UNs financial crisis real we need a solution that works India

first_imgUnited Nations: India, which is owed $38 million by the United Nations for peacekeeping operations, has called for a comprehensive solution to address the “real” financial crisis facing the world body, saying countries that owe arrears are “insured” from the impact of their inaction. The UN’s peacekeeping financial year is ending on June 30 and member states are yet to pay $1.9 billion worth of assessments for peacekeeping budget and $1.5 billion worth of assessments for the Regular Budget, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu said at a session on ‘Improving the Financial Situation of the United Nations.’ Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsNaidu said many Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), including India, are awaiting for “long, legitimate reimbursements” from the closed peacekeeping missions. “Our expectation is that the problem be discussed and addressed comprehensively, he said. The UN owes India $38 million, among the highest it has to pay to any country, for peacekeeping operations as of March 2019, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had said in his report on improving the financial situation of the UN released in April. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefNaidu said the UN Secretariat briefed the member states earlier this month of the large amounts of reimbursements that were due to the Troop Contributing Countries. These include troops cost with $339 million and Contingent Owned Equipment claims from the active and closed missions worth $670 million. “Yet there is reluctance in some quarters to recognise the financial problems being faced by the UN,” he said adding that the crisis is real and present and we need a solution that works. Naidu voiced concern over the practice of meeting the cash requirement of active missions by dipping into the cash pool of closed peacekeeping missions and delaying reimbursements to Police and Troop Contributing Countries, saying it has over a period of time created a false sense of financial soundness. “This approach of creative accounting in managing a financial crisis has never worked and never will. It appears that the countries that owe arrears are somewhat insured from the impact of their inaction,” Naidu said. “As a result, the arrears have grown larger and with it the expectations, of course from the arrear-owing countries that the Secretariat would somehow manage the status quo, even if it requires calibrating the reimbursement framework, he said. He reiterated India’s assertion that the practice of delaying payments to TCCs while other contractual obligations are met, impacts the UN’s ability to maintain honest agreements with TCCs on other aspects of the peacekeeping. While sufficient cash has been made available in the pool of closed peacekeeping mission accounts for reimbursing the Troop and Police Contributing Countries in accordance with the agreements signed with them, Naidu said this cash has been diverted to managing the liquidity crisis of the active peacekeeping missions and at times shortfall in the Regular Budget, thereby deferring resolution to the pressing problem. He stressed that India believed a sustainable solution to the financial crisis would only emerge when member states begin to honour their budgetary obligations in full and on time. “If member-states do not meet their budgetary obligations, then at least in the context of future peacekeeping operations we see two emerging situations one, where even with the available cash pool Troop Contributing Countries would not be reimbursed on time and two, missions will close with a cash deficit, without fully reimbursing the Troop and Police Contributing Countries. In a sign of how dire the financial situation of the UN is, Guterres said this week he had contemplated selling his official four-story residence in New York when he took charge as the world organisation’s head to help resolve the deteriorating financial crisis facing the United Nations. He had told the delegates at the Fifth Committee’s meeting on Improving the Financial Situation of the Organization’ that the first thing he did when he arrived in New York to assume charge as the UN Chief was to ask if he could sell the residence. I am not joking. It is a true story. I discovered that I couldn’t, because the residence can only be sold to the United States of America when we close the doors in New York. Obviously, it is not something that is not, hopefully, going to happen. The United Nations owed more than $250 million to troop- and police-contributing countries at the end of 2018 and again at the end of the first quarter of 2019. This debt is likely to again exceed $400 million at the end of June 2019, similar to the situation at the end of June 2018, Guterres said.last_img read more

Read More →

New Bdesh coach confident of beating Afghanistan in Test

first_imgDhaka: Bangladesh’s new head coach Russell Domingo on Tuesday backed his charges to beat Afghanistan in the one-off Test starting Thursday, provided they could build enough pressure on the opposition. “We have to focus on our processes and on being patient. We have to build pressure against Afghanistan. If we can do those things, results will come our way,” Domingo told reporters in the port city of Chittagong on Tuesday. The one-off Test series against Afghanistan at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong will be the first assignment for Domingo, who was appointed as Bangladesh head coach in August replacing Englishman Steve Rhodes. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThe 45-year old South African said he did not intend to bring any change to the system that already worked for Bangladesh. “It is going to be my first Test for Bangladesh. I want to see how they perform. And it is difficult to make wholesale changes to a system that has worked really well for them in the last couple of Tests,” he said. “I am sitting back to see how things pan out for the first Test. The selectors and Shakib (Al Hasan) have led me to thinking in a certain way, and I am pretty comfortable with it before I imprint my way on to the team,” he added. This will be Afghanistan’s first meeting against Bangladesh in Test cricket and only third overall after they were granted Test status last year. Bangladesh coach Domingo found the spin attack of the visiting side “threatening” for his charges.last_img read more

