Life After ‘Life After Pi’: The VFX Industry One Year Later

first_imgHas anything changed in the year since Life After Pi exposed the business model issues facing VFX houses like Rhythm and Hues?Released in February of 2014, the documentary Life After Pi chronicled the demise of major VFX studio Rhythm and Hues due to the non-sustainable practices existing between VFX houses and movie studios. Did the issues exposed in Life after Pi lead to positive change in the VFX industry? Let’s take a look at what we learned in the doc and what lies ahead. For your reference, here’s Life After Pi, directed by visual effects art director Scott Leberecht.1. Billing and Predicting are Never an Exact ScienceEvery time a bid is created for a client you have to look into a crystal ball. Several years ago Debra Kaufman wrote in an article on Creative Cow:VFX facilities have operated for years without standardized contracts and viable bidding practices. They have been and continue to be vulnerable to changes in technology and studio policy.As Life After Pi asserted, many VFX studios use a process known as a ‘fixed bid’. This means each bid is constructed based on the production company (Universal, Disney, WB, etc.) giving the VFX studio a rough ‘blue print’ of the film. So, essentially the production company is saying, “here is what we want to do, and we know changes are inevitable, so you’ll need to account for those changes and include them in the bid.”There is a lot of estimation and guesswork that goes into trying forecast the future for a bid like this. Right off the bat we should see that using a bidding system such as the current fixed system is not a solution for large scale VFX projects.Image from Western Post2. The Problem with CostNext up is the cost of creating visual effects. At present, VFX are more than likely going to be one of the most or the most expensive item on a budget sheet. Unfortunately that cost wont go down, because in order to house the people, hardware, and software needed for VFX work, it will cost large sums of money. Mike Seymour, co-founder of fxguide, said in a recent article:The early days of the studio system looked much like all the big VFX companies which are folding on a daily basis. They would build huge sound stages, buy expensive equipment, hire employees (actors, directors, tech) and keep them on staff year round to produce movies. The problem was, when they weren’t producing movies, they were wasting money.This dead money can happen two ways for the VFX studio. One is not having work. When you’re in between projects or bidding on a new project, there is a lot of dead money out there with no revenue coming in. A way to fix this is to have the VFX studio maintain a much smaller staff that consists strictly of managers and directors. You then contract work out and create a bidding process for contractors to come in and work on specific projects while reducing your overhead cost considerably.Another way VFX studios have dead money is the overages on current projects. As expressed in Life After Pi, VFX studios have to complete several revisions which takes them beyond the time and material budget in the fixed bid. So the tab for all of this extra time spent on revisions is being picked up by the VFX Studio. So, the real question is why are VFX studios having to process so many revisions in the first place?Image of Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor from theonering.net3. Lack of Visionary LeadershipAs a filmmaker and visual effects artist, I agree with Life After Pi‘s assertion about a lack of visionary leadership. More times than not, I hear VFX supervisors talk about the lack of face time with the director. It’s hard to complete anything on time when there really isn’t any one-on-one time with the director. The smart move for directors would be to bring the core VFX team in during pre-production and keep a running dialogue going throughout production. By treating the VFX team as an invested collaborator, you reduce revisions by a large margin.Kristy Barkan made a great observation in her SIGGRAPH article when she quoted the film saying:Studios would not permit a director to shoot for a week or two on set, and then say — ‘Eh, tear down this set and build a new set.’A great example of this type of collaborative process is the relationship between Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop. Jackson has always been good about getting Richard and his team involved early in the process. This is an approach that George Lucas had with ILM and the Star Wars franchise.4. Who Exactly Have We Lost?As of 2015, each one of the fifty highest grossing films have used some form of visual effects. Nineteen of the top fifty earned more than one billion dollars. Surprisingly, several of the studios that worked on many of these projects are no more. In fact, betwen 2003 to 2013, twenty-one VFX studios either declared bankruptcy, restructured, or closed their doors for good. This list includes Rhythm and Hues, Digital Domain, and Modus.In the 1970s and 80s, hot on the heels of successful VFX-heavy films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars, there were four VFX powerhouses: Apogee, Boss Films, ILM, and Dream Quest Images. Today, only ILM still exists. At present, VFX companies are relocating due to increased tax incentives outside of Hollywood. Because of this, artists are having to uproot their families and move to new cities regularly.Bryant Frazer stated in an article for StudioDaily that the current landscape is, “leaving many U.S. VFX artists out of work, in transit to new Canadian offices, or leaving the industry entirely.” Scroll down to the bottom of this Creative Cow article by Phil Feiner for an eye-opening list of VFX houses that have shuttered since 2002.5. How to Stop the BleedingMany industry insiders have different opinions on how to curtail the financial issues facing VFX Studios. Many have called for Unions or a Trade Organization to help level the playing field, but each one of these come with their own set of obstacles – and in the case of the Trade Organization, fold because of lack of funding.The first right step might be adopting a time and materials model over the problematic fixed bid method, as suggested by Mike Seymour in his article on FXGuide. The time and material model is often used in other professional industries like construction, architecture, and design. The model is easily explained: a buyer pays a contractor based on work performed. All time and material spent constructing said work is covered by the buyer.Magnopus is one such VFX studio that is utilizing this type of business model. Heading up this venture are Rodrigo Teixeira and Alex Henning whose credits include Shutter Island, The Amazing Spiderman, and Star Trek Into Darkness, among others. Seymour weighs in on Magnopus’s chances of success:The team have worked both sides of the fence, supervisor and supplier, they know all the top studio production executives and many extremely influential directors. In other words, if anyone can pull it off these guys can.Given the fact the MAGNOPUS has already had success working on projects using this model, a solution to the financial pitfalls of the VFX industry may finally be at hand. Are you working in the VFX Industry? Do you have thoughts on what might turn things around?Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.last_img read more

