdness Ensues

first_imgEvolution is a trip. On the one hand, it’s a seemingly simple mechanism—those best fitted to their environment have more babies, while less fit individuals don’t reproduce as much, and their genes filter out of the system. But on the other hand (or paw or claw or talon), it has given rise to an astounding array of organisms. Some animals fly with feathered wings, others with membranes stretched between fingers. Some run on two legs, others four. Each has adapted to its environment in its own way.Evolution is incredibly powerful, and it’s a kind of power that roboticists are now looking to for inspiration. New proof-of-concept research from scientists in Australia explores how evolutionary algorithms can design robot legs tailored to walk on specific surfaces. The results are at once logical, counterintuitive, and bizarre—and could hint at a novel way for roboticists to engineer walking machines.The researchers begin with 20 randomized digital leg shapes constrained down to a particular size (so you don’t get 10-foot-long nightmare legs). Each design is based on elements called Bezier curves. “A Bezier curve is if you’re in Microsoft Paint and you define a curve by clicking on a couple of control points, but it’s in three dimensions,” says research scientist David Howard of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. The system projects these curves into a grid of 3-D pixels, known as voxels. “All we say is, anywhere where the curve intersects with a voxel, we’re going to put some material in that voxel,” Howard adds. “Everything else is blank.” This gives each design its unique shape.The simulation looks at the “fitness” of a given leg if it were walking on one of three surfaces: hard soil, gravel, or through water. Only instead of selecting for traits like good eyesight or camouflage, like natural selection would in nature, the system selects for how much torque a motor would have to exert if it had to power a leg shaped a particular way to walk across one of the surfaces. In other words, an energy efficient leg is a good leg. Bonus points for leg shapes that require less material.“If we have a gravel surface and we walk the leg through it, we calculate the forces on the individual pieces of gravel,” says Howard. “It gives us a really high-fidelity look at what the leg is actually doing in the environment.” Same with water and the hard soil.The researchers then take those original 20 legs and combine the best performing ones. That is, selecting the most fit, which “reproduce” to create child legs that look a bit like them. “We just do that again and again and again,” says Howard. One hundred generations total. They ended up removing the lowest performing half of the population, like a nasty environment might cull a population of animals in nature. “And then what happens is we get this automatic adaptation to the environment.” Collins, Geles, Howard & MaireTake a look at the image above. At top are the legs that the evolutionary algorithm determined would most efficiently walk across hard soil. The middle row is for gravel, and the bottom for water. But why go through the trouble of simulating evolution for robots? For one, these researchers can hyper-specialize a robot to walk on a certain terrain, instead of relying on general-purpose legs. Theoretically that would make a robot better able to tackle a particular environment like a sand dune.“If you want to use your robot in a different environment, you can just rerun the algorithm,” says Tønnes Nygaard, who studies evolutionary shape-shifting robots at the University of Oslo, but who wasn’t involved in this new work. “If you’re doing that in a system that you built and designed for one specific application, that might not be possible late in the process.”Nygaard’s own system, a quadruped robot with telescoping legs, actually evolves on the fly. Through trial and error—that is, falling down a lot—it learns to walk on, say, icy ground by shrinking its legs to lower its center of gravity. Indoors, in can afford to lengthen them for longer strides and therefore more efficient locomotion. So perhaps it’s possible to combine the two techniques: use simulation to land on a good design for a foot, then incorporate that into a real-world evolving machine.And really, if evolution is good at making anything, it’s surprises. “What evolution does is it searches a much wider design space,” says Howard. “It doesn’t care what the thing that it’s making looks like. It might look like something completely counterintuitive to what a human engineer would come up with.”“But if it works,” he says, “that’s the only thing that matters.” More Great WIRED StoriesSo much genetic testing, so few people to explain it to youWhen tech knows you better than you know yourselfThese magical sunglasses block all the screens around youAll you need to know about online conspiracy theoriesOur 25 favorite features from the past 25 yearsLooking for more? Sign up for our daily newsletter and never miss our latest and greatest stories The blade-like legs make good sense walking across soil: Because the surface is hard, the slimmed-down limbs won’t sink through the terrain. “That’s why gravel is a bit thicker, because it needs to have these wider footprints,” says Howard. That’d help the legs walk on top of gravel instead of sinking through it. Like snowshoes.The fat legs adapted for water? They’re a bit of a mystery. “The water was a weird one, because we were expecting the same sort of blade-like structures as the soil,” says Howard. That’d let them cut through the water. Plus, you’d expect the system to prefer slimmer designs, given its directives. “But it didn’t. We’re still not 100 percent sure why that is.”Also a bit odd are the projections you can see on some of the legs, especially the soil ones. “The theory we want it to be is that they actually do serve a purpose,” says Howard. “But really, when we’re mapping the Bezier curves into the voxel grid, the bit of the curve that appears to be useless is actually a small part of a much larger curve that’s providing some structure further into the leg itself.” The projections look metal as hell, but they’re just artifacts that probably don’t help or hinder the performance of the leg. Howard and his colleagues have tweaked the system to automatically detect and delete them.Jack CollinsThe researchers have also 3-D printed these things and connected them to an insect-like hexapod robot. The plan now is to test how they perform in real terrain compared to human-designed legs. The team loaded standard, human-designed legs into the simulator, and indications are that the evolutionarily designed legs equal or exceed the performance of those.last_img read more

Mexico presidential clashes arise during first transitional meeting

first_imgMexico City, Mexico — Monday was the first day of classes in Mexico as well as the first of the transitional meetings between the current president and president-elect who announced the new educational reform by Peña Nieto will be replaced.The announcement was made during their first meeting when president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced the change during the initial moments of the transition.“It will be replaced by a new plan that takes into account teachers and parents. Education is not a privilege, it is a right,” he said.The two have contrasting positions on the subject of education. While Peña defended the reform that was approved by his government, which he said he will push until the last day of his term, Obrador insisted that the educational reform will be canceled to implement a model that takes teachers into account.In front of the outgoing president, Lopez Obrador emphasized that at the beginning of his government the educational reform will be canceled and that he will push in Congress the corresponding legal changes for a new educational model.“At the time we are going to present the initiatives to cancel the educational reform and publicize a different plan with a legal framework adjusted to the new circumstances, but I do want to show that the current education reform will be canceled and will be replaced by another reform that will take into account teachers and parents. We are going to abide by what is established in the laws,” Obrador said.He argued that education is not a privilege and stressed that educational reform can be improved to ensure the quality of education and expansion of coverage.“We have to convince, not beat. We have to incorporate the teachers. No educational reform can be done without the teachers. We are going to build a consensus with teachers and parents, “he said.President Enrique Peña Nieto said he respects Obrador’s views on the issue, although he said his government will continue to push it until the last day of the administration stressing that the next Congress will decide the future of said reform.“There is a different vision. This government promoted a framework that we have publicized widely. And we also respect a different vision to the one we have postulated.“This government will continue its impulse to what is in the law. And, having a different position, it will correspond to the new government and Congress. In one thing I am certain, that the outgoing and incoming government want a quality, secular education. In that there is no dispute,” said Peña Nieto.On Monday, as nearly 26 million kids across Mexico headed back to school, current president Peña Nieto announced his new education reform that was implemented into both private and public school systems.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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