Read More →

Cyber Political Activism is in Full Swing in Morocco

Rabat – After the Hirak protests of the Rif and Zagora and more recently in Jerada, Moroccans need to find another form of civilian resistance to fight those who “own the country” and, ultimately, hit them where it hurts the most: their businesses and profits.The prices of consumer goods have been rising at an alarming rate in the last five years, while the salaries have not increased at all. As a result, the working class citizens are the most affected. They are living in total unfavorable conditions, with no hope of improvement in sight.The government—unable to scrap the remaining subsidies of such foodstuffs as bread, oil, sugar, and butane, for fear of facing a popular uprising—is resorting to increasing prices of other products, including petrol. Two Moroccos, two different speedsIn the past, right after independence, there were three social classes: upper class, middle class, and lower class. Today, the situation has changed tremendously. There are only two classes left, miles apart from each other: the very rich made up of the Makhzen families, military top brass, co-opted politicians, and nouveaux riches, who made their wealth from corruption and embezzlement; and on the opposite side is the class of survivalists, comprised of the former middle class, the poor, and the very poor. As a matter of fact, since the beginning of the third millennium, Morocco has split into two Moroccos, each one cruising at a different speed:The Morocco of the Golden Triangle comes from the colonial Maroc Utile, which has expanded its territory lately. It starts in Tangier and goes all the way to Laayoune from north to south, then from Casablanca to Fes from west to east. Beyond that are the rural areas and the Amazigh Mountains, where poverty exists to an extreme. There is no decent infrastructure, very high illiteracy, no means of independent subsistence, and rampant poverty. In the past, these regions survived because of employment in Europe, but in the mid-1980s, Europe closed its borders to immigration and the people of these regions fell into total despair, with no jobs and no future for their families.Officially, Morocco encourages foreign investment, but in the Golden Triangle, the lack of adequate infrastructure in the periphery perpetuates the hopelessness in that part of the country. The colonial Maroc Utile instead becomes truly useless and forgotten when it comes to government development programs.Moroccan SlumsEven inside the Golden Triangle, not everything is golden when it comes to the life of the total population. Almost every Moroccan city has its own belt of poverty made up of people who migrated decades ago from the countryside because of the drought, hoping to improve their economic status. Instead, they live in utter poverty and are easily recruited by Islamists to carry out terrorist attacks in Morocco or elsewhere or even to join ISIS. This is evidenced by the case in Casablanca in 2003, which was highlighted in the excellent film of Nabil Ayouch, “Horses of God.”[i]Most big cities in the Moroccan Golden Triangle have their own slums, from which we see pickpockets, drug peddlers, muggers, thieves, prostitutes, and cheap labor emerging en masse. In these slums, the living conditions are terrible. The families are usually large and live in over-crowded and unhealthy shacks where sleeping is done in shifts due to the scarcity of rooms and beds. Nobody has yet died of hunger there because the main foods are still subsidized by the government. However, if the government gives in to the pressure of the World Bank, a popular revolution will no doubt ensue.In these poverty belts the common investment is a café, of which there are so many. Poor people often joke by saying that, in the poor quarters, “between a café and a café, there is a café,” meaning there is no serious infrastructure. These cafés are crowded all day by unemployed youth seeking escapist solutions to their predicaments by chatting on their smart phones, watching soccer games on satellite television, smoking hashish, or talking to their friends while waiting for the change that is unlikely to arrive on its own.During the Arab Spring, the Moroccan social movement 20 Février denounced, in massive demonstrations, all the problems of modern Morocco, i.e. corruption, nepotism, embezzlement, patriarchy, and tribalism. Activists called on the monarchy, which is respected and seen as a symbol of stability, to become a true constitutional monarchy through the adoption of incremental democracy. Realizing the strength of this popular uprising, the monarchy revamped the Constitution in 2011 and triggered the devolution of power.The ensuing general elections brought the Islamists of the Partie de la Justice et du Développement (PJD) to power. However, they did not have any real executive authority since the Moroccan electoral system does not permit strong independent parties, but rather parties that must resort to coalition government cooperation.Thus, the Islamists governed for a full term of five years but were unable to enforce the new Constitution or stay true to their electoral platform. Instead, they had their own share of power abuse and sex scandals, just like other secular parties in the past. Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane spent those five years squabbling with opposition parties instead of bringing the programs of his party’s electoral platform to fruition. As a result, the Islamists fell in popularity with the general public, which had originally wholeheartedly supported their policies and objectives.However, in 2016, despite the general public disapproval of their performance, PJD still won more seats in the general elections (125 of the 395 seats in the House of Representatives, a gain of 18 seats compared to the 2011 elections). In contrast, they lost the support of the Makhzen because they could not form a coalition government for almost six months due to the intransigence of the opposition. This was somewhat blamed on Benkirane’s pig-headedness, but in reality the perception of the Islamists’ strength is waning worldwide. The opposition wanted to impose their own man, the rich businessman Aziz Akhennouch, to curtail the Islamists’ influence and potency.The rich population in Morocco has always had access to the Makhzen and its privileges in return for blind allegianceand unquestionable support. Akhennouch and all the rich people of the country are automatically allies of the monarchy and are in agreement with a mutual advancement agenda.The Cyber HirakThe government does not seem to show any signs of wanting to end the grassroots Hiraks of the country peacefully. Instead, it is putting the militant activists on trial and might even condemn some of them to the death penalty to preserve its hiba (loftiness) and state standing.In the face of the intransigence of the establishment and as a further manifestation of the Arab Spring, the Moroccan poor people launched the electronic Hirak, boycotting the products of two rich Moroccan rentiers:  Akhennouch’s dairy products (Lait Centrale, Danone, etc., as well as Afriquia petrol) and Meriem Bensaleh’s popular mineral water (Sidi Ali).In this regard, Safae Kasraoui states forcefully in Morocco World News that:[ii]“Baraka criticized the exorbitant prices of hydrocarbons, ‘which have reached a maximum that citizens can no longer stand.’While several officials called the campaign a weak plot, Baraka said that ‘the important thing is not to know who is behind the campaign, but rather to understand the message conveyed’ through the campaign.The official said that the campaign reflects the suffering of citizens due to the high cost of living.Several Moroccan celebrities have also expressed their support and solidarity with the online boycott campaign in protest of the rise in commodity prices, including Moroccan divas Asmae Lamnawar, Latifa Raafat, Saida Caharf, and Najat Aatabou.”So far, the boycott, using primarily Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp, is a total success because Akhennouch, his profits dwindling, publicly called the boycott an act of treason. Nevertheless, the grassroots activists, angered by his attitude, will be tempted to include his other products in the boycott in order to punish him and bring down the prices of foodstuffs on the eve of Ramadan, a month of larger consumption. The electronic Hirak will certainly strengthen the Islamists and their government, now led by Saadeddine Othmani, which were powerless since the formation because of heavyweight politician Akhennouch. Now, the chances of the latter leading the next non-Islamist government are nonexistent. This will undoubtedly disappoint the establishment that was counting on him to reduce the influence of the Islamists, especially after the miserable failure of the palace party Parti de l’Authenticité et de la Modernité, led by Ilyas Omari. This electronic uprising might even weaken other politicians close to the palace in the future.Who is behind this electronic Hirak?This uprising calls itself a “spontaneous movement,” but in reality, it is not. It is more likely that the PJD is behind it because Benkirane holds a grudge against the establishment for removing him from the government. It is a well known fact that one of the strengths of PJD is its electronic army, known as Al-kataib Electroniya, which is able to shape the public opinion through WhatsApp and other social media using the partaji ya mouwatin (“citizens, share the message”) successful scheme.On this particular point, Zoubida Senoussi writes in Morocco World News:[iii]“While some believe that this campaign comes as a direct result of denouncing the high cost of living–especially ahead of Ramadan, which witnesses a high peak consumption demands of dairy products–others opposed the boycott, asserting that this call is essentially a settlement of political accounts rather than an outburst of popular anger.Moroccan media outlets, such as the Arabic daily Al Ahdath Al-Maghribiya, claimed that this campaign, which will run for over a month, is a facade for a deeper political manipulation, orchestrated by what they have termed an ‘electronic army’ close to Abdelilah Benkirane, former head of the Moroccan government and former Secretary General of the Justice and Development Party (PJD).”The Arab Spring has turned violent in Yemen, Syria, and Libya lately and has dissolved the dream of democracy of the majority of Arabs. Will the Moroccan electronic uprising be able to revive the moribund Arab Spring and offer the poor a new means to make their voice heard?Only time will tell.The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent any institution or entity. © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.You can follow Professor Mohamed Chtatou on Twitter: @Ayurinu read more