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Maneka Gandhi slams ‘ghastly murder’ of tigress

first_imgUnion Minister Maneka Gandhi on Sunday severely criticised the Maharashtra government for permitting a hunter to kill “man-eating” tigress Avni, calling it a “ghastly murder”.“This is patently illegal,” the Women and Child Development Minister tweeted on Sunday. “I am definitely going to take up this case of utter lack of empathy for animals as a test case. Legally, criminally as well as politically.” She said she would take up the issue strongly with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The tigress, which is said to have killed 13 people, was shot dead in Yavatmal on Friday night by civilian hunter Asgar Ali, who was with a team of Forest Department officials.Mr Ali was with a team of Forest Department officials. An official allegedly attempted — and failed — to fire a tranquiliser dart at the tigress following which she charged at the team. Mr Ali then fired in self-defence, an official told The Hindu.In a series of tweets, Ms. Gandhi said Maharashtra Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had given orders for the killing of the big cat, despite requests from several stakeholders. The Minister said the controversial celebrity hunter Nawab Shafat Ali had been hired to kill the animal, and that his son, Mr. Ali, was at the scene illegally.“His son was not authorised to kill. This is patently illegal. Despite the forest officials being committed to tranquilise, capture and quarantine the tigress, the trigger-happy shooter has killed her on his own under orders of Shri Mungantiwar,” Ms. Gandhi tweeted.Alleging that Mr. Khan is a criminal supplying guns to anti-nationals who has killed tigers, leopards, elephants and wild boar and is involved in a suspected case of murder, Ms. Gandhi added: “I fail to understand why a State government should even bother about such a man, let alone hire his services for illegal and inhuman acts.”Using the hashtag #Justice4TigressAvni, Ms. Gandhi noted that Avni’s two cubs were “put at the edge of a sad death in the absence of their mother”.last_img read more

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Boxing: Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder CLASH at New York Press conference (VIDEO)

first_imgAdvertisementTyson Fury and Deontay Wilder met again at the second leg of their press tour in New York on Tuesday. Both fighters promised fireworks.Speaking today in New York, the Bronze Bomber vowed to knock out the Gypsy King, who is fighting for only the third time since his comeback.During the second stop of their three-city media tour which took place in New York City on the deck of the retired aircraft carrier Intrepid, which is now a sea, air and space museum in Manhattan but on Tuesday hosted a carnival.Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder CLASH at New York Press conferenceFury told the press conference: “I want to thank everybody for turning up. And even Deontay knows to sit down in the presence of greatness.“He can’t box, he’s knocked bums out, he fights tomato cans who can’t fight back. He’s not going to land one of those windmills on my chin.“His a*** is going to fall out. How am I going to let this skinny little spaghetti hoop man beat me? I didn’t come here to be embarrassed by this little runt.To win would be a dream come true. But when I win I’m going to let him keep his belts. I don’t want that belt. I want the Tyson Fury limited edition WBC belt.“I’m a crazy man. I want a war with this little plum. I want to break his ribs. I’m going to make this bum quit. This man has never fought a champion. And this idiot thinks he’s going to beat something.“You all know he works for me right? He’s a dosser, carries my bags around.“Last note, I’m going to knock this bum spark out. And you heard it here first.”It looked like Tyson Fury was getting under Deontay Wilder’s skin, as he angrily took on the mike and said:“People want to see knockouts and I deliver that each and every time. I promise you I’m going to knock out the gypsy king. Timber!”VIDEO:Also Read-End of an Era: HBO is done with boxing after 45 years Advertisementlast_img read more

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Historical, religious sites chosen in Gujarat for Yoga Day

first_imgAhmedabad, Jun 18 (PTI) A number of historical and religious sites in Gujarat have been chosen for the International Yoga Day celebrations on June 21, with the government expecting the participation of over one crore people.Modhera sun temple, Rani-ki-Vav, Bindu Sarovar, Taranga hills, Saputara hills, Pavagadh temple, Ambaji, Girnar hills and Lakhota lake are some of the important sites, where yoga camps will be organised all over the state, state education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said at a press conference today.”We are expecting that 1.25 crore people will participate in these events, as against 1.9 crore people, who took part last year. Yoga camps are being organised at historical- religious sites and a number of people will participate,” he said.In one of the events, around 100 youths will perform yoga run on top of Girnar hill in Junagadh district, Chudasama said.Around 8,000 school students will form a “yoga human chain” with the aim of creating a world record on this day, while prisoners lodged in jails across the state will also participate as they are already being trained in yoga, Chudasama added.The main programme will be held at GMDC Ground in Ahmedabad, where Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Governor O P Kohli will attend. At Nikol in Ahmedabad, Union Home Minister J P Nadda will take part in the yoga camp.In all, yoga camps will be organised at around 40,000 sites in the state and 1,051 specially-abled students will participate at a camp in Bhavnagar. Prisoners across various jails in the state are being trained for the day, he said.advertisementVarious state government departments, trusts and religious institutions have been roped in for organising yoga camps, including Sports, Education, Youth and Culture department, district administration, NCC, BSF, Patanjali Yog Peeth, Art of Living, Lakulesh Yog University, Ram Krishna Mission, Swaminarayan, government and private universities and self-financed institutions. PTI KA PD NP SAI JMFlast_img read more