Read More →

Romania sets big fines for drivers of ridehailing services

BUCHAREST, Romania — The Romanian government has issued an emergency decree ramping up steep fines for drivers of ride-hailing services like Uber and Taxify.The decree taking effect Thursday fines drivers transporting people in their car without a valid taxi license up to $1,175 (1,050 euros) already from the first offence. Previously, drivers were fined only after repeated offences.The change, which could amount to a virtual ban for the ride-hailing services, comes in response to months of protests by taxi drivers.Romanian Deputy Prime Minister Daniel Suciu was quoted by local media as saying that the decree seeks to curb “transport piracy” and that new laws would soon establish a legal framework for the operations of Uber and similar companies.A protest against the new regulations is planned to be held Sunday.The Associated Press read more

Read More →

UN envoy welcomes news of AlShabaab vacating Somali capital

“There is no doubt that the departure of Al-Shabaab would be a positive development and a step in the right direction for a city that has seen so much misery and devastation,” said Augustine Mahiga, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia. He said the armed group has already vacated key strategic points throughout the capital, including Baakara Market. “I am very pleased to learn of the progress made over the last several days on the security situation in Mogadishu,” he stated in a news release.“But as we look forward, it is important that we acknowledge that real security risks, including from terrorist attacks, remain and must not be underestimated,” he added.Fighting between Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Al-Shabaab militants had already uprooted tens of thousands of people in Mogadishu before the current humanitarian crisis began. Ongoing insecurity and drought, as well as famine in parts of southern Somalia, have caused a massive influx of starving adults and children into the city in the past two months. “The immediate priority must now be to focus on the humanitarian situation and I call on all parties, from the donor community to all parts of the Transitional Federal Government, to do everything possible to ensure and facilitate the immediate delivery of assistance to those most in need,” Mr. Mahiga stressed.He also called on the TFG to use this opportunity to do everything in its power to assist and protect civilians. 6 August 2011Peace and SecurityThe United Nations envoy for Somalia today welcomed the news that the Islamic insurgent group Al-Shabaab has begun to leave the capital, Mogadishu, and called on the strife-torn Horn of Africa nation’s government to use the opportunity to ensure aid delivery to civilians in need. read more

Read More →

UN rights experts express alarm over situation involving Tibetan monk

A joint statement released yesterday by Ambeyi Ligabo, the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Leandro Despouy, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers; and Hina Jilani, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders, called for the re-trial of Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche.The experts said Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche was sentenced to death on 2 December 2002 – that sentence has since been suspended until 2 December 2004 – after being accused of “causing explosions” and inciting the separation of the state. He denies the charges. His co-accused, Lobsang Dondrup, was executed in January last year.Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche is a Tibetan Lama who had been doing social work for the Tibetan community in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan province and had promoted the re-establishment of Tibetan Buddhism in that region, according to the statement.The UN experts said “numerous and credible reports” indicated serious procedural flaws during Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche’s trial. These included ill-treatment during the pre-trial period, being kept incommunicado during detention, the failure to allow an open trial, the accused’s inability to choose his own lawyer, and the violation of the accused’s right to know and study the evidence presented against him in court.Saying they feared Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche could be executed at any point after 2 December this year, the experts urged Chinese authorities to grant a new trial that respects international norms. read more

Read More →

Noconfidence resolution Former TT Speakers say 33 constitutes a majority elections

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAG files legal proceedings seeking to stay carried no confidence voteJanuary 7, 2019In “Court”No-confidence resolution…PPP slams Govt for attempts to escape constitutional provisionDecember 30, 2018In “latest news”No-confidence vote certified, will not be reviewed– Clerk of HouseDecember 28, 2018In “latest news” By Shemuel FanfairAhead of today’s scheduled sitting of the National Assembly from which the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) plans to abstain, two former Speakers of the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament have held out that 33 votes out of 65 constitute a majority, with one calling on the President David Granger-led Government to resign and call fresh elections.These contentions follow the December 21, 2018 passage of an Opposition filedFormer Trinidad and Tobago House Speaker, Nizam Mohammed (1968-1991)no-confidence motion against the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration when now expelled representative Charrandas Persaud made a conscience vote and supported the motion.Government had initially accepted the motion now turned resolution but subsequently shifted its position with Attorney General Basil Williams having declared that the Administration will mount a legal challenge on the view that 34 votes were required for successful passage.The Attorney General held to that view after Attorney Nigel Hughes, husband of Government Minister Cathy Hughes, made that comment following the passage of the motion.However, in an interview with this media group on Wednesday, former Deputy Speaker (1995-2000; 2010-2011), Dr Faud Khan who has also acted in the post of Speaker, clearly outlined that 33 votes surpassed the 50 per cent mark.“If that had occurred on my watch while I was sitting in the chair, it would have been obvious that it would be more than 50 per cent of the vote that would have carried the motion and from what I gather, 32.5 is the 50 per cent mark and 33 votes go over the 50 per cent and as a result of that, this carries the vote into the no-confidence realm. Thirty-four makes no sense because you’re creating an issue that really and truly doesn’t exist. Once the vote is carried, then the no-confidence is carried,” Dr Khan postulated.Constitution is clearDr Khan highlighted that had such a motion been passed in Trinidad, elections would have been called in his home country, which is Guyana’s Caricom (Caribbean Community) counterpart and geographic neighbour.“You would have to call elections as you have lost confidence; you would have a lot of shenanigans [which has] been happening in Guyana; they [Trinidad’s Government] would try all kinds of legal actions to try and stop it but at the end of the day, the Constitution is clear, the Government [of Guyana] has lost the voteFormer Trinidad and Tobago Deputy Speaker and Acting Speaker, Dr Faud Khan (T&T Parliament photo)and if the vote is in favour of the Opposition, then it means that the Government has been defeated and they have no locus standi to stand up and say ‘yes, we will stay’. What you are really doing is losing the confidence of the people,” the United National Congress (UNC) Representative detailed.Today’s sitting in Parliament Building was scheduled to deal with “the consequences” of the no-confidence resolution.He observed that the Speaker does not have the right to “revoke” the vote as he made it clear that the requiring 34 votes for passage argument will not hold up.“It’s null and void; anyone who tries to pull that argument is really grasping at straws and they are going against the Constitution. For public confidence to be on a Government, you would have to [call elections]; if they don’t, whatever they do, the public confidence will not be on them,” Dr Khan posited.He further disputed the merit of the 34 argument on his belief that previous motions and legislations passed with 33 votes could be viewed as null and void, a view held by some local observers.The people have spokenSome of what Dr Khan put forward was shared by former Trinidad and Tobago House Speaker (1986-1991), Nizam Mohammed who posited that 33 votes out of 65 reflect a majority.Some have argued that 33 is a simple majority while 34 would be an absolute majority but the former Speaker indicated that ‘majority’ was the key word as Guyana’s Constitution makes no mention of ‘simple’ or absolute. Article 106 (6) of the Constitution in fact states:“The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”Mohammed highlighted that the term ‘half’ was not expressed. “The ordinary interpretation is not talking about half; it’s talking about majority and a majority in ordinary language would be 33. Majority as I understand it would be more than the minority and the majority would be 33,” Mohammed stated.When asked on whether or not the Administration has a valid case to argue, the former Speaker noted that the will of the people has to be taken into consideration and even though Government has 33 seats and the Opposition, 32, according to him, the people’s will was reflected in the December 21 vote.“If such a situation existed in Trinidad and Tobago, I do not believe that there would have been any delay in announcing a date for the elections. It happened during the time of Basdeo Panday when he was Prime Minister and there a defection of three members of his Government and the then Prime Minister said he did not have the kind of majority in according with law to carry on any further and they had an election,” Mohamed recalled of the early 2000s era.“My view is, without interfering with what is taking place in Guyana, is that the people through their representatives did in fact speak,” he added.With the Guyana Government’s defeat, the next steps in Clause 7 of Article 106 goes on to state that “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”“What will be taking place now in machinations among the politicians on both sides to either bring the county to elections before the required date or the Government will seek to buy more time rather than call an election,” the former speaker said.Mohammed explained that in Trinidad’s bi-cameral legislature, a motion of no-confidence, which is filed in the House of Representatives, would be carried by a majority of voting members present. It was observed that if the country had 65 members and all were present, then 33 would be a majority and a no-confidence motion would be carried unless there are standing orders or provisions in the Trinidad and Tobago Constitution that require a specific number or percentage.The twin island republic’s Parliament has 41 seats in the Senate and 41 seats in the House of Representatives representing an Upper and Lower house respectively.Locally, both Government and Opposition have met with the diplomatic community as Guyana gears up to potentially head to the polls within the coming months. read more

Read More →

The Evening Fix now with added Gangnam Style

first_imgWe liked this from Cracked.com: 6 Movie Mysteries the Characters Should’ve Solved Way Sooner. (Needless to say, major spoilerage abounds).It’s pretty much impossible to escape Gangnam Style – no matter how much you try. Here’s thousands of people performing the dance on the streets of Seoul in South Korea today: Visitors view the Iveagh Trust ‘museum flat’ in Dublin, which was opened to the public as part of the Open House events today. The flat was preserved as a museum piece in 2002 after the death of its last tenant, Nellie Molloy, at the age of 95. She had lived there all her life. (Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire)HERE ARE THE things you need to know as we round off the day in three easy steps.THINGS WE LEARNED#MURDER: Police in Wales investigating the disappearance of 5-year-old April Jones have charged Mark Bridger with murder, child abduction, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.#HEROIN: The HSE has warned drug users in Cork to be careful after two people died and eight others were hospitalised due to a suspected batch of extremely strong heroin.#VATILEAKS: Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing secret documents from the Vatican.#MICK WALLACE: Joe Higgins has denied claims by Mick Wallace that the Wexford TD had told him about his tax problems months before the story hit the headlines.#REILLY: A group of grassroots Labour members will meet this week to discuss how to bring about the resignation of Minister for Health James Reilly. A spokesperson for the group said: “If [Reilly] will not go, he must be forced out by the Labour Party”.#ABORTION: The Catholic Church will launch its new anti-abortion campaign across the country tomorrow.THINGS WE LOVEDThis is the geekiest and best thing we saw today: the New York Times Magazine has this short piece about who invented the Escape key on keyboards.John from our technical team (hi John!) spotted this in the Metro Café in Dublin’s city centre today – because teasing Apple about the epic failure of its Maps app still hasn’t gotten old: (Photos: AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)THINGS WE SHAREDBuzzFeed has 27 Reasons Why A Billion People Should Not Be Allowed To Use Facebook.There was a very  brief period of about ten minutes earlier today where there was absolutely no rain anywhere in Ireland. Seriously: we have proof.Here’s the most impressive dodgeball move we’ve seen since – well, since the film Dodgeball.(Video: eebtek/YouTube)last_img read more

Read More →

De locytocine dans le nez pour lutter contre la timidité

first_imgDe l’ocytocine dans le nez pour lutter contre la timidité ? Une récente étude canadienne suggère que des injections nasales d’ocytocine, hormone notamment impliquée dans l’accouchement, permettraient d’aider à vaincre sa timidité. Ils auraient également des effets positifs sur l’autisme.Secrétée par l’hypophyse, l’ocytocine est une hormone impliquée dans plusieurs mécanismes parmi lesquels l’accouchement. Mais elle joue également un rôle dans le comportement des individus et tout particulièrement dans les interactions sociales. En étudiant l’hormone, les scientifiques se sont ainsi aperçus que des inhalations ou des injections d’ocytocine pouvaient permettre à un individu de vaincre sa timidité et d’avoir davantage confiance en soi. C’est ce que vient tout juste de confirmer une nouvelle étude menée à l’université Concordia de Montréal et publiée dans la revue Psychopharmacology.À lire aussiNouvelle piste de traitement de l’ostéoporose”Nos travaux montrent que l’ocytocine peut modifier la manière dont les gens se perçoivent, et accroître leur sociabilité”, commente dans un communiqué Mark Ellenbogen qui a dirigé l’étude. Il précise également : “sous les effets de l’ocytocine, une personne peut se percevoir elle-même comme plus extravertie, plus ouverte aux nouvelles idées et plus confiante”. Pour arriver à cette conclusion, le chercheur et ses collègues ont recruté une centaine de personnes, femmes et hommes, âgés d’entre 18 et 35 ans. Ceux-ci ne devaient présenter aucun antécédent médical et ne consommer ni cigarette ni drogue. Au cours de l’expérience, les sujets se sont injectés eux-mêmes de l’ocytocine dans le nez grâce à un spray nasal. Puis ils ont complété des questionnaires sur comment ils se sentaient 90 minutes plus tard. Ils ont été interrogés sur leur neuroticisme (expérience des émotions négatives), leur extraversion, leur ouverture à de nouvelles expériences, leur amabilité ainsi que sur leur conscience. Au final, “les participants qui se sont auto-administrés de l’ocytocine par voie intranasale ont obtenu des scores d’extraversion et d’ouverture aux expériences nouvelles supérieurs à ceux qui ont pris un placebo”, raconte Christophe Cardoso, membre de l’équipe. De l’ocytocine pour traiter l’autisme ? Il ajoute : “spécifiquement, l’administration d’ocytocine amplifie des traits de la personnalité tels que la cordialité, la confiance, l’altruisme et l’ouverture”. Au vu de telles propriétés, l’ocytocine a d’ores et déjà été envisagée pour traiter les symptômes comportementaux de certains troubles tels que l’autisme. L’administration de l’hormone chez des patients atteints d’autisme de haut niveau a ainsi permis de constater une amélioration provisoire de leur comportement social.Le 28 décembre 2011 à 12:59 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Read More →