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When is it acceptable to make money off sweetgrass

first_imgTamara Pimentel APTN NewsEarlier this week APTN News reported that an Alberta elder was furious a department store in Calgary was selling sweetgrass.She said traditional medicines aren’t meant to be profitable.But when is it acceptable to make money from sweetgrass?Amy Willier and her mother, Yvonne Jobin, run Moonstone Creations in Calgary.It’s a gift shop selling Indigenous art and clothing, along with sage, sweetgrass and smudge kits.Willier argues times have changed.“I can see people being upset with the lack of protocol and having an expectation when you’re picking medicines and using medicines, that it’s done in a traditional way,” she said.“But from a store perspective I also can understand that, yea, you kind of need to make money.”Willier said her sweetgrass is picked by an elder from Saskatchewan who is paid with tobacco and money.“Traditionally we gave gifts – It’s an exchange,” she said. “The exchange right now is money because it costs gas to go and pick. It all costs money because that’s the world that we live in.“The question here in the middle of winter, in January, the question is – are you going to smudge, or not smudge? If you want to smudge you’re going to find a source.”tpimentel@aptn.calast_img read more

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Kia to recall vehicles to fix problem that can cause fires

first_imgDETROIT — Kia says it will ignore the partial U.S. government shutdown and recall more than 68,000 vehicles to fix a fuel pipe problem that can cause engine fires. The problem stemmed from previous recall repairs due to engine failures.The Korean automaker and its larger affiliate Hyundai have been dogged by fire and engine failure complaints from across the nation. They’re both under investigation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency, which oversees recalls, is mostly closed because of the shutdown.Kia also says it will do a “product improvement campaign” to install sensors in 1.7 million vehicles that will alert drivers of possible engine failures and send the cars into a slow-speed “limp” mode if problems are detected.Tom Krisher, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Western Sahara ProPolisario US Senator Heads Delegation to Tindouf

Rabat – A 17-member US delegation led by Senator James Inhofe visited the Tindouf camps on Sunday.Providing no details, pro-Polisario news agency RPS reported that the congressional visit was part of the international community’s ongoing agenda to find a lasting and mutually acceptable settlement in Western Sahara.The American delegation was received on Sunday by Brahim Ghali, the secretary general of the Polisario Front. The 17-member delegation consisted of six elected officials from the US Congress, including Senator Inhofe, chairman of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, and Senator Enzi Michael Bradley, the finance committee chairman.The delegation, which was earlier spotted on Sunday, February 24, in Algiers, met with Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia before meeting with the Polisario leadership later on the same day.A devout Polisario supporterAccording to some reports, both visits were prepared and coordinated by Keene Consulting Services and Foley Hoag, two U.S lobbying firms hired by Algeria to influence Washington establishment in favor of Polisairo’s self-determination claims.Foley Hoag has been lobbying for Algiers for two decades, while Keene Consulting Services, which is helmed by Republican mogul David Keene, recently signed a $30,000-per-month lobbying deal with the Algerian government.Keene has since been the leading force behind the aggressive Algerian public relations breakthroughs in Washington policy circles, according to diplomatic sources.Senator Inhofe is among the few conservative US figures to express reservations on Morocco’s Western Sahara claims.Like Keene, Senator Inhofe is a well-known supporter of the “Sahrawi cause.” He has been a vocal pro-Polisario voice in the US Congress. He has constantly pushed for “Sahrawi independence” and called on Morocco to organize a referendum to “end the suffering of the Sahrawi people.”A regular visitorThe congressional visit comes as the Polisario Front prepares to celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the establishment of SADR. The date coincides with the start of hostilities between Morocco and the Polisario Front (supported by Algeria) in the 1970s.But the visit is not the senator’s first trip to the region.Known in some pro-Polisario circles as “a great friend of Western Sahara,” Senator Inhofe has paid a number of visits to Western Sahara and to the Tindouf camps over the border in Algeria.In August 2017, invoking such a visit, the senator single-handedly engaged in a congressional fight to delay a key American diplomatic move in US-African affairs.Inhofe cited divergences within congress on the Western Sahara question as the motive of his move, saying that Washington ought to adopt a much tougher—and Morocco-hostile—stance on the conflict.His position is more clearly outlined in a June 2010 statement.“The people of the Western Sahara have languished in desert camps for more than 30 years as the conflict has gone unresolved,” he said. “I have visited the camps and have seen with my own eyes that their story is one of determination, persistence and hope that one day they will enjoy the basic rights all humans deserve—the right to life and to self-determination.”In his press statement following the Sunday meeting with Polisario’s leader, the senator made similar statements. He said that the visit testified to “President Trump’s commitment to the freedom of this people that he will undoubtedly recover.”Despite Inhofe’s assurance that President Trump wants to “recover” freedom in Western Sahara, recent news from Washington, D.C., does not buttress his rhetoric.For all the mixed messages that characterize the Trump administration’s foreign policy, including in Western Sahara, the most recent development hinted that Washington is moving back to its traditional line of supporting its Moroccan ally.Meanwhile, the visit comes shortly before the second Geneva meeting in March between conflicting parties under the auspices of UN envoy Host Kohler.While some deep-seated divergences remain, there is hope that the ongoing process will incrementally achieve a mutually agreed upon political settlement. read more