Barnard 86 une goutte dencre en forme de gecko au beau milieu

first_imgBarnard 86, une goutte d’encre en forme de gecko au beau milieu de la Voie LactéeGrâce à la caméra WFI du télescope de l’ESA basé au Chili, il est possible d’observer le brillant amas d’étoiles NGC 6520 et, tout proche, le nuage sombre Barnard 86 qui prend la forme d’un gecko.Voilà une nouvelle image qui devrait ravir tous les amateurs d’astronomie et amoureux du ciel. L’Observatoire de La Silla de l’Observatoire européen australe (ESO), au Chili a réussi à capturer un superbe cliché qui montre le brillant amas d’étoiles NGC 6520 et son voisin, le nuage sombre Barnard 86 à la forme de gecko. Cet ensemble cosmique est visible sur fond de millions d’étoiles brillantes situées dans la partie la plus lumineuse de la Voie Lactée.Cette région est même si dense en étoiles qu’on ne voit pratiquement aucun bout de ciel noir dans cette partie de la constellation du Sagittaire. Le colossal nombre d’étoiles qui illuminent cette région fait ainsi d’autant plus ressortir la noirceur des nuages comme Barnard 86 qui apparait au centre de l’image réalisée par la caméra WFI (Wide Field Imager), un instrument installé au foyer du télescope. Il s’agit en fait d’une petite nébuleuse sombre isolée connue sous le nom de “globule de Bok” (du nom de l’astronome Bart Bok qui a pour la première fois observés ce type d’amas en 1940).Ces globules sont des amas de poussière et de gaz au centre duquel des étoiles peuvent naitre. Décrit comme “une goutte d’encre sur un ciel lumineux” par son découvreur, Edward Emerson Barnard, Barnard 86 ressemble à un espace dénué d’étoile ou une fenêtre ouverte sur un ciel lointain. Mais en réalité, l’amas se situe au premier plan, devant le champ d’étoiles. Ce nuage froid et dense constitué de minuscules grains de poussière fait ainsi écran devant la lumière des étoiles, ce qui donne l’impression que cette région est opaque. À lire aussiPourquoi certains s’évanouissent-ils à la vue du sang ?Les astronomes supposent que Barnard 86 s’est formé à partir des restes d’un nuage moléculaire qui s’est effondré sur lui-même formant l’amas d’étoiles NGC 6520 tout proche.Mais il reste difficile d’en apprendre davantage sur lui en raison du nombre incroyable d’étoiles dans cette zone, située à 6.000 années-lumière de notre Soleil. D’après les scientifiques, NGC 6520 serait vieux de quelque 150 millions d’années.  (crédits photo : ESO) Le 14 février 2013 à 20:02 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Read More →

Update on Becky Lynch getting busted open during RAW and how it

first_imgFacebook Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles WWE RAW Ratings: Viewership sees a 15% drop against the return of Monday Night Football Pinterest Ronda Rousey Releases Mugshot After Arrest On WWE Raw Twitter Ronda Rousey Charlotte Flair Now Playing Up Next WWE Draft confirmed to be taking place as a two-night event starting on October 11 Now Playing Up Next Google+ Now Playing Up Next WWE Female Superstars Get Green Light To Bounce Between Brands As reported on last night, Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch was busted open during the final segment of RAW and remained bloody until the close of the show.The segment, which featured members of the Smackdown women’s roster “invading” RAW, also saw Ronda Rousey get involved and later attacked by Lynch with a steel chair.It wasn’t apparent at the time how Lynch got busted open as the camera movement was all over the place during the brawl. It now appears an elbow from Nia Jax was the culprit, as Lynch was spotted falling down and immediately grabbing her face.It would appear an elbow from Nia Jax is what busted open Becky Lynch last night on #RAW in Kansas City pic.twitter.com/qOd3RVYJn6— Wrestleview.com (@wrestleview) November 13, 2018Despite the accident, the feedback to the segment was overwhelmingly positive on Twitter and seemed to help the hype for Survivor Series this Sunday.AJ may have built the house, but @BeckyLynchWWE is the one charging rent. #SDLive pic.twitter.com/8JeLLKhNGR— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) November 13, 2018 Now Playing Up Next Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipWWE Female Superstars Get Green Light To Bounce Between BrandsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:34/Current Time 0:02Loaded: 100.00%0:02Remaining Time -0:32 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Wrestleview Weekly: Predictions for tonight’s Clash of Champions event in Charlotte WWE Confirms Becky Lynch’s Removal From Survivor Series Videos Articles Videos Articles Becky Lynch Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Ronda Rousey Doesnt Want To Be A Dancing Monkey Anymore Becky Lynch Announces Replacement to Face Ronda Rousey WhatsApplast_img read more

Read More →

Watch Pakistani woman yells at Priyanka Chopra calling her hypocrite this is

first_img Close Priyanka Chopra verbally attacked by Pakistani woman.InstagramA video is out on social media that shows a Pakistani woman yelling at Priyanka Chopra and called her hypocrite for praising Indian Armed Force. However, the actress replied back to the lady with utmost respect.Priyanka was present at an event in Los Angeles, where the Pakistani woman sitting among the audience verbally attacked her, accusing her of encouraging nuclear war against her nation. PeeCee patiently listened to her grudge and then responded in the most dignified manner.”As a Goodwill Ambassador, you are encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan. People like me have supported you in your business,” the lady told Priyanka. She said this in regard to the actress’ tweet “Jai Hind #IndianArmedForces”, which she had made after Indian Air Force attacked and destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp at Balakot in Pakistan.The global diva then replied to her saying that she does not promote war, but she is patriotic. She further apologised if she had hurt anyone who love her.”I have many, many friends from Pakistan and I am from India. War is not something I’m really fond of but I am patriotic. So I’m sorry if I hurt sentiments to people who do love me and have loved me,” she said.”But I think that all of us have a, sort of, middle ground that we all have to walk. Just like you probably do as well. The way that you came at me right now… girl, don’t yell. We’re all here for love,” Priyaka added.That Pakistani girl who jumped @priyankachopra was very disrespectful! #BeautyconLA smh i was supposed to be the next one to ask a question but she ruined it for all pic.twitter.com/KrLWsLEACa— Kadi (@ItsnotKadi) August 10, 2019 Priyanka was recently in news for some wrong reasons. First, she was vehemently slammed on social media for allegedly not doing enough for the victims of Assam flood. She was mainly targeted as she was the brand ambassador of Assam tourism.Later, she was ridiculed and trolled after a picture of she smoking went viral. Netizens had lashed out at her as she had once claimed to be asthmatic, and then seen smoking. Bet you didn’t know this about Priyanka Chopra!last_img read more

Read More →

Gun Legislation Passes Florida House Goes To Governor

first_img Share AP Photo/Mark WallheiserFlorida Rep. Kristin Diane Jacobs, speaks on the gun safety bill in the House chamber at the Florida Capital in Tallahassee, Fla., Wednesday, March 7, 2018.The Florida House passed a school safety bill Wednesday that includes new restrictions on rifle sales and a program to arm some teachers, sending the measure to the governor for his signature.The vote of 67-50 reflected a mix of Republicans and Democrats in support and opposition. The measure, a response to the shootings at a Parkland high school that left 17 dead, is supported by the victims’ families.Andrew Pollack, who lost his 18-year-old daughter Meadow in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and Ryan Petty, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Alaina, said there was enough good in the bill that it should pass.Democratic Rep. Kristin Jacobs said she did not like the idea of arming teachers, but she voted yes. Republican Rep. Jay Fant said raising the minimum age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21 was unconstitutional, and he voted no.“There is a cultural divide in this room, in this state and across the country. And there’s a bill before us that is not perfect,” said Democratic Rep. Kristin Jacobs, whose district includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.The bill would raise the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 and create a waiting period on sales of the weapons. It would also create a so-called guardian program that would let school employees and many teachers carry handguns if they go through law enforcement training and if the school district decides to participate in the program.Other provisions would create new mental health programs for schools; establish an anonymous tip line where students and others could report threats to schools, ban bump stocks and improve communication between schools, law enforcement and state agencies.Fant, who is running for attorney general, said the gun restrictions violate the constitution.“I just can’t imagine that Nikolas Cruz can commit such a heinous crime and then as a result we tell, potentially, a 20-year-old single mother living alone that she cannot purchase a firearm to defend herself,” Fant said.The Florida Senate narrowly passed the bill Monday. Gov. Rick Scott declined to say Wednesday whether he would sign the legislation.Scott has repeatedly said he doesn’t support arming teachers and pushed lawmakers adopt his proposal, which called for at least one law enforcement officer in every school and one for every thousand students who attend a school.“I’m going to take the time and I’m going to read the bill and I’m going to talk to families,” Scott told reporters.Shooting suspect Cruz was formally charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder Wednesday, which could mean a death sentence if he is convicted.The indictment returned by a grand jury in Fort Lauderdale also charges the 19-year-old with 17 counts of attempted murder for the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in which 17 people died and more than a dozen others were wounded.Cruz’s public defender has said he will plead guilty if prosecutors take the death penalty off the table, which would mean a life prison sentence. Prosecutors have 45 days to decide whether they want to seek the death penalty.James and Kimberly Snead, the couple who gave Cruz a home after his mother died late last year, testified before the grand jury. James Snead and the couple’s attorney, Jim Lewis, wore silver “17” pins to honor the victims of the shooting.The couple is “trying to do the right thing” and is mourning along with the rest of the Parkland community, Lewis said.“We’ll let justice take its course at this point,” Lewis said. “They still don’t know what happened, why this happened. They don’t have any answers. They feel very badly for everybody.”Cruz told investigators he took an AR-15 rifle to his former school on Feb. 14 and started shooting into classrooms.Jail records released by the Broward Sheriff’s Office show Cruz was being held in solitary confinement. Officers described Cruz as avoiding eye contact with deputies but also being cooperative and engaged with his visitors.The report said Cruz “often sits with a blank stare,” asked for a Bible to read and appeared to be “smiling and giggling” during one visit with his attorneys. Investigators and psychiatrists also have visited Cruz in his single-person cell in the jail’s infirmary, where officers note his activities every 15 minutes.His brother visited him twice, along with Rocxanne Deschamps, who took in both teens after their mother died in November. Cruz lived with Deschamps only briefly before moving in with the Sneads.last_img read more

Read More →

Anne del Castillo Named New York Citys Commissioner of Media and Entertainment

first_imgThe film and TV industries in New York City have a new boss: Anne del Castillo, who has been tapped by Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.Del Castillo had served as general counsel and chief operating officer of MOME since 2015. She succeeds Julie Menin, who left the post in February after nearly three years to become Census Director for the city. Del Castillo had been acting commissioner since Menin’s departure.“Media and entertainment are central to New York City’s economy and identity. Anne has the vision and experience to continue to strengthen the industry during this time of unprecedented growth and change,” said de Blasio. “Her commitment to diversifying our entertainment sector and piloting innovative programs will ensure New York continues to be the media capital of the world.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 In all, media and entertainment account for some 305,000 local jobs and economic output of $104 billion, per the Mayor’s Office. Given the rapid growth of lensing in New York during the past 20 years, the MOME commissioner has influence in Hollywood as well as in the five boroughs.“This is an exciting time for our agency to engage a broad cross-section of industry, community and other key stakeholders to advance an inclusive, sustainable and thriving creative economy that benefits all New Yorkers and reflects the diversity that defines our city,” del Castillo said.Under Menin, expanded from supporting the film, TV, and theater industries to supporting the music, publishing, advertising and digital media industries as well. MOME also encompasses NYC Media, the City’s official broadcast network and the Office of Nightlife.That office — and the institution of former bar owner Ariel Palitz as the city’s first “nightlife mayor” — was one of Menin’s signature initiatives as commissioner, along with an outreach program for the city’s music industry, which included a hearing involving some 75 organizations and companies that do business in the city. Menin was also involved in the city’s hosting of the 2018 Grammy Awards, the first time in 15 years the ceremony was held in New York.Del Castillo joined MOME in 2014 as director of legal affairs. She was closely involved in the creation of the Made in NY Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund, which is has begun to distribute $5 million in grants to women filmmakers and playwrights.Before that, del Castillo was VP of development and business affairs at American Documentary, producer of PBS’ “POV,” and she worked as associate director of the Austin Film Society, where she administered the Texas Filmmakers Production fund. “We applaud Mayor de Blasio for his selection, we welcome Commissioner del Castillo, and look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the great staff of the Mayor’s Film Office,” said Dee Dee Myers, executive VP of worldwide corporate communications and public affairs for Warner Bros.Del Castillo’s work in the arena of diversity and inclusion makes her well-suited to her new role.“We have had the privilege of working with Anne on a number of projects, including the innovative Made in New York Writers Room fellowship, which is advancing the careers of talented television writers whose backgrounds and voices reflect the diversity of the city,” said Lowell Peterson, exec director of Writers Guild of America East. “Anne and MOME are great partners to an important industry and we look forward to continuing to work together.”Jem Aswad contributed to this report. New York Mayor’s Office Details New $5 Million Women’s Fund for Film, Theatercenter_img Popular on Variety At MOME, del Castillo will oversee all activity in the city related to location shooting, tax incentives and the city’s growing focus on diversity and inclusion programs designed to open doors for film and TV employment opportunities to a broad range of New Yorkers. MOME’s charter also extends to the music, Broadway, advertising and other media sectors active in the city. Related New York Awards Inaugural ‘Made in NY’ Grants for Female-Focused Projectslast_img read more