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Aurora Cannabis to buy remaining interest in Hempco Food and Fiber

Companies in this story: (TSXV:HEMP, TSX:ACB) EDMONTON — Aurora Cannabis Inc. plans to acquire the remaining 48 per cent of Hempco Food and Fiber Inc. that it does not already own through an exchange of shares.Under a friendly agreement between the companies, Edmonton-based Aurora will pay the equivalent of $1.04 per Hempco share, payable in Aurora shares.Hempco shares closed at 91 cents on the TSX Venture Exchange on Monday, while Aurora shares closed at $11.37 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Aurora already owns approximately a 52 per cent stake in Hempco, which makes hemp-based foods and nutritional supplements for people and animals.Hempco provides Aurora with a low-cost, high-volume source of hemp for the extraction of CBD (cannabidiol), a substance with therapeutic properties that’s also found in cannabis.The proposed deal will require shareholder approval by two-thirds of the votes cast by shareholders as well as regulatory and court approvals and other customary conditions. The Canadian Press read more

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Canadian edibles topicals market worth 27B ramp up over 35 years Deloitte

Armina Ligaya, The Canadian Press TORONTO — The Canadian market for next-generation cannabis products is worth an estimated $2.7 billion annually, with edibles contributing more than half, according to a new report from Deloitte.This spending once the final edible pot regulations roll out in the coming months is expected to be on top of the roughly $6-billion estimated domestic market for recreational and medical cannabis, the consultancy said Monday.Consumers are looking to snap up these new pot products in addition to the dried flower, oils, plants and seeds they have been buying from legal retailers since legalization last fall, a recent survey of 2,000 Canadians conducted by Deloitte suggests.The first wave of legalization last October was quite limited in terms of product range and the type of consumer, said Jennifer Lee, Deloitte Canada’s cannabis national leader.“When we legalize in October again for edibles, we are in a world where the formats and the assortment is much broader,” she said. “The use cases are much broader.”Canada is gearing up to legalize cannabis-infused foods, beverages, topicals and other next-generation products in the coming months, once Ottawa rolls out the final regulations.Pot companies, as well as food and beverage makers, have been preparing to roll out their own pot-infused products which they anticipate will appeal to a broader audience — particularly those who aren’t interested in smoking weed.The federal government wrapped up its consultation on the draft edible rules in February, and has said the regulations must be brought into force no later than Oct. 17, 2019. Deloitte estimates that roughly $1.6 billion will be spent on edibles in Canada, followed by cannabis-infused beverages at $529 million and topicals at $174 million. Spending on concentrates is expected to hit $140 million, followed by tinctures at $116 million and capsules at $114 million.Roughly half of likely edible users surveyed by Deloitte say they plan to consume gummy bears, cookies, brownies or chocolate at least every three months.The global market for alternative cannabis products is expected to nearly double over the next five years, the consultancy added.Lee doesn’t expect these new products to eat into revenues from existing categories in Canada, at least in the early days.“Over time, in the long term, you may,” she said. “But right now, there’s too much demand in the market and there’s not enough product.”Legal pot retailers, both government and privately owned, have been contending with a shortage of cannabis since legalization last October, but have said the situation has improved in recent months.For example, the Alberta government lifted its moratorium on new cannabis retail licences, citing an increase in the pot supply.Deloitte’s market estimates for cannabis 2.0 products reflect overall Canadian consumer demand, but realizing the market’s full potential too may take some time. Many of the new pot products may not be available, or available in sufficient quality, come October, Deloitte said.Companies should take a three- to five-year view on the market, said Lee.“The regulations will need time to settle, even after legalization in October,” she said. While this presents a growth opportunity for companies readying themselves for the next wave of the green rush, it may come at the expense of sales in more established industries.“Our research is showing that the occasions that consumers use the product, i.e. mostly edibles, overlap a lot with alcohol … On a limited wallet, there are going to be tradeoffs,” Lee said. As well, consumers view topical cannabis products such as lotions used for ailments such as pain as a potential replacement for other medicinal products, Deloitte’s survey showed.“This could be cause for concern for the traditional pharmaceutical sector, as 45 per cent of current consumers and 48 per cent of likely consumers say they see cannabis topicals as an alternative to prescription medications, not a complement,” Deloitte said in the report.Deloitte surveyed 2,000 adult Canadians online between Feb. 26 and March 11. According to the polling industry’s generally accepted standards, online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population. read more

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Annan endorses panels recommendations for a more secure world strengthened UN