Read More →

Rewatching Samurai Jack Episode 3 The First Fight

first_imgAfter 12 years away, one of the best, most critically acclaimed cartoon series of all time, Samurai Jack, returns to television later this year with original series creator Genndy Tartakovsky at the helm. To help you get ready, Geek.com’s Aubrey Sitterson is rewatching the entire series in order.Samurai Jack’s third episode, The First Fight, is like the two episodes preceding it, part of the series’ Premiere Movie. The folks in charge of such things must have rightly realized that what Tartakovsky & Co. were doing with Samurai Jack was somewhat different than the other shows on their roster. Instead of just tossing out a single pilot episode that struggled to set up an entire world and backstory while also telling a compelling story in a mere 22 minutes, the studio executives in their infinite wisdom allowed Samurai Jack to kick off with a movie-length episode that basically breaks down as…Episode 1: Backstory, Episode 2: Setting, Episode 3: Action.But beyond giving the show a wide platform upon which to launch itself, this approach also served to highlight one of the show’s best features: its versatility. In that first Premiere Movie, and across the three episodes contained within it, Samurai Jack is shown to be capable of telling wordless, world-spanning coming-of-age stories, explosive tales of urban dystopias and, in The First Fight, Seven Samurai-esque defenses against impossible odds. And this is one of the things that first resonated with me about Samurai Jack and continues to impress me during this rewatch. The show is, quite frankly, in a league of its own when it comes to story and tonal shifts that never, ever, even for a moment, feel unnatural or out-of-step with the nature of the series.In this third episode, our eponymous hero agrees to help a group of individuals cast off the oppressive yoke placed upon them by the nefarious Aku. As mentioned, it’s a very Seven Samurai premise, albeit with only a single samurai – a serious situation where Jack is tasked with preventing a group of mild-mannered peasants from being completely overrun by a monstrous horde. But as mentioned previously, while the series excels by borrowing elements from other works, it never leaves them completely intact. And this episode is no different, as evidenced by the tweaks that Tartakovsky & Co. made to Akira Kurosawa’s classic Seven Samurai story (which also served as the basis for western The Magnificent Seven).In The First Fight, the people Jack must defend aren’t peasants, in fact, they aren’t people at all, but rather, anthropomorphic dogs in pith helmets. And the incredible odds against which he must defend them? They’re a swarm of mechanical insects, natch.On a lesser show, by a less talented group of creators, this would come across as an effort to take a serious plot and “kiddie” it up, to make it palatable to younger viewers, replacing sad villagers with goofy cartoon dogs, swapping out their slain enemies’ gushing arteries with broken valves spurting out oil. But The First Fight actually leans into this odd juxtaposition, not only forcing the serious to sit right next to the silly, but using those goofy, comedic moments as a kind of pressure release that also serves to highlight Jack’s man-out-of-time status, a stone-faced hero amongst a world given over to the absurd.One of my favorite instances of that in this episode – one of my favorite moments of the entire series thus far – comes when Jack is organizing his canine friends to repel Aku’s invading mechanical beetles. While using everything that he was taught back in The Beginning, Jack sits down to draw out plans for the dogs’ defense, at which point one of the pooches hands him a pen. But Jack, being from the past, has no idea how a clicking ballpoint pen works, and is unable to write with it. What comes next is the most interesting, however, as the show dedicates precious screen time – prime real estate on a show that only runs 22 minutes – to a visual gag of one of the dogs slowly taking the pen, and clicking it for Jack before handing it back to him. It’s a sublime moment of humor that juxtaposes perfectly with the intense preparations that both precede and follow it.These humorous asides, these breaks in the tension instead of derailing things, only serve to heighten the viewer’s desire for pay off. There’s a misconception in storytelling that there must always be rising action. And while you certainly can do a story that way, it’s often not how the tale is best served. The First Fight recognizes that, as it ratchets the intensity up by three, only to dial it back a notch with a bit of humor. This pattern continues up until the fight actually starts, at which point audiences have been whipped into a lather, ready to see Jack after two and a half episodes of teases, truly cut loose against these mechanical entomological monsters.At the same moment that audiences are primed to see it, Jack explodes into action. A glorious release of the pressure that had been building not just throughout this episode, but the entire Premiere Movie. And throughout the fight, throughout Jack’s slaughter of the bugs – actions that, if not for the fact that they’re mechanical, would be completely bloodthirsty and horrifying – the intensity only rises, until Jack has entered a complete berserker frenzy, covered in oil, his white kimono sullied and blackened, forbidding his enemies from retreating.As The First Fight gives viewers exactly what they want, what they’ve been trained to desire, the series creators also do something else interesting, something that is a hallmark of the show. Instead of just showing all of the action with the standard aspect ratio, they widen and narrow the shots to better accommodate the action contained within. This technique, using aspect ratios to impact how viewer’s see scenes is something done every time a cartoonist chooses a shot, but it’s rarely done as well in film and television as in Samurai Jack.Beyond just widening the lens to show the scale of a horde, however, The First Fight does something even more fascinating. As Jack’s attacks on the insects become more intense, more frenzied, more chaotic, so too does the way they’re depicted. From multiple, angled shots of Jack leaping forward, screaming, to individual “panels” that look like they are slashed into existence by Jack’s katana, The First Fight takes an approach that is practically Bauhaus-inspired, with the form of the episode, the way that each frame is animated, following from the function that it is meant to serve.The First Fight builds to a barbarous, violent crescendo, but one that has been previously lightened and tempered by the nature of the threat Jack faces. Instead of being bathed in blood, he’s simply covered in grease or oil. Following the battle, the action slows, giving way to a moment that is pure triumph for Jack. Having defeated impossible odds through the use of the skills taught to him as a child, he has proven that even in this new, strange world, the talents he has cultivated are still valuable and important. But just when this proud moment, with Jack situated atop a hill in a shot that’s practically Frazetta-esque, just when it might possibly veer into pomposity, that dramatic tension is released and juxtaposed…by the reappearance of one of those goofy dogs.Join us next week, as we talk about Jack, the Woolies and the Chritchellites, the first episode that wasn’t written or storyboarded by series creator Genndy Tartakovsky. As always, if you’d like to join us in our rewatch, the entire Samurai Jack series is available on Hulu.Aubrey Sitterson is a Los Angeles-based writer whose most recent work is the Street Fighter x G.I. Joe series from IDW, available at your local comic shop or digitally on Comixology. Follow him on Twitter or check out his website for more information.last_img read more

Read More →

Temporary respite Mercury climbs to 12 deg C

first_imgKolkata: The temperature in the city rose up to 12 degree Celsius on the last Sunday of the year, while on Saturday it had dropped to 10.6 degrees, the lowest of the season so far.The Regional Meteorological Department predicted that temperature may further go up by a new notches from Monday, giving respite to city dwellers from the cold wave condition that has been prevailing in the city and in some other South Bengal districts. Unlike South Bengal, the people in other districts of North Bengal may continue to feel the winter chill as the mercury has already dropped below double digits there. The temperature in Darjeeling has already dipped below 0 degree Celsius. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe temperature has gone up by 1.4 degree Celsius from Saturday. In the past couple of days, mercury had started plunging down, making people feel the winter chill. According to the Met office prediction, the condition is going to improve from Monday. Several parts of South Bengal districts may however witness misty morning, which will clear as the day progresses. “The minimum temperature may slightly go up in the next few days. There is, however, no prediction on whether the cold wave condition has begun a retreat in the South Bengal districts. The winter chill that has intensified in districts including Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum, East and West Burdwan and Midnapore due to the uninterrupted flow of the northwesterly wind, may lose its strength marginally,” a weather official said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe weather official has, however, not ruled out the possibility of the temperature going down again. “There may be some occasional rise and fall in temperature during this time of the year,” said the official. Meanwhile, people visited various tourist places across the city in large numbers on the last Sunday of the year. Thousands of revellers started pouring in from various parts of the city and its suburbs from the morning. Alipore Zoo was the destination of choice for thousands. Children clad in warm clothes were found visiting the zoo on Sunday. The zoo has always been one of the major centres of attraction in the city, especially for the children who were seen thronging along with their parents in front of the tiger enclosure and others. Some others were seen standing outside the cages of their favourite animals. Various other tourist spots like Victoria Memorial, Eco Park and Science City also recorded huge footfall.last_img read more

Read More →

Following their application to be a Dark Sky Sanc

first_imgFollowing their application to be a ‘Dark Sky Sanctuary’, and recently announced new shipping service, Pitcairn Islands Tourism has launched an exclusive tour to celebrate the Total Solar Eclipse which will pass over the Pitcairn Islands in July 2019. The 18-night/19-day tour includes 11 days cruising around the remote Pitcairn Islands, the world’s third largest marine reserve, visiting UNESCO World Heritage-listed Henderson Island, Oeno Island to view the Solar Eclipse and a 4 day stay on Pitcairn Island, home of the descendants of the HMAV Bounty mutineers since 1790. Pre and post stopovers in Tahiti are also included.This once in a lifetime opportunity is only available to 10 guests and is being escorted by distinguished astronomer, Emeritus Professor John Hearnshaw from New Zealand’s University of Canterbury.Making the announcement, Pitcairn Travel Coordinator, Heather Menzies said, “With our new ship MV Bravo Supporter coming on line we are looking to open up new markets and the Solar Eclipse presents us with a unique opportunity to showcase The Pitcairn Islands like never before.”Departing on 22 July 2019, the tour is now on sale with an early bird offer starting from NZ$16,250 per person. The tour price includes 4 nights accommodation in Tahiti with transfers, half day tour and breakfasts; return flights between Tahiti and Mangareva (to meet the ship); 11 days aboard MV Bravo Supporter with all meals; 4 days homestay on Pitcairn Island with all meals, island touring program and transfers plus Eclipse viewing at sea and visits to Oeno and Henderson Islands.For more information and to book a place on this unique tour CLICK HERE. 2019JulyPitcairn IslandPitcairn Island TourismSolar EclipseTotakl Solar Eclipsetourlast_img read more

Read More →

Graves urges families to enjoy winter fun during free fishing weekend

first_imgState Rep. Joe Graves today encouraged residents to take advantage of Michigan’s  wonderful winter natural resources during free fishing weekend, Feb. 14 and 15.Graves, R-Argentine Township, said the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will waive all fishing license fees during the weekend so residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on lakes and rivers throughout Michigan. There are 79 lakes in Genesee County and 358 more in Oakland County..“Michigan is a winter sports paradise, and this is the perfect opportunity to take the kids and grandkids out on the ice and introduce them to a fantastic sport,” Graves said. “The scenery alone is worth the trip, plus you could catch dinner in the process.”All fishing regulations still apply during the free fishing weekend, Graves said.Graves advised residents to bundle up against the cold weather and to be sure the ice is safe before venturing out on frozen lakes.##### Lawmaker: Plenty of opportunities to drop a line Categories: Graves News,Newscenter_img 11Feb Graves urges families to enjoy winter fun during free fishing weekendlast_img read more

Read More →

Rep Sheppard holding summer reading contest for students

first_img09Jun Rep. Sheppard holding summer reading contest for students Categories: Sheppard News One winner will be named ‘Representative for a Day’State Rep. Jason Sheppard is sponsoring a reading contest to encourage children in the 56th House District to read during the summer months.“It’s important for children to read every day during the summer so they can sharpen the skills they have developed during the school year,” said Rep. Sheppard, R-Temperance. “I hope this contest will provide an extra incentive to pick up some books this summer.”To participate, students in first through fifth grades should use a Rep. Sheppard bookmark to track their reading progress over the summer. The official bookmarks will be distributed to local schools, and are also available at the following branches of the Monroe County Library System:Ellis Library and Reference Center, 3700 South Custer Road in MonroeBedford Branch Library, 8575 Jackman Road in TemperanceDundee Branch Library, 144 East Main St. in DundeeErie Branch Library, 2065 Erie Road in ErieIda Branch Library, 3016 Lewis Avenue in IdaRasey Memorial Branch Library, 4349 Oak St. in Luna PierSummerfield-Petersburg Branch Library, 60 East Center St. in PetersburgCompleted bookmarks must be turned in at one of the libraries by Sept. 1.The winning student will receive an opportunity to serve as “Representative for a Day” alongside Rep. Sheppard. The lucky winner will have an opportunity to experience part of a legislative session on the House floor, as well as other fun activities.“I look forward to welcoming the winner to Lansing, and showing them what it’s like to be a lawmaker,” Rep. Sheppard said. “I highly encourage any students who want to learn more about their state government to participate.”#####last_img read more

Read More →