“I wholly endorse its core arguments for a broader, more comprehensive system of collective security: one that tackles both new and old threats, and addresses the security concerns of all States – rich and poor, weak and strong,” Mr. Annan says in a foreword to the report to the UN General Assembly for review.”The report offers the United Nations a unique opportunity to refashion and renew our institutions,” he adds, promising to quickly consider and implement specific recommendations that fall within his purview.The 95-page report, “A more secure world: our shared responsibility,” was formally presented this morning in New York to the Secretary-General by the Chairman of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun of Thailand.Mr. Annan had appointed the 16-member panel of prominent politicians, diplomats and development experts in November 2003 to assess the current threats facing the international community, evaluate the UN’s ability to address those challenges, and recommend policy and institutional changes to deal with them.The report contains 101 recommendations for dealing with the six areas identified by the Panel as being the greatest threats to worldwide security in the twenty-first century: continued poverty and environmental degradation, terrorism, civil war, conflict between states, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and organized crime.Mr. Panyarachun said it was important to focus on the interconnectedness of those threats in today’s world. “A threat to one is a threat to all,” he said at a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.Joining him was Panel member Gro Harlem Brundtland, a former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO). She stressed that collective security must be built around effective, responsible states since they are at the front line of defence against all of the challenges the Panel describes.”Because the threats cross boundaries states must work together; that is obvious. But first of all we have to have working states, functioning states. And that illustrates our main point: that development has to be the first line of response for collective security,” she said.In his foreword to the Assembly, the Secretary-General echoes that view, saying that eradication of poverty and disease is an essential part of the effort to achieve a safer world. “If we are to succeed in better protecting the security of our citizens, it is essential that due attention and necessary resources are devoted to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” he writes.The Goals, adopted at a UN summit in 2000, aim to halve extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal education and promote gender equality. They also seek to reduce infant and maternal mortality, fight HIV/AIDS and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development – all by 2015.In March the Secretary-General will submit a comprehensive report that includes a review of the progress made on achieving the MDGs, taking into account some of the Panel’s findings. That paper will also help set the agenda for a planned summit of world leaders to review the 2000 Millennium Declaration ahead of the General Assembly session in September 2005, which coincides with the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations.The Panel’s other recommendations include adopting a definition of terrorism, something the General Assembly’s legal committee has not been able to do after years of discussion; rebuilding the global public health system; revitalizing the nuclear non-proliferation regime; and reforming each of the principal organs of the United Nations. Video of press briefing [49mins] read more

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UN climate conference finalizes rule book on reducing greenhouse gasses

“The Kyoto Protocol is now fully operational. This is an historic step,” said Canadian Environment Minister Stéphane Dion, President of the 11-day Conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Montreal, which includes the first ever meeting of the 157 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.The UNFCCC is the189-party convention that includes the signatories of the Kyoto agreement, the binding pact that that came into force in February 2005 and requires 35 industrialized nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.Under the ‘rule book’ decisions adopted, parties to the Kyoto Protocol established a Joint Implementation Supervisory Board, to oversee the Kyoto mechanism that allows developed countries to invest in central and eastern European transition economies and others and thereby earn carbon allowances which they can use to meet their emission reduction commitments.In addition, the clean development mechanism, which allows industrialized countries to invest in sustainable development projects in developing countries and thereby earn carbon allowances, is fully established.Concerning these decisions, Richard Kinley, acting Head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat said: “Carbon now has a market value. Under the clean development mechanism, investing in projects that provide sustainable development and reduce emissions makes sound business sense.”Other decisions define a wide range of operational considerations for running the Protocol including: how the emissions of countries are accounted for, precise guidelines on the data systems that have to be set up, and the rules governing the measurement of absorption of carbon dioxide by agricultural soils. read more

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Ohio State mens tennis remains unbeaten defeats Penn State and North Carolina

Redshirt-junior Kevin Metka returns the ball during a match against North Carolina Feb. 28 at the Varsity Tennis Center. OSU won, 4-1.Credit: Ben Jackson / For The LanternThe No. 1 Ohio State men’s tennis team (17-0, 2-0) finally solved the riddle that is Penn State athletics, defeating the No. 34 Nittany Lions (10-1, 0-1) Sunday afternoon after topping No. 12 North Carolina (11-2) Friday night.For the third time in four matches, the Buckeyes lost the doubles point Sunday against the Nittany Lions. Redshirt-sophomore Chris Diaz and redshirt-freshman Ralf Steinbach rolled to an 8-1 victory over Penn State freshman Christian Lutschaunig and sophomore David Kohan, but the Nittany Lions were not deterred.Senior Russell Bader and sophomore Leonard Stakhovsky upset the Buckeyes’ No. 3 ranked duo of senior Peter Kobelt and redshirt-junior Kevin Metka, 8-6. Fellow Nittany Lions, senior Chris Young and junior Michael Reilly then followed it up with a 8-7 (7-5) win against redshirt-junior Hunter Callahan and freshman Herkko Pollanen to give the Nittany Lions a 1-0 advantage to begin the match.Coach Ty Tucker said he was not pleased with his team’s effort at the start.“We were as flat as we’ve been in 15 years,” Tucker said. “We looked like a deer in the headlights. Performance wasn’t very good from the coaching to the playing. Everything was below average.”The Buckeyes woke up in singles play, however, winning five of six first sets. Kobelt and Pollanen came out on fire, both winning in quick, straight sets. Kobelt was off first beating Stakhovsky 6-2, 6-2, and then Pollanen took care of Bader 6-1, 6-1.Metka got the Buckeyes within striking distance, defeating sophomore Matt Barry 6-4, 6-3. Callahan, playing right next to Metka, realized the match was his for the taking and took full advantage with a 6-3, 6-4 win in front of a large crowd that included athletic director Gene Smith.“I’ve been in that situation once before. I like it,” Callahan said of knowing he was playing for the match. “I don’t think it adds any pressure, just because we were up 3-1. There was no pressure for me today.”Not only did the win keep the top-ranked Buckeyes undefeated, but it also puts them one home victory away from tying the NCAA record for most consecutive home wins by a program (Stanford women’s tennis- 184).Friday night against the Tar Heels, the Buckeyes won the doubles point after dropping their previous two. Tucker said he thought about changing up his lineup, but keeping it the same worked out that night.“We were 50-50 whether we were going to switch Metka and Kobelt,” Tucker said. “We thought about it … We definitely have to do a better job in doubles, that’s for certain.”Diaz and Steinbach finished their match first after cruising to an 8-3 upset over Tar Heels junior Esben Hess-Olesen and sophomore Brett Clark. It was the duo’s first victory over a ranked opponent.Callahan and Pollanen had their serves broken consecutively and eventually fell to freshmen Ronnie Schneider and Brayden Schnur, 8-6. Kobelt and Metka stayed on serve all match with senior Nelson Vick and junior Oystein Steiro. In the tie break, Kobelt and Metka jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead and ended with an 8-7 (7-3) victory.Steinbach and Callahan got the Buckeyes off to a strong start in singles play with both winning in straight sets.Diaz lost his match against Clark, 6-3, 6-1, while Kobelt and Pollanen both dropped their first sets to give the Tar Heels a glimmer of hope.Metka seemed to have control of his first set against Hess-Olesen as he was up 5-2, but then lost three straight games and ended up playing in a tiebreak. Momentum seemed lost as he was down 4-2 in the tiebreak, but he regained his composure to come back and take the first set. In the second set, he broke Hess-Olesen’s serve once and held his serve the rest of the way to clinch the match with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 win.“We were neck-and-neck the whole tiebreaker,” Metka said. “He was up on me. I don’t know what happened, I got lucky and pulled it away. I won three in a row and went crazy.”The Buckeyes are next scheduled to play at No. 5 Oklahoma March 7. First serve is set for 6 p.m. read more

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Thats not a very nice term to use Michael Cheika hits back

first_img Jun 14th 2018, 2:40 PM Share9 Tweet Email Ex-Ulster boss Gibbes to join French side La Rochelle in NovemberSchmidt backs ‘good scrummaging hooker’ Scannell, with Cronin missing out Thursday 14 Jun 2018, 2:40 PM ‘That’s not a very nice term to use’ – Michael Cheika hits back at Neil Francis The ex-Ireland international labelled David Pocock ‘a cancer on the game’. Short URL 54,985 Views 83 Comments By Murray Kinsella Murray Kinsella reports from MelbourneWALLABIES BOSS MICHAEL Cheika has hit back at ex-Ireland international Neil Francis after he labelled David Pocock ‘a cancer on the game.’Writing for the Irish Independent in the wake of Ireland’s defeat to the Wallabies last weekend, Francis was critical of the flanker for his work at the breakdown.There is history between Cheika and Francis, with the latter having previously labelled Leinster as ‘ladyboys’ during Cheika’s time in charge of the province. Cheika was not impressed with Francis’ comments. Source: AAP/PA ImagesAnd Francis’ latest column has angered the Wallabies head coach.“I think David Pocock is a cancer on the game,” wrote Francis. “Yes, I do have grudging admiration for all his abilities and it is great when you have a player like that in your side… he had six legal turnovers and three illegal turnovers, and he and his buddy Michael Hooper managed to slow the ball down more than enough to stop any rhythm that Ireland looked like they were beginning to achieve. You have to make special preparations to counter Pocock.”Cheika was asked about Francis’ comments by an Australian journalist at his press conference in Melbourne today and the Wallabies coach expressed strong displeasure at the term used to describe Pocock.“That guy needs to choose his words a little better I think, to be honest,” said Cheika of Francis. “It’s not a very nice thing to say.“I’m not worried about what he thinks about Poey’s footy, I just think that’s not a very nice term to use. There’s people who are really sick out there, I’m not into that.“He used to say a lot of stuff about us when I coached Leinster as well, some unflattering words he would use for his own publicity. That’s fine.”Preventing Pocock from getting a similar grip on the breakdown in the second Test at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Saturday will be a key focus for Ireland.While Cheika is sure that Joe Schmidt’s team will be on the lookout for Pocock, hoping to limit his influence however possible, he feels the Brumbies back row is more than capable of dealing with the close attention. Pocock was superb last weekend. Source: AAP/PA Images“He’ll wear it, he’s a tough guy,” said Cheika.“He’s working real hard, he’s got a great work ethic, he’s tough, he can take a battering and he can keep getting up. I don’t see why it’s a big deal, he’s doing what he does, that’s his contribution to the footy team.“He’s got a lot of other skills apart from just the ruck. That’s good, everyone should just keep watching him at the ruck and they’ll forget about the other good stuff he does on the field.“He carried some good balls last week, distributed the ball well a couple of times, his support play. He’s had a good entry back into the team but he’s got improvements still to go for sure.”Cheika has named a completely unchanged matchday 23 for Saturday’s second meeting with Ireland, the first time he has done so in his 46-Test tenure as Wallabies coach.“I didn’t realise that until I was just told,” said Cheika. “It was the first game of the season last weekend, so we were a bit rushed, we crammed a lot into last week.“So I’d just like to give those guys another opportunity to get out there with the understanding of being together for another three or four days and try to do better because we need to raise the bar on ourselves, on our own standards, this week to give ourselves a chance of winning the game.”The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article https://the42.ie/4070042 Follow us: the42.ielast_img read more

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Is CRISPR Gene Editing Doing More Harm Than Good

CRISPR-Modified Babies Cursed With Short LifespanAntidote to Deadly Box Jellyfish Venom Discovered CRISPR/Cas9 is poised to become the gene-editing tool of the future.But, according to a new study, you may want to think twice before rewriting your DNA.Scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute found that the system can cause greater damage in cells than previously thought.During an investigation using mouse and human cells, the team discovered that CRISPR/Cas9 frequently caused extensive mutations like DNA deletions and insertions.What’s worse: Some of these changes were too far from the target site to spot, allowing them to covertly fester and grow without proper supervision.“This is the first systematic assessment of unexpected events resulting from CRISPR/Cas9 editing in therapeutically relevant cells,” corresponding author Allan Bradley, a professor at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said in a statement. “And we found that changes in the DNA have been seriously underestimated before now.”The genetic superweapon, heralded for its advancements in curing disease, has previously been accused of also causing it.Two studies published last month warn that cells altered by CRISPR/Cas9 can trigger cancer.According to research by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research, cells whose genomes have been CRISPR’d are more likely to grow into tumors.But, as with most panic-inducing medical developments, these potentially cancerous effects should be taken with a grain of salt. The findings simply highlight a need for more analysis of this promising tool; they shouldn’t spell its doom.“It is important that anyone thinking of using this technology for gene therapy proceeds with caution,” Bradley said. “And looks very carefully to check for possible harmful effects.”CRISPR/Cas9 is already used in scientific research, to alter sections of DNA by cutting and editing specific points. Still the new kid on the block, it has shown promise in creating potential treatments for the likes of HIV, cancer, ALS, and autism.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target read more

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Zidane There are more and more Madridistas every day

Zidane There are more and more Madridistas every day

first_imgReal Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has claimed that everyday the club are getting more supportersPreviously the Spanish giants had been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism for their dramatic late win over Juventus in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with Cristiano Ronaldo having slotted in a controversial penalty with Gianluigi Buffon having been sent off, while protesting the decision to the English referee Michael Oliver.Zidane later accused the critics of being jealous of Real and has now revealed, ahead of their encounter against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga, that the number of Madridistas is growing.“The issue of antimadridism has always existed, but the problem is the other way around,” said Zidane, according to Calcio Mercato.“There are more and more Madridistas every day. “It is the best club, with the most fans, and the movement just keeps getting bigger. “We don’t speak about it inside the dressing room.”Fati and Suarez shine against Valencia at Camp Nou Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 15, 2019 With a mesmerizing first half from Ansu Fati and a brace from Luis Suarez in the second half, Barcelona demolished Valencia at Camp Nou.Valencia…The Frenchman remained uninterested in discussing Real’s reported transfer target Kepa Arrizabalaga’s new deal at Athletic Bilbao.“At the time we didn’t have to sign a goalkeeper,” he continued.“We had three and we still have three, and in the future, we’ll talk when the season ends.”When asked out any potential decisions that may be taken in their semi-final against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Zidane responded: We will do our job and the referee will do his.”last_img read more

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Amazon layoffs Hundreds of job cuts in Seattle global offices might follow

first_imgSecurity guards stand at the reception desk of the Amazon India office in Bengaluru, India, August 14, 2015. [Representational Image]Reuters fileJust when it looked like the job market would improve and layoffs would take a backseat, at least for a while, Amazon has reportedly started cutting hundreds of jobs.The majority of the layoffs are said to be Seattle-centric, but sources told the Seattle Times that some global teams may bear the brunt as well. It has also been revealed that the move would mostly affect Amazon’s consumer retail businesses.Amazon has confirmed the layoffs to the Seattle Times and several employees have reportedly already been notified of the job cuts. It has also been said that the process would be completed in the next few weeks. Speaking of the move, Amazon said in a statement:”As part of our annual planning process, we are making headcount adjustments across the company — small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others. For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring.”The job cuts come at a time when the American electronic commerce and cloud computing company is known to be looking for a location to set up its second headquarter and the firm had earlier said that the new facility would create at least 50,000 jobs. Amazon recently went on a hiring spree and took in more than 40,000 workers. While it has announced the layoffs now, the firm still has several jobs listed on various online job portals. In the year 2017, Amazon created about 130,000 jobs worldwide and cloud-computing has played a key role in Amazon’s expansion. “Our 2017 projections for Alexa were very optimistic, and we far exceeded them,” Reuters quoted Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, as saying “We don’t see positive surprises of this magnitude very often — expect us to double down.”Relatedlast_img read more

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Honor 6X and a Bunch of Other Phones Are Now Even More

Honor 6X and a Bunch of Other Phones Are Now Even More

first_imgSometimes, when purchasing a flagship phone becomes a bit too expensive for the user’s taste, they have to settle for the less expensive offerings and they come with more than just a few compromises. However, it does not have to be this way, because we have lined up several phones, including the Honor 6X and they feature terrific discounts, and you can grab them right away.Get up to $350 Discounts on Smartphone Purchases – Check Out the Deals Right HereThe deals given below also include the LG G6 and G6+, flagships that were announced earlier this year and feature a near bezel-less design and impressive hardware. If these do not interest you can always check out the Moto G Plus, which is the fifth iteration of the Moto G Plus series and presents a terrific discount to customers who are not looking to shell out a ton of money on mobile phones.There is something here for everybody and best of all, these devices are being offered at a discount. The Nokia 6, for example, features astounding build quality for a phone that belongs in the entry-level to mid-range smartphone category, while the Moto E Plus sports a battery capacity that will easily last you for an entire day. Share Tweet Submit If you plan on buying any one of the devices listed below, let us know in the comments what features made you get it in the first place, while also telling us what phones are you looking forward to in the coming months.Buy Huawei Honor 6X 32GB model: $149.99 (25 percent discount)Buy Nokia 6 32GB model: $149.99 ($80 discount)Buy Moto E Plus 32GB model: $199.99Buy LG G6 32GB model: $399Buy LG G6+ 128GB model: $449.99 ($350 discount)Buy Moto G Plus 64GB model: $199.99 ($100 discount)last_img read more

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Oh the Places Youll Go Dr Seuss museum opens its doors in

Oh the Places Youll Go Dr Seuss museum opens its doors in

first_imgOh the Places You’ll Go! Dr. Seuss museum opens its doors in Massachusetts SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — From the squiggly, pink handrails outside the entrance to the front hall decorated with scenes from “And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street” – a real street just blocks away – the new Amazing World of Dr. Seuss museum says “You’re off to Great Places!”Walking into to the museum opening to the public Saturday in the author and illustrator’s hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts, is like walking into one of his beloved children’s books.The museum dedicated to Theodor Geisel – who under the pen name Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated dozens of rhyming children’s books including “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham” – features interactive exhibits, artwork never before displayed publicly and explains how his childhood experiences in the city about 145 kilometres west of Boston shaped his work.“He would absolutely be at ease here,” said Leagrey Dimond, one of Geisel’s stepdaughters (He didn’t have any biological children). “And to know that he’s going to be here permanently, safe, protected, that people who want to know more are going to make this trip here to see him, it’s perfect.”Examples of Geisel’s early advertising work and World War II-era propaganda and political illustrations that critics consider racist are conspicuously absent, but that’s because the museum is aimed primarily at children, said Kay Simpson, president of the Springfield Museums complex.The organization has in the past hosted exhibits of Geisel’s wartime work, she said.More news:  Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?Kids are definitely the focus of the first floor of the museum, created in conjunction with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the family company that protects Geisel’s legacy. It features games and climbable statues of Horton, the stack of turtles from “Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories” and Thing 1 and Thing 2 from “The Cat in the Hat.”“This museum is about visitors encountering the creatures that sprang out from Ted Geisel’s imagination – Horton, the Cat in the Hat, the Lorax, Sam I Am – that got kids excited about reading, which was really his preoccupation later on in his career,” Simpson said.Visitors are taken through Geisel’s boyhood bedroom, his grandparents’ bakery and brewery and different rooms painted in brilliant blues and radiant reds, and decorated in almost fanatical detail with scenes from the books.The museum’s second floor has a more intimate feeling with the actual furnishings and assorted knick-knacks from Geisel’s studio from the La Jolla, California, home where he lived until his death in 1991 at age 87. Even his collection of 117 bowties is on display.But by not referencing Geisel’s wartime work, which often stereotyped the Japanese, the museum is telling only half the story, said Katie Ishizuka, who has written on Geisel’s work.“They don’t acknowledge the full picture of him or they try to minimize that or sweep it under the rug,” said Ishizuka, director of The Conscious Kid Library, which lends what she says are more diverse and appropriate books for young readers.More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksEven in his children’s books, characters of colour are subservient or secondary to the white characters, or depicted as stereotypes and caricatures, she said.Dimond never heard a prejudiced word out of Geisel, she said, and knows he had some regrets about the wartime work.“If there is criticism of Ted, it has its place,” she said. “I would never try to, and he would not want any of us to try to hide away anything he did. I know that he changed with the times.”Richard Minear, a professor emeritus of Japanese history at the University of Massachusetts, who wrote “Dr. Seuss Goes to War” about his political illustrations, says Geisel certainly had a blind spot on race, but it’s not fair to judge his entire career on that work.“He matured and he developed a whole lot from those early years,” Minear said, noting that “Horton Hears a Who!” was an allegory about post-war Japan and the nation’s relationship with the U.S.The museum is expected to draw about 100,000 visitors annually and along with a $1 billion casino scheduled to open in 2018, is part of the Springfield’s economic renaissance, Mayor Domenic Sarno said. Geisel belongs in his hometown, the mayor said.“Any other city in the country would be salivating to have a museum for a world-renowned author like Dr. Seuss,” he said. << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Tags: Museums By: Mark PrattSource: The Associated Press Monday, June 5, 2017 last_img read more

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